Summer Family Fun: Cultus Lake Water and Adventure parks – and other ideas
Check out these fun things to do with your family this summer –
Davison Orchards Country Village Win Tickets
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Draw date is July 22, 2019
If you are a lover of good music, if you want to introduce your kids to new sounds – you’re invited to follow your folk to the 2019 Mission Folk Music Festival, running from July 26-28. You’ll spend a weekend watching some amazing artists from across the continent playing an eclectic range of great music from close to home and around the world. Over 20 acts will perform everything from Celtic tunes to country, from klezmer to Senegalese asiko, Latin grooves, Thracian dance tunes – and so much more!
The festival’s home is Fraser River Heritage Park, just east of Mission. The park overlooks the Fraser River with treed areas and lots of green space. It’s one of the prettiest locations around to sit back and enjoy a weekend of music. The ambiance is welcoming to all, easy-going, and family-friendly. During the day, enjoy a variety of concerts and musical gatherings on three stages around the site. In the evenings, a selection of festival artists and groups perform on the Main Stage. Friday night’s Main Stage concert is a special pay-what-you-can show.
This year, Mission welcomes Canadian country music star Michelle Wright, who’ll close out the festival’s Main Stage evening concert on Sunday, July 28. Other festival artists include Montreal’s Oktopus, a sprawling eight-member band who play traditional East-European melodies blended with classical masterpieces and a sprinkling of Québec songs; Rick Scott & Nico Rhodes in Roots & Grooves, are an intergenerational folk smorgasbord of roots, rhythm and groove; Raw Honey shares a cappella song; two brilliant fiddlers, Andrea Beaton and Véronique Plasse, play the dynamic music of Cape Breton and Québec; there are three Celtic-folk masters, Pierre Schryer, Andy Hillhouse and Adam Dobres coming to play, and; the dynamic Senegalese soul-rock sounds of Élage Diouf will have everyone on their feet. Those are just a few of the many talented artists performing. Check the festival’s website for the full line up.
The Wee Folks area is a special area for children and the folks who take care of them. It features creative music and movement sessions, nature-centered craft stations, and interactive activities. Aimed at the 12 and under set, the Wee Folks area is a highlight of the festival for children of all ages (parent participation required).
And there’s more! Plan to browse the art and craft market, join the Festival Choir, partake of some tasty food options, relax in the shaded bistro. And if you want the fully immersive Mission folk experience, consider booking a camping spot. For full festival info and to purchase tickets: missionfolkmusicfestival.ca
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Experience the “wild” side of BC in a safe, comfortable and even luxurious way with Fraser River Safari Jet Boat Tours. Most adventures leave from scenic Mission, BC.
Be sure to have the camera on hand to snap pictures of the seal, deer, bear or bald eagles of the Valley.
Many other creatures also call the area home, including the famous BC salmon and the massive great white sturgeon.
Do you love history? For thousands of years, the Fraser was known simply as the “river” to the First Peoples who lived along its shores. The river provided everything they needed to survive. More recently, the 1858 Fraser River Gold Rush sparked the creation of the Province of BC. Learn about these facts and more as the day continues.
As the Lower Mainland grows and expands, we are losing our wide-open spaces. The Fraser River may be the last natural playground with areas that are still almost untouched by development.
This is our backyard, and Fraser River Safari invites you to join the adventure.
On the homeward journey, your driver will have the chance to demonstrate what the boat is capable of. This much fun shouldn’t be legal, but we’re happy it is.
The 147th Chilliwack Fair is proud to be back at Heritage Park this August 9-11!
This fun-filled community event has something for the whole family: arts and crafts for the youngsters at our Creation Station, beer and wine tasting for the adults, and everything in between. Pig races, diesel truck drags, and the BCRA Rodeo make this weekend one you will not want to miss.
We will be joined by lots of local talent on our stage each night, including the must-see Bryan Adam’s tribute band, Reckless. Get involved by entering your creations in the Fair for a chance to win prize money – from photography and the vegetables in your garden to Lego and other crafts!
