Written By:

Joy Davis

Current Rock of Residence:

Vancouver Island

Island Girl Since:


Originally Hails From:

Various West Coast islands, though her favourite is Bath Island.

Joy Davis has always lived on islands – although hers are on British Columbia’s wild West Coast rather than in the Caribbean. She was born in a small logging town on Vancouver Island and lived with her family on such islands and coastal outposts as Haida Gwaii and the Sunshine Coast. The whole family was surprised to find itself living in Vancouver in the late ‘50s – but that didn’t last long. One weekend when she was 10, her parents bought a small unoccupied island in BC’s Gulf Island and life was never quite the same again. They began the grand adventure of making a home and a life away from the conveniences of the city. The experience of helping build houses and docks, clearing trails, digging clams, collecting endless boxes of firewood, commuting to school in a nearby town by boat, and messing around on the water gave her an enduring love for islands and island life.

Joy went on to earn an MA in museum studies and a PhD in educational studies and has recently retired from the University of Victoria where she thoroughly enjoyed a career managing cultural heritage programs for many years before taking on the role of Director of Community Relations. Because she continues to be fascinated by intrepid people who choose island lifestyles, she recently wrote a book entitled, Complicated Simplicity: Island Life in the Pacific Northwest (Heritage House Publishing 2019). The opportunity to visit small islands, meet wonderful people, share stories, and reflect on the complications of their simple lifestyles has been wonderful. There are days when Joy wonders how she came to live a normal city life (Vancouver Island is pretty big) and is glad that she and her husband can escape to visit friends on small islands on their sailboat whenever they want.

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