My Background

Family swimming party in Gibsons (Keats Island in background). My Dad is the little boy in the middle.

I come from a West Coast family. My mother grew up in Woodfibre and my father in North Vancouver. I grew up in North Van around the corner from the house my grandfather built with his WWI veteran’s grant. Dad had fond memories of the Sunshine Coast, having been a boy scout at Camp Byng, so when I was a child he packed us up and took us to Savary Island for several magical summers.

I graduated from Carson Graham Secondary and took a degree in History at SFU, then worked for nine years in Public Relations at Capilano College before moving to Calgary.

Returning to Vancouver, I lived in the West End for a few years, and then in 1996 my partner and I moved to the Sunshine Coast. We bought a decaying mobile home on Harry Road and had to do a lot of renovating, but we didn’t mind. While we were repairing our affordable trailer, the Leaky Condo scandal erupted back in Vancouver and people were walking away from half million dollar condos. (That was expensive property, back then!) Besides, the neighbours were great and we got to pick up our mail every day at Chaster Beach in full view of surf, eagles and cavorting seals.

Donna and Clint on Soames Hill. Photo by Val Labrecque.

For a few years we commuted into Vancouver, then gradually became more rooted in the coast community. Clint retired and I found various local jobs and contract work. We bought a new-to-us home and did still more renovating.

The Gibsons Public Library board proved to be a gateway drug to volunteering. I served eight years on that board, while joining many other organizations as well. Jobs and volunteer gigs gave me a very wide range of contacts in the community, especially my two years of reporting for The Local Weekly, which took me just about everywhere.

As you can probably tell from my photos, I love hiking and hit the trails as often as I can. I also cycle a great deal, although not as much as I would like because the roads around here are just plain dangerous.

On top of Mount Elphinstone. Photo by Val Labrecque.