October Events Wrap Up

BC Hops Festival – October 3rd, 2015

BC Hop Fest is Canada’s first Fresh Beer Festival being held on the fertile Sumas Prairie where sun, water, and gentle breezes contribute to one of the best hops growing environments in the Pacific Northwest. Join us as we celebrate the hop harvest, the resurgence of BC’s hop growing industry and fresh hopped beer produced by over 15 spectacular BC craft breweries. Fresh beer tasting, hop farm tours, food trucks, entertainment, and presentation stage. All the details & limited tickets available on www.bchopfest.ca.


WestCoast Womens Show – October 16-18th, 2015

The West Coast Women’s Show at Fraser Valley Tradex is the place to find the latest trends and styles in fashion, beauty with everything in between. Bring your girlfriends, mom, sister and grandma to shop and save at over 400 booths! With all the latest products and services for women, you will find everything on your wish list and more. Plus, enjoy incredible entertainment on five stages, including celebrity speakers Bif Naked, fashion shows, cooking demonstrations, wellness & beauty secrets, a community entertainment showcase, calendar firefighters and so much more!
Details here.


Baby & Tot Show – October 24-25th, 2015

Any expecting parent or have a family? The Baby & Tot Show is an event for pregnancy, birth, baby & beyond held at Fraser Valley Tradex. It’s a fantastic place to seek information on the most innovative, new as well as tried and true products for your baby & toddler. Bring the family to enjoy interactive kids areas and grab lunch while enjoying the show. In addition to 150+ exhibitors, the event boasts special guests, stages, live princesses, and much more.
Details here.              

Land of Boo at HighStreet – October 21-31st, 2015

Bring your kids to The Land of Boo at Highstreet! Begin your self-guided haunted walk at Highstreet’s Central Plaza (in front of Cineplex), for your chance to win an iPad courtesy of London Drugs and get in the Halloween spirit. Visit Land of Boo at any time, and it’s free!

Hours: Mon to Wed 10AM–7PM | Thurs to Fri 10AM–9PM | Sat, Sun & Holidays 10AM–6PM. 



It’s the 4th Annual Trick or Treating in Historic Downtown Abbotsford! Loads of treats and lots of fun activities planned for the kids this year. 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! Pay close attention as you travel the streets and grab your loot for when you’re done we want you to cast your vote for the Best Decorated location! Can’t wait to see all the amazing costumes this year! 

Location: Historic Downtown Abbotsford, October 31st, 2015 at 5PM.

Come Try Something New at Singletree Winery

At the north end of Mount Lehman Road sits 12 acres of vineyards on rolling hills, grown by the Etsell family. Since 2005 the farming family has planned to use part of their 65 acres for vineyards and in June 2015 their tasting room opened to the public as Singletree Winery.

General manager and viticulturist Andrew Etsell said he wants people to feel comfortable when they visit.

“The wine industry can be intimidating,” he said. “We’re an easygoing farming family—you’ll be treated the same if you wear flip-flops or if you’re dressed for high tea.”

Current releases include a 2013 Farmhand White, a 2013 Pinot Noir, and a 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.

Their winery name is inspired by the pioneering farming tool, the singletree. It’s a single harness yolk, which allowed horses to clear land for farming in the late 1800s. The Etsell family is proud to carry on the tradition of working the land. In fact, their first 3,600 vines were hand planted!

The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday from 12-5:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to bring a picnic, pick up a bottle of wine, and enjoy the beautiful view of Mount Baker. Singletree wines are also available at the Abbotsford Farm and Country Market and several local restaurants.

“We’re a regular Abbotsford family farm who really enjoys wine and decided to open a winery,” Etsell said. “Come and try something new!”

Singletree Winery, located at 5782 Mount Lehman Road, is a featured partner of the Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Tour.

This map is your guide for hyperlocal, unique experiences while visiting Abbotsford. It showcases the developing industry of craft breweries and wineries opening throughout the city. Download a PDF copy or pick one up at any Abbotsford craft brewery or winery.

Robyn Roste lives and works in Abbotsford. She loves telling stories and learning more about her city. 1st Photo credit - Christine McAvoy. 

Ravens Brewing Company is Inspired by Abbotsford

Ravens Brewing Company may be one of the newest businesses in Abbotsford, but they’ve got no shortage of customers. The busy tasting room has been showcasing unique, handcrafted beer since June 2015 and is only growing.

