Student Experiment Going Into Space
PARKSVILLE, B.C., Canada – January 14, 2019) It’s official! A science experiment designed by five École Ballenas students will go into space. This summer, when the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program Mission 13 to the International Space Station (ISS) launches, an experiment, titled Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicagosativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflight, will be on board.

“We’re very fortunate to be part of the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP),” enthused Gillian Wilson, Assistant Superintendent, School District 69 (Qualicum). “The experience is preparing today’s learners for tomorrow’s
world. It has been an unprecedented applied learning opportunity that emphasizes science, technology, engineering and math.

Thanks to over $18,000 of funding, made possible by the Karen and Fred Green Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Magellan Aerospace, over 400 students across the school district learned about the microgravity environment of space and created science experiment proposals.”

A local panel of judges reviewed experiment proposals, developed by students in grades 4 to 12, and chose three for submission to the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE) based in Maryland U.S.A. The experiment proposals included:
• Will Mold Grow Differently on Bread in a Microgravity Zone?
Arrowview Elementary School. Written by Emily Anderson, Avalon Carey, Liam Einarson, Ethan Gamble, Joshua Gauvin, Evin Izdebski, Novie Pratte, Damien Roberts, Karli Taylor and Jacob Waitson.

• The Growth Rate and Pattern of Bacteria (Bacillus Subtilis) in a Microgravity Environment École Ballenas Secondary. Written by Amanda Litton, David Downey, Caitlin Holme, Connor Litton, and Nasuka Nakazawa.
• Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights
École Ballenas Secondary. Written by Marco Loffredi, Victor Kamel, Robert Lachance, Alexander Marshall and Filipe Pereira.
From the submissions, the SSEP Step 2 Review Board chose Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: a Potential Nourishment for Future Manned Spaceflights to be conducted on the International Space Station.
“Students, who proposed the chosen experiment, are busy making preparations,” explained Carl Savage, Science Teacher and SSEP Community Program Director, School District 69 (Qualicum).

“They are working to refine their experiment and equip two micro labs; one lab will journey to the ISS and the other will remain on Earth. While astronauts
are conducting the Alfalfa Sprout experiment in space, Ballenas students will be conducting the same experiment at school.” Adding to the excitement and “real-world” experience, students plan to raise funds to view the ISS launch at
Kennedy Space Center in Florida and present their findings at the SSEP National Conference in Washington D.C.
The Student Spaceflight Experiments Program (SSEP) is an initiative of the National Center for Earth and Space Science Education (NCESSE), located in the United States, and the Arthur C. Clarke Institute for Space Education, which works internationally. It is enabled through a strategic partnership with DreamUp, PBC and NanoRacks, LLC, which are working with National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) under a Space Act Agreement as part of the utilization of the

International Space Station as a National Laboratory.

VIREB – Still a Seller’s Market

March 1, 2017 Despite Additional Inventory, the VIREB Area is Still a Sellers’ Market


NANAIMO, BC – In February 2017, 347 single-family homes sold on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System compared to 406 last February, a decrease of 15 per cent.

Sales rose by 42 per cent from January 2017, which saw 245 sales. Inventory of single-family homes declined by 38 per cent from February 2016, with 949 active listings compared to 1,529 one year ago.However, the 949 available properties reflect a six per cent increase over January, an encouraging development since the lack of inventory continues to challenge consumers and REALTORS® in the VIREB area.

The British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reports that strong economic fundamentals are fuelling housing demand throughout British Columbia, with the B.C. economy continuing to outpace the rest of Canada. Among other factors, increased population growth is a significant force driving the provincial housing market.

“In the first three-quarters of 2016, net migration to British Columbia hit 50,000 people,” says Cameron Muir, BCREA Chief Economist. “Although most of those residents will end up on the Lower Mainland, the effects of this influx will inevitably trickle into other markets.”

Although BCREA expects the provincial economy to weaken somewhat this year, consumer confidence and job growth should continue to have a net positive effect on the housing market. After dipping in late 2016 and early 2017, overall sales activity in the province appears to be trending upwards again, and that is certainly happening on Vancouver Island.

In fact, sales in the VIREB area would no doubt be much higher if there were more properties available, says Janice Stromar, 2017 VIREB President.

“The Nanaimo market in February was busier than I’ve ever seen,” says Stromar. “Single-family homes in the $450,000 range are practically flying out the door, and multiple offers are the norm, not the exception.”

The VIREB area has been a sellers’ market for several months now, and Stromar encourages people to list their homes now.

“Real estate is cyclical, and consumers need to take advantage of these market conditions because they won’t last forever,” says Stromar.

She adds that connecting with a local REALTOR® is especially crucial in a competitive housing market. REALTORS® have specialized knowledge of their communities and are equipped with sales tools, such as custom analytics, to help buyers formulate winning offers and help sellers receive maximum dollars for their home.

