Maybe the Beatles were right: Expanding the idea of celebrating Feb. 14

I proclaim the West Coast of Vancouver Island the Valentine’s Day Capital of the World.

The timing is right for the announcement; Friday is Valentine’s Day, 2014, the latest annual tribiute to the saint reportedly martyred for either performing marriages of those once forbidden to marry and/or comforting the persecuted. Either way, Valentine was one nice guy.

However the ball got rolling, there’s something positively Cupidic about the mist rising over the ocean and the islands and the mountains here on teh West Coast of Vancouver Island.

I have my own very good reasons to say, unequivocally, that Valentine’s Day is not just about the romantic love stuff often attributed to mischievous matchmaker Cupid, that cherubic prince of affection and desire.

Valentine’s Day is bigger than that. it’s even more than the Hot Springs Cove boardwalk proposal tenderly hewn in wood we wrote about in the Westerly last year – or the scores more documented by the local bed-and-breakfast industry It’s more than the landmarks -like the 35th anniversary celebrated this week by Mayor Bill Irving and his wife Laurel (Congratulations, you two. ) It’s more than the wedding planners whose visions of white veils against a blue surf backdrop lead them to plan destination weddings here. (And from what I hear, the destination wedding business is booming. We’re way closer, for prospective brides and grooms, then, say, Fiji or Hawaii or even Mexico. We’ve got the beaches, the wind-swept trees, the rocks, the stunning vistas and the wonderful romantic getaways to make a perfect wedding day or romantic retreat all happen.

This place sweeps me off my feet, all the time.) It’s even more than a commercial film crew flocking to the rugged seaside beauty of Ucluelet this week, bringing their boom mics and all sorts of expertise to capture the thrill of a man’s return to his wife after going to sea. (See Page 18 for THAT.) It’s much more than all those things.

The West Coast is the new Valentines Capital of the World because it’s the ultimate scenic backdrop for all kinds of affection – the devotion people feel for their pets, their children, their best friends, their favourite authors, their most cherished causes.

I come very close to adhering to the Beatles’ song philosophy that “All you need is love.”

And I love the idea of a day that celebrates love – and I’m here to push the expansion of the concept, whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, a family person or a solo traveller.

I say all of these forms of affection can claim Valentine’s Day, West Coast style.

There’s no sweeter spot to give your dog a pet snack and a kiss, or to remind someone over dinner you really connect with that you love being their friend.

Send some lovely posies to your bestie. Read a book to your kids, maybe something like Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever.

Let’s open this day up! Tell them now, tell them on Valentine’s Day.

There are dozens of ways to do this, and I thank our advertisers (who we love for making this newspaper possible! Love THAT.) for showing us some right in these pages.

And while I’m at it, have we mentioned lately how much we love that you read the Westerly? LOVE that.

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