Mill Bay is not in the VT database, so I place this insider tip on Vinyl Frontier here.
The shop is easy to find, once you know it. Just off the Trans-Canada Highway 1 at the junction with Shawnigan Bay Mill Rd about 1 km North of Mill Bay.
It's a small and friendly shop with interesting records, but no real rare ones. Quality is OK.
What to buy: Records
What to pay: Reasonable price
One of the things we often choose to bring back as a souvenir of a trip is a print or painting. These are easy and light to pack and carry, and once hung on the wall give us many happy memories of the place where we bought it. Vancouver Island is a great place to indulge this interest as there are lots of small galleries with interesting collections of local, especially native, art. Many of these can be found in the small towns such as Tofino (see my Tofino page) and Port McNeil, but there are also some in more rural areas such as Quadra Island.
What to buy: Driving south from Telegraph Cove to Campbell River one day we stopped by a small shop/café near Sayward to buy cold drinks, and spotted a gallery sharing the same parking lot. Wandering in for a browse around, with no real intention of buying anything, our attention was caught by the display of paintings by Garnet Tobacco, a Cree artist from Manitoba. We knew nothing about his work but the paintings really appealed to us so we bought one, which now hangs at the top of our stairs and reminds us of a great holiday every time we pass it.
A bit of research on our return also told me that we’d got a bargain. Tobacco is quite a sought-after artist and it seems his paintings regularly sell for around double what we paid. I think the out of the way location may have been a factor in keeping the price down, but in any case I love the painting and am really glad we happened to stop there and chance upon it!
What to pay: Original art works start at about $100 but something by a well-known artist like Garnet Tobacco will probably be at least double that
The local brew on this island is Vancouver Islander Lager. They have a couple of different varities out. I brought back the brand in the picture for friends and they say it is actually quite good.
What to pay: It costs about the same as the average priced beer.