EXPLORE ABBY BLOG

Abbotsford Shares Another First on the Innovation Stage

The renowned TED speaker, Sir Ken Robinson, was in Abbotsford a few weeks ago for the Learning Revolution event, hosted by Abbotsford Christian School. Videos of his famous talks to the prestigious TED Conference are the most viewed in the history of the organization, and have been seen by an estimated 350 million people in over 160 countries.



As Sir Ken presented his topic ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’, the audience was struck with an analogy he used to emphasize how our educational system is, artificially, producing output. With Abbotsford situated in one of the country’s most intensely farmed areas, this is an analogy that our community can relate to. Specifically, the move towards farmers embracing more natural practices. In the 1850s, Sir Ken spoke of the need to produce more food for the world’s rapidly increasing population, and some of the unintended circumstances the developing world experienced because of this push.

During the Industrial Revolution, the world witnessed another revolution only it was in farming, which was made possible by mechanization and the invention of chemical fertilizer. Essentially, we grew larger crops in less time. The downfall was the loss of natural protection, so we decided to apply chemical pesticides to prevent crop attacks. And, it worked for some time until we realized that we were destroying the planet, evident by soil erosion and chemical run-off. In fact, we changed the genetic make-up of some of our creatures. With the objective of maximizing output and yield, mankind used a chemical, mechanized approach to a natural, organic process. We are still facing the consequences, of this short-sighted approach, today.

The movement of returning to more sustainable farming methods has farmers focusing on the soil as opposed to the crop itself.  These farmers recognize that enriched soil creates healthy crops in the short and long term...that the methodology is sustainable.
Applying this analogy to our education system, similarly, we have, artificially, enhanced ‘growth and output’ in our schools by grouping children by age or gender. Further, we segment our students by isolating children of certain talents or, the opposite, where we remove children that don’t fit the traditional mold.  We pathologized a lack of interest in certain disciplines and continue to suggest medicating children so that they can cope with being different. A perfect example is the rise of ADD and ADHD diagnoses.

Just as organic farmers also realize the gifts of respecting the land, in which the crops grow, and allowing for a natural crop to yield a nutrient-rich harvest, great teachers take a holistic approach, focus on the culture of the classroom and recognize that a positive environment is conducive to natural development. These forward-thinking teachers connect their students to the external environment using tactics that allow them to interact and respond in a manner that plays to their natural talents and understand the world within them.

Sir Ken challenged his audience as he asked, “Why don't we get the best out of people?”  His answer was that it's because we educate people out of their creativity as we're told to become good workers as opposed to creative thinkers. Students with ‘restless’ minds are ignored or even stigmatized. 

Civilization is a race between education and catastrophe. It’s a race we can win if we treat our children differently and value their talents. Schools all over the world are fighting the headwind of conformity with innovation. A vocational school in Cambodia is developing patents and is giving support to turn them into businesses to combat regional poverty.   Oklahoma wants to become the state of creativity. Grace Living Centre created a classroom in the foyer of the retirement home and a Book Buddies Program where seniors were reading to kids. The result? Connecting the generations had the residents taking less depression medication and living longer, and the children were advancing more quickly than their peers.

A school in our own backyard has joined this movement. Abbotsford Christian School is re-thinking talent and ability by: re-imagining education, scaling innovation, and revolutionizing its approach to education.

This is another example of the innovation Abbotsford has always been known for whether it’s agriculture, food-processing, education, aerospace, or character development through initiatives, such as Character Abbotsford. Our ‘soil’, made up of forward-thinking people, businesses, and institutions, has repeatedly been recognized on the national and international stage for significant achievements. A community that nurtures the uniqueness of each child’s inherent gifts, creates a cultural fabric that is rich in creativity, transforming into a society where, as adults, they continue to innovate.

Romantic Spots in Abbotsford

We've put together a collection of romantic ideas to help plan your weekend away in Abbotsford. Spend time wine tasting, trying gourmet farm to table meals, and relaxing at a cozy Bed and Breakfast.


WHERE TO STAY

Clayburn Village Bed and Breakfast 
Venture back in time to 1906 with a visit to Historic Clayburn Village, home to this charming Victorian Residence that has been lovingly restored to its original elegance.

