Chilliwack Corn Maze Design Inspired by Children’s Book About Finding Happiness Everywhere – Surrey Now-Leader


A children’s book on how to find joy wherever you go was the inspiration for this year’s design in a corn maze in Chilliwack.

Mountains, trees, a night sky and pages from a picture book titled The boy who spoke to the earth are all part of the trails that wind through the Chilliwack Corn Maze, scheduled to open on Saturday August 14th.

This year’s design also features the word “wander” in and among the local landscapes cut into the rows of corn.

“Our hope for this year is to make children and adults want to find joy around them wherever they are and wherever they go,” said Vanessa Oddy, who owns the business with his two sisters. “Our message to the community is that beauty and happiness are all around us if we take the time to seek it out – a reminder to stay present as you walk through life.”

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 each year and years past have featured themes like the 40th anniversary of the University of the Fraser Valley, the 35th anniversary of the Terry Fox Marathon of Hope and the 50th anniversary of the Vancouver Canucks. .

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

As people wander the design of the mountain carved out of corn and take star and crescent shaped trails, 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 interactive Disney artist David McClellan.

It is the story of a boy in search of happiness and the magic that happens when you take the time to stop for a moment.

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

The sisters all had babies around the same time a few years ago and each received a signed copy of a friend’s book. All often read the story to their children.

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

The Chilliwack Corn Maze will open on Saturday August 14, 2021. (Julie Christine)

Oddy said she hopes the book that has inspired her and her family for years, and that inspired 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 August 14 and 21. Breakfast is free with admission.

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

Tickets can be purchased online or at the door. For more information, visit

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

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

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