Owner Paul Sweeting has created a range of core beers to please for everyone from the first-timer with their signature Golden Ale, to the craft beer savant with their Farmers Ale saison. Sweeting wants people who visit the brewery to experience something new every time they visit.

“Everyone’s tastes are their own. You don’t have to like our beer—but we hope you do,” he said.

On top of their core brews, Ravens Brewing Company offers seasonal ales. Right now they have a white IPA and a raspberry hefeweizen. The 450 pounds of raspberries in the hefeweizen travelled three kilometres from picking to brewing—an extreme local beer for enthusiasts.

Working with local growers and businesses is a focus for Ravens Brewing Company. Inspired by the agricultural roots surrounding the Abbotsford area, they aim to create great beers full of character and style in a friendly and welcoming environment.

The tasting room is open daily from noon and you’re invited to bring your lunch and enjoy a flight at the long log table while making new friends.

One unique element of the craft brewing industry is growler fills. A grower is a refillable glass jug, which you can fill at any craft brewery.

In British Columbia the craft brewing industry is thriving, with three new breweries opening in Abbotsford alone this year. Editor Stephen Smysnuik noticed this trend and decided to launch The Growler Craft Beer Handbook, which curates breweries across the lower mainland.

“I thought, man there’s a lot happening here. Someone should really put a publication together to keep stock of this.”

Smysnuik said The Growler reflects the industry as much as possible and aims to provide a comprehensive look at the growing craft beer industry in B.C.

Current issues are available at local breweries, including Ravens Brewing Company, and back issues can be ordered from thegrowler.ca

Ravens Brewing Company, located in at 2485 Townline Road, is a featured partner of the Abbotsford Specialty Beer and Wine Map.

This map is your guide for hyperlocal, unique experiences while visiting Abbotsford. It showcases the developing industry of craft breweries and wineries opening throughout the city. Download a PDF copy or pick one up at any Abbotsford craft brewery or winery.

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

Weekend fun for all ages

AUG 14 - 16th, 2015

Prospera's Cinema under the Stars Presents: BIG HERO 6 – Friday Night at Dusk
Abbotsford Exhibition Park

Bring the family and take in a free flick on a 3-storey high big screen. The movie will begin at dusk. Before, there will be fun activities for families to enjoy. You bring the blankets (no pets allowed), we'll bring the stars!

Family Fun Day at Campbell’s Gold – Saturday 11am – 3pm
2595 Lefeuvre Rd, Abbotsford

Tours, fun and bee education for all ages. Bring your picnic blanket to enjoy a free pancake breakfast and kics lemonade in the picnic area. This fun filled day includes cheese tasting from Mt. Lehman Chese Co, walks through the live bee hive and queen bee marking demonstration. As well, a bouncy castle, craft table, and face painting!
Family Channel Big Ticket Concert – Saturday at 6pm
Abbotsford Centre, tickets required.

The highly awaited concert tour: Family Channel Big Ticket Summer Concert presented by LEGO Friends will be at Abbotsford Centre this Saturday! Showcasing the biggest and brightest young talent from across the globe like UK sensation The Vamps.

Bob and Lolo live at High Street – Sunday 1pm
Central Plaza at High Street Mall

Treehouse regulars Bobs & Lolo are coming back to Highstreet! And it’s free! Let Bobs & Lolo entertain, educate and inspire your kids with singing, dancing and fun followed by a meet and great. Be sure to come early and grab lunch at one of the retailers!


What's happening in Abbotsford ?

August 7-9th, 2015

2015 Abbotsford International Airshow – All Weekend Long
Abbotsford Airport

The keystone annual event-- The Abbotsford International Airshow, is an aviation festival that has grown well beyond its borders over the past 5 decades while beginning in 1962. Abbotsford Airshow will feature diverse aerial and aviation-related displays, and offer value and entertainment to all ages. As well, don’t miss the twilight show featuring beautiful fireworks on Friday Evening. Photo by Mona Lucas

World Baton Twirling International Cup – All Weekend Long
Abbotsford Centre - Click for competition schedule

Tourism Abbotsford would like to welcome the World Baton Twirling International Cup to Abbotsford Centre August 5 -9th, 2015. The event brings over 1000 athletes, coaches, officials and families from around the world to compete after many months of dedication and persistent training. Baton twirling combines dance, agility, and coordination with gymnastics to create spectacular and precise routines. There will be solo and team competitions leading up to the Elite Finals on Sunday. The ICUP Closing Ceremony will be held Sunday, August 9th 2015 at Abbotsford Centre.