Brookside Inn Boutique Hotel 
Situated at Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates, near the Abbotsford Airport, you will enjoy incredible views of beautiful Mt. Baker from these luxury suites, which take their inspiration from some classic romantic movies.

Sweet Dreams Luxury Inn
Providing relaxation and tranquility amidst the natural splendor of the 17 acre estate, this secluded inn makes for a peaceful stay located just minutes from Downtown Abbotsford.


WHERE TO VISIT

Historic Downtown Abbotsford
Take time to visit local favourites like Duft & Co. Bakehouse, Spruce Collective & Bow and Stern while you explore all the unique shops, bakeries, and restaurants this historic area has to offer.

Clayburn Village
Located at the foot of Sumas Mountain, this English inspired historical area was the first “company town” in British Columbia and is home to heritage sites like Clayburn Church, Clayburn Schoolhouse, and the very popular Clayburn Store & Tea Shop.

Wild Orange Spa
Relax at the perfect getaway from the everyday while enjoying amenities such as private men’s and women’s lounges, eucalyptus steam rooms, and refreshment centres that will enhance your spa experience.

Discovery Trail
This easy and rewarding route winds from park to park along creeks, lakes and fairgrounds from the west side of the city to the mountains in the east with over 60km to explore.


LOCAL DINING AND SIPS

Field House Brewing Co.
Gather with friends or your loved ones beside the wood-burning fireplace while you taste a flight of locally crafted beer. With ten taps and a selection of local food to chose from, there's something for everyone. 

Restaurant 62
The Fraser Valley's number one farm to table restaurant sourcing local ingredients that continually craft memorable plates where the food truly speaks for itself (and a wine list to match).

Mt.Lehman Winery
Taste away at this family owned winery located on a beautiful 15 acre vineyard specializing in small lots of naturally made wines. We recommend tying their flagship Pinot Noir and also exploring more sips in the valley on the Abbotsford Beer & Wine Tour

Tanglebank Gardens & Brambles Bistro
Stroll through this peaceful garden centre and gift shop where enchanting plant displays are filled with European garden décor then follow it up with breakfast or lunch in the Bistro.
 



Need help planning your weekend away to Abbotsford? Feel free to contact one of our knowledgeable Visitor Centre staff through the online chat on our website, by emailing info@tourismabbotsford.ca or by calling 604.859.1721. We're here to help you #ExploreAbbotsford.

Calendar of Events | Circle Farm Tour | Fresh Faces of Abby

Finding opportunities in 2017

TRADEX, TOURISM ABBOTSFORD FOCUS TURNS TO OPPORTUNITIES, STRATEGIES FOR 5-YEAR PLANS

Excitement is brewing at Tradex and Tourism Abbotsford as the laser focus for 2017 and beyond turns to mining opportunities and strategies with the City of Abbotsford, clients, tourism stakeholders, staff and management to help Abbotsford and Tradex shine its public light even brighter.

“Following on the heels of our new Tourism strategic plan, we will be embarking on a five-year plan to identify the opportunities for Tradex to evolve its positioning and its use as a multi-purpose facility. This effort will be a collaboration that includes many points of view,” said Craig Nichols, Tourism Abbotsford/Tradex executive director.

“It was a lot of fun in 2016 to pause and reflect on 25 years of Tradex operations,” said Nichols. “It reaffirmed for us that we need to be proactive and innovative in our stewardship of the building to ensure we leave it in better hands for the next generation, like those that came before us did.”

“It was good to publicly recognize the people who helped get the facility built and operational. . . and for us to express our gratitude. During these past few months we learned a lot about the history of the facility through the Tradex anniversary blogs, and about some of the amazing shows and people responsible for hosting them. It was also satisfying to communicate the importance of Tradex as a community asset and an economic generator,” said Nichols.

While 2016 marked a year of celebration and enhancements to Tradex, including a new roof, sidewalk improvements, café seating, point-of-sale system, improved entranceway, and Wi-Fi upgrade, 2017 will not be as aggressive for building improvements, “but we will see what the five-year plan identifies and develop a business case to back up the best opportunities. It will help us to get energized as a team for the future.”

