If there was a theme for 2010 in Powell River it would be the year for looking back and moving forward.
Townsite turned 100 years old in 2010 with its centennial celebration honouring a century of community spirit and accomplishment. The community came out in old-time costumes for a chance to look back and marvel at just how far we have come.
That very same summer of 2010 the BC Bike Race and its 500 cyclists came to the city for a first time event that turned out to be an overwhelming success and is already committed to return again in 2011. With the event organized almost entirely by volunteers and non-profit organizations, it encapsulated the way this community is moving forward: under its own steam.
Looking ahead, 2011 promises to be the year of completion for many large projects ongoing in Powell River. By 2012 we will have the new athletic track, revitalized North and South harbours and Wharf at Westview, a new elementary school (whatever the name will be), a rejuvenated canoe route, a new camp at Haywire Bay and a new trades facility at Vancouver Island University. Each of these developments will be a cause for celebration and will contribute to the forward momentum of the city.
On a provincial scale it has been one of the more unruly and surprising years in recent history. We come into 2011 with two main political parties both in need of a new leader. The battle over HST forced Premier Gordon Campbell to announce his resignation as leader of the Liberal Party, while inter-party dissonance prompted New Democratic Party leader Carole James’s resignation. The parties have until 2013 before an election but with the way things have been going in BC politics it seems anything could happen by then.
The ground remains shaky in the world of federal politics too. Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff has been making comments lately suggesting that the official opposition may be getting tired with sitting back and passing the minority-ruling Conservative Party’s budgets. The Liberals have been in a rebuilding phase, lying low after the coalition disaster and trying to garner support for the long-absent Ignatieff, but may be ready to step into the ring this year.
The main event for the town, the province and the country was the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Torch Relay brought together the people of Powell River and at the same time brought Powell River together with the rest of the world. After some early problems (no snow, a tragic luge accident) the games went brilliantly and showcased the beauty and spirit of the west coast.
In Powell River things will remain the same. 2011, just like the past 100 years, will be the year of giving and helping out. Through countless upcoming walks, runs, dances and dinners, we will support one another, our causes and our neighbours. We will start new events and keep others running. We will pledge, donate, contribute and volunteer, not because we have to, but because we want to. That’s the kind of community Powell River is and will continue to be for the next 100 years. Sure there is much to look forward to. We have only ourselves to thank for it.