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As the days draw closer to summer, it’s still uncertain whether or not COVID-19 will stay a social barrier. The allowed social gathering numbers have increased to 10 people, but what about those concerned about health and safety? Or maybe you just want to plan a fun, family-friendly outing in the Fraser Valley. There are many fun outdoorsy adventures waiting to be had, and today we’ll take a look at 5.

Hiking at the Community Forest (Chilliwack)

If you live in Chilliwack or don’t mind the drive, the Community Forest is a great spot for a COVID-friendly family adventure. Located off the Annis Road exit of Highway 1, this hike is fun for the whole family. Dogs love it if you have one, and bonus: with a couple of different routes to choose from, you might not even run into anybody else. If you love hiking, or maybe you’re on the prowl for some new spots, the Community Forest won’t disappoint.

Fraser Valley CreekFishing in the Mountain Slough (Agassiz)

Mountain Slough, located beside Highway 7 coming from Agassiz, is a neat little area. I’m not sure if or when it gets busy, but each time I’ve gone I was the only person there. Featuring a nice little fishing spot, as well as a bit of a trail, both the fishermen and hikers and joggers of the family are sure to have a good time. The scenery is incredible as well, both on the trip too, and at the destination.

Fire Creek (Mission)

As the days are getting a little warmer, swimming season is almost upon us. And what could be better than natural rock pools? Fire Creek is personally my favorite place to go in the Fraser Valley. It’s up Stave Lake road, which means you get to do a bit of 4x4ing, plus there’s still a little bit of a hike to get to it. But once you’re there, endless hours of fun for the whole family. If swimming, cliff jumping (please be careful), or even just wading in pools is your thing, I’d recommend checking this one out.

GeocachingFraser Valley Trail

Geocaching is a classic activity. Maybe you know what it is, maybe you don’t (I’m assuming you might), but one of the fun things about geocaching is that it’s not limited to one location. Another adventure for a fun family day, I’d suggest checking this out if you like hiking.

Fishtrap Creek (Abbotsford)
And last but not least, here’s a location for families with younger kids, or even if you just enjoy walking. A good spot for biking too, Fishtrap Creek is a mix of fun. Enjoy the scenery, birds, and more, with the whole family.

So there you have it. The pandemic may be lurking, but there’s still a lot of adventures to be had.

Have you been to any of these places? Have your own suggestion for a COVID-friendly time? Let us know in the comments below!

Written by Josh Loewen

Listen on Apple Podcasts

“After a 20-year career in engineering, I was looking for a new challenge. While mulling over a few ideas I took a course on cider making to improve my home cider skills and thought ….hey wait a minute! And so a project was born. We found our 12-acre farm in January 2014, picked out the site of our future cidery, and made an offer.”* ~ Rachel Bolongaro, Fraser Valley Cider Company

In this episode, we visit with Rachel Bolongara, owner of Fraser Valley Cider Company, and discuss:

  • How Fraser Valley Cider Company got its start.
  • Rachel describes the orchard that they have on their property and the challenges of growing apples in the Fraser Valley.
  • How local businesses like the local wineries and Fraser Valley Cider Company are working together.
  • What have Rachel‘s biggest challenges been starting this new venture?
  • What is one of Rachel‘s favourite things about living and doing business in the Fraser Valley?
  • Rachel describes her upcoming opening weekend and the special events that are planned. They now have their lounge license and are able to offer wine, and cider-based cocktails. Expect some great entertainment and food.
  • Rachel talks about where they get their fruit from and the amount they need to make cider.
  • Rachel describes the difference between their traditional craft cider and the cider you might buy in a store.

Fraser Valley Cider Company

*Website: https://www.fraservalleycider.ca
Photos and Instagram (used with permission): @fraservalleycider
Location: Fraser Valley Cider Company, 22128 – 16th Avenue, Langley, BC

St. Patrick’s Day 2021: What’s Happening This Year in the Fraser Valley?

One of the first yearly celebrations to be hit by COVID-19 last year was St. Patrick’s Day, so this year we wanted to take a look around the Fraser Valley to see if there is anything that we can do to take part in this annual global celebration of Irish culture.

