It was while posted in Tofino, through his friendship with artist Roy Vickers, that Ed rediscovered his love of art. He partnered with Roy and created a painting to honour fallen RCMP member Mike Buday, murdered on Teslin Lake in 1985, and organized the inaugural Vision Quest “Grandfather Journey” by canoe from Hazelton to Victoria, a distance of 1,000 miles. These projects raised funds to launch the first VisionQuest Recovery Centre. Ed’s engagement was the culmination of three driving forces in his life, his love of art, his personal experience with addiction and recovery and his desire to help change the way that RCMP and indigenous people think of each other.
Ed credits his passion for building a healthy and caring community to his experience building relationships essential to succeed in his policing role. He saw first-hand the important impact committed volunteers make in building community in small towns.
He became the founding organizer of the first “PULLING TOGETHER” canoe journey in 2001 where police and government public service agencies partnered with First Nation Communities. PULLING TOGETHER was created to improve relationships between police and the indigenous community. Sixty participants embarked on that inaugural 7-day canoe journey from Yale, finally arriving on the shores of warm and welcoming Gibsons. The goal was simple: reconciliation by learning and understanding each other’s cultures. It was a powerful journey for Ed who summed it up saying “this is the culture our ancestors tried to suppress, now all these years later, this is the culture magically bringing us all together again”. The event was symbolic as “the canoe doesn’t move without everyone pulling together”.
Ed’s love of the canoe inspired him to initiate the first Howe Sound Outrigger Race which led to the creation of the Gibsons Paddle Club in 1999. The club has grown to in excess of 125 members, and presently boasts multiple canoes and associated gear at its permanent home at Gibsons Marina. Ed continues to share his passion for paddling with our community by volunteering for SD46, as well as organizations supporting addiction and recovery. Ed helps local Indigenous youth master big canoe paddling and provides inspiring canoe experiences for people working hard to recover from addictions.
In 2022, the Town of Gibsons presented Ed with a Community Excellence Award for his leadership in creating Citizens on Patrol and Business Watch initiatives and his service on the Police Committee as the town contemplated its eventual transition to the next tier of policing.
Today, Ed continues his artwork and mentors aspiring artists. As an ardent supporter of Sunshine Coast artists, he hosts the local television “Artist in the House” program showcasing more than 45 Artists over the last 20 years. For 25 years he has volunteered as auctioneer for countless not-for-profit organizations helping to raise valuable funds to support community programming including for Gibsons Community Building Society.
We applaud Ed Hill, his service to community and his commitment to bringing us all together.
Once again, our Gala will be a hybrid experience with a limited number of seats at the Market and multiple locations joining virtually.
Choose the full Gala experience and enjoy a gourmet meal provided by Emelle’s Market Bistro delivered in personalized packaging, along with a signature cocktail, and wine!
All you need to participate virtually is a ticket and access to a device (Smart TV, computer, laptop, iPad, tablet, or smart phone) with an internet connection. Prior to the event, one of our dedicated staff or volunteers will walk you through set-up.
Our Gala would not be possible without the wonderful support of Volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering for this event please follow this link.
This event brings together caring sponsors, donors, guests, and volunteers who share our values and are looking to make a real impact in the lives of Coastal residents and visitors alike, showcasing the Sunshine Coast and supporting community economic development.