Thursday, August 10, 2023 edition - Carving a house post

Fraser Valley Current

Thursday, August 10, 2023 | 🌦️ High 23C

Good morning!

I’ve never skydived but I’ve always wanted to. My mom used to jump out of planes for a living (she was a parattack firefighter, or smokejumper, in the 90s) and she’s told a lot of stories about it. The fellow in our Throwback Thursday post today makes it look like a lot of fun, too. We also have more information about wildfire causes for members at the bottom of the newsletter toady.

Thanks to new Insider members like Bill and Beverly. Join them and take advantage of our summer membership sale.

Grace Giesbrecht

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🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

⚠️ Here’s the current smoke forecast / Check the BC Wildfire Dashboard here

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How the eagle got its eye

George Price works on a house post. 📷️ Tyler Olsen.

It’s time to give the eagle its eye.

George Price has already carved the bird’s head at the base of the post. He has finished its dynamic rounded beak, given its brow a defining notch, and added stylistic marks on its lower cheek.

Now, he picks up a short knife with a tiny blade, swipes it across an abrasive paper to sharpen it, and leans in close to where he has outlined the design for an eye.

Carving isn’t like drawing. It involves not the addition of various details, but the removal of them—the subtraction of material in such a way so that what’s left is your finished product.

So Price turns his knife not on the eye itself, but on two stylized triangular segments on either side of a circle. Price calls these "tris" and they're a defining element in Salish art. His knife sketches out the edges of one of the triangles, then begins to rip away cedar from its core. He leans on his knife, grunts betraying the effort needed to dig into the three-century-old log.

Relatively quickly (thanks, briefly, to additional help from a small chainsaw), the eye begins to emerge from the wood. Just as, over the past two months, the rest of the figures on the post have slowly come together under the watchful eyes of Price—and carloads of tourists.

Related story

Need to know

🏚️ Destroyed businesses in Lytton already facing high costs to rebuild are struggling as federal pandemic loan repayments loom [Vancouver Sun]

👮 One person was arrested after Langley police surrounded a home for six hours [Langley Advance Times]

🌻 The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival will become the Harrison Sunflower Festival this year after the family who runs it moved to a new farm [Fraser Valley Today]

📦️ A Langley woman is buried beneath unwanted Amazon packages (not literally) [CBC]

🛣️ Eastbound traffic on Mission’s 7th Avenue will be detoured for the next week [City of Mission]

🔥 A canvas-covered, metal-framed shed caught fire in Chilliwack on Tuesday [Chilliwack Progress]

🍦 A free ice cream drive-through for seniors is coming to Chilliwack [Chilliwack Progress]

👩‍🎨 Two Hope artists talk about why they love the local art crawl [Hope Standard]

❄️ A Langley company is giving away a free heating and cooling system to a family in need; nominations will be accepted until the end of the month [Langley Advance Times]

🌊 Residents of Mount Woodside near Harrison Hot Springs have been asked to conserve water [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

👉️ The Chilliwack Youth Health Centre is facing a severe budget crunch after losing provincial support [Chilliwack Progress]

🚎 People with disabilities are relieved to have buses back up and running in Mission [Mission Record]

🗺️ Leq’a:mel First Nation will design an evacuation guide using new provincial funding [Chilliwack Progress]

📷 CURRENT CAM: Congrats to Ken Creech, who was the first to identify the Friendship Garden at the Clearbrook Library as the location of yesterday’s Current Cam photo.

📈 The Fraser Valley's new inaugural Digital Marketing Conference is happening this September. Get your ticket and check out this a prime opportunity for professional growth.*

*Sponsored Listing

The Agenda

Biplanes fly at the 1969 Abbotsford Airshow. 📷️ British Columbia Special Services Branch/Royal BC Archives.

Airshow shuttle will be free; BC Transit ducks post-strike questions

The shuttle bus to and from the Abbotsford Airshow will be free this year—just like all other BC Transit buses in August as the system tries to repair the damage done by a four-month-long strike.

The shuttle bus will leave from the Bourquin Exchange, make several stops in town—including one at Highstreet—before arriving at the airport. Last year, the shuttle cost riders $2.25 to avoid the traffic chaos and parking charges. Find the route map here.

Meanwhile, the provincial agency has refused to allow The Current to interview its CEO or chair about what, if any, steps it will take to avoid future labour disputes. The Crown corporation has now seen lengthy strikes in two major transit systems in consecutive years. (A labour dispute in the Sea-to-Sky region shut down buses there for 136 days last year.)

