It’s that time of year again, when thousands of bald eagles flock to
the shores of the Squamish River to feed on dead chum salmon.
Visitors from all over the world come to witness this spectacle in
Brackendale during December and January. And the 21
Brackendale Winter Eagle Festival and Count begins Sunday, Jan. 7 and runs
through the end of the month.
The festival includes a myriad of activities such as presentations,
art shows and live concerts.
The Brackendale Art Gallery (BAG) is headquarters for the Jan. 7
eagle count, where the public can sign up for walking tours starting at 10 a.m.
and browse displays throughout the day at the local gallery and teahouse.
In addition to hosting the count, live shows, local art showings and
the best salmon chowder north of Vancouver, gallery owner Thor Froslev also
introduces a new eagle aid station to the building where injured or starving
eagles can be cared for before being sent to more established rehabilitation
centres in Nanaimo and the Lower Mainland.
The centre is run out of the goodness of Froslev’s heart, with
veterinarians volunteering their time.
More than 8,000 visitors travel to Brackendale to witness the eagle
count and festival. The world record in 1994 wielded a count of 3,769 eagles in
Eagle viewing isn’t the only activity going on.
BAG also hosts a slide-show presentation by mountaineer Richard
Berry, who will share photos of the Alberta Rocky Mountain landscape Saturday,
Jan. 6 at 8 p.m.
Eagle walking tours are offered daily starting at noon for $35
The gallery hosts an Eagle Art Show for January. The exhibit
showcases the talents of west coast artists Roy Hamaguchi, Ken Lubas, Norman
Rich and Floyd Joseph, just to name a few.
West Coast musicians also come together for Jam and Dance on
Saturday, Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. with Shannon Saunders and the Splinters, Cam Salay,
members of the Mountain Bluebirds, and Monte and Jen Thompson taking to the
stage. Tickets are $15.