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“Cohousing is attractive because it meets a practical need for a rich social environment close to home while satisfying a deeper need to be a global citizen.”

The People of Belterra Cohousing
Belterra members have been attracted to the idea of creating a neighbourhood that is affordable as well as socially and environmentally responsible. We are a multigenerational community, whose members bring a rich array of life experiences. Households consist of singles, couples, families with children — and pets. We manage ourselves and make decisions together for the good of the larger group. As neighbours, we will respect each other’s needs for autonomy as well as our desires for social interaction and interdependence.

Photo of Stephanie & Roger

Stephanie Legg & Roger McGillivray
Back in ‘76, when “disco fever” ruled and the Bowen Island Legion was the only show in town, Roger was already a regular, groovin’ till closing time and spending the next day recuperating by the woodstove with the latest “Harrowsmith”. Stephanie and her three girls arrived just before the big storm of ’89 and it wasn’t long before she and Roger found each other. Now they’re groovin’ till closing time together.

With five kids between them, the years passed by in a frenzied, joyful blur. Ballet and baseball, Girl Guides and graduation. And later, weddings and grandkids, challenges and rewards. Muddy footprints became carbon footprints and now when the Kids visit they bring adult friends and spouses, smart phones, hot cars and Grandkids. The joy continues.

Stephanie and Roger both love to read … the only thing Stephanie likes better is to talk to Roger while he is reading. Long motorcycle trips, exploring Bowen with the dogs, working outdoors, listening to blues and laughing are a few of their favourite things.

Photo of Steve & Mary Ann

Stephen & Mary Ann

Stephen and Mary Ann have been a couple for 45 years. Mary Ann is a teacher and Stephen is a clinical counsellor. They have three adult children and four grandchildren who love to visit Belterra and Bowen Island.

They are easing into retirement. Mary Ann likes to garden, and has many projects on the go. Stephen is a tennis player, kayaker, and wanna be writer. They enjoy the sense of community and sense of connection that Belterra affords.

Stephen has Latin roots having been raised in Colombia. Mary Ann comes from a large family that had to work hard and together to survive. They appreciate the intentionality of our community and the process of creating an ecologically compatible community. They appreciate the efforts to create safety and dignity and to work out differences through process instead of power.

They appreciate all that Bowen provides in terms of nature. They wish to acknowledge that the land they live on and work from is the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

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Cindy Leitner
Cindy is an immigrant from Oregon. She loves the quiet, rural life on Bowen, and enjoys living with folks who have similar values about sustainability and community.

A former public school Reading Specialist and religious education consultant for the continental Unitarian Universalist church, she enjoys outdoor activities such as biking, hiking, and canoeing. She loves traveling and photography; playing squash; reading; folksinging (limited guitar playing) and singing in choirs; movies; growing, cooking and eating homegrown vegetables; and writing and editing. She has been involved in many social justice issues and has worked for non-profit peace and advocacy organizations.

She has two adult children and is really enjoying her grandchildren! Her husband Allan really loves the concept of cohousing. Together they enjoy their blended family (total five children, two grown grandchildren, and four little grandchildren) and their common interests in retired life.

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Jane Kane

I moved to Bowen over 10 years ago, to further ground the Belterra vision. I love the natural environment, and ocean commute to work, occasionally in the company of whales and dolphins.

I have been involved in sustainable communities for over three decades and I looked forward to the physical manifestation of the beautiful plans we put in place, as well as living in closer proximity to the already created circle of Belterrans I enjoyed working and playing with.

I bring a wealth of community experience, as my two grown children will attest, having been raised by a village throughout their tender years. They promise to visit often from their distant homes, and have brought four grandchildren along to reclaim their Canuck heritage.

My interests and varied experiences include organic, deer-proof gardening (biodynamic and permaculture), delicious healthy cooking for large groups, ancient hula, a love of the ocean – as a mermaid, being a professional artist and currently, a semi-retired Jungian art psychotherapist.

My oldest friends know that my colourful and optimistic life experiences are my greatest asset. To me, community represents connection, creativity, synergistic experience, collaboration, love, joy and exciting inter-generational interactions. I am grateful that we actually cohabit the land now and together live our dream.

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Diana Thompson
I'm proud to be part of this community. So much of what we are doing resonates with my pioneering spirit. Our members are productive, talented, resourceful people coming from a variety of rich backgrounds. I am excited about the synergy that can occur within the group. The good will, eco-friendly values and cooperative spirit of Belterrans is refreshing. We have already developed strong friendships and enjoy savoring good food and fun with soon-to-be neighbours.

