Port Alberni realtor Chris Fenton has put the equipment he usually uses for virtual house tours to good use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fenton took Royal LePage’s Matterport camera system to the Alberni Valley Museum to create a virtual tour of the exhibits for people to view from home. You can find the virtual tour at playinpa.ca/museum-2/ — just click on the front door to begin.
Local farmers’ markets are doing what they can to keep local food supplies available during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Port Alberni Farmers’ Market at Cherry Creek First Baptist Church is continuing to open on Saturdays with reduced hours from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Find them on Facebook for updates.
The Spirit Square Farmers’ Market at Harbour Quay is currently closed, but will reopen May 2. Both markets will be focusing on food products only as ordered by the provincial health authority.
Farm gate sales are still available directly from some farmers. A list of local farms providing sales is available at www.avtransitiontown.org/localfood. Check Facebook pages for the individual markets for updates on market activities.
Kevin Osberg has been involved with bicycles his whole life and loves to restore and repair them. He’s opened Bike Wizard by Ozz on Gertrude Street between Pete’s Mountain Meats and Mountain View Bakery. The shop opened at the beginning of April and Osberg (known as Ozz) is providing repairs for cyclists and carries some basic stock for repairs.
He has a passion for restoring vintage bikes, stripping them down and rebuilding them.
“I bring them back to good condition,” says Osberg.
He plans to eventually carry new bicycles as well. The shop is open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Saturday. Call 250-206-2536 or check it out online at www.bikewizardbyozz.org/
Suzanne Dube has returned home after 25 years in Victoria as a financial advisor with Edward Jones. Dube grew up in Port Alberni.
“I left to build a career and the plan was always to retire in Port Alberni,” says Dube. “Then the opportunity came along to open an Edward Jones branch here…so I came home 10 to 15 years earlier. I am super thrilled.”
Dube, who has a masters degree, was a professional fundraiser in Victoria working for charitable organizations. She is looking forward to getting involved with philanthropic projects in her home community. Contact Dube at her home office at 250-217-7329.
Assistance for tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19 is now available through Tourism Vancouver Island. The Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program will provide Vancouver Island and Sunshine Coast tourism businesses with hands-on help and support as they navigate the current COVID-19 crisis, through to their eventual recovery post-pandemic.
The first phase of support will focus on the economic and operational challenges that businesses are facing at this time. Beginning in April, operators will be able to schedule calls with experts in human resources, finance, and business transition. The program will support tourism businesses in navigating the relief and recovery measures and associated applications as they become available.
The program is funded in part by Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICE-T). For more information, see victrp.ca.