Power of Place

In a fast-paced and interconnected world, our sense of place often becomes diluted or overshadowed by the demands of modern life. Yet, at the core of our existence, there is a primal need to belong, to feel rooted in a specific geographic location that holds significance and meaning. This profound and often overlooked concept, known as the "sense of place," shapes our identity, fosters a deeper connection with nature, and enriches our overall well-being. 

Sense of place encompasses the emotional and psychological attachment individuals develop towards a particular geographical area. It encompasses the intricate web of experiences, memories, and interactions that shape our understanding of a specific locale. Whether it is our birthplace, a cherished childhood landscape, or a destination that resonates with our soul, sense of place evokes a profound sense of belonging and connection.

Although our guests here at Farewell Harbour Lodge are typically only with us for a short time, one of our main goals is to help each and every one of them experience a connection to place. We call it the "Power of Place". We talk about Power of Place frequently here at the lodge but we wanted to break the concept down and give some examples of how we help foster sense of place here.

Cultural and Historical Context


Culture and history play pivotal roles in shaping our sense of place. The narratives, traditions, and collective memories of a community or region become intertwined with the physical environment, imbuing it with a sense of significance and identity. Ancient landmarks, architectural marvels, traditional practices, and local folklore contribute to the rich tapestry that defines a place, evoking a sense of continuity and grounding individuals in their cultural heritage.

Here in our region, the KwakwakaŹ¼wakw Indigenous people have lived connected to the land and sea for millenia. Although we are a non-Indigenous owned business, we seek to honour their long presence in this region by connecting our guests with Indigenous people who can tell their own stories and speak of their own past, present and future here. Over the last 200 years we have a settler history that has also contributed to the tapestry of culture here, including a Finnish utopian colony on nearby Malcolm Island, a Japanese workforce who settled in nearby Telegraph Cove to work in the local sawmills and a turn-of-the-century Danish settlement on Northern Vancouver Island in the town of Holberg. 

Here on Berry Island, the Davis family built a small homestead in the 1950's (where our staff now live during the season). The land changed hands several times in the intervening years before the Weaver family built Farewell Harbour Lodge in 1985. Paul Weaver, the patriarch, ran the lodge well into his 80's. The McGrady and Brockway families purchased the property and lodge in 2016 and now steward the property with much TLC.

Ecological Connection


 Sense of place extends beyond human constructs to include our relationship with the natural world. The landscapes, ecosystems, and biodiversity that surround us form an integral part of our sense of place. Whether it is the rolling hills, pristine beaches, lush forests, or expansive deserts, these environments have the power to evoke awe, inspire contemplation, and provide a deep sense of connection with the larger web of life. Our ecological connection fosters a responsibility to protect and preserve these natural spaces for future generations.

Our region is a truly an incredible biological epi-centre which helps our guests forge this ecological connection. Here in front of the lodge in Johnstone Strait, the Pacific Ocean is literally squeezed between Vancouver Island and the maze of islands around us called the Broughton Archipelago. This squeeze play against the Pacific Ocean creates some of the strongest current activity on the BC coast. The current activity, in turn, drives powerful nutrient cycling attracting all manner of wildlife including the charismatic Orca and Humpback whales. The region also boasts hundreds of rivers where wild salmon build 'redds' to lay their eggs. The salmon bring hungry grizzly bears and the consequent salmon carcasses bring a natural,  nitrogen rich fertilization process to the riparian ecosystems. 

Personal Experience and Identity


Our personal experiences profoundly shape our sense of place. The places we grow up in, explore, and call home become woven into the fabric of our identity. The sights, sounds, smells, and textures leave indelible imprints on our memories and shape our perception of the world. The sense of place becomes an anchor, grounding us amidst the ebb and flow of life, offering solace, and reminding us of who we are and where we come from.

Although many of our guests are only here for a short period of time, we aim to treat all of them as family, doing our best to help them see this place as we do - with a sense of reverence and wonder, with joy and curiosity. We help our guests truly experience the sights, the sounds, the smells and the textures of this place. 

Nurturing Sense of Place


In a world of constant change and mobility, nurturing our sense of place is essential. We can foster this connection by engaging in activities that deepen our understanding and appreciation of our surroundings. Exploring local cultures,  immersing ourselves in nature, supporting local businesses, and practicing sustainable lifestyles are all ways to forge a stronger bond with our sense of place. By actively engaging with and investing in our environments, we cultivate a profound sense of stewardship and ensure the preservation of the places we hold dear.

This is what we mean by "The Power of Place" at Farewell Harbour Lodge! 

You can also check out our Power of Place video!

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