I currently live in North Vancouver and have worked in libraries for most of my life, where I honed a variety of practical, creative and technical skills. For the past 17+ years I have been doing graphic design and currently work for a local college. I look forward to being on Bowen Island full-time, making the transition to home-based freelance work, getting to know more of the interesting and creative folks of the larger Bowen Island Community and discovering all of Bowen's special places.

Having easy access to a city while being worlds away on an island is an ideal lifestyle in my mind. Being close to nature is important to me. I enjoy hiking, cycling, skiing, an occasional paddle in a kayak, wildlife observation, as well as yoga, painting, design, gardening reading and writing. I can't wait to be settled in my Belterra home, looking across to the north shore mountains and a few meters from my door, have access to a trail that can take me across the island.

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Loren Schein
 

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Paul Tennant

Born in Saskatchewan (in 1938), I grew up in Kamloops, then attended the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the University of Chicago. After fellowships in the U.S. Congress and the Canadian Parliament, I joined UBC as a professor in 1966, specializing in Canadian and BC politics and the politics of Indigenous Peoples.  

I moved to Bowen in 2002, a few years before retiring from UBC. My property had a large garden and a well-equipped woodworking shop. It seemed the ideal Home. Then along came Roger and Stephanie — and Belterra.

I travel fairly often to Edmonton, Chicago, Eugene (Oregon), and Ladner, BC to visit my four sons and their families (three daughters-in-law, one son-in-law, and, as of now, 11 grandchildren). Additionally, some or all of us get together whenever we can at our lake-front family place — 100 miles north of Bowen in the Bridge River Valley.

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Dan Kemlo & Lyne Brindamour

We both love living on Bowen Island. It is a friendly and welcoming community. We moved to  Belterra cohousing in 2014 and are part of a smaller community that works well together; we really enjoy working collectively to enhance the beauty of our community and as a group  often share meals and other pleasurable activities.

We both enjoy the swimming and hiking and the numerous trails that Bowen Island has to offer. It is very easy for us to have an active lifestyle living here. We are quite happy to have our home here with such a safe and friendly community.

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Rebecca & Matthew van der Giessen
Our attraction to Belterra wouldn't come as a surprise to those who know us; the theme of community has been woven through our identity as a couple. We met on a short-lived community experiment in Northern Ontario. A few years later, we had moved to Edmonton with our four young children (and a dog!) and stumbled upon Waldorf schooling. Again, the attraction was not just of an educational approach that resonated with our values but to a community of like minded families, many of us who had moved into the neighbourhood around the school. We felt as if our identity and values as a family were nurtured as much by the other young families as by the education our children were getting in the school. These formative experiences have also strongly influenced our now adult children. Each one of them has become involved in some form of community networking in fields such as midwifery, community activism, environmentalism and health. We watch them pass those values on, in turn, to their children

Our discovery of cohousing has been a natural continuation of our positive experiences of loose-knit community built around shared values. We have felt drawn to the the community design process which has put so much influence on family and children. And we have appreciated the openness to the individuality of others with a commitment to creating a space that nurtures the best of our dreams for what community could be.

Rebecca is a social worker. Matthew is a somatic practitioner and educator working with touch, breath and movement approaches to embodiment and healing. They live - for the moment - in Edmonton, Alberta.

Photo of Kat and Cam Hayduk.

Devon and Phil Day

Devon and Phil recently made their first home purchase at Belterra in the fall of 2019, the same week they were married on the Island.

Devon grew up on Bowen and experienced all that this wonderful island has to offer as a kid. She moved to the city to get a degree in Interior Design and, after working in commercial restaurant development, decided to go back to her roots and has taken over her family’s Flower Shop business in Artisan Square. Devon has a passion for design, the outdoors, and enjoys being tucked away in the woods where she can explore with their dog, Max.

Phil grew up on the North Shore and made the commute to attend Island Pacific School on Bowen back in the early 2000’s. There, he fell in love with food and also found passion in the outdoors.

After high school, Phil spent the next four years living in Ontario to obtain a degree in Sports Business. However, restaurants were always something that Phil went back to between school semesters, and after graduation, he decided to make it a career. In September of 2018, Phil and his business partner opened a restaurant in Deep Cove called Scratch Kitchen. Moving to Bowen has extended the commute, but Phil loves escaping to the island any chance he can get.

