Valley Heartbeat! by Kristi Dobson

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...
April 15, 2017
Well-known on the local real estate scene, Dave Ralla was born and raised in Port Alberni and is proud to call the community home. Now he is selling homes here and is enjoying a successful career and family life, which he credits to a lot of hard work. Raised by Hap and Surjit Ralla, Dave was...
April 11, 2017
Small-scale farmers in the Valley have been facing the reality that the labour-intensive industry is struggling and in order to keep afloat, have to adapt to the changes. That means being flexible to climate change, as well as expanding their product base to ensure sustainability throughout the...
April 7, 2017
Many people in the process of buying a home will know Rabinder Dhillon thanks to her expert help, but the mortgage broker also has a hidden talent. To break up her time spent in the office, Rabinder recently delved into her newfound creative side and is enjoying the journey. Born and raised in Port...
April 4, 2017
When he moved to Port Alberni four years ago, Dan Webb decided to actively jump into the community as the best way to find out about the city’s people, places, and organizations. He always likes to have a creative project on the go, so when he found out about an interesting global meeting that took...
March 31, 2017
Looking back on her life, Nene Kraneveldt can see how her path has led to the successful self-employment she enjoys today. Born in Germany, she is the daughter of a former field engineer with the military and as such, the family relocated often. Nene, along with her parents and brother, left...
March 28, 2017
About one hundred newcomers received a basket of gifts and discounts over the past year, according to Port Alberni’s Welcome Wagon representative, Megan Warrender. Megan is celebrating one year in the business by hosting an Open House at her new location at the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce...
March 24, 2017
For three yoga instructors, random acts of kindness happen year-round. In January 2014, Livi De Rooy, Christina Brack and Alysia Miller launched the Be CommUNITY Workshops in order to raise funds and donations of food and clothing for several local non-profit organizations and charities. It is also...
March 21, 2017
It’s Spring so it must be time to do the big clean-up, get the house in order, and start those projects that have been put off all winter. For Krista Aasen, a self-proclaimed "housie", this is a year-round passion. Married with two young boys, the elementary school teacher finds crafting and...
March 17, 2017
James Cowan has a long family history in Port Alberni with roots going back just after World War II. His mother, Alison, is known for her teaching at the family dance studio, the former Pat Cummings School of Dance that was established in 1953. It was from the past that inspired James to pursue his...
March 14, 2017
Jennifer Saunders and her husband, John, recently moved to Port Alberni with their two young children. Both are pursuing their entrepreneurial spirits and have so far found the Valley a good place to do both that and raise their family. Growing up in Nanaimo, Jennifer was raised among a long line...

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