Only 20 minutes by BC Ferries from the city of Nanaimo, Gabriola Island casts spells across layers of time. The island's natural bounty invites modern adventurers to try fishing for salmon and halibut, go hiking in the verdant forests and enjoy biking the island from top to bottom.
The earliest inhabitants of Gabriola Island were the Snuneymuxw First Nation, a Coast Salish people who arrived to hunt and fish an estimated 5,000 years ago. More than 50 petroglyphs carved by this ancient people in cliffs and rocks are easily seen today.
Next came the Spanish, looking for gold. They left behind names from Descanso Bay to Malaspina Inlet. In fact, Gabriola derives from the word "gaviota" which means seagull in Spanish. Scots, Irish and English followed. Settlers and farmers stayed, farmed and cut timber for Nanaimo across the strait.
The most recent wave of settlement is Gabriola's arts community, a contender for highest concentrated colony of its kind in Canada. Painters, sculptors, potters, glassmakers, photographers, musicians, actors and composers weave the fabric of contemporary culture.
Information was provided by Health Match BC and from local community websites. Other information has come from a variety of sources including the BCMA and health professionals within the communities. Pictures have been provided by www.picturebc.ca or community members. Please contact us at email@example.com with any information updates for your community.