Downtown Abbotsford Winter Jubilee Attracts Record Crowds for 28th Annual Tree Lighting & Christmas Fair

Downtown Abbotsford Winter Jubilee Attracts Record Crowds for 28th Annual Tree Lighting & Christmas Fair

December 13, 2017 (Abbotsford, B.C.) - Despite a bit of rain, the 28th annual Winter Jubilee tree lighting and Christmas fair attracted record crowds to Downtown Abbotsford on December 2 from 5:00 to 9:00 pm. More than 6,000 attendees packed the streets of Essendene and Montrose Avenues to kick off the holidays during Abbotsford's popular free outdoor Christmas celebration. 

The annual event has seen a significant spike in traffic over the years due to event improvements, new Downtown merchants, and a growing population of community-minded residents. In 2016 the annual tree lighting evolved into the "Winter Jubilee" as it's known now, and was expanded to include more live entertainment, Christmas markets, photos with Mr. & Mrs. Claus, a beer garden and other festive activities for families. New in 2017 was the addition of a second stage, pony rides, bounce castle, face painting, balloon twisting and appearances by Christmas characters like Frosty the Snowman, The Grinch, Olaf, elves and Santa's reindeer; plus more food trucks and vendors, and a larger craft beer and wine garden. 

"We were delighted to be able to host this event again this year and are thrilled by the community's enthusiasm for this annual holiday celebration," said Dave Algra, President of the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association. "We're already looking forward to next year's Winter Jubilee on December 1, 2018 and hope to be able to add a few new surprises!"  

The 2017 Winter Jubilee attendees enjoyed live entertainment on two stages, a craft beer and wine garden, children’s activities, pictures with Santa, three Christmas markets, Christmas carollers, food trucks, pony rides, fireworks and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus with a short parade, led by the Abbotsford Police Department and the 861 Silverfox Air cadets.

The 2017 Winter Jubilee was once again hosted by the Downtown Abbotsford Business Association in collaboration with many new community partners, including presenting sponsors - Tourism Abbotsford, Upper Montrose and Coast Capital Savings and community partners - City of Abbotsford, RBC Royal Bank, Algra Brothers, Spruce Collective, Aldergrove Credit Union, Prospera Credit Union, Envision Financial, A & D Music, Vancity, The Abbotsford News, Abbotsford Arts Council, Infinity Properties, The Abbotsford Tulip Festival, Home Depot, Ledgeview Christmas Tree Farms, Xtreme Talent, Tracycakes Bakery Cafe, Fraser Valley Cedars, Canadian Tire, Save On Foods Sumas Way, Abbotsford Kiwanis Foundation, Abbotsford Minute Man Press and Dynamic Dance.

For more information visit

Photo credit: Malcolm McEwan

The Biggest & Brightest Holiday Show in the Fraser Valley kicks off November 18th at Highstreet

November 3, 2017 (Abbotsford, B.C.) – The biggest and brightest holiday experience in the Valley returns Saturday, November 18th at 5:00 pm to Highstreet Shopping Centre with their 5th annual Highstreet Holiday Show and Tree Lighting. Highlights of this free show includes the lighting of a dazzling 65 foot Christmas tree, one of the tallest in Canada, along with Santa's arrival to Highstreet. Other crowd favourites include Rudolf, Frosty, Spandy Andy the dancing elf, a 40-piece marching band, festive dancers, and to top it all off – a magical snowfall. Highstreet’s 30-minute live show includes a multi-media light display utilizing 6,000 tri-color LED bulbs set to seasonal musical favourites.

“Once again, we’re excited to bring this holiday tradition to the Fraser Valley and delight our guests with a truly spectacular outdoor show,” says Markus Griesser, General Manager, Highstreet.

Festivities begin on November 18th with live shows running every Saturday at 5:00 pm until December 16th. Holiday shopping hours begin Sunday, November 19th, with stores open 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, and 10:00 am – 7:00 pm on Sundays. Highstreet is located at 3122 Mt Lehman Road, Exit 83 off HWY 1. For more information on the Fraser Valley’s premier shopping, dining and VIP theatre destination, please visit

Additional Highstreet holiday festivities include:

PHOTOS WITH SANTA  November 19 – December 24
Visit Highstreet’s oversized Holiday Gift Box, home to Santa and his beloved elves. The private experience allows each family to have a perfect photo moment with Santa. Photos are $20 and include a high resolution digital image and a free 5X7 print, compliments of London Drugs. Visit for Santa Hours. Mondays are by appointment only.
Please call (604) 381-3934 to book.

