In 2012, Creative World is proud to partner again with the Stolo Nation Indigenous people of Mission, BC for this festival in the beautiful grounds of St Mary's. The Stolo Nation are the People of the River. Stó:lō elders describe their connection to the land in the statement "we have always been here."
St Mary's, Mission, BC
Nestled in the rugged Coast Mountains across the Fraser River north of Abbotsford lies Mission, so named after the first and largest mission in the Pacific Northwest, the Roman Catholic St. Mary's Mission, founded in 1861. Now owned and operated by the Stolo Nation, St Mary's offers a panoramic view of the mighty Fraser River and its beautiful valley. The Mission was founded by the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a Catholic order from France with a doctrine of educating the poor. Mail arrived marked to “The Mission” and it is this that gives the town it’s name. St. Mary’s Mission and Residential School remained open and operating until 1961. It was at this time that its students were moved to the new government-run St. Mary’s residential school adjoining the eastern edge of the old Mission Property. In 1965, all of the buildings of the Mission were demolished due to deterioration. Today, the only physical remaining traces of St. Mary’s existence are some cement foundations that you can see scattered throughout the park. The park has spectacular views of the Fraser Valley, and on a clear day you can see the grand snow-capped peak of Mt. Baker in Washington State (below).To learn more about the Fraser River Heritage Park, go here.
At 34110 Lougheed Highway, St Mary's is located just east of Mission, B.C. just off Highway #7, a one hour drive east of Vancouver, and north of Bellingham, WA. From Highway 1 (Trans-Canada), take Exit #92 / Highway #11 North to Mission, and east on Highway #7 (Lougheed Highway) past Stave Lake Street (which goes to the Fraser River Heritage Park). You will see the entrance to St Mary's on your left up a steep driveway.
Located beside St Mary's, the Fraser River Heritage Park offers an enticing variety of events for the entire family. Enjoy a guided tour of the historic grounds or take a map and stroll at your own pace. A highlight of the visit is the Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes, a reconstruction of a six-sided white shrine built in 1892 to become a focal point for retreats, pilgrimages and passion plays for people throughout the region.
Learn about Rivers, Rails and Robbers at the Mission Museum, where the historic legacy of the community and surrounding district is preserved. Features include Mission's largest artifact, a 1907 BC Mills prefabricated building, local history displays, and heritage walking tours.
For something a little different, watch for bald eagles, trumpeter swans and blue herons. These beautiful birds use Mission's waterways and meadowlands as feeding ground in the winter months.
Seeking solace and solitude? Look no further than Mission's Westminster Abbey. Overlooking the Fraser River and far from the maddening crowd, the Abbey is one of two Benedictine Monasteries in Canada, home to a community of Benedictine Monks, offering a reassuring anachronism for explorers of all kinds.