The 2018-19 Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce board was unveiled at the chamber’s recent annual general meeting. DARRAN CHAISSON PHOTO

BUSINESS BEAT: Orthodontist John Pappel retires, but Alberni practice remains open

Alberni Chamber of Commerce elects new president, directors


Alberni Valley News

After more than 30 years in practice in Port Alberni, Dr. John Pappel is retiring, but he is leaving his orthodontic practice in good hands.

“I started around ‘86 here,” says Pappel who has shared his skills in many Island communities during his career. “I was in Bill Finnegan’s office one day and then two days a week behind Colin Stirzaker’s office.” He eventually opened his own offices in Port Alberni, moving to his current location on 10th and Roger about six years ago.

And that’s where Dr. Bryce Tremblay will continue the practice. Tremblay was located on Gertrude Street, but has moved his practice as Dr. Pappel’s patients transition to Dr. Tremblay.

Dr. Pappel says he will miss Port Alberni.

“It has been tremendous to work in the community,” he says. “Really nice people here. I have seen Port Alberni grow. The resiliency of the city is amazing.”

As part of his business, Pappel says he has tried to generate a place where other specialists could practice. His office includes a full lab and a denturist.

“It’s been a labour of love to create a place people can work in,” he says.

He adds he is not the first to retire from his profession in recent years.

“There has been a huge turnover in Port Alberni,” says Pappel. “Many of the dental professionals worked here for more than 50 years, but the whole dental community has changed over.”

At home, he has been involved in raising his family, leading Scouts and coaching kids’ teams, but he says now it is time to retire and travel.

“It is time for my wife now. She deserves some attention,” said Pappel.


Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce held their annual general meeting May 23 at Chances Rim Rock. Fourteen people were seeking 10 available positions on the board. Dave McCormick of the Port Alberni Port Authority was elected chair of the board with Deb Haggard and Ross Hawse serving as vice chairs. Taurena Seib of Coast Community Credit Union is treasurer and Nicole Mitchell of Staples returns to the board as secretary, both by acclamation.


Westcoast Games, a subsidiary of Westcoast Home Hardware will be opening shop at the Visitor Info Centre for the summer. The gift shop at the centre became available recently after Cheryl Ianowsky of Bluefish Gallery announced she would be stepping away from the venue June 30.

Westcoast Games will be creating a line of products aimed at visitors to the Alberni Valley.


The Port Alberni Women’s Business Network is sponsoring a forum to encourage women to run for local government in the upcoming municipal elections. Women Support Women in Local Government will take place at Char’s Landing June 12 at 6:30 p.m.


Alberni District Co-op celebrated the grand opening of their new 10th Avenue location on May 16 with a barbecue, cake and of course a ribbon cutting. Money from the barbecue supported the Read and Feed program in elementary schools.


Argyle Street has more places to eat than ever. Up at the Port Pub, a new family restaurant has opened, called CJ’s, call 778-402-8729. Just down the hill, Porto Taco has reopened for the summer, just in time for patio season. They’ve uplated their menu and added four tequila cocktails. Find them on Facebook. And down at Harbour Quay, Portside Café has opened its doors with great coffee, beverages, lunch items and baked goods. Check out the daily offerings on their Facebook page.

And drop by the Harbour Quay on Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm to take in the weekly craft market. Woodworking, jewelry, knitted items, glass work and more available.

Inspired by the craft market? Then walk up the block to Kismet Quilts, now open on Sundays and holidays.


More new business: The Impact Group, led by Tali Campbell (you might know him from his work as director of business operations with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs), is opening shop next to Little Valley Deli. Impact Group provides marketing, website, event and alarm products.


Artist Michelle Frost has opened Coastal Flow Glass Company, studio and gallery at Victoria Quay. The gallery features functional glass art such as lights and bowls. Classes and workshops available. Find Coastal Flow Glass on Facebook.


Kama Jones, a former Social Justice teacher in Port Alberni and a integral part of the Heart of Vancouver Island campaign, has had her blog Ethigal, named Top30 Blogger 2018 by Jones (nee Money), now lives in White Rock with her husband and former Port Alberni Save-On-Foods manager Zack Jones.

Teresa Bird is the Alberni Valley News’ publisher. Do you have an item you’d like her to include in the monthly Business Beat column? She can be reached by e-mail at or by phone at 778-421-8068.

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