Actor Jacob Tremblay made a hometown visit in February to speak at the inaugural Langley International Film Festival.

Actor Jacob Tremblay made a hometown visit in February to speak at the inaugural Langley International Film Festival.

2016, a look back at arts

The top Langley arts, entertainment and lifestyles stories of 2016

January

• Langley counsellor and thespian Kevin Kokoska turned his experience at a binge-eating disorder camp into the script for his first play, The Mirror Test.

• About 200 “Hearties,” many in period costumes, lined up to get some face time with the stars of the Langley-based series, When Calls the Heart. It was the Hearties Family Reunion, a gathering of the most dedicated supporters of the Hallmark Television series that is shot in Langley Township.

•  Artist Toni Williams battled to save the South Carvolth Elementary School mural from demolition. Williams and fellow artist Judy Jordison painted the rural scene in 2000. In the end, they were given high resolution photos of the community art piece, but it was still dismantled along with the rest of the school.

February

• Langley actor Jacob Tremblay made a hometown appearance at the inaugural Langley International Film Festival. The young actor, who played Jack in the movie Room, spoke to an excited audience at the Chief Sepass Theatre, following the screening of his film.

Langley Toastmasters celebrated 35 years of public speaking and leadership education in Langley.

March

• For the first time, Langley Realtor Danny Evans used a helicopter to fly prospective buyers from Downtown Vancouver to view Langley mansions. The new tactic gives Realtors a competitive edge in showing wealthy homeowners the benefits of living south of the Fraser.

April

The B.C. Farm Museum opened for its 50th season in Fort Langley. Throughout the year they held different events to honour the people — and most importantly — the machines that have cultivated B.C.’s agricultural industry for the last two centuries.

• Trapeze artists Caitlin Mckenzie and Gabriel Payne took home gold at the Australian Circus Festival. The 13 year old acrobats train 15 to 20 hours per week at the Circus Lab in Langley.

May

• The Langley Ukulele Ensemble celebrated its 35th year. Since Peter Luongo founded the group in 1981, the Ensemble has become world renowned, with student musicians travelling across the globe to play shows.

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Langley volunteer Rob Ross was honoured for his 40 years of volunteer service. Since he began with the organization in 1976, he has been paired with 13 “littles.”

June

• For their seventh season, Bard in the Valley performed The Taming of the Shrew, one of William Shakespeare’s earliest written comedies. The theatre troupe performed outside at Douglas Park, The Fort Langley Community Hall and at Township 7 Winery. Photo 4.

July

• Langley band We Hunt Buffalo took home one of a dozen awards at the first-ever Fraser Valley Music Awards in Abbotsford. The event, created to showcase local talent in the Fraser Valley, attracted over 100 applicants. There were six finalists from Langley: JD Miner, Jeremy Allingham, Hrdwtr, The Kwerks and Thur Colorado.

August

• Artists from across the Lower Mainland spend a beautiful afternoon in the Langley countryside at the Art Farm. Hosted by the Fort Gallery at the home of artist Susan Falk, the fundraising event offered several workshops and demos from experienced artists. Photo 5.

September

• The 22nd annual Metro Vancouver Feast of Fields took place at Laurica Farm and Fraser Common Farm. As the oldest local food festival in B.C., the event gave both city folk, and country folk alike the opportunity to get up close and personal with their food producers.

• A group of Fort Langley artists raised half of the $12,000 needed to have a rainbow crosswalk installed in Fort Langley. The effort originated with a group of volunteer artists wanting to paint one themselves, but unexpectedly turned into a $50,000 project, once federal guidelines were taken into account. Artists then took it upon themselves to raise the money to have one installed in a different, less expensive location on Glover Road at Mary Avenue. The Fort Langley Business Improvement Association contributed the other $6,000. The project will be completed in 2017.

October

• Langley resident Millie McConnell, along with the Gastrointestinal Society, spearheaded a new support group for those living with, or recovering from, stomach cancer. The group meets the last Thursday of every month at the Church in the Valley, 23589 Old Yale Rd.

• Hawaiian native Ann Rothstein gifted “The Tree of Life” mosaic to Fort Langley’s Integrated Health Clinic for providing care and treatments to her stage 4 cancer. She is now cancer-free after using hyperthermia treatments at the Langley clinic.

November

• Langley artist Christopher Friesen showed his collection Silvery Tones, at the Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver. His collection was largely inspired by his recent move from Abbotsford to Brookswood, and captures the mature trees and nature found in southern Langley.

December

• Langley country singer Karen Lee Batten organized a last minute concert extravaganza that raised more than $56,000 for victims of the Paddington Station fire. The concert, held at the Langley Events Centre, featured performances by Chad Brownlee, Me & Mae, Batten and more.

• The Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation received a $24,000 donation from the Christmas with Mark and Colleen Donnelly charity concert. The event was organized by Hung Vuong as a thank you to the hospital for saving his son’s life 18 years ago.