There are other ways to win as well: bring your appetite and compete in the 8km Donut Dash or the BRAND NEW Pie Eating Contest! Check out our website for more information at www.chilliwackfair.com.
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The Mennonite story is one of an enduring Christian faith throughout an often tumultuous history. The Mennonite sojourn from The Netherlands to Poland/Prussia, and then to Russia is one of joy, sorrow, and turmoil. Persecution, exile, and martyrdom failed to extinguish the hope and perseverance that Mennonites have shown throughout their history. Settlement in Canada and, in particular, the Fraser Valley, has allowed the Mennonite story to take root and flourish. Today, British Columbia is home to approximately 175 Mennonite congregations.
The Museum’s permanent exhibit hall illustrates the story of the Mennonites spanning 500 years, beginning with the Anabaptists of the 16th century. Relive the often tumultuous story from Zurich in Switzerland to the Netherlands, across northern Europe to Poland/Prussia, then Russia, and finally, to Canada.
Display panels, digital slide shows, and video interviews draw you into the lives of ordinary men and women whose faith in Jesus Christ and desire to live out his life and teachings often put them at odds with both state and church officials.
In July and August, the Museum will repeat its summer matinee film program, featuring a number of films for your viewing pleasure. For a detailed schedule of films, please see our website. This summer, the Museum Gallery will feature an extensive display of beautiful quilts on loan from MCC. Again, consult the Museum website for exhibit details.
The Mennonite Heritage Museum is located on Clearbrook Road just south of the Trans-Canada Highway. Take Exit 87 and proceed south on Clearbrook Road past the large raspberry sculpture in the Clearbrook Interchange roundabout. The museum is located on the east side of Clearbrook Road.
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday; closed on holiday weekends.
Half-way between Calgary and Vancouver, Crazy Creek Resort is open year-round welcoming families to enjoy 3 Hot Pools and cold plunge pool, 240’ Suspension Bridge and Waterfalls. Take a break from driving and go for a hike and a soak or stop overnight or for a few days. Our location, suites, camping and convention center meeting room are the perfect family reunion venue. We envision Rest, Relaxation and Restoration for all that take time to visit, sit around the campfire, go for walks, soak in the pools. Crazy Creek Resort has something for everyone – precious family memories are made here. Reservations are recommended.
The Hike the Gorge and cantilevered boardwalk allows our guests to explore more of Crazy Creek Gorge above the waterfalls. You can also walk along lower Crazy Creek and the Eagle River. Take in the natural beauty of our area, see the salmon spawn up close in September.
Cultus Lake Adventure Park
Take your family on an adventure, and make some fabulous fun-filled memories this summer. For a day that’s guaranteed to be a hit with the whole family, visit the Fraser Valley’s best theme park, Cultus Lake Adventure Park.
Cultus Lake Adventure Park has a Wild West theme with 18 rides and attractions. For example, the Ferris Wheel features four-seater chuck wagons instead of traditional benches. Seated astride multi-coloured horses, the Bucking Bronco takes you on a breathtaking ride and the Runaway Mine Train is a rollercoaster, which you board from a classic railway station.
For the adrenaline junkie, there’s the Cloud Buster. Visible from the drive into Cultus Lake, the Cloud Buster, at 150 feet tall looks pretty formidable. Located in the centre of the park, this ride sits 20 feet above the mini golf course. A free-fall ride with a heart stopping 120-foot drop, it’s not for the faint of heart. “It’s exhilaratingly fun!” said Assistant Manager Morgan Sabino enthusiastically. For the younger kids, and those a little less daring, there are rides that are less scary but just as much fun. The Honey Pots, a kiddie ride, is the park’s unique spin on the classic ‘teacup’ ride. Also, there is the Ribbit which is great for first timers with lively bull frog carriages that bounce and hop around in the tree top habitat.
By far, the most popular ride is the bumper boats! Located below the Wave Swinger, the Bumper Boats are a great way to cool off. Even if you aren’t on one of the boats, for 25 cents you can shoot water cannons at the riders, but watch out, they can shoot right back.
