Location: The Town of Gibsons is situated at the Western entrance to Howe Sound. Although situated on the Mainland, there is no road access to Gibsons from the Metro Vancouver area. Access to Gibsons and the rest of the Sunshine Coast is provided by regular BC Ferries service from Horseshoe Bay which lands at Langdale, a short drive North of Gibsons. The scheduled ferry service allows many Gibsons residents to commute daily to work in Vancouver while enjoying the lifestyle available in a smaller town.
History: The Chekwelps of the Squamish First Nation were the first inhabitants of Gibsons at a settlement located just east of the Gibsons harbour. The Chekwelps people lived at this site, likely for thousands of years, until a smallpox outbreak resulted in the settlement being abandoned in the 1890’s. The area’s first European settler was George Gibson whose name the town bears. Gibsons gained international fame in the 1970’s as the home to the CBC’s television series, the Beachcombers. The community of Gibsons Landing was incorporated as the Village of Gibsons in 1967. Since then, it has grown into the Town of Gibsons which was awarded Gold as the World’s Most Livable Community (population up to 20,000) at the 2009 International Awards for Liveable Communities.
Commerce: Lower Gibsons surrounds its sheltered harbour which is crowded with both recreational and commercial vessels. The harbour area features many restaurants and other facilities catering to boaters and tourists. Much of the commercial activity has now migrated up to Upper Gibsons where a full array of businesses serve both the local Gibsons population and also other residents of the Sunshine Coast.
Population: Gibsons has a permanent population of 4,300 people and is a popular retirement destination. In addition to its year-round residents, Gibsons and the neighbouring communities such as Grantham’s Landing and Hopkins Landing have many seasonal residents who enjoy the summer recreational activities that are readily accessible.
Arts and Culture: Gibsons has an active arts community and hosts an annual jazz festival in June each year which is now in its 16th year. The Heritage Playhouse was originally built in 1929 and was fully renovated and re-opened in 2000. The Heritage Playhouse hosts many events and performances throughout the year including the Showcase of the Performing Arts held in July.