Media Release – FraserFEST Sept 7 – 27, Celebrating the Fraser River

Media Release – FraserFEST Sept 7 – 27, Celebrating the Fraser River


For immediate release

Everyone lives in a watershed. Come celebrate yours.

FraserFEST – September 7 – 27      (Inaugural event)

BC Rivers Day – September 27       (25th Anniversary)

World Rivers Day – September 27 (10th Anniversary, the last Sunday of September)

VANCOUVER, September 9, 2015  –  From the beginning of mankind we have lived in close proximity to major waterways and rivers – they have sustained us. Farms, communities and cities sprang up along the banks of rivers for access to drinking water, and for water to irrigate our lands. For thousands of years rivers have provided us with a stock of food that can be freshly caught in its waters or picked along its shores. These water highways have transported humans, cargo and, unfortunately, our waste. We learned how to control rivers to capture their energy so we could grind flour and power industrial factories. With all that rivers have provided us, we have not been the best stewards of sustainability for them. We have overfished, polluted and literally dammed some of them into non-existence.

Our early forbearers held many festivals to give thanks to the land and the rivers from whose bounty they thrived. The Fraser River is still one of the largest salmon producing rivers in the world. Salmon was—and still is—the primary food source for many of the First Nations along our coast, and therefore the Fraser River and salmon have always been honoured and respected. In many native cultures, salmon were thought to be superior beings who ran the rivers for the sustenance of the people, died, and then returned to life in a great house under the ocean where they danced and feasted in human form. In BC Aboriginal legends the salmon figure represents dependability and renewal, and is a symbol of abundance, wealth and prosperity – not unlike our rivers. It is no coincidence communities and cities that are built on large and healthy waterways tend to also have healthier financial foundations with more abundance of wealth and prosperity to go around.

Today’s communities may not be as aware of waterways as we once were, but we are still very reliant on them. Even now there are opportunities to celebrate the watershed we live in, and learn what we can do to make it sustainable. For the past decade, the last Sunday in September has been World Rivers Day, where people around the world come together to celebrate their rivers. For those of us living in communities along the banks of Fraser River we have FraserFEST, a series of community festivals hosted by The Rivershed Society of BC. Participants are invited to come celebrate the watershed in which they live while enjoying local entertainment and food.

Seven FraserFEST festivals are taking place between Sept. 7 to 27, 2015  (World Rivers Day), in communities from Xatśūll to North Vancouver. In the spirit of World Rivers Day many of the FraserFEST festivals are co-hosted with other festivals such as Salmon in the Canyon in Lillooet, RiverFest in New Westminster and the Salish Sea Gathering in North Vancouver (please see the schedule for the festival nearest you). Appearances by conservation and environmental speakers David Suzuki, Mark Angelo and Fin Donnelly are lined up, along with a variety of other events. Between festivals, people have the opportunity to take part in 9 days of rafting the Fraser Canyon, 4 days of paddling the Lower Fraser River, 3 group bicycle rides, and 1 group walk. The festivals all include live music, activities for kids, and educational booths.

FraserFEST Festival Highlights:

Sept 7th                   Xatśūll Heritage Site
Entertainment:          Synergy, Marin Patenaude.

Sept. 13th                 Lillooet, Salmon in the Canyon Festival
Speakers:                  Chief Michelle Edwards, Mayor Marg Lampman
Entertainment:           The Wilds with Holly Arntzen & Kevin Wright and the Up Your Watershed! Choir

Sept. 16th                 Yale, Fraser River Rafts HQ

Sept. 20th                 Coquitlam, Colony Farm Regional Park
Speakers:                  Mark Angelo, Fin Donnelly
Entertainment:           The Wilds with Holly Arntzen & Kevin Wright

Sept. 24th                 New Westminster Quay, RiverFest
Speakers:                  Mark Angelo, Fin Donnelly
Entertainment:           The Wilds with Holly Arntzen & Kevin Wright and the Up Your Watershed! Choir

Sept. 26th                 Vancouver, False Creek Fishermen’s Wharf
Speakers:                  David Suzuki, Fin Donnelly
Entertainment:           Kinnie Starr,  Scott Shea
The Wilds with Holly Arntzen & Kevin Wright

Sept. 27th                 North Vancouver, Cates Park, Salish Sea Gathering
Entertainment:          Buckman Coe

Choose how you want to honour your watershed and come celebrate FraserFEST with us. For more information on FraserFEST or The Rivershed Society please go to, or #FraserFEST on Twitter.


Festival Map & Photos 

About The Rivershed Society of BC
The Rivershed Society of BC (RSBC) formed in the wake of Fin Donnelly`s 1995 “Swim for Life” down BC’s longest river, the Fraser River.  Since its inception in 1996, the RSBC has been actively delivering public education programs, community initiatives, and building stewardship capacity in the Fraser River Basin.

The Rivershed Society of BC is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of both the Fraser River Basin and all those who live within the Basin.

Vision:  Salmon flourishing in rivers; people flourishing in communities.
Mission: To protect, conserve and restore the health of BC riversheds in this generation.

For more information on FraserFEST or The Rivershed Society of BC, please contact:
Richelle Giberson
Communications Coordinator
Rivershed Society of BC
Phone (604) 992-4769

Fin Donnelly, Founder of The Rivershed Society, is available for media interviews and quotes.

For a media interview or more information on Cycling and Walking the Fraser River, please contact:
Léon Lebrun
President and Southwest Regional Director
Trails BC
Phone 604-942-6768