- Our Town
Mark your calendars! Bowfest is back.
This year’s Bowfest will take place on Saturday, August 23rd, the traditional Saturday prior to Labour Day weekend. Our AGM is being held at Doc Morgan’s this Sunday, March 2nd from 3 to 5pm. The bottom floor is available so feel free to bring your children along. We will be reviewing last year’s successful event and kick-off plans to make Bowfest 2014 better than ever. Please come to the meeting and share your comments and suggestions on our community festival.
As many of you know last year’s event came very close to being cancelled but true Bowen spirit came shining through, allowing us to celebrate one of the most successful Bowfests in years. Behind the scenes we may have been rushing around at the last minute, connecting power to the stage and setting up the field but just as we finished the sun broke through the clouds, the parade started down the hill and the day just got better from there. The community felt a sense of ownership in this year's event and really stepped up in support, in so many ways Bowfest truly was Island Paradise. Thank you, Bowen.
The thankyou list is too long to include everyone but we are grateful for generous personal and corporate donations, great weather, lowered admission prices and the overall community support which combined to create such a successful and profitable event.
As always, volunteer participation by individuals and local non-profit groups was the backbone of this event. Over the years many non-profits have volunteered for this event to help raise funds to support their programs. This year we were pleased that the Bowen Legion returned to run the beer garden, the Bowen Island Choir stepped up to staff the entry gates and CAWES handled the Zero Waste Stations which were provided by Metro Parks as a pilot project. We also accepted food donations at the gate and shared a portion of the profit with the local food bank. In total Bowfest 2013 contributed nearly $7,000 back into the community through these worthy local organizations.
An additional $5,495 of profit was carried forward and was added to the rainy day fund to cover the costs in the event of a weather related cancellation.
A sense of community is one of the many things thatmakes Bowen special, why we choose to make this island our home, why so many people worked so hard to ensure Bowfest wasn’t cancelled. As our end of summer festival it provides an opportunity to celebrate what we love about Bowen. People may attend for a variety of reasons; to catch up with friends and neighbours, to watch or participate in the parade, listen to local music while wandering the field, visit the stalls and vendors, play games, or socialize in the beer garden. In the end we are all there for the same reason, to celebrate Bowen.
This year’s parade saw 30+ entries including the ever-popular Irish Regiment Pipe Band.
Special thanks go out to the parade marshals and our wonderful judges who had the difficult task of choosing between so many great entries. This year’s winners were:
Pet Shop--- Best Commercial
S.K.Y.--- Best Community
Paul Hooson-Best Individual
Belterra--- Best Overall
USSC--- Best Theme
Boy Scouts--- Best Group
Continuing with the theme of community participation; all six food vendors were local as was the Legion crew running the beer garden;13 community groups had tables sharing information about their groups and projects, including the Agricultural Alliance who ran the popular Country Fair Tent and perennial favourite Slug Race; and the Museum & Archives ran a fun, if challenging local trivia contest.
Rides and games were provided by Par-T-Perfect, a locally owned company, and young and old alike enjoyed the return of the Flow Riders and their thrilling mountain biking display.
The musical line-up consisted of 13 local artists, many of whom generously donated their time in support of the event. Judging by the crowd of people dancing on the field at sunset and through two encores it appears that a good time was had by all…
Being our first time organizing this event it was a steep learning curve. While we learned a lot and have a feeling of what can be fine-tuned we want to hear from the community; what did you like, what would you change, would you like to help organize or help with set up or tear down?
For Bowfest to remain relevant and reflect our community we need to hear from you so please attend the AGM, speak with any of the board members or email your comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Don’t worry that by offering suggestions or comments means you are automatically volunteering for a role. It appears that all board members from last year are interested in helping organize this year’s event. That being said, we can always use more help as the more input and participation Bowfest receives, the more reflective of the community it is.
Again, many thanks to all the volunteers and participants who helped make Bowfest 2013 so much fun.