Explore Trethewey House Heritage Site

If you live in Abbotsford chances are you’ve driven past Trethewey House. Or maybe you’ve heard the story of J.O. Trethewey, a lumber baron who was responsible for the leadership of the company during its boom years in the 1920s. But if you haven’t had the chance to explore the heritage site now is the perfect time as this month they celebrate winning a Heritage BC Recognition Award for their app, Agents of Discovery!

This prestigious award was presented to Trethewey House Heritage Site and Heritage Abbotsford in the Heritage Education and Awareness category and celebrates outstanding achievements in heritage preservation among individuals and organizations across BC. Trethewey House Heritage Site uses Agents of Discovery as a fun and innovative way of engaging visitors with Abbotsford’s rich history.

“We have seen a tremendous boost in engagement from our visitors after implementing Agents of Discovery,” said Christina Reid, Executive Director of Trethewey House. “We were so thrilled to have received this award and be recognized for the effort and passion we put into educating our community with Abbotsford’s history.”

Trethewey House Heritage Site is operated by the Heritage Abbotsford Society, a charity organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of our community. This is achieved through educational programming, tours of Trethewey House, and the Upper Sumas BCER station, exhibits and displays, including the one-room schoolhouse experience and the Heritage Gallery exhibits, along with walking tours, heritage-themed events and workshops, interpretive educational and outreach programs, and summer camps for youth and children.

Spend a few hours exploring the surrounding area of Trethewey House too! Ideally situated beside Mill Lake, visitors can enjoy a picturesque stroll around the lake or relax on a park bench. The Kariton Art Gallery is also located nearby and features changing exhibits highlighting local artists.  The gallery features 10-12 exhibitions per year that showcase the works of over 100 local artists, ranging from emerging to professional.

To find out more information about the Trethewey House Heritage Site please visit http://www.tretheweyhouse.ca/

For a list of current and upcoming exhibitions at Kariton Art Gallery please visit http://www.abbotsfordartscouncil.com/gallery

More from the explore Abby Blog

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Events Calendar | Eat Play Love Abby this Summer

Eat, Play, Love Abby: Calling all Foodies and Wine Lovers

Spend the day in Abby as you eat, play, and love your way throughout the city. This jam-packed itinerary is loaded with authentic farm-to-table, arts and culture, and natural experiences designed to impress even the most seasoned foodie and experiential day-tripper.

Brunch Bites

At Brambles Bistro, brunch is more than just a meal-- it’s food for all your senses. You’ll find yourself seated in a tranquil, garden setting as you choose from farm-fresh entrées, such as the Citrus French Toast and Duck Confit Panini.

Be prepared for a crowd as the place is always full, but we promise that the food is well worth the short wait. Be sure to explore the European-inspired Tanglebank Gardens and gift store, filled with hand-made creations. Before you know it, your table will be ready!


Afternoon Sips and Savours

There’s no better way to spend an afternoon than by sampling some of Abbotsford’s locally-produced wines. The Fraser Valley’s agricultural history and rich terroir serves as an ideal location for growing premium grapes.

Mt. Lehman’s newest winery unites old-world charm with new-world convenience. Seaside Pearl Farmgate Winery’s iconic Chapel Tasting Room is surrounded by rolling fields and picturesque country roads, and invites to bring a picnic to be enjoyed patio-style. Or, listen to the winemaker’s stories as you sample Reserve Petit Verdot, Pinot Gris, Red Blend, and a sparkling white straight from the barrel.

Singletree Winery’s heritage estate specializes in growing cool-climate varietals like the Siegerrebe and Gruner Veltliner. Be sure to visit the picnic area and pair locally smoked meats, artisan cheese, and other seasonal selections.

Before leaving the Mt. Lehman area, a must-visit is Mt. Lehman Cheese where the owner, and cheesemaker, Jason Dykstra specializes in goat and buffalo cheese, preparing edible works of art!  Ask about the Matsqui Goat Cheddar, Mt. Lehman Tomme, and Fraser Valley Goat Feta.

More Must Have Eats and Cultural Treats

Kickstart the second half of your day by nurturing your soul with a visit to The Reach Gallery Museum. The Reach is a centre of cultural and creative innovation, a platform for excellence in visual arts, and a monument to Abbotsford’s diverse heritage while showcasing rising talent from across Canada.

Featured exhibitions include Ready Player Two, Jim Adams: The Irretrievable Moment, and Ericka Walker: The Great Experiment.

