Posted on September 8, 2023

Word Rivers Day 2023

World Rivers Day September 24th, 2023

Rivers are homes for many species of animals, provide water for drinking, and support people as they boat, swim, create, and live. Our rivers are a priceless resource, spaces that must be protected and cared for to be strong and vibrant for future generations. Canada has an enormous network of rivers and lakes, but many are stressed due to human development and industrialization.

BC Rivers Day was established in 1980 by Mark Angelo and the Outdoor Recreation Council of BC; in 2005, the event expanded into an international event and is World Rivers Day. World Rivers Day happens on the 4th Sunday of September. We have included a BC Rivers Day scavenger hunt to help you look carefully at your environment. On September 24th, we encourage you to go to your nearest river, explore and enjoy the day.

Rivers, Railways and People

The rivers of Canada have played an important role in sustaining life, shaping the landscapes, and have provided a transportation system for humans for thousands of years. When fur traders and Western explorers came to Canada, indigenous guides helped the newcomers navigate the waterways.

Once gold was discovered in the Fraser River, settlers worldwide sought fortunes in the new colony of British Columbia, often using the rivers to reach their destinations. During the gold rush and the early days of BC, paddle wheelers were used to carry people, supplies, and animals on rivers and lakes to settlements. Once BC joined the Dominion of Canada, the building of the Canadian Pacific Railroad connected the new nation of Canada to the world. The railroads of Canada were often built beside rivers and lakes, providing essential water for the steam engines.

Rivers and water have played a vital role in industrialization, helping us to produce steam and electric power. Steam power was essential in the early years of British Columbia and Canada as steam engines powered sawmills, moved heavy loads, and helped build roads and railroads.  The water needed to run steam engines came from many different sources, often from the closest body of fresh water. Railroads were often built close to rivers and lakes because steam engines needed to fill with fuel and water regularly. In Canada, steam locomotives moved people, equipment, animals, food, and luxury goods from city to city and coast to coast between 1885 and the 1950s.

Click Here to Download Scavenger Hunt Items

Article written by Kamloops Heritage Railway

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