Metro Vancouver’s biggest celebration of the environmental, economic and socio-cultural importance of the Fraser River returns to New Westminster Sept. 19 to 21. RiverFest, presented by the Port of Vancouver, includes a pop-up art show, a photography exhibit, performances by award-winning children’s entertainers and a parade of workboats on the Mighty Fraser.
“We always look forward to RiverFest, our biggest event of the year that attracts close to 10,000 visitors down to the Westminster Quay,” said Stephen Bruyneel, Fraser River Discovery Centre’s director of external relations and development. “There will be three days of events and activities, meaning something for everyone in the family.”
But I thought it was just a one-day event?
This year’s festival kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 19 with the New Westminster Arts Council's pop-up art exhibition. This year’s theme is The Working River and its Natural Environment, and pieces have been submitted by nine local artists: Bettina Harvey; Janet Kvammen; Margarita Hobbes; Mat Holmstrom; Melissa Burgher; Ranu Chakraborty; Stephen Hawkins; Susan Greig; and Victoria Mitchell.
What about Friday?
The fun continues on Friday, Sept. 20 with the unveiling of the annual *click* photos of the fraser exhibit. This year’s theme, Life on the Fraser, has generated significant interested from local amateur photographers. The winning entries will be displayed for an entire year at Fraser River Discovery Centre.
What about the festival?
RiverFest 2019, taking place onSaturday, Sept. 21, features a full day of fun for the whole family, including the Family Fun Zone inside Fraser River Discovery Centre, live music featuring Juno award-winning artists Bobs and Lolo, Artisans on the River and the Lucille Johnstone Workboat Parade.
The Family Fun Zone includes activities for folks of all ages. This year’s festival includes games like Pin the Tail on the Salmon, a range of new interactive “discovery boxes” and guided tours of the Journey Through the Working River exhibit.
The Lucille Johnstone Workboat Parade, which is named after former Rivtow CEO and Discovery Centre founding patron Lucille Johnstone, is always a highlight of RiverFest. Taking place on Saturday afternoon, the parade features a variety of vessels that work on the Fraser River that come together to “show off” what they can.
“The Fraser River means so much to all of us for so many reasons, but sometimes I think we take it for granted,” Bruyneel said. “So, we hope people will come down during the week to not only have fun, but also increase their understanding – and help us celebrate – the living, working Fraser River.”
RiverFest 2019will be up and running each day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All events and activities are free and are taking place in or outside the Fraser River Discovery Centre, 788 Quayside Dr.