Wooden Boat Festival celebrates history

Maple Bay Marina will host the 19th Annual Wooden Boat Festival over the May holiday weekend.

Wooden boats have a longstanding history on the West Coast and Vancouver Island. The people that dedicate their time and hard work to keep them in shape, or restore them, tie us to our maritime heritage. The event pays homage to this tradition; and also celebrates the owners who share a passion for wooden boats.

Popularized by enthusiasts who honour this industry, the event is not limited to glimpses of the past but also features modern wooden vessels. Display vessels will include converted work boats, sailboats, rowboats, kayaks, classic Monks and Chris Crafts. The public is encouraged to join the festivities and vote for their favourite boat.

"I really enjoy learning each boat’s history and meeting the owners; such fascinating stories," says Carol Messier, the event coordinator. "I’m also excited to see the remote control modellers back and all the artists who will be in attendance at this year’s festival."

Admission is free on Saturday, May 17 and Sunday, May 18.

Visitors will enjoy added attractions which include a pool with model boat display and demonstrations, live music and local arts and crafts for sale. Meet the artists and witness their art taking shape.

Artists expected to attend this year include renowned painters, Jeffrey Birkin and Carol Borrett, glassworks by Laura Filgate of FM Kilnworks, marine artist, Michael Dean, Westcoast Chimes, photo art by Neil Fatin, stained glass art by Connie Kaziechko and Coast Salish carvings by Delbert Peter and knitting by Joanne Edwards. In addition, take time to explore the wide variety of products made available by other vendors.