Together, with their dog Max, they are enjoying integrating into the tightly knit community at Belterra and are excited to explore all of the opportunities it has to offer.

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Rose-Marie Marsolais
I was born into a small French community in Coquitlam where the spirit of sharing, exchange and giving was imprinted on my thinking and values. I prefer the quiet more rural life that living on Bowen offers, as well as the proximity to the lower mainland and its resources. Belterra offers the outdoors as a daily pleasure and the playground to my physical activities: biking, paddling, hiking, reading, and much music whether listening alone or immersed in the group chaos. I have passion and commitment to adventure and the goal of world travel. I am looking forward to gardening, cooking, eating, and building environments conducive to creative thought, furniture building, restoration and design in this community.

The following quote captures my life philosophy and feeling for the cohousing lifestyle. Balance comes from knowing where your center is. Apply your values to every decision you make and you'll truly be centered. I have dedicated my life to learning in whichever medium and way it is presented and look forward to this new learning.

I am mother to Nat (Chad) and Ben (Joanna) and grandmother (meme) to Sophie, John, Alice and Carmen and can see this experience as lovingly affecting our lives. I have spent the last thirty eight years in a career dedicated to change and best practice. I look forward to continuing to work while being part of this inventive community.

Photo of Susan Swift & Brent O’Malley.

Susan Swift & Brent O’Malley
We had explored the idea of living in an ‘intentional community’ for some time before finding ourselves at Belterra’s doorstep. Our interest was propelled by the wish to move from competition to co-operation, from a life of extraction to one of sustainability, from a focus on individual needs and desires toward what is best for the community.

We found the newly forming Belterra Cohousing community online in 2012 while still living in northern California, where we had met some years before. Brent was born on Vancouver Island, which made the choice to emigrate a lot easier. Now we are both dual citizens, enjoying the less frenzied political climate in Canada, as well as the call of outdoor adventure.

Susan is retired from a career in marketing communications. She had worked on U.S. campaigns to prevent youth violence, oppose the nuclear energy industry, and to elect progressive political candidates. Brent has led a varied life of travel, contemplation, and work – from teaching English as a second language in Asia, to working in the medical-insurance arena, helping doctors with legal representation.

Moving to Canada meant changing our lifestyle and relationships to work, as well as our location. Since arriving in 2014, Brent has been happily engaged in the operation of Bowen Island Sea Kayaking. Susan, who had become a master gardener before leaving California, volunteers with Bowen Island Food Resilience and shares food growing responsibilities in Belterra’s community garden and other places.

Brent loves to catch fish and cook the food that Susan grows. We are both happy to be living and learning at Belterra. We love our Bowen and Belterra neighbours, and even have time to ski in the local mountains, hike on the island’s trails, and attend theatre on the island and in Vancouver.

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Brandie Boyce, Doug Woods & Isla

Brandie and Doug and Isla enjoy the beautiful Beaches and forests on Bowen Island.  We are lucky to be able to work on the island.  Brandie enjoys singing in the local choir and Doug plays in a few bands on island.  Isla loves to dance and swim, garden and kayak!  She is liking kindergarten a lot.

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Tess Taylor
I was looking for a job and new beginnings when I left Vancouver and landed on Bowen Island in1989. During the summer time I would staff remote fishing resorts and always thought that I would move away when the next job was done. But Bowen felt more and more like home and, after five years, I was here to stay.

Until recently, I made my living setting up camps and cooking for mining exploration teams all over Canada’s arctic. I lived in tents heated by diesel stoves and got around in helicopters and 4-wheel ATVs. Now I enjoy working for Bowen Island Municipality in a couple of departments.

As one of the original “associate members’ of Belterra, I look forward to owning my first home. I get to stay on the island where I enjoy walking, swimming and being outdoors, and I will be living with a community of people I consider family.

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Mike Trevillion & Sarah Godfrey

Mike and Sarah met while both working at the Vancouver Art Gallery where Mike continues to work, but cutting back (thank goodness). With this extra time he hopes to accomplish more oil paintings and get back to the clarinet. They have two daughters, Ani and Una, who love to visit and spend time on Bowen when they get the chance. Sarah continues to teach Iyengar yoga to her North Vancouver students three days a week and also offers a class on Bowen at the Yoga Loft. Mike has joined Bowen’s Earthsounds Choir and has participated in a couple of local Shakespeare plays.

