Heritage on Bowen

Have your say: get involved in our online heritage strategic plan engagement

We're bringing the past into the future with a new public engagement platform called Citizenlab. We're trying out this tool to get the community involved in co-creating the Heritage Strategic Plan. You can view all the projects and conversations, or create an account to share and participate. You can add your own ideas for others to weigh in on, or ask questions about existing projects and ideas.

We'd like to hear your ideas of how we can better encourage heritage conservation on Bowen Island. You can also share your favourite places and stories that are part of our heritage.

Go to the Heritage Strategic Plan on Citizenlab

Upcoming Events

Look for the upcoming Youth Bowen Heritage exhibit at the BI Museum and Archives throughout April and May. This exhibit continues the BC Heritage Week theme with students presenting Bowen’s unique history.

Bowen Fables is a series of short shadow puppet films that were produced through community workshops. The films use archival images from the Bowen Island Museum and Archives and local stories as a starting point for exploring the creation of local legends. The series was created by Daniella Sorrentino (Mobile Film Camp) and puppeteer Elizabeth Nankin. The Bowen Fables films will be shown at a screening at the Library Annex on March 7, 2020 at 7:00 pm.

Heritage Week 2020: Bringing the past into the Future

Heritage Week was February 17 to 23, 2020. 

Tuesday, Feb 11 at the Legion

12:00-1:00 pm Join us for Tuesday lunch at the Legion with the Caring Circle where Bowen’s heritage will be celebrated through a collection of images and personal histories. Chat with Bowen’s Archivist, Cathy Bayly about sharing your Bowen stories and with BIM Planner 1, Jennifer Pierce about how to get involved with the upcoming Heritage Strategic Plan and Heritage Week events.

Saturday, Feb 15 at Library Annex

  • 2:30-4:30 pm Davies Cottage Museum will open its doors for visitors.
  • 2:45-4:30 pm Meet at front entrance of Library, then head out for a 1.5 hour Heritage Tour led by Peter Vaisbord and Melissa Harrison. Peter has been active in heritage advocacy since 1989 and was a co-founder of Heritage Vancouver. Melissa is co-chair of the BIM Heritage Commission. The tour will feature a selection of the top 10 sites currently being proposed for Bowen’s Heritage Register. Rain or Shine – dress for walking and weather.
  • 4:30-6:30 pm Heritage Public Engagement including:
  • Watch the trailer for Bowen’s first shadow puppet film series by Bowen Fables and Bowen community members! The film series will be presented in March 7 at the Annex, 7-9pm.
  • Presentation on Bowen’s heritage story by Cathy Bayly, archivist at the BI Museum and Archives.
  • Presentation by BIM Planner 1 on the new engagement platform where members of the public can:
    • Review the Heritage Register
    • Suggest items to include in the Heritage Inventory
    • Learn about and discuss heritage conservation tools

Feb 17-23 on Social Media

BIM’s Facebook and Twitter feeds featured heritage photos all week long and announcements of other events during the week.

  • Sports
  • Buildings
  • Transportation
  • Marine
  • Industry
  • School
  • Theatre
  • Bonus: Bowen Island Fire Rescue

Friend the Bowen Island Museum and Archives on FaceBook and have fun remembering Bowen’s past.

Heritage Strategic Plan Work Plan

The Bowen Island Heritage Commission is in the process of developing Bowen Island’s Heritage Strategic Plan for consideration by Council. You can get involved and learn more about heritage conservation planning by participating in our interactive public engagement website.

The 12-month work program for the Heritage Strategic Plan outlines the functional framework for developing this Plan. Phase 1 of the work plan involved reviewing current work and has now been completed (see report here).  We are currently in Phase 2 (see engagement plan).

The final deliverable of the work program is the Heritage Strategic Plan, which will guide the heritage priorities and actions of Bowen Island Municipality over the next 5 years.  This plan will be built upon a community vision and address the objectives of:

  • Establishing criteria for determining heritage value
  • Maintaining a Heritage Register. Proposed Heritage Register
  • Establishing policies and procedures for evaluating land use and planning matters with heritage implications
  • Undertaking and supporting activities for the advancement of heritage within the municipality
  • Annual evaluation and reporting on the progress of the plan

The foundation of the Heritage Strategic Plan will consist of a thorough review and analysis of the state of heritage conservation on Bowen Island.  The general public and key stakeholders will help establish the heritage vision through a community engagement process.  The plan will then be drafted based on the findings of the review, consultation and research on best practices and implementation tools.

Heritage Activities on Bowen Island

Bowen Island’s local community members have joined together for direct action to protect local heritage. In the 1970s and 1980s the Bowen Island Park and Store Use Society formed and successfully protected the Old General Store (now the library) from demolition.

In 1967, a small group of Islanders formed the Historians group to gather local historical information about the island. Two years later, they formed the Bowen Island Museum & Archives charitable organization. They hosted their first exhibit in 1997. Over time, these collections have formed the basis of the Museum & Archives permanent collection and building with regular public exhibits. They are a membership-based volunteer charitable organization.

In 1989 Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association (Bowen Heritage) formed to save the historic Davies Orchard cottages from demolition. Today, Bowen Heritage works with Metro Vancouver to protect and restore Davies Orchard and cottages. They run one cottage as their local office and another as a living museum, offer a heritage Walking Tour, care for Orchard trees, and grow a Heritage Demonstration Garden.  They are also a membership-based volunteer charitable organization.

The Bowen Island Heritage Commission was formed in late 2015 to assist with the Heritage Planning Strategy and to advise Council on heritage issues. They meet about every other month. Their members are composed of local community members, many of whom are longstanding members of the arts council and the two primary heritage organizations on the island.

Memories of Bowen Island is a 2013 student project from Bowen Heritage, it features interviews portraying accounts of life on Bowen Island in the Steamship Era, accompanied by photos from the Bowen Island Heritage Preservation Association Photographic Archives.

Last Updated on 2020-07-22 at 2:52 PM