As the 25th anniversary sign comes down at Tradex and a winner for the celebration’s grand prize is announced in early Spring, Nichols said he is particularly excited about the arrival of the Canadian Business Aviation Association convention at Tradex in 2017 and again in 2019, tag-teaming with the Aerospace, Defence & Security Expo (ADSE) and the Abbotsford International Airshow to bring some 20 aircraft to indoor and outdoor displays.

“It aligns strategically with the City’s and Tourism Abbotsford’s goals of becoming a go-to place for the aerospace industry,” said Nichols.

He is also excited about the national Under 14 volleyball championship in 2017 and the possible expansion of Canada Woodworking West industry-based show from 60,000 to 120,000 square feet in October.

The mayor’s breakfast in May will again give Tradex an opportunity to “transform and showcase the building,” said Nichols.

Tradex’s ability to transform into a film location during its quieter summer and winter months is another opportunity. “We’ve had some success with that recently as a site for the Legends of Tomorrow television show. We’re developing that market, it would be great to hand a film production company the Tradex keys in our quieter time and say go to it!”

Canada 150

Canada 150 and Passport 2017

With the 150th anniversary of Confederation occurring this year, Destination Canada is rolling out Passport 2017 – a mobile app that collects all Canada 150 celebrations across the country and places them in the palm of your hand.

Tourism Abbotsford is committed to help spread the word of various Canada 150 themed events and celebrations across Abbotsford. If your business or event has something planned to celebrate this anniversary, we encourage you to go to en.passport2017.ca and add your event to the passport.

Additionally, Parks Canada has decided to celebrate by providing free entry to all National Parks and Historic Sites in Canada next year. This will be done by giving away free Discovery Passes, which grants the holder access to these parks and sites. These passes will be available at the Abbotsford Visitor Centre on Delair Rd. starting January 2nd.

Make sure to share your adventures throughout the year by tagging #Canada150 and #ExploreAbbotsford

Fraser Valley First Night



Tradex, enthusiastically, announces the third annual family-friendly Fraser Valley First Night (FVFN) at the Tradex in Abbotsford.  The FVFN is a highly- anticipated and celebrated family tradition for New Year’s Eve celebrations, designed to give families a fun and safe place to bring in the New Year together.

Activities include:

• Indoor Balloon Drop at 9pm for the East Coast Countdown
• Incredible firework display at midnight
• West Coast Amusement Carnival Rides
• Creative Cube – crafts for kids
• Climbing Wall
• Mini Golf
• Stage Entertainment
• Bouncy Castles
• Obstacle Courses
• Face-painting
• Photobooth
• Petting Zoo


Date: Saturday, December 31st, 2016
Time: 5:00 pm-12:00 am (midnight)
Prices: $12.00 pre-purchased | $15.00 at the door | Children four and under are free.
Purchase tickets here for a discounted price! 

Tickets include all activities and concession items are provided at affordable prices. Tickets can be purchased on the Tradex website, at the Tradex office, Seven Oaks Mall in Abbotsford, Matsqui Recreation Centre, and the Abbotsford Recreation Centre.

Fraser Valley First Night (FVFN) is supported by Tourism Abbotsford, City of Abbotsford, Fraser Way RV, Abbotsford News, Kiss Radio, Star FM, and Country 107.

Tradex rings in the New Year

TRADEX RINGS IN NEW YEAR IN FUN, ECONOMICAL WAY FOR ALL
_____________________

 


Brad Styba and the management team at Tradex consider First Night, the heralding of a new year in Abbotsford, as a way of giving back to the community.

“You don’t have to break the bank to have fun,” at this event, which was launched on New Year’s Eve of 2014 with just shy of 3,000 attendees and grew to a crowd of 3,700 last year. Video coverage is here.

Number of fun-lovers promises to grow for third annual event

Styba said Tradex is expecting the number of participants to grow to between 4,500 and 5,000 for this third First Night. “We’ll cap it at 5,000 tickets,” he said. “This way there are no huge lineups for the activities.”



Before First Night was established, Styba said Tradex started to realize growth of events in December. “We had North Pole BC, large corporate dinners, a benevolent association children’s party with a midway . . . and we looked and saw what we had in the building leading up to Christmas to see if Tradex could throw a party.”

Striking a chord with locals and U.S. neighbours

From there the ideas developed for First Night, and after the first one, the response was terrific, with congratulatory calls not only from Abbotsford, but from south of the border and across the Lower Mainland.

