What's Happening on Salt Spring Island, BC

Salt Spring Island BC - largest of the Southern Gulf Islands on Canada's west coast.
Information about Salt Spring Island, BC including accommodation and business listings

What's Happening…


Salt Spring Island Online

This new website is doing a really good job of listing upcoming events on Salt Spring Island. Whether you are visiting or live on Salt Spring Island, www.saltspringislandonline.ca is a "must visit" site to view upcoming events and performances. Already, there are listings for agricultural events, upcoming films, the literary arts, musical performances. the visual arts, family and sporting events, and other many more. Search by genre, or just click on the calendar to see what's happening when you come to visit.

Bus Service on Salt Spring Island

A public bus service commenced operation on Salt Spring Island on January 8 2008.


Mt. Erskine

Mt. Erskine with an elevation of 448 metres, contains arbutus and coastal Douglas fir forest (which B.C.'s Conservation Data Centre classifies as an "ecosystem at risk") and offers spectacular views, as well as providing the largest habitat for the beautiful hairy manzanita on Salt Spring Island, after which Manzanita Ridge is named. A growing number of people hike the trails to the top of Mt. Erskine to see the unique views offered from the top. Most people are unaware that the summit is actually on private property, but the Salt Spring Island Conservancy is coordinating a fundraising effort to buy 100 acres on the top of Mt. Erskine. Although this is a major undertaking, much of the required funds ($650,000) have already been pledged. Combined with the adjacent, already-protected properties, it will provide permanent protection to a large contiguous undeveloped area of up to 240 hectares (600 acres). Visit the Salt Spring Island Conservancy or www.mounterskine.org for more information.

Music and Munch

Held at All Saints Church by the Sea at 110 Park Drive in Ganges, these free musical performances have been nearly full to capacity on a few occasions. The free performances take place on Wednesdays throughout the summer at 1210 pm with a light (& delicious!) lunch provided by the Anglican Caterers following for $5.50.

Municipality Referendum

A referendum to decide if Salt Spring Island would become a municipality was soundly turned down in 2004. With a turnout of 3,617 voters, about half of those eligible, about 70% said NO to the proposal to incorporate and form a municipality. The no vote got 2,537, and the yes side got 1,080 votes. While this referendum was soundly defeated, the subject will surely come up again when there has been more discussion and less chance of disaster under the current provincial government. The Campbell government which has been busy with deep cuts in many sectors will be finalizing their Community Charter legislation in just a few months. When the Community Charter is in black and white, it may be more apparent what a yes vote would mean.


High Speed Internet finally arrived on Salt Spring Island in 2003. At first service was only available only in Ganges and along Fulford-Ganges Road nearly as far as Slegg Lumber and just down the hill from there on Beddis road. ADSL became available in Fulford Harbour in 2004. That same year, Telus successfully tested new "long loop" DSL technology up to 8-9 km from the central office in Surrey, BC. In late 2004, Telus began stringing fibre optic cable around much of Salt Spring Island. ADSL service was available in the Cusheon Lake area about the end of April 2005. Like many companies, they place a fair bit of importance in the "apparent demand" for ADSL in deciding what new areas will qualify for the needed upgrades, so if ADSL isn't available where you live, be sure to email Telus at adsl_access@telus.net or call 310-4638 to let them know that there is a demand for it here!

Fall Fair 2017

The Fall Fair will take place on September 16 and 17, 2017 at the Island Farmers' Institute Grounds on 351 Rainbow Road, Salt Spring Island. The theme for this year's Fair is Poultry in Motion. See here more information about the Fall Fair. 2017 will mark the 122nd time the Fall Fair has been held since it was started in 1896.

Canada Day

July 1 is Canada Day. Join the Chamber of Commerce and Royal Canadian Legion as they host this event at Centennial Park just before noon.

Robert Bateman receives Order of British Columbia

June 2001: Robert Bateman, a well known wildlife artist and environmental activist. has received the Order of British Columbia. This is the highest honour that can be bestowed by the Province. Mr. Bateman is one of the world's foremost wildlife artists. He has been painting full time since 1976. He also holds the Order of Canada and 9 honorary doctorates from Canadian and American universities.

