Posted by: Editor | September 4, 2011

Orchestras to Orchids

These are the People in Your Neighbourhood: Peter McCoppin continues a featured series entitled “These are the People in Your Neighbourhood“. In this edition, the Esquimalt Review profiles Saxe Point resident Peter McCoppin, the former Music Director of the Victoria Symphony. If you would like to contribute a community profile about an individual, group, organization, or business in Esquimalt, please send your ideas to Tim Morrison at

Orchestras to Orchids

– Victoria Symphony’s former Maestro Peter McCoppin grows a garden in Esquimalt

By Tim Morrison 

Esquimalt's Peter McCoppin

Did you know that Esquimalt is home to one of Canada’s leading maestros? Saxe Point resident Peter McCoppin has spent over thirty years as an orchestral conductor on four continents, ten years of which were here at home as the Music Director of the Victoria Symphony.

McCoppin has lived and visited many places across the globe, but since 2005, Esquimalt has been his home and he is here to stay. He describes Esquimalt as “a hidden jewel, a special secret”.

Peter sees Esquimalt as the perfect community “close to the ocean and parks, wonderful community spirit, lovely people who love to live here… with great proximity to center of Victoria and a micro-climate where everything grows beautifully.”

Hence, Peter has more recently put away his music baton for a garden shovel. At his home on Munro Street, he has produced a masterpiece, an orchestral arrangement of flowers, plants, and creative landscaping.

Peter McCoppin's Garden on Munro Street

“I am using my garden as a model and teaching canvas for organic growing and creating a space to support and sustain a natural balance for birds, butterflies, bees, plants, and humans,” explains McCoppin. “I would like our residents to embrace the idea of creating gardens which support life altogether. To which extent, I would urge our people not to have lawns and to use only organic methods.”

Peter McCoppin's Garden on Munro Street

Like his music, Peter’s gardening is capturing national attention. This fall, Canadian Living Magazine will be featuring a profile on his creation and Gardens West Magazine will follow suit in its Spring, 2012 edition. 2012 also coincides with Esquimalt’s Centennial celebrations, for which McCoppin helped organize when he was invited last year by Mayor Barb Desjardins to facilitate a Town Hall Meeting towards describing our past, defining our present, and directing our future. 

In addition to his mastery of music and horticulture, McCoppin is also a highly sought after facilitator, key-note speaker, and leadership coach. His vast professional background also includes being an author and a host/broadcaster on national, regional, and local television and radio.

Most recently, he has become Founder of the McCoppin Institute of Learning – “Bringing Potential to Life”, in which he will bring together some the nation’s most gifted motivational speakers towards helping others to seek the most out of life.

Peter’s personal motto is:  “Do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.” With that approach to life, Peter McCoppin is fitting in perfectly within the community of Esquimalt. Whether through our creativity and/or our contributions, Esquimalt is all about helping others.

Like a piece of music or a plot of garden, we grow better as a community when we are harmonized as a people.



  1. Note from the the designer and caretaker of Peter McCoppin’s gardens:

    Right now we are getting ready for a photo shoot by Canadian Gardening magazine.

    This garden is a move toward a more ‘naturalistic’ style of gardening that gives habitat to other living creatures as well as joy to humans. No lawns, lots of nesting sites and food for birds, bees and butterflies.

    We do very little deadheading, leaving seed heads on plants to provide winter nutrition. And of course,no pesticides of any kind.

    Lorraine Locherty
    Urban Habitats Garden Services

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