Welcome to the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands chapter of Rare Breeds Canada, a national charitable organisation dedicated to the conservation and promotion of rare and traditional breeds of farm animals and poultry. We are currently the only chapter in British Columbia. Our members are located all over the “big” island from Black Creek in the north to Cobble Hill in the south, as well as on Saltspring, Thetis and Gabriola Islands.
We all appreciate and do our best to support and promote the kind of livestock that was once important, but has been largely replaced commercially by more specialized breeds. This has meant that the older breeds now exist in very small numbers, often in groups remote from each other, making breeding a difficult challenge, and inbreeding a great danger.
We meet in person about 5 or 6 times a year or at any time via our google group. We hold some meetings in the Nanaimo Country Grocer’s Community Room and others at members’ farms. We put on displays, often including livestock, at fairs and other public events, and try to inform the public about the need to keep the old breeds going and how they can help. The biggest event of our year is the Vancouver Island Exhibition in August, where we usually have 7 animal pens and a large display.
All members are welcome to list themselves and their farm products on our website, to advertise in the classified section and to join in discussions on our google group.
We hope that you will join in our activities, pick our brains for information, and have a great deal of pleasure from raising heritage livestock. Please check our website regularly for dates of meetings and other activities.