Heritage Week 2023

2023 Heritage Week is February 20 – 26. The theme is “Always in all ways”.

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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.

Heritage Register

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.

Heritage Week celebrations in the past

Heritage Week 2022

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The BC Heritage Week 2022 theme explores the many ways that heritage engagement requires creativity, as well as unique solutions and actions to encourage broad participation. Heritage can and must foster best practices in diversity and accessibility. By reducing the many different types of barriers that keep people from enjoying heritage and feeling safe, then lives will be enriched. When heritage responds to diversity and accessibility challenges, it becomes inclusive. This is possible for even the smallest of heritage organizations and is reason to celebrate.

Meet Bowen’s new mascot on Family Day, February 21!

Come see us at the Gateway Mural Launch Party to meet the new mascot and get a delicious treat courtesy of the Sweet Stand. 1:30 pm on Monday, Feburary 21 at the Snug Cove North Dock.

Museum and Archives: the unique history of the blind on Bowen Island

The Bowen Island Museum and Archives has an online exhibit on Facebook exploring the unique and rich history of the blind of Bowen. Check in daily to see the posts February 21-27, 2022.

The theme for 2021 Heritage Week was “Where Do You Find Heritage?” It’s a great fit for our local celebrations. 

Bowen Island has just adopted our first Community Heritage Register, and the Heritage Commission is now seeking suggestions to build our heritage inventory, a list of places to consider as additions to the Register.

Please contribute your ideas, personal stories, and images to places suggested for the inventory on our Citizenlab platform. Your input is a vital part of the process of creating our Heritage Strategic Plan.

Heritage Week was February 17 to 23, 2020. 

Tuesday, Feb 11 at the Legion

12:00-1:00 pm Join us for Tuesday lunch at the Legion with the Caring Circle where Bowen’s heritage will be celebrated through a collection of images and personal histories. Chat with Bowen’s Archivist, Cathy Bayly about sharing your Bowen stories and with BIM Planner 1, Jennifer Pierce about how to get involved with the upcoming Heritage Strategic Plan and Heritage Week events.

Saturday, Feb 15 at Library Annex

  • 2:30-4:30 pm Davies Cottage Museum will open its doors for visitors.
  • 2:45-4:30 pm Meet at front entrance of Library, then head out for a 1.5 hour Heritage Tour led by Peter Vaisbord and Melissa Harrison. Peter has been active in heritage advocacy since 1989 and was a co-founder of Heritage Vancouver. Melissa is co-chair of the BIM Heritage Commission. The tour will feature a selection of the top 10 sites currently being proposed for Bowen’s Heritage Register. Rain or Shine – dress for walking and weather.
  • 4:30-6:30 pm Heritage Public Engagement including:
  • Watch the trailer for Bowen’s first shadow puppet film series by Bowen Fables and Bowen community members! The film series will be presented in March 7 at the Annex, 7-9pm.
  • Presentation on Bowen’s heritage story by Cathy Bayly, archivist at the BI Museum and Archives.
  • Presentation by BIM Planner 1 on the new engagement platform where members of the public can:
    • Review the Heritage Register
    • Suggest items to include in the Heritage Inventory
    • Learn about and discuss heritage conservation tools

Feb 17-23 on Social Media

BIM’s Facebook and Twitter feeds featured heritage photos all week long and announcements of other events during the week.

  • Sports
  • Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Marine
  • Industry
  • School
  • Theatre
  • Bonus: Bowen Island Fire Rescue

Friend the Bowen Island Museum and Archives on FaceBook and have fun remembering Bowen’s past.

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. The Bowen Fables films will be shown at a screening at the Library Annex on March 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm.