Photos from Mountain Stories Along the Trail!

Here are a few photos from our event “Mountain Stories Along the Trail” at Mt. Seymour Provincial Park in celebration of the City of North Vancouver’s 125th birthday and Canada’s Parks Day on July 16th, 2016.

The Elders Council for Parks would like to thank Cheyenne Hood and the Tsleilwaututh Nation, Deep Cove Heritage Society, Mount Seymour Resorts, Mount Seymour History Project, BC Parks and the District of North Vancouver for their support with this event.



Cheyenne Hood of Tsleilwaututh Nation describing her experiences growing up in the region and providing a traditional welcome for the guests. Photo credit: Claudia Jessen.



Lloyd Knutsen playing the second Mt. Seymour Park Ranger, Ole Johansen. Photo credit: Claudia Jessen.

David Cook describing the geological processes that shaped Mt. Seymour. Photo credit: Dee-Dee Soychuke.

Logging and cabin expert Alex Douglas revealing the cultural history of Mt. Seymour.

Graham White playing renowned landscape artist Frederick Varley.


Artist Christine Elsey reading an original poem about inspired by growing up in the Mt. Seymour Valley.


New Event! Mountain Stories Along the Trail

Help us celebrate the District of North Vancouver’s 125th Anniversary and Canada’s Parks Day with a special outdoor storytelling experience on Saturday, July 16th at Mount Seymour Provincial Park. Click on the poster below to zoom in for more details.

This event is brought to you by the Elders Council for Parks in BC in partnership with the District of North Vancouver, Deep Cove Heritage Society and Mount Seymour History Project.

You can also find us on Facebook here:

We’d like to recognize our talented storytellers: 

David Cook is a Geologist, Biologist, Professional Geological Engineer, Fellow of the Geological Association of Canada, Fellow International of the Explorers Club, a Director of Nature Vancouver as well as Chair of their Geology and Biology Sections. He is on the boards of the Old Growth Conservancy, the North Shore Black Bear Society and the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society. For the last 16 years he has conducted a program for the general public called Reconnecting with Nature for which he leads walks and gives talks on natural history and geology. He considers education of the general public about nature and geology in our region of prime importance if we are to understand why we should conserve wild places for future generations. David will be presenting the geological history of Seymour Valley.

Alex Douglas has worked and lived on Mt. Seymour for the past 41 years. In the winters he started as a Lift Attendant, Ski Instructor and Rental Technician, but over the years has worked his way up to being the Rental and Retail Manager and generally the “go to guy” on the history of Mt. Seymour. In the summers he started in 1972 as a camper with the Toni Sailer Summer Ski Camp on Whistler Mountain. Over the next 22 summers he became the Camp Director in charge of the day to day activities of the camp. There was then 13 summers with the Rocky Mountaineer Tour Train and now he is enjoying touring groups around Vancouver but especially the North Shore Mountains and Uncle Al’s cabin Tours. He’s a member of North Vancouver Museum and Archive, Whistler Museum and the Deep Cove Heritage Association. He also operates Mount Seymour History Project (MSHP), the annual Pioneers Reunion and the website Alex will be portraying a logger character to reveal the industry’s history at Mount Seymour Park.

Christine Elsey (MA) (PhD) is a dance artist, choreographer and published author. She participated in the movement to “Save The Stein Valley” until it eventually became the Nlaka’pamux Stein Tribal Heritage Park in 1996.  Christine has St’at’imc ancestry through one of her Grandmothers and will be sharing contemporary stories of growing up on the Seymour River.

Lloyd Knutsen is a volunteer with Metro Vancouver Parks at Lynn Headwaters Regional Park where he leads guided hikes on history related themes. He is also coordinator of the Lynn Headwaters Mining Heritage Inventory and a member of the Mining History Association. Born in New Westminster his subtle accent betrays his Norwegian ancestry. Lloyd will be portraying the character of Ole Johansen, te second Park Ranger of Mount Seymour Provincial Park.

Graham White is a student intern for Deep Cove Heritage Society. He will be playing the character of renowned Canadian artist Frederick Varley. Mr. Varley saw art as a spiritual vocation. His interest in the figure as well as landscape set him apart from other members of the Group of Seven, of which he was a founding member in 1920. “The artist’s job is to unlock fetters and release spirit, to tear to pieces and recreate so forcefully that . . . the imagination of the onlooker is awakened and completes within himself the work of art.” (F.H. Varley, February 1936).

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2016 Outreach Programs Announcement

2016 programs will start again soon! We are offering an inspiring line up of nature programs this year and will travel to some locations further off the North Shore, so watch for the 2016 Calendar at for further details and registration information.

We are pleased to introduce Natalia Pisarek, a Capilano University Recreation Management student who will be planning 3 programs and volunteering with the Elders on archival and other projects as part of her curriculum.  She will be the programmer for Mountain Stories Along the Trail, where we will travel through time and meet several historical and contemporary characters along the trail. Participants will interact with storytellers and collect artifacts to weave the story together.

At Golden Ears Provincial Park, we will meet naturalist extraordinaire Al Grass, who will highlight the amazing flora and fauna along the Spirea Trail.

We are partnering with Parkgate Community Centre on 2 trips so we have a bus for easy travel at minimal cost: Rocky Point Park in Port Moody is a lovely area, rich in cultural and natural history.  Enjoy a walk along the mudflat boardwalk to bring us close to nature in its finest.  Meet Elder’s Director Bill Henwood to learn why Admiralty Point was preserved as a National Park.

Join Friends of Cypress Provincial Park for a close-up look at the wildflowers. This park stewardship group will lead us through an area of breathtaking natural beauty to examine its subalpine flora at Yew Lake where rare wildflowers always amaze us.

We are delighted to have renown local photographer, Mike Wakefield, leading us through local natural wonderlands for a nature photography workshop.

In partnership with Parkgate Library, I am thrilled that Phil Henderson of Strix Environmental Consulting, will present photos and stories from “An Old-School Naturalist: Glenn Roderick Ryder (1938-2013)”. Phil and Wayne Campbell from the Biodiversity Centre for Wildlife Studies celebrated and commemorated this amazing naturalist by writing this book which shares Glenn Ryder’s stories and profound respect for the natural world. Register at 604-929-3727 ext. 8166. Program on Friday Oct. 14th at 11 a.m. Then we will go on a short nature walk along Old Buck Trail to the Heritage Centre.

Focused on the intrinsic connections between art and nature, two programs will inspire us: Bring your drawing pencils and sketch book for an Outdoor Drawing Workshop With Janna Kumi at Dinky Peak in Mount Seymour Provincial Park. For Culture Days, Trevor Carolan will present a 30 minute Documentary Film: “Power Ground-The Life and Breath of the World”. Acclaimed Cascadian writers and ecologists re-think how we can win back the Earth in a time of eco-crisis.

So come enjoy nature with us, socialize and stay inspired!

Elders Council for Parks in BC – Collaborative Parks for Life

Elders Collaborative Parks for life

 Times Colonists Story

The Elders Council for Parks in BC have launched community intervention to help improve the BC Parks system.  The hope is that The Parks Collaborative – Victoria program can bring the community together for financial and technical support to supplement the provincial government’s contributions.  They have chosen 10 projects to complete over 2 years in 42 provincial parks around southern Vancouver Island to help create a legacy for future generations.



The Elders Council for Parks has partnered up with Global Parks for international volunteering opportunities. Check out the Volunteer section of our website for more details on opportunities!