Emerge “Art on Demand”– Saturday at 2pm
The Reach Gallery Museum

Art on Demand is curated by members of Emerge, a program for aspiring artists and arts professionals ages 16-30. This will be the third event showcasing works from Emerge artists Olivia de Fleuriot and Jessica Hurd, both Fine Arts graduates from Trinity Western University. The Upshot, a casual talk with artist Jay Hanscom will start at 2pm.

Abbotsford Flea Market – Sunday 6am-4pm
32470 Haida Drive, Abbotsford

No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it at the Abbotsford Flea Market.  Admission is only $1.00. Kids under 10 are FREE and we always have FREE parking!  So come on by and start your path of discovery!

August Events in Abbotsford

AUGUST 1-2ND, 2015

Abbotsford Agrifair & Mighty Fraser Rodeo 
Abbotsford Exhibition Park – All Weekend Long

Join us for Abbotsford and the Fraser Valley’s favorite summer attraction.  Spend your long weekend experiencing the rodeo, eating mini donuts and enjoying fan favorite events like Richard Racers, West Coast Lumberjack show and bull riding.

Abbotsford Farmer’s Market
Montrose Avenue at George Ferguson Way – Saturday 9am – 1pm

You’ll discover new varieties of fresh local produce; international award-winning jams; and a wide range of food products that are not available in stores.  Plus fresh cut flowers, handmade jewellery, handcrafted soaps, and more. Included vendors are Abundant Acre Family Farm, Gesundheit Bakery Ltd., Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, Pottery by Dave & Family, S. Takhar Berry Farms, Taves Family Farm – The Applebarn, Valley Gold Bee Company.

Envision Financial Concert in the Park Series 
Mill Lake Park– Saturday 4pm-7:30pm

This Saturday night features the talented acts of Joel Willoughby (4-5:30 p.m.) and Midnight Lions (6-7:30 p.m.). The Envision Financial Coffee House Concert and Concert in the Park Series, presented by the Abbotsford Arts Council (AAC) in partnership with Envision Financial, is an annual initiative providing opportunities for local artists to perform in relaxed and casual atmospheres while the community enjoys various musical genres ranging from jazz, blues and folk to country, rock and pop.

Abbotsford Flea Market – Sunday 6am-4pm
32470 Haida Drive, Abbotsford

No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it at the Abbotsford Flea Market.  Admission is only $1.00. Kids under 10 are FREE and we always have FREE parking!  So come on by and start your path of discovery!

Family-Friendly Abbotsford Agrifair is Ready to Entertain this Summer

This August long weekend there’s something for everyone at the annual Abbotsford Agrifair and Mighty Fraser Rodeo.

“With a wide variety of activities, every day is a different show,” said Agrifair general manager Pamela Brenner.

Last year’s event saw 33,000 visitors to the Agrifair. This year they’re expecting up to 50,000 visitors and have added an entire extra day of entertainment and activities.

Aside from the professional rodeo, featuring fan-favourite events like steer wrestling, bull riding, and barrel racing, the annual Valley Voices Vocal Competition is sure to impress fair visitors. Finals begin Friday where 15 young artists compete for the grand prize, a chance to record a single at a professional recording studio.

The community and main stages will be loaded with musical entertainment all weekend and features a battle of the bands on Friday and Saturday. Sunday evening hosts Grammy-award winner Laura Story who will perform songs from her new album God of Every Story, including her hit single Til I Met You.

The four day event runs Friday July 31 through Monday August 3 and is bringing back the professional rodeo, 4-H livestock show and competition, live entertainment and contests, Midway, food trucks, demolition derby, and agricultural displays and demonstrations.

For the expanded 2015 fair expect to see many new additions including midget wrestling, the return of popular West Coast Lumberjacks, mini chuckwagon races, and visits from Richard’s Racers, Chef Pamela E and Kids Kitchen, and the Reptile Guy.

Four-day fair weekend passes are $15 per person and children 10 and under are free. Visit agrifair.ca for detailed information.

From now until July 20 like Agrifair on Facebook for your chance to win prizes from their ESCAPE to Agrifair contest. The grand prize will be an ultimate fair experience, including four weekend wristbands, two all-day parking passes, four one-day Midway ride passes, customized LEGO prizes, and a chance to be part of the Country Horse Classic horse-pulling team. All you have to do is watch for “the location of the ESCAPE,” and answer the question. Each correct answer is an entry to the contest.