The Boardwalk, which was added a few years ago is very popular with guests. Located above the park grounds, large trees have been incorporated into the design making the pathway cool and pleasant. It has the look and feel of a treehouse. From the boardwalk you can easily see down into the park, so later in the afternoon, parents and grandparents can stroll the boardwalk, while watching the kids having fun. For many families, a visit to the park has become a yearly tradition.
Another fun activity is panning for gems. For only $8, you get a bag of mining dirt and free admission to the Wilderness Trail. The bags are bigger this year and there are more gems. Head down to the miner’s sluice box to discover the hidden gems that you get to keep. You may find calcite, citrine, emerald, moonstone, rough amethyst, sapphire or even topaz to name just a few.
Management at Cultus Lake Adventure Park are constantly making improvements. This year, the park has added more shade structures for their guest’s comfort. Also, the ride pricing structure has changed. Gate admission to the park remains free of charge and for those wanting to experience the rides, you can purchase tokens for each ride, or the unlimited ride wristband which now includes admission to the mini golf course. In addition, there are lockers, for guest’s belongings, available for all day access for only $5, plus a refundable deposit.
The menu at The Ice Box has been improved. Located up on the boardwalk, this concession has expanded to include hot food. The tasty Spiral Spuds are a crowd pleaser and so are the chicken corndogs, Lighter than a usual corndogs, they are very popular. Traditional hot dogs, aka Hog Wallows, are also available. New this year, is a family favorite; popcorn!
The Arcade Corral has been enlarged and offers some cool retro arcade games. For only 25 cents you can play Pacman, Centipede, and Tetris. The game consoles offer 50+ games. An added bonus is the Jawbreaker pinball machine that dispenses candy. This year the Arcade Corral also features a classic bowling game. Skee-Ball. Two tables, located side by side, encourage some friendly competition as players roll small balls into four scoring hoops.
For families on a budget, the $18 Night Rider is a deal. Available for the last three hours the park is open (7 – 10 pm), an unlimited ride wristband is a great way to save money.
If you visit Cultus Lake Waterpark across the street, keep your ticket stub because it’s worth up to $14 off the price of an all-day weekday ride wristband for the Adventure Park – and it need not be used on the same day you visit the waterpark.
Cultus Lake Waterslides have always been a destination for fun seekers throughout the Lower Mainland and now with the addition of Cultus Lake Adventure Park, Cultus Lake has become the destination for awesome family fun. Initiate a new family tradition this summer. Plan a visit to Cultus Lake Adventure Park. The park is open from Noon until 10 p.m. seven days a week. For more information visit www.cultus.com.
Cultus Lake Waterpark
Cultus Lake Waterpark is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. Since 1984, Cultus Lake Waterpark has been a destination for good, clean, family fun. Liz and Chris Steunenberg bought the business in the mid-nineties with a dream of expanding the park and making it the ultimate in family entertainment. Today, Cultus Lake Waterpark is the biggest waterpark in British Columbia.
At Cultus Lake Waterpark, you’ll find some of the most extreme waterslides anywhere. Rides with names like the Tubular Terror and the Valley of Fear are guaranteed to get hearts racing even before boarding the ride. There are also slides that are less intense but a common feature of many of the slides ,whether wild or mild, is that families can ride together. For example, the Boomerang is a bobsled-type ride that carries four passengers in a bobsled-style ‘boat’. Another slide is the Colossal Canyon which features the largest raft in the park seating five people or four adults.
Over the past 35 years, there have been a lot of improvements. The park originally had six slides spread over three acres and there were very few places where visitors could find shade. Today, the park has expanded to 20 slides on 15 acres and includes 200 shade structures. Coined ‘Beach Side Cabanas’, these structures provide great spots for families to camp out for a fun day in the park. They can leave their stuff, the kids can come and go, and the cabanas are a great spot for a picnic. Families can bring a picnic lunch or get something from one of the six restaurants located onsite.
From the beginning, Cultus Lake Waterpark, was guided by the values of safety, cleanliness, and quality. Every year, maintenance and upgrades are ongoing. This year, the Family Spray Park has been expanded and upgraded. Suitable for all ages, this attraction offers 15 interactive features including water cannons, geysers, hoops and shower towers; it’s a great spot to beat the heat.
