Denman Island offers lots of fun at our festivals, fairs, and tours. Connect with yourself by taking one of the many wellness classes or healing treatments. Connect with nature by hiking our forest trails or enjoying our many beaches. There’s plenty to keep bodies and minds engaged and active.
Denman’s year-round population of approximately 1,100 is an eclectic mix of artists, farmers, retirees, and progressive-minded people seeking a rural lifestyle in a beautiful environment that includes forests, lakes, orchards, parks, and rocky shorelines.
Nature and Recreation
Denman Islanders treasure their natural land and marine environments and work tirelessly to protect and restore them. They enjoy the outdoors with a wide variety of land and water-based activities that include vigorous endeavours such as kayaking or circumnavigating the island by bicycle as well as restful walks to watch birds and wildlife. There are also lots of indoor recreation activities. Pickleball, anyone? Table tennis? Basketball? Bring it on!
Arts and Entertainment
Denman Island is populated with artists, craftspeople, musicians and authors who share their work through stores, studios and a wide variety of events. Prominent authors from across Canada read and teach workshops at the annual Denman Island Readers and Writers Festival (July) while events such as the Pottery Studio Tour (May), Artists Studio Tour (August), and Christmas Craft Fair (December) offer opportunities to view and buy unique, hand-crafted works.
Health and Wellness
Denman Island is noted for its rejuvenating, stress-free atmosphere. Practitioners in a myriad of healing arts provide treatments that promote health and well-being while the Hermitage offers meditation and yoga retreats. Classes in yoga, Tai Chi and Nia welcome drop-in participants for gentle yet powerful workouts.
Markets, Gardens and Food
Islanders love to garden, growing flowers, fruit and vegetables. Residents joke that they only lock their cars in the summer to prevent over-zealous and overwhelmed gardeners from off-loading surplus crops of tomatoes and zucchini! Island gardens are so renowned that the Denman Island Home and Garden Tour (held every two years to raise funds for the Denman Conservancy Association) regularly draws approximately 1,500 visitors.
The rest of the year, look for garden, farm and orchard bounty at the Saturday Market (held from mid-May through the Thanksgiving weekend) or at farm market gates that dot the island. Denman’s gardeners and food producers are also celebrated at events such as the annual Blackberry Faire (Labour Day Saturday), the Mushroom Festival (October) and Applefest (October).
Denman Island Today
The Denman General Store and the Denman Island Community Hall have been the hub of island life since their construction in 1908 and 1912 respectively. These buildings and the century-old Denman Guesthouse on Denman Road anchor what is known (tongue-in-cheek) as “Downtown Denman” or Denman Village.
This core area also includes the Denman Island Community School, the Denman Island Activity Centre, a book store, hardware store with coffee shop, a clothing/gifts shop, the Denman Art Centre, St. Saviour’s Anglican Church, a co-operatively run craft shop, three real estate offices, and an insurance brokerage.
Outside the core, further east on Denman Road, you’ll find the Denman Island United Church and Denman Island Chocolate (which doesn’t have a sign but does welcome visitors by appointment).
Denman Island has a weekly news and advertising newsletter called the Grapevine, a volunteer-run monthly newsletter called the Flagstone, a community radio station Tree Frog Radio (89.1 FM, official call letters: DIRT-FM), and several active online groups, including the Denman Island Open Bulletin Board on Facebook. (And don’t forget to “like” the Visit Denman Island Facebook page!)
The Denman Island Museum in the Denman Island Activity Centre is open daily in July and August or by appointment by contacting Jackie Hipwell at 250-335-1110 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The museum acquires, preserves and exhibits information relating to early human settlement of the land and to the marine area surrounding Denman Island.
Denman is a relatively small island (approximately 51 square kilometres or 19 square miles) separated from the east-central coastline of Vancouver Island by Baynes Sound. The island is approximately 19 kilometres (12 miles) long and 6.5 kilometres (4 miles) wide.
Denman features a mix of farmland, apple orchards, residential lots and forest. There are arbutus and second-growth western red cedar and Douglas-fir groves and also some of the original forest of the Coast Douglas-fir biogeoclimactic zone. Only one per cent of this eco-system remains in its natural state in Canada. Visitors may enjoy it at the Lindsay-Dickson Nature Reserve.
Denman Island enjoys mild and largely dry weather in spring, summer and fall. Most rainfall occurs from November through January. The closest Environment Canada weather station at Comox Airport records average regional summer highs in the mid 20°C range (70°F) and winter lows a few degrees above freezing.