When I first moved to Quesnel I thought I’d be here for a few years -- that was in 1985!
I love our community and all it has to offer residents and visitors alike. Despite having numerous opportunities over the years to pursue my passions elsewhere, I’ve never felt any compulsion to leave and I intend to retire here. This is my home, and I want it to be a welcoming place for others to feel at home too.
This is why, as your Mayor, I’ve done my best to work with Council and our many partners to create and start realizing a vision of Quesnel as a sustainable, fun, and thriving community that will continue to attract and retain visitors, residents, and investors for generations to come. While our vision of Quesnel as a destination community has been met with outright resistance from some and measured skepticism from others, for the most part it has been enthusiastically embraced by those who’ve taken the time to truly understand what we’re trying to achieve and why.
Fortunately, as we make the right investments and pursue the right strategies, more and more people are coming around to this latter camp: embracing our vision and enthusiastically promoting it. Better yet, they’ve become ambassadors and advocates for our community.
This was abundantly evident last week as Quesnel played host to the Women’s and Men’s Provincial Curling Championships. Quesnel was an exceptional host community and received accolades from Curl BC and the athletes, coaches, officials, and families who came here for this event.
The West Fraser Centre proved to be an outstanding venue for this event and the technological improvements we were able to make with Northern Trust’s funding assistance were icing on the cake, adding a high level of professionalism to the venue. Our North Cariboo Recreation staff went above and beyond throughout the event to ensure that the venue looked great and the needs of those using it were met as quickly as possible.
The Quesnel Curling Club was an incredible host, rallying over 170 volunteers and making sure there were lots of fun activities and entertainment for the visiting teams and their supporters. And, our business community rose to the occasion in splendid fashion as sponsors, boosters, and by providing a welcoming environment in their businesses to all our visitors.
By all accounts, Quesnel should be very proud of what we collectively achieved as hosts for this event. It’s important to note that it was the first time Curl BC held the Men’s and Women’s Championships together, and the first time the Men’s Championship was held outside the Lower Mainland – even more reason to be proud of our achievement.
Part of becoming a destination community is our desire to become known as a “hosting community” – a place where mid-sized competitions, conferences and trade shows can be held. We proved this past week that we are more than capable of achieving this part of our vision. Next up is an even bigger event: Minerals North in 2020.
Over the next few weeks we will meet with the various groups involved in hosting the Curling Championships to debrief and learn from this experience so we can enhance our hosting capabilities as a community. But, without a doubt, we have plenty to be proud about as a community.
On behalf of Quesnel City Council, my sincere and heartfelt thank you to everyone who made this Championship event such an incredible success.