New Doctor Joins Nanaimo’s VitaCare

October 1, 2021


NANAIMO – Dr. John Yim is pleased to announce that Dr. Katarine Holewa has joined the team at VitaCare Natural Health Clinic on Bowen Road.

Katarine is a Naturopathic Physician and Registered Acupuncturist who has spent the past 10 years practicing in Victoria. She has three years training in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and is licensed to prescribe pharmaceutical medications and bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.


Dr. Katarine Holewa

After being denied two years ago, the former Malaspina Gardens property in the Old City Quarter has received a development permit for 133 seniors’ housing units.

Council turned down an application for 175 units on the Machleary/Kennedy/Franklyn property in 2019. The building was once Nanaimo’s hospital, and former home of Malaspina College, the forerunner of Vancouver Island University.


The Molnar Group project will include two five-storey residence wings with a three-storey amenity pavilion in E-shaped buildings, with two levels of underground parking. The grounds will also include a putting green and bocce court.


Coast Solar Solutions has completed installation of new solar panels at Aspengrove School.


Sian Mallett is the new Territory Manager at Frontline Process Solutions.


Manager Gordon Grossman has retired from Minute Men Moving & Storage at 1855 Boxwood Road. Gordon has been in the industry for over three decades.


Sean McLintock announces that Cody Atter is now fully licensed after serving as an unlicensed Assistant on the RE/MAX of Nanaimo MAC Real Estate Group.


Dr. Andrea Smilsky

Dr. Andrea Smilski is back working on Vancouver Island, in a new role as Primary Care Network Change Management Lead in Oceanside. PCN is an innovative care delivery model that enables health care professionals to do what they do best to promote excellence in health care by improving the quality and appropriate quantity of care.

The appointment comes after Andrea was working in Doha, Qatar as Dean, Health Sciences, with the College of North Atlantic (CNA), the public college of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Andrea previously retired from Vancouver Island University, where she served as Interim Dean of the Health and Human Services Faculty. Andrea’s husband is George Hrabowych, long-time partner and principal at Herold Engineering. She is also a CEO at Empowered Organizations.

Her role with PCN is to ensure that the key deliverables set out in the PCN Service Plan are completed. PCNs are currently being developed, approved and operationalized in Nanaimo, Port Alberni and Victoria.

PCN is a clinical network of local primary care service providers located in a geographical area, with patient medical homes as the foundation. A PCN is enabled by a partnership between Divisions of Family Practice and health authorities, local First Nations, and community patient representatives.


The City has approved a height variance for the 197-apartment Telus Living complex at 400 Fitzwilliam Street downtown.

Omicron Architecture Engineering Construction Ltd. was issued the development permit on behalf of Telus Communications for the mixed use project in the Old City Quarter.


Congratulations to Greg Tomkins, a chartered financial analyst and portfolio manager at Assante Capital Management, who has written a book titled: “Simple Money: Turn Your Dreams Into Reality.”

Assante’s office in Nanaimo is at 1200 Princess Royal Avenue.


A tip of the hat to Don Pigott, owner of Yellow Point Propagation on Quennell Road in Cedar, as the company collects coniferous and deciduous tree cones, shrubs and wild flowers and sells them in British Columbia, Asia and Europe.

Tilray Inc. has announced it is closing its Nanaimo marijuana cultivation operations, although they will be consolidating its Vancouver Island operations at Broken Coast.

The announcement was made three months after Tilray merged with Ontario-based Aphria Inc.


Up the road in Parksville, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks has been sold to Chelsea Enns and Albert Gorter of Manitoba.

The Gourlay family founded the operation, which includes Morningstar Farm. The new owners arrived in July to work alongside the family and officially took over Sept. 1.

Nancy and Clarke Gourlay started the operation in 2001 in French Creek, and their sons, John, Ray and Kennedy were involved in the business. Clarke tragically died in a hiking accident in 2019 in Strathcona Park.

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

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