Reopening Northern Bliss Spa heavenly

 By Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle, September 23 2022

After three months of intense renovations, Northern Bliss Spa has reopened in Port Hardy’s Thunderbird Mall.

Owned by aesthetician Savannah Hobson, Northern Bliss was formerly located on Granville Street. 

Then the pandemic hit.

With her husband working in camp, and homeschooling her children, operating a storefront business “just wasn’t viable, so I worked in my basement for the last couple of years.”

Savannah had a massage therapist coming up for clients on a regular basis which meant on those days she had to take time off from offering her own services.

She also had piercer David Grainger who needed space.

“So, with everybody joining the team, I needed a bigger space,” and the new shop in the mall beside Save-on Foods was the perfect solution.

Savannah took over the space formerly used by NVIAS and the first thing that had to go was the blue, yellow and green floor tiles.

“I had to get rid of that daycare floor,” she said.

Except for framing, plumbing, and electrical, “my mom (Carol Chambers) and I, we’ve done 99 per cent of the renovations in here like the painting, the pallets (feature walls) the designing.”

They also mapped out areas for Savannah’s own services as well as for a hairdresser, and the body piercer - whose space is currently getting public health certified.

The space for the registered massage therapist, who visits once a month, will be more of a fluid room to allow other specialists to come up to the North Island to offer services that aren’t readily available here.

“I would like to eventually get in Botox, acupuncture, etc.” Savannah herself does all the aesthetics such as manicures, pedicures, lashes, sugaring hair removal, threading, and hair extensions. 

Bailey Perkovich just joined the team as an aesthetics apprentice. 

Her hair stylist, Deborah Penning has now moved up from Campbell River.

With elegant lighting, soothing beachy colours, and items pulled from the outdoors, Savannah gets her interior design inspiration from North Island nature.

“Nature is the best therapy out there” and she has focused on bringing it inside to create a relaxing and calming environment.

Savannah and her family have currently been living on the North Island for six years, although they purchased a home here 12 years ago.

They moved down island for a while so that Savannah could complete her education then moved back.

“I love the North Island. It’s home now.”

Savannah took the paper off the windows and opened Northern Bliss Spa Sept. 13.

“There’s lots that we still have to complete, and a lot of services that we still have to add. It’s just getting it there and puttering away at it.” 

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Photo —Kathy O'Reilly

Owned by aesthetician Savannah Hobson, Northern Bliss Spa has reopened in Port Hardy’s Thunderbird Mall.

Society provides free books, food and learning

 By Trish Weatherall, North Island Eagle, September 23 2022

rganization, Mount Waddington Family Literacy Society (MWFLS), is raising awareness about literacy and raising funds to support community-based learning programs. 

“Literacy Month is a chance for us to celebrate our successes, promote literacy awareness and fund raise to ensure the future of local literacy programs,” says Leslie Dyck, literacy outreach coordinator at MWFLS.  She is one of 100 literacy practitioners working around the province to provide literacy support that is tailored for the local communities’ needs.  “This year, we celebrated Literacy Month at the Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair with literacy activities, Mother Goose, and each child that came through our booth received a free book and a Society bag, bookmark and sticker. We also had great support for our literacy socks fundraising sale.”  Since 2008, MWFLS has worked with communities, schools and organizations to support literacy and learning on North Vancouver Island. It provides free learning programs, training, books and resources for all ages covering 10 communities in the Region of Mount Waddington. 

Books in children’s hands

An ongoing theme of the Society is ‘to get books into children’s hands.’ Last year, they handed out more than 500 free books to children at community events like Vancouver Island Regional Library’s magic party reading program kickoff as well as through their own programs and events like Family Literacy Kits, Literacy on the Land, and Come Read with Me parent workshops.

Collaborating to address local needs

Along with core programs The Literacy Bus, Mother Goose on-the-Go, and reading tutor programs for elementary school students and adults, the Society looks to fill learning gaps in local communities.  Last year, MWFLS connected and collaborated with 38 organizations to identify needs and deliver a variety of programs and resources supporting a range of literacies – from helping workers learn to use a computer (digital literacy) to seniors’ health (health literacy) to cooking classes (food literacy) and coordinating funding and selection for free education assistant training to local applicants.  It’s all made possible through grants and donations. In addition to the provincial funding for the society’s part-time employees, from August 2021 to July 2022, the society applied for and received four grants totalling over $125,000, including major contributions from PacificCARE Child Resources Society, United Way BC, Public Health Agency of Canada and Decoda Literacy Solutions. “Our organization continues to be invited to be a partner on grant applications and support programs,” says Leslie. “Participants in our programs told us that our actions made a difference in their lives, especially toward food literacy skills, mental health support and increased access to resources.” 

 What's food got to do with it? 

Partnering with the Mount Waddington Community Food Initiative, Leslie also recently received United Way food hub funding.  “Food security and food literacy continue to be priorities in North Island communities,” says Leslie. 

Leslie Dyck at Fall Fair MWFLS booth - Sept 10, 2022.jpg

Photo — Submitted

Leslie Dyck, literacy outreach coordinator for the Mount Waddington Family Literacy Society, was at the Fall Fair to celebrate Literacy Month with free books, literacy activities and literacy socks for sale.