Dianne St. Jean
Left to right: Chief Dominic Frederick with the Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
Left to right: Chief Dominic Frederick with the Hon. George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

On Saturday, Sept. 1 the Chun T’oh Whudujut / Ancient Forest was visited by tourists, travellers and Robson Valley residents to celebrate its grand opening.

Aside from the awe-inspiring forest itself, it was also an opportunity for visitors to enjoy aboriginal art and culture, and artists and entertainers from around the Robson Valley.

Chun T’oh Whudujut /Ancient Forest was officially designated a class ‘A’ Provincial Park by the previous provincial government; however, with the change of government after the last election, the grand opening was put off until now.

In a statement, MLA Shirley Bond, who had attended, and who had worked diligently to help establish the park, stated: “For more than a year a dedicated planning committee has been working to organize a celebration of the diversity and community connections with the amazing Chun T’oh Whudujut /Ancient Forest. There was a broad membership including members from the Robson Valley, elected officials, ministry representatives and organizations including the Caledonia Ramblers who have passionately led the work done at the Ancient Forest. The Lheidli T’enneh hosted and partnered and it was a fantastic place to showcase First Nations artists and many other Robson Valley artisans. The celebration was an incredible success with hundreds of people hiking through the forest to discover artists, special visitors including Gandalph, an ancient forest fairy and a delicious lunch prepared by the Dome Creek Community Association. Because of the 450 metre long universal access boardwalk a priority for the committee was including people with all abilities in the day of celebration. By all accounts it was a memorable day!”

Artist Glen Frear capturing the beauty and essence of the forest during the Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park grand opening.
Artist Glen Frear capturing the beauty and essence of the forest during the Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park grand opening.
MLA Shirley Bond and husband Bill enjoy a tour of the forest with grandsons.
MLA Shirley Bond and husband Bill enjoy a tour of the forest with grandsons.
First Nations drummers at the opening ceremony
First Nations drummers at the opening ceremony