Held at Swáywi (Ambleside Park)!

Sunday September 8, 2019

11am – 6pm

This year we celebrated a very special year… our 40th Anniversary along with the Year of the Salmon*.

*Find out more www.yearofthesalmon.org

The Coho Festival started off early with the Coho Run and the Coho Swim. The weather in the morning came with downpours intersperced with typical westcoast drizzle.  However, it didnt dampen spirits!  The Coho Festival Committed buzzed about setting up for the day.

The crowds that came proceeded to browse through the booths in the Stewardship Zone, learning about what species lives in our local waterways, including oceans and rivers.  They listened to professionals who were on hand telling us about the threats, and what each of us can do to help with the sustainability of keeping these natural resources and their inhabitants protected and flourishing. We were pleased to note that the crowd was from the area and looked like they were folks who appreciate our trails and coasts as they came wearing respectable footwear and weather proof jackets!  They listened to the Tent Talks about environmental issues, and attended the Squamish Nation’s Blessing of the Salmon.  They lined up for our wild salmon BBQ brought to the festival by Save On Foods and stayed for the FOUR live bands that played on the Neptune/Western Stevedoring Main Stage including Cannery Row, Mostly Marley, Adam Woodall and Doug and the Slugs … we know all of the entertainment was a hit as the grass was a crowded dance floor all day!  The sun even came out in the afternoon in true Vancouver style!

The SEASPAN Kids Zone had the ever-popular Climb 5 Climbing Wall, and little ones had a bouncy good time in the Save On Foods castle. There was lots of live entertainment including 16-year-old Ashley Pater who brought her folk/fun/ballad style music and our new special guests were Welh Tima Kexwusem Squamish Nation Dance Group.   Don Kline had a Ukulele workshop. Meinhardts cookie decorating was a hit with the kids as was the wooden anchor and the SandFunz craft stations. The Red Fox Society Youth Leaders kept the kids entertained all their energy – learning stilt-walking, diablo, flower sticks and more.

Tent Talks 2019

“Sustainable Initiatives in our local Tug, Barge and Ferry operations”  Watch the Tent Talk

The talk will highlight Seaspan’s sustainable operations of our fleet, now and into the future. Topics include the clean operating hybrid electric/LNG Ferries, safe and efficient movement of goods, use of environmentally friendly products on board and vessel underwater noise reduction efforts. Presented by Darryl Lawes, Environmental Manager, Seaspan.

 “Killer Whales in Crisis: Threats Facing the Recovery of BC’s Most Iconic Animals”  Watch The Tent Talk

British Columbia is home to two salmon-eating populations of killer whales (orcas) known as “northern residents” and “southern residents”.  These populations are listed as threatened and endangered, respectively.  The southern resident killer whales are the most critically imperiled of the two; currently, only 74 southern resident killer whales remain.  Resident killer whales face a multitude of threats, including reduce prey availability, vessel strike and disturbance, and exposure to marine contaminants.  Come learn more about the threats facing these iconic animals, the research that is being conducted, and the ways in which you can get involved in their conservation. Presented by: Jessica Scott, BC Cetacean Sighting Network Manager and Applied Research Biologist, Ocean Wise Conservation Association.

“Microplastics & Marine Life”  Watch the Tent Talk

Plastic in our oceans is increasing at an exponential rate. So much so, it is estimated that at our continued rate of consumption, plastic in the oceans could outweigh fish by the year 2050. Plastic does not biodegrade; it simply breaks apart into smaller and smaller pieces—called microplastics. Microplastics are mistakenly eaten by many different animals, which may have impacts to the future health of marine food webs. This talk will focus on the current research on this marine pollutant and the potential effects it has to marine life including salmon. Presented by Rhiannon Moore, Researcher, Ocean Wise Plastics Lab.

“Salish Sea Marine Survival Project”  Watch the Tent Talk

In 2013, the Pacific Salmon Foundation launched a landmark effort to help restore Chinook, Coho and Steelhead populations in the Strait of Georgia and Salish Sea. The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project (SSMSP) is a $20+ million transboundary effort carried out over five years in partnership with Seattle-based non-profit Long Live the Kings. Learn about some of the key results of this research, information on the novel methodologies utilized, and our proposed actions and next steps. Presented by Dr. Isobel Pearsall, project co-ordinator for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project.  

“What we have learned from the Coho story”  Watch the Tent Talk

Coho were so abundant in the Strait of Georgia in the 1970s that there was no need for management. By the early 1990s the recreational fishery had collapsed. It took about 20 years, but Coho fishing now gets better every year. The explanation for what happened is that we did not understand the mechanisms regulating Coho abundance and it is this understanding that is now essential for Chinook salmon. Also learn about some preliminary findings from a recent expedition I led with scientists from around the Pacific Rim to the Gulf of Alaska as part of salmon conservation activities related to the ‘International Year of the Salmon’. Presented by: Dr. Richard Beamish, Dr. Richard Beamish, C.M., O.B.C, Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.S.C. , Emeritus Scientist at the Pacific Biological Station in Nanaimo, B.C.

“Fraser River Rockslide Update- Will Salmon Ever Recover?”  Watch the Tent Talk 

In response to a significant landslide discovered in a narrow portion of the Fraser River near Big Bar, just north of Lillooet, B.C.,individuals from the Government of British Columbia, the Government of Canada, and First Nations have been working collaboratively to transport as many salmon upstream as possible and to re-establish natural passage. The situation is complex because the landslide occurred in a remote section of the Fraser River, with steep canyon walls and turbulent, swift-moving water. The site is also not accessible by existing public roads. Ongoing efforts to pass as many fish upstream as possible include capture and transport by helicopter and rock manipulation to re-establish natural fish passage. Presented by: Lee McCabe, Project Engineer, Fisheries and Oceans Canada


Stewardship Zone Exhibitors

BC Cetacean Sightings Network

  • Blue Dot Movement
  • British Pacific Properties
  • Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society – (CPAWS)
  • Cheakamus Centre (Outdoor School)
  • DFO – Adult Salmon Tank Truck
  • DFO – Ground Fish Display
  • DFO – Hovercraft
  • DFO – Aquaculter
  • District of North Vancouver – Water Conservation
  • District of West Vancouver – Invasive Species
  • Encorp – Return-It
  • Force of Nature
  • Friends of Cypress Park
  • Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers
  • Metro Vancouver Air Quality
  • North Shore Black Bear Society
  • North Shore Cultural Map
  • North Shore Fish & Game Club – MacKay Creek
  • North Shore Fruit Tree Project
  • North Shore Streamkeepers Society
  • Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society
  • North Vancouver Museum
  • Ocean Ambassadors
  • Oceanwise
  • Old Growth Conservancy Society
  • Pacific Streamkeeper Federation
  • Paulene Johnston Outdoor School
  • Raincoast Conservation Foundation
  • Recycle BC
  • Seacology – Salt Water Touch Tank
  • Seymour Salmonid Society (Hatchery)
  • Vancouver Aquarium – Marine Mammal Rescue Centre
  • Vancouver Aquarium – Engaging Seniors
  • Watershed Watch Salmon Society
  • West Coast Environmental Law
  • West Van Streamkeepers Society
  • Western Purple Martin Association
  • Wild Bird Trust


Thank you to everyone who came to this year’s Coho Festival and the cooperation to keep this an environmentally friendly event.

We also thank all of our sponsors and the army of volunteers that we cherish to get this festival to it’s 40th year of success.