I’ve profiled Gibsons, BC as a day trip destination before but having been able to take a walking tour yesterday with John, I figured it was time for an updated article about this seaside gem.
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Hopping on a BC Ferry, the 40-minute crossing to Langdale from Horseshoe Bay is a breeze.
You have the choice to walk on or bring your vehicle across and if you choose the latter, I highly recommend heading to Lower Gibsons before you hop on the main highway.
Lower Gibsons or Gibsons Landing is home to the legendary Molly’s Reach from the CBC series The Beachcombers — one of my most prized possessions as a child was a photo of Molly’s Reach autographed by Molly herself, actress Rae Brown. The town also hosts almost a dozen galleries on their main village street and harbour docks alongwhich you can pick up the freshest seafood around.
In front of Molly’s we met with Celia Robben who is the President of the Sunshine Coast B&B, Cottage Owners Association and also runs Acturus Retreat. Celia walked us around Lower Gibsons as we learned about the area, its happenings, and how it is a hub of coastal artisan activity.
You can pick up an Art Walk pamphlet to do a self-guided tour of the galleries along Gibsons Landing. You can also keep an eye out for the purple artisan flag. These fly outside galleries, houseboats, private residences or studios if there is an opportunity for your to browse & purchase works from an artist.
Many of the galleries operate as co-ops where artists, crafters and artisans can get together and sell their works from a collective store-front. The paintings we saw were vibrant, colourful, and reflective of life in Gibsons. It may be pretty hard not to find a portrayal of Molly’s Reach somewhere in the mix, but with its bright yellow exterior and harbour backdrop, there’s no wonder this icon inspires many.
I wrote down the names of some of the artists who had paintings either in a gallery or the public art gallery down Molly’s Lane. They included Anita Lindblom, Yzabelle Delisle Milton, Elizabeth Evans, Judy Heyes (just to name a few).
Weaving into galleries and along the wooden dock overlooking floating gardens and fishing boats we learned that the Sunshine Coast has more artists, crafters and artisans per capita than almost any other area in Canada.
For such a small place, Gibsons oozes art and culture — even the graffiti is creative and thoughtful.
While out on our stroll Celia kept mentioning festivals, from the April Fools Half Marathon, to the Salmon Festival, Mushroom Festival, Jazz Festival and more. Come June you can enjoy a festival every weekend in one of the communities up and down the Sunshine Coast.
Disembarking the ferry and taking time to stop and pause in Lower Gibsons was the perfect way to decompress. The pace slows, the clouds part, and you can enjoy everything from fish & chips to baked goods and breathtaking views in this small corner of the Sunshine Coast (which always manages to live up to its name).
We picked up our breakfast for the morning from The Sweet Chef and headed up the highway, on our way to Pender Harbour. I’ve been coming to the Sunshine Coast for summer camp since I was 8 years old however I’ve never been further North than Sechelt.
John and I are on a “rest & relaxation” weekend after the Olympic rush but I’ll be profiling some of our activities regardless. I’m amazed at what we’ve already done, how relaxed we are, and how many activities we have left to experience this weekend.
On tap for today, a boat ride over to the Skookumchuck – a place I’ve wanted to explore my entire life… and not just because it has a fun name.
You can view all of my photos from the weekend in this Flickr set. John’s photos are also available here.