2023 Heritage Week is February 20 – 26. The theme is “Always in all ways”.
Always in All Ways invites you to explore your local community’s heritage in all the ways that excite you! This could look like anything from joining a walking tour, taking part in a workshop, to cooking a family recipe at home. Take time during this week to celebrate the culture and heritage of the communities that make up the place you call home.
The Bowen Island Community Heritage Register was adopted on January 11, 2021. This Register was developed in cooperation with the Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association and the Bowen Island Museum and Archives, along with feedback from community members.
Heritage Strategic Plan
The Bowen Island Heritage Commission is in the process of developing Bowen Island’s Heritage Strategic Plan for consideration by Council. You can get involved and learn more about heritage conservation planning by participating in our interactive public engagement website.
The work program for the Heritage Strategic Plan outlines the functional framework for developing this Plan. Phase 1 of the work plan involved reviewing current work and has now been completed (see report here). We are currently in Phase 2 (see engagement plan).
The final deliverable of the work program is the Heritage Strategic Plan, which will guide the heritage priorities and actions of Bowen Island Municipality over the next 5 years. This plan will be built upon a community vision and address the objectives of:
- Establishing criteria for determining heritage value
- Maintaining a Heritage Register.
- Establishing policies and procedures for evaluating land use and planning matters with heritage implications
- Undertaking and supporting activities for the advancement of heritage within the municipality
- Annual evaluation and reporting on the progress of the plan
The foundation of the Heritage Strategic Plan will consist of a thorough review and analysis of the state of heritage conservation on Bowen Island. The general public and key stakeholders will help establish the heritage vision through a community engagement process. The plan will then be drafted based on the findings of the review, consultation and research on best practices and implementation tools.
Heritage Activities on Bowen Island
Bowen Island’s local community members have joined together for direct action to protect local heritage. In the 1970s and 1980s the Bowen Island Park and Store Use Society formed and successfully protected the Old General Store (now the library) from demolition.
In 1967, a small group of Islanders formed the Historians group to gather local historical information about the island. Two years later, they formed the Bowen Island Museum & Archives charitable organization. They hosted their first exhibit in 1997. Over time, these collections have formed the basis of the Museum & Archives permanent collection and building with regular public exhibits. They are a membership-based volunteer charitable organization.
In 1989 Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association (Bowen Heritage) formed to save the historic Davies Orchard cottages from demolition. Today, Bowen Heritage works with Metro Vancouver to protect and restore Davies Orchard and cottages. They run one cottage as their local office and another as a living museum, offer a heritage Walking Tour, care for Orchard trees, and grow a Heritage Demonstration Garden. They are also a membership-based volunteer charitable organization.
The Bowen Island Heritage Commission was formed in late 2015 to assist with the Heritage Planning Strategy and to advise Council on heritage issues. They meet about every other month. Their members are composed of local community members, many of whom are longstanding members of the arts council and the two primary heritage organizations on the island.
Memories of Bowen Island is a 2013 student project from Bowen Heritage, it features interviews portraying accounts of life on Bowen Island in the Steamship Era, accompanied by photos from the Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association Photographic Archives.
Bowen Fables is a series of short shadow puppet films that were produced through community workshops. The films use archival images from the Bowen Island Museum and Archives and local stories as a starting point for exploring the creation of local legends. The series was created by Daniella Sorrentino (Mobile Film Camp) and puppeteer Elizabeth Nankin.