The strike led to some calls for BC Transit to reconsider its use of third-party contractors to operate local transit systems. BC Transit hires the operators, which are then in charge of hiring bus drivers and other employees. In March, Sea-to-Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy told The Current that the Whistler-area strike demonstrated the lack of influence local politicians and communities have over their own transit systems.

But after a strike that left Fraser Valley riders with no transit options for month, BC Transit—an arm’s length provincial Crown Corporation—has refused The Current’s request to speak to its leaders. The Current will be speaking to Chilliwack MLA and Minister of State for Transportation and Infrastructure later this week.

Money for Chilliwack River Valley evacuation guide

An evacuation guide is coming for another one-way-out Fraser Valley community.

The Fraser Valley Regional District was given $30,000 to consider how Chilliwack River Valley residents may be able to evacuate in the case of an emergency.

Last year, the FVRD completed a similar document for the Cultus Lake area.

The Chilliwack River Valley guide won’t lay out specific routes or plans. Those are intended to be flexible because different emergencies may require different evacuation activities and a plan that directs residents to immediately leave down Chilliwack River Valley road may be inappropriate if that road is blocked by a landslide, flood, or fire.

Instead the guide, like that created for the Cultus Lake and Columbia Valley area, will lay out a framework that local emergency officials can use to make in-the-moment decisions. That can include dividing the area into different evacuation zones, identifying hazards, and determining which emergency officials will do what in the case of an emergency.

The guide will eventually be made public.


Live, learn, work, play

Housing affordability has decreased significantly in the past 5 years, especially in desirable communities like Abbotsford.

Abbotsford Tech District will deliver affordable housing for young people and families in a complete community with high-quality education and well-paying jobs - and it will build up not out to preserve Sumas Mountain nature and trails.

Throwback Thursday

A parachuter leaps from a plane over the Fraser River. 📷️ British Columbia Special Services Branch/Royal BC Archives

The Abbotsford Airshow has featured many acts over its more than 60 years of annual events. One of them, captured in the photo above, included parachuters who leapt from small planes to awe the audiences waiting on the ground below.

This year’s annual show begins Friday, August 11 at the Abbotsford Airport and runs all weekend.

🗓 Things to do

Ongoing, August 10 to 16

🎪 Fair: The 151st annual Chilliwack Fair will run Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13. Find food vendors, entertainment, pony rides, rodeo events, and more at Chilliwack Heritage Park. Find more information online. 

🖼️ Mural festival: The Chilliwack Mural Festival will start on Thursday, August 10 and run until Saturday, August 12. Visit the free downtown festival for activities, performers, food trucks, and freshly-painted murals. More info online.

🏀 Basketball championship: The Vancouver Bandits basketball team is hosting the CEBL championships this weekend. Semi-final and championship basketball games, alongside a street festival, concert series, and youth basketball events, will run from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13 at the Langley Events Centre. Tickets online.

✈️ Airshow: The Abbotsford International Airshow starts Friday, August 11 and runs until Sunday, August 13. Tickets available online.

🧑‍🎨 Art crawl: The Hope Art Crawl will feature 40 artists in 18 locations in Hope, Silver Creek, Kawkawa Lake, and the Ruby Creek Art Gallery on Hwy 7. Maps can be picked up at the Hope Visitor Centre. Email [email protected] for more information.

🐴 Horse show: The Campbell Valley Horse Trials in Langley will feature equestrians of all levels as they compete in dressage, jumping, and cross-country competitions. Parking and admission is free; spectators are encouraged to bring lawn chairs. Details online.

🪓 Logger sports: The Canadian Timbersports Championships will run from Saturday, August 12 to Sunday, August 13 at the Chilliwack Coliseum. Events include axe-throwing, wood-chopping, and chainsaw-slicing. Details online.

🏃 Track and field competition: The Canadian Masters Athletics Association is hosting its outdoor track and field championships at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley from Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13. Master athletes are racers over age 35. More info online.

Thursday, August 10

🎸 Live music: Live local musicians will take the stage at Beatniks Bistro in Fort Langley. Details online.

Members get access to our full weekly events listing. Find it here.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted here.

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Paper lightning

Tyler writes: Last week, we published an in-depth story explaining how human-caused fires aren’t necessarily to blame for BC’s increasingly dire wildfire summers. I talked to wildfire expert Mike Flannigan, among others for the story, and he shared one interesting insight that didn’t quite make it into the final article.

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