Admission to the event is by donation.
The Osprey Festival
In its 14th year, the Osprey Festival in 2021 celebrated the life of Chief Dan George, a famous and beloved member of the Tsleil-Waututh nation who passed away in 1981.
The 2021 event was both in-person and broadcast online. The same as every year, the festival has entertainment as well as educational components. There is music, poetry and a barbecue accompanied by guided walks through nature and an exhibit on Chief Dan George.
Where and When is the Festival?
The festival is held on either July 24th or the Saturday closest to it. This is because that date is the birthday of Chief Dan George.
There is parking at Maplewood Flats, but not a lot. Additional parking is available half a block away, just west of the main entrance on Dollarton Highway. People also park in various places on the side of the road.
Activities and Events
While not the biggest event around, the Osprey Festival still has a variety of activities to enjoy. To give you an idea of what to expect in future years, below is what was scheduled for 2021.
The 2021 event’s live music and poetry performances were broadcasted online on the Maplewood Flats Facebook page.
Below is the list of performers in 2021.
- 10:10 am – Saeid Kooshki
- 10:40 am – Kultsia Barbara Wyss Storytelling
- 11:10 am – Wil George
- 11:35 am – Al Grass interviewed by Ryan Brandlmayr
- 12:05 pm – TWN Drumming (Nick/Rob)
- 12:20 pm – Rachelle George
- 12:55 pm – Sandy Scofield Trio
- 1:45 pm – Trevor Carolan Trio
- 2:30 pm – Ta7ah Amy George Lament for Confederation
- 3:15 pm – Murray Porter
While you are able to walk along the different trails at Maplewood Flats on your own, you can also join a guided walk which is a great way to learn about both the surrounding nature and the Lower Mainland’s local indigenous communities.
Here are the walks that took place in 2021:
- 10:30 am – Indigenous Plant Walk with Senaqwila Wyss
- 11:00 am – Nature Walk with Kevin Bell
- 11:15 am – Decolonizing Public Art Walk with Irwin Oostindie
- 2:00 pm – Nature Walk with Kevin Bell
- 3:00 pm – Indigenous Plant Walk with Senaqwila Wyss
In addition to the site’s regular year-round exhibits and things to see, there are additional displays during the festival. In 2021, for example, there was an exhibit about bears. There was also one about wild birds with a real owl. Both of these exhibits had interpreters who could answer questions and provide additional information.
The Chief Dan George Activist & Actor Exhibit is available to visit not just on the day of the festival but throughout the summer of 2021. The exhibit is a chance to learn about his career both on-screen and as a champion in the fight for Indigenous rights in Canada.
Maplewood Flats is also home to the Coast Salish Plant Nursery. In addition to its usual exhibits, there are special plants brought in for the festival.
Children’s Activities and BBQ
There are some picnic tables near the greeter hut at Maplewood Flats and that’s a good place to hang out during the festival. 2021 saw a scavenger hunt for the young ones held in that area.
One of the main attractions at the festival is the food. Elk BBQ burgers and bannock are two staples with a vegan option as well. The eating portion of the event was from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm in 2021.
For more information visit the Osprey Festival website.
Other articles that may be of interest include the following:
- Maplewood Flats Conservation Area
- Lower Mainland First Nations
- Vancouver Festivals and Events
- Vancouver Summertime Activities
- Lower Mainland Parks and Nature
- Vancouver on a Budget