This event, which pays homage to Langley’s historic apples and orchards, has had to move online this year. Find out more about what’s in store. Online events kick off this weekend. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Newly revamped Heritage Apple Day features fruit photo contest

For 15 years, even amid storms, Langley hosts apple-centric party at Derby Reach – but not in 2020

This coming Saturday, Oct. 3, is Heritage Apple Day.

But this food-and-fun-centric festival – like most other large public events in 2020 – has moved online.

For more than a decade now, Derby Reach and Brae Island Park Association (DRBIPA) has been holding the annual apple bash at Derby Reach park to highlight the local agriculture that makes up Langley’s culture and history, said board chair Joakim Nilsson.

“And we’re celebrating our annual event online this year – while fondly looking back at the past 15 years and hoping next year can be in person again at the Derby Reach Heritage Area,” he said.

PAST COVERAGE: Take a bite out of Heritage Apple Day

This coming Saturday they are kicking off a week of online festivities, including an apple photo contest, highlights of orchard life with Laurelle (certified horticulturist and landscape designer), and a presentation and Q&A with Vancouver artist and author Sylvia Grace Borda.

The session, labelled Where Did All The Apples Go?, is free and being hosted on Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 7 to 7:50 p.m. Pre-registration, however, is required by Oct. 4.


There are many complex relationships across culture, economics and landscape that can be better understood by examining the layered social histories of food systems south of the Fraser River.

For instance, many of us associate the introduction of apples with European settlers in the late 1700s and early 1800s in Canada, but few may recognize that the First Nation Coast Salish peoples tended and cultivated their own fruit, Pacific crab apples, for many centuries and prior to the arrival of Europeans on the shores of the West Coast.

Langley’s more recent orchards arose in part because of military, religious, and settler populations who planted trees at the Hudson Bay Company (HBC) Fort Langley site.

When the HBC fort lands were sold as part of homesteads and farm sites, the apple orchards remained and other fruit orchard gardens were also established.

The older established apple orchards in Langley are rare survivors of their time.

In this talk, Borda will provide a visual walk-through and exploration of some of the underlying reasons why older apple trees are less prominent, and the social context of orchards in relation to their times.

She will also illustrate her use of apples in her visual arts practice.

More information about the Derby Reach and Brae Island Park Association is also available anytime at

PAST COVERAGE – Langley celebration: Kids party in the hay


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