What seems like the edge of civilization, sits a logging town with a population of nearly 200. But don’t let the size mislead you, when it comes to a good time, Holberg is certainly on the map.
The Scarlet Ibis Pub & Restaurant has held a special part in Holberg’s heart for just over 30 years. Its rustically cozy decor, and incredible food, has allowed the Ibis to become the social epicentre of the logging town, a place for all to share common ground.
The Ibis’ owner Pat Gwynne, said that it’s her pleasure to provide such an option for her community. Gwynne has lived in Holberg for over 30 years and has seen much change in the community, from the days of the settlement being the site of a major radar station, as a part of the “Pine Tree” line, to numerous washouts from heavy rainfall, leaving them cut off from the rest of the island.
An event that signifies the spirit of Holberg the most, in Gwynne’s opinion, was when a major landslide in 2010 cut off the community for nearly 10 days. During the emergency, residents gathered in the Ibis for sandwiches, electricity, and eventually regular potlucks.
Falling at the middle or end of March is an evening event that has become something of a tradition in Holberg. Signifying the rotation out of town by Bivouac West Contracting a tree planting company, the evening is held in celebration, not only of the turning of a seasonal chapter, but to thank the community for their hospitality.
The Ibis has played host to this event for the past 10 years. Music for the evening, has in one way or another featured, Alert Bay resident, Deborah Guillory on vocals, along with a world-class band.
This year saw former touring drummer for K.C. and the Sunshine Band Tony Telfer join, Mike Garvis, on bass guitar and Andre Kauffman on guitar.
“I think the most important thing about this gig is not just about us musicians getting together, but it’s about the people in Holberg getting together. Planters, loggers, and everybody else to get together here and have a good time.
“Year after year this is why we keep coming back,” Guillory said.
Social scientists refer to a place in a community that holds the designation as the “Third Place”, which together with home and work make up the three primary places that people occupy on a day-to-day basis.
They consider this Third Place to be an essential aspect of any community, large or small.
It is often cited as a place for fellowship over food and drink, and in many cases provides an opportunity for healthy civil discourse.
In many ways, the Scarlet Ibis fits this mould as the Third Place and allows for Holberg citizens and visitors to mingle and enjoy some much-deserved downtime.