This year’s two Williams Lake Stampede Queen contestants — Laurin Hurd and Emilie Nichols — were introduced to city council during its regular meeting Tuesday.
2017 Stampede Queen Kaylee Billyboy presented the contestants, and Mayor Walt Cobb helped pin their sponsorship sashes to their right shoulders and placed tiaras on their cowboy hats with assistance from royalty director Patti Gerhardi.
Nichols said she grew up in the communities of Lac La Hache, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.
She played hockey and rugby and has recently returned to her love of horses.
Nichols thanked council for its support of the Stampede Queen program.
Hurd said she is proud to call Williams Lake her hometown and has been attending the rodeo since she was a little girl.
She grew up riding horses and started competing since the age of three in various events.
Being in the Stampede Queen contest has been a dream of Hurd’s for many years she told council.
DWLBIA entrepreneur attraction video
Council got the first look at a brand new two-minute video the Downtown Williams Lake Improvement Area has created to attract entrepreneurs to the lakecity.
The video, funded by a Northern Development Initiative Trust grant, features local business owners sharing their positive experiences.
“It is hoped the video can become a tool that the whole community can use,” Stephanie Hendrickson, DWLBIA executive director told council.
In the near future, the video will be posted on the DWLBIA’s website and social media pages and Hendrickson invited the City to put the video on its website and social media channels and use it for any economic development opportunities.
DWLBIA marketing director Vanessa Moberg directed the video and it was filmed and edited by local videographer John Dell.
New Colourful Cariboo Culture banners now installed along Oliver Street have been receiving positive feedback from the public and the DWLBIA is currently researching a possible downtown app, directional signage and updated print advertising that will collectively benefit downtown businesses, Hendrickson said.
“We are also actively planning to organize a digital marketing strategy, including an updated website and increasing active social media pages,” Hendrickson said.
The goal of DWLBIA is to work more closely with the City to create a more lively downtown, she added.
Potato House Society executive director Mary Forbes gave council an update on the Bicycle Festival taking place during the May long weekend.
“We are bringing together a bicycle festival for 2018,” Forbes told council, noting the reason for the festival is because the Enduro Series that has taken place in Williams Lake for two consecutive years will not run this year due to last summer’s wildfires.
Events will include a critical mass ride from the Tourism Discovery Centre to the Potato House at noon on Saturday and a Kids Bike Parade from Boitanio Park to the Potato House.
From noon until midnight, local artists and visiting artists travelling from the Coast, will perform at the Potato House.
On Sunday, the Potato House has partnered with the Xat’sull Heritage Village to present a traditional feast at the village site north of Williams Lake.
“We had it lined up so that after the feast people could mountain bike down the brand new trails, eat the feast and then get on the Fraser River on rafts,” Forbes said. “Unfortunately because of the height of the river and the potential conditions, we have had to pull out the rafts and the jet boats.”
Sunday evening there will be a Victorian children’s picnic and family dance at the 150 Mile House Schoolhouse with Arnold and Wayne Lucier playing acoustic music and children dancing in Victorian costumes.
“Audrey Dye will be providing supper for sale because they are fundraising for the school house’s insurance,” Forbes said.
The festival will wrap up with a road ride Monday for the whole community.
“We wanted to spread that across all of our demographics to include not only the heritage houses that survived the fires, but also the First Nations whose presence has been there since the very beginning,” Forbes said.
The Potato House has received funding from the Rural Dividend Fund, Arts and Culture from the Resiliency Funding and from the B.C. Museum’s Association, Forbes said