The famous people who have emerged from Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island has always historically been widely featured in movies that have been shown around the world. The X-Men films, Little Women and Fierce People have all been shot on location on the Island, and this has given the world an insight into the beautiful wilderness that is found in the region. Although the Island is only home to just over 770,000 people it has been the home to many people who have gone on to find fame in a variety of fields. It has also attracted people who have been born and raised elsewhere, but have chosen to move their home to the region.

Pamela Anderson to the rescue on Baywatch

Pamela Anderson to the rescue on BaywatchPamela Anderson was born in Ladysmith in 1967 and lived there for the first 21 years of her life. After moving to Vancouver she was discovered at a BC Lions Canadian Football League game where she was featured on the Jumbotron wearing a Labatt’s Beer t-shirt. After this she appeared on the cover girl on the Playboy’s magazine 1989 October issue. Inspired by this she moved to Los Angeles. Breast surgery resulted in several more Playboy appearances and she has appeared more times on its front cover more than any other model.

In 1992 she landed the role of C.J. Parker on Baywatch. She played the role for 5 years and brought her worldwide attention. She has also appeared in many other television series such as home Improvements, plus in feature films performing in Raw Justice and Barb Wire. Her personal life has seen her married on three occasions. Her most recent marriage was to the American Poker player Rick Solomon who as well as winning 2.8 million US dollars at a Poker event, also he was playing other card games, like preference, twenty-one. The marriage was annulled in 2015 but they remain very close friends.

Diana Krall with husband Elvis Costello

Diana Krall with husband Elvis CostelloSinger-song writer Diana Krall was born in Nanaimo in 1964. Known as the harbor city, it was Krall’s home until at the age of 15 she won a place at the Berklee College of music in Boston Massachusetts. She spent her early professional career playing jazz in LA clubs, before returning to Canada at the age of 29 to start he recording career. From 1993 her successful albums have seen her forge a flourishing career and she is now seen as one of the world’s leading female performers.

She has appeared and sung with Paul McCartney, Ray Charles and husband Elvis Costello, with whom she has twin sons born in 2006. In 2008 the Nanaimo Harbourfront Plaza was renamed the Diana Krall Plaza.

Nelly Furtado

Nelly FurtadoNelly Furtado was born in Victoria 1978 to Portuguese parents who had migrated to the Island in the late 1960’s. In the early years of her career she formed the trip hop duo with Tallis Newkirk but it wasn’t long before she was pursuing a solo career.

In 2000 she released her debut album “Whoa Nelly” which proved to be a great success, with it producing three hit singles “Free as a Bird”, “Turn off the Light” and “On the Radio (Remember the Days)”. This has led to even greater successes with her 3rd album “Loose” being her best-selling record. Her career has so far resulted in her selling over 40 million records and she has worked alongside Justin Timberlake and James Morrison. Her ethnic background has seen her even releasing albums in Spanish.

NBA Legend Steve Nash

NBA Legend Steve NashSteve Nash was born in South Africa in 1974, but when he was 18 months old his family relocated to Victoria. During his time at high school he played both soccer and rugby union but at height of 6 foot 3 inches he was a natural on the basketball court and he won a scholarship to Santa Clara University in 1992. During his time at the University the team had its most successful period ever and he broke many individual records. He eventually was drafted into the NBA playing for the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers.

In his professional career he played in 1217 games, and was selected for the NBA All Star team on 7 occasions, in which he was twice named as the most valuable player. He has the highest free throw stats of any player with a 90% success rate from the 1200 shots he attempted. Since retirement he formed the Steve Nash Foundation. It was given charitable status in 2004 aiming to promote children’s health by investing in sporting and other activities. He was responsible for the establishment of the Women’s Professional Soccer League in Canada and also getting the Vancouver Whitecaps entered into the MLS.

David Foster was born in Victoria in 1949. From an early age he was a talented keyboards player and in his late teens he moved to England with the band “the Strangers”. He later joined the “Skylarks” and in 1974 they moved to Los Angeles where he left the band to form “Airplay”. However, it was in producing records that Foster has achieved greater recognition. He has worked with Alice Cooper, Chaka Khan, Toni Braxton and Michael Buble, plus a host of other well-known artists, in which time he has won 16 Grammy Awards. He was the chairman of Verve Records between 1012 and 2016.

The Island has been the home to many people who have gone on to find fame.


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