Category Archives: Events

Cutting BC Ferry Routes: Gabriola vs. Tsawwassen

A Coastal Ferries Community Engagement meeting will be held Tuesday December 10, 2013 from 5pm to 8pm at Gabriola Community Hall, 2200 South Rd, Gabriola Island regarding cutting BC ferry routes.

How can BC Ferries Services Inc. save money? They want to save $800,000 by April 2016 on the Gabriola ferry route.

What is the solution? Cut the ferry management? Cut the major routes? The Ferry Advisory Committee has the following suggestion:

The three major routes (from the Lower Mainland to Vancouver Island) include the Twsawwassen-Duke Point run which loses the most money. These major routes are not facing huge cuts like the 22 smaller routes.

Tsawwassen-Duke Point route
The Tsawwassen-Duke Point route has been losing money for at least ten years. In each of the last five years it has lost somewhere between $24 million to $30 million a year.

The route has an average capacity utilization of 48%. It could stand to lose one of its four shifts on weekdays for ten months a year and still have room for all its traffic. A combination of consultation and a revised reservation system could produce a schedule to accommodate the freight and commercial carriers who use the route heavily. These cuts to Tsawwassen-Duke Point alone would save $9.6 million.

Translink reduced schedule:
Starting December 16, 2013 the new Translink schedule has a reduced service to and from the Tsawwassen terminal on weekdays.  Instead of running every hour, buses will only run alternate hours to meet ferries to and from Victoria.  Weekend services will continue to run hourly.

Gabriola Ferry Terminal
Minister Todd Stone said in the cutback announcement on November 18, 2013 that over the next two years, the ministry would be looking at making $4.9 million in service reductions for the major routes, specifically mentioning the Duke Point and Departure Bay.   Could the Gabriola – Nanaimo Harbour terminal be closed and the Gabriola route be moved to Duke Point or Departure Bay?

GERTIE on the water?
Gabriola already has its own bus, Gabriola’s Environmentally Responsible Trans-Island Express (GERTIE). What would it take to put GERTIE on the water?  Why should the island economy be pushed into permanent decline because of the lack of  ferry service?

Remembrance Day 2013

Somewhere in Belgium in WWI
Somewhere in Belgium in WWI

The art by “J.M.” an unkown soldier from Canada, shows a desolate landscape somewhere in France or Belgium during World War I. Horses played an important role during the Great War, carrying messengers, pulling wagons of supplies and machinery.

This Remembrance Day, take some time to reflect on the sacrifices made by soldiers like J.M. who fought and suffered without recognition. It is because of their efforts that we are grateful to live in freedom.

Take the opportunity to attend a Remembrance Day ceremony and show your appreciation to these veterans.

There are parades and ceremonies throughout mid Vancouver Island on Monday, November 11th.

Remembrance Day 2013:

Ladysmith: Parade starts at 10:30 from Legion on 1st Avenue to Cenotaph (southbound lane of the Trans Canada Highway will be closed from 1st Avenue to Buller Street until 11:30 am.)

Lantzville: Parade begins at 10:45 a.m. down Lantzville Road to the Cenotaph.

Nanaimo: Parade begins at 10:30 a.m. along Church and Chapel Streets to the Cenotaph.

Parksville:  Parade from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 49 starts at 10:30 a.m. to Cenotaph near the corner of Craig Street and Jensen Avenue.

Vancouver Island Logger Sports at VIEX

The  Vancouver Island Exhibition Fair starts this Friday, August 16, 2013 in Nanaimo at Beban Park and runs for three days. VIEX is a fun country fair for the family and originally started over 100 years ago.

The logger sports show will return this year with axe throwing, hand sawing and choker racing.  Vancouver Island and BC were built on the forestry industry; years ago everyone you met worked in the woods.  Logging camps had a cookhouse and a bunkhouse which were the source for many expressions and stories.

Take a minute and step back in time and visit Logging Expressions and Stories.

Remembrance Day – Vancouver Island Military Museum

Pause and remember those who gave us peace and freedom this Sunday, November 11th.  Stop for two minutes at the 11th hour and reflect on the following:

There is a story of a sixteen year old who was about to enlist for the First World War. At the orphanage where he lived, the school master told him he would show him how to use a gun. “We’ll go shooting some rabbits.” The teenager replied that he’d rather not, having a pet rabbit himself. The schoolmaster shook his head and replied, “you’re going to have to do a lot more than that, when you go to war.”

Two years later, the young man received a piece of paper commending him for showing valiant effort during 48 hours of continuous action. He was the only one in his unit to survive.

painting by unknown soldier
painting by unknown soldier WWI

This painting was by a soldier known only by his initials, J.M. He was a member of the Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery and probably witnessed countless scenes like the one above during the first World War.

November 11th is a day to renew our memories of our ancestors’ sacrifices during both world wars, the Korean war and conflicts and peace-keeping missions since then. It is also a day that we should remind ourselves of the hard-fought democracy we have here in Canada. Let’s hold the torch high.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead:
Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie In Flanders fields!
Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote those words on the battlefront at Ypres, Belgium in 1915.

Remembrance Day Parades and ceremonies are being held in Nanaimo, Lantzville, Ladysmith, and Qualicum Beach on Sunday, November 11th starting at 10:15am.  If you are in Nanaimo drop into the Vancouver Island Military Museum downtown next to the Port Place Mall which will be open after the service.

Wednesday Oct 24 Day of Action in BC

Wednesday, October 24th is a province-wide day of action in BC when citizens are encouraged to link arms in front of MLA representative offices to form an unbroken wall of opposition across the province, and say “Defend our Coast.”

In Nanaimo and Parksville, there will be rallies at noon. (Click on the links for details).

The idea of “Defend Our Coast” started with a few businesses in New Orleans after the devastating Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

Fisherman were losing their livelihood, seafood restaurants were shutting their doors, and tourist attractions along the shores of the coast were being hit hard by a dramatic drop in visitors. And then there were the other victims. The one’s that could not hold press conferences to express their plight. They were the sea turtles, the pelicans, and all other forms of wildlife whose habitats were being destroyed. We asked ourselves, “What could we do to help?”

What happened in the Gulf of Mexico, could happen here if the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline goes ahead. To make matters worse, the federal government has decided to close all the Marine Communication Traffic Services stations on Vancouver Island. These MCTS centres are the ones that monitor the coast for oil spills and boats in distress. Without them, can you imagine what would happen if a tanker were to get into trouble?

Wanted: Filmakers for Nanaimo Global Film Festival

Are you an aspiring filmmaker in the mid-Vancouver Island region?  You could win:

  • a scholarship to the Gulf Island Film and Television School for one (1) week-long media intensive program, to be used in 2012/13
  • $500 towards travel, room and board expenses related to the G.I.F.T.S. scholarship program
  • $1,000 toward the cost of making the film

The Nanaimo Global Film Festival Group wants to encourage local filmmakers to tackle issues relating to economic alternatives, social justice, and the environment.  They are offering a Community Award package to help facilitate production of a 5-10 minute film or video that will be screened at their 2013 festival.

Details on how to submit proposals can be found on the Awards page of the Festival website: The deadline for submissions has been extended to September 24, 2012. The award winner will be announced during the festival and will have approximately a year to complete the film.

The website also gives details on local and international documentaries that will be screened at this year’s Nanaimo Global Film Festival September 28 – 29, 2012 at the VIU Nanaimo campus.