Tourism Harrison Newsletter

Seabird Island First Nations Festival

Seabird Island First Nations Festival





The Seabird Island First Nations Festival held the last weekend of May offers youth, young adults, and adults alike an opportunity to showcase their culture and history through Soccer, Ball-Hockey, War Canoe races and Sla:hal. This three-day celebration demonstrates First Nations heritage through friendly competition in sport and traditional games.

One of the festival favourites is "slahal" is an ancient game, dating to before the last ice age. In the Coast Salish tradition, the Creator gave stickgame to humanity as an alternative to war at the beginning of time. Thus the game straddles multiple roles in Native culture -- it is at once entertainment, a family pastime, a sacred ritual and a means of economic gain (through gambling). In addition to the games there are displays of artisans.

Long before colonization of Canada, First Nations people from across Canada and North America held games. In fact a number of modern games like lacrosse were derived from traditional First Nations games. These games taught First Nations children many qualities that would help them through their journey into adulthood, such as: honesty, courage, respect, and gratitude.

The Spirit Trail

The Spirit Trail




The Spirit Trail began as a walk in the woods with Pearl the Wonderdog. We discovered a seemingly abandoned trail that meanders through a wonderfully mysterious bit of old second growth forest in which the processes of renewal are seen everywhere. In the spring and early summer, the false Lily-of-the-valley covers the forest floor in shiny green and year by year the moss envelopes the wind-fallen trees, seemingly giving them a second life.

It is an enchanting place to walk, and as time passed the trees seemed to me to be alive in an other-worldly sort of way. As a lark, I created a dozen ceramic faces and surreptitiously hung them in the trees, hoping to cause a laugh or two among other walkers who might discover the trail. The compulsion was on me and the dozen eventually became over thirty.

At the turn around point of the trail, there is a circle of trees, a sort of committee of spirits. I made a dozen ceramic faces of women from different places and circumstances and I call them the Goddesses. They are meant to evoke the quiet but monumental strength of women from all over the world. Most have their eyes closed to impart a quiet, meditative feeling to the spot. The whole endeavor grew of it's own accord, without a plan or even a particular goal in mind. The first masks were put in the trees over three years ago, and apart from knowledge of its whereabouts by the Geo-caching community (People who use GPS units to find stuff) and a brief mention in British Columbia Magazine, little effort has been made to publicize their existence. Instead, it has been a kind of Guerilla art, meant to be a surprise and mildly subversive.

The Artist: Ernie became involved in the ceramic arts soon after his retirement as a high school shop and theatre teacher four years ago. He has a small studio in his garage in which he throws pots (sometimes against the wall), sculpts and tries to figure out how to glaze stuff.



Tiptoe through the Tulips

Tiptoe through the Tulips





Spring has Sprung don't miss the final week (Wednesday Thru Sunday) of Tulip Festival 2012 at Seabird island. Once again, Kate has done a spectacular job and you can't help but feel privileged to be given the opportunity to Tiptoe through the Tulips.

Although tulips are often associated with the Netherlands, commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Ottoman Empire, and are indigenous to mountainous areas with temperate climates and need a period of cool dormancy. Holland is the world's main producer of commercially sold tulip plants, producing as many as 3 billion bulbs annually, the majority for export.

It is believed the first tulips in North America were introduced in 1847 in Salem, Massachusetts. By a wealthy landowner who imported many different trees and plants from all parts of the world to landscape his property.

The word tulip has a rather odd origin. When the tulip was introduced to Europe, many gardeners saw a resemblance between the flower's shape and Turkish headwear, and they dubbed the flower tulipan, from tuilbend, a Turkish word for turban. From tulipan came the French word tulipe and the English word tulip. There is, as you can see, only a whimsical connection between tulips and two lips.

The Tulips popularity was cemented in Canada from a gift of thanks given five decades ago. In the fall of 1945, Princess Juliana of the Netherlands presented Ottawa with 100,000 tulip bulbs. The gift was given in appreciation of the safe haven which Holland's exiled royal family received during the Second World War and in recognition of the role which Canadian troops played in liberating the Netherlands. Tulips have become an important symbol of international friendship and the beauty of spring.

Tiptoe Through the Tulips" is a popular song originally published and hit the top of the charts for 10 weeks in 1929. The song was revived in 1968 by Tiny Tim.Most currently, the song was featured in the horror film Insidious in 2011 a number of times throughout, and in the thriller film Wrecked as a radiotune. The song was also mentioned in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone on page 34. Vernon Dursley was humming the song while he boarded up small cracks around the front and back doors.

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I'll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Knee deep in flowers we'll stray
We'll keep the showers away
And if I kiss you in the garden, in the moonlight
Will you pardon me?
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

Harrison Hot Springs - your car-free holiday destination

Harrison Hot Springs - your car-free holiday destination

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of city life is the perfect way to recharge your body, refresh your mind and reconnect with your partner. Slowing down to notice the beauty around us, whether it is the simple song of an evening Swallow or the spine-tingling majesty of a lake and mountain sunset, brings a sense of inner peace.  Finding peace and quiet, finding rejuvenation is not easy to do sitting behind the wheel of a car, stuck in rush hour traffic, regardless of how good the sound proofing.

Harrison Hot Springs surrounded by incredible natural beauty offers the perfect location for a car-free vacation.   Once you park your car in Harrison there is no need to use it again.  All the shops, cafe's and hotels are within walking distance.  Many of the local hikes are accessible from the Village.  Bring your bike with you to Harrison Hot Springs and you can access the back road farm country and do the Circle Farm Tour.  Turn you cell phone off, shut your blackberry down, leave your car keys in your room and explore the earth by foot or bike.  Want to explore the water, slip into a kayak and head down the Harrison River, listen to the river as the steady current carries you along.  Depending on the season you will find Herons, Osprey, Bald Eagle, Seals, Otter and other wildlife along the way.  This is life at a pace that allows you to enjoy your life.   Come enjoy a few days of your life in Harrison Hot Springs.

Visitor's Guide