The Heights Garden Society and the Heights Neighbourhood Association are teaming up to host a Sept. 8 tour, showcasing the work of local gardeners, artisans and even bees. “It will be fun, it will be inspiring,” said Diana Hall, one of the tour organizers and president of the Heights Garden Society. “It will be different. It won’t just be a focus on vegetables. It will be more attractive garden layout, and I think people will be really in interested in the local talent in the community.” This year marks the second year for the annual tour. The Sept. 8 event will include a backyard Burnaby beekeeper, and there will be art and crafts on display throughout some of the gardens. “It’s a mini culture crawl,” said Hall. “We will be displaying local artisanal products and art in private gardens.” The tour is on Sunday, Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. till 1 p.m. followed by an afternoon tea. To participate, show up at the Heights community garden at 3897 Pender St. in Burnaby. Tickets are available at the garden, before the tour, by donation, and the minimum suggested donation is $5. Proceeds go to the garden association, a non-profit group that tends the Heights community garden. For more info: email email@example.com or call Hall at 604-291-2797.
Burnaby Heights gardens showcased on tour
But on Saturday, Aug. 16, it will be anything but quiet.
This cozy, peaceful farm will soon be hustling and bustling with visitors from all over the valley as they meander between trees and tables, simultaneously enjoying the work of local artists, an a cappella group belting out contemporary classics in four-part harmony, and maybe even a fresh scone from a local bakery.
It’s all part of the 10th annual Art on the Farm—and according to organizer Minda Chittenden, it might just be the best year for it yet.
The tradition has local roots and a simple mandate. Every year the Columbia Valley farm opens its gates and arms to a multitude of visitors with one goal: to spread the art and talent of the valley in a meaningful, creative way.
As Chittenden explains, the event has a funny—and exciting—way of growing into new shapes and surprises every year.
Blackberry picking? Check. Local theatre performers and musicians? Check. Bellydancince? Bagpipes? An attendee who brings an accordion and asks if he can play in the field for the afternoon? Check, check, check.
“We try to get as many local artists as we can, and we’ve got a pretty wide variety,” Chittenden says. “It’s got a really nice vibe, is what people keep saying—it’s very chill, compared to a lot of other events. Come and stay as long as you want. We’re not rushing people out of the farm. You can bring a picnic if you want, you can pick as many blackberries as you want.
“There’s no cellphone coverage in the valley, which I think helps people relax,” she adds with a wry grin. “You can’t really focus on anything else except where you are, and you take your time and enjoy it.”
There will be artisans from all over the valley setting up displays of their wares, as well as interactive activities for all ages. A side of the horse barn will be transformed into a giant mural over the course of the day, with a little help from attendees and and artists alike. Other artisans will be doing demonstrations—throwing pottery and spinning wool. There’s even an unofficial petting zoo: goats and other small animals wandering around looking for attention.
It’s a labour of love put together by a small team of people—for the most part all hailing from the same family and group of friends.
Chittenden says she was first inspired by a similar event on Pender Island called Art on the Fence, where local artists hung, strung, and stapled their art to fences and barns for public viewing.
“So we thought, let’s give it a go,” she says. “There are so many artists that need a venue, and especially a more casual and affordable venue to display their work.”
It’s grown and evolved over the years, from 20 artists to 40—a small sample expanding into a larger showcase of local artists.
“I think we’re stable at about 40 artists now, and that’s about what we can handle,” she says with a smile. “We want to keep the event free, and we want to keep it community-oriented; we just keep trying to change it every single year to make it different.
“We’re always learning about new talent, every single year. People come out of the woodwork that I’ve never met before, and I’ve made some really good friends.”
• Art on the Farm takes place at 1162 Iverson Rd. in the Columbia Valley on Aug. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but organizers suggest bringing cash in case something on a vendor’s table catches your eye or you feel like having a bite to eat. For more information, visit www.artonthefarm.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
While exploring the possibility of buying the farm we chose to stay in the hood. Nothing could be better than were we are now. Home studio, growing our own food, bees, and great neighbors. We are
Muckabout with pottery and stuff