In February 2017, the benchmark price of a single-family home in the VIREB area was $403,100, up 18 per cent from one year ago. Prices increased in every zone, ranging from 14 per cent in Duncan and Port Alberni to 25 per cent in Nanaimo. The benchmark price of an apartment in February rose 22 per cent board-wide from the previous year, but the highest increases were seen in Parksville-Qualicum (24 per cent), the Comox Valley (26 per cent), and Campbell River (26 per cent). The townhouse market also strengthened in January, posting a 20 per cent increase board-wide.

The February 2017 benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $318,100, an increase of 17 per cent over February 2016. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price hit $401,000, up 17 per cent from 2016. Duncan reported a benchmark price of $345,500, an increase of 14 per cent compared to February 2016. Nanaimo’s benchmark price rose 25 per cent to $444,400 while the Parksville-Qualicum area saw its benchmark price increase by 20 per cent to $454,100. The price of a benchmark home in Port Alberni stayed the same as in January but did rise by 14 per cent from one year ago.

Nanoose Bay/Nanaimo/Vancouver Island Update

Seacliff Properties Ltd. of Vancouver bought the Fairwinds golf and marina residential development at Nanoose Bay, near Nanaimo, from the BC Investment Management Corp. whose clients include B.C. public pensions.

Seacliff paid approximately $25 million for the entire 900 – acre property.

“We b ought it to move forward with the plan that has been put in place, “said Ian Porter, Seacliff director of real estate.

Meanwhile, Insight Holdings Ltd. is proposing a 32 storey strata-title hotel for Nanaimo’s waterfront. Hilton would manage the property, which would have 303 rooms. Rezoning was approved in 2015.

Mount Washington – Vancouver Island’s Mount Washington Alpine Resort has been sold to U.S.-based Pacific Group Resorts of Utah, which plans to take Vancouver Island’s only alpine ski hill “to the next level.”

The sale includes all of the resort’s ski and recreational operations as well as most of the development land near and around its base. As reported in the January edition of the Western Investor.

The resort is about 30 kilometers from Comox and from the south, approximatelya 45 minute drive from Bowser.




Thank You From the Children’s Miracle Network

Received October 28, 2015



Good morning,

I want to personally thank you for not only attending the RE/MAX of Western Canada 32nd Annual Conference, but for being such an important of the Children’s Miracle Network component of that great event.

We are proud beyond words of our partnership with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals and are thrilled to be celebrating our 23 year partnership together. Since 1992, YOU have made giving back and supporting the kids in your communities a priority through our Miracle Home Program and various fundraising initiatives. RE/MAX affiliates have donated over 56 million dollars nationally to Children’s Miracle Network, providing vital funding for equipment, programs, and support services in 14 Children’s Hospitals and Foundations across the country. Last year, RE/MAX affiliates in Canada donated over $4 million.

Whether you realize it or not, you and your colleagues are making miracles happen each and every day; through your support, through your dedication to giving and through your passion of the cause.

The fundraising events through the conference raised over $45,000 for Children’s Miracle Network and its member hospitals…..

Thank you for helping put smiles back where they belong.

Warm regards,

RE/MAX of Western Canada (1998), LLC

Marie Sheppy, Manager, Corporate Affairs, RE/MAX of Western Canada


CMN Neighbourhood Yard Sale


MANY MANY THANKS TO ALL 23 HOUSEHOLDS (and also to those who contributed items) who participated in our 7th Neighbourhood Yard Sale.

The Treasure Hunters who arrived in numbers and for the most part were in the buying mood, also deserve our gratitude. Sales reports filtering in have been  from fair to good to amazing  from one fellow who sold over $1,000 worth of treasure in 2 hours. WOW!

The weather was spectacular which is always a determining factor and the overall atmosphere was quite festive with over 75 RE/MAX helium balloons dotting the neighbourhood.

We’re happy to announce the winners of the $100 QF Gift Card this year was Sandy Salmons and Rick Patten on Pilot Way.

The final total isn’t in as yet as donations are still trickling in but once again we will be contributing over $500 to The Children’s Miracle Network/BC Children’s Hospital and


Annual Neighbourhood Yard Sale



YES! We’re Having Our Annual Neighbourhood Yard Sale on

June 20th


Over the past several years, with your help, we’ve raised hundreds of dollars for BC  Children’s Hospital. Many, many thanks to all who participated.

Once again the Yard Sale hosts/contributors will automatically be entered into a  draw for a $100 grocery certificate from Quality Foods.

So – go green and recycle your unwanted treasures and make a little money.

We’ll organize the day, put up the signs, give you the balloons and do the advertising so it’s sure to be a success.

If you don’t need to have a yard sale this year then join the fun – go treasure-hunting & enuoy a visit with your neighbours.

