Help Us Develop Our Property And Hang Out With Our Animals- British Columbia, Canada



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 Min stay requested: at least a week

  • Description


    We are Janice and David. We are in our mid-50’s. We own a small hobby farm of just over 4 acres in beautiful Fanny Bay, on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Our three grown children live elsewhere in western Canada. Over the years we have traveled quite extensively throughout North America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, but are now pretty tied to our hobby farm and business. We also have a bunch of chickens as well as 2 alpacas and 2 llamas that require lots of affection. We rescued the alpacas (Quia and Binky) almost two years ago. They were very neglected and diseased, and we are so happy to have nursed them back to good health. They have since been joined by two healthy llamas (Pearl and Abby). And we have one cat, Simon, who came out of the woods and adopted us. He is the one who is really in charge of the whole place. We also own a dog and cat boarding business. Volunteers will not be working for the business, but will have lots of opportunity to interact with the animals that are boarding with us.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    General Maintenance
    Cooking / shopping
    Help in the house
    Animal care
    Help with Computers / internet

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Volunteers will have the opportunity to learn about life on rural Vancouver Island, taking care of llamas, alpacas, and chickens, and spending time on a quiet beautifully forested property. We look forward to welcoming volunteers into our home and sharing our lives with them, while also learning about them.
    We keep busy on our property, but the pace in this part of Vancouver Island is slow. People stop and talk, especially when we’re walking the alpacas and llamas around the neighborhood.

  • Help


    We have made up a rather lengthy list of projects we would like help with. Some of these tasks can be accomplished in a day or less, while others are likely to take much longer.

    Some of the larger projects include clearing a walking trail in the forest around the perimeter of the property, various landscaping projects, and planting and maintaining a large garden.

    Smaller projects include helping around the house, power-washing, painting, chopping and stacking wood, harvesting and processing lavender, berry picking, cleaning up after the animals, and general maintenance around the property. We could also use some help with enhancing our internet and social media presence.

    David really enjoys photographing the dogs and cats that board with us when time allows, and would like some assistance with this.

    Janice enjoys working as a fibre artist: spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, and is happy to share her knowledge.

    Volunteers are expected to be friendly, honest, and respectful. While we are almost always on the property, volunteers should be able to work independently.
    You also need to love animals and be comfortable with being kissed by alpacas.
    We prefer volunteers to stay for a minimum of 1 week and to work a maximum of 25 hours a week. Longer stays are preferred.
    We are able to accept 2-3 volunteers at a time.

  • Languages spoken

    English: Fluent
    German: Beginner

  • Accommodation


    Volunteers will share a large private room. Our home only has one bath/shower, so that will be shared.
    Breakfast and lunch to be self-catered and expect that one would clean up after themselves. Dinner will be prepared and eaten together.
    We are open to shared cooking and are happy to discuss what works best.
    We do our best to accommodate dietary needs.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Bus service is available to our community from Nanaimo and Courtenay/Comox. The nearest bus stop to our place is in Buckley Bay. We would be happy to pick you up there.

    A 5-minute walk from our property gets you to hiking trails, a refreshing creek, the ocean, or the Fanny Bay Inn, a historic pub. The Denman and Hornby Island ferry terminal is 3 km away at Buckley Bay. These islands offer beautiful beaches, many hiking trails, wineries, and unique locally made arts and crafts. Rosewall Creek Provincial Park is a 5 minute drive away and Horne Lake Caves are within a 30 minute drive. Victoria is about 2.5 hours drive south, Tofino is about 2.5 hours west. Mount Washington, about 40 minutes to the north, offers excellent skiing and snowshoeing in winter and great hiking in the summer. There is limited local bus service, with a stop a few minutes walk from our place, which gets you to Courtenay (30 minutes). Tofino Bus and Island Link Bus companies travel throughout Vancouver Island and can be accessed from Buckley Bay. Depending upon our availability, we may be able to provide some transportation to area attractions. (David loves hiking and exploring the backcountry).
    Apart from the domestic animals that live with us, it is not uncommon to see eagles, deer, sea lions, seals, and whales in the area.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 25 hours a week

Photo of our dog kennels. I had to lock everyone in. It's not usually so neat and tidy.
Whaling Station Bay on Hornby Island.
David's Oysters Rockefeller with world famous Fanny Bay oysters.
Pearl the llama meeting alpacas Quia and Binky for the first time.
Using chainsaw mill to make cedar slabs.
Trail on back part of our property.
Simon inspecting the new firewood shed.
Eagle that visited one of the dead trees on our property.
The cattery where we board cats.
Sea lions at the Fanny Bay wharf.
Janice on the rocks at Tribune Bay, Hornby Island.
Using wood chipper to chip up brush piles.
David, with a couple of his toys.
Looking at the entrance to our property.
Bringing home Pearl and Abby for the first time.

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Host ref number: 449475331554