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
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!”
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
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.
More from the ExploreAbby Blog:
MEET Tyler Duft and Cassandra Crocco, Owners of Duft and Co. Bakehouse IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN ABBY.
Q: Tell US about Duft and Co. What led to this dream?
Cassandra: Tyler and I wanted to start our own businesses before we even met, so when we started dating the conversation naturally flowed. We decided to go to Europe and spent six months going to all the coffee shops and bakeries that we could find.
We returned with inspiration and starting writing down recipes. I’m a pastry chef and Tyler is a savoury chef. We had all the pieces, but weren’t sure which avenue to take. And, then we thought, “We work really hard for other people, so why wouldn’t we for ourselves?” At some point, you want to be creative on your own terms.
Tyler: We decided it was better to lose sleep and sweat for ourselves rather than someone else, and Abby was a European community that loved bread and pastries. There used to be a bakery where this little, older Ukrainian lady made the best rye bread and butter buns. Every Christmas, it was my job to pick up the rye bread.
Cass and I just knew that it was an appropriate time to give the community back what it once had access to. We grew up eating real food, made by hand. We don’t do it the European way, we simply do it the old-fashioned way, the way things were.
(Tyler & staff at Duft and Co.)
Q: From the moment you arrived on the scene, what have you experienced from the community?
Tyler: The Valley had a deficit. Vancouver is a great food city--you can get everything from Korean to Russian—but, this side of the Valley was still growing up and we knew that it was a calculated risk to move here.
Cassandra: We wanted to create a place where our customers felt like they were sitting in our living room, as though we made it just for them. I feel like the whole town has rallied together to support us and that’s a really neat feeling.
Abby was ready for a concept like Duft and Co. We have welcomed people from all over the Valley, Vancouver, and across the border. And, the downtown businesses of like-minded people are amazing. It’s the best thing to ever happen to Abby. We all want to make Abby a better place-- where people want to stay here-- and love hearing that we have inspired others to pursue their dreams. Our collective thinking is community over competition.
Tyler: We love seeing people enjoy what we have created and want to hit every high note. It’s about tasting, feeling, and smelling the love. We were the new kids on the block, but have been so lucky that the result has been positive.
(Tyler & Cassandra in Historic Downtown Abby)
Q: Are you happy living here? What are your future plans?
Tyler: I grew up here. We love visiting local farms and seeing the food grown that we eat. We have a beautiful landscape from creeks, rivers, and lakes to snow-capped mountains and the ocean is within an hour’s drive. Not many places can make a claim like this. I have never been more optimistic about the future. Our small town has been given a dose of much-needed culture. We are seeing a turning of the tides and we are fortunate to be a part of this paradigm shift.
Cassandra: We are expanding and launching Duft and Co. Brickhouse soon! We’re full of ideas, and opening a restaurant was one of them. The Brickhouse is a small, casual eatery with good food like roasted meats, home-made sausages, wood-fired pizza and local drinks. We love the growth that is happening in historic downtown Abby and want to continue our journey here. Duft & Co Brickhouse is just another way for us to share our love of food.
(Tyler & Cassandra visiting a local farm)
There’s no shortage of Halloween activities in Abbotsford to participate in this year for young and old alike. Whether it’s a haunted corn maze or kids pumpkin carving, you’ll discover your spooky spirit just in time for Halloween. If these aren't enough, check out our Must Visit Fall Destinations in Abbotsford for more ghostly fun.
Maan Farms "Haunted Corn Maze" | Oct 7-31
This year Leatherface and his accomplices have been joined by a band of crazed clowns. Try to survive this terrifying corn maze with many dead ends that are full of surprises. Don’t forget to dress for the weather and remember that you are on a farm. (path of maze is all gravel )
Where: 790 McKenzie Rd.
When: Now until Oct 31, 7pm to 10pm
The Land of Boo | Oct 21-31
Enjoy a super family-friendly Halloween Theme Scavenger Hunt around Highstreet Shopping Centre for your chance to win an iPad, courtesy of London Drugs.
Where: 3122 Mount Lehman Rd.
