Sointula, BC, Unincorporated Place, population 576 (2011c), 594 (2006c). Sointula is a small fishing community situated on the south shore of Malcolm Island between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, in the Regional District of Mount Waddington. Sointula was started in 1901 as a utopian community by Finnish political refugee Matti Kurikka (1862-1915). Sointula means "harmony." The colony was to be an independent enterprise based on logging, fishing and agriculture. By 1902 there were 127 inhabitants, and a sawmill was in operation. But prosperity did not materialize. In 1903 the communal hall burned, killing 11 people and destroying most of the community's supplies and records. By 1905 the colony was liquidated. A community remained, but its socialistic ideals were discontinued. Today, only a few descendants of the original settlers still live there. Once a totally Finnish-speaking community, Sointula is now mainly English speaking. Since 1905 the majority of the population has engaged in fishing and logging. A few small businesses exist on Malcolm Island, including some catering to ecotourists. Many artists also reside here.
Sointula is home to the province's oldest co-op store, as well as a museum. A few buildings date back to the original settlement, including the "Finnish Order" hall, a firehall and a school. Sointula is reached by government car ferry from PORT McNEILL or ALERT BAY.