Solar Days festivities will delight and educate

Mona Mattei
By Mona Mattei
May 20th, 2010

Grand Forks joins 11 other B.C. communities to host Solar Days on Friday, May 28 and Saturday, May 29. Sponsored by the City of Grand Forks under the Economic Development Task Force (EDTF) along with SolarBC, the events will include a miniature solar car race, displays and videos about solar installations and equipment with a small trade show, and, of course, food.

City Councillor Joy Davies said that the EDTF solar team decided to participate in the event after they applied to be recognized as a solar community with SolarBC. So far there are nine cities designated in B.C. as a solar community. Only six more communities will be designated this year and, if chosen, Grand Forks will receive $5,000 for solar activities such as: acting as flagship communities and provide leadership to community members; helping to develop means to remove barriers to solar hot water installations; helping to promote and raise awareness of SolarBC to community members; and providing visible solar demonstration projects.

“We hope to provide education and information to the community on what’s available for solar energy. We can really reduce our carbon footprint with these alternatives. This will be an annual event. We’d like people to go home thinking about converting to solar,” said Davies. “Changes are happening very quickly in the cost of energy. Those who have converted to lower their footprint, some of them are saying they are getting a return already from switching over from natural gas and electricity, they are seeing savings over and above their investment.”

FortisBC supplied 50 solar car kits that were given to grade six and seven pupils at Hutton and Perley School as well as the cub scouts for them to assemble. City Councillor Chris Moslin and EDTF solar team member Paul Pinard visited the schools to teach the children how to assemble their car. The students are working in pairs on each car, and the highlight of the day on Friday will be a race of these small cars in the Selkirk College parking lot. Prizes will include the “best dressed” car and other fun awards.

“At 1:30 will be the car race,” said Pinard. “I think that’s going to be the highlight of the day. There will be over 100 kids involved. I was at the schools helping them build the cars and I was amazed at how inventive those kids are. They are decorating them now.”

Solar Days main events will take place at the seniors’ hall in City Park on Friday, and three community members will open their homes on Saturday for tours of their solar installations. Across the province 35 home tours will take place during the weekend’s events.

At the seniors’ hall, there will be displays and videos about solar installations and equipment from companies – sort of a mini-trade show. Companies include: Boundary Electric, Beyond the Grid Inc. from Alberta, Roxul Inc. and Mainstream Mechanical. Food will be available from Twisted Tomato.

“We have five companies who are going to display solar equipment. There will be continuous video showing to promote solar and to show people how it works. All of the companies information are based on energy saving and solar equipment,” said Pinard.

The activities run on Friday, May 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. so if you’re working there’s lots of time to come and visit.

On Saturday, May 29 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. three families will open their homes for tours: John Vere, 7400 Danshin Village Road, Jason and Malayna Gross, 7400 Danshin Village Road, and Petra Nielsen (call for directions) 250-442-8833.

Solar Days are hosted by the Grand Forks Economic Development Task Force’s Solar Energy Team. For more information call: Paul Pinard 250-442-2575.

Categories: General