What happened on Bowen in 2018? As it turns out, quite a lot.

From a new pub to a new council - here are some of the stories the Undercurrent reported this year.

January 2018

BIM releases the Island Survey results. It shows that 94 per cent of the 608 respondents rated their quality of life on Bowen as good or excellent.

Wren Mary Blomberg, born Jan. 4, 2018, is the first Bowen baby of 2018.

article continues below

Former financial controller for the District of West Vancouver, Raj Hayre joins Bowen Island Municipality as its chief financial officer.

A coast-wide tsunami warning at 3 a.m. on January 23 rouses islanders to the necessity of emergency preparedness

Around 40 Boweners showed up to the second annual women’s march on Jan. 21. The first march in 2017 was part of an international response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s election.

Carol Shatford marches with fellow-islanders towards the lagoon during the second annual women's march. - Meribeth Deen

Statistics Canada Census results show that Bowen’s median age is 48.7 (up from 44.8 in 2006) reports Tim Rhodes.

February 2018

The Legion asks to amend their good neighbours agreement to allow a couple more events with elevated noise.

Locals at a pest control workshop hear that Bowen has Norway rats and that skunks are in fact great for destroying rat nests.

Bowen Island Arts Council’s Gallery@Cove Commons opens with a mini-gala on Feb. 24.

After four years in the editor’s seat Meribeth Deen leaves the Undercurrent. It’s the end of an era.

The library gets kids-only library cards with funky designs from the community.

Bowen water taxi service temporarily suspended due to docking issues in Vancouver.

Light industrial rezoning of lot 1 inches forward.

Opening date for new Bowen Pub still to be determined

Bowen Island Resilient Community Housing (BIRCH) holds its first meeting with architect Robyn Fenton at the helm.

Provincial government announces that from Mondays to Thursdays, seniors will ride free on B.C. Ferries. Islanders rejoice.

March 2018

Metal storage containers appear in Davies Orchard as Metro Vancouver Parks starts preparing four historical cottages for demolition.

Bowen-raised twins, Sam and Kailey Spear are finalists in Crazy8s film competition. They were given eight days and $1,000 to put together the short film CC, staring Jewel Staite and supported by a slew of Islanders, is about an AI nanny who attacks her employer and the investigation that follows. Touring the film festival circuit the film has gone on to win many awards. (The Undercurrent interview with the sisters ran in March.)

Graham Ritchie directs As You Like It (Shakespeare’s smash hit from the 1600s.)

Bowen Island Pub owner Glenn Cormier proposes opening a pot shop in the new pub building.

Snug Cove House site is connected to the municipal water and sewer system.

Snug Cove House board chair Graham Ritchie oversees progress at the site on Miller Road in March.
Snug Cove House board chair Graham Ritchie oversees progress at the site on Miller Road in March. - Mike Wakefield

BIM proposes a property tax hike.

Christoph Haas announces a new bike park behind BICS will be built after a successful fundraising campaign.

Bob Bates seeks new studio space for his ceramic work after Metro Parks announces the Union Steamship cottage in Davies Orchard he’d rented for the past 40 years would soon be demolished.

The provincial government announces a 0.5 per cent speculation tax. Bowen is exempt but islanders who have a primary home on-island but a secondary residence in Vancouver will have to pay the tax.

A Giant Pacific Octopus, taken from Bowen waters to visit the Vancouver Acquarium in 2017, is returned to the ocean after becoming “reproductively active.”

Cartoonist Ron Woodall celebrates his 500th Undercurrent cartoon. He explains that his three self-imposed rules are: 1. It must be Bowen-specific. 2. It must not be personal. 3.It must not take sides. Compares cartoon interpretation to jazz.

April 2018

Cost of a ferry ride between Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island decreases by 15 per cent as of April 1.

Local Ivor Kerr saves two cats from a sinking sailboat in Mannion Bay.

New bike park opens April 22.

Undercurrent editor Chantal Eustace finds Bowen artist Guthrie Gloag’s Mastadon in the wilds of B.C. and pens a very popular article.

Chantal Eustace and the mythologized mastadon.
Chantal Eustace and the mythologized mastadon. - Daniel O'Sullivan

After local advocacy group Defend Island Forests raised concerns about the potential for the inclusion of Bowen’s Crown lands in the province’s annual allowable cut in years to come (as they initially were in 2017), B.C. Timber Sales says that they have no plans for Bowen in the near future.

West Vancouver—Sunshine Coast—Sea to Sky Country MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones and  West Vancouver Sea-to-Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy and 100 Boweners attend the Cove Commons ribbon cutting.

BIRCH eyes lot 3 of the community lands for their proposed housing development.

Two local men are arrested for trafficking and possession of a controlled substance in a Bowen-Squamish RCMP drug bust. Both men are released on a promise to appear.

BIM building inspector Konrad Jaschke retires.

May 2018

Bowen Island Trails Society, Bowen Trail Riders Association and Bowen Island Horse Riders and Owners Association sign a partnership agreement with the province which allows them to work on and modify trails on the Bowen Crown lands.

