CV Collective contacted Heart of Vancouver Island early summer to write an article highlighting Port Alberni for their Get Outta Town feature to encourage Comox Valley residents to explore nearby communities. Fellow HOVI manager Tashia Potter and I discussed this opportunity, and I jumped at this chance to write a ‘love letter on Port Alberni’ for a beautiful, high-quality magazine, and got Sarah Etoile (our Heart of Vancouver Island & VIU Aboriginal Eco-Tourism Intern) on board for photography. Check out Sarah's new project, The Greater Connection. 


I was both excited and intimidated to sum up the history, culture and future of Port Alberni in one article. The theme we were provided with was ‘Reflections’, so I had fun playing around with the concepts of reflecting on the past, creating ripples to the future.  My inner nerd couldn’t shake Shakespeare’s concept of sea change and metamorphosis.   All of these thoughts about reflection and waves of change created an epiphany: the 1964 tsunami that flooded homes, flipped over cars, and shook up the people who called this area home. 


I have to admit that it was pretty surreal for both Sarah and I to see our collaborative work in print at the CV Collective launch party! In between Rider’s Pizza and Cumberland Brewery Beer, we had fascinating conversations about the similarities of Cumberland and Port Alberni: both communities undergoing transitions from industry to innovation.


Thanks to Jenn Dykstra, Meagan Cursons, Ian Adams, Laurel Sliskovic and the City of Port Alberni for supporting this project. Hope to work together again soon!



Read Get Outta Town: Port Alberni: