Next week Williams Lake will be home to the 40th Annual BC Elders Gathering, taking place July 11-14.
The gathering is about honouring the elders and celebrating First Nations culture, said one of the gathering’s organizers Darwin Stump of Tl’etinqox, the community that won the bid to host the event.
A core committee has been planning the gathering for months and many businesses and organizations have stepped up to the plate to make it possible.
As of last Wednesday, 1,800 elders were registered to attend, and hotel rooms were booked up in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Quesnel, Stump said.
Things will kick off Monday with the opening of a tent city near the Stampede Grounds, symbolic of a time in the past when First Nations from outlying communities attended the Williams Lake Stampede and camped nearby.
Two arts and craft fairs — one at the curling rink and one at Signal Point — will also open Monday at noon.
Monday evening will feature a Wild Wild West Rodeo at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds that will be open to everyone, said co-ordinator Joan Gentles.
While they are here, the elders will attend workshops and events at the Cariboo Memorial Complex, Thompson Rivers University, the curling rink and tent city.
We here at the Tribune hope everyone has a good time and enjoys all that Williams Lake has to offer. We salute the hundreds of volunteers that are making the gathering an anticipated success.
– Williams Lake Tribune