Now, a pick-me-up from Abbotsford’s newest bakery is in order. True to most of Abbotsford’s foodie hotspots, The Polly Fox Bakery bakes and brews with only locally-sourced ingredients.

And there’s no need to feel guilty when devouring a double chocolate vegan cookie or a cashew bar made with coconut milk dulce de leche and toasted cashews. Loaded with deliciousness and only lacking unhealthy fillers, Polly Fox specializes in preparing gluten, peanut, and soy-free treats along with freshly-roasted java.

End the evening with a stroll around Abbotsford’s hidden oasis, Mill Lake Park, and indulging in a farm-to-table meal at Restaurant 62 (R62). R62’s talented culinarians pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients, earning rave reviews throughout the blogosphere.

Starters and sides are designed to be shared and the warm, contemporary interior lends itself to everything from a date night to a meal out with friends.

Want to discover more ways to Eat, Play, Love Abby? Click here for more ideas and activities to get you inspired to explore Abbotsford. 

Abbotsford Welcomes Jane’s Walk: A Walking Conversation

From May 5 to 7th, Abbotsford welcomes Jane’s Walks-- multiple walking tours centred around the arts, food and culture, and architecture and neighbourhood change. 

Inspired by a woman named Jane Jacobs, Jane’s Walks are designed to celebrate evolving neighbourhoods while engaging in discussion about community-based city building.

A little about Jane…Jane was not a trained city planner, but she was a concerned citizen who spent time observing city life. She formulated theories about what makes a city an amazing place to live, believed in walkable neighbourhoods and urban literacy, and championed the voices of local residents.

After passing away in 2006, a group of her friends decided to honour her by continuing her legacy and founding Jane’s Walk. Jane’s book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, positions her passion best with this impactful statement.

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”

Free of charge, Tourism Abbotsford encourages everyone to join one of these inspirational walks, to explore new backyards, and meet some friendly faces. Better yet, to get involved and lead a new walk! Last year, over 1,000 walks took place in 212 cities, 36 countries, and 6 continents. 

May 5: Sketching Walk
The Sketching Walk will be led by Pat Maertz who is passionate about the arts, a member of local arts organizations and clubs, and leads a Saturday morning urban sketching group.
Time:   11:30 am to 12:30 pm

This easy, short walk (less than .5 km) is comprised of three to four locations (Trethewey House followed by Lakeside View, Kariton Art Gallery, and the Floating Boardwalk). Basic sketching material is provided, or participants may bring their own. Locations will be adapted according to the weather, and appropriate attire is recommended.

May 6: Food and Culture Walk
The Food and Culture Walk is led by UFV student, Sarah Speight.
Time:  1:30 am to 2:30 am

Designed to answer the questions, “How does local culture influence the food produced by international restaurants? And “How do international foods and culture influence the local foods that we produce?” It starts at Happy Hour Bubble Tea followed by a walk around Historic Downtown.

May 7:  Mid Century Modern and Changing Times
The Mid Century Modern and Changing Times Walk is led by urban historian, Marianne Fedori, and, homeowners, Aline Auger and Nova and Devin Hopkins.
Time:  1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

This is an informal walk designed to explore mid-century architecture, residential patterns, and neighbourhood change. Participants will discover some of Abbotsford's 1950s and 1960s’ cutting-edge residences, learn how new infill developments are leading to change, and how Abbotsford might best address the needs of increased density while preserving the context of an established neighbourhood. Photo Credit: Jane's Walk Abbotsford.

To kick-off Jane's Walk, there is a launch celebration planned for May 5th, from 11:00am – 1:00pm at Mill Lake Park.

To keep up to date on upcoming walks in your neighbourhood, follow Janes Walk at @janeswalkabby and tag your photos with #JanesWalkAbby.

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!

Spring Bucket List
Romantic Spots around Abby
Fresh Faces of Abby Series 

Events Calendar 

Meet Sophia Suderman


Q: What is the Abbotsford Arts Council?

Established in 1971, the Abbotsford Arts Council (AAC) is a non-profit society, dedicated to developing and promoting the arts and culture scene in Abbotsford. We embrace accessibility. Essentially, the AAC is a grassroots approach to supporting the arts community in Abby, serving emerging and established artists from diverse backgrounds.

Sophia at Kariton Art Gallery (Sophia at Kariton Art Gallery)

Q: Why do you feel that the AAC is important to Abbotsford?