Real estate executive and long-time islander David Podmore takes over as chair of the Bowen Island Community Foundation. Outgoing chair Soren Hammerberg held the position for five years.

Terminal Creek Contemporary opens in Artisan Square. The art space doubles as artist Scott Massey’s studio.

Scott Massey prepares for Terminal Creek Contemporary's opening show back in May.
Scott Massey prepares for Terminal Creek Contemporary's opening show back in May. - Bronwyn Beairsto

Local web designer John Dowler launches app that maps out heritage trails in Snug Cove.

The old Bowen Island Pub has its last call May 20. Ron Woodall suggests selling off pieces of the carpet on popsicle sticks.

A porta-potty is to return to Pebbly Beach in a discreet corner for the summer.

Defend Island Forests asks Metro Vancouver Regional Parks Committee to consider extending Crippen Park into the (Metro-owned) Crown lands so that that area may be protected.

Bowen receives money from federal abandoned boats program to remove the June Ruth in Mannion Bay.

Islanders feel ferry frustration as boats leave with empty spaces onboard and cars still waiting onshore (B.C. Ferries says they were trying to stay on schedule). Overload season (summer) begins.

Arts Pacific Gallery artist co-op celebrates 20 years of creating Bowenia.

Bowen Island Museum asks for submissions for an exhibit exploring Bowen’s fashions.

The Bowen Island Adventure Film Festival features 11 short films from island residents. Former mayor Bob Turner is voted a festival favourite for his contribution, “Seasons in the Sound.”

June 2018

Greg Redman is the fastest single kayaker in Bowen Island Sea Kayaking’s ‘Round Bowen Challenge at 2:32 (two hours and 32 minutes.)

A stray cigarette ignites bush beside General Store, threatening the building. Luckily volunteer firefighter Eric Michener was on hand to warn everyone and help douse the flames.

Some islanders travel to Pamela Goldsmith-Jones’ constituency office to protest the Trans Mountain Pipeline.

Bowen Children’s Centre raises money for its soon-to-be-completed infant toddler wing. At the last minute, Cape residents, the Dongs, donate $10,000.

The first of Union Steamship Company Marina’s float homes lands in the marina. The buildings are to address the staff housing shortage on-island

Float Home lands
The first of Union Steamship Company Marina's float homes lands back in June. - Bruce Russell

The sailboat Topless is the first Bowen boat to cross the finish line in the mass-start Round Bowen sailboat race.

Islanders propose a disc golf course in Veterans Park. Council is in favour.

Community Lands workshop sees around 50 islanders from varying backgrounds discussing potential uses of the properties.

Council adopts Bowen’s first 20-year transportation plan.

Bowen receives $135,666 from the province for phase one of a cross-island, multi-use path, one of the priorities outlined in the transportation plan.

Cst. Greg Copeland replaces Cst. Chris Coulter at Bowen RCMP.

Squamish Storyteller Rebecca Cambell Duncan celebrates National Indigenous Peoples Day with Boweners in front of the library.


Bowen Vet closes temporarily as preperations begin for the new Mountainside Animal Hospital on the North Shore.

Bowen Island Health Centre Foundation receives chairitable status.

Demolishing begins for four historic Davies Orchard cottages.

Foxglove Farm owner Daphne Fargher saves a young doe with a bad infection. Deer is dubbed Daisy.

A red algae bloom concerns locals but the Department of Fisheries and Oceans assures locals that it’s not toxic for humans.

Mayor Murray Skeels announces he’s not seeking re-election.

The second annual Bowen Island Classic Motor Show features 29 cars trucks and motorbikes built before 1978.

The first annual SwimBowen sees 55 swimmers take to Tunstall Bay waters to raise money for islanders in active cancer treatment.

A couple of kids steal rum from Mike Shannon of Bowen Taxi after he gave them a free ride. After a post on Facebook about the ordeal islanders rally to replace the rum (he received several bottles.) The kids return the rum they stole and Shannon offers up a rum and coke to the entire island.

Mike Shannon
Bowen Island’s only taxi owner, Mike Shannon, holds some of the bottles of rum — including the one that was stolen — that people gave him after reading of his travails on Facebook. - Bronwyn Beairsto

Former Snug Cove Marina owner Norma Dallas moves off island. Dallas built up the marina over three decades but has now decided that it’s time to retire.

Little Red Church minister and prolific volunteer Shelagh MacKinnon leaves the island for Victoria.


Seventy athletes compete in the fourth annual Loggers Show in Veteran’s Park in sweltering conditions.

Gerald Morrisseau is severely injured in an altercation with two other islanders on Trunk Road.

Dog Days is cancelled as there weren’t enough volunteers to organize it.

The Diggers win the Men’s Fastpitch Championship with an “exclamation point,” as Marcus Hondro put it, in a 10-2 final against the Cruisers.

