The Ladysmith Maritime Society’s “car shop” will be open and will offer demonstrations of heritage vessel restoration during Heritage Afloat Saturday

The Ladysmith Maritime Society’s “car shop” will be open and will offer demonstrations of heritage vessel restoration during Heritage Afloat Saturday

Rediscover the Ladysmith Harbour during Heritage Afloat

A special family Heritage Week event at the LMS Community Marina Saturday, Feb. 22 will honour Ladysmith's maritime heritage.

If heritage floats your boat, you’ll want to be at the Ladysmith Maritime Society (LMS) Community Marina next Saturday for Heritage Afloat, a special all-ages event to mark Heritage Week.

Heritage Afloat will take place Saturday, Feb. 22 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the LMS Community Marina and will be presented by the LMS and the Town of Ladysmith’s Heritage Revitalization Advisory Commission.

Communities in B.C. celebrate Heritage Week each year, beginning on National Heritage Day — the third Monday of February. This year, Heritage Week takes place Feb. 17-23, and the theme celebrates B.C. communities that have thrived along our waterways and harbours.

Heritage Afloat at the LMS Community Marina and in and around the historic Expo Building at 610 Oyster Bay Dr. will feature a wide variety of activities for all ages.

“It’s really kind of like an open house here,” explained Rod Smith, the LMS business manager.

Smith says there will be a lot of maritime art and many people speaking about maritime heritage throughout the day.

The Harbour Heritage Centre will be open, and speakers will discuss harbour industries such as coal exports, logging and oyster harvesting.

The “car shop” where people restore their heritage boats will be open, and Smith says people will be demonstrating the art of heritage vessel restoration during the day.

In the old amphitheatre on Oyster Bay Drive, there will be model ship building for children.

On the docks, people will be able to go onboard a number of vessels, and both the Ladysmith Maritime Museum and the shed that houses the heritage boats will be open.

There will be a chance to see restored heritage boats such as the Saravan tug boat and the 29-foot C. A. Kirkegard, a classic wooden crew boat.

There will be a display of student marine-themed art in the Marine Visitor Reception Centre, and Smith says there will also be maritime music on the dock.

Between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the restored Maritimer will be offering guided harbour tours every half-hour, by donation.

During the day, there will be a chance to see Stz’uminus First Nation canoes, carving and art displays and to hear stories of early life on our shores.

If you get hungry or thirsty, there will be coffee, tea and snacks in the Marine Visitor Reception Centre, and the Ladysmith Rotary Club will be running a concession. Money raised from the food sales will go to Rotary’s PolioPlus Fund as part of a world event to celebrate 108 years of Rotary working to eradicate polio.