The arts bring people together by fostering creativity, igniting ‘artist talks’, expanding networks, and creating community. For many artists, the AAC provides their first opportunity to showcase their work. We remove the barriers to entry for artists, frequently rotate exhibits, and offer free admission to Kariton Art Gallery, located at Mill Lake.

Cultural events are an important part of the fabric of our society and what it takes to build relationships. Different cultures are pulled together and engage in dialogue that may not have happened otherwise. For example, our last exhibit, Cultural Treasures, connected artists who shared stories about where they came from.

Another example is Atangard, a community project that emerged out of the transformation of the run-down Fraser Valley Inn into an intentional community for students between the ages of 19 and 35. Colourful artwork lines the walls of this communal living space.

(Atangard communal living space)

Q: What keeps you rooted in this community?

Like a lot of people, I grew up in Abby and have family here, but what I love most is the opportunity that is available. You could look at Abbotsford as missing a lot or seeing the opportunities to make things happen. The younger demographic has stayed here like I did, or moved back after spending time in more developed cities, recognizing that there are markets to serve. Jam in Jubilee is another example. It is successful because people wanted a music scene that highlighted different genres and supported local musical talent. They were receptive and this ‘derelict park’ became iconic for a positive reason.

Cultural consumers move to the city but the entrepreneur stays here. Together, we develop programs and create opportunities as opposed to competing to be a part of over-saturated markets.

Knowing that there are so many others who share my perspective, we work together to achieve our common goals.

(Sophia & Friends down by the river)

Q: What is your response to the opinion that there isn’t much to do in Abbotsford?

We have a lot to choose from actually, but we lack the networks to get the messaging out. See? Another opportunity for anyone who is in the media or communications industry. Personally, I like to spend time outdoors. Everything is easily accessible and close from the Abby Grind to the Discovery Trail. After a fresh snowfall, Ravine Park is perfectly silent and untouched. But, one of my favourite past-times is to sit by a fire down by the river. I need a break from screens and technology… to just spend time being relational again.

This belief that ‘everyone knows everyone’, often perceived as a negative, is a positive in my opinion. When you actually get to know someone, you will care about their success and have more shared experiences. We need people’s voices—their ideas and inspirations. It’s an exciting time to live in Abby.

Watch her #FreshFacesofAbby story here.

October Events in Abby

BC Hop Fest  | October 1st

This 2nd annual BC Hop Fest will bring together the best of British Columbia's rapidly growing craft breweries and hop products of all kinds. This year, hop lovers will enjoy tastings from 30+ breweries, 5 food trucks, field and plant tours, home brew tips and new this year, the first "Hop Market" at BC Hop Co. Farm. 

Location: 1905 Cole Road Abbotsford


CreatiValley  | October 1st

Come join the garden of earthly delights bacchanal at The Reach for an artful social event of food, drink, music to celebrate CreatiValley 2016. Experience a showcase of exceptional artists and unorthodox art forms that will expand the boundaries of unique creative expression in the Fraser Valley.

Location: 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford


Maan Farms Pumpkin Festival | October 1st – 31st

Find your fall spirit at Maan Farms. This season, they’re hosting many family activities like a free-admission pumpkin patch, free pumpkin carving station (they do the clean up!) & fun entertainment every weekend. Grab tickets for the daytime corn maze, evening haunted corn maze & hay-wagon rides. 

Location: 790 McKenzie Rd, Abbotsford

Abby Roadside | September 29th – October 23rd Fri, Sat & Sun

Find yourself, then lose yourself in this one-of-kind autumn-themed event that includes three different corn mazes - a kiddie maze, an all-ages maze and BC's first beer tasting corn maze, plus a pumpkin patch, KidZone games and play area, dog bar, autumn eats, photo booths, lounge area and craft beer garden. 

Location: 36737 North Parallel Rd., Abbotsford


Applelooza at Lepp Farm Market | October 15th

Bring the family and join us at the Market for the 3rd Annual Applelooza, an Apple Harvest Celebration. As seen on CBC’s Dragon’s Den, the Mobile Juice Factory will take our fresh orchard apples and turn them into 100% pure juice right before your eyes! 

Location: 33955 Clayburn Rd, Abbotsford


Our Lady Peace & I Mother Earth | October 15th

Two of Canada’s most beloved and best-selling bands, Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth featuring Edwin are kicking off at Abbotsford Centre with special guests The Standstills.

