Thursday - May 16, 2024 - Township to reveal new Fort Langley waterfront plans


🌧 High 13C | Your forecast

Good morning!

Alice Munro died this week at the age of 92. I love Munro's stories, not just because they're great, entertaining, amusing, and perplexing works of fiction, but because they chronicle life in places that feel like our own communities, where it can take the verve and eye of a writer like Munro to render seemingly mundane parts of life utterly fascinating. The stories she told aren't formulaic tearjerkers or life studies. They're just damn good stories.

I would love to discover a modern Munro, and some terrific contemporaries are out there. But you can’t really proclaim Munro's talent to be extraordinary and then also wonder why a whole bunch of other writers can't replicate it. Instead, it’s worth revelling in her writing—and writing about it, like this piece that says, of all modern authors, her stories were most likely to find an audience a century from now.

– Tyler


Fighting wildfire with ‘good fire’

BC Wildfire Service members use drip torches to treat surface fuels during a prescribed cultural burn with the Boothroyd Indian Band on Nlaka’pamux homelands on May 2. 📷 Aaron Hemens

After fuelling up their drip torches, BC Wildfire Service workers wearing red jackets begin to lay fire to an area of dry forest ground in Nlaka’pamux territory.

Donning helmets and gloves, the crew members walk side-by-side in straight lines through the dense woodland area around them, slowly running their torches through vegetation and surface debris near their feet. They leave trails of fire behind them as they trudge along.

The controlled burn on May 2 was conducted in partnership between the Boothroyd Indian Band and BCWFS on band land, located near Boston Bar, just across from the entrance to the community, with Highway 1 dividing the two.

The project was designed to help build on the Nlaka’pamux community’s knowledge of fire and the ecosystem, as well as to improve their confidence in mitigating wildfires. Fifteen BCWFS members trained six young contract firefighters from Boothroyd on how to conduct a prescribed burn.

The community itself has an extensive and long history of conducting their own cultural burns. Their wildfire mitigation treatment consists of trimming trees; removing debris; piling it all together and burning.

Elder and former band chief Rick Campbell estimated that the practice of cultural and prescribed burns hasn’t been done in some areas throughout the nation for at least 500 years.

“I think it’s long overdue,” he said.


Need to Know

🔥 A burning vehicle was the likely cause of a wildfire near Harrison Lake late Tuesday [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

🔪 A man with a knife was arrested at a Chilliwack Shoppers Drug Mart after he refused to leave [Chilliwack Progress]

🎤 Mission’s Eshan Sobti finished third in Canada’s Got Talent [Mission Record]

💧 The District of Kent is one step closer to building a region-wide aquatic centre [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

🛑 Rural Lytton residents say they haven’t received the same provincial support as their in-town counterparts [The Tyee]

🏫 Abbotsford’s W.J. Mouat Secondary School will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a basketball tournament, tours, and barbecue [Abby News]

🚓 A Quebec man wanted for possession of child pornography was arrested in Langley this month [Langley Advance Times]

💰 The District of Hope has received a second $30,000 grant for emergency support services [Hope Standard]

👉 Two cedar posts carved by Yeqwyeqwí:ws First Nation Chief Terry Horne were unveiled in front of Chilliwack City Hall Tuesday [Fraser Valley Today]

🌡 2023 was the hottest summer on record in the northern hemisphere, according to 2,000 years worth of tree rings [Scientific American]

📷 CURRENT CAM: Congratulations to Bruce for being the first person to identify that yesterday’s Current Cam was taken at District 1881 in Chilliwack.


Brewhalla Fort Langley is back this Saturday

Join us on May 18 at Fort Langley Park for an afternoon of sipping and sampling products from 30+ local Craft Beverage makers! Try new beers, ciders, wines, spirits and zero proof options, dance along to live bands and DJs, play your favourite lawn games, compete against friends in one of our competitions, and satisfy your cravings at one of the 8 food trucks on site!

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket and spend the day at Brewhalla! Tickets are $45 and include your tasting glass, 2 drink tokens and access to all the fun on site! Event is 19+

The Agenda

Fort Langley’s waterfront has been subject to a number of different proposals over the years. (Click the links in the story for a larger version of each concept.) 📷 Township of Langley; Township of Langley; Fort Langley Project

Fort Langley waterfront changes being considered, again

After 17 years of concepts, consultation, and inaction, the future of the Fort Langley waterfront is on the drafting table once again.

An open-house today will see the Township of Langley reveal its preliminary concept for the waterfront area, which includes the Haldi House and Fort Langley Marina. The Township conducted a survey in 2023, asking residents what they wanted to see in the area. (An independent waterfront committee fronted by the Fort Langley Community Association conducted a similar survey at the same time.)

Previous waterfront plans have ranged from subdued to ostentatious. In 2007, ideas for the waterfront focused largely on enhancing the trail space. Four options were presented to the public, and had a range of ways community amenities could be introduced to the waterfront. (At the time, Bedford Landing had not yet been developed; a preconstruction announcement was published in November 2007.) The township secured funding from the province to build a “Spirit Square” on the Fort Langley waterfront in August of 2007. The following November, it opened a Spirit Square beside the Fort Langley Community Hall instead.

The next waterfront concept was released a decade later, when the Township began thinking about the new salishan Place museum and a correspondingly-redesigned waterfront. The designs included building an overpass over the railway, moving Haldi House, and creating a small floating stage. The township created fly-over and walk-through videos to illustrate what the changes could look like.

In 2021, the Fort Langley Project, a creation of developer and then-councillor Eric Woodward, released its own design for the Fort Langley waterfront. Woodward, who is now Langley Township’s mayor, owns nearly half of the commercial properties in Fort Langley. The Fort Langley Project concept included a three-storey commercial building where the Haldi House currently sits, a large spiral floating theatre, and a swimming pool. It also removed the Fort Langley boat launch, but assumed the launch would be replaced somewhere east of Fort Langley.

The newest waterfront concept will be revealed at an open house today from 4pm to 8pm, at the Riverside Community Room. (It is accessible from the boardwalk behind the Fort Pub.) Designs for the concept are based on a township survey, which saw people focus on the need for shade trees, facilities for water sports, and public access to the river in the waterfront area.


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Abbotsford's Official Community Plan

The City of Abbotsford is updating the Official Community Plan.

The project will strengthen Abbotsford’s plan for growth and development in the coming decades.

Get involved to shape your city! Attend an open house or take the survey from May 11 to June 7.

🗓 Things to do this week/end

🚜 Tractor show: Atchelitz Threshermen’s Association is hosting its free small engine show beside Chilliwack's Heritage Park on Saturday, May 18, and Sunday, May 19. The engines will be running from 9am to 4pm. Details online.

🎸 Rock heritage: The Church of Rock N' Roll will be honouring past rock legends at Corky's Irish Pub in Chilliwack on Sunday, May 19 at 9pm. Details online.

🚧 LEGO club: The Aldergrove Library hosts its Lego and Keva club for kids every Tuesday after school. Details online.

Want even more? Insider members get a comprehensive events listing every Thursday, plus a weekly Saturday round-up edition with behind-the-scenes content. Becoming a member costs less than $2 a week and helps support the ongoing production of The Current’s newsletters and in-depth journalism. Become a member here.

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