All photos are courtesy of Abbotsford Agrifair and Mighty Fraser Rodeo.

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

A Guide to Afternoon Tea: Three Places in Abbotsford to Relax in Style

Let’s face it: we’re all busy. Who has time to take a break let alone fuss with the pomp and circumstance surrounding the practice of afternoon tea?

But maybe we should make the time. Brian Haber, owner of Clayburn Village Store and Tea Shop, refuses to serve afternoon tea before 2 p.m. to leave adequate space between patrons visiting the tea room for lunch and those coming to observe the ceremony of afternoon tea.

The Basics

Afternoon tea, also called high tea, has its roots in British culture and has been served in upscale hotels like the Fairmont Empress in Victoria since the early 1900s. Now popularized, afternoon tea can be found in hotels, boutique bakeries, and tea rooms across North America.

My original understanding of tea came from a working holiday as a nanny in England. The area I lived in used the term “tea” to mean dinner. Afternoon tea was lunch leftovers, and cream tea featured a variety of scones, savories, sweets, and other desserts. An essential part of tea is Devonshire cream, which is clotted cream served on scones with preserves.

In North America you will find afternoon tea served between lunch and dinner on decorative chinaware. Although afternoon tea can take many forms, in general the food consists of miniature sandwiches and quiches, fancy pastries, and cakes.

Where to Enjoy Afternoon Tea

Abbotsford offers a variety of ways to indulge in afternoon tea. For an authentic experience look no further than Clayburn Village Store and Tea Shop. Enjoy the handcrafted spread featuring Edwardian sandwiches, salmon pinwheels, and a variety of English pastries. Served between 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. you are encouraged to leave your cell phone off and use tea as a time to reflect on your day. Afternoon tea is an extravagant ceremony and must be booked 48 hours in advance.

For a customized high tea experience, Tracycakes Bakery Cafe offers a variety of packages so everyone can take part. It’s Tracycakes’ policy to have high tea available for walk-in orders, but since the kitchen needs 20 minutes to prepare high tea, reservations are encouraged. They also offer a take-out version if you’re hosting high tea for a bridal shower or other event.

Served in-house, salon cafe Little White House offers afternoon tea as a regular menu item featuring elegant finger sandwiches, hot savories, scones served with artisan preserves and Devonshire cream, dainties, pastries, fancies, and more.

Host Your Own Afternoon Tea

With tea time what you serve is as important as how it is served. If you’re hosting afternoon tea have fun with it. Here are a few tips to get you started.

The Table

Your table’s focal point should be a tiered cake stand. If you don’t have one use your best serving dishes and crockery. Under this should be a decadent table cloth (stripes or florals are best), a liberal use of doilies, folded napkins, and (of course) nameplates.

The Dishes

Aim for floral chinaware, but don’t worry about things matching. You should make sure to have a teapot, teacups, silverware, cake slicer, dessert plates, and cream and sugar dispensers. Your jams, preserves, and clotted cream should be plated in fancy serving dishes with utensils.

The Food

Although luxurious, afternoon tea isn’t meant to be a meal. Think small and dainty for everything. Your tiered cake stand should have a layer of miniature sandwiches, a layer of scones, and a layer of teacakes. Also good to have are a variety of savoury and sweet items like pastries and desserts.

The Drinks

Hot tea is assumed but iced tea is also appropriate with afternoon tea. As well you can create special Pimm’s cocktails and mimosas if you so desire.

For your hot teas offer a variety, everything from Earl Grey to fruit. If you have loose leaf now is the time to bring it out! Brew your tea between three and six minutes to maximize the flavour and health benefits.

The Etiquette

Most venues have a relaxed dress code for afternoon tea but this is the perfect excuse to dress up.When eating place your napkin on your lap, not on the table. Since the food is miniature it’s acceptable to treat it as finger food. However, if it’s messy use a fork.

And yes, there is a right way to stir your tea. Place your spoon in a six o’clock position in the cup and fold the tea towards the 12 o’clock position (without clinking!). Hold the handle of your teacup using your thumb and your first one or two fingers. Avoid blowing on the tea and when you’re not drinking tea, place the cup on the saucer.

I can’t think of the last time I took time to savour the moment. Enjoying a decadent afternoon tea seems like the perfect way to slow down and reflect on my day.

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

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.