Meet Harrison's Living Legends

















October 1, 2017


While we love sharing stories and talking about the experiences and adventures that Harrison has to offer, what can often be overlooked are the people. Harrison has sparkle, vibrant energy, and is full of big-hearted people who love their community. We invite you to get to know some of our local legends!

(By the way, we know this newsletter is longer but we didn't want to lose any of our legends' juicy tidbits!)


Mayor Leo Facio


Don’t let the last name fool you. Born in Gibraltar and with his last name rooted in Italian descent, Leo moved to Harrison from England in 1975, where he started working in a drapery store with his wife Jackie. After visiting Harrison in 1974, he fell in love with the area leading him to move the following year.


Jackie became well known after she accepted a job with Front Desk at Harrison Resort. At that time, it was called the Harrison Hotel. She ended her career at the Harrison Resort with the title of Deputy Executive Manager until she passed away in 1995. Jackie was also involved with the Sorority Club and the girls’ group Brownies.

Simultaneously, Leo was heavily involved with the Lions Club and the Harrison Agassiz Rotary Club. Due to his strong belief in supporting community and effort behind innovative initiatives, Leo was awarded the Paul Harris Fellowship, which is the highest distinction to be awarded. Shortly after, he received the Queen Elizabeth The Second Diamond Jubilee Medal, for his dedicated service to his community and Canada.

Leo was one with the community as he drove a daily school bus for the District and spent a great deal of time watching the children grow but, since he is a natural born leader, he decided he wanted to immerse himself deeper in the community.  In 1993, he ran for Village Council and was elected. With a few short breaks, Leo has remained with Council and accepted his first term as Mayor in 2005. He is now in his third term. He leads his team with passion and is dedicated to both families.

“Why do I keep running? I have two families –the Village and my own. This is my life. I have great passion for this community,” says Leo.
 

 

Bill Miller, Sasquatch Expert

 



















 



 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 

Bill Miller is our expert in ‘all things Sasquatch’! Originally from Illinois, Bill came up to Canada for a Sasquatch Conference at the University of BC in 1998. To this day, Bill believes that he witnessed a large Sasquatch run by him when he was fishing with a friend, one night, in Northern Minnesota in July of 1980. At first, he thought it was a giant person as he didn’t know what to make of the occurrence.

“I didn’t think of Bigfoot/Sasquatch in that part of the U.S. in those days. This memory has stuck with me all of my life,” says Bill. 

His ‘obsession’ to learn more about these incredible creatures altered his life path, so much so that he set himself up to live part of the year in Harrison, given its reputation as the world’s Sasquatch Capital.

Like most people, Bill thought that the term Bigfoot or Sasquatch meant there was only one of these creatures still in existence, but has learned that there are several forms of the species all over the world.  Contrary to popular belief, Sasquatch is an animal and not a person.  From 2005 to 2010, Bill became a self-funded, full-time field researcher as he searched for evidence of the elusive animal in the field, working more than 60 hours a week. People were constantly approaching him wanting to hear more about his experiences and knowledge, and several even asked to join him in the field. The next thing you know, Bill started Sasquatch Country Adventures, which fully launched in 2012. 

 

Aside from writing articles, doing interviews on radio shows, and giving public talks on the topic, Bill's research has been featured on Shaw TV and Global News and his investigative work has also been covered by the press. To learn more, visit SasquatchCountryAdventures.com.

 

Andy Hillhouse, Harrison Festival


















 

 

The Harrison Festival brought Andy Hillhouse, Executive and Artistic Director, to Harrison Hot Springs. Five years ago, when Andy heard about a senior position opening at the Harrison Festival, which is a rare opportunity, Andy followed his love of music festivals and uprooted from Toronto.  As a Celtic rhythm guitarist and singer, someone who loves to teach others, and having earned a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Toronto, Andy is, successfully, filling the big shoes that Phyllis and Ed Stenson left behind.

“I grew up going to large-scale music events, like the Vancouver Folk Festival, so leading one was always a big goal of mine,” says Andy. 

In Andy’s down time, he is known to connect with like-minded peers who play flute, fiddle, and the penny whistler!

With only a team of three, they pursue the mandate of organizing and executing a festival, founded on community development through the arts, cultural diversity, and accessibility of the arts for all.  Celebrating 40 years next summer, the 9-day festival will feature music on the beach, workshops, artisan markets, a Children’s Day, art exhibits, and more. Visit harrisonfestival.com for more information.

