Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Treasures on Vancouver Island’s Oceanside beaches

The event is the creation of Karena Lawrence, glass artist and owner of Smashin’ Glass & Anything Art Co.

A picture showing the beach with the tide out, there a large sandy area with pockets of water that goes on until it reaches the ocean.
Rathtrevor Beach campground, a jewel of B.C.'s provincial parks. — Photo courtesy Parksville & District Chamber of Commerce

Visitors to Parksville and Qualicum’s beaches often find small treasures—rocks, shells and the occasional piece of beach glass. But beachcombers are also invited to keep an eye out for something truly special nestled among the rocks, sand and seaweed.

Karena Lawrence, glass artist and owner of Smashin’ Glass & Anything Art Co. created the annual Finders Keepers event in 2011 to give treasure hunters another reason to explore Oceanside’s beautiful coastline.

Lawrence creates and hides fused glass “stones” and starfish along the beach, each numbered and one of a kind.

“When you find a glass stone or starfish, call Smashin’ Glass to register and we will add your name to the list of registered finders,” said Lawrence. “Some numbers are selected at random to receive additional prizes, so registering is really important.”

Glass stones and starfish may be found above and below the high tide line, but never in or on cliffs or dangerous areas.

“Please be aware of beach safety,” said Lawrence. “Never turn your back on the ocean!”

The free event is open to locals and travellers and runs May 1 to Labour Day. Treasures are placed weekly along the public beaches from Rathtrevor in Parksville and the waterfront area in Qualicum Beach.

“It’s the perfect combination of art and the outdoors, and a great opportunity to start a new family tradition,” said Lawrence. “I started it because I’ve lived here my whole life and wanted to give back to the community.”

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