We tell our friends and family that living on Bowen is easy. With the numerous outdoor and cultural activities, there’s something for everyone. We are grateful that at Belterra we are steps away from nature trails and hikes or moments away from a potluck, movie night or party. In this like-minded community of people with so many skills, talents and big hearts, we feel blessed.

Photo of Katy Michener.

Katy Michener
I immigrated to Bowen in 1986, my big move into independence. I moved from Horseshoe Bay. I chose Bowen so I could walk to my job at Texaco. A girlfriend and I moved into the summer house, which is now beside Doc’s. Legion membership was mandatory. It meant you were staying. We knew our neighbours and didn’t need to lock the door. I immediately signed up for volleyball and slow pitch baseball. Before I knew it I had a network of friends because of the commute and sports.

Since then I have worked at the Bowen building center, Leigh auto when it was in the center of town, the pub and the kennel. I now work for Vancouver Coastal Health, doing home support for my community - keeping the people of my community in their homes as long as possible. My son plays ball and is attending BCIT to become one of our local water taxi drivers.

I think we are part of Bowen’s fabric and would like to stay in a permanent affordable housing unit of our own. Belterra is ideal. An eco-friendly community within our heritage community – a place I can grow grandbabies, tend gardens of earthly and humanly kind. I am looking forward to companionship when needed and solitude when not, dining with others, working with other for the good of the whole.

I also hope to be watching many more ball games.

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Elaine Cameron
I’m looking forward to life on Bowen Island and being part of the Belterra community. I’ve been living in Cranberry Commons Cohousing Community in North Burnaby since “move-in” almost 12 years ago and was involved in the development phase for two years before that. I’ve found cohousing to be a rewarding way to live. The Cranberry Commons Common House really has become our community kitchen and living room. It’s also been a space to welcome the wider community for events ranging from dream workshops to fruit canning to fund raising, valuable ways to share what we as cohousers have created.

I was an instructor for many (make that many, many) years at Douglas College in New Westminster and Coquitlam. For most of that time I taught adult literacy, but I also spent five years co-ordinating our instructional area (lots of responsibility, no power) and providing academic support in the college’s learning centres. I retired from the college about 5 years ago, but sometimes do contract work. I also work as a freelance editor. Substantive editing and clear language are my areas of primary interest.

But I’m way more interested in being retired than I am in working. Since retiring I’ve become involved in and passionate about issues of food security, and I volunteer with a group called Burnaby Food First. I’m a novice vegetable gardener and am really keen to learn from the Belterra folks who have gardening experience. I do a lot of canning and drying, so the idea of an outdoor kitchen is really appealing.

I have a son and a daughter -- both adults now -- a lovely daughter in-law, and a baby grandson. They all live in Vancouver and plan on remaining there, so I’m hoping they’ll be frequent visitors to Belterra.

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Chris Farah

Circa late 1960s, I was a landed immigrant from the U.S. My answer to the custom officer’s question (a former Scotsman) was, “Why would you (anyone) want to bring up your children in U.S.A.?”

 My English /Afghan husband and I began our Canadian experience in Toronto. (Yes, very multicultural!)
After many transfers in Canada, we settled in Port Coquitlam where our two daughters, Georgina and Deidre, enhanced our lives.

Fast forward: both families live on Bowen, focusing on their children with Grandma happily settled in a studio at Belterra. Thanks goes to Roger and Stephanie and many others who participate in making our community fulfilling and inclusive. 

Photo of Jack & Soorya Resels

Throughout our 50 years together, we've lived half that time in a variety of community situations.

From living with our best friends in a house we shared in Montreal that neither couple could afford alone, to time on a kibbutz in Israel exploring shared rural community life, to living in a meditation community – each in our individual dwellings in the Himalayas in India -- we’ve  sampled a variety of cooperative community settings.

In 2015 we realized our dream to be living once again in community when we moved to Belterra. And discovering the Bowen Island Community was an unexpected bonus.

Close friends of ours introduced us to Belterra in 2013 and we discovered the concept of co-housing. It took just a month of active inquiry and meetings to determine that Belterra and its members were for us.

The Belterra mission and values strongly resonate with us, as does the spirit of this community. We enjoy participating with the other members and appreciate our inter-relatedness in both work and play. We are an evolving community and it is great to feel and take part in its evolution.

We enjoy the natural and alive setting with talented and resourceful folks. And especially, the close knit neighbourhood we’ve created, where we can be there for each other when needs arise.

