The Rivershed Society of BC (RSBC) hosted another successful FraserFEST over the summer, with festivals taking place in Xatśūll on July 24; Williams Lake on July 25; Lillooet on July 30; Yale on August 1; Coquitlam on August 4; Vancouver on August 28; and Boston Bar on September 5th.
Many of these festivals coincided with the arrival of RSBC’s Sustainable Living Leadership Program (SLLP), which takes emerging environmental leaders on a 25-day 1,400 km wilderness travel experience down the Fraser River, learning about stewardship and sustainability.
Festivals ranged from small intimate gatherings with local First Nations, providing an opportunity for the SLLP participants to speak to and hear from elders; to larger public events such as the one held in Vancouver at the False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf, where speakers including Vancouver City Cllr. Andrea Reimer, Musqueam Cllr. Morgan Guerin, MPs Don Davies and Fin Donnelly, Rivers Champion Mark Angelo, and Chief Bob Chamberlin shared the stage with musicians Marin Patenaude (2013 SLLP alumna), Buckman Coe, JP Maurice and Reid Jamieson.
Each festival celebrated the Fraser’s history and culture while educating attendees about the issues threatening its health. They also offered individuals a way to experience their watershed by providing opportunities for participants to take part in paddling, rafting, walking, or cycling adventures on and along the Fraser or other waterways in their communities.
Encouraging public investments in watershed conservation, protection and restoration (Watershed CPR), as well as watershed education and stewardship, patrons of the festival were able to sign a watershed pledge to encourage all levels of government to take strong action to protect the Fraser River and its riversheds. We encourage you to take the pledge and to promote and share this link on your website, newsletters and social media, so we can grow watershed awareness together.
Calling for the protection of West Coast wild salmon, patrons were able to sign the petition for Bill C-228, created by RSBC founder, Fin Donnelly, which is an Act to amend the Fisheries Act as it relates to closed containment aquaculture, with the aim to ban open net-cage fish farms in BC waters.
“The FraserFEST 2016 events were a perfect way for us to celebrate 20 years as a society,” said Fin Donnelly. “From the Fraser’s headwaters near Mount Robson, to the shores of Vancouver, FraserFEST has become another RSBC signature event, and we are already planning to make it bigger and better in 2017.”
Looking toward next year’s FraserFEST, the Rivershed Society of BC will be organizing and offering community dinners/festivals; rafting trips in the Fraser Canyon; paddling day trips on the Lower Fraser; group bike rides along the Lower Fraser; walking tours; and a swim from Lillooet to the Stein Valley, in conjunction with commemorating Canada 150. These events are an ideal way to experience our waterways from off-the-beaten track. People interested in participating will be able to reserve their spot starting in January 2017 at fraserfest.ca.
FraserFEST would not be possible without the help of our volunteers, speakers, performers and presenters, and through the generous support of our partners and sponsors. A hearty thank you goes out to:
The Province of BC
Western Mining Action Network/Indigenous Environmental Network
Pacific Salmon Foundation
New Pathways to Gold Society
Creative Transportation Services
Real Estate Foundation of BC
Hard Rock Casino
United Food and Commercial Workers
David Suzuki Foundation
In-House Media and Marketing
City of Coquitlam
Doi Chaang Coffee Co.
Fraser River Raft Expeditions
Xatsull Heritage Village
Scout Island Nature Centre
Sekw’el’was First Nation
Lillooet Naturalist Society
Lillooet Food Matters
Colony Farm Park Association
Kwikwetlem First Nation
Watershed Watch Salmon Society
Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society
Georgia Strait Alliance
West Coast Environmental Law
Skipper Otto’s Community Supported Fishery
Go Fish Cafe
El Coroto Kitchen
Say Hello Sweets
Experience the Fraser Project
The Rivershed Society of BC 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: www.rivershed.com