Islanders By Choice Bus Tour: A Great Success

While it certainly isn’t unusual to see a tour bus travel the north shore of the Island (especially on a warm, sunny day), what stood out for a group of 21 people embarking on a recent tour was why they were going sight-seeing.

Yesterday (June 11), members of the growing Islanders By Choice Alliance participated in a fundraiser to assist in ongoing relief efforts in Japan, and they got to meet new people while doing so. This half-day tour was organized through us and sponsored by Bruce MacNaughton (PEI Preserve Co.) and John Dunphy (Target Tours).

Bruce and John showed their support of the IBCA and the size of their hearts by donating tour money collected to the Red Cross. Bruce provided lunch at no-cost to the group and John topped up the donation cheque. At the end of the day, the group presented $750 to go toward relief efforts in Japan.

The IBCA extends a huge thank you to Bruce & John!

We made the decision to donate the proceeds to the Japan Earthquake Relief Fund mainly because of the strong bond between PEI and the Japanese people. Most of the partners donating goods and services have depended on tourism from Japan and this was a way of giving back. (John Dunphy)

The tour itself included various aspects of the North Shore such as North Rustico Fishing Harbour, Cavendish Beach, Green Gables House, and the PEI Preserve Company, as well as a city tour of Charlottetown, all narrated and brought to life by step-on guide Donalda Doucette of Target Tours. Donalda treated the participants to  colourful stories of PEI culture, entertaining even those who have lived here for decades.

Janice MacLean has lived on PEI for years, but admits she doesn’t always take the time to appreciate this province’s beauty. A bus tour allowed her to do just that.

It was great to not just see the land that we now call home, but we got to really see it. We loved every moment of it, and are looking forward to having this happen again. (Janice MacLean)

Our VP, Heather went on the tour and fully supports this type of “meet and greet” idea for anyone living on PEI who would like a fun way to get to know people.

It’s amazing how much fun you can have when you combine an activity such as a bus tour with meeting new people. You not only get to see and learn about different parts of the Island, but you also have the opportunity to make some new potentially lifelong friends. It’s a win –win situation!

So, it sounds like our first bus tour was a huge success! That’s great because we plan on organizing more bus tours in the future, including a winery and food tour on the east coast of the Island.

Some very happy Islanders By Choice:


Over 200 people attend our “Meet & Greet” event! Wow!

Who would have thought that an email and a little discussion on Twitter could have turned into something so big?

Tonight we held the first official “Meet and Greet” for the Islanders By Choice Alliance.  We were hoping for about 50 people to drop in.  After all it was Islander Day; plus there is also the Scotties curling event going on in Charlottetown right now!   Given this, we thought we would be lucky to have a few people show up.  Guess what?  Over 200 folks showed up for our event tonight! On top of that, there were countless people around the world who were tracking the events of the evening via Twitter and through our Group Page on Facebook.  Clearly people are very interested in the Islanders By Choice Alliance and what we represent.  Thanks so much to all who took the time to join us tonight and to our “online” friends who are also there in spirit!

Thanks to Lori MacDonald for the above photo via Facebook!  Also, a huge thanks to our Co-Chairs – Carol and Heather for all of their efforts tonight as well as the many other volunteers who came out to support the evening.  Great job everyone!!

Stay tuned…there is a lot more to come!  This is really just the beginning for the Islanders By Choice Alliance.

We are the Islander by Choice Alliance!

Are you new to PEI?

Have you lived on PEI for a while and have difficulty integrating into your community?

Are you planning to come to PEI and want to set up some networks?

Are you and Islander who would like to make more connections?

If you answered YES to any of the above questions, our group may be of interest to you! We are a friendly alliance of people who choose to call PEI our home. Our goal is to host social events Island wide and offer support for people integrating into PEI communities.

This is a brand new initiative so we are looking for people who want to use our group as well as those who would like to help get it going. (Of course you can also do both!) If you moved to PEI and have been successful integrating into your community, we would love to hear from you to get some ideas of what our group can be doing for our members.
We have an Executive set up as well as some Committees that we are starting to develop and work on.
  • President: Carol O’Hanley
  • Vice President: Heather Wilson
  • Treasurer: Lori MacDonald
  • Secretary: Jodi LeBlanc
  • Director: Christine Gordon Manley
  • Director: Nancy Beth Guptill
  • Director: Jane Boyd
  • If you would like to help us in any capacity, please contact us. We will accept any contribution of time you are able to give us. If you would like to use our group to make new friends/connections, please join and stay tuned for upcoming events and additional information! We have received a tremendous response from the public for this type of support and expect it to grow quickly.

We all want that Island connection

With all the talk about the “ways” people can be Islanders I was interested in the comments that Gary left  about “IBB’s” – Islanders By Blood.


I want to congratulate you on taking the initiative to create a blog on this topic.

As a native islander who has always enjoyed the joys of my Hidden Island Paradise, there is just no thoughts about ever living long term anywhere but on P.E.I.

There are IBC’s and CFA’s but has anyone ever considered that there are IBB’s

Well my cousin Daphne who now lives in New Jersey thinks that there is.

If you have something to share then hop over to my blog and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Smiles :)


Here is part of Gary’s blog post on IBB’s

As we drove back through the beautiful hills of Calidonia Daphne began to tell me “you know” she said “to be an Islander, they say you have to be born here”. “If you were not born on Prince Edward Island then you are not an Islander” “yes” I replied but we have another term and it is “an Islander by Choice”. “No!” she exclaimed “I love it here and my son Eric and I, we are Islanders by blood!”.

I loved what Daphne had just said, with my good arm I reached into my case and pulled out our book “Prince Edward Island Tales 2nd edition” “Here Daphne” I said “this is for you!”

We concluded our brief tour back at Timmies in Montague. With a big hug, a promise to call her and a wave, she and Eric were off on their way back to Charlottetown to pick up uncle Everett who is like 94 and take him over to his son Wayne’s to meet even more of their cousins and extended family.

Family and family relationships are very important to the people of our Island. Now I learned just how important they are to extended family not born on the Island. Thank you Daphne!

So now there are three ways to be an Islander:

1. You could to be born on the Island.
2. You could be an Islander by choice.
3. You could be an Islander by blood.

So…let’s see – you can be an Islander or an Islander by Choice (or Circumstance) or an Islander by Blood.  Of course, then there are also people like me who are Part Time Islanders by Choice or as I have also been called an Honourary Islander.  Interesting.  So many ways that people are connected to PEI.  It is truly fascinating to me.  What stands out the most, though, is that we all seem to want that “connection”. People who were not born on PEI are still looking for a way to be defined as being truly part of the Island.