When: Anytime during Highstreet Shopping Hours
Haunted House for Canucks Place | Oct 29-31
Looking for a scare for a good cause? Check out “Sandpiper Sanitarium Indoor Haunted House” featuring 7 scare rooms. (Not for the faint of heart, recommended 8 yrs of age) Entry into the Haunt is by donation. Suggested donation is $2 pp or $10 per family. 100% of the money goes to the charity.
Where: Sandpiper Sanitarium - 3037 Sandpiper Dr.
When: 6pm to 9pm
5th Annual Trick or Treating | Oct 31
Loads of treats and lots of fun activities planned for the kids this year. Grab your list of trick or treating stops at Oldhand coffee in Historic Downtown. Make sure to bring a non-perishable Food Bank donation and you will receive an entry for the amazing Gift Basket filled with all sorts of goodies from the participating Downtown merchants!
Where: Historic Downtown, Starts at Oldhand Coffee, 2617 Pauline St.
When: 1pm to 5pm
Moo or Boo | Oct 31
EcoDairy is bringing back MOO or BOO for its third year in a row! Families can look forward to games, crafts, cows and more, come on down to the farm, it's all indoors so rain or shine the party's ON!
Where: 1356 Sumas Way
When: 2pm to 6pm
Halloween Trick or Treating | Oct 31
Enjoy a safe, warm and dry place to bring your ghosties for goodies! Look for the orange pumpkin for free candy at participating retailers.
Where: 32900 S Fraser Way
When: 3pm to 4pm only.
Party in the Plaza | Oct 31
Trick or Treat at the 8 themed installations while enjoying the Land of Boo Scavenger Hunt. There will be a photo booth, live music, treat, balloon artist & more!
Where: 3122 Mount Lehman Rd.
When: 5pm to 7pm
More from #ExploreAbbotsford:
Murat Olcay, show producer and manager for the West Coast Women’s Show, said attendance skyrocketed by 70 per cent 14 years ago when the show was moved from the Vancouver Convention Centre to Tradex.
“The people of the Fraser Valley . . . Surrey, Hope, Mission, Abbotsford, Langley and Chilliwack . . . really embraced the show,” said Olcay. “Last year alone we experienced a 15 per cent increase in attendance over the year before, and that is unheard of in these interesting times.”
He added: “This show is all about the exhibitors, and we have 400 of them. Yes, we’ve had stars coming, including recording artist and humanitarian Bif Naked, renowned interior designers, actors Josh Morrow, Sharon Case and others from The Young and the Restless. They’re great, but a small percentage of women come to the show for the celebrities, they really want the whole experience.”
The West Coast Women’s Show, Oct. 21–23 this year, has grown to become the largest and most successful women’s event in Western Canada, Olcay said. Women come to be “entertained and informed . . . we have a terrific lineup of speakers. It is a unique shopping experience. It’s relationship building with the exhibitors . . . it’s a reaching out. Our visitors like to see the booths. It’s the ultimate girls’ experience.”
The shopping fantasy includes five stages of fashion, wellness and beauty secrets, entertainment, cheese and live calendar firefighters. A second artisan marketplace, for a total of 60 artisans, was added this year because of its popularity when it was introduced in 2015.
Olcay, who is with Encore Productions, has been in the show business for some 30 years. He loves Tradex because it is easy to move the show in, and move it out. “Those huge doors are a real bonus,” he said. “It’s a nice facility. Where else do you find one like that?”
Murat relies on his two adult daughters, his wife and an amazing “team of talented ladies” to get feedback on the shows and to constantly improve them.
He remembers Tradex from the days before the Abbotsford Airport passenger terminal was built and when he and others, who were running home shows at Tradex in the 1990s, were knee-deep in mud to post huge signs in farmers’ fields to point patrons toward the 120,000 square foot facility.
“Back then no one knew Tradex, but now after 25 years, they do. I’ve watched the community and area grow. I’ve appreciated the Tradex renovations, and we’re still here,” he said.
Olcay worked with Ron Price, one of the founders of Tradex when both were with Airshow Canada. “It was a lot of fun.”
