Explore Squamish - April 30, 2018

You Are Invited to the 50th Annual Cheakamus Centre Open House

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

You Are Invited to the 50th Annual Cheakamus Centre Open House

Be a part of a milestone! This year's 50th Annual Cheakamus Centre Open House is Sunday, May 5 from 10:30 am - 3:30 pm and will be extra special as the event celebrates its golden birthday! Most activities run until about 3 pm, with the event ending at 3:30 pm. Retro Alert! Dress to Impress - 70s Theme. Prizes are up for grabs for best outfits! Remember all proceeds, including donations, help support the Outdoor School Alumni Society’s Kids Bursary Fund

Read on for a full guide of where to go and what to see; the silent auction is rumoured to be a must visit on this year's itinerary!

Must Try Activities

1. Wedge Rafting River Floats 

Enjoy a float down the Cheakamus River while exploring the local ecology. Keep your eyes peeled for deer, plenty of birds and maybe even a rabbit on your gentle float downriver. Please note this is a paid activity (proceeds going to the Kid’s Bursary Fund). Wedge Rafting will have a kiosk in place near the information desk where you can purchase river float tickets. 

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

2. Visit the Salmon Hatchery

Stop by the salmon hatchery to learn about the life cycle of local salmon. As a special treat, guests will each be allowed to help release salmon fry into the Cheakamus River.

3. Visit the Vancouver Aquarium AquaVan

Stop by the AquaVan stationed near the information desk to learn all about aquatic life. They will be featuring live animals, marine artifacts and hands-on interactive activities designed to encourage stewardship of our oceans and waterways

4. Archery

String a bow and have some family fun with a game of target practice. Volunteers will be available to help with archery instruction.

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

5. See the Farm Animals

Stop by the farm to participate in a farm study, view the Cheakamus Centre's composting exhibit and learn how to press apples and plant seeds. For many, the highlight of the farm will be the new baby goats and baby chicks.

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

6. Coast Salish Longhouse

Delve into First Nations culture with a visit inside a Coastal Salish Longhouse. Take a glimpse at an earlier way of life and learn about weaving, hot stone cooking, early stone tools and more. Guests will be able to cook fresh Bannock over the fire, and there will be a schedule of cultural performances available throughout the day!

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

7. Aquatic, Forest Lab and Microscope Studies

These stations are must-visits for fun facts and hands-on educational activities. Learn about local birds and pond organisms and get an up-close (microscopic) look at some of the smallest organisms living at Cheakamus Centre. You can find these exhibits located near the farm.

8. Canoeing

A family-favourite activity, available at the canoe pond. This activity is expected to be a busy one so please allow yourself enough time to enjoy it while planning your visit. 

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

9. Face Painting and Balloon Animals

Catch these stations near the farm or under the Environmental Learning Centre (ELC) amphitheatre.

10. Silent Auction

This bidding begins at 10:30 am and closes at 2:30 pm. The auction prizes are available to view upstairs in the Environmental Learning Centre (a spectacle to explore itself!). There are plenty of items to bid on, and guests are encouraged to stop by. There will also be a special live performance upstairs while you browse between 12 and 12:30 pm – don’t forget to check it out!

Photo: Mira Landry Photography

11. Artist for Kids Art Activity

All budding artists will enjoy a visit to the Artist for Kids Art Booth. Stationed near the farm, this is the place to be for creative and fun art activities that you can take home to remember the event.

12. Sea 'T' Sky Big Band Performance

 Don’t miss out on this amazing live performance beginning at 12:30 pm until about 2 pm. This eclectic group of 17 local players come from diverse backgrounds and range in age from 18-80 years. The goal of this group is to share their passion of Big Band Jazz with each other and offer the fruits of their efforts with community concerts and charitable fundraisers. Since Cheakamus Centre is celebrating a milestone year, there will also be a ceremonial cutting of the cake at 1 pm, plus prizes to give-away, and more!

Must Try Foods

Concession tickets can be purchased near the Environmental Learning Centre (ELC). There will be BBQ, pizza, and vegetarian options available, plus plenty of desserts. Other fun snacks include popcorn, lemonade, cotton candy, popsicles, Mountain Squeeze fresh cold-pressed juice, and real fruit ice cream from Alice & Brohm.

Photo: Mira Landry Photography
Photo: Mira Landry Photography

Useful Information

  • Sorry, no pets. The Cheakamus Centre is located on a nature reserve, so please leave your furry friends at home.
  • Bring cash. Most activities and the concession are cash only.
  • Don’t forget to bring a mug for coffee and a toonie for parking.
  • Many activities are provided by donation, and all funds go to the Outdoor School Alumni Society's Kids Bursary Fund.

About the Cheakamus Centre

Closed to the public for the majority of the year the Cheakamus Centre is a not-for-profit outdoor education facility that aims to enrich lives through experiential education. The centre is based on a 165-hectare ecological reserve in Paradise Valley featuring everything from an on-site farm and fish hatchery to a full-scale Coastal Salish longhouse, canoeing area and so much more.

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