Calendars, not clones

Spacing out the Valley’s events

Have you ever found yourself wishing for a collection of clones so you could attend all the amazing Valley events happening on a particular sunny Saturday and then wondered where all the fun went when you can’t find anything new to do the following weekend?

That’s a predicament the Pioneer staff occasionally find ourselves in. On a single weekend in June we had eight events to cover – each of which would have warranted a cover-page photo. Other weekends we can be found loitering around playgrounds or on the beach, desperate to find someone doing something interesting for us to put on the front of the paper.

Ryan Watmough, economic development officer for the Columbia Valley, pulled together a group of more than a dozen event planners and representatives from local organizations on Thursday, November 8th. He called the meeting to discuss the Valley’s annual events and to propose collaborating on a Valley-wide schedule to render cloning unnecessary.

“There’s no shortage of great things happening here,” said Mr. Watmough, who can often be found anywhere anything is going on. But he suggested that the Valley could pace itself and space those events throughout the year, allowing for a more balanced economy.

Other participants agreed, saying that the heavy summer schedule can mean that employees feel burned out, that employers struggle to fill job vacancies and that in the busiest periods guests can end up receiving less than the phenomenal Valley experience they’ve come to expect.

Kaylene Earl of Lakeshore Resort and Campground, whose Indigenous Cultural Festival was featured on the Pioneer’s cover the weekend of the eight events, was all for dividing up dates for future gatherings in the Valley.

“There is way too much going on all in the same time,” she said. “It would be nice if we could plan and spread the events out to create momentum.”

A participant from a large resort agreed and said that collaborating on dates for events would mean that hosts weren’t “fighting for people” as they are now.

Mr. Watmough suggested that planning events in the shoulder seasons and spreading out events would mean that organizers wouldn’t be competing with each other, that individual events could be even more successful and that guests would then be more able to attend each of the gatherings that appeal to them.

While there was a general consensus in the room that the Valley’s parties should be spaced out, questions remain about who would manage the proposed calendar and how planners could book their dates.

Discussions will continue during the winter. Those who would like to be involved can reach Mr. Watmough at

Just Posted

Alone together during COVID-19

How local families are coping during COVID-19

All fitness centres, gyms and yoga studios ordered to close immediately

Many Columbia Valley fitness centres were already closed

Columbia Basin Trust offering $11.7 million to help with COVID-19

Columbia Basin Trust is announcing $11.7 million in new funding to provide immediate support.

Tire shop encourages social distancing

Local OK Tire calls for extra caution

Hospital’s Chief of Staff asks for vigilance

Doctor stresses vigilance and compliance to guidelines to mitigate future surge in COVID-19 cases

Trudeau rejects mandatory stay-at-home order for now; COVID deaths up

The virus has now infected more than 10,000 Canadians and cost 130 their lives

B.C. health care workers gain access to virtual health care options

During COVID-19 many clinics have closed, leaving health care workers with nowhere to turn

Tax collectors, auditors to help field ‘historic’ numbers of benefit-seeking callers

‘If you work for CRA, people think we are just there to take money from your pockets.’

Cowichan couple won’t self-isolate after returning from overseas

New law requires 14 days of self-isolation when returning to Canada

Family uses social media to help truckers find places to eat during pandemic

Restaurants Serving Drivers in Western Canada seeks to provide a list of places open for drivers

Advocates sound alarm over COVID-19 limiting access to contraceptives, abortion

The COVID-19 outbreak has hit sexual-health services from almost every angle

Celebrate Easter in a ‘safe way,’ Dr. Henry urges as B.C records 6 new COVID-19 deaths

Top doctor urges British Columbians to halt non-essential travel within the province

B.C. health officer says homemade masks may prevent spread of COVID-19 to others

Practising physical distancing, frequent hand washing and resisting touching your face are proven methods

Most Read