L’Arche Comox Valley is a community of people  with and without developmental disabilities  sharing their lives together. In L’Arche  we live, work, pray and learn from one another. We are invited to share fully in community life, to live a life that’s unique and help each other to discover one’s hidden gifts.

L’Arche Comox Valley has a home  Jubilee House, in Courtenay, British Columbia, a supported independent living program, for people living on their own. Our offices and studios are located in the I Belong Centre, where people come to participate in different activities such as beading, painting, and candle making. The I Belong Centre is also home to the Vanier Suites, a co-housing community comprising several core members who live semi-independently.

L’Arche is an international organization founded 50 years ago in France. L’Arche began in Canada in 1969, and local educational leader Lock Mawhinney and a group of dedicated volunteers created L’Arche Comox Valley in 2000. There are now 29 L’Arche communities spread across Canada from Vancouver Island to Cape Breton.

L’Arche Comox Valley is a Registered Canadian Charity # 89995-7351-RR0001; BC Registered Society # S0030771




L’Arche – an International Federation



map canadaL’Arche was created 50 years ago, and the Federation includes 145 communities in 40 countries on all five continents. There are 29 communities across  Canada and one right here on Vancouver Island in the Comox Valley.


 JEAN VANIER, a social visionary

Jean Vanier

Canadian humanitarian and social visionary, Jean Vanier, founded L’Arche in 1964 in a small rural village in France. Distressed by the institutionalization and the isolation and loneliness of people with intellectual disabilities, Jean Vanier invited two men from an institution to live with him in a small house. He called the house ”L’Arche,” a French word for ”the ark”. L’Arche grew quickly and spread around the world, attracting many young people who wanted to help and opening new homes and workshops. 50 Years later, L’Arche is now an International Federation of 145 L’Arche communities in over 40 countries around the world.


The essence of our communities is this ‘living with.’ We are called, certainly, to serve with all our ability and to help those who are weaker to develop, but the foundation of this helping is found in friendship and the communion of hearts, which allows us all to grow.
Jean Vanier, L’Arche founder 


L'Arche News

The Winter 2018 Activity Guide Is Here!
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REGISTRATION IS OPEN for Winter 2018 Activities! There’s something for everyone here, from birdhouse-building to yoga. And after a successful launch this fall, the Peas & Potatoes Cafe will be back too. We... Read More

“Sharing Side by Side” returns!
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Registration is open for SHARING SIDE BY SIDE! We welcome all seniors who’d like to tell their stories and enjoy social time with others. For information about the upcoming session, please click on... Read More