That first year, Tradex executive director Craig Nichols was quoted in the media this way: “We had a great turnout, great response, great walk-up crowd. I think we all realize that the event struck a chord with locals.”

Considering the fact the Abbotsford News A-List has Tradex voted as the #1 place to host an event, it’s no wonder the First Night alcohol-free celebration is resonating with the community.

One ticket buys all the fun activities and entertainment

Food is extra beyond the $12 advance or $15 at-the-door single price of admission, but families will enjoy the $2 food tents featuring hotdogs, pop, popcorn and cotton candy.
Parking is free, courtesy of Fraserway RV.



Price of admission gets everyone laughing and giggling on unlimited West Coast Amusements carnival rides, ranging from Spring Ride and Monkey Spin, Tornado and Kite Flyer, to Choo Choo Charlie and Cuckoo Haus.

Back again this year is the talented Abbotsford choreographer, Mary Boonstra, teaching the crowd, in particular the children, dance steps for the big night. Boonstra was very popular when she taught steps to the theme song from Austin Powers movie.

Emcees for the night are Langley country/pop western duo sisters Robyn and Ryleigh Gillespie of Langley; with kids’ television entertainer Will Stroet belting out his toe-tapping melodies in his trademark style. Bouncy castles, crafts, rock wall, mini golf, face-painting and more will keep families busy all night.

Balloon drop, fireworks and a grand prize package

A balloon drop at 9 p.m. aligns with the stroke of midnight Eastern time, and gives families an opportunity to leave a little earlier. An outdoor fireworks show at midnight in Abbotsford marks the 2017 countdown.



Special grand prize package this year is a four-night RV rental by Fraserway RV, four nights’ campsite rental at Holiday Trails RV Resorts in Bridal Falls, $100 Walmart gift card, and $100 Shell gas gift card.

And the Tradex 25th anniversary scratch-and-win prize tickets will also be distributed during First Night.

“The best part is, even though I am working, I get to experience all the fun from start to finish,” laughed Styba, who will be at Tradex until the event winds down just after midnight. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Purchase tickets for First Night here. For more event info, go to www.fvtradex.com 

The Ultimate Abbotsford Experience

The winner of Passport to Christmas will enjoy being chauffeured around Abbotsford while they experience the ultimate day of pampering, wine tasting and delicious cuisine with a friend, loved one or family member.

Start your morning with massage treatments at The Wild Orange Spa. With an inviting atmosphere and contemporary design, this is a serene was to start your day in Abbotsford.



After relaxing, head out for a wine tasting and a locally sourced charcuterie board at Single Tree Winery in the backcountry of the beautiful Mt.Lehman area. Historically, this area is know to be a popular farming community. 



Enjoy the backroads of Abbotsford’s lush countryside on your way to dinner. Your evening will be spent at the new S+L Restaurant in Abbotsford who offers a casual upscale environment focused on bringing unique locally inspired dishes to everyone.



End your night by being chauffeured back to Brookside Inn, one of Canada’s top small hotels for a nights stay. Inspired by classic romantic movies, each suite is thoughtfully decorated to capture the film’s essence like Midnight in Paris or Under the Tuscan Sun.



And if this isn’t enough, you could also win a private dinner for you & 11 of your closest friends and family. The dinner would be hosted at Brambles Bistro at Tanglebank Gardens in Abbotsford.


HOW TO win this experience?
Pick up a passport at any of these stops, visit a minimum of 6 stops, answer a trivia question to get your passport stamped, and then to drop it back off at any of the businesses.
On December 23rd, two winners will be drawn and awarded prizes.

December Events in Abbotsford

The holiday season has arrived! Abbotsford is home to a wide variety of festive markets, local events and family friendly activities to elevate the holiday spirit. For a full list of events happening throughout the month of December, go to our Events Calendar. Also, check out Passport to Christmas in Abbotsford for your chance to win The Ultimate Abbotsford Experience.


