The weird and wonderful vegetable display at last year’s Third Annual Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival. David Sutton photo

Celebrate fall at Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival

Local festival takes place this Saturday as part of Culture Days

Heloise Dixon-Warren

Observer Contributor

This year marks the fourth annual Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival. The festival is hosted by the Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Society and the Bouchie Lake Country Store. Through this partnership, we hope that opportunities will be created to ensure the long-term sustainability of the festival.

We welcome everyone to join us Saturday Sept. 29 for a fun-filled day of entertainment, demonstrations, activities and learning for the whole family. Back again this year is the The Great Squash Weigh In, Weird and Wonderful Vegetable Competitions, and Farmer Games. The event opens at 11 a.m. and goes until 3:30 p.m. The Opening Ceremonies are planned for 11:30 a.m.

Since its beginnings in 2015, the festival has been part of the Canada-wide Culture Days events. The festival is one of several events happening in the North Cariboo on the Culture Days weekend. Culture Days is dedicated to building a national network of cultural connections, devoted to providing Canadians with opportunities to participate in, and appreciate, all forms of arts and culture. It raises the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities. We are excited to be part of this National Celebration in “downtown” Bouchie Lake.

The Theme for Culture Days for 2018 is OnBeat. OnBeat is a collective rhythm-inspired event bringing together thousands of Canadians from coast-to-coast both in-person and online to celebrate making the arts accessible, inclusive and fun!

At the festival, our OnBeat component is the opportunity for the public, of all ages, to join local Métis Spoon Player, Greg Sterling, for a one-hour interactive workshop on Métis Spoon Playing and learn some of the history of “Spoonology.” Greg tells us he has about 40 sets of spoons – so what a sound that will make. Something to be captured on video and shared with the Culture Day organizers! Other entertainment planned includes some background music and singing with local musician Garth East. Garth also joined us at the 2017 Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival. During and following the festival, use the hashtag #OnBeat for tagging the Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival on the National Culture Day Stage.

Sept. 29 is also the last day of National Forestry Week. This event is a perfect addition to Culture Days, as it is a chance to learn about Canada’s forest heritage and to raise awareness about this valuable and renewable resource and how it fits into economy, culture, traditions and history – and to our future. A booth will be on-site to educate and celebrate the forests that we live in and near.

Baker Creek’s Karen Hawkridge will be on-site at 1 p.m. with a Neuromuscular Integrative Action (NIA) demonstration. NIA is described as the hottest new trend in mind-body wellness. It blends martial arts, healing arts, dance and self healing, to create a high-powered workout.

There is no admission to attend the festival, although donations are appreciated. As the event is put on entirely by volunteers, donations help us “pay it forward,” by building a fund for next year and providing honorariums to the musicians that give so generously of their time.

If you wish to get involved as a volunteer, organize an event or activity, or set up a booth, we welcome you and your participation. To find out more, please check out the facebook event page at Bouchie Lake Harvest Festival or email bouchielakefriends@gmail.com.

Heloise Dixon-Warren is secretary of the Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Society.

READ MORE: Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Society debuts film on local heritage

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