New summer festival for New Westminster’s West End

Boy, it sure doesn’t feel like summer outside. As some of you know, I am in the midst of planning a new summer festival for New West, appropriately called Summerfest in Grimston Park. It hardly seems possibly that we’re only a little more than a month away from the July 17 event with all this rain!

Happily, things are ticking along. I’ve made a new page for the event on, but I’ll also post some updates here for those who like to follow along. Here’s the short version of what’s in store:

Tenth to the Fraser is proud to present a new community festival in New Westminster’s West End: Summerfest in Grimston Park. Meet your neighbours, explore the new playground at Grimston Park, enjoy free live music and activities, and, at dusk, watch a movie under the stars. Bring the family and pack a picnic or bring a little cash to buy food on site. Summerfest is brought to you by Tenth to the Fraser, the West End Residents’ Association, the West End Business Association and New Westminster Parks, Culture & Recreation.

We’ve got a couple of major sponsors on board now (thank you Derek Thornhill and Dawn Black!) and a number of other individuals and organizations that are chipping in money, time and services to help make this thing happen.

I have always used Tenth to the Fraser as a catalyst for deeper personal connection to my community, but this is taking it to a whole other level. I’m not just making new friends through the blog, becoming involved in existing events or supporting others to launch new events. I’m starting something new, something I’ve never done before. Honestly, it’s a little scary. Thankfully, I’m not alone. Working with me on the organizing committee is Gavin McLeod from WERA, West End-er Mary-Ann Mortensen, Renee Chadwick from New West Parks, Rec & Culture, and John Ashdown from the West End Business Association. With their help, things are taking shape nicely.

It may be cold and rainy now, but I am envisioning the hot sunny days ahead, and looking forward to playing with the kids in the Grimston wading pool, hearing my fave RCFM busker Ross Werlick work the frets on his steel guitar and laying back on a blanket at dusk to watch E.T. phone home.

7 Replies to “New summer festival for New Westminster’s West End”

  1. Looks like Will and his "NEXT" group are trying are trying to de-rail the 12th street event. Good idea for Grimston, very bad timing for the 12th street people Will.

  2. Hello 'Jamie'!

    Thanks for commenting. In the interests of keeping the comments on this website well informed, please be aware of the following:

    1) I am not really involved with the planning or genesis of the Summerfest in Grimston

    2) I am not really involved in NEXT New West.

    3) NEXT New West is not involved (perhaps not even aware) of Summerfest in Grimston Park.

    4) John Ashdown of the West End business assn, organizer of the 12th st festival IS involved with organizing the Summerfest in Grimston Park.

    5) One goal of the Summerfest in Grimston Park is to promote the 12th St Festival. It is a perfect booster event, set prior to the 12th St. schedule.

    6) I like and support the 12th st festival. I volunteered last year to help John and his his team.

    7) NEXT New West is not a political group and has no plans or need to derail anything. But then again, I wouldn't really know, not being involved very much.

    8 ) I think you are trying to infer that I am part of some political movement or team that is trying to do… something, I don't know. At least you got my name right.

    Please do not use a name and email address that points to others, as if you speak for them. It is plain to me you are not currently on city council. You also spelled his name wrong.

  3. Just a note for 'Jamie' and other anonymous commenters: while we will continue to publish on-topic comments by anonymous authors, we will no longer allow comments by those who use an invalid email address. It's important to me that if you are commenting you are willing to stand behind your words in private, if not in public. Next time, please use a valid email so we can respond if there are any misunderstandings, such as in the comment above.

  4. @"Jamie"

    It may benefit you to understand that promoting your own event is the commonly known way to effectively ensure its succuss.

    Taking a pot-shot at a person's spouse because you imagine they are interfering with your agenda, with no suggestion of evidence, is a great way to ensure those who are curious will avoid your event.

    BTW, I have no political or other interest in the success of Summerfest or your event (I've tried, but couldn't find any online information to give it a name), so please don't assume I'm part of the conspiracy to "de-rail the 12th st event". I'm just someone who finds comments like yours in bad taste.

  5. Sorry Will and Briana I am going to have to side with Jamie on this one. How long have you been in town for? The problem here in New Westminster is we have a bunch of Johnny come latelys who got them selfs elected with help from special interests combined with city directors who are piling on the debt for our great grand children and your blog just once to take shots at commentors instead of reporting on the real issues.

  6. Hi Bobby O,

    I'm not really sure what you mean or why you have a problem with us creating a new fun event for people in this city … let alone what it has to do with your political frustrations. I think maybe you have the wrong idea about what we're doing here.

    I'm volunteering my time and energy to create something new and fun because I saw a need for a West End event that could be a catalyst for neighbours here to mix & mingle. The 12th St. event is a totally different vibe. I don't see the two as competing. If anything, I envisioned promoting the 12th St Fest at Summerfest.

    The festival is my way of connecting with my community and giving back. It's the antithesis of "just wants to take shots at commenters" – it's creating something new. What have you done for this city lately?

    We are not reporters. We don't run this site to "report on the real issues." That's what the good folks at the Newsleader & Record are PAID to do. We write about what interests us, when we have time to write it. In other words, it's our hobby, not our job. If the things that interest us don't interest you, you are welcome to take your eyeballs elsewhere.

    How long we've been in town is irrelevant, but I'll answer you anyway. Will's family came to New Westminster in 1909. His grandfather was born here. So was his father. Will lived here for most of his life, and moved back six years ago or so. I attended college here years ago, and moved here about four years ago.

    We can (and likely do) disagree about local politics, but I don't see what that has to do with an event like this summer festival. It's just a good time with neighbours in the community. Unlike certain other festivals, it has no grant funding, so it's not even contributing to the debt load you're so concerned about for the city. There are no "special interests" who are behind this, just ordinary folks. Lighten up.

  7. Well said Briana, that is a long history your family has in our fair city. Bobby is again misinformed, he really needs to get his facts together before he comments. The tax payers in New Westminster don't mind our high taxes because of all the wonderful things this city provides compared to the surrounding cities. What's a little debt, live for today.

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