 

Passport to Christmas | Nov 1 - Dec 21
Shop 10 local businesses and collect a minimum of 6 stamps to win the Ultimate Abbotsford Experience.
Various businesses around Abbotsford
www.passporttochristmas.ca
 

Trees of Hope | Dec 1 - 27
In support of Matthew’s House, stop by to see the decorated trees and vote to win a $100 gift card to Sevenoaks. 
32900 South Fraser Way - Sevenoaks Shopping Centre
Website
 

4th Annual Gift and Bake Sale Market | Dec 3
Holiday baking done right! Shop over 1,000 fresh home baked and handmade goods.
33886 Pine Street, Abbotsford
Website 

 

Holidays at Highstreet | Dec 3, 10, 17
Enjoy a fun filled Holiday Show featuring live music, marching band, Spandy Andy & more.
3122 Mt. Lehman Road - High Street Shopping Centre
Website
 

Pop Up Artisan Market | Dec 3 - 4 | Passport Event
Abbotsford Arts Council presents the "Pop Up Artisan Market" featuring over 25 artists and handmade gifts.
3122 Mt. Lehman Road - High Street Shopping Centre
Website
 

Christmas Farm & Country Market | Dec 3, 10, 17
You’ll also discover new varieties of fresh local produce; international award-winning jams; and a wide range of food products no available in stores.
Montrose Avenue at George Ferguson Way
Website 
 

Taste of the Market | Dec 3 - 4 | Passport Event

Join us under the tents as we bring together the bakers & makers behind your favourite local products.
33955 Clayburn Rd. - Lepp Farm Market
Website
 

A Christmas Survival Guide | Dec 4
Support live local theatre with this delightful musical comedy presented by Fraser Valley Stage.
2329 Crescent Way - Community Arts Addition
Website
 

Christmas Masquerade Ball | Dec 18
Suburban Swing Presents the 16th Annual Christmas Masquerade Ball – Abbotsford’s biggest dance of the year.
33800 King Road - Abbotsford Centre
Website 
 

 

FV First Night | Dec 31 | Passport Event
The Fraser Valleys biggest and best Family Friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. 
1190 Cornell Street - Tradex
Website


Follow Abbotsford on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share along your journey with the hashtag #ExploreAbbotsford. We can't wait to see what you get up to!

Visit Passport to Christmas in Abbotsford to shop, stamp and win this holiday season. 

Events Calendar 

Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards

ABBOTSFORD BUSINESS EXCELLENCE AWARDS, TRADEX GROWING SPECTACULARLY TOGETHER

_______________________

In 2009, the Abbotsford Business Excellence Awards, co-presented by the Abbotsford Chamber of Commerce and The Abbotsford News, made a decision that helped it grow into one of the largest and most spectacular events of its kind in the Fraser Valley.

It made Tradex its annual home.

“We outgrew the Ramada (now Quality Hotel) when in 2008 we had a waiting list of 100 people for a ticket to the awards night,” said Allan Asaph, now executive director of the Abbotsford Chamber, and who was with the awards program when it had a modest crowd of 200 at its debut at Tradex in 1996, and in subsequent years at the Kings Crossing banquet facility, which was destroyed by fire.

“Our hallmark is we acknowledge all nominees in our awards program, not just a select group of finalists. As a result, and with great anticipation, a lot of people want to attend. With the number of nominees each year in the range of 100, and the number of guests well exceeding 500, Tradex was able to accommodate us,” said Asaph.

The beauty of hosting the business event at Tradex is its ability to partner with other events scheduled there “that allowed us to lower the costs of pipe and drape and the cost of equipment.”

Also, Tradex continues to be a major award sponsor.



“Over the years our relationship with Tradex has allowed us to broaden the event in terms of the type of entertainment and staging. In 2014, we presented entertainment based on the Moulin Rouge movie, showcasing a wide range of local talent, from aerial acrobatics, bhangra dancers, Korean drummers, singers, actors . . . a very large contingent of performers under the guidance of talented Business Excellence committee member and choreographer Mary Boonstra,” said Asaph.

Coverage of that event can be seen here: https://youtu.be/VvDjfotuZa0. The Business in Black dance team, comprised of community leaders taught to perform by Boonstra, continues to be an event ice-breaker since it first appeared in 2005.

Since the awards moved to Tradex, just ask Chamber of Commerce event managers like Goldie VanGarderen and now Carole Jorgensen about how Tradex works hard to increase the flexibility of the venue, so together they can create a stylish event that greets people with a setting that suits its high profile.