As you might have guessed, there is very little happening in the way of events. As we contacted the different pubs and event organizers who have done things in the past, the message was almost always the same, “due to COVID we are laying low this year.” But that doesn’t mean that some of the restaurants and pubs, in particular, aren’t attempting to at least give a little nod to remembering St. Patrick.

If you are in the mood for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year, here are several things to consider in the Fraser Valley:

Abbotsford

The Canadian Brewhouse – Abbotsford 

Green beer will be available at The Canadian Brewhouse. ON SPECIAL ALL DAY: $8.99 Green Beer Tankards, $8.99 Guinness Tankards

Location: Abbotsford, 3122 Mt. Lehman Rd. Phone: 604-625-5433 Website: https://thecanadianbrewhouse.com/

Langley

Dead Frog BrewingDead Frog Brewery

From the Dead Frog Brewery Website: “Wednesday, March 17th – Looking for a wee bit o’ fun, good eats, and great beer? Look no further! (On) Wednesday, March 17th we’ll have Bangers & Mash, an all-natural green beer crafted by our Brewmaster Cole, and stouts on Nitro! Green beer (naturally green – NO food colouring) $1 off 12oz glasses of Commander Imperial Stout Bangers & Mash! We’re open from 11 am until 10 pm. See you there!”

For more information about Bangers & Mash see https://deadfrog.ca/tasting-room/bangers-and-mash/
Location: Dead Frog Brewery #105 8860 201 St. Langley
Photo: Government of BC

Surrey

Dublin Crossing Dublin Crossin

Normally, Dublin Crossing is the place to go in Surrey on St. Patrick’s Day, but it looks like they won’t be holding a special event this year. They are open, however, so you can always stop by year-round for an Irish pub experience!

Location: 18789 FRASER HIGHWAY, #101-18789 Fraser Highway, Surrey Phone: (604) 575-5470
Website: https://www.dublincrossing.com/
Photo: https://www.dublincrossing.com/gallery/

The Clayton PubThe Clayton Pub

In response to our inquiry to find out what was happening at the Clayton Pub They responded:

“(The Clayton Pub) will have green beer, but with Covid restrictions, it makes it really hard to go further than that. Wednesdays are normally our crab night and we tested an idea to dye our crab legs green in the spirit of St Paddys day, LOL this did not work out, the crab legs looked gross green so we scrapped that idea.”

Location: 5640 188 St, Surrey, BC V3S 4N5 Phone +778-571-1615 Email: info@theclaytonpub.com Website: https://www.theclaytonpub.com/

White Hart Public House

Due to covid restrictions in place the White Hart Public House doesn’t have any events going on this year, however, they will have Green $4.50 pints of Red Truck all day long to celebrate, in the safest manner possible. The White Hart Public House was voted Surrey’s Best Pub, Burger, Appetizers, Happy Hour, Breakfast & Brunch, and Patio Dining in The Surrey Leaders Readers Choice Awards 2020!

Location: 8593 132 St., Surrey Phone – (604) 503-5735

Donegal’s Irish House

Donegal’s Irish House has decided to address the challenges we are facing with COVID in a creative way that many of us have become familiar with their “St Paddy’s Day Party (for 2) in a Box.”

Here’s what they have to say:

“With all that’s going on in the world these days, we’ve set up a St Patrick’s Day Party in a Box for you, so you can celebrate Paddy’s Day in style with your significant other, in the comfort and safety of you own home…..there will be no grand parties this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get all the same goodies you would have if your come and partied with us.

“Order yours now, supplies are limited, and when they are sold out, there will be no more! Email us through this page, or via our Facebook page to order, links to both in the contact tab on this site.”

See their website for more information. https://donegals.pub/promos%2Fevents

We are always looking for blog writers to write about the Fraser Valley.

You can write up to four blog posts per month that highlight a Fraser Valley park, neighborhood, shopping mall, event, restaurant, business, or recreation center. During COVID you could spotlight businesses that have an online presence or promotion.

