Valley Heartbeat! by Kristi Dobson

June 23, 2017
Katrina Kiefer is the new face behind the Canadian Mental Health Association. When former executive director, Bob Hargreaves, retired in December after 17 years, she took over as acting ED until April, when she accepted the permanent position. She comes with 30 years of experience in the field,...
June 20, 2017
A newcomer to Port Alberni arrived ready to share her passion for wine with the community. Not only that, Rachelle Collette recently launched her own business to provide event planning and services. Rachelle, daughter of Jennifer and Bill Collette, executive director of the Alberni Valley Chamber...
June 16, 2017
As a part of the mission to provide educational opportunities for the public, the Alberni Aquarium and Stewardship Centre is bringing in a new exhibit. The Build-A-Whale is the first travelling exhibit to make a temporary home at the Centre and will be a hands-on experience for anyone wanting to...
June 13, 2017
The owners of Mountain View Bakery, Chris and Terrie Admiraal, are celebrating their sweet business’s 12th anniversary this month and they cannot think of a better reason to continue baking cakes and other goodies the community has come to love. The bakery has a long history in Port Alberni. It...
June 9, 2017
Port Alberni has another newcomer in the Valley who arrived to set up her business and enjoy the close-knit community lifestyle. Lisa Nogier arrived with her husband two months ago and is already experience success at her vintage furniture shop. “It has been absolutely booming,” Lisa said. Lisa...
June 6, 2017
Desja Walker, owner of Haven Living, just pulled the plug on her plans to move into the vacant building on the corner of Argyle Street and Third Avenue. She made the decision last Monday after months of conflicting ideas and unanswered questions. The overall renovation process was the final straw...
June 2, 2017
One thing Bill Collette knows as the executive director of the Chamber of Commerce is how many events are hosted in Port Alberni and how many of those have the potential to attract visitors to the community. That is why his latest project will soon be hot off the press. “Port Alberni: The Iconic...
May 30, 2017
The first of three water-based fundraisers for the BC Children’s Hospital took place on the windy Inlet on Saturday and it was a chance for avid kiteboarders to show their skills, take part in friendly competition, and raise funds for a worthy cause. Kiting for Kids is being held for the first time...
May 26, 2017
A familiar face on the campus of North Island College is wrapping up his final days as he prepares for retirement. Derek Hanebury has been teaching at the college in various capacities for nearly 29 years and said it is a bitter-sweet occasion as the end draws near. “It has been an incredible ride...
May 23, 2017
Last year, the informal Alberni Pride group became an official Society with the hopes of creating a lasting social organization for all walks of life among the LGTBQ community. That is when Shelley Shenton became involved and now runs the group as President. Along with preparing for the annual...
May 19, 2017
When Brenda Dunbrack and Dana Dore opened Boom Town Café earlier this month, it was a dream come true. The two found themselves with an opportunity to do something for themselves and the timing was right. The idea was to bring quality, fresh food to the community while honouring the history of Port...
May 16, 2017
As a retired teacher, Sharon Hillman said a career in the classroom was her first calling. Since retirement, she has pursued other interests, including her passion for writing and volunteering. That, along with quality family time, led to additional “life” callings. Sharon started teaching in 1967...
May 12, 2017
Businesses that were built to last in Port Alberni have survived some turbulent times. There has been shifts in the economy, competition from the other side of the "hump" and changes in priorities from the "nice to have's" and "need to have's". ­­ This year, Jowsey’s is celebrating its 70th year...
May 9, 2017
Maggie Hodge Kwan has called Port Alberni home for the past seven years, but she is soon off to another valley…the Comox Valley. Maggie, along with husband and high school sweetheart, Nathan, are moving to Cumberland to follow their dreams and passions, both personal and professional. Born in...
May 5, 2017
Sixteen years ago, Maryann Rumney and her husband Ross opened up a little movie store on the corner of China Creek Road and Tenth Avenue. The family-run business has seen changes over the years but has remained committed to providing the same personalized service. Their loyal customers have...
May 2, 2017
Friends, and now business partners, Carol Anne Phillips and Sharon Smith, joined together recently to follow their dreams. Yesterday their hard work came together when they opened a new ladies wear consignment store on Argyle Street. It is their hope to offer quality items in a boutique atmosphere...
April 28, 2017
When you love what you do, it shows, and you are inspired to give even more. That is the inspiration behind Marie Knoll and Keith Ambrose ‘s Uptown Urban Market. Ready to open up for its second season next Friday, the two are able to offer even more this year after the success and community support...
April 25, 2017
Shayne Lloyd knows what it is like to move around, but he has found roots, and a place in which he can pursue his art, in Port Alberni. He is known for his many pieces around town, but today marks the unveiling of a new one he completed for an art show. Shayne is the youngest of four boys. His...
April 21, 2017
Aubrey Rayner is one active youth and lately her focus has been on training for the BMX World Championships in South Carolina. Although she lives in Parksville, Aubrey has close ties to Port Alberni, including relatives Ken McRae, Dolly Watts, and Tom Watts, as well as the Huu-ay-aht First Nation...
April 18, 2017
Anyone who knows Michelle Cayer knows she is not one to sit around long. The Port Alberni resident likes to keep her life busy and she always has something on the go. One consistent trait throughout her life has been her desire to work hard for what she wants. Michelle’s roots go back to the farm...

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