Well……..we did it. We celebrated the 25th anniversary of our Port Moody Ecological Society and we have our local community to thank for it!
There was a lot of preparation in the months leading up to it, and a v-e-r-y long day on May 7th. But we’d (almost) do it again in a heartbeat – just give us a month or two to recover!
Seriously, we are blown away by the level of support that the Lower Mainland community has shown the Port Moody Ecological Society (PMES); not only for this year’s milestone Festival but for all the preceding Festivals before that. PMES wishes to acknowledge all our preceding Board Members and Volunteers who have been the cornerstone of us being where we are today – and able to proudly say we have been successfully holding this Festival for 25 straight years!
It’s really been 25 years – and some, not all of us, have been around to see most of them. I’m speaking of course of Dave Bennie, our Vice President and superhuman Festival organiser for the last goodness knows how many years. He has taken the Festival from a passionate small affair centred around the hatchery building, to what it is today – using both hockey rinks (with thanks to the City of Port Moody) and around 80 disparate environmental, community and commercial exhibitors that care for our community. It takes people and some awesome planning – I would like to thank one of our past-presidents, Sandra Niven, for making that happen for the past few years – thank you Sandra!
For the Port Moody Ecological Society, a key indicator of our success as a volunteer run, community based organisation is the attendance and the obvious enjoyment of the public at our iconic Noons Creek Hatchery Fingerling Festival. And judging by the number of people with permanent smiles enjoying the many displays and engaged kids releasing thousands of Chum fry into Noons Creek, our 25th annual Fingerling Festival on Saturday, May 7, 2016 was another huge success.
There are so many things that we accomplish – salmon enhancement, water quality analysis of 6 local creeks, invasive plant removal, invertebrate studies, school programs, community outreach…..the list goes on. I think our most satisfying time of the year is in June – when we award bursaries to help qualifying post secondary students with their environmental, fish & wildlife or related studies. This is our chance to give back to the community that has supported us for so many years. You see, community is about collaboration and working together……something I hold dear and plan to foster even further within our community partners.
But we can’t do any of this however without our amazing volunteers. I would like to thank those many volunteers and board members over the last 25 years for steering the good ship Noons on a steady course to bring us to where we are today. It is with pride that I know we have spawned (no pun intended) many careers in Fish and Wildlife, environmental, biological sciences – and even political sciences. Christy Clark was once a volunteer at the hatchery………….and look at where she is now!
PMES wishes to thank the City of Port Moody and specifically Mayor Mike Clay for supporting us for all these years. It is through their generosity that we have the ice-rinks to hold our Festival in……..a fantastic bonus with our typical Pacific Northwest weather.
PMES would like to thank some other significant community partners that have helped make this festival what it is today – The Port of Vancouver, Pacific Coast Terminals and newly added this year, Bold Properties who has come on board to largely sponsor our iconic kids entertainers, Bobs & Lolo – a big thank you! We look forward to continuing to build upon these amazing relationships to benefit the whole community.
The Port Moody Ecological Society acknowledges and honours the fact that our community lies on unceded indigenous land belonging to the Coast Salish Peoples.
- First Nations blessing of the fry as they were released into the creek
- Bobs & Lolo and the Vancouver Polish Theatre were again a huge hit with the kids
- Our fund raising hotdog lunch was again very well patronised.
- Jay Peachy was a hit on the day with his live broadcasting from the event with some First Nations perspectives on salmon and the importance they play in not only their culture but how critical they are to this province in general. And then there was Jay playing Salmon Hockey on roller-skates in the ice-rink – a sight to behold!
- Adults and kids learned more about our local environment from around 80 exhibitors in both ice hockey rinks (thanks to the City of Port Moody for the 2nd rink this year!) and outside in the carpark. Exhibitors included World Wildlife Fund, Vancouver Aquarium, Wildlife Rescue, Mike the Reptile Guy, Nature Trust of BC, OWL Rehabilitation Society, Vancouver Maritime Museum and many more.
- A great display of the ‘Evolution of Transportation’; From First Nations canoes (clean air transport) to a Ford Model T (dirty air transport) through to an Electric Car (clean air transport)!
- Opening remarks by Linda Reimer (MLA for Port Moody – Coquitlam), Fin Donnelly (NDP MP for Port Moody – Coquitlam) and Mike Clay (Mayor, City of Port Moody).
- Some wonderful community support through donations to ensure our ongoing work:
- Port of Vancouver generously donated $3,000 towards our iconic festival
- Bold Properties generous sponsorship of Bobs & Lolo to the tune of $2,000
- Port Moody Foundation made a surprise announcement of a $500 donation as a community partner
- Pacific Coast Terminals generously donated $500
- VanCity generous donation of $500
- Flavelle Sawmill Company Ltd (Mill & Timber Products) generously donated $500
- McElhanney generously donated $500
- Envirowest Consultants generously donated $250
Our aim is to provide an interactive and hands-on experience for the children that come to our festival to help foster their love of the environment and to carry this love throughout their lives and are working hard to increase our fundraising through sponsorship. Our hope is that they will grow to become adults that are passionate about their surroundings and make decisions in their lives that will make the future brighter and greener for generations to come.
All proceeds go directly to support the Port Moody Ecological Society’s environmental research, education and outreach programmes, to help preserve and protect Noons Creek and to operate their Noons Creek hatchery and water quality testing laboratory. We recognise that these are difficult times for families and sincerely appreciate every cent that our supporting public donate through sponsoring our raffle, hot-dog BBQ or simply dropping a few coins in Mrs Bennie’s donation jar near the hatchery. We hope our fantastic public’s continued support will enable us to continue providing a free event for the Tri-Cities community and to raise funds to continue our volunteer work.
A selection of photos from the day have been included below, however many more plus some video can be found at the following link: (link still to come) (courtesy of Sandra Niven, Nicole Maniago and Doug Calder – all PMES volunteers).
We extend our sincerest thanks to our 2016 exhibitors who confirmed their attendance at our Fingerling Festival and helped make it such a huge success.