 

Frank Peters, Rocky Mountain Chocolate

 














 

 

 

 


Frank Peters has been a long-standing and active Harrison member for decades. His story is fascinating as Frank has been heavily involved with land development and is now the owner of Harrison’s Rocky Mountain Chocolate.  In 1990, Frank built a summer log cabin due to the awesome windsurfing that Harrison Lake is known for.  His ‘day-job’ included building Harrison’s first condominium unit-- Branches by the Lake-- amongst many similar projects, and then he opened the Muddy Waters and Baskin Robbins shop.

This is 25 years ago when he was the original owner and, at that time, the vision was to have a quaint café where locals played music – like a traditional coffeehouse from the ‘70s.  Bands were often seen playing outside the storefront.

After a few unfortunate incidents, including a life-threatening boating accident that almost cost Frank his life, Frank first sold Muddy Waters to his sister, Bonnie, who then sold it to their sister Jenny. Jenny, and her husband, Richard, are still the owners today, and have taken Muddy’s to the next level with its farm-to-plate philosophy and hipster vibes.

 “The accident was a major life-changing moment for me. I needed to do something less active and I thought chocolate was a perfect fit for Harrison. Chocolate inspires happiness in all,” says Frank.

When asked what is favourite bite was he said the hazelnut clusters and candy apples. But don’t take our word for it. Visit the shop and try everything for yourself.  Oh, and true to Frank’s ambitious nature, he just built Harrison’s newest townhome unit of 26!  

 

Todd Richard, Musician


Todd Richard (pronounced Rishard is an iconic superstar, but as humble as they come. Having won numerous awards, Todd’s career relaunched after the passing of his dad.


“My dad was a musician. Once my dad passed away in 2007, I sold my plumbing business as I made him a promise to start playing music again,” says Todd.

Todd has lived in Harrison for 17 years. It was a lifestyle choice to move as Todd and his wife would take their son to go camping and biking in the back trails. Now their son has grown, but their lifestyle continues with nature hikes and lagoon strolls.

Todd’s local claim-to-fame is Bands on the Beach, which has grown significantly over the past seven years. He is grateful to the Village of Harrison, Tourism Harrison, and local businesses for embracing his brainchild and giving him the support to launch the festival.Today, Todd has two albums with new music and music videos on the way. He is deeply supportive of the Variety Children’s Network and has written a song for the network called Follow Your Heart. 

Donna Wright, Island View Gifts



Donna Wright has been here for many years…since 1953! After coming with her family to visit her aunt, her mom fell in love with the lush green and moderate climate. Harrison was paradise to her, especially compared to the harsh Manitoba winters. The white building that is at the Harrison Marina—once called Paul Raake Boat Service-- was a floating structure where the boats would come and stock up on provisions to bring to logging camps. Donna’s father helped with boat repairs, and loading the boats, and Donna and her mom worked at the cookhouse upstairs. They lived in this ‘float home’ until they built their first home in 1955, which was only sold in 2015. It still stands there today.

Donna enjoyed growing up in the Village, playing with the children in the community, and learning to waterski. When she became a young adult, the travel bug got her and she went by ship to Europe, and then backpacking through Germany, Spain, Italy, Greece, the Middle East, and Australia. When she came back to Harrison in 1979, she opened Donna B’s--a health food and sandwich store where everything was made from scratch including soups and pies—which is now called Harrison Pizza.  

Today, Donna owns Island View Gifts, which is a flagship gift store in the Village loaded with unique items from all over the world.  Donna and her sister Audrey, who also works there, have spoken with many visitors during their time, and have wished for all of them to enjoy the beautiful Village. This season is their last as Donna steps out onto her next adventure, but Harrison will remain home.
 

Marg Doman, Artist


Like so many of our locals, Marg is a strong community member with deep roots. She used to live in Abbotsford until, one day, she and her husband decided to take a weekend drive and ended up in Harrison. They fell in love with the scenery and people –next thing you know they built a home and it’s now 16 years later.

Marg spent most of her adult life as a Special Education Assistant. She adores kids and felt so blessed that she could spend so much time with these young minds.  After retiring in 2002, and dabbling in some volunteer work which even included the school’s Hot Dog Days, Marg saw an ad in the Agassiz Observer, inviting locals to take an art class with Joey Ellis.


“I joined this class and then a fellow suggested that I join the Agassiz Monday Painters. Now we get together every week and just paint. We have over 30 members! I am basically self-taught and paint what I like. I still prefer watercolour even though acrylic is the popular medium now,” says Marg.

Marg is recognized for her role with the annual art show, taking place during May Long Weekend, at Memorial Hall where local artists exhibit their work. For more information, contact Marg at 604.796.8665


 

  

 

Fall in Love with Harrison

Photo by
 
 
September 1, 2017

Can't believe that summer is coming to an end and that the leaves will, soon, start changing colour. And, that means fall nostalgia is around the corner...rain dancing on the rooftops, simmering soups that aromatize your kitchen, and refreshing walks that take us back to a simpler time.

