I am excitedly looking forward to welcoming participants from all over the world to The Haven for the International Holistic Centres Gathering, April 6-11 2014.
The beginning of 2014 seemed like a good time to give you some more information about Gabriola Island, the home of The Haven for the past 30 years, and how to get here.
Gabriola Island features on Wikipedia, and the entry gives the following data about our geographic location: Gabriola Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia, in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Gabriola lies about 5 kilometres east of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, to which it is linked by a 20-minute ferry trip from Nanaimo harbour. It has a land area of about 57.6 square kilometres and a resident population of slightly more than 4,000. The map may make it clearer where we are! You can find out more about the history of the island and some theories about the island got its name, on Wikipedia. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gabriola_Island)
Known as the “Isle of the Arts”, Gabriola is home to dozens of world renowned and emerging artists, and believed to have the highest density of artists in any community in Canada.
We have a growing population of a bit more than 4,200 people, from all walks of life. Many of us are retired, but many of us are still looking forward to retirement. Some of us are young with children in our elementary school. We are a very welcoming and open-minded group, so you will find all sorts of interesting people as you explore Gabriola.
There are numerous visual and performing artists who call Gabriola home; farmers, baristas, chefs, outdoor enthusiasts…and the list goes on! Most Gabriolans are full-time residents, but there are also a considerable number of people who make Gabriola their “second home” on weekends and during the summer-time. There’s always someone to chat to in Folklife Village or at Madrona Marketplace and a great cup of coffee can be had in many spots around the island. For more info click here www.gabriolaisland.org
If you are not already convinced that Gabriola is a great place to visit, there are some amazing photos taken by visitors on Tripadvisor:
You can also see more images of The Haven on our web site:
Getting to somewhere as special as Gabriola takes a bit of planning and is totally worth it! Here’s a step by step guide how to get here from Vancouver International Airport.
- Decide if you want to get to Gabriola from the airport by ferries or seaplane. Both are beautifully scenic journeys. The seaplanes are much quicker and a bit more expensive.
- By seaplane: book a flight in advance with Tofino Air or Harbour Air (see web sites below for schedules, prices and contact details). When you arrive at YVR, get a taxi from the airport to the seaplane terminals, which will take approximately 10 minutes. It’s 20 minutes by seaplane directly to Gabriola (with Tofino Air) or to Nanaimo (with Harbour Air).
- By ferry: decide if you will go from the Duke Point or Horseshoe Bay ferry terminals in Vancouver. There are ferries from both terminals to Nanaimo. The Duke Point ferry terminal is closer to the airport but further away from the Gabriola ferry terminal on the other side. Public transport to the ferry terminals is going to take at least an hour and may involve changing buses. Taxi to the ferry terminal will cost $40-$60, maybe more depending on traffic. You will be a foot passenger on what we call the ‘big’ ferries which cross the Georgia Strait/Salish Sea to Vancouver Island in approximately 2 hours. Once you get to Nanaimo, you will need to get to the Gabriola Ferry terminal, which is in downtown Nanaimo. There is a ferry to Gabriola every hour for most of the day and it takes 20 minutes. Schedules, prices and other information are available on the BC Ferries web site below.
The Haven 1 800 222 9211 www.haven.ca
BC Ferries 1 888 223 3779 www.bcferries.com
Tofino Air 1 800 665 2359 www.tofinoair.ca
Harbour Air 1 800 665 0212 www.harbour-air.com
We have a set start and finish time for programs which the Gathering will also follow. We start at 7 or 7.30pm. This gives you time to travel during the day. Your room will be ready at 4pm and dinner is at 6pm. We will finish at noon. If your travel plans allow, you can stay on for lunch and it is also possible to leave earlier than noon if you need to.
This does not give you all the information on travel, but will I hope assist as you begin planning. There are other ways to get to us if you are not arriving at Vancouver International: see The Haven web site for more details. (http://www.haven.ca/participants-info/getting-here.html) We will send out more information to participants closer to the time.
I look forward to welcoming you to our beautiful island home.