We had the opportunity to meet local resident  Andrea Markiewicz. She always wanted to move to BC and to Vancouver Island in particular. Andrea and her daughter moved to Port Alberni in July 2007 to join her parents who had relocated here several years prior. Not only is it important to Andrea that her daughter has a relationship with her grandparents, but eventually she will need to be here to care for her parents.

View of Alberni Inlet
Photo by: Andrea Markiewicz

Andrea is a very active participant at The Capitol Theatre in several aspects of production with the Portal Players Dramatic Society. You may recognize her from the box office where she also works part-time, or from the recent play “Sisters,” at the Capitol Theatre where she played Sister Gabrielle, a whimsical Nun at a Native Residential School.

She stated that “it’s all home now.” When asked what she would do to make our valley a better place, Andrea would like to see our local government enact water management strategies that acknowledge climate change and mitigate drought, and encourage further local food production that includes a residential composting program.

A typical busy day for Andrea includes working two part time jobs, walking the family dog, enjoying aikido classes with her daughter and enjoying all the seasons in our beautiful valley. She savors her quiet neighbourhood and delicious water, and she particularly loves that first breath of fresh island air when she gets off the plane after visiting friends in Edmonton.

The local trails, forests, inlet, lakes, and rivers are her favourite places in the Alberni Valley. Andrea is “hooked on Aikido for good.” She discovered a love for this wonderful martial art that focuses on defending oneself while also protecting the attacker from injury and she attends as many classes and seminars as she is able. The annual banner painting project is an event she thoroughly enjoys and looks forward to participating in it every year.

Andrea is very grateful for the positive impact of two particular people in her life. Teresa Drew, for establishing the Stages Youth Theatre Group about 10 years ago, bringing her and her daughter into the theatre, and BH Pieterse, for starting the Aikido club in town.