Community Events – Annual Lobster Release and Canada Day Ball Game


Lobster Release

Each year at the end of the lobster season, the monastic and lay community of Gampo Abbey, with the financial support of many donors around the world, purchase the last catch of lobsters from one of the Pleasant Bay lobster fisherman and release the caught lobsters back into the water.

“Life Release” — in which captive animals destined to be eaten are, instead, released back into their native habitats — is a traditional practice for Tibetan Buddhists, especially monastics. The most obvious benefits of the practice are for the sentient beings whose lives are being saved, but it also serves to strengthen the individual practitioner and the sangha as a whole, and to establish an important link with the local environment and culture.

Gampo Abbey has become a respected part of Cape Breton and open curiosity has developed around the activities of the monastery. The annual Lobster Release, while taking root in the local culture, has served as a powerful means for the residents and donors of Gampo Abbey to connect with this ancient Bodhisattva activity of saving the lives of sentient beings. Each year the Abbey raises funds to support the Lobster Release.

You can support our annual Lobster Release by making a tax-deductible donation through the Supporting Gampo Abbey page (select “Lobster Release Fund” under the Gift Designation menu) or you can call our finance office at 902-224-1358 (Mon-Fri, 1:30-5:00 pm Atlantic Time). We can provide you with a receipt upon request.


The weather was cool and windy for the 2016 lobster release.  We also had guests from Canada’s national public television network, the CBC, who were visiting the Abbey for a segment on Sacred Places in the Maritimes for the program Land and Sea


Canada Day

July 1, 2016 marked the thirteenth year that the lay and monastic residents of Gampo Abbey joined with the community of Pleasant Bay, Nova Scotia to celebrate Canada Day by playing softball against the local volunteer firefighters. The weather was perfect for the parade down to the community park.

After a picnic with our Pleasant Bay neighbours, we had a spirited softball game. The teams were pretty evenly matched. The Abbey team came out strong and score was close for the first half of the game, but — true to form — the firefighters pulled ahead in the second half and won a squeaker, 21 to 12. A fun day was had by all!