SANTA'S MAILBOX  November 19 – December 10
Drop off your holiday wish list to Santa in Highstreet's oversized mailbox, located inside the Post Office at London Drugs. Santa’s helpers will collect the letters and ensure a personalized note comes back to you from the jolly man himself. For every letter collected, Highstreet will donate a can of food to the Abbotsford Food Bank. Letters must be received by December 10 in time to reach the North Pole.

GIFT WRAPPING + PERSONAL SHOPPING  November 19 – December 24
Complimentary gift wrap is offered all season long by donation to Run for Water, Letishas’s Well. Drop by the holiday gift wrap station at Highstreet's Guest Services. Personal shopping is available, as well as Highstreet gift cards.

BLACK FRIDAY  November 24
Black Friday marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season with amazing sales and promotions.  Hours are 10:00 am – 9:00 pm.

Handmade at Highstreet is presented by Loving Local and runs December 6 - 9 in Unit J150, across from GNC.  Visit for market details.

BOXING DAY  December 26
It’s an annual tradition. Shoppers won’t want to miss out on some of the best sales of the year. Highstreet will be open 10:00 am – 7:00 pm. That’s 8 hours of shopping, dining and amazing deals!

Highstreet is a 600,000 square foot outdoor shopping centre bringing urban lifestyle shopping to the Fraser Valley with an open-air retail, dining and entertainment experience. The three level centre includes fashion, food, services and VIP theatre on the podium level. Anchor tenants include Sephora, Walmart Supercentre, London Drugs, H&M, Marshalls, OLD NAVY and Cineplex VIP Cinema.

Tanis Sullivan
Tanis Sullivan Communications



Highstreet gives the gift of the biggest & brightest holiday show in the Fraser Valley!

Tracycakes partners with celebrity Chef Vikram Vij

Tracycakes partners with celebrity Chef Vikram Vij


August 16, 2017 (Abbotsford, B.C.) - "East meets sweet" with a new partnership between Tracy Dueck, founder of Tracycakes Bakery Cafe and celebrity chef Vikram Vij to deliver a custom Tracycakes' dessert now available exclusively at My Shanti by Vikram Vij in South Surrey. 

After a chance meeting at a business event in Langley, Dueck pitched Vij on a South Asian inspired dessert that would blend Tracycakes' signature decadent cakes with the flavours of India for a unique dessert creation. That creation became a custom cake called The Sultan's Jewel, an ultra-moist chocolate cake infused with a silky coconut and cardamon infused custard, and crowned with a rich dark chocolate cinnamon ganache and an exotically-spiced almond-cocoa masala crumble.

"We're pleased to add Tracycakes' delicious new cake to our dessert menu," said Chef Vij. "Tracy has done a wonderful job of blending traditional Indian flavours into a rich chocolate dessert for a tempting finale to My Shanti's eclectic Indian fare." 

"It's been a dream of mine to collaborate with Vikram. As a successful restauranteur, author and TV personality, he is a true Canadian culinary icon, so to be able to develop a cake especially for one of his restaurants is an incredible honour," said Dueck. 


Chef Vikram Vij is an award-winning Indian-born Canadian chef, cookbook author, and television personality. He is co-owner of the Indian cuisine restaurants Vij's and Rangoli in Vancouver and My Shanti by Vikram Vij in South Surrey, BC. Over the past 20-plus years, Vij’s Restaurant has become renowned in Vancouver, across Canada and globally as one of the finest Indian dining experiences in the world. He also has a successful line of frozen packaged Indian meals called Vij's At Homewhich is now available in hundreds of major grocery retailers across Canada. Vij was a guest judge on Top Chef Canada three years in a row and was also a judge on Chopped Canada, Recipe to Riches and Dragon's Den. He is also the recipient of many awards including "Chef of the Year" from Vancouver Magazine's prestigious Restaurant Awards (2015). In 2014, My Shanti by Vikram Vij was named "Best New Restaurant" by the Globe and Mail and in 2017 the restaurant was named "Best Restaurant in Surrey, Delta, White Rock and Langley" in the 2017 Georgia Straight Golden Plate Awards. For more information, visit


Founded by Tracy Dueck in 2006, Tracycakes Bakery Cafe is a chic and cozy cafe that specializes in more than 40 varieties of signature cupcakes, high teas and a scrumptious selection of homemade foods. With two locations in Langley's historic Murrayville and Downtown Abbotsford, both cafes are a charming place to connect with friends, family and colleagues over breakfast or lunch, tea or coffee, and most importantly, a sweet treat Tracycakes is the recipient of numerous awards including the Business Excellence Award from the South Surrey White Rock Chamber of Commerce and was named Canada's Best Retro-Delicious Cupcake Bakery by the National Post newspaper. At Tracycakes, every bite is an occasion!

