Published On: Saturday, 27 April 2019

Port Alberni Investing in Young People

Port Alberni Investing in Young People



People in Port Alberni are investing time and money in support of the young people in our community.   With thanks to the Alberni Valley News, here’s a quick look at some of what’s been happening in 2019 in the arts, education and sports.   

At the recent Youth Variety Show, 14-year old Emma Fines became the first recipient of the Pat Cummings Performing Arts Award, named after the late Port Alberni dance teacher Pat Cummings.  Fines, who has been dancing for 10 years and who dances 5 days a week, was one of five artists selected to make a video submission to the Funding Alberni Valley Arts Society, and the ultimate winner of the competition. 

Professional Cook Level 1 students will be opening North Island College’s Roger Street Bistro April 8th. The students have been training with culinary instructor Al Irving since January and the program is the first step toward Red Seal certification as a chef. 

North Island College (NIC) has also launched a 10-week, full-time program offering targeted, entry-level skills training for the cruise line travel industry. This program has been funded through the Community Workforce Response Grant and is being taught by Amanda Hathorn, a recruiter for major cruise lines.  

In a move aimed at attracting young agrarians and delivering on local food security and safety goals, the Port Alberni Shelter Society, has partnered with NIC to launch a Market Gardener Training Program.  Students are learning plant and soil biology, greenhouse management methods, preparation of seedlings for planting, direct seeding of crops, how to transplant seedlings, intensive greenhouse production methods, crop management, skills in irrigation and weeding, Integrated Pest Management and disease control as well as Business Planning and Entrepreneurship courses. The course work will be done at NIC, at Famers Markets and on the Shelter Society’s 140 acre farm just outside the City.

The Tseshaht Pride U13 girls’ basketball team came home from the Junior All-Native Basketball Tournament in Kitimat with silver medals.  Two of the girls, Jennifer Taylor and Natalie Clappis, were named to the U13 All Star Team and Taylor was also named Most Inspirational Player. 

This is just a small sampling of what the remarkable young people of Port Alberni are doing and what is available to them here.  In closing we are grateful to all who are playing a part in delivering, and realizing, these opportunities.  

Pat Deakin is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Port Alberni. He can be reached at 250-720-2527 or