Walks, video mark Salmonberry Days in COVID times

By Angus McIntyre

The Salmonberry Days Committee cancelled the annual May event in March of 2020 with the arrival of COVID-19. For May of 2021 we created a printed set of self-guided historical neighbourhood walks that are also available in video form. Three more videos were added to a new YouTube channel: Terry Slack on the history of the Fraser River Trail, a look at Kitsilano Beach with David Cook and a Dunbar Back Lane Tour.

VIDEOS: You can view them by logging onto YouTube. In the Search Window enter: Angus McIntyre, and click on the large red letter A for the videos.

Dunbar’s Salmonberry Days attracted the attention of a UBC student, who kindly provided us with the following:

“My name is Akhila A. Varghese, and I’m a fifth-year international student at UBC (Vancouver) studying food, nutrition and health in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems.

“From UBC CCEL, through the Storytelling Sessions-workshop series, I connected with Andrea Sara, community planner and organizer for the Dunbar Residents’ Association about Dunbar’s annual Salmonberry Days. It was fascinating to learn about the events held in the month of May, focusing on the environment, conservation and nature. Through the project, I was invited to connect with the community elders who started and continue to host Salmonberry Days. I met Angus McIntyre, Helen Spiegelman, Terry Slack and Sonia Wicken. We gathered at Pacific Spirit Park, where Terry and Helen met for the first time, to conduct an interview about the history and beginnings of Salmonberry Days.

“It was exciting to learn about the time before the creation of Pacific Spirit Park that old cars, TV sets and refrigerators were dumped off old trails, the story of the herons on school grounds and the vintage bus tours. I hope to weave the stories and interviews together to create a digital space and presence for Salmonberry Days. I’m looking forward to learning more stories.” As for 2022, the planning committee normally meets in January, and perhaps by that time we may know where to go next. The Dunbar Community Centre Association has advised us that they are optimistic for the future, but uncertain if they will host the Salmonberry Fair next year. They plan to keep patrons informed with updates on their website, and through the DRA Newsletter. The Salmonberry Days Committee plans a similar approach.