Maple Ridge Culture Walk: Exploring our nature

On Sunday, June 4 from 1 – 4 pm, join me and fellow City of Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa in creating a nature mandala in near Cliff Falls in Kanaka Creek Regional Park.


Kat and I will have all the materials on hand, from rocks and leaves to colourful wildflowers. We’ll be inviting passers-by to help us place the materials to form a large circular mandala. We’ll be improvising, so bring your sense of play and imagination!

The ephemeral artwork is part of the City of Maple Ridge’s Culture Walk: Exploring our Nature event, which links art, culture and nature at the following sites: Kanaka Creek Regional Park (at both the Cliff Falls trails and at the waterfront), the Maple Ridge Museum, Haney House, and the Bell Irving Fish Hatchery. A free shuttle bus will connect the parks, the museum and Haney House.

Schedule for the day and locations

251 Street at 116 Avenue

1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Nature Mandala with Artists-in-Residence Robi Smith and Kat Wahamaa ● Launch of new history geocaches developed by Maple Ridge Heritage Commission

23272 River Road (off Lougheed Hwy at Tamarack Lane)
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Launch of new history geocaches developed by Maple Ridge Heritage Commission
1:00 & 2:30 pm ● Culture walking tours with Fern Gabriel from the Kwantlen First Nation (approx. 1 hour each; meet at River Road parking lot)
1:30 & 2:45 pm ● Nature walking tours with David Cook from Nature Vancouver (approx. 1 hour each; meet at River Road parking lot)

22520 116 Avenue
1:00 – 4:00pm ● Exhibits and tours including Canada 150 colouring craft
● Dewdney Alouette Railway display
● Shuttle bus stop is at the entrance of the museum driveway on 116 Avenue

11612 224 Street
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Visit the historic home of the Haney family
● Exhibits and tours

11450 256 Street
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Learn about the local environment and find out about the work done by KEEPS
● This location is not a shuttle bus stop but can be accessed by vehicle or on foot via trail
from Cliff Park


Art Studio Tour: Mother’s Day weekend!

On Saturday May 13 and Sunday May 14, nearly 40 artists in 27 studios will open their doors to the public for the 19th annual Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour. I love the tour because it’s such a great opportunity for art lovers and the art curious alike to check out what artists in our communities are up to.

You’re invited to drop by my studio (23740 Fern Crescent) between 10 am and 4 pm on both days to learn how you can participate in my residency projects for 2017. I’ll also be sharing my own art work, including a new series about the mysterious glass sponge reefs in Hecate Strait. I’ll have art postcards and other small items for sale.

For more information about the tour and to invite your friends, check out the Facebook event page.



A River of Light this weekend!

Two magical evenings ahead

Join neighbours, friends and lantern-makers as we create a River of Light among the trees by Davidson’s Pool (Crosses Cabins Park) this weekend:

  • Friday, September 30: 6- 9 pm
  • Saturday, October 1: Drop in 2 – 4 pm to make your own glass jar lantern to light your way during the evening / 6 – 9 pm enjoy the light of the lanterns as the sun sets and darkness falls

Location: Among the trees and on the rocks between Davidson’s Pool and the Artist-in-Residence studio. Limited parking available at Cross’ Cabins Park (small parking lot for Davidson’s Pool). Street parking along 236th Street or 130th Avenue. (map)


photo: Keith Jardine

What happened last weekend?

After postponing last Friday’s installation due to rain, we forged ahead on Saturday, placing the lanterns in among the trees and lighting the candles. What ensued was a magical evening of light and a celebration in honour of the salmon who will be arriving home to spawn in the coming weeks.

So far, the feedback I’ve received from last weekend’s installation has been incredibly positive. I heard over and over again how moved people were by the beauty of the glowing lanterns, especially against the meditative sound of the river. Many neighbours are inspired to join in the fun next year to make their own lantern to add to the installation.


photo: Keith Jardine

As with last weekend, I’ll be watching the forecast to make sure the weather cooperates. At this point, Friday evening is looking 100% clear and Saturday cloudy. If it’s raining or looking like rain, check before heading over to make sure the event is going ahead.

