Get to know us... Islander Ben Smith

Ben Smith is a sociable fellow. Over the course of his lifetime in Prince Edward Island, his work has often been both hands-on and convivial. Now, as the founder and official "greeter" at Enchanted Candles in Victoria-by-the-Sea, Ben Smith seems to be in his element. "Most of our customers are return customers," says Ben. "They just seem to enjoy a nice visit." That unhurried atmosphere in the tiny charming confines of the Enchanted Candles shop is certainly attractive to many visitors to Victoria, who find the village is perfectly suited to wandering from cafes and pubs to craft shops and galleries. "Victoria really is my favourite place," says Ben. "When I lookat the changing light on the waves in the harbour, and I see the villagers out in their yards or making rounds, I know I live in a special place."

Victoria-by-the-Sea, as the name makes clear, is located on Northumberland Strait just a mile from the TransCanada Highway. Ben first moved to Victoria after brother Erskine became involved in the summer theatre, Victoria Playhouse. Ben's family is now active in the candle business, and as "greeter" he may be found, in his words, "dawdling and making more friends." People come back year after year, and one customer last season even transported her five-year-old candle all the way from Alberta for some minor repairs. Maybe the candles really are enchanted...

Ben's Tips

Well, I would recommend a visit to Victoria-by-the-Sea. It really is a fine place to just park your car and take a walk around town, and of course visit me in the candle shop! Also take in a show at the Playhouse – you can easily spend a whole day in the village. How to Make an Enchanted Candle: It's possible to create your own candle at Ben's shop. By "a mysterious power of physics" (in Ben's words) the blanks are created from hot wax fused with red sand from the Victoria shore. Customers carve their own designs, then pick their filler wax colour and scent to create a candle that can be repeatedly refilled and last forever.