Bright Seas, Pioneer Spirits

A History of the Sunshine Coast

ISBN 9781894898874
Softcover | Publication Date: May 15, 2009
Book Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
256 Pages

About the Book

For well over a century, the bright seas of the Sunshine Coast have been attracting visitors to the waterfront resorts, fishing lodges and beaches that rest between Howe Sound and the spectacular Princess Louisa Inlet. These coastal hotspots and communities were settled by a few courageous and daring pioneers whose names are still familiar today: Gibsons, Roberts, Whitaker, Donley, Silvey, Griffiths.

Bright Seas, Pioneer Spirits tells the stories of the homesteaders, loggers, prospectors and fishermen who carved out a living on the treacherous mountainside that rises straight out of the inlets. These men and women came with nothing in their pockets and founded logging empires, shingle mills and sawmills, launched fish canneries, a glue factory and even a well-known jam factory, and scaled the mountainsides to start copper and gold mines. They travelled and traded by boat, long before coastal roads were built in the 1950s, and their pioneering spirits still ride the bright seas of the Sunshine Coast today.

About the Author(s)

Betty Keller has lived in Vancouver, BC's Fraser Valley, the Okanagan and Kootenay areas, as well as in Nigeria. She taught in BC secondary schools, at Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. A founding member of the SunCoast Writers Forge, she was the producer of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts and the Sunshine Coast Writers-in-Residence Program for 12 years. Author and co-author of sixteen books of non-fiction and fiction, Betty has been the recipient of many awards, including The Canadian Biography Award (1980), The Lescarbot Award (1991), The Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal (2002), The Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award (2003), and The Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize (2005). Please visit

Rosella Leslie was born in Edmonton, Alberta, graduated from Elphinstone Secondary in Gibsons on BC's Sunshine Coast and trained as a medical records technician in Merritt, BC. For 11 years she lived at Clowhom Falls, 25 miles by boat from Sechelt, BC, and helped her husband look after a fishing resort. In Sechelt she worked with the Festival of the Written Arts as a director, program writer and house co-ordinator. Aided in her writing by weekly critiquing sessions with the Quintessential Writers Group, led by editor and author Betty Keller, Rosella also attended workshops with Ian Slater and Daniel Wood. Rosella's feature articles and fictional stories have been published in The Leader, Alive Magazine and Coast News Weekender. Rosella lives in Sechelt with her husband, John. Please visit


For the people who live on the Sunshine Coast, and for the people who are thinking about coming here, this book is invaluable.” —Going Coastal Magazine