Each post should be approximately 500 words and include:

  • 1 – 3 original photos or posted with permission of the photographer/business owner. (Name the photo file with keywords and alt text before you upload it to the website.)
  • A link to the website of the business, government page, or wherever the reader can get more information.
    Additional contact information in the footer for businesses including web address, business owner or PR contact info, physical address, phone number, email address, and social media profile links.
  • A link to the neighborhood page on the real estate website, if there is one.
  • Collaborate with the editor on a content schedule.

Keywords

  • Keywords include the name of the business, park, or event, and the relevant city/neighborhood.
  • Fraser Valley should be mentioned at least once and twice when it flows naturally.
  • “Things to do” and “things to do in X” X=the city/neighborhood and/or “Fraser Valley”.
    If relevant, include “real estate” or “land” or “property”.

Social Media Support

Facebook and Posts (6-8)

  • Three posts should be scheduled for the first three weeks after the blog is posted. Each post should include a unique blog take away plus “click here (or on the link or on the image below) for X, Y, Z). Make it interesting and compelling!
  • Schedule three more posts for the three months following publishing. All posts should be scheduled for different times of day and days of the week so we can hit different audiences and split test the best times for views and engagement. 
  • If the topic is seasonal, add another two scheduled posts for the same time next year. 

Instagram – 2 posts and 2 stories

Notify editor when Social Media posts go out.

– – – – –
Interested?

  • Send your resume and links to one or two blog posts that you have written to rod@impactintl.net.
  • If you don’t have any current blog posts write a 500-word blog post about an event or business in the Fraser Valley using the above criteria. If we post it, we will pay you $75.
  • No phone calls, please.
  • We will only respond to suitable candidates.

If you live in the Fraser Valley you may think that you will have to travel for hours to Nahatlatch Canyon, Thompson, Coquihalla, or Green Canyon (Whistler / Pemberton) to go river rafting, but excellent rafting is closer than you think.

River rafting is available just an hour away from Vancouver on the Chilliwack River. You can have a variety of adventures on the river from heart-pumping rapids to a bit more of a scenery family-oriented ride.

River rafting is available year-round. We happened to see the good folks from Chilliwack River Rafting several weeks ago when we went fishing and snapped a few pics and this video.

Chilliwack River Rafting offers*

  • Year-round rafting adventures
  • Stunning Cascade mountain scenery and wildlife
  • Professional, friendly guides

*For more on Chilliwack River Rafting see: https://www.chilliwackriverrafting.com/

Here’s a look at where the Canadian market stands right now, and what you’ll want to keep an eye on moving forward.

LOW HOUSING INVENTORY
At the end of last year, tight inventory created a great market for sellers. Even if the market begins to cool, 2021 may still bring favorable conditions for sellers and a competitive market for buyers(1)

BUYER DEMAND IS INCREASING
Many millennials and renters still have plans to buy a home in the next few years(2) With interest rates hovering at historic lows, homeownership could be more affordable for many during the first mortgage term, making this the perfect time for those with a steady income to buy.

MOVING TO THE COUNTRY
At the end of last year, close to a third of Canadians 3 wanted to leave the city and move to rural or suburban communities, especially as remote work becomes more common. But those who prefer city life may be able to scoop up a recently-vacated condo(4) for a lower price as some owners leave for the country.

WE NEED MORE SPACE
Homes with extra rooms and outdoor amenities like a pool, balcony, or patio are attractive to an increasing amount of buyers looking for more living space(3) as family and work needs shift.

2021 Real Estate Market Update

SHOULD YOU CONSIDER A MOVE THIS YEAR?

ARE YOU FINANCIALLY SECURE?
Yes __
No __
Somewhat __

If you have a steady stream of income and can secure a downpayment, now is a good time to enter the market, since low-interest rates will make your monthly mortgage payment more affordable. Otherwise, keep saving and revisit your search when finances are more stable.

DOES YOUR JOB ALLOW FOR EXTENDED REMOTE WORK?
Yes __
Sometimes __
Never __

Employees with a flexible work-from-home policy don’t necessarily need to live in the same place they work. This can lead to housing opportunities in areas you hadn’t previously considered.

