Local Links

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Local Leadership

City of Port Alberni - City of Port Alberni Website.

Hupacasath First Nation - The Hupacasath peoples have also lived in this area for centuries. Along with Tseshaht this is home territory for them. We live, work and play on the unceded territory of the Hupacasath and Tseshaht peoples.

Tseshaht First Nation - The Tseshaht peoples have called the Port Alberni area home for centuries.

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District - ACRD serves residents in the districts surrounding the City of Port Alberni.

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council - The Nuu-chah-nulth consists of many First Nation bands which together cover territories stretching approx. 300 kilometres on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Community Futures Development Corporation (Alberni-Clayoquot) - CFDC is a local, non-profit organization that provides entrepreneurial assistance and economic development resources to our region’s communities of Bamfield, Port Alberni, Tofino and Ucluelet.

Huu-Ay-Aht First Nation - Creating a Future as Rich as Our Past. Together, the Huu-ay-aht Economic Development Committee and group of businesses strive to achieve a flourishing Huu-ay-aht economy through initiatives that provide sustainable benefits for all.

Uchucklesaht Tribe The Uchucklesath Peoples have a beautiful office and location along the lower levels of Argyle Street in Port Alberni. Their history is along the Alberni Inlet with villages located about 40 kilometres southwest of Port Alberni.


Education

School District #70 - SD70 oversees the K-12 schools in Port Alberni, Bamfield, Tofino and Ucluelet.

John Paul II School - A School with a difference - where children learn to love and love to learn. Quality Christian Education from Kindergarten to grade 8.

Literacy Alberni Society - A non-profit organization (with charity status) located in the Alberni Valley on Vancouver Island. The society's mission is to work collaboratively with other organizations and stakeholders within the community towards improving literacy levels in the Alberni Valley.

North Island College (Port Alberni Campus) - NIC offers quality post-secondary education and vocational training in a local community college setting.

Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences - A special purpose university primarily focused on a combination of distance learning and on site delivery, targeting professionals in the human resources and occupational health field who also have an additional involvement in disability management and return to work, and are keen to see value added education and certification in this field as an opportunity. Specific degree approval is subject to the terms and conditions as set out by the Degree Quality Assessment Board under the Ministry of Advanced Education and Labour Market Development of the Province of British Columbia.

Media

Alberni Valley News - Local weekly newspaper.

Ha-shilth-sa Newspaper - Published bi-weekly, Ha-Shilth-Sa covers the events and issues throughout the West Coast from a distinctly Nuu chah nulth perspective.

93.3 The Peak Radio - Local radio station covering Alberni Valley & the West Coast region.

Shaw TV (Port Alberni) - Provides daily community features and information for the Alberni Valley & West Coast communities.

Alberni.ca - Port Alberni's community web portal; with local news, blogs, classified, forums, coupons, and events calendar.

Visitor Centre: The Visitor Centre is hosted under a Fee for Service Agreement with the City of Port Alberni by the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce. Visit our site to learn about Things to Do, Places to Eat and where to bed down for the night plus much more.

Annual Events

Starting the year off is the annual Polar Bear Swim held at Canal Beach - Waterfront Park in Port Alberni. Watch for information on this event as it becomes available through FACEBOOK. Check with the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Centre for more information at any time.

In late February or early March the Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual PAPER CHASE - 15 km run that starts and finishes at Cherry Creek Community Hall. The run is part of the ISLAND SERIES a series of 8 runs with distances ranging from 5km to a Half Marathon held in communities from Sooke to Courtenay over the first three months of the year. Port Alberni's run will typically attract over 300 athletes from across the Island. Our run includes a near 1 km trek through the McLean Mill National Historic Site The images below are courtesy of Tashia Potter Photography taken in March of 2020 just days before the pandemic shut down events, world-wide for months and months.

In early June the Alberni Valley Hospice Society puts on a wonderful local event - The Butterfly Release. Butterfly's are graciously donated to the Society and then purchased by folks who wish to pay respects to a loved one lost. The butterfly's are kept cool until ready for release and at the count down they are gently set free. A wonderful event. It has been held at many local locations including the inaugural event at Canal Beach followed by one at Harbour Quay then Blair Park and the most recent at Hospice' new location on 10th Avenue in the adjoining park. Find out more about the Butterfly Effect here:

In late June and often over the Canada Day Weekend more than 80 Ball Teams from across the Province converge on Port Alberni for the annual FUNTASTIC - Okee -Dokee Slo-Pitch tournament. The ball teams play several games over the course of the few days during which time they raise money, lots of money, that then finds its way back to other Not for Profit Societies in Port Alberni. The tournament always includes a party atmosphere alongside large scale music events. Stay in touch via their FACEBOOK page to learn more:

Also in the Spring months the Sproat Ness Dragons typically host a Dragon Boat race on beautiful Sproat Lake. These races attract people from all over the Island and of course Sproat Lake is considered one of the top destinations during their annual course of events. Stay in touch with the group here or better yet; grab a paddle and join them!

