Quadra Island designer, print maker, graphic artist and ‘rural community enthusiast’ Robyn Mawhinney will be running for Regional Director in Electoral Area C (Discovery Islands and Mainland Islets) on October 15, 2022.

The incumbent Jim Abram, who has been a director since 1988, recently announced he will not seek another term.

Mawhinney explained, “I have been speaking with a lot of neighbours and community members, and I have heard that it is time for generational change. I am deeply committed to this area, the community and the land. And I want our community and Area C to continue being led by islanders, with island values.”

Image credit: Map of Area C – courtesy SRD website

She was born in Black Creek and moved to Quadra Island 28 years ago. Mawhinney raised her children on Quadra, built a farm, and has worked on a variety of professional and passion projects.

She served on the boards of several local organizations. Mawhinney was a founding team member of the Quadra Island Fall Fair and also served on the board of the Quadra Island Children’s Centre.

“I call myself a rural community enthusiast because I really appreciate the community that we have and the energy that it has. There’s lots of ways to be engaged,” said Mawhinney.

“I am currently on the trails committee, which is great because I also call myself a lover of the wilds. I do really love forests and outdoors, and I find soul medicine in the forest and I love building trails. Making them even better or creating trails for folks to have opportunities to access the wild which can increase people’s understanding and love of those places.”

After completing a Tourism Management Program at North Island College, Mawhinney went on to work for several local companies. She has been the in-house designer and marketer of the Heriot Bay Inn and currently sits on the executive as secretary. She has also brought her creative touch to local companies like the Gathering Place and Tantrum Seafood.

Salish Sea dreamscape greeting card – from Discothistle

“I think that working as a designer, I’ve learned that collaboration yields better results. And I will be bringing that philosophy with me into my role as director, if I get it,” stated Mawhinney.

She added, “Many folks probably know me as  Robyn Discothistle. That’s the name that I’ve been using for my art practice for quite a few years, and also most of my social media handles.”

Mawhinney sells her prints through the internet and at the Quadra Island Farmers Market.

She said the top three issues people mention are housing, emergency services availability, and community engagement.

“I’ve heard from many folks that they would appreciate more engagement and communication with the Director so that it can feel like we are making community based decisions.”

“Something that I’m very keen to do, if, or when I am elected would be to establish an Advisory Planning Commission. It’s something that is already happening on Cortes and also in Area D. I really appreciate the concept and of an Advisory Planning Commission. I’ve talked to people that are surprised that’s even an option. I think that as a director, having community input would be really helpful and  it really connects with a diverse spectrum of Islanders to give input on development or land use decisions.  It’s really important for our community to be able to be engaged in that way.”

Q/Why should we vote for you?

“I’m prepared to take on challenges and stand up for what’s right. I have a lot of energy and enthusiasm and commitment to this community. I’ve lived here for a really long time, and I’m really deeply committed to our community area, the land and the land.”

Upcoming broadcasts with Robyn Mawhinney will deal with:

  • Quadra Island’s housing crisis
  • emergency services

Top image credit: Robyn Mawhinney – submitted photo