Please contact Tanis Sullivan at for Tracycakes interviews, samples high-resolution photos.



Tanis Sullivan
Tanis Sullivan Communications

ROADSIDE - A Harvest Social Returns this Fall

ROADSIDE - A Harvest Social Returns this Fall


Adult-Friendly, Family-Friendly and Pet-Friendly Autumn Attraction will be open weekends from September 16 to October 15 in Abbotsford.

August 14, 2017 (Abbotsford, B.C.) – Kick it roadside and get into the spirit of the harvest season at the Fraser Valley’s most “a-mazing” autumn attraction during the second annual ROADSIDE – A Harvest Social every weekend from September 16 to October 15th in Abbotsford.

From the organizers of the popular Abbotsford Tulip Festival and situated on the same 10-acre farm, ROADSIDE is the ultimate outdoor Fall experience. Enjoy a day in the country under the big Abby sky at this one-of-a-kind harvest themed event that offers three different corn mazes, including the Rookie Maze, All Star Maze and the popular Sampler Maze, plus autumn eats from BB Food on the Go, a Bevi Zone, tulip planting, and activities for the whole family – even the dogs!

ROADSIDE Sampler Maze admission includes four tastings throughout a three-kilometre maze from a selection of rotating partners including Field House Brewing, Ravens Brewing, Hathi Brewing, Trading Post, Old Yale Brewing, Maan Farms, Ripples Winery, Mt. Lehman Winery, Singletree Winery and Seaside Pearl Winery. All successful participants in the All Star Maze will also receive a reward upon completion. The Bevi Zone will feature ROADSIDE partners with all proceeds going to select charities. No minors are permitted into the Sampler Maze or Bevi Zone.

Advance ticket sales begin on September 5. Visit for more information and to purchase tickets.

WHAT:  ROADSIDE - A Harvest Social
The Fraser Valley’s most family-friendly, adult-friendly and canine-friendly outdoor fall attraction featuring three different corn mazes, including the Rookie Maze, All Star Maze and the popular Sampler Maze, plus a KidsZone play area, a Bevi Zone, and autumn eats.

36737 North Parallel Road Abbotsford, BC.
Exit 95 at Whatcom Rd.
(Same site as Abbotsford Tulip Festival)

$8 online or $10 at the gate(ages 3 - 18) includes taxes and parking and access to everything except the Sampler Maze and Bevi Zone.

$18 online or $20 at the gate (ages 19 +)  includes taxes and parking and provides access to all mazes and activities including the Sampler Maze and Bevi Zone (beverages a la carte).

Children 2 years and under are free.

Starting September 5, purchase discounted advance tickets online at Full price tickets available at the gate.


Follow Roadside on Instagram and Facebook

High resolution photos and select complimentary media tickets are available upon request.  Please contact Tanis Sullivan at to inquire.


Tanis Sullivan
Tanis Sullivan Communications






Meet Chef Jeff Massey

Meet Chef Jeff Massey

As seen in the Vancouver Sun on August 5, 2017

Meet the Chef: Jeff Massey of Restaurant 62

written by Randy Shore

Chef Jeff Massey has helped make Restaurant 62 one of the Fraser Valley’s go-to, fine-dining establishments. Massey learned his chops in Yaletown at Cioppino’s Mediterranean and the  Glowbal grills among others, and has since established Abbotsford’s R 62 as a farm-to-fork pioneer.

Q: What motivates and inspires you as a chef?

A: I am very inspired by working with the cooks and chefs here at the restaurant. It has been a lot of fun developing them from young cooks to really great cooks, and even better thinkers. Often young staff come in with little training and are enamoured by the kitchen. I love to work with them and get them to really think about food and plating and preparation. I take away all of the recipes and methods and turn them into skills and techniques that work for each individual.

Q: How would you describe the type of food you like to cook?

A: I really love to cook simple food. Layering simple flavours that really complement each other to enhance the dish. My favourite things to work with are simple, too. Sea salt, olive oil, fennel, sherry vinegar, fresh fish and scallops. In season, vegetables and fruits make up a huge part of what I do.

Q: What might diners not know about you?

A: In 2011, I was recognized in Western Living Magazine in their “Top 40 Foodies Under 40.”

Q: Describe a couple of your most recent creations.

A: I have been slow-cooking some amazing beef briskets. A deep sear on the surface adds such a rich flavour to the densely marbled meat of a brisket. A good dose of sea salt and a simple shallot, garlic and herb blend rubbed all over before heading into the oven for about six hours. Paired with parsnip puree and some aged blue cheese … ridiculous.