“Tradex ensures the quality of the food served is a significant part of the event’s success,” Asaph said.

Tradex also allows enough space for the Business Excellence pre-event reception, which Asaph said is now a major social and networking opportunity as patrons arrive on the red carpet happy and well-dressed.

“Our pleasure over the years is growing together with Tradex to host a premier event recognizing the excellence of our business community,” said Asaph. “Happy 25th anniversary Tradex!”
 



Follow Abbotsford on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share along your journey with the hashtag #ExploreAbbotsford. We can't wait to see what you get up to!

Visit Passport to Christmas in Abbotsford to shop, stamp and win this holiday season. 

Events Calendar 

The West Coast Christmas Show

DYNAMIC CHRISTMAS SHOW DUO IMPRESSED
BY TRADEX CONVENIENCE, TEAM SPIRIT
_____________________________

Heather Angeard and George Acs, co-owners of Executive Event Production Inc. and producers of the West Coast Christmas Show and Fraser Valley Food Show, both said they thought they were dreaming when they first encountered the wonderful features of Tradex nine years ago.

“Our jaws were wide open because the staff at Tradex wanted to help us. No one helps like this when we host shows in Vancouver,” said Angeard.

“I remember saying to Heather the first time we had a show at Tradex that we must be in the Twilight Zone. We are dealing with real people who want to help you in every way they can. No one has a designated job. Whoever is nearby helped us. It made a huge difference,” said Acs.



Christmas-show duo has a long history in the hospitality industry

Acs and Angeard have been business partners for decades, and together they founded and produced EAT! Vancouver Food Festival, EAT! Fraser Valley Food Festival (now Fraser Valley Food Show), West Coast Christmas Show, CityTV’s Taste of the City and produced the BC Hospitality Expo.

Angeard’s first job was with a catering company for a variety of events when she was 13. Working with Acs, who she first encountered when he was with the BC Restaurant Association, has been a rewarding experience.

Acs has been involved in the restaurant, food service and hospitality industry since leaving university in 1969. He’s been owner/operator of restaurants and bars in Victoria and Whistler, including Louie Louie’s Diner, Jimmy D’s Roadhouse and The Hungarian Village. He was named BC Restaurateur of the Year three times.

For Angeard, with more than 30 years of experience in the hospitality and event industry, it was a natural progression to create and launch consumer shows with Acs.
“When Vali Marling of Tradex came to us, telling us that they wanted to do a show similar to our Eat! Vancouver and asking for our help, we said sure. Then we did the Christmas show here as well,” said Acs.



Tradex in Abbotsford makes it easy

What does he like most about Tradex?  “It’s like a dream to move a show in and out. There are lots of big doors to access the show from all around. There are no elevators, you just drive in. It’s a wonderful facility.”

For Vancouver shows, logistics companies are hired, holding lots are rented and exhibitors are held there until they are called. None of that happens at Tradex,” said Acs.

Fancy foods, artisan market, Santa’s workshop, children’s choirs and more

The West Coast Christmas Show, considered Western Canada’s leading holiday season show, runs this year Friday through Sunday, Nov. 18-20 at Tradex. Angeard said “we get a small head-start on Wednesday, fluffing up Christmas trees and assembling reindeer. We have all day Thursday, and Friday morning to set up, before the show starts.”

The event brings together holiday gifts, fancy foods, personal services, a Festival of Trees, new décor ideas and products, festive seminars, culinary presentations, and the sounds of Christmas performed by local choirs and musicians.



Sugar shack, Nintendo and a trolley

This year a maple sugar shack outside the front doors of Tradex will bring back childhood memories for anyone from Eastern Canada, with the aroma of hot maple syrup and shredded ice . . . a sugary sweet festive delight.

A Nintendo trailer outside will also bring smiles to the faces who love anything new related to Pokémon.

And once again, parking is free, with parking-lot shuttle service provided by The Vancouver Trolley Company.

As Tradex celebrates 25 years, Angeard said the facility has certainly grown over the years and “it has been nice to be a part of it.”
 



Follow Abbotsford on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and share along your journey with the hashtag #ExploreAbbotsford. We can't wait to see what you get up to!

Visit Passport to Christmas in Abbotsford to shop, stamp and win this holiday season. 

Events Calendar