The Alberni Valley will get a chance to celebrate its rivers with a family-friendly event later this month.
The first annual Alberni Valley Rivers Day will take place on Sunday, Sept. 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event will be at two different locations: Stamp River Provincial Park and the Beaver Creek Community Hall (8505 Beaver Creek Road).
The park will offer an opportunity for people to visit the fish ladder and learn about the salmon run and fish counts. Representatives will be on the site from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Pacific Streamkeepers Federation and BC Parks—including BC Parks mascot Jerry the Moose.
Meanwhile, Beaver Creek Community Hall will offer fish printing and crafts for kids. The hall will also be running a concession with hot dogs and hamburgers for visitors, as well as a raffle.
“The hall has been really excited to help host,” explained Tanya Shannon, who has been coordinating the event. “They’re working to build up membership right now.”
Shannon says Alberni Valley Rivers Day has been in the works “for a couple years.” It was originally scheduled to take place in 2020, but was postponed a couple of times due to COVID-19 and resulting restrictions.
“Now we’re finally doing it,” said Shannon. “The plan is to make it an annual event in the Alberni Valley.”
Shannon has been working with representatives from the DFO and BC Parks in order to make a free, family-friendly event that will bring awareness to the Alberni Valley’s rivers. The event coincides with World Rivers Day, which takes place each year on the fourth Sunday of September and aims to highlight the values of rivers, increase public awareness and encourage stewardship.
“This is the inaugural year [of Alberni Valley Rivers Day],” said Shannon. “We’ll see how it goes and make improvements for next year.”