Feel free to invite friends and family to experience the installation. You can either share this post or invite them via Facebook.

A River of Light begins…


photo: Keith Jardine

Many thanks to everyone who made Saturday evening’s A River of Light so spectacular, from the dozens of people who made the lanterns this summer, to the volunteers who set up and took down the installation to the nearly 100 people who came to wander through the trees and exclaim over how beautiful and magical the lanterns looked in candlelight.


photo: Liliana Rincon Tami

We will be lighting the lanterns again next Friday (Sept 30) and Saturday (Oct 1) from 6 – 9 pm. On Saturday afternoon from 2 – 4 pm, all are invited to drop by the studio to make a glass jar lantern to light your path as you take in the lanterns in the evening.


photo: Keith Jardine

For more information or if you have any questions, please email robi@


photo: Keith Jardine



photo: Liliana Rincon Tami

A River of Light: Community Lantern Installation

Experience a magical evening walk through a river of lighted lanterns among the trees adjacent to Davidson’s Pool in Crosses Cabins Park (map).


Over the past three months, more than 50 community members have been working with Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Robi Smith to create the lanterns in the shapes of salmon, stars, dragonflies, butterflies and more. The lanterns are made from simple materials such as bamboo, chicken wire, glass jars, tissue paper and glue.


All are welcome to view the lanterns over the BC Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends (weather permitting):

  • Fri Sept 23: 6 – 9 pm
  • Sat Sept 24: 6 – 9 pm
  • Fri Sept 30: 6 – 9 pm
  • Sat Oct 1: From 2  – 4 pm, drop by the studio to make a glass jar lantern to carry in the evening; lanterns lit from 6 – 9 pm

The lanterns will illuminate a path among the trees and on the rocks between Davidson’s Pool and the Artist-in-Residence studio.


Here’s to a magical River of Light!

Note: Limited parking available at Cross’ Cabins Park (small parking lot for Davidson’s Pool). Street parking along 236th Street or 130th Avenue. Carpool or walk if possible! map

RSVP / share this event on Facebook

Getting ready for A River of Light

September is here, which means the River of Light lantern installation is coming up in just a few short weeks!

This year’s installation will reflect the joy of many hands working together. Over July and August, nearly 50 people dropped by the studio for workshops to help make and repair lanterns, and many people came back more than once. I’m thoroughly enjoying meeting everyone and watching the beautiful lanterns take shape.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering free drop-in workshops on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. There’s still time to make a lantern from scratch, or to finish a lantern you started in the summer, or just to come and help repair some of the older lanterns. We can keep it simple or make it as complex as you’d like!

September drop-in workshops 

  • Sept 8 (Thurs): 6 – 8 pm
  • Sept 11 (Sun): 2 – 4 pm
  • Sept 15 (Thurs): 6 – 8 pm
  • Sept 18 (Sun): 2 – 4 pm
  • Oct 1 (Sat): 2 – 4 pm

All workshops are free and take place at the Artist-in-Residence studio (23740 Fern Crescent). All ages and skill levels welcome. Children under 12, please bring an adult along. RSVPs appreciated to or through the Community Art and Nature Meet-up Group.

Make your own lantern at home

If you aren’t able to come to any of the workshops, but would still like to make your own lantern to add to the installation, please do! My main inspiration for the lanterns comes from celebration artist Paula Jardine (who I’m so lucky to call sister-in-law!). Paula welcomes you to use the easy to follow lantern-making instructions on her website.

Volunteers for installing, lighting and stewarding the lanterns

The lanterns will be lit over the BC Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends, September 23/24 and Sept 30/Oct 1, starting at 6 pm (to 9 pm) adjacent to Davidson’s Pool. I’m looking for a few volunteers to help install and light the lanterns each day and then be on hand to make sure the candles stay lit and fire safe. If you are interested in helping out, let me know. Shifts can be anywhere from  one to 4 hours. I’ll provide tea and snacks!

If you have any questions, or would like to join in any of the workshops, please let me know by email at You can also RSVP through the Community Art and Nature Meet-up Group. Feel free to share with others who may be interested.

Here’s to creating a magical River of Light together!

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