“We’d head out of Fort Langley in a floatplane, go to the Gulf Islands for lunch and fly back. At 59, I still don’t feel old. The trick is, like the West Coast Women’s Show teaches: Stay active, stay vital, get the most out of life.”
MEET SOPHIA SUDERMAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE ABBOTSFORD ARTS COUNCIL.
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)
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.
From October 13th to October 20th, the Abbotsford Centre plays hosts to 4 concerts – each of them legends in their own right. From a country hall-of-famer to the voice of the bayou. From Canadian rock icons to legends of thrash metal. With a lineup like that, the Abbotsford Centre has you covered this October!
ATTENDING ANY OF THESE SHOWS?
Stay the night in Abbotsford! Simply call and quote "Abby Rocks" to receive a 10% discount off the best available rate with these participating hotels:
Quality Hotel 604.870.1050
Sandman Suites Hotel 604.556.7263
Sandman Airport Hotel 604.859.4763
Abbotsford Hotel 604.859.6211
October 13th – Kenny Rogers’ Final World Tour
Experience Grammy Award-winning superstar and Country Music Hall of Fame member Kenny Rogers. He has enjoyed great success during his storied career of nearly six decades, which will be celebrated during his Final World Tour: The Gambler’s Last Deal coming to Abbotsford October 13th.
October 15th | Our Lady Peace & I Mother Earth
Two of Canada’s most beloved and best-selling bands, Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth featuring Edwin, have announced a legendary cross-Canada tour, kicking off in Abbotsford, BC on Saturday, October 15th with special guests The Standstills.
October 18th | John Fogerty
Fogerty is a true American treasure, one of popular music’s all-time greatest singers, guitar players, and songwriters. Over the past forty-five years, he continues to speak in a powerful way to generations of music makers and music lovers. Come experience his “Rollin on the River” tour at Abbotsford Centre.
October 20th | Slayer
Slayer, with Special Guest Anthrax and Death Angel, will join forces this fall for a seven week North American beat down which is coming to Abbotsford on October 20th! Fans will hear their favorite songs from the band’s 30-year plus discography, as well as a few of the newer songs from Repentless, named “The Metal Album of the Year” by Guitar World.
ATTENDING ANY OF THESE SHOWS?
Stay the night in Abbotsford! Simply call and quote "Abby Rocks" to receive 10% discount off the best available rate with these participating hotels:
A refreshing, crisp breeze, the leaves changing colour, pumpkin-spiced lattés…all signs that fall has arrived. The change of seasons doesn’t mean that we should be spending time indoors. In fact, quite the opposite!
We are talking about colourful pumpkin patches, vibrant apple orchards, daunting corn mazes, bumpin’ hayrides and so much more. Our list of fall destinations has something for everyone.
And, while most are family-friendly, we have a few activities that are better suited for the adult kid in all of us, like craft beer stations and haunted experiences in corn mazes.
So, whether you're looking to stock up on decorative gourds, master the perfect pumpkin pie with locally grown pumpkins, make jars of tree-fresh applesauce, or spend the day having ‘fall family fun’, Abby has you covered.
Come prepared. Bring shoes and pants you can get dirty. And, don't forget to layer.
Family-friendly | Dog-friendly (on leash) | Designed for adults, but fun for the whole family.
Taves Family Farms (Applebarn Pumpkin Farm)
Family-friendly | No dogs | Free admission to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch
Admission for attractions: Applebarn pass includes most attractions. Free for children 2 and under. See website for details).
Open daily until November 1st.
@tavesfarms on Instagram and Twitter and @tavesfamilyfarms on Facebook
Maan Farms COUNTRY EXPERIENCE & ESTATE WINERY
Family-friendly | No dogs | Family-friendly with experiences just for teenagers and adults
Willow View Farms
Family-friendly | No dogs please | No general admission rates
Coming from the east on Highway 1, head to Abby Roadside and then take the Sumas Way exit to Huntingdon Road where you can visit Maan Farms, Taves Farms, and Willow View Farms all within a 10-minute stretch.
Coming from the west on Highway 1, reverse it and take the Sumas Way exit to Huntingdon Rd to visit Maan Farms, Taves Farms and Willow View Farms before heading back on the Highway to hit Abby Roadside.