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


 

  

 

Rainy Days and Winter Days... Come on Down!!!

Rain, puddles, and mud can heal your soul and bring out the kid in all of us. Revel in it!

As the Village of Harrison settles into the winter season, visitors often bypass Harrison as a destination assuming that there is “nothing to do”. They couldn’t be more wrong.  The easiest solution to enjoying cold and rain is a… change of clothes.
There are few things as magical to a child (or young teen for that matter) than being let loose in the pouring rain to run on the beach, make mud castles and generally stop being told to Button up! Wear your hat! Don’t step in puddles!!! By bringing a change of clothes and a large garbage bag to carry home your “have fun” clothes, parents can, with a wonderful hot chocolate, coffee, tea or mocha in hand, pull out the camera and capture pure joy on the faces of their children…or better yet, jump in yourself and be a kid again.

Here is how you can enjoy with abandon the following things to do in Harrison when it's not summer:

BC Sport Fishing Group

Sturgeon Fishing Charters and Off-Season Fishing. From December 15 to April 30th we offer daily walk and wade tutorials for either gear or fly fishers.

Farm House Natural Cheeses

Bring along some cut apples for the horses and pull up a couple of handfuls of green grass for the cows and goats!

Harrison Eco Tours

Harrison River Eagle Viewing Tours

Sasquatch Country Adventure Tours

Shoreline Lake Tours

The Back Porch

Lynda has been a full-time potter for the last 30 years and a willow basket maker for over 20 years, so be sure to check out the studio and showroom.  Dan is a full-time artisan coffee roaster, offering certified organic and origin coffees. He works with an antique Royal #5 roaster dating from 1919 and there’s always coffee on.

Trout Fishing in Trout, Hicks, and Deer Lake

Chilliwack River Rafting

Running the most awesome trips ever, all year round!

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival

Sandpiper Golf

Course conditions change daily which can determine if we are open for play. Call ahead for course updates and to book a tee-time by *phone, please call 1-844-796-1717 (extension 1) *Regular green fee rates apply when phoning the Pro Shop!*Regular Rates $59.95/person Mid-Week & $79.95/person Weekends & Holidays (taxes are extra)

Harrison Beer and Oktoberfest 2016

Hold onto your Lucky Charms... The Harrison Beer & Oktoberfest is going Irish!

The 5th Annual Harrison Beer Festival Friday October 28th & Saturday October 29th

First things first. You need to buy tickets before they sell out! Next, you will need a proper Irish Leprechaun Name...

What's your Leprechaun name?

Use the letter that your name starts with to find your first name:

A - Antiquee B - Bubbles C - Corney D - Droopy E - Ethically F - Fussy G - Grumpy H - Harmony I - Itchy J - Jaunty K - Knobby L - Lumpy M - Messy N - Nippy O - Ornery P - Perky Q - Queasy R - Rolypoly S - Snappy T - Testy U - Unruly V - Vaguely W - Wobbley X - Xspecially Y - Yummy Z - Zippy

Use the month that you were born to find your last name:

Jan - McComplicated Feb - O'Doodle Mar - McDiddleDoodle Apr - McCreepy May - O'Lucky Jun - O' Droopy Jul - McSippy Aug - McNugget Sept - O'Shlitzski Oct - McMuffin Nov - McWobbly Dec - O'Shootsky

Now that you have tickets and a proper Irish Name, here are some extremely useful Irish words and phrases:

What? = Cad?

Can you speak more slowly? = An miste leat labhairt níos moille?

You speak Irish, good for you. = Tá Gaeilge agat, bail ó Dhia ort.

I need more beer. = i gá níos mó beoir.

I can't find my beer. = Ní féidir liom teacht ar mo beoir.

Hello, you look like beer. = Dia duit , a fhéachann tú cosúil le beoir.

Can I have your beer? = Is féidir liom a bheith do beoir ?

Do I look fat? = dhéanann Táim saill?

Where's the bottle opener?  I can't get this twisty thing off the top of the bottle! = Nuair is é an opener buidéal?  Ní féidir liom a fháil an rud twisty as an barr an bhuidéil!

