The Alberni Valley is in the midst of a cultural identity shift. The City of Port Alberni owes its routes to the forestry, fishing, and shipping industries and that is still evident in the charming seaside town. The cultural identity shift owes itself to an increasing segment of the population who identify the Alberni Valley as the Heart of Vancouver Island. This group of locals are made up of people who enjoy an active lifestyle and love the outdoors and the natural beauty of this unique oceanfront valley. Many of them were born in Port Alberni and made the area a lifelong home, others moved back home to raise their families in an area of strong community values, and many are young retirees attracted to the fresh air and affordable lifestyle.
For all its natural beauty and central Vancouver Island location, it is the people of Port Alberni that really give the valley its charm. Friendly, outgoing and always willing to lend a hand, the people that make the Heart of Vancouver Island their home take pride in their community. The combined population of the Alberni Valley is approximately 25,000 people. The population consists largely of European Canadians, yet like much of Canada the Alberni Valley is truly multicultural. Additionally, several Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations have called the Alberni Valley since before recorded history. These vibrant First Nations populations add significantly to the culture of the Alberni Valley.
The Alberni Valley's unique culture lies in the great outdoors, sport, community involvement and hard work. The culture is embodied in a Bulldogs Hockey game, a day at the Sproat Lake Regatta boat races or a weekend of fishing during the Port Alberni Salmon Festival. And yet, the culture is just as embodied by a dog walk on one of the countless forest trails or in a neighbour lending a helping hand. Port Alberni’s culture is hard to define, but we promise you’ll enjoy experiencing it for yourself.