Some years ago, when the B.C. tourist industry began promoting the Gold Rush Trail, Williams Lake came up with an ad that some thought missed the mark.
I grumbled about it to the mayor who said if I thought I could do better in 300 words, fly at it.
I couldn’t. The “good things” list was too long.
However, what’s good for tourists must be good for present and future residents, so let’s have a look at what attractions we have within our city limits.
I like the yin and yang of having B.C.’s oldest continuing Art Society along with the busiest cattle shipping centre. The Williams Lake Stampede really is world famous, thanks to previous mayors who worked hard to make it so. There is a campground on the grounds, (almost downtown) and you can stable horses here. We have the lake and the very special Scout Island Nature Centre on our doorstep.
The creek valley, ideal for biking and hiking, is in our back yard. We can bird watch almost anywhere. We have a top notch golf course; tennis courts; a decent public recreation centre plus a number of private facilities (e.g. bowling alley, fitness centres, skating rink); ball fields, people parks, even a dog park.
We have a thriving arts community. Both the Station House Gallery and the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin are well established.
There’s more but I’m running out of space and haven’t mentioned Thompson Rivers University; the dozens of clubs and organizations that serve a variety of interests; our more interesting shops; or how First Nations/ranching/rodeo are tied to the city’s history. And what about our famous Cariboo hospitality?
We grouse about what’s wrong with the city and often forget what’s right.
When councillors reconsider the place brand proposal, I hope they recognize that in many ways we have a unique community. It’s much more than a centre for outdoor sports.
Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.