Over the years, visiting Cultus Lake Waterpark has been a tradition with families. Today, the park is welcoming second and even third-generation guests. “Every so often, someone will come up to me and say how much they enjoyed the waterpark when they were growing up and that coming to the waterpark is now a family tradition with their own children,” commented Chris Steunenberg, owner of the Waterpark.
Cultus Lake Waterpark is always looking for ways to improve the family experience. Park Management, upon noting that younger families were lining up earlier, changed the opening time to 9:30 am. “Little kids get up early so families with little kids really appreciate this,” said Steunenberg.
Every year, the Waterpark offers two night-slide concerts and this year the concerts will be expanded to three. These popular events are great for older kids, but they attract the younger set as well. Great for church Youth groups, there are special rates available. The night-slide concerts are from 8 pm until midnight. “For the teeny boppers, it’s a thrill to be out late and because these concerts are family-oriented, parents can feel comfortable leaving their children here.” explains Steunenberg. This year’s night-slide concerts will be on Friday, July 19th, Friday, August 2nd and Friday, August 16th.
To celebrate Cultus Lake Waterpark’s anniversary, a commemorative cup has been designed to mark the occasion. Featuring the park’s 35 years of history the 28-ounce plastic cup includes park scenes, caricatures of family members, various management staff and a couple of recognizable celebrities. A caricature of Michael J. Fox is a nod to the fact that Fox and the Steunenberg family both vied to purchase the park twenty-five years ago. The cup is available for purchase for $8.00 and is refillable with slushies or pop for $2.50 all season long.
Five years ago, the Steunenbergs bought and expanded Cultus Lake Adventure Park located just across the street. As an added bonus, your ticket stub from Cultus Lake Waterpark is worth up to $14. off the price of a weekday wristband for the Adventure Park. The Adventure Park is open from noon to 8:00 pm with extended hours till 10 pm, so a great idea would be to start your day at the Waterpark and end it across the street at the Adventure Park.
For 35 years, Cultus Lake Waterpark has been geared to family fun and the next 35 years won’t be any different. While there’s lots on the horizon including online ticket sales, new slides, and new shade areas the park’s primary purpose will always be families having fun together. “After 35 years, we’re still very relevant to family fun and it’s our goal to remain so,” said Steunenberg enthusiastically.
Cultus Lake Waterpark is open seven days a week rain or shine from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm, with extended hours till 7:30 pm. All details are available at www.cultus.com.
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Random Draws throughout the summer
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Random Draws throughout the summer
A visit to the Okanagan is not complete without a trip to an orchard to taste the sweet delights of summer. Everything from sweet cherries, juicy peaches and vine-ripened melons, Davison Orchards offers fresh home-grown fruits and vegetables and a genuine farm experience.
The Davison family have been growing quality produce for over 85 years in Vernon and now, three farming generations later, they offer so much more. The Farmhouse Café was the original homestead to Tom and May Davison and is now re-purposed serving breakfast, lunch and fresh baked goods including fruit pies, apple cinnamon buns, scones and cookies from the scratch bakery. Old-fashioned comfort food, full of flavour, using produce grown on-site; it truly is a farm-to-fork experience with zero food miles.
When the kids need room to run, let them loose in the “Crazy Cow Kids Corral”, a farm-themed play area. Take some time to visit the farm animals in the log barn or just sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful view of the Bella Vista valley. Check out the Country Village Market full of Okanagan fruit, preserves, gifts, farm baking and enjoy free tastings every day. Take an orchard tour on the Johnny Popper Apple Train and learn about the many crops grown on their farm – it’s a little bit of learning and lots of fun! Tours run on weekends in June and everyday in the summer until 4:00 pm.
Fresh-picked apples, the healthy choice for fundraising
Davison Orchards, of Vernon BC, is situated in the sunny North Okanagan, an ideal climate for growing premium apples. The Davison family has been growing apples at the same location since 1933. We feel blessed to be able to work together as a family, and there are currently three generations working on the farm. Not only do we grow over 20 varieties of apples, we grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. What we grow on the farm is sold to customers or made into a selection of preserves, made-from-scratch baked goods, and fresh, pure apple juice with no added water or sugar. We strive to grow the best quality produce possible, while offering a unique farm experience to our visitors. Our priorities include farm-fresh food, educational orchard tours, and a family fun destination.
