When the warm weather arrives, B.C.’s farmlands spring into action - and Port Alberni is no exception. Our town hosts two fantastic farmers’ markets through the spring and summer months, and there is no better way to experience Vancouver Island than to taste some of its fresh produce and peruse unique artisanal products. Pick up a handmade keepsake or grab a bit to eat - it doesn’t get much more fresh than this!
The Spirit Square Farmers’ Market at the Harbour Quay is a familiar meeting place for the Port Alberni community every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. It’s right on the water’s edge, and there is a great playground for little ones close to the marketplace.
The Port Alberni Farmers’ Market also happens each Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., at the First Baptist Church on Cherry Creek Road.
Both farmers’ market locations are less than 10 minutes from our beautiful Port Alberni hotel, the Best Western Barclay. A selection of our rooms also have a refrigerator, so you can pick up some delicious fresh produce to munch on later. Book your room at the Barclay today for our best rates - use our secure online reservation and have a great time in Port Alberni!
Point of Interest: Mars Water Bomber May Be Back In Action
For the last few years, the iconic read and white Martin Mars water bomber has been sitting idle on Sproat Lake near Port Alberni, and has become quite a regular stop for tourists. Built for the Navy during the Second World War, it’s quite a sight! It also carries the most water of any water bomber in the world: 27,000 litres, to be exact.
Recently, the plane’s owner and the province of B.C. have agreed to put the old girl back into action to help combat this year’s particularly bad forest fire season. You just may get a rare chance to see this historic water bomber in action over Sproat Lake this summer!
Climb aboard the Oracle at Alberni Charters
and discover the beauty of British Columbia’s west coast. Alberni Charters offers breathtaking luxury boat tours along Barkley Sound where you and your crew can enjoy fly-fishing for salmon just off the shore of Port Alberni.
The Oracle is a 34-foot CHB crawler that
can comfortably sleep six and is equipped with fishing deck, fly bridge, front deck, stove, barbeque, and private washroom. In other words, it’s got everything!
Alberni Charters offers multiday charters, custom group charters of up to twelve people and day charters. You can visit their website for more details on pricing.
Barkley Sound is home to a collection of islands called the Broken Group Islands just off Vancouver Island. Downstream from Port Alberni there are millions of salmon that migrate every year to their spawning grounds in the sound. Not only will you be met with salmon, but the sound is also swarming with halibut and bottom fish.
On your boat tour you can expect there to be as much fishing as your heart desires as well as crabbing, prawning, hiking, swimming on the beach, oyster picking and a tasty shore cookout of all of the seafood caught along the way.
You will also have a chance to catch a glimpse of killer whales, porpoises, shrimp and rockfish. Not to mention the beautiful mountains that surround the stunning area.
The Best Western Barclay Hotel is just a short drive away from the port that is home to the Oracle and Alberni Charters. You can trust us to offer you a comfortable stay before your three-hour tour out on Barclay Sound. Contact us now for the best rates guaranteed.
Got a craving for live entertainment? Well, as a guest of our cozy Port Alberni hotel, you’re very much in luck! This winter, our beautiful corner of British Columbia is alive with great live shows of all kinds, from music to theatre, and everything in between. Here are some of the highlights!
Seussical the Musical | All Winter Long
Coming soon to Port Alberni is a fantastic, Dr. Seuss inspired event, aptly titled Seussical the Musical—it rhymes, get it? The show is hosted by the Capitol Theatre, which you’ll find just moments from our cozy hotel—a six minute drive away, to be exact. It kicks off in mid February, and runs all the way through till March 7th. So, no matter the time of your visit, you’ll probably be able to catch this fantastic show before you go, don’t you know? Ok...we’ll leave the rhyming to Dr. Seuss. Get your tickets for just $25 (and $15 for kids 12 and under) at the Rollin Art Centre.
Ross Neilsen | February 8
If you’ve got a hankering for live music, head down to Char’s Landing to catch the fantastic stylings of Ross Neilsen. A New Brunswick native, Neilsen’s fantastic blues and roots inspired music is sure to get your foot stomping. The show runs from 8:00 to 10:00 pm, making it the perfect way to spend your Sunday night. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy the show!
