Artist Allan Johnson created series of exterior murals beside Sooke Community Hall, celebrating the area’s rich agricultural history.
Community involvement, milestone anniversary celebrations and ongoing enhancement of historical, environmental and beautification projects has earned the District of Sooke its second BC Communities in Bloom Provincial Heritage Award in three years.
Diana Skoglund, a Director of the Provincial Capital Commission, presented the award to Sooke CiB Chair Brenda Parkinson during the organization’s Oct. 6 awards banquet in Kamloops.
This special criteria award looks at natural heritage as well as the integration of landscape and streetscapes as they pertain to the community’s built heritage. Recognition is also given for traditions and customs through festivals and celebrations, events and parades, heritage foods and the arts.
“We rocked this year,” Parkinson said following the presentation. About 200 volunteers, including 40 businesses, took part in their local Communities in Bloom program, she said. Chamber of commerce members weed whacked boulevards, Journey Middle School students cleaned out garbage from area creek beds and residents attacked invading broom bushes on Whiffen Spit. “There was exceptional citizen engagement.”
A call also went out to local artists and photographers resulting in a series of newly-decorated bus stops and hydro boxes as well as new interpretive signage along the oceanfront boardwalk featuring information about area wildlife and natural surroundings. Other volunteers painted and planted flower pots lining Sooke Road in the downtown core.
“It’s an example of the volunteers of Sooke and what they’ve accomplished in the past 100 years,” said District of Sooke Mayor Wendal Milne, noting the community’s efforts in 2013 focused on numerous events and celebrations commemorating historical milestones such as the 100th anniversaries of the Sooke Fire Department, the Holy Trinity Anglican Church and the Sooke Fall Fair.
Judges were impressed with the community’s many heritage projects including restoration of the Millenium Park Cemetary, the Sooke Region Museum, the exterior murals on the Community Hall, growing and mapping of heritage fruit trees and cultural partnerships with T’Sou-ke First Nation.
The Provincial Capital Commission is a platinum level sponsor of the BC Communities in Bloom program.
For more information on CiB, visit www.bccommunitiesinbloom.ca
“Once again BC Communities in Bloom would like to express our heartfelt thanks for the Provincial Capital Commission’s 7th year of sponsorship! Without the PCC’s support, none of this would be possible,” said Catherine Kennedy, Executive Diretcor of BC Communities in Bloom.