NANOOSE BAY – Residents on the following streets are invited to participated –  Claudet Road, Dorcas Point, Seacrest Road, Marina Way, Reef Road, Pilot Way, Delanice Way,Higginson Road, Nuttal Drive, Prawn Road, La Selva Place, Haida Way, Arbutus Lane, Brynmarl Road, The Bell, Ludgate Road, The Outrigger, The Jib, White Cap Road, Cockle Shell Road, Carmel Place, & Seadog Road.

Give us a call (250-927-0341) or email us at RMEHAN@SHAW.CA and we’ll make sure to put you on our “Don’t Miss This Yard” list & enter your name in the draw.

Just imagine by donating just a little of your profits ($10 suggested donation) to the Children’s Miracle Network (BC Children’s Hospital) we can help save children’s lives.  Let’s do it for the kids!

Ron & Peggy Mehan, RE/MAX First Realty  



Young People are Returning

The kids are coming home.

Despite the popular perception, youth retention might not be Parksville/Qualicum Beach’s biggest problem

According to a 2014 Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) report the “region had a net loss of more than 7,000 people age 20 to 24 between 2006 and 2011…But the trend reverses once people reach their 30′s, with about 3,400 extra residents in the 30-34 age range moving into the region.

Parksville Mayor Marc Lefebvre called the findings “hopeful”. “We offer a great lifestyle here”.

34 year old Lissa Alexander, a Qualicum Beach native moved awa at age 18 to find herself back in town a decade later. Alexander left to see the world.

“I didn’t appreciate the area until I left,” Alexander admitted. “I didn’t realize how beautiful Qualicum was until I was gone.”

Drawn to the metropolitan areas because they seemed vibrant, busy and full of economic opportunity, Alexander returned because “Once I got pregnant it was a no-brainer… I started thinking about my upbringing and I wanted to give my kids that – safety, a sense of community and the many resources available for families”. Most of her friends who left town in their early 20′s have moved back to the area in the last few years – it’s about quality of life.

Other compelling reasons sited by RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman included and “extremely low crime rate making for a family-friendly city. Foreman returned to Parksville & family.

The affordable real estate market is of course another major factor that affects these decisions as well as more jobs coming to the communities.

For more information on the Oceanside Initiative visit



Spring Housing Market – Vancouver Island

Strong Sales Kick Off the Spring Housing Market NANAIMO, BC – Strong consumer confidence among Canadians continues to bode well for the housing market in the VIREB coverage area, with 420 single-family homes selling last month compared to 282 in February 2015 and year-over-year sales up 19 per cent.

“It’s been some time since we’ve seen these sort of numbers so early in the year in British Columbia,” said Cameron Muir, BCREA’S chief economist. “Sales levels are healthy, and we’re expecting an excellent year overall for real estate.” Muir stated that although lower oil prices are causing a downward sales trend in other parts of Canada, paying less at the pump has a net positive effect on the housing market in B.C.

The U.S. economy remains stable, albeit growth south of the border has slowed somewhat. Furthermore, the weaker Canadian dollar is also good news for Vancouver Island tourism as we head into the summer months.

In addition to a positive increase in the number of single-family homes sold, other markets in the VIREB area continue to do well. Sales of apartment condominiums rose by 49 per cent over last year, with units sold up from 43 to 64. In March 2015, 34 patio homes sold compared to 28 in March of last a year, a 21 per cent increase. The number of townhouse units sold increased by 20 per cent, with 49 homes selling last month in comparison to 41 in March 2014. Year-over-year sales of acreages and waterfront properties also rose, with 50 acreages selling in March 2015 compared to 30 last year and sales of waterfront properties up from 10 to 18.

Active listings in the VIREB area are down approximately eight per cent, yet buyers in some markets are finding their choices are somewhat limited. “Our inventory levels are lower than last year, but they haven’t dropped enough to cause the dramatic price increases we’re seeing on the Lower Mainland,” said VIREB President Jason Finlayson. “However, we’re pleased and encouraged by the statistics. Our housing market remains healthy and balanced, which is excellent news for home buyers and sellers.

” In March 2015, the benchmark price for a single-family home in the VIREB coverage area was $326,800, up approximately three per cent over 2014. Benchmark pricing tracks the value of a typical home in the reported area. The average price of a single-family home was $351,361 compared to $346,606 in March 2014, an increase of one per cent.

The benchmark price of a single-family home in the Campbell River area was $274,500, up just under five per cent from March 2014. In the Comox Valley, the benchmark price was $323,800, down slightly from last year. Duncan reports a benchmark price of $287,000, up just over one per cent compared to 2014. Nanaimo’s benchmark price was $346,200, up 4.81 per cent compared to last year. The Parksville-Qualicum area posted a benchmark price of $356,300, which is a 3.87 per cent increase over last year. The price for a benchmark home in Port Alberni was $187,500, down a little over one per cent from March 2014.