As anyone familiar with the history of B.C knows, wood has always been an important staple of our economy and our culture. Surely every Lower Mainlander can conjure an image of iconic log flows on the Fraser , an image we see, chugging lazily by, year after year.
In honour of our intimate relationship with the precious commodity we know as wood, the fourth annual Spirit of Wood Festival is coming to town this weekend, February 4 and 5, at the Arts Centre and Theatre.
Initiated four years ago as a yearly event leading up to the Olympics, the Spirit of Wood Festival is part of a month-long “Spirit Festivals” program in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows and throughout the province, a program designed to celebrate B.C’s arts and cultural communities.
Cheryl Johnson, media liaison for the Spirit of Wood Festival explained the impetus for the event’s celebration of wood and its uses. “We realized that wood was very important to our economy, and played an important role in our everyday lives. Think about it – wood is used in so many of the things we use every day, our homes, our furniture. We thought, what a great commodity to celebrate, and here
we are four years later, still continuing that tradition.”
The Festival is jam-packed with shows, events and activities for the whole family. On Saturday from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and again on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Festival’s popular Wood Art Showcase and
Sale will be open to the public at the ACT with free admission, featuring the work of local and regional wood artists and crafters. At 7 p.m. on Saturday on the main stage, the Arts Umbrella’s senior and apprentice
dance companies will perform “Spirit Wood,” a vibrant music and dance production featuring the work of renowned Vancouver choreographers celebrating our forests and their origins, and the spiritual connection they hold in their roots.
Not to be missed is the Lumber Jack Pancake Breakfast on Sunday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. kids are invited to join in the fun with the “Make and Take” arts and crafts activities at the ACT. Some of the activities will include making “Kub Kars” out of wood and then racing them on a track, while Ridge Meadows Recycling will be on hand to help kids make a Valentine’s craft out of recycled paper.
Tickets in advance are $20 for adults, $10 for children and seniors, or $5 more at the door.