Pamela Anderson is among the most famous British Columbians of all time.
After years in Malibu, Marseille, and travelling the world, Anderson has returned home to the Vancouver Island town of Ladysmith, and says her best work is “yet to come”.
Anderson granted Black Press an exclusive interview to discuss how she’s enjoying her time back in Ladysmith, what she’s been doing since coming back, and what her plans are for the future.
As stated in your recent letter to PM Justin Trudeau, you’re a “citizen of the world.” As a citizen of the world, you could live anywhere, so what brings you back to live in Ladysmith?
Ladysmith is where I was born and raised — I always knew I’d come home — after a million offers to develop my property, ARCADY, I’m glad I stood firm and waited. I’m so relieved to have traveled the world to make it back in one piece and enjoy the solitude and peacefulness of this unique town.
It warmed my heart to see Plantitude, a vegan restaurant on 1st Avenue. I think Ladysmith is on the verge of something exciting. It has an energy here. It’s fun, and sexy — everyone I know here has always been a bit naughty and tough. It has an edge.
Nanaimo really has an edge too. Let’s hope we can work together to help people that need help.
We can work together as a community to make it safer and invest in ways to survive better than on the street or in homeless shelters. Addiction does not discriminate — it is a lifelong battle — it’s everywhere not just here. But my heart aches – I hope I can help in this area. I’ve seen a lot in the entertainment world. Putting people in jail and making drugs illegal isn’t the answer. We have to think of ourselves enough to get the help we need. Make better choices for our families and extended families. This is going to take the entire community to come together and heal and find solutions together.
Many people have taken to social media in recent weeks saying that they’ve seen you around town. What have you been up since coming back to Ladysmith?
I felt like the Malibu mascot for years. I’m used to it — I love it here and people will see me around more. I want to inject more resources into the community. And who knows I might open a few businesses. Right now I’ve got a great group of local guys cleaning up my property. We need more help. I’d actually like to give the sober community here some work.
There are some rumours circulating that you plan to develop property here in Ladysmith, are there any truth to those rumours? If so, what kind of development do you have in mind?
Just restoring it for now. And just want a simple dock like it used to be. I’m sure I’ll get a boat one day. It’s been a lifelong art project. My kids have some ideas for “their cabins” / so it’s a family adventure. My mom and dad were married here, my father grew up on the property, and my parents lived with me and my brother in cabin 6, so I’m happy to have not been seduced into building that big condo project.
I’d rather make it more my version of a wild Butchart Gardens with some tree houses. It will take some time. But things are moving fast now that I’ve moved in. Mom and I are painting, and Dad’s still driving the mower — I feel very protected here, like in Malibu and in Marseille — I know about good people. And people become very protective of me. I also know I’m protected by God somehow. Or something spiritual. I’ve had at least nine lives
You recently returned from your trip aboard the Sea Shepherd to protest open net fish farms. Are there other issues on Vancouver Island that you’re planning to protest or lend your support to?
These fish farms have to go. They are polluting and murdering the young salmon trying to migrate — the orcas are starving, and the sea is a ghost town. It has a lot to do with these (foreign-owned) farms. They need to get out of the water. There are 130 on the Island. I won’t stop till they are gone or moved. There is a lot of support and it’s not a secret anymore — though they are well hidden, the ramifications are in our face. Our island and its wild nature is suffering. First Nations people have been trying to warn us for a long time. It’s time to listen.
Once upon a time, you collaborated with Green Party MP Paul Manly on a film. You were also at his re-election campaign kick off. Are there any future collaborations with Manly planned in the future?
Paul Manly is a great activist and he has done so much already with the Green Party. I’ve been a supporter of green parties world wide.
The revolution is now. I will continue to support and collaborate with him. How lucky are we to have him in parliament — we need more Greens to get in there. I think people are getting it finally. Climate crisis is urgent. It’s real and people need to vote with their heart. And then Canada can lead the way.
You’ve been making headlines since you were born as a “centennial baby”, (which sold a lot of copies of the Chronicle at the time). The media has not always been kind to you, and neither have people on social media, how do you deal with media attention?
Thank you for that. I’ve had to learn to not take things too personally. But it’s hard. And being Canadian. I always have assumed people were honest and kind.
That’s not the case. I haven’t grown a thick skin though — I will stay trusting and honest they can’t take that away from me. It’s who I am. I’m not perfect. I’ve led a pretty fun “Canadian style “ life. I think if another girl from here were in my shoes. They would have done things similarly. I’m not a prude and I want to make a difference in the world. Not rocket science. It’s a romantic struggle and activism is sexy.
On the note of media attention, is there anything you’re tired of seeing written about yourself, and is there anything about your work you’d like to see written about more?
I’ve done some things to fund my foundation. Let’s just say if it was anything “reality related” it went to the Pamela Anderson Foundation. It was hard to turn down some of the money I was offered to do these crazy things.
Especially with my friend in jail as a political prisoner that needs plenty of legal help or other vulnerable people in need. It was worth embarrassing myself — dancing, or making an appearance here and there — it all went to things like saving the rainforest, planting trees, first responders. It felt a little gangster.
It’s hard to make sense of it all. I’ve done my best to use me for good.
During your time in Hollywood you connected with many other celebrities. Were any of them aware of Ladysmith? And were you able to convince any of them to come visit?
All my friends want to come here. They are just waiting for my house and cabins to be built. They’ve been watching my Instagram and can’t wait to come. To write, to film, to paddle board, all that.
The boys will be here in October. They miss their Shawnigan days. The best thing (and they agree finally) was to have them here out of the limelight for high school. Now of course they’ve made their own choice to be artists. But when they were young, my job was to protect them.
Out of all your films, television appearances, activism, and other projects, what are some of the things that had the biggest impact on you?
I love to write. I write every day at 5-6am in my cabin looking at the crooked little dock. It’s my inspiration. I write letters to world leaders, in my journal on my website, I write to friends, I write a lot of poetry and short stories. So, I’m a busy girl. And the best is yet to come.