The purpose of the Chilliwack Heritage Festival Society is to develop a forum and venue for gathering, sharing knowledge, and understanding the cultural and built heritage of Chilliwack, focusing on the various local communities of which it is comprised.
The Chilliwack Heritage Festival Society will stage an annual festival that will celebrate community identity and spirit, showcase local talent and achievements, as well as educating, informing, and fostering an awareness and appreciation of the culture and heritage of the community that is uniquely Chilliwack.
The Festival will present the music, lifestyle, and culture of Chilliwack’s pioneers and First Nations by featuring existing community groups, with roots from the past, participating with their own displays, booths, and speakers. The overarching objective of the Chilliwack Heritage Festival Society is to increase the community's knowledge of Chilliwack, and to motivate it to preserve and celebrate its heritage.
The venue for the Festival is the Atchelitz Thresherman’s Pioneer Village (at 44146 Luckakuck Way, Chilliwack). This venue is often thought of as Chilliwack’s best kept secret. There are existing structures housing antique farming equipment along with small replicas of heritage stores and churches, similar to what you would see in Barkerville. This venue provides the perfect setting for this festival.
The Festival is expected to draw visitors from the entire Fraser Valley as well as from Metro Vancouver. Without having had something like this in the past, conservative estimates for the first year are approximately 5,000 people per day. Entrance is free and there will be Donation bins onsite with proceeds funding the next year’s festival. It is expected that this will be an annual festival.
The Festival is entirely run by Volunteers and funding is through grants, donations and corporate sponsorship. Local businesses have volunteered in-kind services such as website development, logo design, t-shirt production and more.
The Chilliwack community groupings that will showcase their heritage within individual pavilions are:
Atchelitz, Yarrow, Greendale
Chilliwack Canadian Forces Base
Chilliwack Proper, Fairfield Island, Little Mountain
Cultus Lake, Columbia Valley, Chilliwack River Valley
First Nations (9 bands)
Rosedale, Popkum, Camp River
Sardis, Vedder Crossing, Promontory
In addition to the Community Pavilions, the Festival will feature a Family Fun Zone with non-electronic, old-fashioned games and activities, such as sack races, three-legged races, spoon egg races, and much more.
Local artisans will also be onsite displaying and selling heritage related goods, such as hand-made preserves, quilts, furniture and more. In addition, local food trucks will be onsite as well as Grandma’s Kitchen, an establishment onsite that is operated by the Atchelitz Thresherman’s Society.