Location: 33800 King Rd, Abbotsford


West Coast Women’s Show | October 21st – 23rd
With all the latest products and services for women from hundreds of exhibitors, you will find everything on your wish list. Plus, enjoy incredible entertainment on five stages, including celebrity speakers, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, and wellness & beauty secrets. 

Location: 1190 Cornell St, Abbotsford

We’ll share more local Abby Halloween events on our blog next week! For a full list of events, check out our Calendar page. #ExploreAbbotsford

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!

More from #ExploreAbbotsford:

Top 10 Adventures in Abbotsford 
5 Places to Explore with Kids
Fresh Faces of Abby Series 

Events Calendar 

Top 10 Adventures in Abbotsford

The BC Summer Games are in Abbotsford from July 21 to 24th. We're excited to welcome all the participants, families and friends to our city. Find time in between competitions and take a few hours to explore these exciting ideas and adventures below. Go Abby Games! 

1. Circle Farm Tour

While in Abbotsford, don’t miss our Circle Farm Tour. This self-guided tour takes you through our country side and will lead you to a variety of specialty farm gate vendors, charming eateries, a barn full of antiques and the best ice cream you will ever eat. Download Guide 

2. Historic Downtown

Walk through the heart of Abbotsford and discover vintage stores, charming boutiques and delicious eateries while in Historic Downtown. It’s the perfect meld of past and present, where you will find unique restored heritage buildings and shopping.

3. Castle Fun Park

A free-admission, family amusement park offering year round excitement for everyone. From mini golf, go carts, batting cages and arcade games, Castle Fun Park is a great place to bring the kids for an afternoon in Abbotsford. 

4. Beer & Wine Tour

Sip, Savour and Share on the Abbotsford Beer & Wine Tour! Download the map to start your self-guided tour of our local craft breweries and wineries. While tasting, take time to discover the unique flavours of our valley. Download Map 

5. Walks, Trails & Mountain Biking

Enjoy the great outdoors with the whole family in Abbotsford's 157 parks consisting of over 2,584 acres of parkland and 98 kilometers of urban trails. From Mill Lake Park to Sumas Mountain, there is so much terrain to be discovered by you. More info here. Photo Credit: Mona Lucas

6. Comedy Show 

Enjoy a laugh at Canada’s national stand-up comedy club, Yuk Yuk’s. Shows run nightly Wednesday to Saturday. Check out their website to see who's in town while you're here. 

7. Visit a Museum

Abbotsford is a city rich in talent, culture and history. While you check out all the museums, galleries, & artisans, don't forget to tour all the public art that can be found throughout Abbotsford. More info here. 

8. Shopping

Let us be your guide as you hunt for those one-of-a-kind items during your stay. Sevenoaks Shopping Centre is centrally located and likely has all that you need. If you’re looking for an outdoor shopping centre, check out Highstreet – a new, open-air shopping centre located at Mt.Lehman interchange. 

9. Golfing

The lush greenery of Abbotsford is home to a variety of courses that are open year-round! Regardless of your swing, there is a tee waiting for you. During your next stay, take a visit to Fraserglen or Ledgeview Golf Course. More info here.

10. Skydiving

Seeking thrill & adventure? Why not book a trip with Vancouver Skydive and experience the Drop Zone which is located in scenic Abbotsford. All of their Tandem Skydives are done with an experienced and qualified Tandem Instructors!

Follow us 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!

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107 Days of Summer in Abbotsford 
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Jam In Jubilee 2016 Performers Announced

This highly anticipated music series will be every Thursday from August 4th to August 25th at Jubilee Park in Abbotsford. Featuring handpicked musical artists, performance stage acts, artisan vendors and free admission, Jam in Jubilee is a celebration of local culture and a chance to meet your community. The event opens at 6pm with live music starting at 7pm. If you can’t make it down, tune in to Jam in Jubilee Radio at CIVL 101.7 every Thursday at 5pm.


August 4: Fraser Valley Music Awards Winner (TBA); Western JaguarAlex Rake and the Leaves; (and for the After Dark Series) DJ Johnny K, followed by Herokah & DJ RAV3N

August 11: The Lonesome Town Painters; Adrian Teacher and the SubsJulie Doiron; (and for the After Dark Series) DJ Sonja, followed by Kristin Witko

August 18: Kin, Jenny Banai; Poison Corn; (and for the After Dark Series) Dove, followed by DJ Joel Sojonky

August 25: Chicken-Like Birds; The Sylvia Platters; Atodaso (and for the After Dark Series) DJ Simon Bridgefoot, followed by Teen Daze

Looking for more summer activites? Check out our 107 Days of Summer guide which provides daily activites and ideas for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

5 June Events Around Abbotsford

This summer, take time to explore the many events, festivals and concerts here in Abbotsford. We've rounded up a few exciting events happening in June and we will continue to share more with you throughout the summer.
For a full calendar of events, see here.  

Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception | June 16

Summer Exhibitions Opening Reception of Meticulous Pilgrim: The Craftsmanship of Tony Mayo and Art on Demand 2:1 with artists Jenny Hawkinson and Sarah Neilsen. Meet the artists, view their works of art and enjoy refreshments.

Location: The Reach Galley & Museum 
Date & Time: June 16th 7pm – 9pm
More Information 


Kids Carnival | June 18

The annual Kids' Carnival is in support of Matthew's House, and will be located at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre by Shopper's Drug Mart. This is a day of fun for the whole family. The event will have a bouncy castle, slides, Velcro climbing wall, Reptile Guy, carnival games, face painters, BBQ and so much more. 

Location: Sevenoaks Shopping Centre
Date & Time: June 18th 11am - 3pm
More Information


Maan Farms Family Safety Day | June 19 

The 1st annual Free Family Safety Day! Emergency Services representatives from all over the lower mainland will be coming to show families what they do, have hands on activities and live demos. Tentative Safety stations include: Fire, Police, Ambulance, Bike, Self Defense, Emergency Preparedness, Wildlife Safety, Search & Rescue, and  Water Safety. As the Safety day also falls on Father's day there will also be kitchen specials & pie eating contests.

Location: Maan Farms
Date & Time: June 19th 11am to 3pm 
More Information


National Aboriginal Day | June 21 

Celebrate Aboriginal Day in Abbotsford! Pow wow drumming, storytelling, Salish weaving and other crafts, face painting, free food and more. Join us in Thunderbird Memorial Square (the plaza in front of Clearbrook Library) for National Aboriginal Day festivities.

Location: Thunderbird Memorial Square - 32388 Veterans Way
Date & Time: June 21 4pm - 7pm 
More Information


Field Days Music Fest | June 24

A 2-day music festival featuring some of the best local Artists from around BC. Festival will be held on sprawling 3500 sq. ft. 'Beer Lawn' in East Abbotsford.

Location: Field House Brewing Co.
Date & Time: June 24 & 25
Click here for Tickets
More Infomation 

Looking for more summer activites? Check out our 107 Days of Summer guide which provides daily activites and ideas for you, your family and friends to enjoy. 

Art on Demand Call for Submissions





















“The number one rule of being an artist is getting your work in on time.”

The crowd smiled as Laura Schneider, curator at The Reach Gallery and Museum, offered welcoming remarks and advice to hopeful artists at the opening reception of Art on Demand 1:1.

Although under the direction of the gallery, Art on Demand is curated by members of Emerge, a program for aspiring artists and arts professionals ages 16-30.

This exhibit runs until July 5 and features Emerge members Kendra Schellenberg, Nastasha Mol, and Angelica Born. It is the first of several planned Art on Demand exhibits at The Reach this season.

Schneider said once students complete their bachelor of fine arts degree they often lose touch with the arts community. The Emerge program helps young artists stay connected and gain momentum in their careers.













Emerge membership allows artists to learn professional practices, affords access to workshops, creates networking and mentorship opportunities, and offers several chances per year to exhibit in a professional gallery. The program is ideal for committed young people who can imagine having careers in arts and culture.

For the 2015/16 season, Art on Demand is calling for submissions. Applications are due by June 19, 2015 and will be adjudicated by The Reach staff.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city.

Jam in Jubilee Calling for Sponsors

Continuing the live-music tradition in Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park the family-friendly concert series is calling for sponsors and vendors to help make the free event bigger and better.

Director Sophia Suderman said the volunteer-run event is planning to feature three bands per night with a side-stage act, an artisan market, food trucks, and a licensed beer garden.

This year’s planning committee has been at work since January to create an event representative of local art and culture. Many of the committee members are local artisans in their 20s and 30s.

Sponsorship inquiries and vendor applications are available at jaminjubilee.com.

Jam in Jubilee runs Thursday evenings from July 9-July 30, 2015 at 32315 South Fraser Way.