Mother Goose on Ice | February 27
If you’re traveling with children, this might be the perfect event for you. Head down to the Alberni Valley Multiplex, which is just a three minute drive from our hotel, to watch Mother Goose come to life on ice! Tickets are a truly affordable $5.00, and can be purchased at the Echo Centre or MASC Office. The fun begins at 7:00pm— don’t miss it!
Yes, as always, Port Alberni is abuzz with fun this winter. That fun is yours to discover—all it takes is a room at our cozy hotel. Book yours today!
Port Alberni has a long tradition of arts and an exciting History. If you’re staying with us this fall, check out a few of these great arts and history attractions around town.
Port Alberni Community Arts Council
The Rollin Art Centre at the Port Alberni Community Arts Council is our town’s hub for all things fine art. Housing a gallery, gift shop and classroom, the facility welcomes visitors to view its exhibitions year round. This fall, two of our town’s best artists are being exhibited: Elspeth Watson and Norm Nicholson. Watson has put a Japanese spin on her work recently and Nicholson has captured his world travels in this beautiful exhibition. Click here to find out more information about this exhibition.
Alberni Valley Museum
Explore the heritage and history of the Port Alberni area at this one of the finest community museums in all of British Columbia. You’ll discover Nuu Chah Nulth art, the history of logging and fishing in the area and experience some of the unique folk art to emerge from our area over the years. This fall, check out “We are all one: Residential School Children’s Art” which explores the role of art in healing the wounds created by these schools that forced children from their families over generations: an important exhibition for history buffs.
The McLean "Steam" Sawmill
Port Alberni has a long and venerable history of logging and you can check this out this fall at the McLean "Steam" Sawmill, the only commercial steam-operated sawmill operating in Canada! Check out the mill and experience the Tin Pants Troupe as they bring history to life with entertaining fables of the good old days and lead group tours of the site. Also on site is the Steam Pot Café, so you can fuel up after checking out all the exciting sights and sounds of the mill.
Welcome to Port Alberni, a beautiful B.C. town nestled between ocean and mountain forest. Book your stay at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel today!
Port Alberni is known for its incredible mountain and ocean scenery and vast expanses of beautiful scenery. If you’re staying in our town this summer, check out a few of these great nearby provincial parks. And remember, the region is home to many black bears so follow these safety tips when experiencing Port Alberni’s great outdoors.
Named after the early colonial administrator Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, Sproat Lake Provincial Park is located only 15 minutes from Port Alberni and offers great swimming, fishing, waterskiing and windsurfing opportunities. There are also a few hiking opportunities in this small park that lead to some mysterious and well preserved petroglyphs created by the people Indigenous to the area. Every Saturday throughout the summer, a Park Naturalist will present an interpretive program for children at 3pm and 7pm. Check with the Park Host for program locations.
Stamp River Park features a few great hiking trails and opportunities to take in great waterfalls and river rapids. An annual attraction of this park is the running of the salmon, which circle in the pool below Stamp Falls before climbing the fish ladders on their way to the spawning beds. Beginning in late August, you can witness these determined fish ascend the river.
The oldest Provincial Park in British Columbia, Strathcona straddles the rugged mountain-peaked centre of Vancouver Island. The park is a great place for backcountry camping and excursions, with over 250,000 hectares of forests, lakes and alpine tarns. If you’re looking to day-trip to the park, check out the Buttle Lake or Forbidden Plateau areas. A popular activity is canoeing on Buttle Lake, which offers scenic views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Welcome to Port Alberni where ocean meets city meets forest. At the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel we do everything we can to make your stay in our town enjoyable and hassle free. Relax in our pool, work out in our fitness centre or luxuriate in our spa. Whether you’re looking to get outdoors or get some R&R, we’re pleased to welcome you today!
Sixteen acts are now booked for the Quay of Sea music festival to play free of charge for the public this Canada Day at Harbour Quay. Less then a 5 minute drive from the hotel you will find excellent entertainment this holiday weekend.