Q: What’s your favourite local product and how do you use it?

A: Rabbits are one of my favourite products and they are found right here in the Fraser Valley. We get whole fresh rabbits delivered from a small family farm in Popkum, just outside Chilliwack. They are such a beautiful product to work with. Large saddles that are so tender and sweet. We always incorporate the legs in some way to make each plate an entree that showcases the entire rabbit, often including the kidneys.

Q: If there’s one important piece of advice you might have for cooks, what might that be?

A: Taste your food. Always. During preparation and just before serving. Once you’ve tasted it, adjust. Use your senses to make sure it is what you’re looking for. Keep it balanced. Hot, sour, salty, sweet, these should all be complementary and one not too strong in any way. Too much of one throws the flavours of the dish out of whack.

Recipe: Pan-Roasted Ling Cod with Nettle Pesto

4 ling-cod filets (about 2 lbs., 908 g)

1 tsp (5 mL) fine sea salt

1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper

2 tbsp. (30 mL) canola oil

The vegetables

8 patty pan squash, split

1 yellow zucchini, cut into chunks

16 cherry tomatoes

4 golden beets

8 radishes

2 tbsp. (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Pat filets dry with paper towel. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan on medium high heat, sear fish on one side until golden crust forms. Turn filets and place in oven until firm to the touch, about 8-12 minutes depending on thickness of fish.

Wash and cut vegetables to roughly the same size. In a bowl, toss vegetables in olive oil and season with salt. Spread vegetables evenly on a sheet pan and bake until soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Stinging-Nettle pesto

3 cups (750 mL) tender nettle tops

1/4 cup (60 mL) Italian parsley

1/4 cup (60 mL) fresh basil

1/4 cup (60 mL) toasted pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup (60 mL) Parmesan cheese

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 tbsp. (15 mL) capers, drained

Juice and zest of one lemon

1/2 tsp (2 mL) sea salt

1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper

Wearing gloves, pick and rinse nettle tops. Fill a large bowl with water. In a large pot on high heat blanch nettles in 2 quarts (2 L) boiling water seasoned with 1 tbsp. salt for 30 seconds. Drain and immerse in cold water. Remove from cold water and press-out excess moisture. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Makes 1 cup (250 mL).



JULY 10, 2017 (RICHMOND, B.C.) – B.C.’s largest automotive retail group is getting personal with one of Canada’s hottest TV personalities - Todd Talbot, the co-host of Love It or List It Vancouver. OpenRoad Auto Group recently partnered with Talbot to produce a series of videos profiling Talbot and his new Toyota Tacoma from OpenRoad Toyota Richmond as part of a social media campaign being rolled out this week.

“You couldn’t get a better or more genuine spokesperson for your brand,” said Christian Chia, President & CEO of OpenRoad Auto Group. “Todd has been a long time customer of ours at MINI Yaletown, so we’re delighted to extend our relationship in this way to showcase his personal side and demonstrate how his OpenRoad vehicle fits into his lifestyle.”

The first video is titled “73 Questions with Todd Talbot” which features Talbot walking through OpenRoad Toyota Richmond while answering rapid fire questions and performing celebrity impressions and showing off his dance moves. OpenRoad will release a second video showcasing Talbot in the Toyota Tacoma later this month, followed by another series featuring another vehicle in early 2018.

The partnership between OpenRoad and Talbot also includes his work as an emcee at OpenRoad's annual charity golf tournament and social media posts from Talbot directly which will highlight the diversity of his vehicle for his work and lifestyle as a TV host, a realtor, renovator and a family man.

"Like most people, I'm really busy between working, moving, renovating, and being a dad, so the Tacoma plays a big role in my daily routine," said Talbot. "I look forward to sharing a glimpse behind-the-scenes, and I hope our friends on social media will come along for the ride!"

CLICK HERE to view OpenRoad's 73 Questions with Todd Talbot video interview. 

Interviews with OpenRoad spokespeople and high-resolution photos are available upon request. 

OpenRoad Auto Group is B.C.'s largest automotive dealership group with over 1,000 associates representing 18 quality automotive brands at 22 full-service car dealerships. Established In 2000, OpenRoad Auto Group offers car buyers and owners an experiential automotive retail service. With sales and service in multiple languages, OpenRoad Auto Group encourages a car buying experience based on openness, participation and expertise. OpenRoad is proud to be one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies, a CADA Laureate, and the recipient of multiple Canadian Best Employer Awards.

Photography credit: Todd Duncan Studios. Videography credit: Mark Philps


Tanis Sullivan