HOW OFTEN DO YOU FIND YOURSELF NEEDING MORE SPACE?
Always __
Sometimes __
Rarely __

Most families could benefit from an extra room or two, these days. Consider upgrading this year while market conditions are solid. If you’d rather renovate your current home, call me for a referral to a trusted contractor!

ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR CURRENT LOCATION?
Yes __
No __

This is the perfect time to find a great deal in your dream location. For moves locally, I’m here to help you figure out your options! If you’re trying to change cities, still give me a call — I’m part of a vast network across Canada and the United States.

>>>Download a pdf version of this post – RMMK_January_MF_c<<<

THINKING OF BUYING OR SELLING THIS YEAR? GIVE ME A CALL, AND I’LL HELP YOU GET STARTED ON YOUR JOURNEY!

Take care,

Mike Wilson
Remax Treeland
604-533-3491
mike@fvlifestyle.com

Oh, by the way…if you know of someone who would appreciate the level of service I provide, please call me with their name and contact information. I’ll be happy to follow up and take great care of them in a way that is healthy and safe.
_ _ _ _ _

SOURCES: 1. Robert Hogue, “Monthly Housing Market Update,” RBC, October 2020 2. CIBC, “Millennials: Rent or own?” 3. RE/MAX CANADA, “Canadian Housing Market Outlook (Fall 2020)” 4. Matthew Halliday, “Canada’s big-city condo market most vulnerable to pandemic headwinds,” The Globe and Mail.

Photo by Francesca Tosolini on Unsplash

This conversation with Rod Clapton, President of the British Columbia Federation of Drift Fishers (BCFDF) and Mike Wilson – BCFDF member and Publisher of Fraser Valley Lifestyle was recorded podcast style by Fuelradio.com. In this episode, we discuss the future of fishing on the Fraser River, particularly for families and drift fishers. You can listen here:

Conversation (paraphrased) with Rod Clapton and Mike Wilson:

Rod Clapton started fishing as a child with his dad. Throughout his teen years, he continued fishing on the Fraser River near the Pattullo Bridge that connects Surrey, BC with New Westminster, BC. Fishing has always been and remains a passion for Rod.

This passion is, in part, what led Rod to get involved with the British Columbia Federation of Drift Fishers (BCFDF), on which he currently serves as President.  

The BCFDF started 25 years ago. At that time there really wasn’t a unified voice for river anglers or an association for drift fishers. Drift fishing is a method of angling separate from stationary bar fishing or fly fishing. It is practiced in rivers where anglers prowl the river searching, as opposed to waiting, for fish to come to them. It is much more active than stationary river fishing.    The idea is to let the current carry your bait or lure through the river using a float or small weights for bouncing on the bottom. It is a highly skilled fishery technique requiring years of experience to master.

Photo BCFDF

Rod has been president of the BCFDF for 25 years. He says, “we’ve attempted to represent an aspect of the fishery, but our membership certainly includes anglers from all other methods. Our mandate is “Protection of Fish Stocks & Preservation of Angler opportunity now & for future generations. 

The BCFDF formed because the other fishing organizations at the time mostly served a narrow, more exclusive group of fishermen and were not inclusive of other types of fishers. There needed to be a more inclusive group.

It is clear that fish stocks continue to decline, especially in the last 10 to 15 years. As part of the drive for resolution, Rod and other federation partners have tried to form  “alliance groups” to further forward stewardship options on our rivers. This is an ongoing challenge.

There is a bit of a pecking order in the minds of “decision-makers” and some groups are being excluded from fishing the Fraser River. While the sport fishery contributes $1.1 billion per year to the BC economy and employs over 9000 people it is one of the groups on the lower end of the pecking order and is being excluded from fishing on the Fraser. 

Photo Unsplash

Rod is a supporter of the heritage value and the social value of family fishing. “It’s priceless! It’s a wonderful experience to teach your kids and grandkids in nature.”

Rod acknowledges that First Nations people have constitutional priority. The ongoing concern is that the heritage of family fisheries are not being considered and not being granted. This is the biggest challenge for the group that he represents.

