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Cycling Victoria photographer a sensation for sharing urban jewels

The Artful Peddlar is popular online and recently released a calendar
Angela Gabaldon is The Artful Peddler – particularly popular online for her Urban Jewels collection of images showcasing beauty around Victoria. She’s also the artist who created this little free library look. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

Hailing from a time and place where kids were relegated to the outdoors during daylight hours, Angela Gabaldon still thrives outdoors and likes to share her perspective.

Gabaldon is The Artful Peddlar – popular online for her Urban Jewels collection of images.

Jewels is her latest two-wheeled crush in a lifelong affair with bikes.

The Victoria photographer, yogi and avid cyclist has been a road rider, a racer, a spin instructor, a group rider and a mountain biker.

She’s a lifelong bike commuter who moved to Victoria six years ago.

“People joked I would move to Victoria and get a cruiser with flowers in the basket,” she says with a laugh.

With an uncanny eye for the glimpses of beauty people might skip, for the last three years her cruiser named Jewels and its ever-evolving basket full of flowers have evolved into a colourful photography career.

The first image that really garnered online attention arose from a visit to Moss Rock Park.

She’d bought a funny little orange horn for Jewels and wanted to highlight it. She composed the image to include the horn, bike handles and empty basket against a stunning sunrise.

“I couldn’t believe the amount of people who responded,” Gabaldon said. “I really just started taking advantage of the things around me.”

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The last few years she’s marketed photo cards and tote bags online, at markets and several local stores.

This year, she added calendars. Artbox Printing wanted to give the calendar realm a try, so the artist and printer took the leap together.

“I was afraid to print 50 … this is a time-sensitive thing,” Gabaldon said with a laugh.

Now at the prime time for calendar purchases, she’s printed 400 with no expectation of leftovers.

Her card sales support a link to her childhood in New Brunswick as well. Growing up with a single mom and an active lifestyle it’s hard to imagine her youth without sports, often sponsored by the local non-profits. A dollar from each card sold supports the Harbourside Rotary and St. Stephen Rotary near her childhood home.

“It’s small, but it feels good,” she said.

Her home is filled with baskets and flowers, nods to the work she and Jewels do on the daily. The larger impact is sharing the beauty of Victoria – from the Abkazi gardens to the nooks of Cook Street Village and alleyways of downtown.

“I’m so amazed at all the places I can get by bike and it costs nothing,” Gabaldon said. “Definitely Victoria gets a bad rap… there’s a lot to be wary of, but there’s lots of good stuff too.”

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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