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Coho Society and Coho Festival North Shore Vancouver

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To contact the new Coho Society web page please click here:


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Started in 1980 as a local initiative by West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, the Annual Coho Festival has grown over the years to be the major environmental happening on the North Shore.


The Coho Society is a volunteer, environmentally based organization registered under the Society Act of BC and committed to protecting and revitalizing North Shore salmon streams and rivers.

educationThe Coho Society is managed by a Board of Directors comprised of individuals elected by the members and those appointed by government and business organizations. Appointed directors include representatives of the three North Shore Councils, both School Districts, Squamish Nation, Greater Vancouver Regional District, Canada Fisheries & Oceans and North and West Vancouver Chambers of Commerce, all of whom place a high priority on protection of the environment.

To meet its objectives, the Society takes a leading role with business, government, education, First Nations and environmental groups in promoting public awareness and understanding of fisheries as a valuable living but fragile resource.

Fish culture programs in schools, Adopt-a-Fist field days and special events through the year are examples of activities to boost public awareness and participation.

The Society’s planning and organizing for the year culminates with the annual Coho Festival at Ambleside Park and at other North Shore locations in September. The festival is presented as a Celebration of Nature’s Annual Miracle of Salmon Returning to North Shore Rivers and Streams.

Besides sending an important environment message, the purpose of the festival and the Society’s other endeavours is to raise funds for salmonid culture programs in North Shore schools and to support volunteer-managed fish hatcheries and local environmental groups involved in stream protection. Over the years, the Society has raised $750,000 for salmonid enhancement activities on the North Shore.

mountainsriverStewardship is the key to protecting our watersheds. Co-operative effort by government agencies, volunteer organizations, enlightened developers and other partners to protect and revitalize our salmon streams is producing results. However, despite some recent, positive and encouraging developments, pollution from chemicals and construction activity continues to threaten the health of our urban streams.

Coho Society and its partners have made raising public awareness and creating a sense of pride in our watersheds a top priority. The objective is to have all citizens, regardless of age, actively involved as stewards of this fragile heritage resource.

The challenge is to involve citizens of all ages in a community-wide effort to bring wild salmon back in ever-increasing numbers to North Shore streams and rivers. Together we can make it happen!

The Coho Festivals are a highly successful North Shore community event. Great weather and enthusiastic participation by a record crowd on Coho Festival Sunday cap off the week’s activities.

Many people take part in the Coho Walk down the Capilano River, and turn out for the 14K Coho Run from Kitsilano Park to Ambleside Beach. Celebrity chefs serve over 1400 salmon barbecued meals. In addition to these events, North Shore residents and visitors were treated to a variety of art exhibits, stage presentations, new environmental displays and games for the youngsters.

jimmccarthyThese results would not be possible without the efforts of many volunteers and the generosity of our sponsors, whose considerable contributions are acknowledged in the North Shore News and on this website.

To all who participated in making past Festivals a success, your support was greatly appreciated. We look forward to seeing you again at this year’s Coho Festival!

This popular North Shore family affair attracts large crowds of local residents and visitors from across the Lower Mainland and elsewhere. Join in and help restore North Shore salmon streams for present and future generations.

– Coho Family Walk
down the Capilano River

– Entertainment
local and visiting performers

– Coho Run
Kitsilano/Stanley Park to Ambleside

– Youth Programs
games and contests

– Blessing of the Salmon Ceremony
by members of the Squamish Nation

– Beach & Field Activities
action events and demonstrations

– Famous Salmon Barbecue
with Celebrity Chefs

– Environmental Displays
fish culture challenges

– Beer Garden
refreshments and classic rock band

– Visual Arts Exhibition
displays by North Shore artists and photographers

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