Everyone enjoyed a day of fun and sun at the Christina Lake Homecoming
A revolving crowd enjoyed all the day had to offer at the Christina Lake Homecoming on Saturday, June 19. The first annual community event was a huge success for the organizers who wanted to develop a regular community celebration at the Lake. Activities included a pancake breakfast, entertainment and an art sale throughout the day, tours at the Christina Living Arts Centre, the official raising of the story pole at the Centre, and an evening barbecue with entertainment into the night. Originally a vision of Regional Area Director Grace McGregor, the event has been taken up by the community and will be happening again next year. “I loved it! I don’t know if the date was the right date, but everything that I’ve heard about it is that everyone was pleased and had a good time,” said McGregor. “Everybody that entertained – I so appreciated them all. For the first time around it was a really good attendance.” There were 250 people served for breakfast that was done by the Christina Lake Chamber of Commerce, and 350 for dinner served by the Christina Lake Fire Department. Attendence was also good at the raising of the story pole at the Living Arts Centre. The pole carvers, Xwalacktun and Drew Atkins from the coast were back to assist in the traditional blessing of the pole before it was officially raised to its new home. After the pole was raised Xwalacktun and Atkins gave gifts to the people who were part of organizing and participating in the carving of the pole, and to the First Nations bands who were the traditional users of the Christina Lake area. Marilyn James, a representative of the S’nixit nation was at the event and she, in exchange, presented the carvers with gifts. James spoke at about the continuing story of her people and the importance of the area to the future of not only the S’nixit but also to everyone who now lives in the region. First Nations beliefs encourage the sharing of stories (and thus the story of the pole) to keep the memory of happenings alive. Back at the hall, one room was dedicated to historical stories of the Lake and residents who have lived there over the years. People had been encouraged to send in photos to show the history of the area which were displayed at the hall for the Homecoming. McGregor is looking forward to increasing the number of historical pictures from families at next year’s event and possibly creating a game of “guess who this is” to identify people in the pictures. “There have been a lot of people who have been instrumental over the years in making Christina Lake what it is,” said McGregor. “I’d really like to see more family pictures in there.” Entertainers including Buck Naked and the Saddletramps, The Hip Sisters, Sheri Grenier, Steve Cavill, Dave Jackson and Les Folles Jambettes, provided non-stop treats for the audience. Leah Carnahan co-ordinated the event for the community, organizing entertainers, overseeing marketing and ensuring the day ran smoothly. “I really appreciated all the energy Leah put in to making that event happen,” said McGregor. McGregor also thanked all the volunteers – Community Futures Boundary who staffed the prize table, the Christina Lake Women’s Auxiliary took care of the kitchen and the food that was brought for the potluck, the Fire Department and the Chamber.