David Wiwchar leads a pack of motorcyclists down Argyle Street to the Harbour Quay during the 2016 Port Alberni Toy Run. KARLY BLATS PHOTO

David Wiwchar leads a pack of motorcyclists down Argyle Street to the Harbour Quay during the 2016 Port Alberni Toy Run. KARLY BLATS PHOTO

Port Alberni named Canada’s most rider friendly community

A $35,000 marketing package has been awarded to promote motorcycle tourism in the Valley

Port Alberni has been named ‘Canada’s Most Rider Friendly Community’ in an online contest sponsored by Community Futures Alberta.

“It was a hard fought battle,” said David Wiwchar, Port Alberni Toy Run chairman. “In the second round against Drumheller I actually thought we lost, but thanks to some people in the community they pulled it out of the fire for us and we took round two. The final round against Cape Breton was pretty much a cake walk.”

Beating Cape Breton by more than 10,000 votes in the final round, Wiwchar hopes the win will attract more motorcycle tourism to the Alberni Valley.

“Last year’s winner, Two Hills Alberta, reported their tourist numbers went up by 20 per cent, which the attributed to the contest and the media coverage that followed,” Wiwchar said. “We’re hoping to attract more motorcycles to Port Alberni, to the Port Alberni Toy Run and to exploring beautiful Highway 4 through the summer time.”

With the win, Port Alberni receives a $35,000 marketing package from contest sponsor Belt Drive Betty magazine and TV productions, and a sign to post at the entrance to town.

Wiwchar said media coverage should begin at the end of July.

“Which is perfect because there’s a motorcycle show n’ shine happening here at the end of July. It’s a smaller event than Toy Run and not associated with Toy Run but it’s just another example of motorcyclists loving to come to Port Alberni,” he said.

karly.blats@albernivalleynews.com