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Qualicum beach & oceanside communities, vancouver

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Qualicum Beach & Oceanside Communities, Vancouver Island, BC

Qualicum Beach & Oceanside Communities, Vancouver Island, BCCommunity Mapping Presentation click on the speaker icon!Sarah Faulhafer

Stats about Qualicum BeachAs per the 2006 census there are approximately 8500 people who live in Qualicum BeachThe largest age groups include people over the age of 55 however there is a growing population of 0-19yrsThe smallest population is the age group I belong in 25-40More info about the area

Oceanside is the term used to incorporate the communities nearby including Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Coombs, Errington and BowserThe population doubles in the summer months as many islanders and others vacation or have summer homes here


There is a thriving seniors community in QB and many resources for seniors are available at the QB Seniors Activity Centre such as:Fitness classes, cheap meals, singing, book clubs, hobby groups, art and music programs. These are all run by volunteersThere are three major retirement/senior care facilities in Qualicum Beach

Qualicum First NationThe Qualicum First Nation Band is located slightly north of Qualicum Beach there is a very small reserve with a population of 105 as per the 2006 census.The nearest Aboriginal services offered (such as the friendship centre, Aboriginal rec centre etc.) are located in Port Alberni, BC (which is 45 minutes away).

Community Needs Map

Qualicum is limited in available services for youth, financial assistance, substance use services, there is no food bank and is currently undergoing a cultural development plan but as yet incorporates very little in terms of other cultural services.6Qualicum Beach/Oceanside Capacity MapGreen represents primary building blocks, orange represents secondary building blocks and grey represents potential building blocks7EconomyQualicum Beach is made up mostly of retirees, however the workforce that does exist is small at 34%Most jobs are in the service industry and the median income after taxes per year is $22000 CADHousing is expensive and very little is available for rental accommodations

Age & DiversityThere is a range of age within the community but not as many services directed to the different agesThere is no youth centre and very few activities for teens unless they participate in organized team sports/classes which requires a considerable amount of money

Multiculturalism and DiversityThere are very few visible minorities in QB itself and no multicultural centres or events that celebrate other festivals (Chinese new year, no Synagogues, etc.)There is an Aboriginal community on the outskirts of town but little interaction with that community and QB itselfThere is currently a Cultural Planning Process underway to promote cultural events in the town and community involvement was invited in the summer (however as noted, the community is mostly retired, Caucasian people)

Services do that existThe few social services (unrelated to seniors specifically) that are offered, are mostly located in Parksville which is 15 minutes south of Qualicum BeachSociety of Organized Services 69: provides a variety of services to children, youth, adults and seniors that may be in crisisSOS69 is a non-profit that helps Oceanside residents to access resources such as financial assistance, grief and loss, victims of abuse, accessing formal dress-wear for $5, tutoring among many others

Services cont.Family Resource Association 69 assists families and children that experience a variety of different challenges such as:Children that experience any form of violenceMental health issuesDevelopmental disabilitiesParenting supportFRA provides education and intervention strategies to break the cycle of children that have a high risk to end up in the care of the Ministry for Children and Family Development which carries a negative stigma and to help parents work through challenges that they are facing

Services Continued..

There is an extreme weather shelter in Parksville which is the only shelter of its kind for all of the Oceanside areaThe shelter is mostly run by the Salvation Army and has partial funding from BC HousingThe shelter is only activated in extreme weather which is determined by 10am on the day ofCurrently this program is experiencing adversity because there is little turn out to use the services

Services ContinuedThe emergency shelter is working on providing more advertising on the days that it will be openIt was very difficult to find information about the shelter online (I have been following the stories in the local newspaper about it since November 1st)The shelter only receives funding from Nov.1 March 31stServices Continued

There is a very limited food bank service in Parksville that is offered 2x a week for a few hours, otherwise the nearest food bank is in Nanaimo (40 minutes south).SOS69 offers help to access affordable groceries for emergency situations for families

Experiencing Qualicum Beach/OceansideI have done several community walks since moving to this community to get to know the area and residents. It certainly feels like a retirement community during the day time, I mostly met seniors. I have noticed that the youth population are around and exhibit a certain style that may be classified as alternative (bright coloured hair, wild clothes, body piercings). Everyone I have talked to, both youth and seniors have all been very friendly and I found it quite interesting observing the difference in youth and seniors.

Town centre, city hall in the background17Experiencing the community continued.I visited the Qualicum First Nation Band Office, but it has limited hours that it is open and was unable to obtain any information from the band. As noted, it is a very small reserve (25 homes) with very few local resources. Most Aboriginal resources are offered in Port Alberni or in the Comox Valley which are 45minutes away. The band does have a campground that is open to all visitors and appears to be one of the economic resources for the band.ConclusionQualicum Beach and the Oceanside communities have adequate services for the seniors in the community. The strengths that the community has are a thriving and active seniors community that volunteer for community events and services. Being a small town, it isnt hard to physically locate the services and to meet someone that is involved.Conclusion continuedThere is room for improvement in the Oceanside communities for community building. There could be more services for youth (such as a drop in centre), there is no food bank, there is limited cultural diversity, affordable housing, very little Aboriginal resources for the local band, and nothing in the town of Qualicum for addictions or substance abuse. Most of the services that are offered are located in Parksville, BC.

Conclusion continuedGetting to know the community of Qualicum Beach and surrounding areas has been beneficial to learn how to look at a communitys strengths and where improvements can be made. Qualicum does a fine job at accommodating for seniors, but can definitely improve services for the younger population as eventually the demographic will change. It has been rewarding to get to know the town and what is in place and development for the residents here.