Vanessa Oddy (right) and her mom Diane Bruinsma are seen here on Aug. 11, 2020 with Oddy’s two children Aiden (grey shirt) and John (red shirt) and her niece Fay and nephew Nash (at back). Oddy, along with her two sisters who own the Chilliwack Corn Maze, is getting ready to open their attraction on Aug. 14. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Vanessa Oddy (right) and her mom Diane Bruinsma are seen here on Aug. 11, 2020 with Oddy’s two children Aiden (grey shirt) and John (red shirt) and her niece Fay and nephew Nash (at back). Oddy, along with her two sisters who own the Chilliwack Corn Maze, is getting ready to open their attraction on Aug. 14. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)

Chilliwack corn maze design inspired by children’s book about finding happiness everywhere

‘Wander’-themed design is ‘inspirational and beautiful,’ says Chilliwack Corn Maze owner

A children’s book about finding joy wherever one goes was the inspiration for this year’s design at a corn maze in Chilliwack.

Mountains, trees, a night sky and pages from a picture book called The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth are all part of the pathways winding through the Chilliwack Corn Maze, set to open on Saturday, Aug. 14.

This year’s design also features the word “wander” in and amongst the local scenery cut out in the rows of corn.

“Our hope for this year is to ignite an eagerness in children and adults to find the joy around them wherever they are and wherever they go,” said Vanessa Oddy, who owns the business along with her two sisters. “Our message to the community is that beauty and happiness are all around us if we take the time to look for it – a reminder to stay present as you wander through life.”

The 2021 design for the Chilliwack Corn Maze. (Submitted)

The 2021 design for the Chilliwack Corn Maze. (Submitted)

She, along with sisters Danielle Miller and Mariah Vermeer, took over the Chilliwack Corn Maze last year. It was previously run by their parents, Diane and John Bruinsma and the Taekema family for 22 years.

The design of the maze is different every year and past years have featured themes like the 40th anniversary of University of the Fraser Valley, the 35th anniversary of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope and 50 years of the Vancouver Canucks.

This year’s design is “inspirational and beautiful,” Oddy said.

RELATED: How the Chilliwack Corn Maze is created every year

As people wander through the mountain design cut into the corn and step into star- and crescent-shaped paths, they can read a story along the way. The Boy Who Spoke to the Earth is written by adventure photographer Chris Burkard and illustrated by Disney interactive artist David McClellan.

It’s a story of a boy looking for happiness and the magic that happens when one takes the time to stand still for just a moment.

Oddy and her sisters worked for a long time with the publisher to get permission to use the book inside the maze, but it was worth it since the book holds a special place in their hearts.

The sisters all had babies around the same time a few years back and they each got a signed copy of the book from a friend. All of them read the story often to their children.

The Chilliwack Corn Maze opens on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (Julie Christine)

The Chilliwack Corn Maze opens on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021. (Julie Christine)

Oddy said she’s hoping the book that has inspired her and her family for years, and was the inspiration for this year’s maze design, will encourage people of all ages to be mindful and aware.

It’s a message “we all need to hear” given the past year and a half with COVID-19, she said.

There will be two opening celebrations with a free pancake breakfast from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on both Aug. 14 and Aug. 21. Breakfast is free with admission.

Also on Aug. 21, there will be a children’s balloon artist from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a grand opening concert featuring the Tanner Olsen band from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. For more info, go to www.chilliwackcornmaze.com.

Owners of the Chilliwack Corn Maze (from left): Steve and Danielle Miller, Vanessa and James Oddy, and Chris and Mariah Vermeer. (Submitted)

Owners of the Chilliwack Corn Maze (from left): Steve and Danielle Miller, Vanessa and James Oddy, and Chris and Mariah Vermeer. (Submitted)


 

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