Davison Orchards provides the opportunity for groups to sell our 15 pound boxes of apples as part of a fundraising program. Community groups, schools, and churches in BC and Alberta have benefited by raising money for a good cause, while at the same time providing fresh, local apples to families.
Our fundraising program offers 3 to 4 apple varieties that are sold during the apple harvest. They are hand-picked, hand-packed, and delivered fresh from our farm. It doesn’t get fresher than that! As an alternative to chocolate or ticket book fundraising programs, Davison Orchards apples are a healthy snack grown in an environmentally sustainable way. The apple fundraising program has been a huge success and many participants have become repeat customers, expanding every year.
If this is something your group is interested in, please contact Kevin Shaw by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 250-549-3266. Contact us as soon as possible to begin your apple fundraising program. Visit our website at www.davisonorchards.ca to learn more about our farm.
This is a family fun destination with something for everyone, only minutes from downtown Vernon. Davison Orchards is open daily, May 1st to October 31st, located at 3111 Davison Road in Vernon, BC.
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Parents need camp as much as kids
I remember clearly the arduous packing and preparing for our annual family camping trip; hauling a dusty tent and camping supplies from the bottom of a pile of year-long forgotten items in our garage. My parents thought it important for our family (4 kids in tow) to pack food, travel a few hundred kilometres from our home to a tenting site somewhere else, to live without our typical home comforts. What possessed them to do that? I recall relentless mosquitoes, smelly outhouses, suffering the flu with no comfy bed to sleep in, dirty communal showers and no TV!
Perhaps my parents were able to see the value in, and justified the camping activity as good, if not essential, for their children. All too often, though, I hear of parents who have never, themselves, experienced the joys and unique perspective of those who’ve braved the wilderness with camp stove, water from a pump, back packs, roasting sticks, sleeping bags, tents and the outdoors as your playground.
Camping is not just for children who have teenage gamers or grade 7 students. It’s for all ages and particularly for those of us who find ourselves committed to parenthood and careers. Camping as a family, away from our home, stretches the mind’s perspective on life the way muscles do after 8 hours of solid, comfortable sleep. In the same way, camping affords our minds and hearts healthy ‘movement’ to see life and its demands not from within, but from outside those challenges.
Plan a camping trip for your family, jump into God’s wilderness or sign your family up for a family camp this summer and consider the good it does not just for your precious little ones, but for you and your family as a whole!
The Victoria Bug Zoo opened its doors in 1997 and has been showing visitors of downtown Victoria our awe-inspiring bugs ever since. A visit to this must-see mini zoo offers an excellent opportunity to view and experience live tropical bugs from around the world. All the animals are alive and in tanks.
Discover roughly 50 fascinating species including giant walking sticks, beautiful praying mantis, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, hairy tarantulas, and an incredible ant colony.
Knowledgeable tour guides will introduce you to the wonderful world of bugs, give a wealth of information about the animals on display, and provide a safe bug-handling experience for the more adventurous. No need to be shy, none of our critters are going to hurt you! Tours are always in progress so no matter when you come, you are always on time, but make sure you plan for at least an hour in the zoo.
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Bridal Falls Waterpark is home to the Fraser Valley’s most accessible waterslides. There are no stairs for you to worry about! Our family-oriented facilities make for the perfect day of fun in the sun (and the water) for you, your family and your friends.
The water is always warm but if you like it hot, there is also a gigantic hot tub to hang out in. With plenty of green space, there is room to spread out and have a picnic or a concession for your convenience. You can also reserve a private VIP area. Enjoy hours of entertainment and fun!
Conveniently located just off the Transcanada Highway, with tons of free parking, the Water Park is right beside the Camperland RV Resort and Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park. Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm from June 28 to September 2.
For more information go to www.bridalfallswaterpark.com.
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Urban Safari Rescue Society is dedicated to the rescue of unwanted exotic animals of all kinds.
