Tuesday - March 12, 2024 - Symphony In The Valley

🌧 High 8C

Good morning!

Before I get to anything else, have you seen the forecast for this weekend?!? If not, go look now. (Don’t worry: both Environment Canada and the Weather Network have similar forecasts.) Never tell us we don’t report good news! 😀

It’s been interesting to see how the Professional Women’s Hockey League in North America has so quickly hit a level of success that augurs well for its future. There are sold out crowds in many places and, by all accounts—including that in my drop-in hockey dressing room—an entertaining product with more body contact than has traditionally been allowed in international women’s hockey. It’s so successful there is already relocation talk about the one team that is struggling to draw spectators (because of its awkward location).

It got me thinking about the future of the PWHL in Vancouver. This region loves hockey and the skill of PWHL players and the entertainment from the games is promising. But there’s no shortage of hockey teams to cheer on in the region and the Fraser Valley. Why go to a PWHL game rather than, say, a junior game? Women’s professional sports are often unfairly compared to their male equivalents. But the reception to the PWHL—and to women’s soccer, golf and tennis over the years—shows that the male and female versions of any sport are fundamentally different and can be evaluated on their own merits. Spectator sports become popular when they transcend appreciation for individual accomplishments and allow an audience to identify with a certain participant or team. By giving a whole new set of hockey fans teams and players to root for, the PWHL seems destined for expansion. The question is: Where will the Lower Mainland’s team go?

– Tyler

Support local journalism by supporting The Current. Become a Current Insider member today and help bring local stories to life.

Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.


The valley’s not-so-metropolitan orchestras

The Fraser Valley Symphony is a full symphony orchestra based in Abbotsford. 📷️️ Fraser Valley Symphony Group/Facebook

The audience knows the concert is getting good when the piano starts rattling.

That’s one of the moments that Julia Toews, the Fraser Valley Symphony’s historian (and past-president), says is particularly special—especially in the small confines of the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium in Abbotsford.

“[The audience] is not that far away from the performer,” Toews said. “And when the piano starts shaking, you know they’re really putting all their energy into it. And that’s kind of fun.”

The audience at the Fraser Valley Symphony’s 40th anniversary performance this winter treated it like a hockey game. People were cheering after each act and someone, somewhere in the audience, would whistle loudly. It was clear the place the musicians held in their community’s heart.

The Fraser Valley hasn’t always had such a thriving community of classical and artistic music. But small organizations that put on concerts for locals have persisted and attitudes towards the arts have slowly shifted over the decades. For some, the road is getting rougher, costs are mounting, and the future is uncertain, but leaders in the local classical music scene say it’s important to keep the art alive—and not just for the music.


Need to Know

👉 Two dozen people were arrested at the Aldergrove border crossing last year [Langley Advance Times]

🏀 A Chilliwack high school basketball team won a provincial championship [Chilliwack Progress]

🏫 Schools across Canada are facing teacher shortages [CBC]

🚒 A surprising number of people have applied to be firefighters with the BC Wildfire Service [Prince George Citizen]

🔊 Chawathil First Nation near Hope hosted an event to showcase plans to improve housing on the reserve [Hope Standard]

👉 A new survey suggests that political rhetoric is impacting the lives of non-binary youth [Vancouver Sun]

🔎 Mounties in Chilliwack are asking for help locating a missing 40-year-old man last seen in February [Chilliwack RCMP]

🛣 Road maintenance will affect traffic on Sumas Mountain Road and access to Sumas Mountain Regional Park [Fraser Valley Regional District]

🏠 An upcoming Official Community Plan amendment will enable Abbotsford Tech District to build overdue affordable housing for young people and families.*

*Sponsored Listing

Enjoying our newsletter? Help us make it even better!

Become an Insider member and help keep local journalism and storytelling alive in the Fraser Valley.

The Agenda

Launching a boat in Harrison Hot Springs costs $25, with profits split between two local governments. 📷 KobusSmit/Shutterstock

Harrison rakes in parking, boat launch cash

Operating a boat launch on Harrison Lake continues to be a solid profit-making business for two local governments.

The Harrison Hot Springs boat launch, which is owned by the village and operated by the Fraser Valley Regional District, brought in about $120,000 in revenue from the sale of day passes, season passes, commercial usage and parking last year, according to the FVRD. That revenue exceeded costs and, after profits were split, left the regional district with about $6,000 in money to put toward parks. The two governments are set to continue the partnership, though the FVRD expects lower profits next year.

It costs $25 to launch a single boat at the site. Annual passes ($150) and commercial fleet passes ($500) cost even more.

Still, the boat launch revenue is a drop in the bucket for Harrison compared to its annual parking revenue. The city’s 2024 preliminary budget shows the municipality brought in more than $375,000 in parking fees last year. That’s nearly 10% of all the municipality’s revenue.

Mosquito costs to increase

The cost to control the Fraser Valley’s mosquitoes is going up—but not faster than the rate of inflation.

The Fraser Valley Regional District is set to sign a new contract with Morrow BioScience to provide mosquito control services in the region. The services are expected to cost about $155,195 per year, plus costs associated to larvicidal treatments. That base cost is 10% higher than that from five years ago due to increases in wages, fuel, and the amount of land covered by the program. That increase is less than inflation, which amounted to about 13% between 2019 and 2023.

🔓️ Become a Current Insider for 25% off today and get full access to this newsletter. Every Tuesday, members get exclusive information on events, food and drink, and local deals.

You’ll also get our weekly behind-the-scenes newsletter and roundup on Saturday. And most of all, your contribution will allow us to keep producing all the great journalism you already know and love.

Catch up

That’s it!

Thanks for reading Fraser Valley Current today ♥️ 

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another local.

And before you go, please let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Tyler Olsen


Join the conversation

or to participate.