Alberni Valley Charity Golf Classic (July) - at the the Alberni Golf Club, with all proceeds to BC Children's Hospital and local charities. Everyone is welcome. Register at the Alberni Golf Club

The Sproat Lake Regatta is an event started back in the 1950's. The event fell by the wayside for a number of years but was then brought back to life in 2014 by local enthusiast and former regatta champion - Joe Van Bergen. Joe has lived at Sproat Lake for many years and is a well-known and highly regarded local personality. The regatta now includes many different races covering all types of boats. If you enjoy the water, like the lake, like boats and like fun, well this event is a must do. Usually happens mid-July at beautiful Sproat Lake. Please contact the Chamber of Commerce for more information or follow their FACEBOOK page:

In early August the streets of Port Alberni become alive with fast cars as they converge typically along Stamp Avenue for the annual Thunder in the Valley drag race. The Alberni Valley Drag Racing Association has hosted these events for many years with them first using the airport strips until moved out of there due to increasing air traffic. The City of Port Alberni recognized the economic value of this event and welcomed the association to Stamp Avenue for what are now 1/8 mile races held over the course of 2-3 days.

Also in August the team at FIVE ACRE PRODUCTIONS typically host a major music festival. The event has been held in large properties in Beaver Creek and even at the McLean Mill National Historic Site. Sidelined by the pandemic in 2020 the event is sure to come back for 2022 bigger than ever. The event is unlikely to be held at the McLean Mill but no doubt they'll find a suitable location. Stay in touch with the Shaker here.

The next big event to be held in Port Alberni occurs every Labour Day Weekend. Some 50+ years in and the event remains as good as ever; better actually! Thousands of dollars in prizing is available to be won by lucky fishers who reel in the largest of the day and/or largest of the derby. Alongside the actual fishing which is sponsored by many including all local Marine Stores, is a wonderful Salmon Festival. That event attracts into the thousands as people come down to the waterfront to enjoy a delicious salmon BBQ, Beer Gardens, Music Festival and more.

The Alberni Distric Fall Fair is the next big event to hit Port Alberni. Usually held over a Friday, Saturday, Sunday during the second weekend of September it has been a favourite event for Port Albernians and folks from all over Vancouver Island for 75+ years. A midway, great food, music, games and so much more. This is a must do event for Port Alberni. Like, who wouldn't want to go to a country fair?

In September and sometimes as early as August the ALBERNI VALLEY BULLDOGS JUNIOR A HOCKEY TEAM get back on the ice for their 54 game season (plus games in the Playoffs!). The team is comprised of young men who are pursuing hockey careers. Many former Bulldogs have gone on to Tier 1 and Tier 2 scholarships in the NCAA and others have moved on to major junior leagues including the Western Hockey League. A few have made it to the top playing on various NHL teams. The Bulldogs provide excellent hockey entertainment serving as a wonderful way to spend an evening or Sunday afternoon in Port Alberni. For 2021-2022 the franchise is happy to welcome the addition of a Junior B team to Port Alberni. Known as the Port Alberni Bombers the team will play in the VIJHA.

Photo courtesy of Chaisson Creative (Darran Chaison)

September is busy in Port Alberni. On the third weekend of every September upwards of 1500 Bikers meet early on Saturday morning at Little Qualicum Falls to make the trek to Port Alberni. Armed with a full tank of gas and a toy to provide to a local child the riders wind their way up over the hump into the city by late morning. Then a tour through town including the loop around Harbour Quay before eventually making it over to Glenwood Centre where the fun really begins for everyone. Games, contests, beer gardens, gawking at the hundreds of motorbikes and so much more. Plus, like many of our local events this one is all about the local children and local societies. The Toy Run Society has donated thousands upon thousands to local initiatives over their decades long event.

Note what the organization came up with for the 37th Annual Toy Run - 2021. The colour and theme of the event is in honour of those lost and forever damaged through Canada's ill-thought and devastating Residential School System.

With more calendar left in the year that means more events for the people of Port Alberni. During later October the McLean Mill National Historic Site hosts an annual event called JEEPERS CREEPERS. The event is held throughout the Historic Site with many of the buildings themed up to startle anyone who dares enter. Outside are ongoing smaller events including story telling and even some creepy Science Shows have entertained the families in the past. Smoke, fog, huge bubbles and yes, even some home - made ice cream using Liquid Nitrogen as a rapid coolant will showcase the theme. Watch for information on 2022 as this event was canceled in both 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic.

Wrapping up our year there is now an annual event initiated once again by the McLean Mill National Historic Site team called The Heritage Christmas Village. The event is held through the month of December in conjunction with a local Light-Up program that features many beautifully decorated homes throughout the Alberni Valley. Once at McLean Mill people can stroll the historic site, with a flashlight of course, and enjoy the look and feel of how Christmas Lights may have looked back in the 1940's, 1950's and into the 1960's. Simple strings of incandescent lights strung loosely along the gutters of the buildings. Back in the main area there is the Gift Shop, Food Services and Music to entertain. Raincoats are highly recommended for this event. And hot chocolate.

Photo courtesy of Lyndon Cassell Photography

Many other events happen throughout the year in Port Alberni. The best resource to stay in touch for planning your weekend is a quick visit to the Visitor Centre or feel welcome to find out more at: Alberni.ca