Over the last two years, family fishing has been denied on the Fraser River. Rod feels like this is a dereliction of responsibility by our fisheries managers.  He believes that fishermen are capable of responsibly fishing selectively and targeting stocks that are healthy, leaving the stocks alone that are of concern.

Rod says the best bonding time he has had with his son is spending the day fishing. It’s a simple and inexpensive pastime.

Mike Wilson of Fraser Valley Lifestyle, also on our call, agrees. He adds that pretty much every time he goes fishing with his son they have a great conversation and have good quality time together. It’s not just about catching a fish. (Many days they don’t catch any!)  It’s also about existing and spending time in the beautiful environment and the excitement of fishing. Mike says he’s been blessed to be a part of that. “We have to have access to the rivers to enjoy these great moments with our families and friends.”

Photo: Unsplash

Rod says it’s imperative that we work with our first nations brothers on these initiatives. He has consulted with First Nation bands, particularly on the Fraser River, recognizing that our goal of preserving the fishery for our children and grandchildren is mirrored by their goals. With the political and public sensitivity to the rights of First Nations peoples, it’s a delicate challenge to raise awareness and allowances for all of the different fishing sectors who would like to fish throughout the province. 

“We’ve tried negotiating with the government and we have made headway with local First Nations people,” Rod explains, “Our biggest issue is with the government. The reality is we’re not getting very far with them.” He thinks the government has failed to manage fish species for all Canadians. The BCFDF has retained legal counsel and says someday the issue of protecting the Public Fishery may make it to the Supreme Court. It may be one of the few avenues left to him and those who share his passion to ensure that their children can take their children fishing.

Today there are many great organizations in addition to the BCFDF throughout the province that are involved in conserving the fishery. If we work together, we can support the great Canadian heritage of family fishing. 

Put these notes after the sign-off and you could include Mike’s gratitude for Rod leading the charge at BCFDF for 25 years. 

Link to website. There is lots of information about all of the details and all of their efforts. They are affiliated with a Fraser River Sports Fishing Alliance. BCFDF was influential in getting that organization up and running. See https://fraseralliance.com/contact/

It costs just $20 a year to join the BCFDF and gives you a voice. Rod says, “Individually we are ignored collectively we are heard.” See https://www.bcfdf.com/

Featured Image: BCFDF

 

For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends and family, but like most special celebrations and gatherings this year, it might have to look a little different than in the past. By now, maybe you have become used to connecting with family and friends online. With BC officials encouraging residents to consider celebrating Thanksgiving virtually this year because of COVID-19 we were wondering what your plans are?

Earlier this week on September 29, 2020, there were 69 patients in the hospital and 20 of those were in critical care. The number of active cases declined to 1268 and recoveries increased to 7485. There are 3337 people who are under active public healthcare monitoring after being exposed to COVID-19.

There was one more death as a result of COVID-19 in the Fraser Health Region increasing the number of deaths to 234.

BC’s top doctor Bonnie Henry, is quoted as saying “rather than traveling to see friends are hosting a large family dinner, make it small this year and plan to connect virtually instead.”

Is that something you will do again this upcoming holiday?

Please comment on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/fraservalleylife

Throughout this past summer Shelley Coburn, a Trustee at the Langley Board of Education partnered with local business owner Brenda-Lee Hunter from The Village Work and Play Space and organized The Village Market in Langley City. I had a visit with Shelley to get her perspective on how the market started and what it might look like in the future.

Shelley Coburn

Shelley grew up in Langley City and describes the community as “a very caring community” and as I spoke with Shelley I got the sense that The Village Market is her way of caring for the community that she grew up in and now serves as a politician.

According to Shelley, The Village Market started in response to COVID-19. She saw it as a way of giving local vendors and farmers the opportunity to sell their products because so many events and markets that they would normally attend were canceled due to the pandemic. COVID-19 has made business difficult for local vendors and farmers. Shelley is moved by the appreciation participants in The Village Market have expressed.

