“Since start-up loans for small tourism business are unavailable from traditional banks, we sought and received funding from Community Futures Central Island”

Angie and Bruce Barnard
Painted Turtle Guesthouse

Website: paintedturtle.ca

In 2003, Angie and Bruce Barnard purchased the Painted Turtle Guesthouse, a European-style accommodation located in the heart of downtown Nanaimo. The couple devoted 11 years to the hotel/hostel, committing hard work and innovation to grow and develop the award-winning business that now serves local and international community members, before successfully selling the business.

Community support turned ideas into opportunities for the two entrepreneurs. Since start-up loans for small tourism businesses are unavailable from traditional banks, the two sought and received funding from Community Futures Central Island along with 15 locals making it a true community effort.

The heritage property began as a large undertaking with major internal and external renovations needed. Currently, the Guesthouse is a 24-7 operation with five permanent staff who manage reception, groups/events, housekeeping, and business development for the world travelers, sports teams, tourists, and local/travelling business representatives it hosts. The hard work has paid off as they has earned national recognition as best in-class for its accommodation style.