Special to The Tribune
The British Columbia Ambassador program is a youth scholarship competition designed as a continuation of all the hard work and dedication of royalty from more than 30 different communities across B.C.
Each year a team of three British Columbia Ambassadors are selected to represent our province’s youth while promoting “motivation, education and self-esteem.”
In August 2009, my community and my name were called upon to represent our province.
Now, an average year is comprised of 12 months, 52 weeks, and 365 days; however, my year as a BC Ambassador was far from average.
During my reign, I travelled approximately 31,750 kilometres all over beautiful B.C., “The Best Place on Earth,” reaching as far west as Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island and as far east as Calgary, Alta.
While promoting positive youth programs, I was involved with nearly 350 events, both provincially and locally. This included visiting 28 different communities, 15 festivals, and 13 parades that enrich our province’s culture.
Representing B.C., I attended 21 coronations (or crownings), including an ice palace crowning, a powwow princess competition and a knighting ceremony.
In total, out of 175 candidates, I personally witnessed 72 youth crowned for their accomplishments.
I treasured each and every experience and I would like to thank everyone who made these events possible — from braving river rapids in Lytton to racing in on horseback carrying the B.C. flag at the “World Famous Williams Lake Stampede.”
I chatted with Santa Claus, escorted the Easter Bunny, and cosied up for a photo-op with all three Vancouver Olympics mascots.
At the 2010 Winter Olympics, the B.C. Ambassador team helped in welcoming the world to our province and I celebrated in Olympic and Paralympic Torch Relays from Williams Lake through multiple B.C. communities all the way to downtown Vancouver.
Throughout the year, I had the honour and the pleasure of meeting the prime ministers of Canada and the Netherlands, and B.C.’s premier and lieutenant governor, along with neighbouring VIPs — the premier of Alberta and the Calgary Stampede royalty.
As ambassadors, we successfully raised funds to help achieve the goal of $8,500 to build a school for an African village in need through Free The Children.
We ended our reign with our additional donations establishing the British Columbia Ambassadors Provincial Trust Fund, which provides financial support to encourage Community Royalty programs. At our retirement, we presented the community of Elkford with a $1,000 donation to assist with their Youth Ambassador program.
On May 28, I travelled to the community of Elkford as a representative for the BC Ambassador Committee to witness first hand the impact of our donation at their second annual coronation.
Thank you so much to my community — Williams Lake, Stampede Capital of B.C. — for such phenomenal support and for embracing me as our community’s very first British Columbia Ambassador.
It was such an honour representing our unique western hospitality throughout our beautiful province.
I would also like to thank every volunteer and sponsor who works to provide these unique opportunities for youth to further their education, both personally and professionally. None of this would be possible without you.
Since my retirement as a BC Ambassador, in an effort to support these youth programs one step further, I have gotten involved locally as a member of the Williams Lake Stampede Queens Committee and provincially on the British Columbia Ambassador Committee. I have assisted with advertising and promotion, organizing events, informing and preparing candidates, and I have literally “wrote the book on B.C.” by creating the BC Ambassador Knowledge Exam Study Guide.
I would like to give heartfelt congratulations to the 2010/11 British Columbia ambassador team — Sydney Sankey of Quesnel, Maile-Rae Hamilton of Cowichan Lake, and Andrea Threatful of Revelstoke.
And the best of luck to the 2011 British Columbia ambassador candidates with their preparations for the 12th annual competition this August — including B.C. candidate Nicole Roberts, the 2010/11 Stampede Princess, representing Williams Lake.
For more information on the BC Ambassador program visit www.bcambassador.com.