Community Spotlight Series: Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre

Our Community Spotlight Series lets you learn more about our locals and what they love about living and doing business in Parksville Qualicum Beach. This month, we're turning the spotlight on Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre in Parksville.

Paul Drummond, Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre

With 22 acres of forest, 3 km of sandy beach, two restaurants, the Grotto Spa and more, Tigh-Na-Mara can create the perfect getaway for anyone. It's also home to the annual Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive, started 15 years ago by General Manager Paul Drummond. We chatted with Paul about life in Parksville Qualicum Beach, including some of his favourite local spots and tips for visitors.

What do you love about where you live?

"I love how people look out for each other, and one of the best times to see this in action is during the Tigh-Na-Mara Toy Drive (happening on Wednesday November 29 this year). One of the best parts is seeing the pride in our staff, knowing they are making a difference to people in the community. Of course, the other is seeing the joy on a child's face when they bring in something to gift to someone less fortunate. It reflects the spirit of where we live."

Where do you take family and friends when they visit?

"We have had so many family and friends visiting us as everyone wants to spend time in Oceanside on our amazing Island. The one place we go time and time again is Little Qualicum Falls. Whether with our 3- and 5-year-old grandchildren or retired friends who were just here from England, all ages can walk the paths, and the waterfall never disappoints despite how much or little water is spilling over it. Depending on who we are with, we could spend an hour or a half day walking the trails, taking in the forest air, and just enjoying being in nature. And only a few minutes drive from downtown Parksville!"

What other businesses should people see during their visit?

"In the cooler weather, a favourite spot is the Fern + Cedar in Qualicum Beach. The Pines Gift Shop at Tigh-Na-Mara also stocks work from over 70 Island artists, including prints by Monk, one of the best-known mid-island painters, unique Mussels & More pottery from Campbell River, locally crafted stained glass art and jewellery and First Nations Haida carvings from Nanoose artist Mike Bellis. My wife tells me that if you're shopping locally for women's wear, you must check out Close To You Boutique in Parksville."

You have a free day in PQB. What do you do?

"While Qualicum Beach and Parksville have great boardwalks along their respective beaches, this year in particular, we have spent a great deal of time at the Brickyard Park by Fairwinds. As a family, to get the fresh air, sit and watch the water, and the prospects of spotting orcas and humpback whales, which are becoming so common in our waters, never ceases to keep us engaged and wanting to go back. There have been whales spotted every day this year, and while we annually go out with one of the local Whale Watching companies, we can do it every day from shore if we feel the need. If by chance we don't see any whales, the scenery changes every second while watching the water anyway, which is a great way to spend a day."

What combo of experiences makes up your perfect day in PQB?

  1. Birdwatching: I am spoilt as I do most of this from a chair in my backyard. Woodpeckers, eagles, blue herons, doves, hummingbirds and more than a dozen other types of birds
  2. Beach walks at Qualicum Beach, Parksville or, most recently, Brickyard Community Park in Nanoose Bay.
  3. Afternoon drinks: I enjoy having a sangria or wine on the seasonal Cedars patio at Tigh-Na-Mara or the Fern + Cedar in Qualicum Beach.

Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Conference Centre

Built onto the bluff above the Salish Sea, bordering the majestic Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, and surrounded by the...