Dancing in Gumboots

Adventure, Love & Resilience: Women of the Comox Valley

Edited by Lou Allison

with Jane Wilde

A   B C   B E S T S E L L E R

After the extraordinary success of Gumboot Girls comes the sequel anthology, Dancing in Gumboots. Having relocated to Comox, Jane encountered a new group of women who travelled to the Comox Valley in the 1970s. Fascinated by their stories, Lou Allison and Jane Wilde return to their dynamic partnership to bring us an anthology that shines a light on these trailblazing women and their unique stories.

The 1970s was a time of intense cultural shifts for women all over North America. Freedom from traditional gender roles and expectations encouraged widespread relocation of young women seeking adventure and meaning, often migrating from urban to rural locations. The agricultural area of the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island offered a unique opportunity to these young women. Dancing in Gumboots collects the stories of thirty-two women who traveled from around North America to Vancouver Island, eventually settling in and around the Comox Valley. The young women who chose the agricultural Vancouver Island area to make their homes, showcase the personal challenges and struggles arising from such radical change.


If you’re looking for the precursor to Dancing in Gumboots, go check out Gumboot Girls

Table of Contents 

Editor’s Note, Lou Allison
Introduction, Jane Wilde
“Hippies, Homesteads and Hubris,” Roberta De Doming
“Pies, Pottery and Peace,” Patti Willis
“Trusting Our Instincts,” Peggy Kabush
“Deep Roots,” Sandy Kennedy
“I Used to Say I Was a Hippie,” Susan Holvenstot
“Merville Musings,” Gerri Minaker
“The Island, 1971,” Sally Gellard
“Finding Home,” Cara Tilston
“Early Childhood Education in the Comox Valley,” Lee Bjarnson
“I Kept Coming Back,” Devaki Johnson
“Follow the Tarvy Road,” Rosemary Vernon
“Journey to the River,” Jackie Sandiford
“I Took the Scenic Routes,” Monika Terfloth
“How Did I Get Here?,” Susan Sandland
“Life Unfolding,” Sue Wheeler
“The Story I’m Compelled to Share,” Anne Davis
“Building an Unexpected Life,” Nonie Caflisch
“A Determined Feminist,” Denise Nadeau
“Merville, My Home,” Olive Scott
“Thin Tin,” Phyllis Victory
“Embracing Change,” Linda Rajotte
“Beyond the Valley,” Brenda Dempsey
“All My Relations,” Gloria Simpson
“Roots: A Story of Migration and Community,” Jeanine Maars
“A Shared Journey,” Marguerite Masson
“Back to What Land?,” Judy Norbury
“Thirteen Houses,” Linda Safford
“Re-membering,” Ardith Chambers
“My Island Story,” Linda Deneer
“Quest for Community,” Josephine Peyton
“Home is Where the Heart Is,” Gwyn Sproule
“Beneath the Glacier in Blue,” Lynda Glover