Kama Money grew up in Port Alberni but spent several years living in the Lower Mainland, upon her return, she was pleasantly surprised to see how many new shopping options and small businesses were now available. My friends at ZenSeekers sent her out for a day for a holiday shopping experience in her once-again hometown, and I caught up with her to see how it all went:
Holiday Shopping in Port Alberni
“There’s been a lot of positive changes since we’ve moved away and come back. It’s almost like the perks of the mainland have all come here, but with a lot more affordable housing!“
Kama and her son started out their #ExplorePortAlberni shopping experience with a visit to see Tseshaht/Nuu-chah-nulth artist artist Gordon Dick at Ahtsik Native Art Gallery and learn about his inspiration for his carvings and legacy pieces.
“Then we moved on to Leave Her Wild Container Design where we met with Shayla, and we built a holiday-themed basket.” Kama says the planter building was a really cool experience to do with her son, and it was the first holiday decoration they put up at home.
“We moved on to Riverbend Café & General Store, who is known for their vintage board games so we played a few, had a muffin, and amazing lattes. I love the vintage, funky, atmosphere there – I went back the next day to buy a mug I spotted.”
“Then, Naesgaard’s Farm & Market— it’s a Christmas wonderland! It’s full of every kind of ornament you can imagine, from nostalgic to novelty. We spent an hour exploring the themed trees and pointing out our favourite decorations.”
Kama has been a long-time fan of Blue Fish Gallery, which was next on her itinerary. They carry locally crafted beauty/wellness products and art, and jewelry. The last stop of the night was a Bulldogs hockey game with pizza and their own branded craft beer brewed locally by Dog Mountain.
“I’m from here, I went to high school with a lot of people, so I know a lot of the business owners, and it’s just nice to be able to put faces to the names and to keep our dollars in the Valley,” says Kama who added that it was just really nice to support friends, and friends of friends in their ventures.
“The thing I like most about Port is also there’s a lot of connections to style and trends, and I think we now have an eye to the outside of what’s trending in Vancouver. Then a lot of stuff here is locally made, and locally sourced, and I just love how we can again keep the dollars in the Valley and support people that we know.”
Holiday Shopping in Port Alberni
- Ahtsik Native Art Gallery
- Blue Fish Gallery
- Riverbend Café & General Store
- Leave her Wild Container Design
ZenSeekers has your complete Port Alberni Holiday Shopping Guide here »
When You Go
Port Alberni is centrally located in the centre of Vancouver Island. Many pass right through it en route to Tofino, here is your invite to stop and shop! This former mill town is full of local soul, perfect for a pre-holiday season trip. While you’re there, be sure to explore the food and craft beer scene. For more on Port Alberni, including where to stay, things to do and where to eat, visit Alberni Valley Tourism.
Follow Miss604Holidays this season for the latest arts and culture activities, attraction and event news »