Urban Safari currently cares for 350 unwanted exotic animals that were former pets. They do not recommend people get exotic animals as pets. These animals often require more advanced care than dogs or cats and often have longer life spans than most people realize. Urban Safari also offers a variety of opportunities for children and the public to learn about animals and the natural world. They are open to the public, so you can bring the family in for an afternoon of discovery and learning about animals at the facility from their knowledgeable staff. Urban Safari also has summer camps, Nature Club, and Junior Zoo Keeping for teens.
They will also come to your birthday party, school or event and do an hour long presentation. They bring 15 to 17 animals ranging from tarantulas, reptiles, amphibians and small mammals and teach everyone about animals and the animal world.
You can find more information about this unique organization at www.urbansafari.ca.
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Riptide Lagoon Adventure Park features two beautifully-themed, professionally-designed 18 hole mini golf courses. The Lagoon course has many water features while the Mountain course has younger people excited to golf through a cave.
After golfing the calming idyllic settings, try a change of pace and jump on laser tag bumper cars. The spaceship-like cars, bumping, explosions and excitement of safely shooting friends with lasers is especially thrilling to those who remember old-style bumper cars.
The clubhouse portrays old fashioned ice cream parlors with 24 flavours of ice cream, creating a destination stop for people of all ages.
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“My sister and I grew up next to the Chilliwack River and we were both rafting before we could walk. We first learned about whitewater from our dad, Russ Brown, who has been canoeing, kayaking and rafting on the Chilliwack River for over 35 years. Our parents established Chilliwack River Rafting in 1995 and now the whole family works together to give our thousands of annual guests the best BC rafting experience we can. I’ve paddled all over and the Chilliwack River is still my favourite river.
The diversity of the river’s sections means that we can customize the adventure to each group, whether it’s aggressive swim-team teenagers or younger children. I think that the quality of close-to-home rafting surprises a lot of our guests. Our riverside raft ranch is only 15 minutes from Cultus Lake and about an hour from Vancouver! I feel so lucky to spend every summer rafting in the beautiful Cascade mountain range and meeting amazing people from nearby and around the world. Hope to see you on the river!”
Hear what our customers are saying: “Everybody should do this! This is the best white water rafting trip I’ve been on! Great value for money, Amazing guides, fun river and great atmosphere. I really feel like we were so well taken care of and we weren’t just a $$ sign… …We all ended the trip getting exactly what we wanted! I now have 2 teenagers that can’t wait to go again. Thanks Sarah (our guide) for an awesome trip!”
– Dani on July 23, 2018
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Check out Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) this summer where you will bathe in the warmth of a Greek island and witness a fight for what’s right with Mamma Mia! and Disney’s Newsies, running alternate evenings July 5 – August 17, 2019, at Stanley Park’s glorious Malkin Bowl.
A beloved Vancouver tradition since 1940, Theatre Under the Stars is much more than just a night at the theatre. Nestled among awe-inspiring Douglas Firs, TUTS interweaves a kaleidoscope of elements – setting, scenery, concessions, and quality art – into a fun, encompassing experience that is much greater than the sum of its parts.
Set on a Greek island paradise where the sun always shines, box office record-breaking Mamma Mia! brims with non-stop laughs, explosive dance, and the magic of ABBA’s hit songs: ‘Dancing Queen,’ ‘Take a Chance on Me,’ ‘Super Trouper,’ ‘SOS’ – and the list goes on! More than 60 million people the world over have fallen in love with the characters, story, and music that makes Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good show.
Playing the lead role of Sophie Sheridan is Keira Jang, returning for her fourth TUTS season. Her mother, Donna Sheridan, will be played by Caitriona Murphy, backed by the rest of the Donna and the Dynamos band – Sheryl Anne Wheaton (Rosie) and Lori Zondag (Tanya). Starring as the three possible father figures are TUTS veterans Stefan Winfield (Harry Bright), Matt Ramer (Bill Austin), and Peter Monaghan (Sam Carmichael), who was last seen as the Beast in the 2016 production of Beauty and the Beast.
