A new tradition has begun on the island – Canada Day at the Gabriola Museum will be back next year.

A young woman with a couple of small children was glad to see a Canada Day family event on the island. “In the past, we’ve gone to Nanaimo, with 10,000 other people, in the hot sun, ferry line-ups and end up with cranky children.  This is great!  We are having a lovely time, my kids are with their friends, and all we have is a ten minute drive home.”

The First Gabriola Cubs and Beavers raised the flag with ceremony and the crowd sang the national anthem. Naomi Beth Wakan, Nanaimo Poet Laureate, shared her poem, Our Flag. Then it was off to the races. The Water Balloon Toss was a favourite on the grassy lawn. Three-Legged Races and Spoon Races with a Golf Ball were next. And an old favourite, the Tug of War, was played out several times with boys versus girls, South Islanders versus North Islanders.
Tug-of-War.  Photograph courtesy of Elias Wakan.
Submitted by the Gabriola Historical and Museum Society to the Gabriola Sounder

July 7, 2015.

It was a grand day. Several hundred Gabriolans, young and old, celebrated Canada Day at the Gabriola Museum. It “held the memories of an old time village picnic,” according to Gerry Stefanson, Master of Ceremonies for the day. Lines of symbolic flags created by Gabriola Elementary School students were hung from the trees. The giant logging arch had been painted bright yellow, the garden pathways cleared and mulched, and new signs hung on the outdoor exhibits.

Peter Joyes, the face-painting artist, had a constant line-up of children waiting to have their faces and arms covered with his intricate designs, colours and sequins.

“The Museum is attracting children and families, the right course to take as a Museum.” He said he’d had a lot of fun, and would return next year.

Two boys in three legged race.     Photograph courtesy of Elias Wakan.
Food tents (courtesy of Village Foods) were in the shade of the South Road in front of the Museum with a spice and whipped cream cake from Robert’s Place, a popcorn machine (courtesy of Arbutus Home Building Centre), watermelon (courtesy of Village Foods), and a lemonade stand.
Many thanks to Steve Struthers and Elias Wakan for the colourful pictures of our event. Photographs shown here are courtesy of Steve Struthers, except where Elias is credited.