Now take your tickets, your proper Irish name, your useful phrases and go to the following events:

CASK NIGHT - Friday October 28th from 6:30pm until 10:30pm

Will bring in up to eight of BC's best craft breweries, for an evening of friendly competition comparing a variety of unique, one of a kind brews. With a warm and friendly Irish pub feel complete with food, music and games. More info: www.harrisonbeerfest.com/Cask-Night

HARRISON BEER FESTIVAL- Saturday October 29th from 1:00pm until 6:00pm

Armed with your complimentary tasting glass, compare a selection of awesome craft beers.  You will then vote to decide the winner of this year's Harrison Beer Festival.  Check out the website to see the list of Brewers or the list of beers they will be pouring.  More info: www.harrisonbeerfest.com/Harrison-Beer-Festival

OKTOBERFEST DANCE - Saturday October 29th from 8:00pm until 11:30pm

October and beer means Oktoberfest and tonight you will experience great music with the Beer Barrels, great beer & a great time. Come dressed to celebrate and the best male and female costumes will win a great prize. More info: www.harrisonbeerfest.com/Oktoberfest-Dance

By the end of the Harrison Beer Festival you will believe...say it with me now... I BELIEVE!

Bands on the Beach

 

Bands on the Beach 2016

Free on the beach!

Saturday, September 3rd on the beach: 1pm - 6pm

Sunday, Sept. 4th on the beach: 1pm - 4:30pm

Tickets are now available for Sunday night "After-party" Memorial Hall: 7:30-midnight

Bring your lawn chairs and get ready to rock the end of summer with two days of great entertainment.  We are bringing you music like never before…everything from Bluegrass to Indie to New Country.

This year's free beach lineup:

Saturday 1:00pm - Nicole Sumerlyn - Country Rock

"...Nicole Sumerlyn is a country singer/songwriter from Abbotsford, BC.  She echoes the sounds of Gretchen Wilson, Shania Twain and Miranda Lambert.  Sumerlyn’s eclectic musical interests have created a unique blend of angelic  sweetness, with a root-sy, rock edge..."

Saturday 2:15pm - Jon Bos Band - Rock

"...Jon Bos Band is a world-class rock and roll outfit designed to make you groove.  With an amazing repertoire of songs, the band expertly reads the crowd and plays the perfect selection of songs, every time.   From familiar sing-along hits to danceable favorites, Jon Bos Band is tremendously entertaining..."

Saturday 3:30pm - Combine the Victorious - Pop Indie

"The albums, Disagreements and Crumbling Hearts saw the band refining their musical identity, distilling to a powerful, evocative essence, perfectly captured on the standout track from the Crumbling Hearts, Glasgow, where sumptuous guitars weave in and out of Mark's wily groove, a perfect backdrop for Isabelle's melancholy lyric and heart-breaking melody."

Saturday 5:00pm - Todd Richard - Country Rock

“Todd Richard is one of the most distinct, refreshing artists on the  country music scene today.  Born in Hamilton but raised in BC,   Todd’s rich vocals and unique style have fans sitting up and taking notice, and they’re loving what they hear.  With multiple BC Country Music Award nominations in the past seven years, Todd has been busy building his growing fan-base of TR  Rebels and "Frands"and shared the  stage with many of country music’s top acts, including Dwight Yoakum, Dierks Bentley, Gord Bamford and rock legend Randy Bachman.”  Todd’s ours and we love him!!

Sunday 1:00pm - Tianna - Folk Country

"...The saying “She’s not just a pretty face” is one of those phrases you  hear all the time; but never has it held more true than with country music  artist Tianna Woods! Not only a singer/songwriter, but a dancer, a multi-instrumentalist,  actor, and choreographer, Tianna crushes all stereo- types and barriers  with her impressive list of skills..."

Sunday 2:15pm - O'Hara Lane - Rock

“..O'Hara Lane is a cover band like no other.  They came together in 2012 and quickly established a reputation as the band that will take an audience all over the musical map, doing it with passion and style. They are the real musical deal, no tracks, no loops, just pure music.....With BIG vocals and a screaming band they bring energy and charisma to the stage every time!  Playing everything from rock, new wave ‘80s, current pop hits with some country tunes in between.  O’Hara Lane will entertain..."

Sunday 3:30pm - The Gords - Folk, Pop, Indie

“...Gord Maxwell, Gord Matthews and Gordon Lee Worden, gifted singer- songwriters who offer a truly remarkable rich sound and natural vocal harmony blend, with lusciously textured songs that remind listeners that  there is still a world of wonderful musical alternatives to dance remixes and rehashed top 40.”

Get your tickets while they last for Sunday Evening at the Memorial Hall, an After-Party not to be missed.  Join Todd on Sunday night for a special after-party at the Harrison Memorial Hall!  A concession offering beer, wine and snacks will be open. Tickets for the after-party are $20 and can be purchased online at our secured site www.tourismharrison.com.

Visitor's Guide