Day of the Estuary culminating Keeping it Living campaign in Comox Valley

The Day of the Estuary finale of the 2012 Keeping it Living campaign will be held July 28 at the K’ómoks Band Hall and shoreline.

LIFE OF BRIAN by Grace Wolff is one of many creations being displayed around the Comox Valley in a project called Art for the Estuary.

LIFE OF BRIAN by Grace Wolff is one of many creations being displayed around the Comox Valley in a project called Art for the Estuary.

The Day of the Estuary finale of the 2012 Keeping it Living campaign will be held July 28 at the K’ómoks Band Hall and shoreline.

Co-ordinated by Project Watershed Society and the Estuary Working Group, the campaign aims to raise awareness for the protection and restoration of the Courtenay River (K’ómoks) estuary.

The day is a celebration for all ages to participate and support the estuary.

During July, several community venues have been displaying Art for the Estuary. Talented artists from the Valley and beyond have created works for the silent art auction. The art can be viewed at the Atlas Café, Avenue Bistro, Best Western Plus Westerly Hotel, Carderos, Corre Alice Gallery, Crown Isle, CCCU Fourth Street branch, Gatehouse Bistro, Holiday Inn Express, Kingfisher Resort, Mudsharks, Rhodos Coffee, Strathcona Park Wilderness Centre,  Wandering Moose Café, and Zocalo Café.

The art will be gathered for a final display at the K’ómoks Band Hall on July 28 starting at 1 p.m. for viewing as well as judging for Peoples Choice, Jurors Choice, and Artist Choice, and silent auction bidding. At 6 p.m. the bidding will close, and the high bidders for each piece will collect their inspiring works of art.

Of special interest to paddlers is one of the original 10 signed paddles used by the Canadian voyageur canoe team during the Diamond Jubilee Flotilla in London,which will be one of the items for silent auction bidding.

Experience the Estuary activities will continue on the Day of the Estuary July 28. The Band Hall will be open from 1 p.m. for viewing of displays from the Comox Valley Paddlers Club, Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue, and Project Watershed.

At 1:15 there will be a choice of two nature walks: Meet at the K’omoks Band Hall to walk to the Dyke Slough, or meet at the Rotary Viewing Stand on the Dyke Road to walk to Hollyhock Flats.

At 1:30 and 2:30 inside the Hall, Marlet Ashley and Kate Brown will present readings of The Interlopers, book one of their children’s book series Revelry on the Estuary.

Several businesses have provided door prizes to be drawn during the day and there is no admission fee to the Band Hall.

Paddlers can Experience the Estuary by registering for the Estuary Flotilla, which will depart from the Courtenay Marina at 3 p.m. or from the Comox Marina at 3:30 p.m.

The flotilla of human-powered boats will parade to the K’omoks Band shores in a free, non-competitive event. They will be greeted by the I-Hos dugout canoe and paddlers in traditional costume about 4 p.m. at the band shores. All will be welcomed ashore by the K’omoks people and the on-shore community, to enjoy the activities at the Band Hall.

To register for the flotilla, e-mail projectwatershed@gmail.com. Come to either marina to watch the paddlers put into the water, or to the band shores on the Dyke Road to see the ceremonial welcome with dancers.

At about 4:30 p.m., the Laurie Tinkler Dancers will perform outside the Band Hall. From 4 to 6 p.m., a salmon barbecue catered by Cory Frank including chowder, bannock and salad will be available for $12.

At 6:15 p.m. the Kumugwe Dancers will close the day with a performance in the K’ómoks Big House. Entry will be by donation.

Visit the Keeping it Living website at www.keepingitliving.ca for more information.

— Comox Valley Project Watershed Society

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