Gary Oaks Deal Successful

On June 21 2000, it was announced that the $3.5 million purchase of 250 hectares of threatened Gary Oak woodland had been purchased from Texada Land Corporation. This removes the threat of logging or other development that was in the works for this sensitive ecosystem. Texada Lands purchased large tracts of land on Salt Spring a several years ago and now has a full scale clearcut logging operation on some parts of the Island. The Gary Oak woodland is on the north shore of Burgoyne Bay and stretches far up the hillside on Maxwell below Mount Maxwell Provincial Park. The Forest Renewal BC bought the land through funding from their private forest biodiversity program.

Over $1.1 million was raised by the Salt Spring Appeal through the sale of the now famous calendar. The province of BC has committed $20 million to acquire land in the Gulf Islands – including Salt Spring Island – for the purchase of park land. The struggle to raise funds was helped by many residents of Salt Spring Island including well known names such as Arthur Black, Elizabeth White, Robert Bateman and Andrea Collins. MLA Murray Coell and Kip Woodward can also be thanked.

Negotiations are underway to purchase land around Maxwell Lake before it is logged. This area on the shoulder of Mount Maxwell (actually Baines Peak) supplies drinking water to Ganges and the surrounding area. Texada Lands will sell it, but there is a substantial difference in the asking price between the land intact with the trees and with them "harvested." With the trees cut down, the quality of the water from Maxwell Lake will be seriously degraded for years to come.
garry oaks

Foxglove Farm & Garden Supplies

Annual Spring Garden Show

The Foxglove Farm & Garden Supplies 14th Annual Spring Garden Show was held on March 2004 was a great success. Thanks to everyone that attended. Foxglove is located at 104 Atkins Road in Ganges.

Call 250-537-5531 or email

Saturday Market

The Saturday Market runs from the middle of March until the last Saturday of October. Growers of produce, artists and artisans, and other home businesses show and sell their wares at the Farmer's Market  each Saturday from about 8:30 to 3:30. This event happens every Saturday through the summer months - rain or shine. Check out the Saturday Market web site (which happens to be for sale for $25,000 or so.)

Referendum 2000

SaltSpring Parks Arts and RecreationThere was a referendum held September 30, 2000 to decide whether or not land will be purchased and funds allocated to create a capital reserve fund for parks and recreation on Salt Spring Island. It passed with a vote of 1350 in favor and 764 against. The question asked was :

"Are you in favour of the Capital Regional District Board adopting Bylaw No. 2809, Second Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Local Service Establishment Bylaw No. 1, 2000" to raise a maximum annual requisition, in each of ten years ending on December 31, 2010, of $111,000, or $.092 per One Thousand Dollars of taxable assessments to acquire real property, service debt, and make contributions to a capital reserve fund for parks and recreation on Salt spring Island. YES or NO?"

The community has indicated that it wants an indoor recreation facility. Before that can be built, the debt on land purchased in 1996 must be paid off. A second goal is to have a reserve fund to be used to purchase recreational land when the opportunity arises.

PARC (Parks and Recreation Commission, or Parks Arts Recreation) acquired a 7.82 acre parcel on Rainbow Road in 1996 for an indoor recreational facility. Recent changes to the Municipal Act now require this debt ($450,000) be paid off by the end of 2005.

There are those that believe the PARC referendum came about from bad planning and wrong financial decisions several years ago when the land in question was purchased. Although the property in question is adjacent to the High School, it requires a zoning change before an indoor recreation centre can be built on it, and there are other larger properties available for considerably less than was paid for Rainbow Road property. The PARC property is also in the agricultural land reserve.

You can view more information at the Capital Regional District web site at crd.bc.ca/ssiparc. PARC can be reached by phone at (250) 537-4448, or by email at .

Government News

  • The BC Government has announced legislation that protects drinking water in BC.
  • The B.C. government has agreed to protect significant valleys within the internationally recognized Great Bear Rainforest and is entering into a unique agreement with First Nations on land.
  • The governments of Canada and British Columbia on March 31, 2001 announced an agreement that will result in the establishment of a national park in B.C.'s southern Gulf Islands, additions to the provincial parks system in the Gulf Islands, and a formal offer to purchase and permanently protect Burns Bog.

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