MLA COLUMN: Experience the Christmas spirit

The North Cariboo is home to a holiday treasure: Barkerville Historic Town and Park’s Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas.

The North Cariboo is home to a holiday treasure: Barkerville Historic Town and Park’s Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas.

Every year, local and international visitors alike are drawn to our part of the world to participate in the joy of Christmas as it was celebrated in the 19th century. From sleigh rides to home baking, from Father Christmas to A Christmas Carol, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. This year, the weekend will also mark the grand opening of Barkerville’s new downhill tube slide.

The new tube slide run is just one of the attractions that the Town and Park has been working to develop lately, in an effort to become a year-round attraction.

Barkerville is not only beloved by our residents and visitors – it’s an important part of our local tourism industry. During summer 2015, attendance numbers jumped by 20 percent, and last winter saw record-breaking numbers come out for the Old-Fashioned Christmas weekend.

Keeping Barkerville open all year will benefit our local economy and, as MLA for Cariboo North, I’ve been working hard to support its efforts in this area. In October, I was pleased to announce that the Town and Park received $100,000 from the Rural Dividend Fund, to be used to help build a new shelter. The shelter will serve as a great space for events in the summer and as a children’s skating rink in the winter, bringing Barkerville one step closer to the goal of all-season operations.

This Christmas, I encourage all of you to give your Christmas spirit — and our local economy — a boost by heading out to Barkerville to experience the Old-Fashioned Victorian Christmas, which runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Saturday, Dec. 10 to Monday, Dec. 12. Admission is by donation of cash or non-perishable food bank items. In the spirit of the season, I would also like to invite you to a Christmas Open House at my constituency office, #401-410 Kinchant Street, Quesnel, where we will also be collecting non-perishable food items for our local Salvation Army.


Coralee Oakes is the MLA for Cariboo North and Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. Contact MLA Oakes’ constituency office: Phone: 250-991-0296; Email:



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