We gratefully acknowledge the generous contributions by granting agencies, businesses and individuals.

Current Projects Volunteerism is at the heart of the Gabriola Commons; however, some more major projects require significant resources of equipment, materials and specialized services. We are fortunate that the projects described below have received valuable support from various granting agencies, local businesses and individuals. Thank you!

All projects start with an application to the Share the Commons Team; Project Application (click to download form). Place your cursor over the photos to see photo credit.

Community Kitchen The first major building project on the Gabriola Commons was the Commons Community Kitchen. Once the extensive community gardens, orchard and farm team gardens were fenced, irrigated and planted, the logical next step in our agricultural planning was to create the means to process the agricultural produce and provide a facility benefitting the entire community.
Originally a cheese factory from earlier days as a goat farm, the 1200 sq.ft. building was gutted and rebuilt with a new roof, thicker walls and upgraded plumbing, gas and electrical infrastructure. This was accomplished almost entirely with volunteer labour and very generous donations, combined with a series of grants:
  • an initial surprise donation from Camp Miriam of their entire kitchen equipment (from dishwasher to propane stoves to stainless steel counters!) moved by Arbutus Building Supply;
  • a large start-up grant from the Nanaimo Community Foundation permitted us to upgrade the infrastructure;
  • grants from the Vancouver Foundation and the federal Western Economic Diversification Programs covered the high cost of providing and installing technical equipment (ventilation and refrigeration) and the propane cooking elements;
  • a second large grant from the Nanaimo Community Foundation covered the cost of a new septic system and field; and
  • the Village Food Market and the Gabriola Auxiliary for Island Health Care Society provided funding for essential equipment (such as a large stock pot).
Completed in September 2016, the Kitchen is now managed by the volunteer Kitchen Stewards Team and available to individual chefs as well as groups (such as the Field to Table Feast). For rental information contact Sharon Pattison: gabriolacommonskitchen@gmail.com.

Sustainability Centre This educational centre is the first new building to be constructed on the Gabriola Commons. The building was made possible by the generous donation of the timber-frame structure by the Island School of Building Arts on Gabriola. The students at this Island School even erected the structure for us! A lot of work will need to be done before this building is finished. An important part of this work is the completion of the roof (metal-upper roof; living roof-lower roof). The materials for the roof, as well as the concrete footings, were provided by a generous grant from the Coastal Community Credit Union Spirit Fund.
When completed the building will be an open learning centre to demonstrate sustainable building systems. The objective is to create a building that is welcoming, sustainable and educational.
For more information contact Rebecca Furnell at 247-8086 or furnellr[at]gmail.com

Restoration of Native Species The Gabriola Commons property (26 acres) includes agricultural land, meadows and forests. Like many other properties on the Gulf Islands, non-native plant species (such as Daphne, Broom and Gorse) are prevalent and often take over a local ecosystem. In many cases, these non-native species displace native ones. The extent of Daphne on the Commons requires continued removal before the planting of native species can take place. Thanks to the Wal-Mart Evergreen Green Grant, most of the invasive species will be removed and replaced by native plants. This work is being conducted by the Trails & Green Spaces Team and many volunteers including school children. A major collaboration in Daphne removal occurred over the summer of 2010 by the campers at Camp Miriam as part of their community services program.
For more information contact Kit Szanto at trails[at]gabriolacommons.ca

Labyrinth bikesThe Labyrinth is a beautiful, peaceful sanctuary located near the blueberry field. Everyone is invited and encouraged to enjoy it for healing, meditation and to participate in its maintenance and ongoing upgrading.
For more information contact Mary Aitken at 247-9177 or aitken_969[at]hotmail.com

Elder Eco-Village village siteAs a result of the community input session in September 2005 and again in June 2011, many participants were excited by the prospect of an elder village on the Commons that would provide assisted living for seniors. A group of interested people are meeting to work on group process and to conduct research on Island Trust and VIHA requirments, island demographics, sources of funding and ownership options. This idea is still in the concept stage and requires planning and regulatory approval.
Note: This project is currently on hold and may be revived sometime in the future.