About us: We’ve been and continue to be teachers, relationship coaches and mentors in the areas of meditation, self-inquiry, conscious relationships and chanting. In addition, Jack has been an entrepreneur owning several successful businesses.

We love facilitating group work and coaching individuals and couples in the necessary practices that support conscious living and loving.

By entering into Belterra we have the opportunity to fully participate and practice embodying the values we cherish most — a lifestyle of simple wholesome living and inspired thinking, co-operation, freedom of choice, openness to learning, the natural outdoors, dancing, singing, chanting universal mantras, and making music.

We’re delighted to be part of this exciting co-creation.

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Fae Logie
I am a visual artist whose work stems from issues and concerns relating to our environment and, in turn, an enquiry into an attachment to place. Coming to live at Belterra, I leave a long-time association of seasonal and then part-time work with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as well as other science related jobs.

Initially studying biology, I have used this background for more steady income than art usually provides, doing everything from tagging groundfish, to working as a Park Warden at Robson Bight, to selling and repairing microscopes, to collecting and inputting way too much fish data. But the biology also informs my art practice, being a continuum to my relationship to the landscape and experiences.

Having lived and worked in many locations on or near the ocean, Bowen seems a logical choice; still close enough to ties in Greater Vancouver but a ways away too. When I first decided to up root, I envisioned finding at least five acres of forest and a view somewhere on an island. To have found this and realize it comes with a vibrant community of like-minded people has made all the difference. For me, it is a time of blurring the boundaries between losing and finding place, as I step from the house I was brought up in and associated with all my life, towards new possibilities.

Photo of the Lanphear family.

The Lanphears
Bruce and Nancy Lanphear joined the Belterra cohousing community in January 2014. We moved to Canada in 2008 from the States and have been married for over 25 years. We became interested in cohousing over the past 20 years during our frequent visits to Songaia, a cohousing community in the Seattle area that was co-founded by Bruce’s parents, Nancy and Fred.

Nancy is a developmental behavioral pediatrician working at BC Children’s Hospital and Sunny Hill Health Centre. She oversees the diagnostic and inpatient programs in BC for children who have developmental conditions. Bruce is a professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. He studies how environmental hazards, like lead and pesticides, impact children’s health. His goal is to prevent children from developing learning and behavioral problems and to put Nancy out of work.

We have three daughters, Rachel, Ella and Martha (REM). Rachel, who is 23, will be getting certification in early childhood education from Langara this summer. Ella, who is 17, will graduate from Vancouver Waldorf School this summer and head to Queens University in the fall. Martha, who is 16, will be in Grade 10 at Waldorf. We also have Rosie, the three-legged wonder dog, and two cats. (We counted the number of legs amongst them and reckoned we still have three too many.)

We enjoy cooking (Nancy is the chef, Bruce is the sous chef), reading, hiking, kayaking and lichen photography (Bruce). We are excited about experimenting with sustainable living on an island surrounded by community, ocean, mountains, forest, and lichen-covered rocks. We will maintain a house in Vancouver until our daughters are launched.

Photo of Janet Lee.

Catherine Epps

Catherine and daughter Madeline have been living on Bowen Island since 2004. Catherine thinks they were very fortunate to move to Belterra in 2017, just as Madeline was heading off to Montreal for university.

Catherine loves being able to walk to work through the forest to her full-time job at Cates Pharmacy in the Village Square. When she is not working, or spending time with family and friends, she is in the studio making very beautiful, functional stoneware pottery.

Catherine tells people that she has great neighbours (to be fair, we think she’s a great neighbour). As an active member of the Bowen Rotary Club, she is a frequent community volunteer and likes donating her pottery to fundraisers, whenever it’s needed by the Bowen Island community.

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Matthew, Mimi & Ronan Ramsay
We have spent 11 out of our last 17 years together living in various intentional communities ranging from a shared group household in Seattle to well-established Zen Centers with up to 80 full time residents.

Having also experienced village life in other countries among intact traditional cultures, we both have a deep appreciation for what it means to raise our now six year old son, Ronan, among a multigenerational community rooted in shared values related to social responsibility, ecological stewardship, and mutual support.

Some of our family's favorite things to do together include gardening, hiking, skiing, kayaking, sailing, beach combing, and dancing.

We've been visiting cohousing communities and ecovillages throughout southwest BC for the past five years, looking for a semi-rural setting where we would have access to forest trails right out our back door and the opportunity to grow our own food.

