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Vancouver Island Web Media Ad 2018


In 2007 I knew several women who loved to write stories, biographies or poetry but didn’t know how they could get them published so other people could read them. I pondered this problem and decide that one way I could help them was to create a web site in a way that would appeal to all women on Vancouver Island – Island Woman Magazine.

From that moment Island Woman Magazine has grown to where now thousands of people read our articles every month.

Until recently all our writers were women who lived on Vancouver Island; they  ranged from young women at university, single women, mothers with young children to grandmothers. Each wrote in their own incredible way, as they created articles on any subject that they were passionate about.

We have just celebrated our 8th anniversary, and in order to expand the reading requirements of our readers, we have decided to accept articles from other sources to provide a broader base of subject matters and opinions.

Island Woman Magazine has become a celebration of all that makes the incredible women of Vancouver Island, and the Gulf Islands, so special.

Thank you all for the ongoing support you have shown.


Trish_croppedPatricia Summerhayes


E-mail me



Vancouver Island Web Media.


  1. Today is International Women’s Day, and I have just returned from a truly inspirational morning as I attended “Women Inspiring Women” in Nanaimo, an event sponsored by Michelle Stilwell, MLA for Parksville-Qualicum. An inspirational figure herself, Michele interviewed four exceptional Island women who are making a difference in their communities and in the world.

    Lisa Bhopalsingh spoke about her work with the Cedar Opportunities Cooperative and the COCO Café, an organization formed to create meaningful work opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities while at the same time offering healthy nutritional meal options for their patrons.

    Yvonne Visser, a former biathlete and now a trained massage therapist who has just returned from Sochi, continues to use her skills in both the physical and psychological aspects of high performance sport to help Canadian athletes, including Michele Stilwell, at numerous summer and winter Olympic Games.

    Ida Chong, the first person of Asian descent to be elected as a British Columbian MLA, spent 17 years in the BC Legislature where she held many portfolios and led numerous initiatives. No longer in public life herself, Ida continues as a role model and coach to help women become more active in the local political landscape.

    Anne Spilker has dedicated nearly 20 years of her life to supporting vulnerable women and children in our communities. Under her leadership, the Haven Society has assisted thousands of women and children each year, offering counselling, emergency shelter and programs for women, children and men.

    The messages delivered by each of these five women were ones of hope and inspiration, their stories ones of determination and the impact of a “gentle push”. The room became filled with a sense of optimism for the power we all possess to make a difference in our world, and a resolve not to let anyone tell us we can’t!

    Island Woman is here to offer a forum for women to inspire and support one another. We would like to hear from you, our readers, about inspirational women in your life. Please drop us a note at islandwomen@shaw.ca with your stories.

    Diana Matsuda
    Editor, Island Woman

  2. I would like to thank you all as Island Woman writers for your incredible contributions that have made islandwoman.ca such a powerful entity in just 9 months. You have all shown the art of graphically transferring your lifestyle, business and very personal experiences to the written form. Collectively your articles are very powerful and Island Woman is now receiving over 50,000 hits per month. 25% are a unique visitors – that is computer talk for visiting the site for the first time. The other 75% are repeat users. This is incredible and is exactly what we hoped for, a place where Island Women would identify with and use it as their own.

    You and our editor Diana, Josie and Anne, should really be proud of what you have achieved.

    I would like to draw your attention to our latest article by Caroline Lennox. Caroline has encapsulated what makes Island Women what they are. Vunerable, caring, supportive, sharing, determined, independent and strong. Thank you Caroline for this amazing article.

    I believe that collectively and individually we should do all we can to ensure that this article, as well as all of your articles, is read by as many women on Vancouver Island, and elsewhere, as we possibly can. Please help me spread the word by any means you can, i.e. social media as well as word of mouth.

    Warm regards,
    Trish Summerhayes

  3. I’m not a woman, obviously, but I’m married to one!
    I’m delighted to see women I know like and trust featured on your site. Keep up the excellent work!

  4. Yes, Island women are different. I have been in Campbell River only 4 years, but the differences were noticeable immediately. Women here are very independent, intelligent, and capable of many jobs that otherwise could be considered as male domain. They are outspoken, have strong views on everything and do their own thing when it comes to fashion.