Aaron Johnstone of the Diggers rounds the bases after hitting one of his many home runs
Aaron Johnstone of the Diggers rounds the bases after hitting one of his many home runs during the Bowen Island Men’s Fastpitch tournament in August. - Bronwyn Beairsto

Light Up Bowen is in danger also due to low volunteership.

Bowen’s carnival-themed Bowfest is a rainy affair, but islanders line up to see the parade anyway.

BIM and BIAC launch the community centre capital funding campaign.

Island Pacific School students participate in the World Scholar’s Cup in Barcelona.

Bruce Russell is Citizen of the Year.


Labour Day starts with the Handloggers Half Marathon, with Colin Kerr of Bowen Island crossing the finish line first with a time of 1:40:37.

Council sets up a fund to create, maintain and preserve affordable housing on Bowen.

Bowen’s cannabis bylaw prohibiting growing and selling pot on Bowen (unless there’s a temporary use permit or the area is rezoned) is adopted.

Locals rescue a sick juvenile barred owl. After he recovers at a Lower Mainland facility, the owl is returned to the Bowen wild.

Ibrahim Ali, one of the family of Syrian refugees Bowen helped support during their first year in Canada, is charged in the murder of a 13-year-old girl in Burnaby.

The second B.C. woman to cross the English Channel, Jessi Harewicz swims around Bowen without a wetsuit in 21 hours.

Pub owner Glenn Cormier and business person David Bellringer announce their partnership in a new proposed pot shop, this one beside the Village Baker rather under the new pub.

As part of B.C. Culture Days, BIAC hosts a Bowen studios tour with 24 stops.

More than 40 Krogen Yachts tie up at the Union Steamship Company Marina as the Northwest Kady-Krogen Owners Group held their largest social to-date.

The election campaign period begins in earnest. General thought is that there’s “violent agreement.”

Susan Alexander’s poem “Scales” from her 2017 book, The Dance Floor Tilts , is chosen for Poetry in Transit.

Applefest, which had been cancelled, is revived by Sarah Haxby.

Council’s proposed dock bylaw, banning docks that physically divide a beach is, well, divisive.

Cantata in Two Voices, 50 poems (epigraphs) written in 50 days by Jude Neale and Vancouverite Bonnie Nish, is released. 

Jude Neale holds her new co-authored book Cantata in Two Voices.
Jude Neale holds her new co-authored book Cantata in Two Voices. - Bronwyn Beairsto

October 2018

For two days in a row the 7:30 a.m. ferry sailing left behind some high school students sparking outrage in the community. B.C. Ferries (with some delay) responded by upping their passenger capacity during the commuter run. 

Bowen Children’s Centre’s infant-toddler wing is dubbed the Baby House at its housewarming party.

Council adopts a public art policy for Bowen.

John and Josephine Riley participate in their final apple display at Applefest as they have sold their orchard.

Bowen Island Rotary Club encourages pedestrians and cyclists to  “Stay bright at night” by wearing reflectors and flashing lights (the latter of which they were handing out for free.)

Bowen adopts a business licence bylaw, to go into effect January 1, 2019.

BIRCH seeks advisory committee members.

Cape Roger Curtis emerges as an election issue as then mayoral candidate Gary Ander and then councillor candidate David Hocking are quoted in a memorandum meant for potential development investors.

The library holds its third annual adult spelling bee (significantly increasing Bowen’s bee population, for that night at least.)

Gary Ander defeats Melanie Mason for mayorship by just two votes.

Mayor-elect Gary Ander hugs re-elected councillor Alison Morse after all the vote results come in.
Mayor-elect Gary Ander hugs re-elected councillor Alison Morse after all the vote results come in. - Marcus Hondro

In the last regular council meeting of the term, council adopts the contentious lot 1 rezoning, which includes “light industrial” as a primary use.

Home health monitoring from the Community Paramedicine Service comes to Bowen to support primarily older adults with chronic diseases.

The classic Undercurrent column, Marcus Hondro’s Slow Lane Chronicles returns.

Council approves a covenant for part of the Grafton Lakes development, land to be used for a water treatment facility for the cove bay water system.

Proportional representation is a hot topic as islanders exchange letters to the editor, debating the issues and merits of electoral reform.

November 2018

The old Bowen Island Pub is demolished.

Parents at the Bowen daycare Kinderhaus get $10 a day care as part of provincial pilot program.

Community centre is issued a building permit.

Islander Kahlil Baker is awarded the Meritorious Service Cross.

© Copyright Bowen Island Undercurrent


NOTE: To post a comment you must have an account with at least one of the following services: Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ You may then login using your account credentials for that service. If you do not already have an account you may register a new profile with Disqus by first clicking the "Post as" button and then the link: "Don't have one? Register a new profile".

The Bowen Island Undercurrent welcomes your opinions and comments. We do not allow personal attacks, offensive language or unsubstantiated allegations. We reserve the right to edit comments for length, style, legality and taste and reproduce them in print, electronic or otherwise. For further information, please contact the editor or publisher, or see our Terms and Conditions.

comments powered by Disqus