Thousands of people, dressed in their finest, stand at one of Bowen's picnic grounds and smile at a panoramic camera. One of them is also dressed as a clown.
This summer, the Bowen Island Museum and Archives present: Picturesque: Picnics on the Happy Isle.
From company panoramas to family snapshots, the exhibit features people enjoying the sun and fresh air of Bowen Island from as early as 1890 through to the 1950s.
The picnics spanned both wars as well as the Great Depression, and we have on display evidence of the fascinating interaction between the grim reality of the outside world and the quiet sea breeze of Bowen. Picnickers worked around war rationing and restrictions when packing their sandwiches, and veterans visited the island to relax and recuperate.
Food and nature weren't the only draws. The organizers of the picnics created entertainment in the form of games and music that any age group could enjoy. Entire families came on steamships for company picnics, and won prizes in competitions like egg-and-spoon racing, can-stilts walking, and other bizarre games.
Come by and visit us at 1014 Miller Road, any day of the week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The summer exhibit ends September 25, so drop by while it's still up!