In April of each year, at the western entrance to the Salish Sea, it is a time of gathering and anticipation. The marine waters are teeming with multiple species of birds and marine mammals staging for their coming migrations to breeding grounds. On land, the spring displays of diverse wildflower species are in full swing while the choruses of spring migrant songbirds are intensifying.
For the island communities of Mayne and Galiano, the spirit and energy of this place is inspirational. It is within this context that these two communities conceived the idea of having an annual gathering to celebrate this remarkable time of year.
The inaugural Active Pass Nature and Arts Festival 2015 will launch this annual celebration April 17-19 on Mayne Island.
A diverse number of island based organizations have come together to create the festival within the mission: “To promote and celebrate the natural beauty and wildlife of the Active Pass Region of the Salish Sea, the unique communities within it and the art it inspires.”
The festival will be a showcase for these significant natural values, coupled with the rich history and creativity of the adjacent island communities.
Festival organizers have put together a diverse array of events, activities and workshops so that festival-goers can fully experience the nature and emerging culture that makes these island communities so special. Some highlights that can be expected are intimate, small group marine and land-based nature explorations, exhibitions of many art-forms by the artists of the islands, locally sourced and prepared food – all with music provided by musicians of the region.
One of the foundational principles of Festival Active Pass is that it will be providing, as much as is possible, free bus shuttles to and from venues and departure points for field excursions as well as certified small boat shuttles between island communities. The Opening Reception, Festival Feast and Food Fair will feature locally sourced foods that represent the diversity and abundance of this region.
The festival will feature a keynote address by Dr. Robert Butler, a musical performance by Galiano’s Brad Prevedoros Trio and the Mayne Island Singers under the direction of Dale Rasmussen. Guest birders include George Clulow and Bruce Whittington as well as, for the photographers, Mike Yip.
For details of what the Active Pass Nature and Arts Festival offers, consult its website: www.festivalactivepass.com
Anne Murray is the author of two books on nature and our local environment: A Nature Guide to Boundary Bay and Tracing Our Past – A Heritage Guide to Boundary Bay, available at local bookstores. Visit www.natureguidesbc.com for details.