Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Society has joined forces with the Timber Framers Guild for a major build project that will enhance the appearance and functionality of a popular education and training center located on beautiful Hornby Island.  

Touted as the jewel of the Pacific, the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre (TBOEC) will soon have a fire-pit pavilion erected on its grounds, replacing the current open pit. 

A new covered structure will become the architectural focal point and enhance the setting and the environment of Tribune Bay. Added protection from hot sunny days and days of inclement weather will allow for year-round programming thus meeting a new mandate of the Society to increase use of the Centre.  

The fire-pit has become a historical gathering place over the past 29 years when the Centre first opened, according to Paul Berry, Director Health and Safety for Comox Valley School District and TBOEC instructor. 

“The fire pit at Tribune Bay has for years been a focal point for youth and adults alike. This is the greeting point, the daily meeting point, the muster station, the theatre, and a welcoming place for the evening ritual around the glow of the fire,” expressed Berry. “The addition of the pavilion structure will further enhance these experience and create deeper, lasting memories for decades to come for all visitors and for residents of Hornby Island.” 

Ground will break this September to begin this significant build led by Timber Framers Guild (TFG) who will manage the project and contribute several volunteer labour hours.   

“Our Guild partners with other non-profits to take on community building project of mutual interest, often those projects would not happen without the cooperative environment created to promote education and fostering of building with common purpose,” expressed Randy Churchill, TFG member and owner of Churchill Timberworks – a Comox Valley based timber framer.  

The project is made possible by the generous donations of several other contributing organizations including Timber West with a significant in-kind donation of cedar and fir timbers; SLEGG Lumber’s contribution of a crane truck and operator, and hardware; 32,000 lb. worth of foundation blocks from Hyland Precast; a monetary donation of $10k from The Comox Valley Community Foundation; financial assistance from the TBOEC’s  two governing organizations, Comox Valley and Qualicum School Districts; and by the tremendous support of the Hornby Island Community.  

As a special feature to the project, high school and post-secondary carpentry students will lend their skill and talent during a three-day “community build” phase planned for October.   

“We have realized that these projects really are more about ‘building community’ than building a structure; that just happens to be a great additional benefit,” shared Churchill. “Folks here in the Valley and on Hornby will be amazed at the skill level of volunteer attendees and the work ethic they bring.  This will be a very rewarding project for all involved.” 

“I extend my heartfelt thanks to the businesses, community groups and individuals that are contributing to this unique timber-frame project and helping extend the Tribune Bay Outdoor Education experience with our expanded year-round, all-ages mandate,” expressed Sheila McDonnell, Comox Valley School District Trustee. “I too have enjoyed many magical evenings, gathering round the fire with children, parents and teachers. Please contact us to get involved.” 

More sponsorship opportunities are available and needed to complete the fire-pit pavilion. Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Society in partnership with its governing organizations, Comox Valley and Qualicum School Districts, are calling on the community for support. To donate to the project or get involved please contact:  Rob Moore, TBOE Society President, ramglobaled@gmail.com   

For more information about Tribune Bay Outdoor Education Centre, visit tribunebayoutdoored.ca

For more information about Timber Framers Guild International, visit tfguild.org