Lakecity hip-hop artist Travis Anthony (Young Catalyst) is turning a negative into a positive.
The 24-year-old and some of his friends have started a skateboarding and BMX movement to help take back Boitanio Park.
As part of their efforts to attract more positive attention to the park, Anthony and his friend, James Wyborn, are hosting a Canada Day Skateboard and BMX Jam on July 1 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. as part of the Canada Day celebrations.
“Basically this movement is aimed to deal with problems in the park and youth at risk,” Anthony said.
Anthony added after he held a successful Stop the Violence Peace Rally, BMX and skateboard jam in March, he decided to keep the momentum rolling.
“It had a lot of appeal to it,” he said. “It’s good to keep it more busy in the park.”
After being referred to the city’s recreation programmer, Suzanne Cochrane, Anthony was asked by the city to join the board of directors for the Canada Day committee to organize the skateboard and BMX jam.
So far Caribou Ski Source for Sports, Red Shred’s Bike and Board Shed, Ephin Apparel and the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre have stepped in to offer up loads of prizes for winners and free giveaways.
“We’ve been going pretty much around the clock organizing this,” Anthony said.
And celebrating Canada Day by skateboarding and BMXing couldn’t be a better fit, he said.
“With how multicultural we are in Canada and all the different languages spoken skateboarding and BMXing on Canada Day is perfect,” he said.
“With skateboarding and its global appeal, you don’t even need to be able to speak the same language to communicate through skateboarding.
“It’s just another positive outlet for youth.”
He added one of his main goals is to help create a greater sense of community within Williams Lake.
For the jam, itself, Anthony said instead of individual runs participants will compete in groups. Participants will also be split up based on skill level.
Everyone, however, should walk away with some type of prize, he said.
“We’re trying to include everyone no matter what,” Anthony said.
Williams Lake’s Nick Hennigar, meanwhile, will be DJing the event.
Anthony said he was able to create a buzz about the Canada Day Skateboard and BMX Jam through social media fuelled by his hip hop career.
“I’m thankful I was able to use that and create a presence through my music,” he said. “I was able to reach a broader fan base with extracurricular activities so that’s helped a lot.”