Another year, another Bowfest!


First Published on August 31, 2016 Written by Sasha Buchanan

Myself and Bowfest would first of all like to thank Bowen Island for being such an amazing and unique place which provides the platform for our annual community festival; Bowen is the full reason why and how Bowfest has successfully run for the past forty one years, and hopefully will do for the next Forty one.

Bowfest committee is run by a small yet truly remarkable and diverse group of volunteers who work year round. I am lucky to call these people my college and friends, so thank you to Jessie Cotrell, Robyn Fenton, Linda, Henfry, Candace Hannah, and Rob Wynen for everything you have done, and the number of grey hairs you have all spared me with your insights, hard work, wisdom, and dedication.

But of course Bowfest is not run solely by six committee members so, thank you to John Stiver our stage manager and booking agent,  Mike, Andrea and The Children’s Centre for hosting this year’s Beer Garden, Maureen Sawasy for being our Potluck organizer a first of what is sure to be an annual tradition, PAC and the CSA for manning the doors in your continual effort to raise money for a all ages playground, Sarah Haxby and Bowen Agricultural Alliance at the Country Fair, Kate Brew for organizing the Lip Sync, Margaret Miller at the shooting range, Bowen Loggers, Anne and the Bowen Flaggers, Dave and Louse at the Boat Building, and Hillary Butler at the Rotary Run.

It was also a great year for sponsors! Thank you to Artisan Office Services  for all our printing costs, The Undercurrent for your continual support, Bowen Island Sea and land Taxi for our new and improved Slug Race Track, First Credit Union for sponsoring the Main Stage, Bowen Building Centre for sponsoring the Country Fair tent, Party Perfect for the donation of the Dunk Tank, Reforma Architecture for sponsoring the Lip Sync, BIM for waiving all Bowfest park fees, Friendly Cedar Fencing for the beautiful cedar beer garden fencing, USSC for the beautify  picnic tables, Doc Morgan’s for the lone of two very last minute kegs, and Heart Stone Brewery for donating 3 kegs.

Thank you you to all the food, community and craft vendors! Thank you to all the musical talent. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped set-up, tear down, and clean up, parade judges, and everyone who attended Bowfest 2016.

VERY special thank you to David and Shael Wrinch (NEED OTHER NAMES). Bowfest was very close to being a very dark event this year, you absolutely saved the day!

And of course Bowfest’s very own fair god mother: Adam Taylor.

Hope to see every on 26th August for Bowfest 2017!

Many thanks,

Sasha Buchanan

Bowfest 2016 Chairperson.

And very, very special thanks to David and Shael Wrinch and Jack Callister. Bowfest was very close to being a very dark event this year – you absolutely saved the day!

And of course Bowfest’s very own fair god mother: Adam Taylor.


First: Kate’s Hill Chapel

Second: Doc Morgans & USSC

Third: Bowen Building Centre

Honourable mention: BIHORA

Lip Sync:

Thriller Marie and Roxy Pedley, Malia and Savary Van Strein, Jade and Kate Atkinson, and Shelby Jennings

Country Fair

Tallest flower grown on Bowen winner: Julia Tweten’s 12’2” sunflower

Biggest Zucchini by weight

adult David and Aubin van Berckel’s 14.5lb monster zucchini, and youth Kaija and Ryder Flory’s 6.6lb zucchini.

Strangest Looking Vegetable: youth Alissa and Michaela Schaly’s crazy carrots came in first place and Levi Seaberly’s monster banana squash came in a very close second.

Favourite Animal or Farm Animal Award: Aoife Buckley

The Lego Contest: Jack Hammond

The Fiber Arts Finest award went to Susanne Koeplin and the felted necklace made with her friends and some local wool. The heartfelt story that went with the necklace made the contest judges tear up!

Slug Races: all eight lanes were filled with racing slugs for both races! The 12:45 race was won by the slug “Dread Pirate Roberts” and racing crew of the same name. Dread Pirate Roberts crossed the finish line! The 1:15 pm race was won by Henry’s “Scaredy Slug”at the Country Fair Tent!

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

© Copyright 2016