Harrison in the fall bring out the cozy of the season.

The lake still beckons and is alive with wilderness activity. Comfort food and steaming mugs of java and tea are served at our cafés and bistros, beckoning you to visit and bring your favourite book.

Here is our handy list!
 

Fly like an eagle,
swim like a seal


Bald Eagles are not the only creatures that, eagerly, await the arrival of salmon. Seals, bears, and sturgeon also rely on the spawning season and can be seen along the Harrison River.

Nothing warms
like a cold one


Tickets are on sale now for the 6th Annual Harrison Beer Festival, taking place on October 27 & 28th. Includes BC Craft Beer sampling, an Oktoberfest Dance, and Irish Cask Night. Two days celebrating BEER!

Delicious Harvest
While sweater weather feels like a warm, hugging blanket, a hearty bowl of locally-harvested veggie soup from Muddy Water’s Café is just what mom ordered. Satisy your fall craving for a cup of comfort.

A Fabulous Float
Take a tour of Harrison Lake with Shoreline Tours or 
Harrison Eco Tours and chart a course to remember.
Join in October & November for world- renowned bald eagle viewing!

A Fair to Remember

It is the Year of the Sunflower for the 2017 Agassiz Fall Fair! Happening September 15th & 16th, and featuring a midway, corn festival, 4-H competitions, antique tractor pull and more, this fair is over 106 years old...steeped in good ol' fashioned fun!



Fall Favourites

Celebrate the turning of the season at Kilby Historic Site with the Autumn Harvest Festival on September 10th. Feast on Yorkshire Pudding and Roast Beef and watch a100 year-old apple press in action! The cider is fall in a cup.



Warm to the Core

While Harrison is about so much more than the hot springs, the healing of the springs is addictive, bringing our guests back several times throughout the year.



Bliss Out!
The kids are back in school and everyone is back to their routines, creating more 'love me' moments. Choose the spa treatment of your choice.

 

 


Bring your favourite flannel pj’s and book your overnight stay.
 
Always so much closer than you think.
Harrison Hot Springs is #justuptheroad.

 

Kayaking and Canoeing...the Harrison Way.

Photo by
#JustUpTheRoad in #HarrisonHotSprings by @roman_podorozhnyi
 
August 1, 2017

Harrison Hot Springs is a kayaking mecca for the novice and experienced paddler alike. From Harrison Mills to where the Harrison River meets Harrison Hot Springs, the scenery remains untouched, the water is calming, and the exploration routes are endless.
 
Did you know that…
  • Harrison Mills holds the record for being the world’s largest winter eagle gathering? From November to January, tens of thousands of eagles flock to the region as they feast on salmon. Harrison Mills is located only 15 minutes away from us!
  • Harrison Lake is crisp and clear because it is glacial-fed and often placed on Top 10 lists. It is wider and longer than it looks, amounting to 60 km in length and 9 km in width.
  • Paddle past First Nations' petrographs, burial sites, and the historic "Bubble and Squeak" sunken steamship and take in the abundant wildlife and scenic beauty that Harrison is known for.
  • You can rent kayaks from Killer’s Cove or take a guided tour with Harrison Eco Tours.

Know before you go:

  1. Stay close to shore. Strong winds can come up quickly and drift you just a little farther than you might like to go.

  2. Watch the weather as it can change quickly.

  3. Best to paddle with other kayaks or canoes. Thinking safety in numbers.

  4. Always strap on a life vest. You won’t look silly, you’ll look safe!

Dabble with a Paddle
This is the perfect trip for novice or experienced paddlers. Leaving twice daily from the Harrison Lake shore, this tour includes safety orientation and  a two-hour paddle on Harrison Lake.

Bring along the Littles
No need to leave the kids at home. Family-friendly Miami River is an easy, super-fun route that is well-suited for young(er) children. You will paddle right through the Village.

History Lesson on a Boat
Departing from Harrison Lake Beach, take a kayak down the Harrison River to Kilby Provincial Park in Harrison Mills. Paddle past petrographs and pictographs.

Over the Rainbow
Accessible only by boat, a full day trip in your kayak that you will never forget. Pack a picnic lunch and take a guided paddle to Rainbow Falls. Stretch your legs as you take a short hike up.

Lake to River in One Day
Bring a friend and two cars. Park one at either Sandpiper Golf Course and Rowena’s Inn on the River or Kilby Historic Site , in Harrison Mills, and the other at Harrison Hot Springs. Then paddle your way from Harrison Mills to your destination! Check it out in the fall when the bald eagles appear. 



