2016 Community Nominations

Canada's Most Rider Friendly Community Contest

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Port Alberni, BC - 1st Nomination

Written by David Wiwchar

Port Alberni4Port Alberni is the heart of Vancouver Island, and the annual Port Alberni Toy Run is the heart of the community.

 

 

 The Port Alberni Toy Run - now in its 33rd year - is the largest motorcycle event on Vancouver Island, and the largest annual fundraiser in the Alberni Valley.

The Port Alberni Toy Run is a weekend-long event featuring bike games, beer gardens, vendors, a show & shine, poker run, and a big Saturday Night dance.
Started in 1985 by six riders who rode out on Christmas Eve to buy toys, and bring them to the local Salvation Army, the event now attracts more than 1,400 bikes each year and has raised more than $1.5 million for local children's charities and family events.
Toys collected go to the Salvation Army, transition houses, Native friendship centres, and a unique program that supplies emergency responders with stuffies to give to children involved in traumatic events.
Monies collected go towards the funding every family event in Port Alberni through the year, as well as the highly-successful breakfast club program at the local high school, the local child development center, as well as KidSport, Special Olympics, and many, many more children's charities.
Riders start at Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park on the east side of the island, and after the Black Powder Club cannon goes off at noon sharp, riders follow the spectacular Highway 4 into Port Alberni. 
Alongside picturesque Cameron Lake, beneath 1500-year old trees in Cathedral Grove, and over 'The Hump', the people of Port Alberni line area streets by the thousands to wave at the riders, cheer them on, and hold up signs of thanks.
Once riders arrive at Glenwood Centre the party begins as people enjoy watching the bike games from the beer garden, and children and families enjoy the many kids events in the shadow of bleachers piled high with donated toys.
The next day a Poker Run helps showcase the Alberni Valley to visiting riders with stops at the Alberni Pacific steam train, Centennial Pier, Mcleans Mill National Historic Site, Sproat Lake petroglyphs, and the world famous Martin Mars Waterbombers.
The event is supported by the local business community, as every hotel and restaurant is packed with riders through the weekend, and the City of Port Alberni proudly proclaims Toy Run Week in the city.
You can find more information at www.portalbernitoyrun.ca

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- Nominated by David Wiwchar

 

 

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