Skip to content

Roberts Creek Community Hall celebrates its 90th anniversary

Festivities include the quinquennial tradition of a Creeker group photograph
Crowds gathered outside the community hall in Roberts Creek on the occasion of its 85th anniversary.

One of the Coast’s most colourful gathering places is about to get an honour very few 90-year-olds receive, even after a significant facelift: a new name.

The Roberts Creek Community Hall will mark its birthday on May 26, almost nine decades to the day after residents completed construction on a 0.22-acre plot of land donated by early settler John Roberts. 

Now managed by the xwesam-Roberts Creek Community Association, the hall is due to get a new name reflective of the territory where it stands: xwesam-Roberts Creek Community Hall. 

xwesam is the name for the Roberts Creek area in the she shashishalhem language of the shíshálh Nation. shíshálh artist Dion Louie will present a new carving for the hall and local muralist Dean Schutz is scheduled to hand-paint new signage for the facility.

“Our operational name is currently xwesam-Roberts Creek Community Association,” said Karen Spicer, vice-president of the nonprofit organization. “So this is just a natural extension of that. It’s part of our commitment to reconciliation and recognizing that the hall is located on the unceded traditional territories of the shíshálh swiya.”

The 90th birthday celebration follows major upgrades to the hall completed last year, including kitchen infrastructure modernization, water and septic improvements, exterior restoration and a roof replacement.

“It’s always the place that people would come and meet and hold anything from birthday parties to political discussions or workshops,” said Arwen MacDonald. MacDonald is artistic and administrative director of the Coast Rogue Arts Society, which teamed up with Roberts Creek’s community association to give the community hall the party it deserves. 

While the annual Rogue Arts Festival is on hiatus in 2024, MacDonald deployed her volunteer network to assist with the hall anniversary. “It’ll be our Rogue team that will be coming in and volunteering to run this event,” she said.

“The event is really a celebration of the Roberts Creek community, with the hall being the nexus of that,” added MacDonald.

The worldbeat dance band Roots Round Up is booked to perform on Saturday, May 25. The ensemble, which was founded in a small East Vancouver apartment in 1985, plans to release its latest album on the occasion. Admission is on a pay-what-you-can basis, with a suggested donation of $20.

Longtime Creek resident Scott Avery will deliver remarks about the hall’s history, while Semir’s Hot Dog Cart will be onsite to provide refreshments.

On Sunday, members of the Roberts Creek community gather for a quinquennial tradition: the Creeker group photograph. A previous community photo was featured on the Spring 2016 edition of British Columbia History magazine, accompanying a series of articles celebrating the impact of community halls across the province.

The hall in Roberts Creek was added to the heritage register of the Sunshine Coast Regional District nine years ago, noted for its community heritage value as an “important focal point for the community.”

“Back when I was a little bit of a miscreant teenager, the hall was always that place where it felt like everybody was welcome,” said MacDonald. “We really wanted to reflect that with this event. It’s really unique to be able to have this amazing community-based venue that reflects the work and efforts of its community.”

Details about the 90th anniversary celebration and the quinquennial photograph are available by browsing to