Bowfest 2015


Originally published September 9, 2015

2015 set the record for wettest Bowfest EVER, quite an impressive feat considering this marked the 40th anniversary of our island’s end of summer festival. Unfortunately the weather took that too literally and Autumn was lapping a little too close to Summer’s heels for comfort. Nonetheless, Bowfest 2015 will go down as a success. Vancouver may have shut down for the day, but Bowen partied on!

Many thanks to all the parade entries, Anne Smitton for your traffic warden expertise, Pam for another year of organization, and of course the diligence of this year’s judges: Barb Wiltshire, Ann Silberman, Nancy Lee, Paulina Keoplin and Georgia.

We welcomed the return of crowd favourite Lip Sync competition. Many thanks to Kate Brew for organizing, Reforma Architecture for sponsoring, and all the contestants who took part. The popularity of this event was astounding, and maybe cause to extend the competition for 2016?

This year we also had the great benefit of a Bowfest first: Logger Show. We extend our gratitude to Gary Anderson of Metro Blasting for your initial push for this event, Bowen Island Properties, Black Bear Transport, J & E Backhoe, Frank Seaberly, Twin Island, and Dee and Fraser Elliott, Braedan Jolly for extended sponsorship of the event. The Logger Show really brought the community together, there are far too many people to thank! Congratulations to all the contestants, you will go down in Bowen history as being a part of this first edition event. Plans for next year’s Logger Show are already in the works!

Thank you to all the musicians who took part in Bowfest, special mention to Taunting Mable for doing us a super solid. Tony & John for organizing, Shephard Ashmore Insurance, Graham Ritchie for MCing, Bill Granger, Bruce Culver, Brad Bacon and David Wrinch for stage setup, electrical, and teardown.

Thank you to Hilary and Robin Butler for your selfless work with the Run for Rwanda, Sarah Haxby for another great Country Fair Tent. Bowen Building Centre, Knick Knack Nook, Bowen Island Municipality, and Bowen Credit Union for your continual financial support. Margaret at Artisan Office Services for supplying ALL our printing and much of our poster art work, Microdeck for our website revamp and Bowfest poster. Peter King and Cormorant Marine for providing transport to our acts and guests alike. Bowen Glass for your AMAZING lanterns, BIVFM for filling our dunk tank and the use of your materials, Dave and Louise of Bowen Island Waste for your year after year dedication, Tim Hausch for hanging our banner, Murray and Janice Skeels for helping set up, The Legion for hosting the beer garden, Mike and Andrea for taking on the upper beer garden, Bowen Choir for manning the gates, all our food, craft, and community vendors. THANK YOU everyone who helped and volunteered on Bowfest Day. Last but not least to the 2015 Bowfest Board: Jessie, Jagjit, Robyn, Tony, Linda, Pam, John, Lisa, Bridget, Nairn, and Adam (I know you are trying to leave, but just forget about it OK?) – we may have all been new, but GUUUURLLL we worked it!

Looking forward to Bowfest 2016 when we have twelve months, as opposed to two to plan this goliath of an event! With (at least) seven board members cemented the planning has already begun. That being said our quest for volunteers continues, especially volunteers who would like to host and run events for Bowfest Day.

Thank you Bowen for welcoming me to Bowfest 2015.

– Sasha Buchanan

Parade winners:

Best Individual: Ambassador and Mrs Canada

Best Group: Irish Pipers and Drummers

Best Community: BI Yacht Club

Best Commercial: USSC

Best Theme: BelTerra

Best Other: Cocoa West

Lip Sync:

First place: “I was made for Lovin you” –Kiss: Marie Pedley, Roxanne Pedley, Jade Atkinson, Kate Atkinson, Shelby Jennings

Second place: “Tell me what you want” -Spice Girls: Maya Grundy, Hunter Scarf, Grace Quarry

Third Place: “Time Warp Mashup”: Allison Nosek, Bianca Mueller, Danielle Wank Weiss

Logger Show:

Crosscut Saw


  1. Jill Kenny & Alicia Hoppenwrath
  2. Nathalie Broderick & Sheila Wade
  3. Kelsey MacDonald & Kelly Miller


  1. Clayton & Eric Hunter-James
  2. Robert Clayton & Dave Paulus
  3. Gary Anderson & Todd Pearson

Jack and Jill

  1. Kelly Miller & Calvin Hagge
  2. Courtnee & Gary Anderson
  3. Katie & Tony Mainwaring

Chainsaw Event


  1. Katie Mainwaring
  2. Sheila Wade


  1. Calvin Hagge
  2. Scott Moore

Choker Race Event


  1. Joanna Quarry
  2. Sheila Wade


  1. Shane Tweten
  2. Jonny Bacon

Axe Throw


  1. Kelly Miller
  2. Sonja Kristinsson
  3. Courtnee Anderson


  1. Mark James
  2. Gary Anderson
  3. Robert Clayton

Overall Event

  1. Kelly Miller

Pole Climb


  1. Alicia Hoppenwrath
  2. Nathalie Broderick
  3. Katie Mainwaring


  1. Adrian Graton 12.48
  2. Calvin Hagge 14.02
  3. Shane Tweten 16.02

2015 Bowfest Country Fair contest winners

Despite the rain, the Bowfest Country Fair Contests ran for another successful year under a lovely big tent on the festival field. Youth and adults submitted photos, stories and creations as well as bringing their racing slugs to the Country Fair tent. The Country Fair contests and slug races are one of the oldest traditional parts of Bowfest that have been part of the festival the most number of years! Congratulations to all the winners and many thanks to all the participants who entered this year to keep this tradition running!

Winners: the Tallest flower grown on Bowen by an adult was Lyn van Lidth de Jeude’s 11’ 7” sunflower which was supported by an incredibly sturdy stem!

The Biggest (heaviest) Squash grown on Bowen by youth was Eli Manning’s 38lb pumpkin, followed by the winning 8.3lb heirloom striped zucchini grown by youth Wesley and Sarah Jessop! The adult with the biggest squash was Sarah Haxby’s Ambassador zucchini which weighed in at almost 9lb! The Strangest Looking Vegetable or fruit grown on Bowen was won by Keary and Connie for their outrageous heirloom-variety white carrots and Em and Charlie for their slug shaped cucumber which was submitted with a story.

The Best Photo of Bees were taken by adult Keona Hammond and son Jack Hammond whose lovely portraits of bees on thistles won two first-place ribbons!

The Best Photo of a Bowen Island Slug was a tough one to judge! The white spirit slug got an honorable mention, but Angela Huxham’s incredible photo of a slug with its mouth wide open won the adult photo first place ribbon. The winning youth photo was a lovely portrait of a banana slug taken by Isaiah Lee. Isaiah submitted a story with the beautiful photo explaining that he had named the slug ‘sushi’ because you could hear him chewing on leaves, and the he looked like he was wearing a (slime) coat!

The Favourite Farm Animal or Domestic Animal Award was won by Kaia Matheson for her very moving story about the very old Endswell farm horse and what the old horse means to her.

The Lego Contest was another tough one to judge as there were so many fabulous entries that impressed the public and the judges. Kevin Harding’s elaborate medieval farm design and detailed description came in first place winning the most votes from the public, judges and youth judges.

The Fiber Arts Finest had a lovely selection of entries. Bonita Schaly’s hand-felted dragon took first place for design and for delightfully celebrating the Bowfest-theme of mythical creatures from around the world.

The Slug Races went well with a very large group of slug jockeys and slug race-enthusiasts huddled around the table hiding from the rain and keen to see the races. This year was the first year that a slugfie-stick was deployed to take video of the races and were wondering if next year anyone would like to help to stream the races online??

Although the non-stop enthusiastic cheering for the first half hour of the race may have contributed to a slow start to race one. In the end Morgan and Shelby’s well-trained and well-loved (it was the only slug to arrive in a hand-made, hand-decorated traveling box,) “Black Beauty” came in first place during race one, winning by multiple slug-lengths. Slug Race number two was won by Keona and Jack’s “Lighting” who slimed right past the finish line in approx. 26 minutes, which is a very fast racing time for an Arion aterslu slug (aka European black slug). Fun facts: Arion aterslu slugs are an invasive species that range in colour from black to white. In the 18th C they are documented as having been used as grease on axels of wooden carts in Sweden. At Bowfest, as is the custom, all racing slugs were returned to their original habitat after the races.

The 2015 Bowfest Country Fair Tent was made possible thanks to the Bowfest Community Fair Association and it was supported by Bowen Agriculture Alliance volunteers and community volunteers including: Sarah Haxby, Matt Matheson, Marysia McGillvray, Helen Wallwork, a panel of judges, the Young Farmers of Bowen Program, BICS student garden club, Bowen Farm, Fox Glove Farm, Vine and Garden Catering, and the BAA Farmers Market & Tail Gate Sales. We thank everyone who volunteered to help us keep the Bowfest Country Fair tradition going!

– Sarah Haxby

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