The Shady Isle Pirates is an all-ages family friendly registered British Columbia non-profit society that was first formed in the Okanagan Valley in October, 2004. Orginally known as the Beer Bard Privateers, the mission of the group was not only to promote and preserve nautical heritage while raising money for charitable organizations, but also to experience maritime culture and arts from a hands-on live re-enactment approach.
One of the group's first projects was to create a manned "mini-tallship" complete with traditional working sails. It soon became known as the mini-brigantine project. While the idea of a miniature manned traditional sailing vessels is not new, there were no working examples from which to go on. A small sailing brig was designed from scratch, which could accomodate two adults, and four cannons.
On May 5th, 2005 during the Centennial Celebration of the city of Kelowna, the mini-brig "Adventure" was launched with great success. Since her inaugural voyage, the Adventure, has made many appearances in both public and private festivals and events. In 2007, a sister-ship, the Liberte was launched. Other activities have included shanty singing, costuming and teaming up with local rapier enthusiasts to learn the art of sword play.
Mini-Brig Battles in Westport, WA - June, 2008
In August 2008, the group re-located back to Steveston, British Columbia, sailing in Steveston harbour across from what is known to the locals as "Shady Island". The name changed from Beer Bard Privateers to Shady Isle Pirates to better reflect the area in which we live and operate and the all ages family-friendly character of the group.
Shady Island at Sunset
Currently, we are actively operating the mini-brigs in messabouts, and in festivals, as well as working on costuming and practicing traditional music. Hundreds of man hours go into maintaining the brigs each year from her volunteer crews. Partial proceeds from any monies earned are donated to local charity groups - such as nautical heritage sites, and cultural projects.
Come Get Involved With US!
We are always looking for nautically minded individuals who are interested in "messing-about" in boats, sharing nautical traditions such as music and shanty singing, learning the art of sword-fighting or participating in festivals and raising money or volunteering for local charity events and nautical heritage organizations.
We give where we live! Helping our community and others - since 2008, we have been able to donate to the following organizations:
One of BC's few historically intact canneries, the Gulf of Georgia Cannery commemorates the history of Canada's West Coast fishing industry from the 1870's to the present. Inside the massive wooden building visitors will experience an introductory film, guided tours with knowledgeable interpreters, and interactive exhibits. This vibrant heritage is justly celebrated in the picturesque fishing village of Steveston, home to Canada's largest fishing fleet as well as many tempting shops and restaurants.
The purpose of the Society is to preserve the history of commercial boat building in Steveston. The activities of the Society include: collecting artifacts, photographs & documents; raising funds for the restoration, repair and preservation of heritage vessels and associated elements of Steveston's history. The Society is also directly involved in education, research and promoting general understanding and enjoyment of Canada's West Coast marine history in an open and park-like setting.
Canada's principal maritime museum on the Pacific, located in English Bay, the heart of one of Canada's greatest ports at the gateway to the Pacific Rim. For 45 years, they have been Pacific Canada's premier link to maritime history, art, culture, industry and technology.
The GHHS owns and operates the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, providing educational, vocational, recreational and ambassadorial activities and experiences that promote and preserve the maritime history of Grays Harbor, the Pacific Northwest, and our nation while serving the needs of the community.
Our mailing address is:
The Shady Isle Pirate Society
Box 1 - 11900 Seabrook Cres.
Richmond, BC V7A 3J4