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Name changes ahead for two Bowen beaches

New names aim to recognize Squamish Nation and end confusion over proper names
Pebble Beach aka Roger Curtis Beach in Summer 2023.

A pair of Bowen beaches are slated to receive new Squamish language names.

Crayola Beach in the Bluewater neighbourhood and Pebble Beach at Cape Roger Curtis were chosen to receive new names for a few reasons, the primary one being a recommendation in the Bowen Island Parks Plan which encourages working with Squamish Nation to name important areas within island parks, such as beaches or trails.

“I think this is consistent with what we’re seeing in other parts of Howe Sound, particularly in the Biosphere Region… where we are seeing Squamish place names replacing the colonial names,” said Mayor Andrew Leonard.

Manger of environment and parks planning Carla Skuce explained that in addition to recognizing the original inhabitants of the island, a change of names would resolve some practical issues at each beach.

“Pebble Beach was too confusing with Pebbly Beach so we want an entirely different name,” said Skuce, referencing the almost identically-named beach at Mannion Bay. Many people also informally refer to the Cape beach as Roger Curtis Beach, owing to its location at the end of Roger Curtis Lane.

As for Crayola Beach, Skuce said the widely-used name isn’t agreed upon by everyone in the neighbourhood, with some people preferring the original name Bluewater Beach. The commonly-used Crayola name references multi-coloured fence posts created at the westside site a few decades ago which resemble crayons. Skuce added there was some objection to having the beach named after a company, and also suggested the name dispute could be why the Crayola Beach sign has been stolen several times over the last decade.

“With the Bluewater/Crayola Beach I think also an entirely different name solves the problem of any kind of disagreement over what the name is,” she said.

Once Squamish Nation has picked names for each beach, their new titles will be sent to the BC Geographical Names Office for formal adoption. The entire process will likely take several months to become official.

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