Admission to the event is by donation.
The Osprey Festival
In its 15th year, the Osprey Festival in 2022 celebrated the life of Chief Dan George, a famous and beloved member of the Tsleil-Waututh nation who passed away in 1981.
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 Osprey 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. Note: As of early July, details about the event in 2023 were still to be determined.
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 2022.
The 2022 event’s live music and poetry performances were broadcasted online on the Maplewood Flats Facebook page.
Below was the schedule and list of performers in 2022.
- 10:00 am – Opening Welcome
- 10:05 am – Alex Archibald
- 10:45 am – Rachelle George
- 11:10 am – Corrina Keeling
- 12:00 pm – Tsleil-Waututh Warriors
- 12:40 pm – Mohammad Assani
- 1:30 pm – Wil George
- 1:55 pm – Kin Balam
- 2:35 pm – Valeen Jules
- 2:55 pm – Rennie Nahanee
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 and workshops that took place in 2022:
- 10:30 am – Nature Walk with Florian Reurink
- 11:30 am – Invasive Species Identification Walk & Weaving Demo with Sam Mactavish and Erica Mulder
- 12:45 pm – Plants & Pollinators Walk with the Native Bee Society
- 1:30 pm – Seed Nugget Workshop with Ethnobotanist Cease Wyss
- 2:00 pm – Rethinking Land Use Walk with Irwin Oostindie
- 2:45 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 2022, for example, there was an exhibit on repairing ecological and cultural relations. Experts were on hand to 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. 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. 2022 saw a word search and 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 10:00 am to 2:00 pm in 2022.
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