July 6, 2017
For Immediate Release
3rd Annual FraserFEST lets you Paddle, Raft, Cycle, Walk and Explore
Everyone lives in a watershed. Come celebrate yours.
FraserFEST returns with a renewed commitment to celebrate and protect our watersheds with salmon feasts and river adventures in communities along the mighty Fraser River from July 23 through August 27. There are opportunities for the public to take part in rafting, canoeing, and biking tours, as well as walking excursions and eco tours.
Each rafting, paddling pedaling, or walking trip are ideal experiences for people to experience the river from off-the-beaten track.
FraserFEST was created by the Rivershed Society of BC, which also runs the Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP), a unique experience that inspires environmental leaders on a 1,400 km summer adventure down the Fraser River.
“In 2016 we combined our two main programs, the SLLP and FraserFEST,” said RSBC founder Fin Donnelly, “and it was the perfect opportunity for our leaders to discuss their sustainability initiatives with the communities taking part in FraserFEST.”
This year, there is a special FraserFEST event planned. Keely Weget-Whitney, a SLLP alumna leader from the St’at’imc and Gitxsan Nations, will be swimming a section of the mighty Fraser River from Lillooet to the Stein River. FraserFEST founder, Fin Donnelly, swam the length of the 1,325 km Fraser River in 1995, and again in 2000 to raise awareness of the issues affecting our rivers and lakes and their waters. Keely also aims to inspire action, raise awareness about environmental threats and solutions by swimming in the same waters.
To take part in a FraserFEST rafting or canoeing adventure, get a group of friends or co-workers together and sponsor a trip. There are a total of four rafting day trips in the Fraser Canyon to choose from, stopping at Xatsull, Williams Creek, Lillooet, Stein River, Tuckkwiowhum (Boston Bar), Hell’s Gate and Yale. There are nine paddling trips in the Lower Fraser, where you paddle with a professional guide in a sturdy 34′ Voyageur canoe, with stops at Hope, Agassiz, Dewdney, Glen Valley, Derby Reach, Kwikwetlem, Coquitlam, New Westminster, Burnaby, Musqueam or Vancouver.
The adventurous white water Hell’s Gate rafting trip on Aug. 8th is open to individual registrations, as well as the English Bay paddle during the Pink Salmon Festival on Aug. 27th.
Up for a cycling adventure? Pedal along the Fraser River as part of a group of cyclists led by Trails BC, following the FraserFEST canoes as they journey the Lower Fraser from Hope to the Salish Sea. There are four group rides taking place in August: 1) Hope to Agassiz; 2) the Abbotsford Loop; 3) the Coquitlam-Three Bridges Loop; and 4) the Musqueam Loop. All cycling trips are free and open to all ages, but you must register on-line.
Enjoy food, music, education and culture while celebrating the Fraser’s riversheds at one of twelve wild salmon feasts being hosted throughout BC’s Fraser River Basin. Feast locations include Dunster, Quesnel, Xatśūll, Williams Lake, Lillooet, Tuckkwiowhum, Yale, Cheam, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Musqueam and Vancouver. All are open to the public but registration is required for most. Participants are asked to bring your own plate, bowl, utensils and cup.
“By participating in FraserFEST, not only will you be able to learn about the community projects our SLLP participants are working on, but you will also meet our facilitators, and community leaders along the Fraser who are actively engaged in conserving, protecting and restoring our riversheds,” said Donnelly.
Four eco day tours are planned to explore the Potato House Project, Glen Valley Organic Farm, Colony Farm Community Gardens and the Fraser River Discovery Centre. Two watershed walks will take place in the Goat Rivershed and Ancient Forest. The FraserFEST tours and walks are open to the public and are by donation.
After spending a day on, or along, the majestic river, participants of all the FraserFEST events will be encouraged to sign the ‘Watershed Pledge’ showing commitment to watershed conservation, protection and restoration (Watershed CPR).
For more event information on FraserFEST events, dates, locations, and to register, go to fraserfest.ca.
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Media are encouraged to join us along the route of the Fraser River for ½ day rafting, paddling and biking experiences – please confirm well in advance if interested.
Interviews are available with Fin Donnelly, Founder of FraserFEST and The Rivershed Society of BC.
Please download high resolution photos and poster available from Google Folder here:
About FraserFEST: Created by the non-profit organization, Rivershed Society of B.C. (RSBC), the focus of FraserFEST is to highlight the Fraser River’s history, culture and issues threatening its health, as well as to identify solutions, and to increase the number of wild salmon advocates in BC. FraserFEST aims to connect people to nature while encouraging them to commit to Watershed CPR (Conservation, Protection and Restoration). FraserFEST 2017 is funded by Tides Canada and The Sitka Foundation, as well as supported by many raft and canoe sponsors and environmental partners. More information at: http://fraserfest.ca
About the Fraser River: The Mighty Fraser runs 1,370 km from its headwaters near Mount Robson into the Georgia Strait at Vancouver, making it the longest river in British Columbia. It drains 21 million hectares, more than a quarter of British Columbia. It is one of the largest salmon-producing riversheds in the world, as well as a life-giving force to the province’s economy.
About the Rivershed Society of BC: RSBC is a non-profit charitable organization with a mission to protect, conserve and restore the health of BC riversheds in this generation. RSBC comprises a voluntary board of directors, a small staff, annual programs and events, and many volunteers, members and donors. RSBC works with numerous watershed stewardship groups, First Nations, government and community leaders throughout the Fraser River Basin and British Columbia. More information at: http://rivershed.com
Mari-Lou Nidle, Principal
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