    All of the above are probably result of having to do everything themselves when the men were away a lot, fishing or logging. Also, the “hippie” influence is still very strong.

  5. What a great concept! I am a huge supporter of positive initiatives, like this, to help women reach their full potential. As part of these fabulous women on the island, we are incredibly strong, focused, goal oriented, perseverant, passionate, caring and successful!

    From some of the last numbers I saw, women in Victoria are in the top quartile across our nation for “successful” new business start-ups.

    I look forward to seeing more about your web site!

  6. Hi there; I love the intriguing idea about your magazine. Do I subscribe to it or simply read the posts? Please let me know. Thanks. Susan

    • Hi Susan:
      I’m delighted to hear that you are enjoying the Island Woman website. It is available for all to read without subscription. We try to add fresh posts and new authors on a regular basis, so you just need to keep checking the site to see what is new.

      We are always looking for new content, so if you have a topic you’d like to write about, please let me know. Our Guest Author section is designed for women who may wish to speak out about a particular topic, but who don’t wish to commit to becoming a regular columnist. I would be pleased to hear from you, whether you would like to submit an article or just suggest some new topic areas that we might cover.

      Thank you for your interest in Island woman, and I hope you will continue to follow its evolution.

      Regards, Diana

  7. What an interesting site! I moved to Vancouver Island in 2007, and was astounded at the concentration of adventurous, artistic, thriving women in this small, spectacular place on the planet. Age seems to be irrelevant here! I’ve sometimes been homesick for the people and places I left behind, but I continue to marvel at the vibe on the Island. I loved performing at Qualicum Acoustic Cafe tonight, and a bonus was learning about this site!

  8. I’ve only been on the Island for a year, and I can see that women here are generally more vibrant, and outgoing. There is an abundance of things for people to do indoors and out.

    I think people also tend to buy locally and from the smaller independent shops, markets and farmers. There is more support for local small business because they are our neighbours.

    There is also an elevated culture for artisans of all kinds. The creative juices flow here, and many women are finding their inner artist. It’s so inspiring.

    Good luck with this site. I look forward to its evolution.

  9. Very interesting concept! Although we share much in common with most women simply because we are human, especially in Canada, there is a unique culture here on the Island. It’s slower paced, and there is a tendency towards living healthy, naturally based, balanced lives. We also have an abundance of multi-talented women who want to express themselves in such a way as to make life better, more rich for everyone else. At least that’s what I want and I know lots of women who share the same desire.

  10. Hello – I teach and counsel on natural women’s health and I notice that island women are inclined to avoid synthetic hormones and be more interested in natural living and holistic health treatments.
    I also observe that the island is under served in terms of specialists and people often need to travel to the mainland to see one.

    My work with natural birth control, gynecology, and menopause appeals to the “do-it-yourself” types who are confident in their bodies and their own abilities to make decisions regarding their health. Island women tend to fit into that category as do rural women generally.

  11. I think its great getting our own magazine here on the Island. I look forward to receiving it. I think we are more connected & involved to our local communities, we do have the largest volunteer population. I think topics that are health and well being related would be good, as well as coping with downsizing, sandwich generations, possible retiring. Starting a new career at 60 … endless possibilities sharing our experience and wisdom with the younger generations. This is very exciting.

  12. Congratulations! I will look forward to every issue of Island Woman.

    I hope you focus on topics for those over 60, over 70…; for example, how to determine when and where to move as our lives change. Are retirement homes the best or only choice? What are the pros and cons of living on your own? How can we best handle our financial lives? Lots of questions!

  13. I live in Nanaimo. Moved to the Island 9 years ago and have never looked back. There is so much on the Island for women in terms of outdoor recreation, social opportunities, and the arts. The women I know and associate with are all outstanding and active women. I was recently on a kayak trip with Jan Kretz of Adventuress Kayaking, and although not everyone was from the Island, most of us were, and how amazing to see active women in their ‘60’s out kayaking and camping.

    Similarly, I have a group of friends who hike, backpack, cycle and ski – all in their ‘60’s and ‘70’s.

    Are Island women different? We are! We want to squeeze every possible moment out of life, and we want to hear and experience the adventures of other Island women.

    I look forward to following ‘Island Woman’ on her journey.

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