A Legendary Park
Sasquatch Provincial Park touches on four lakes, two of which – Deer and Hicks – are well-suited to explore in small boats. (Electric motors only on Deer Lake and 10hp is the maximum permitted on Hicks.)  Paddle to the isolated Sandy Beach at Hick’s south end. Pack a tent and stay the night.



Spy with your Eagle Eye
Eco tours are not just for the birds. Paddle along calm waters on a guided trip and spy with your little eyes all that nature is hiding. 



Green PointJust a short 5km drive from Harrison Village, Green Point is 'chalk a block full' of salmon, eagles, and seals in the fall. A little explorer’s paradise!

 

 


BC Day Long weekend is just days away! Have you got plans?  Bike the Agassiz circle farm tour or learn what life was like in days of old at Kilby's Heritage Day. Is there a better way to celebrate BC's birthday?

With so much to do and only so many hours in a day, we encourage you to sleep tightBook your overnight stay. 

Harrison Hot Springs is #justuptheroad.

 

Happy Birthday Canada!

June 29, 2017

It's going to be an awesome summer in Harrison Hot Springs, From events, festivals, self-guided tours, and so much more, you'll be left with the question of where to start! Upload this post into your calendar and pace yourself for weekends of fun! 

Self Guided Circle Farm Tour
 

A celebration of past and present, this tour is a rich mix of wonderful things to see, do, smell, and taste! See cows roaming the fields, watch artisan cheese and hand-crafted pottery in the making. Take a self-guided tour of a 1920's living history historic site, explore a garden and shop for antiques and home & garden décor. Smell fresh coffee being roasted and taste homemade dishes with locally-sourced products, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, corn, cheese, raspberries, blueberries, and fresh veggies. Don't forget about the Harrison River Select salmon treats!

Here is a sample of what you can find year-round!
 

NOTHING CORNY ABOUT IT
As of August (as soon as it's ready), you must try Sparkes Corn Barn for sweet corn!

BUT FIRST...COFFEE
How far can you go without a refuel? Stop by Back Porch Coffee for coffee, antiques, pottery, and more!

SUSTAINABLE SAMPLING
River Select Salmon is carefully harvested with the future in mind so that we can enjoy for many seasons!

PEDAL ...THEN POOL
 Stay and soak in one of the hot spring pools or enjoy the healing springs spa.

Agassiz Farms Cycle Tour July 22

Tourism Harrison, Prospera Credit Union, and our farmers welcome you to another year of exploring the countryside.  The Agassiz Farms Cycle Tour is a leisurely, one-day self-guided cycle tour, centred around a 30-km flat route. 

Bags too heavy for biking? A shuttle service has been provided, which will collect your purchases and bring them back to the registration area for pick-up. We encourage a stop and shop at the many local artisan booths along the way. That's right, we are talking Christmas shopping in July! 

Stop by UBC’S Dairy Education and Research Centre and find out why cows can thrive eating forages, whereas humans cannot? Do they prefer to live indoors or outdoors? So many great questions, to be answered.

Follow on Facebook for updated announcements. 

Here is a sneak peak of what you will see on July 22nd!

THE BERRY BEST!
Hammersley Farms specializes in spray-free blueberries and raspberries. Flop on a sun hat and
u-pick away!

WATCH AND LEARN
Earthwise Agassiz' demonstration organic teaching farm has farm-grown veggies.

CHEESEY DOES IT
Why does a happy cow matter? Pasture-fed cows and goats make delicious cheese.
Just stop and ask at Farmhouse Natural Cheeses!

NESTLE IN
Peace and tranquility await.  Blackberry Lane will be featuring freshly baked farm fresh goodies and baking! 

Splash-Down Time

Let's not forget one of the most important parts of summer -- Harrison Lake! From activities like the Waterpark in the Lake and Bumper Boats, to a day at the beach, why not skip the airplane... and stay-cation with us.

Camping family? Explore our recreational scene.

BUMPER BOATS BABY!

Bring a friend!Loaded with electric water guns, and so fun at any age.

BEACH PLEASE

The sun, sand, & a bucket in hand.

 HOLD ON TIGHT!

10 person Banana Tube is pulled behind a high-performance
ski-tube. 
WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

HOURS OF AWESOME

See here for a complete list of
need-to-know before playing
at the Water Park!


Stay with us!

Explore our camping scene or book a room at one of our hotels.

 


Canada 150 Celebrations and Events



Come celebrate Canada's 150th with us! Cheer on with the crowd at our Annual Canada Day Fireworks display, but come early before the massive crowd arrive.

Read all about our festival and events! 

Want even more information? Download the Tourism Harrison App!

 

 

Visitor's Guide