SUBMITTED PHOTO The Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair will be held Sept. 9-10 in Port McNeill at the Chilton Regional Arena.

Fall Fair on the horizon

The Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair is an annual event that has brought North Island communities together for more than 50 years.

The North Island encompasses a vast area, nearly 1/3 of Vancouver Island.

Consequently, this highly anticipated event is an opportunity to visit, share between communities and to celebrate our unique lifestyle.

Like any traditional Fall Fair, there are agricultural, food and craft exhibits that wow and inspire.

Business and non-profit booths are informative and help connect the many communities.

Forestry is celebrated with a large display including activities for kids and adults as the Fall Fair takes place just before National Forest Week.

The Fall Fair was started in 1955 by the local Parent Teachers Association (PTA) along with a Bingo to raise funds.

In 1968, the PTA dissolved and the Fall Fair wasn’t held for two years. In 1971, it was resurrected by the Port Hardy Centennial Committee.

This tradition has been held and maintained every year in one of the three larger communities: Port Hardy, Port McNeill or Port Alice.

It is the one time in the year when the entire North Island comes together to celebrate their creativity and ingenuity.

The Fall Fair is open to everyone in the community.

A hardworking committee makes sure everyone has the opportunity to take part. Advertising and media promotion starts in spring, encouraging people to plan ahead, especially for volunteering and exhibiting.

Entry fees for children, teens and seniors are waived and adults pay only $0.25 per entry.

Rotarians, Lions Club, Junior Rangers and other service groups help with set up, convening, transportation, equipment, decorating, security, and tear down.

Judges are all community members and are encouraged to volunteer – refreshments are often provided.

Community members and local businesses often volunteer, donate supplies, or help contribute to raffle prizes – a fundraising mainstay that helps keep the Fall Fair running.

Local musicians, dancers and other performers provide entertainment throughout the weekend with the intent to showcase the talent of the North Island.

This year’s theme is “Gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest”.

The Great Bear Rainforest is part of a new ecosystem-based regime created through unprecedented collaboration between environmental groups, forest companies, local First Nations and the B.C. government, for this globally unique region along British Columbia’s north and central coast.

The Great Bear Rainforest covers 6.4 million hectares (15.8 million acres) along the B.C.’s Pacific Coast – an area almost the size of Ireland.

With one quarter of the world’s coastal temperate rainforest, it offers breathtaking scenery and unparalleled recreational opportunities that draw visitors from around the globe.

Its productive forest and marine resources support local communities and economies. Ecosystem-based management is an adaptive, systematic approach to managing human activities that seeks to ensure the co-existence of healthy, fully functioning ecosystems and human communities.

Through this, the Great Bear Rainforest is supporting ecological integrity and human well-being, managing old growth forests, participating in collaborative decision making with First Nations, maintaining wildlife habitat, and creating an innovative solution for a globally unique region.

For more information, please come and join us and live the experience that is the Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair, being held September 9-10, 2017 in Port McNeill at the Chilton Regional Arena.

– Gazette staff

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