A look back on the arts in 2017

From Riverdale celebrity sightings, to new murals and music, 2017 a big year for the arts in Langley


Times columnist Jim McGregor released a compilation of his best holiday columns in McGregor Says Special Days Make Lasting Memories.

• Small business writer and former Times columnist Frances McGuckin published two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Spirit of Canada, to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Aldergrove’s Pamela Kent also published one story in the book.

• Langley business owner Pamela Dangelmaier wrote her first book, Flour Garden. The novel was inspired by various garden clubs she attended over the years.

• Lee Murphy of Vista D’oro Farms & Winery in Langley published her first book of recipes, The Preservatory: Seasonally Inspired Recipes For Creating and Cooking With Artisanal Preserves.

• Langley author and historian Warren Sommer published Canucks in Khaki: Langley, the Lower Mainland, and the Great War of 1914 to 1918.


Bez Arts Hub opened as a new space for concerts, dance productions, film nights, community events and more. The venue helps fill a void for a multi-purpose arts studio in Langley.

• Brookswood Secondary grad Daniel Wesley performed his iconic beach rock music for his hometown fans at Cascades Casino in December.

• Langley country artist Dallas Smith hit a number of milestones in 2017. He became the first Canadian country artist to be most played overall in Mediabase Canada history; had three back-to-back number ones from album Side Effects; won three CCMA awards for Side Effects, including album of the year, single of the year (Autograph), and top selling Canadian album of the year; and became the only Canadian male country artist to have four number one singles.

• Langley’s Joseph Sallay welcomed musicians David Sinclair, Keith Bennett, Glenda Rae, Brett Wade and Phil Robertson to his home for public backyard concerts in 2017.

• Country musicians Emily Taylor Adams and Karen Lee Batten performed at Paddington Station in August as part of a free thank you event for the community. After a fire destroyed one of the two apartment buildings at Paddington, community members rallied to raise $250,000 for the affected residents.

Biff Naked brought her I, Bifficus Songs and Stories Tour to Cascades Casino in September.

• Through the summer and fall, Langley residents enjoyed free shows from local artists at the Canada 150 concert series. The summer shows were held outdoors at the new amphitheatre in Willoughby, and the fall shows were indoors at the Chief Sepass Theatre.


• Artist Judy Pohl painted a mural on two walls at McBurney Plaza in downtown Langley. This mural is one of at least five Pohl has painted in downtown Langley. She says murals turn an unwelcoming alley or drab wall into an inviting, colourful space.

• One of B.C.’s largest and most prestigious art shows came to Langley in September. The West Fine Art Show late-summer edition filled Glass House Estate Winery with beautiful landscape and lifestyle works from 17 of the top artists in Western Canada.

• The 24th annual Arts Alive Festival was held in downtown Langley in August. Hundreds of artistic vendors, ranging from painters to jewellers to musicians set up along Fraser Highway for the day-long event.

• A mural made up of more than 6,000 photographs of students and staff at Langley Fine Arts School was unveiled outside the Chief Sepass Theatre in May. The photos form an image of the Blaauw Forest.

• A collection of 32 mural panels depicting the history of agriculture in B.C. were unveiled at the B.C. Farm Museum in the summer. The works of art are a permanent display at the museum.


• Fans of TV show Riverdale had many opportunities to meet the actors as the show filmed throughout Langley in 2017. The popular series did shoots in several locations, including Gabby’s Country Cabaret, Twilight Drive-In and in Fort Langley.

• Around 450 people from across North America travelled to Langley in October for the third annual Hearties Family Reunion. The event gives fans of the TV show When Calls the Heart an opportunity to tour the 1910-era film set, which is located on a Langley farm, and meet the stars of the show.

• The Langley International Film Festival returned for a second year in March. The 2017 series featured films RiverBlue, Eagle Huntress, Manchester by the Sea, 20th Century Women, Captain Fantastic and a student montage.

• After five years of peering down 272 Street in Aldergrove, the iconic Bates Motel mansion was taken apart. The structure was a duplicate of the house from the 1960 Hitchcock classic film Psycho.


• Local theatre group Langley Players showcased three productions in 2017: Old Love, The Grandkid and The Memory of Water.

• Many Langley playwrights and actors took part in the annual Vancouver Fringe Festival in September, including actress Rachelle Tomm, who wrote and starred in The Indefinable Soul, and Shelby Wyminga, who wrote, produced and acted in It’s A Glorious, Wonderful Life.

• Bard in the Valley’s sixth season featured the production Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare. Every summer the theatre group puts on outdoor performances of a Shakespeare play.

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