Such a combination of wild and cultivated nature while living in community is what we've sought for the optimum wellbeing of our whole family and as an expression of how we (collectively) might respond to circumstances in this place and time. So, we are just thrilled to have found Belterra, a beautiful group of people celebrating the beauty of the earth together on this belle-isle called Bowen.

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Carmen MacKay & Josie, Nikko & Isaac

My family and I were among the very first to move into this beautiful community, while much of it was still under construction. Every morning I wake up thinking how lucky I am to have found my way to Bowen, and to have found my home at Belterra. I was looking for community and connection when we moved here, and found it in spades.

I’m Carmen and I am the mom of 3 great kids and a dog rescued from Mexico.  I feel lucky to be able to work in the same community where I live. I am the teacher-librarian at Bowen Island Community School (BISC), the local public school, as well as a part-time employee at Bowen Island Sea Kayaking (owned by a Belterra neighbour).

My kids attend BICS and Rockridge (in West Van). Josie is quiet, hard-working, creative, and loves the outdoors. Nikko is friendly, outgoing, imaginative, and loves games of any kind. Isaac is quiet, thoughtful, artistic, and loves to play soccer.

We love the fresh air and laid-back lifestyle on Bowen, the many easily accessible trails, the ‘cruffins’ at Artisan Eats, and the millions of stars we can see at night. And we love to share all of these things with our friends and family.

 Photo of the Cathy and LauraCatherine Adkin

Cathy found Belterra Cohousing because of an ad her daughter Laura spotted on the Queen of Capilano Ferry. Having grown up in Victoria on Vancouver Island, Cathy left vowing not to live on an island ever again. But, something changed when she discovered Bowen Island. “I love living here because of the forests and the clouds and the snow, I have a different view every day.”

Work has always been a rewarding part of Cathy’s life. She moved to Vancouver to work for CP Air (now Air Canada) at the age of 20. She describes her 35-year career as a flight attendant as “more of a lifestyle than a job.” She has lots of memories – some amusing, like the time a woman tried to put her upright vacuum cleaner into an overhead bin.

Other experiences left deeply haunting impressions. In the 1970s, Cathy flew in planes filled with Vietnamese refugees seeking a new life in Canada. And, there were the days and weeks after 9-11 when her Critical Incident Team, trained in stress management, made calls to airline employees and their families in New York to see if they needed counselling or other forms of assistance.

As she recalls, “Every day was unique” and there were fun breaks, like five-day layovers in Amsterdam or London or Paris.

Cathy continues to work part-time in Snug Cove and makes at least two trips to the mainland every week to help a friend with childcare and attend Aqua Fit classes. Her daughter now has a career of her own – in the Vancouver film industry where she is a writer, producer and teacher.

After 22 years in Kitsilano, she moved to Belterra. At around 9 o’clock at night on the day she moved in, Cathy knew she had made the right decision. There stood a neighbour welcoming her with a bowl of hot stew. “I like the people at Belterra and the sense of community. Here, you can have privacy, but if you want company, all you have to do is step outside.”

Photo of the Michelle and Jonathan

Michelle Johnson & Jonathan Lyons

 In early 2013, we turned our backs on the professional rat-race of Washington, DC, set off for the West Coast, and settled in Portland, Oregon. We were seeking a simpler, more sustainable life, with better access to the outdoors, greater attention to our collective impact on the planet, and a deeper sense of community. After five fruitful years in Portland, Oregon, this same search has now brought us to British Columbia, where we discovered Bowen Island and the Belterra community.

Michelle, a native Oregonian, studied in Philadelphia before launching overseas, where she spent most of the 1990s first teaching English in Hungary and Japan and then working for an international foundation based in Budapest. With the advent of the new century, she returned to North America and landed in Washington DC, where she worked for the Department of State, developed a love of cycling, and eventually met Jonathan. Michelle is an avid reader and cook, a veteran traveler, an aspirational gardener - and hopes to take up kayaking next.

Jonathan spent 21 years with the Reuters news agency as a journalist, bureau chief, and editor, with posts in Moscow, New York, Istanbul, Tehran, Jakarta, and Washington. He is the author of four works of intellectual history and has a doctorate in sociology. Jonathan enjoys baking bread and pizza, and hiking and camping with Michelle and their labradoodle Ziggy Stardust. He is also an avid cyclist and an amateur bike racer.