Nanaimo News: Vining Senini Trio Joins Heath Law LLP Team

September 30, 2020

Woodgrove Centre Sold To Chinese Businesswoman

Partner Chuck Blanaru notes that Heath Law LLP Barristers & Solicitors on Bowen Road have added seven staff from the Vining Senini law firm.

Chuck Blanaru

Lawyers Brian Senini, Doug Torrie and Dean Oliphant are now with Heath Law LLP, and Chuck notes that by adding Senini and Torrie, the firm is the largest business/commercial law firm based on Vancouver Island with eight lawyers practicing in the areas of real estate development, financial services and commercial lending, corporate and commercial transactions and general business counsel.

Oliphant, a family law lawyer, joins the Heath Law litigation group, which now comprises 11 lawyers.

The firm now has 62 staff and lawyers.

Elverna Edwards-Mailloux


Elverna Edwards-Mailloux is no longer with the Coast Bastion Hotel after six years as their Director of Sales and Marketing.

Elverna was a great representative for the property throughout the region, and will be greatly missed.


Robb Hunter is new Director of Business Operations for the Nanaimo Clippers. He takes over duties for the BC Hockey League club from Tali Campbell, who has moved on to a new opportunity.


Woodgrove Centre, the largest shopping centre on Vancouver Island, has a new owner, with Weihong Liu, a Chinese businesswoman, purchasing it from Ivanhoe Cambridge on September 1.

Liu has owned and managed shopping centres in China for around 20 years, and has lived on the Island since 2014.

This makes the second major announcement concerning Nanaimo shopping destinations, as the sale of Nanaimo North Town Centre to Trillium Acquisition Corp. was announced in August.


In other developments, Seacliff Properties, which also owns Fairwinds, is expected to go to public hearing this fall for its Sandstone commercial/residential project alongside the Island Highway in South Nanaimo.


Country Club Centre has announced an 8,000 square foot expansion, which will include a new Triple O’s restaurant from the White Spot family, and a BC Cannabis Store.

Property Manager Dave Mills notes the new tenants aim to open their doors in 2021.


Tofino Bus has received approval from the provincial Passenger Transportation Board to eliminate its route from Campbell River to Port Hardy, due to low demand for the service.


Owner Chris Cathers notes that Nikita Pickard has recently joined the team of Evolution Business Marketing & Communications as marketing Coordinator. Pickard recently graduated from Vancouver Island University where she studied Marketing and International Business.


Heritage Indian Cuisine is a new restaurant opening in the former ABC Family Restaurant just north of Woodgrove Centre on Mary Ellen Drive.


Cedars at Cobble Hill Director Dr. Carson McPherson is pleased to announce they’ve opened a new crystal meth treatment centre in Estevan, Saskatchewan.

Carson has deep central Vancouver Island roots, and was manager of Impact Visual Communications a number of years ago in Nanaimo before trekking off to Royal Roads University in Victoria to earn his doctorate. He is also an instructor in the business education section at Vancouver Island University.


Roxanne Harris has been elected as the new Chief of Stzuminus First Nation, taking over from retiring long-time Chief John Elliott.


Fabricland Nanaimo opened its doors for business on September 19 at Unit A, 6421 Applecross Road.


The new Wendy’s Restaurant, built by Island West Coast Developments, is now open adjacent to Woodgrove Centre at the corner of the Island Highway and Hammond Bay Road.


The fledgling Nanaimo NightOwls franchise in the West Coast League baseball circuit has announced its first head coach: Greg Frady. They are scheduled to start playing games in the 2021 season.


A tip of the hat to Jillian Baird, who works at Top Notch Burgers in downtown Nanaimo, for her quick response to help rescue a customer suffering an apparent cardiac arrest on August 31.


“I’ll have another. . .” So says Brad McCarthy of White Sails Brewing at 125 Comox Road, upon winning another award for the beer it makes.

White Sails won a bronze for their Snake Island Cascadian Dark Ale, while Longwood Brewing took two silvers, for their Honey Hop Pale Ale and Bourbon Barrel Aged Triple Stout in the recent Canadian Brewing Awards.


Dr. Patrick Vellner, a chiropractor at Island Optimal Health and Performance is gearing up to compete for the title as the fittest man on earth at the world-renowned CrossFit Games. He has competed since 2013 and is currently ranked number one in the world.


Mark MacDonald is President of Communication Ink Media & Public Relations Ltd. and can be reached at


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