Life on the other side isn’t so bad

Before noon on Canada Day I received two interesting phone calls at the office.

“Is there anything going on in High Prairie today?” the first woman asked.

I replied there wasn’t but directed her to events at Triangle. She politely said it was too bad and hung up.

The second woman asked the same. I replied with the same answer.

Then she went off! And I mean she went off!

Many of her comments I cannot print. Let’s clean it up a bit [actually, a lot!] and say she was extremely disappointed with the lack of effort High Prairie made in celebrating Canada Day.

July 1 events in the past have been well attended in town, especially the Sesquicentennial celebration two years ago. Smaller celebrations at Freson Bros. in the past were also well-received.

I understand the frustration people feel when they want to attend a fair/carnival but nothing is scheduled. I understand not everyone can travel to Triangle, and would prefer walking to Jaycee Park or downtown to celebrate and have the children play a few games.

No one is to blame for not holding Canada Day events in town. I do not agree with people who say there is lack of community spirit in town. Events such as the High Prairie Elks Pro Rodeo and Light-Up prove this is not the case. Toss in the annual April Gun and Sportsman Show and the Treaty 8 First Nations Hockey Tournament and we have at least four major events High Prairie can hang its hat on.

We have heard it far too often but the reality is the volunteer base is dwindling.

I was asked to step forward and chair the High Prairie Community Beautification Association over a year ago. I decided to step forward and see what it was like “on the other side”. Turns out it isn’t so bad.

I have discovered what most other volunteer associations tell me. The support from the community exists. Volunteers will step forward and help both with their time and finances, but no one wants to go to meetings to plan these events. Boring!

Boring as it is, it is necessary.

I am lucky that Beautification has such a dedicated group – small as it is – of volunteers. I am also lucky I stepped into a ready-made successful organization with a signature event with over 20 years of history.

Beautification certainly isn’t the biggest group in town. We’re small potatoes compared to the High Prairie Royal Purple Elks, but I think most agree High Prairie Light-Up and MacIntyre Park projects are well done each year. A small group of people can make a difference in the community and put smiles on peoples’ faces.

A new committee to plan Canada Day events might be in order. I would suggest to anyone complaining to get involved and make a difference.

If you want Canada Day celebrations to happen in town next year, put the word out in September through all media available and call a meeting. You just might be surprised how many people in town feel the same way and will work toward a celebration.

We can all make a difference in our way as volunteers but we first must be willing to take the plunge and try.

Share this post

Post Comment