ISLE OF THE ARTS
With one of the highest number of artists per capita in Canada and high profile art-centred events, Gabriola has earned its moniker of Isle of the Arts. The Gabriola Arts Council hosts numerous events throughout the year including these festivals that are beloved by locals and visitors alike.
Isle of the Arts Festival: A spring event with dozens of workshops and events celebrating the arts on Gabriola. Make, learn, and play with Island artists.
Cultivate Theatre + Music + Arts Festival: A summer event featuring 3 days and 2 nights of theatre, music, workshops, an artist vendor village, and family shows.
Thanksgiving Studio Tour: A self-directed tour where you can meet artists in their studios and talk to them about their work.
Visit artsgabriola.ca for more information.
SHOP & EAT LOCAL
For a true island experience, visit the Gabriola Farmers Market from May’s Victoria Day weekend to October’s Thanksgiving weekend. Produce, baked goods, freshly-made food, artisans, artists, and community spirit are in abundance every Saturday.
You can buy local goods around the island directly from the farmers and producers, and at the many locally owned and operated galleries, boutiques, and shops. Visit gabriolaisland.org or pick up the Gabriola Directory on the island for more information.
Gabriolans are passionate about local and sustainable agriculture. Farmers, food producers, and chefs bring you fresh and delicious food year-round.
The local dining scene is small but mighty and ticks all the boxes for cravings, styles, and budgets. WIth one seasonal food truck, two pubs, two cafés, and three restaurants, there is a place ready to fuel you. From kid-friendly fare to a special evening out, our restaurants and pubs have you covered! Visit gabriolaisland.org for an up-to-date list of places to eat.
The annual Farm to Table Feast showcases the brilliance of the local food scene every September.
Hop on a bike and take a self-guided food tour of the island during the summer and fall. Popular stops include Heart & Soil Organics, Ravenskill Orchards (producers of the award-winning Gabbie’s Premium Cider), Good Earth Farm, Madd Acres (host of regular cheesemaking courses), and The Garden Bed. Other fun farms to visit include Paradise Island Alpaca Farm and La Belle Vie Studio.
ENJOY THE BEACHES
Looking for sun and sand? Gabriola Sands Provincial Park or Twin Beaches is a unique family-friendly beach with beautiful views of either Vancouver Island or the mainland depending on which side you are lounging on.
Descanso Bay Regional Park is a 40 acre oceanfront park with trails, kid-friendly beach, and picnic area.
Sandwell Provincial Park is accessible by a short hike through a mature forest bordered by sandstone cliffs.
Drumbeg Provincial Park is located at the east end of the island and is ideal for beachcombing and picnicking.
Gabriola has more public beach access points than any other Gulf Island! Look for the yellow concrete blocks that read, “Public Access” all over the island, or consult the map in the Gabriola Visitor Guide.
HIT THE TRAILS & ENJOY THE VIEWS
There are over 170 kilometres of trails to explore on Gabriola Island! Gabriola Land and Trails Trust produces an exceptional guide to the many trails on the island. Purchase it for $5 at the Visitor Centre or find on their website, galtt.ca.
The island has a plethora of breathtaking locations to take in the sights and scenery of the area. For sunrise views, head to view points in the Whalebone area (down Barrett Road), Silva Bay, and Drumbeg Provincial Park. For sunset views, spend time at Orlebar and Berry Point, Twin Beaches, Malaspina Galleries, and Descanso Bay Regional Park. The 707 Community Park is also home to several sweeping view points of the island and surrounding area.
PLAY ON LAND AND SEA
There is no shortage of indoor and outdoor recreational activities on the island. You can stay active through kayaking, swimming, golfing, yoga, fitness classes, fishing, sailing, hiking, dancing, mountain biking, and many more activities available year-round.
SPEND TIME WITH GABRIOLANS & DISCOVER THE ISLAND’S HISTORY
Don’t be shy, Gabriolans love to share their passion for all things island related! Community events like the Salmon BBQ, Concert on the Green, Spirit Feast, Farm to Table Feast, farmers markets, craft fairs, art shows, and other special events are open to everyone. Your attendance and money spent at these events directly benefit Gabriolans and contribute to the wellbeing of the community.
And do not forget to visit the Gabriola Museum. You can learn about our agriculture and artisan history. See the exhibit from the hippy years and learn about the wildlife around us. The museum is fun for all-ages.
Find Gabriola events through the community Facebook groups and on the Chamber of Commerce’s website.
GET THE VISITOR GUIDE
Get the Gabriola Visitor Guide for the scoop on what to do on Gabriola Island.