26TH YEAR OF OKEE DOKEE SLO-PITCH IN PORT ALBERNI
If you havent registed or purchased your tickets yet this is going to be a Funtastic event. Who made Who tribute band, ZZ Top tribute band and so much fun and entertainment it is hard to believe they can fit it all in one weekend.
We have special rates placed aside in the hotel for this weekend and hope that you come and stay with us while enjoying all the fun.
Port Alberni has always had no problem in attracting eclectic musicians. And it’s really no surprise, given its unique ambiance that comes from being nestled at the edge of the Alberni Inlet on Vancouver Island. This May, a number of folk artists will be performing around Port Alberni and they should definitely be checked out! Here’s the lowdown on some acts you should make a point of seeing!
When: May 10th from 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Where: Char’s Landing
Tickets: $12 in advance at Gayle’s Fashions & Rollin Arts or email
info@charslanding / $15 at the door
Michael Averill hails from Kelowna, BC and promises to bring a fun, entertaining act to Port Alberni. He has been featured on CBC throughout the country and offers a unique folk “fusion” style that captivates listeners and promotes community spirit. He has released three albums, all self-produced.
When: May 15th from 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Where: Char’s Landing
Tickets: details TBA – contact info@charslanding for the latest information
Shari Ulrich’s classic folksy voice and colorful demeanor are sure to entertain Port Alberni audiences. A California Bay Area native, Shari was heavily influenced by the 1960s “flower power” movement. Leaving for Canada as an 18-year-old, Shari has been on the road ever since, either as backpacker or a musician. She has 21 albums to her name.
When: May 17th from 8:00pm – 10:00pm
Where: Char’s Landing
Tickets: details TBA – contact info@charslanding for the latest information
Norine Braun is an expressive blues and roots artist from Vancouver. Her expressive voice, varied songwriting ability and passionate delivery have allowed her to carve a niche into the crowded blues genre.
If you’d like to check out some folky music while you’re in Port Alberni next month, it looks like you’ll be treated to some great west coast artists. While you’re here to check out the music, we invite you to stay with us at the BEST WESTERN PLUS Barclay Hotel. As Port Alberni’s largest hotel, we offer an unbeatable combination of comfort, amenities and affordability. Wed’ be happy to host you!
Here is a sneak peek at one of our favourite weddings of 2014. Congratulations Alisha and Alan. We thank you for letting us be part of your special day.
Port Alberni might be best known for its world-class fishing, but there’s no reason that outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds won’t find adventure here during the winter months too. There are plenty of day hikes, parks, and attractions within a day trip of our hotel to keep you outdoors this winter. As an added bonus, the canopy from the surrounding temperate rainforest even helps keep you dry on rainy days!
Just outside of town is the famous MacMillan Provincial Park, better known as the ‘Cathedral Grove’. Stand in awe of some very old growth forest. The Douglas fir and and Western Red Cedar trees here have been growing for up to 800 years, with the largest trees reaching over 250ft tall! The trails in the park are gentle and relatively flat, so it’s a great day hike for all ability levels. With appropriate apparel and footwear, this park can be enjoyed on wet days as well, with the rain only adding to the natural beauty of the forest.
Another great day trip from Port Alberni is the Sproat Lake Provincial Park. This park is a favourite for water sports lovers of all kinds in the summer months, but can also make for a very peaceful winter hike during cooler months.
If you’ve got a vehicle during your stay, you can take a day trip to the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Islands rugged West Coast. During the winter months the northern Pacific Ocean can stir up incredible swells, making for very waves crashing on the shorelines. Some of the best storm watching in British Columbia happens during the winter months. Of course, the mild climate here on the West Coast could also make for a very pleasant day too! Be sure to check the weather before you head out, and wear appropriate clothing.
At the end of a day of adventure outdoors, come back inside to our hot tub and steam room. Too busy during your stay to get outdoors? Our on site fitness center will help you keep up with your routine while travelling.