The market was held at 204th and Douglas Crescent in Langley City, BC and has had an interesting variety of vendors including; Koba Foods , The Saucery Fine Foods and Catering , Serenity Soaps, Coastal Glory, Forrestial Friends, Hurricane Foods, Pourhouse Collective, Blue Valley Farms, Sxwnem plant medicines, musician Bruce Andrews, and Nuez Acres

You might have noticed that The Village Market includes crafters who sometimes don’t get to participate in local farmer’s markets because the rules and regulations typically exclude them. For that reason, Shelley says she is going out of her way to include them and give them an opportunity to sell their products.

Some of the leftover fruits and vegetables from The Village Market go to Brogan‘s Diner who then provides meals to people who are homeless. Shelley is creative and looks for local nonprofits to distribute leftover food too like the Douglas Park Community School neighbourhood food bank.

Brogan's Diner
Brogan’s Diner

Shelley says that the market has a definite family feel. Her family and many of the vendor’s families participate in the market. Once in awhile local politicians show up like Peter Fassbender with his wife and grandson, Councilor Teri James, and Langley City Mayor Val van den Broek. Shelley says she appreciates the support but her favourite part is when her friends from the community show up to support the vendors and the market. She would also like to extend her thanks to folks at Discover Langley and the Downtown Langley Business Association who helped her get the market started and have been there ever since.

Shelley has a Facebook page for The Village Market in Langley City, but likes to promote the market in an old-school fashion. Nicole Longacre-O’Brien from the Langley UPS Store helps provide advertising and Shelley drops off flyers in the community a few days ahead of each event.

As Shelley looks ahead she says she may formalize the market a little bit more. In the meantime, she hasn’t set a definitive date for the next market but promises there will be another one this Fall, so stay tuned. If you’re interested in getting a table, prices start at a reasonable $30. You can contact Shelly at shelley@shelleyfcoburn.com for more information.

Article Links

Facebook: The Village Market Langley City

Email Shelley: shelley@shelleyfcoburn.com

Market location: 204th and Douglas Crescent in Langley City, BC

Koba Foods

The Saucery Fine Foods and Catering

Sxwnem plant medicines

Nuez Acres

Author: Rod Janz, Managing Editor, FV Lifestyle

The 2020 BC Day Long weekend is going to be a little different because of the coronavirus. Gatherings of 50+ still aren’t allowed.  In the Spring of 2020, a lot of events were canceled in the Fraser Valley due to the coronavirus including the Maple Ridge Caribbean Festival and others. 

On Canada Day back on July 1 there were several events that took place online instead like The Virtual Surrey Canada Day festival that included music and cultural entertainment, and performances by a number of different artists including 54-40, Bif Naked, Colin James and many others. Similar to Canada Day some Vancouver BC Day festivals are planning to do online activities including the Pride Festival and the Powell Street Festival 

There are still several live events and activities taking place this weekend including the Abbotsford Agrifair at the Exhibition Park venue in Abbotsford. In Vancouver, you can visit Playland at the PNE and the PNE Prize Home Lottery

Since it’s in the Fraser Valley and it normally opens on August 1 until September 15 we want to give a special mention to the Chilliwack Sunflower Festival. We heard it may be opening mid-August, and on their website, it says “Dates TBA.” See the link above for more details.

The White Rock Sea Festival usually takes place on the first weekend in August, but due to the coronavirus it has been canceled and is expected to return in 2021. You can always head to White Rock Beach this weekend and enjoy the sand, shops, restaurants, and the ocean on your own!

Long Weekend Activities in the Fraser Valley

Fort Langley Farmers Market, Saturday, opens at 9:00 for Seniors and 10:00 AM 

White Rock Farmer’s Market Sunday 10 – 2

Abbotsford Farm & Country Market Saturday 9 – noon 

Mud Bay Nature Walkhttps://fvlifestyle.com/event/nature-walks-in-surrey-at-mud-park-august-one/ (Photo)

Details: Hosted by White Rock and Surrey Naturalists – WRSN. Meet Liz at the Mud Bay Park parking lot @ 13030 48 Avenue, turn south off Colebrook Road. Saturday, Aug 1, 2020, 9 AM – 11 AM PDT at Mud Bay Park. Email: parks@surrey.ca. Liz will visit Mud Bay Park. and Colebrook Park afterward.

Featured Image: Chilliwack Sunflower Festival 2018