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 

Passport to Christmas in Abbotsford



For anyone looking for the sweetest holiday treasures, WE invite YOU to participate in the Passport to Christmas. 

_______________________________
 

From November 1st to December 22nd, Lower Mainland residents are invited to visit 10 local businesses, specializing in the unique and memorable, where everyone can ‘shop, stamp, and win’!

The Passport to Christmas partner list includes:

To play, participants are asked to pick up a passport at any of these stops, visit as many as possible, answer a trivia question, get the passport stamped, and then to drop it back off at any of the businesses. Plus, a bonus stamp is rewarded if a picture is posted on Instagram. Official hashtag is #PassporttoChristmas. In order to win, at least six stamps must be earned.

On December 23rd, two names will be drawn and awarded prizes. Prize #1 is the Ultimate Abbotsford Getaway, which includes chauffeured transportation around town, wine tasting at Singletree Winery, spa treatment, dinner for two at the new S+L Kitchen & Bar, and an overnight stay at Brookside Inn, one of Canada's Top 10 Small Hotels. Prize #2 is a private long-table dinner for 12 at Brambles Bistro.

It’s hard to visit all the stops in one day, which is why Abbotsford hotels are offering a 20% discount off their best available rate. Visitors simply need to quote Passport to Christmas upon booking. Hotels include:

To add to the merriment, Abbotsford has two Christmas tree lightings and festivals on November 19th at High Street and November 25th in Historic Downtown Abbotsford. From 3-9pm, the Historic Downtown's Winter Jubilee has an artisan night market, talented musicians, street carollers, fun eats, and a few more surprises in store. High Street has Santa Clause, dancing elves, and promises a magical snowfall.

Passport to Christmas accommodates all budgets and has something for everyone. To learn more, visit www.passporttochristmas.ca

November Christmas Events & Markets



Christmas events and markets provide the perfect opportunity to get started on your holiday shopping. Luckily, Abbotsford is home to great variety of markets, events and interactive family activities to elevate your holiday spirit. Below is a list of 10 holiday events happening throughout November. Also, check out the Passport to Christmas in Abbotsford for your chance to win The Ultimate Abbotsford Experience.

 

Passport to Christmas IN ABBOTSFORD | Nov 1 - Dec 22
The Passport to Christmas guides you around Abbotsford to unique boutiques, one-of-a-kind shops, and fertile farms. At each stop, make sure you get your passport stamped, bringing you one step closer for a chance to win 1 of 2 prizes!
Website 
 

Crafts with Mrs. Claus at Glenda’s | Nov 12
Bring your little ones to enjoy free cookie decorating and crafting with Mrs. Claus. There will be popcorn and hot chocolate to enjoy beside the bonfire as well!
Website 
 

4th Annual Plaza Christmas Market | Nov 11 - 12
Shop over 80 local handmade artisans, food trucks, gingerbread decorating and gift basket draw. Free admission & parking.
Website 
 

West Coast Christmas Show at Tradex | Nov 18 - 20
Featuring over 140 artisans - Discover new ideas for holiday entertaining, decorating and gift giving. Remember to get your Passport stamped!
Website 

 

4th Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at Highstreet | Nov 19
To get you into the holiday spirit, they have a 40-piece marching band & 65 ft Christmas Tree with Rudolf, Frosty and most importantly Santa joining the festivities.
Website
 

A Heritage Christmas in Clayburn | Nov 19
Enjoy music, tea and scones, a vintage marketplace, kid’s crafts, food as well as guided village tours. Hosted by the Clayburn Village Community society.
Website 
 

8th Annual Trees of Hope | Nov 21 - 27
Visit the Food Court to view all of the wonderfully decorated trees from our generous sponsors. Vote for your favourite tree and enter to win a $100 Sevenoaks Gift Card.
Website 
 

Toys for tots at the Quality Hotel | Nov 25
Bring a toy or money donation and stay for a free buffet breakfast. Proceeds benefit the Abbotsford Christmas Bureau.
Website
 

Winter Jubilee in Historic Downtown Abbotsford | Nov 25
Winter Jubilee is a free community event celebrating the 27th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting.  Enjoy live music, craft beer gardens, interactive children’s games + activities, artisan marketplace and food trucks.
Website
 

Maan Farms Christmas Market | Nov 26
Join us for the 2nd Annual Country Christmas Market. A great one stop shop to cross a few names off of your Christmas list while support local businesses, and having a great time.
Website
 

The Nutcracker | Nov 27
Experience the magic of The Nutcracker this holiday season with Royal City Youth Ballet's full length ballet, featuring a cast of 100+ dedicated and enthusiastic dancers.
Website 

The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market

Well-loved items, thousands of visitors and a stress-free venue make this show producer smile

__________________

 

As Leah Faulkner, show producer and manager for The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market, starts thinking about her third show Nov. 12–13 at Tradex, she just smiles about the stresses she and her husband Tom no longer encounter.

“Tradex is a stress reliever. It’s a whole package. They take care of the event security, parking, promoting, overall cleanup and take-down. I’ve done seven markets since 2012, and comparing our old rustic venue at the Maple Ridge Albion Fairgrounds with Tradex is a difference like night and day,” said Faulkner.

“While half the vendors used to be in barns and outside in the grass, and the facility fit what we were doing in a rustic sense, the weather was not always cooperative. My husband and I used to have to clean washrooms and manage the parking, too,” Faulkner said.



“Now the show-goers get to enjoy dry shopping and the time-worn pieces are protected from the elements.”

The show moved to Tradex initially because it grew too big and had too many shoppers and vendors. The first Tradex show was in November, 2015, second was in June this year, and what’s on tap this month is her third one. Even though Faulkner is a relative newcomer to the 120,000 square foot facility, she is happy to share her experiences for Tradex’s 25th anniversary.

Faulkner’s mother-in-law from the Prairies has an especially keen eye for farmhouse-style collectibles and taught her how to finish some of her great junking and garage-sale finds.

“When Tom and I were first married, we couldn’t afford the stuff in the big stores so we went to garage sales to acquire things cheaply. Eventually every room was finished and we got to the stage where we would love to find something new and different, but we would trade-out what we already had,” Faulkner said.

“Once we came home with a trailer full of furniture after looking for treasures and we consulted with others through Craigslist to put on a market. We had 35 vendors for the first show.”



The Olde Farmhouse Vintage Market places value on things that are well-loved and that are sometimes rusted, dented, and roughed up. Vendor names are cute, like Knotty Paintbrush, Glitter and Spice, Just A Tinker and Cottage Kisses. Some 125 vendors are participating in the next Tradex show.

“It’s a dream being at Tradex,” said Faulkner. “We attract an audience of 6,000 people over the weekend. We don’t have stages, but we have vendors who sell paint and give tutorials on how to finish their projects.” Finished projects are also available.

Faulkner does not consider herself a hoarder—far from it. But there are certain items with which she just cannot part; her grandmother’s old quilt she used to wrap around herself when she was young is one of them.

A special find in her home is a pie cupboard. “I love the colour of the wood. It is rustic. It is sentimental and makes my imagination work. What little old lady cooled her special pies in this piece of furniture?”

For Faulkner, the show at Tradex also offers a message for the next generation. “We love to teach our kids we shouldn’t be a throw-away society,” she said.

And because of that, she believes her show at Tradex contributes to making the world a better place.


 



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 the ExploreAbby Blog:

Meet Tyler & Cassandra of Duft and Co. 
5 Places to Explore with Kids
Fresh Faces of Abby Series 

Events Calendar