A soaring spectacle of powerful song and high-kicking dance, Disney’s Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message for the whole family. At the turn of the 20th century, New York City had its papers delivered by an army of ragged orphans and runaways called ‘newsies.’ But when newspaper owners raise distribution prices at the newsies’ expense, this band of misfits unites to strike against the unfair conditions. Filled with inspiring songs such as ‘King of New York,’ ‘Santa Fe,’ and ‘Carrying the Banner,’ this Disney film turned Tony Award-winning Broadway hit inspires everyone to seize the day!
Returning to the TUTS stage for the first time in more than 10 years is Adam Charles (Jack Kelly), joined by Daniel Curalli (Davey Jacobs) and Jordyn Bennett (Les Jacobs) playing sibling newsies and close confidantes. Jovanni Sy makes his TUTS debut as publishing magnate Joseph Pulitzer and Julia Ullrich returns for her third season as a young journalist (Katherine Plumber) who reports on the newsies’ strike. Christopher King is Music Director, with Albertazzi as Set Designer, and Sinosich on Costume Design.
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Kilby Historic Site: The Hidden Gem of Fraser Valley
by Agnes Chung
“We want two double scoops of raspberry cheesecake with cookies and cream, please,” Anika and Sarah rattled off to the friendly lady. The rumble of the freight train outside was a reminder of a bygone era in rural British Columbia.
Tucked away near the confluence of the Harrison and Fraser Rivers, the Kilby Historic Site is a treasure trove of memories of rural British Columbia life in the 1920s. The Kilbys lived and worked on the five acre site in Harrison Mills, a Fraser Valley community from 1906 until 1977. It was later acquired by the BC provincial government and turned into BC’s Museum of Rural Life. In the days of the steam locomotive, Harrison Mills was a water refuelling stop. The last passenger train run was in 1958.
Visiting the site, the first stop is the Orientation Barn where visitors go to purchase their admission tickets. Within is a gift shop selling local artisan crafts and condiments – and a restaurant. The 50-seat diner offers country-style lunches, home-made pastries and pies. Traditional roast beef lunch is available every Sunday.
The nuts and bolts of everyday life can be seen at the Heritage Farm. Here a ‘pile of rusty treasures’ including vintage buggies, tools used by blacksmiths, saddlers, and wheelwrights; other implements from rural life and agriculture, lay exposed in the Farm Implement Shed.
Kids will enjoy feeding the friendly farm animals. Feed is available for purchase for a Loonie from the gift shop. Turkeys and chickens roam freely in the Chicken Coop. The Piggery holds two hungry pigs, rolling in the mud. At the nearby Animal Stable live two sheep and a friendly lone goat. The Jersey cows were grazing in the pasture by the Bull Pen.
A favourite among visitors is the building that houses the General Store, Post Office, living quarters and Manchester House Hotel. Being in the flood plain area, several of the buildings are built on stilts and connected via boardwalks. The artifacts and collectibles on the walls and cabinets of the various rooms are well-preserved and meticulously arranged. In 1906, Thomas and Eliza Kilby opened their General Store and Post Office. The store was the heart of the community. People came to shop and gather the latest news. Intriguing items, big and small, decorate the walls, shelves and cabinets from floor to ceiling. Their son, Acton, and his wife took over the store operation from 1922 until 1977.
In the living quarters, the mint-looking wood stove served as a heater for the room, irons and hot water. Up the creaking stairs, the hotel rooms featured the Kilby family life stories, history of the community and the local First Nations. Not to be missed is the fascinating gallery of products and packaging displays from different decades. The hotel was opened by Eliza Kilby in 1908 to accommodate people working in the thriving mining, lumber and agricultural communities of Harrison Mills. It was named after her English hometown, Manchester.
The 35-site campground offers a day use area, sandy beaches, nature trails and boat launch.
A myriad of events are held throughout the year. August 6 is Heritage Day. Children can experience the 1920s through fun interactive games and activities. The Old-Fashioned Summer Carnival on August 13 will entertain visitors with live music, games, a barbeque and much more. Opening hours are from 11 am to 4 pm daily. www.kilby.ca