Workshops & Retreats
Accommodation & Travel
About Gabriola Island
The Gulf Islands lie between the Lower Mainland of British Columbia
and the inside coast of Vancouver Island, favoured by a Mediteranean climate
of dry summers, mild winters with less rainfall than the coast and little
snow, and a long spring season, often beginning in February. Rural in nature,
the Islands have been protected by legislation in order to preserve their
natural environment for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.
A twenty-minute ride from Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, Gabriola retains
its native charm, with abundant wildlife co-existing with a year-round population
of about 5,000 people, including descendants of 19th century settlers side
by side with urban refugees in search of a place where community still means
you can leave your doors and your car unlocked. The community has become
known as the Isle of the Arts, home to first-class artists in almost every
discipline, from jewellery to woodcarving, pottery to painting, where professional
performers present everything from comedy to Shakespeare, musicians play
everything from classical to folk, and writers and illustrators produce
work in every genre - fiction and nonfiction, romance, mystery, children's
books, spoken word and haiku.
And by the way, locals call it Gay-bree-ola, not Gah-bri-ola. Any way you
say it, it's one of the isles of the blessed.
Services and Entertainment
Gabriola has almost everything you will need for a short or
a long stay: a variety of restaurants, coffee houses and pubs, liquour outlets
and bakeries, full service grocery stores and a Saturday farmers' market
from the end of May to the beginning of October. We have a high speed web
service outlet and sophisticated copying services, a library and a bookstore.
Courier services deliver every weekday to the island, and public fax facilities
are available six days a week.
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In the village, there are medical and dental services as well as a pharmacy,
and alternative therapists have established practices in naturopathy, homeopathy,
Chinese medicine and acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, psychological
counselling and tarot readings. A full-service branch of a credit union
is open five days a week, and ATM outlets can be found in various locations.
And yes, you can shop to your heart's content for clothing, gifts, and real
If you choose to bring a companion or your family with you to holiday while
you write, there is plenty to interest them at any time of year. You can
rent bicycles, mopeds and cars as well as kayaks and horses. There's a golf
course, tennis courts, a skateboarding park, birdwatching trails, fishing
and dive charters. Public access to beautiful sandstone beaches provide
endless hours of exploration, swimming and beachcombing, sandcastle building
or peaceful contemplation. Yoga classes continue year round, and a gym with
private coaching is located near the village. Video and DVD rental outlets
provide a reasonable selection of new and old movies.
The community is known as The Isle of the Arts - there are top quality artists
in almost every discipline, from jewellery to woodcarving, pottery to painting,
musicians playing everything from classical to folk, and writers in every
genre, romance, mystery, children's books, fiction and nonfiction, spoken
word and haiku. with an annual gallery and studio tour over the Thanksgiving
weekend, frequently rotating exhibitons of local artists at Gabriola
Artworks in the village, the Gabriola Poetry Festival in the fall and
the Dancing Man Music Festival in the spring, frequent theatrical presentations
with resident and visiting performers in the studio at the Gabriola C.E.N.T.R.E.,
the Phoenix Theatre at the Haven, and various venues around the island.
And for really old art, you can explore the petroglyph sites, either in
situ or at the Gabriola Museum.
For current information on events and services, visit the community newspaper
Workshops & Retreats
Accommodation & Travel
This page copyright © 2007, Patricia Ludwick
1890 Starfish Place
Gabriola Island, BC
Canada V0R 1X6
E-mail: writershaven AT uniserve DOT com
[NOTE: replace AT by @ and DOT by a period and close spaces, as in firstname.lastname@example.org]
Last revision: October 2007