Parksville, BC – September 19, 2017 - Look what’s happening in our front yard! The Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Centre has entered into a partnership with the Coombs Farmers Institute and is transforming the space into a garden. As many projects do, the partnership came about because of a chance meeting. Kim Burden, Executive Director for the Chamber and Janet Thony, President of the Coombs Farmers Institute met at an event and struck up a conversation. Kim says, “part of the Chambers strategic plan includes exploring new ways to increase awareness around our social responsibility to the community. By providing the opportunity for the Coombs Farmers Institute to use the space as a demonstration and teaching garden we are contributing to the social well-being of the community. Teaching people to grow food gives them the chance to be more self-reliant. Ultimately, we want the harvest to find its way to those who need it. It’s a win for everyone involved."
This past weekend lots of work took place and on Monday morning, the Chamber opened to a newly planted garden. The staff and students of the Coombs Famers Institute ‘Here We Grow’ school planted and prepared the beds for winter. Janet Thony tells us ‘the first of four courses offered to the public will start the first week of April. To get started we have planted fruit trees, vegetables and flowers to brighten up the garden. Cabbage, broccoli, spinach, chard, radish, lettuce, endive, turnip, carrots and kale round out the selection for vegetables that will do well over the winter months.’

Visitor Counsellor Volunteer Opportunity
As a Volunteer Visitor Counsellor, you will engage with visitors and inspire them to plan memorable experiences across the region. Volunteers provide essential services to local residents and visitors with a warm welcome and information about activities, services, events and more. If you are looking for a volunteer role where you meet people from around the world, learn about new things happening in the community and are part of a team that promotes this beautiful area, this position is for you! If you are a local resident and you would like to share your passion for Parksville by joining our volunteer team, please stop in to the Visitor Centre for an application or download it HERE and bring it in to the Visitor Centre. 

Gloria has been volunteering with the Visitor Information Centre since 2010. Once she retired from the Vancouver Island Regional Library she wanted to stay busy and active in the community. She loves talking to people and sharing her knowledge of Vancouver Island. 

Wendy is new to the Visitor Centre. Wendy  retired after a long career with Canada Post and now volunteers as a Visitor Counsellor and also at the Summer by the Sea Street Market. Wendy likes to share her travel knowledge with visitors.

Mandy has a number of years’ experience working with the Sunshine Coast Visitor Centre.  She came to volunteer with us in 2015. Mandy is an editor and proofreader and also does travel writing. She has travelled extensively, loves the Island and is very familiar with the local community.  

Susan has been with the Visitor Centre as a volunteer for more than 10 years; she came to us after she  retired from banking. Susan enjoys meeting new people and making suggestions for travelling the Island. She is always up for an adventure and discovering the hidden gems of the Island.

Sue  is a new volunteer, retiring to Parksville from Kelowna in September 2017. Sue is keen to discover Parksville and all the Island has to offer.  She wanted to volunteer at the Visitor Information Centre and be able to share all she learns about the Island with visitors. 

Wayne is a retired postal worker who moved from the Lower Mainland six years ago.  He enjoys building kites and learning more about our area through his interaction with our visitors. 


From running a successful business
to enjoying a relaxed lifestyle,
the possibilities here are endless.

Membership has some
amazing benefits. Visit us and
find out more.


Networking, relationship-building and
gaining valuable exposure for your business.
How simple is that?