By Cindy Filipenko
Looking to try a new sport? Need a new volunteer opportunity? Want to build your network? Then Lisa Richardson is sure you’ll not want to miss tomorrow evening’s Soul Down.
“I think it's going to be a mind-blowing showcase of Pemberton's good people,” said Richardson, Soul Down’s coordinator.
She says response to the event has been tremendous.
“There are over 32 groups coming, so we might be a bit crammed, which I figure is better than being lost in a big empty room with one table,” said Richardson with a laugh.
The free event will be held on Friday, Nov. 24 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. in the gym of Signal Hill Elementary school.
Until a few years ago community resources were showcased at the annual soccer sign-up. When the registration process changed, community groups no longer had an accessible venue to promote themselves. Realizing the gap that was left, Richardson stepped in to develop what is subtitled “Pemberton’s First Community Spirit Showcase.”
“Here are 100 ways to get involved in your community. You can volunteer take on a new activity, join the fish count. If you have more time and skills, you can jump on the Winterfest committee. There are so many way to get involved,” she said.
Many of those opportunities for involvement are through Soul Down’s confirmed participants that include a cross section of community, sports, arts, cultural, health and recreation organizations serving the Pemberton Valley.
“The evening’s an excellent resource for parents,” said the organizer.
In addition, while the parents are examining the pros and cons of signing up their tiny terror for karate or weighing in on childcare options, the kids won’t succumb to boredom.
Chantelle Mironuck, who Richardson describes as “the queen of the fairy and nature crafts,” will be set up in the school’s music room, with cookies, volunteers and crafts, to keep the young ones entertained.
As well, the Youth Centre's Questioning Eye exhibit will be on display. This project, undertaken by centre coordinator Geoff Pross, involved arming a group of local youth with disposable cameras and sending them out to document their Pemberton over a one-month period. Visual representations of the community’s events in 2006 will also be shown in a continuous slide show projected on one of the gym’s walls.
Richardson, who originally hails from Australia, loves the pioneering spirit of her adopted community and wants to see it continue to flourish.
“Pemberton is neat, because everything that’s happening is being initiated by community members. When you come, take a look at the tables and the people behind them. Pemberton is the people.”