Hello everyone, I’m Quinn Yates and I work as an outdoor literacy coordinator for the Edward Milne Community School Society. We are a non-profit organization and as my job title implies, my main responsibility is to encourage, and facilitate outdoor physical activity in Sooke.
I’m here today to bring awareness to the Sooke Harbour Festival. This free event will be taking place on August 20th at the Ed Macgregor Park Boardwalk and will be centered around two separate kayak and stand up paddle board races.
The kayak race will span approximately 7 kilometers from Coopers cove, through the Sooke Basin, to a finish line located adjacent to the boardwalk. The second portion of the event will consist of a Stand-up Paddle board race that will follow a 1 kilometer route within the harbour.
The boardwalk will play host to a number of attractions, including live music, vendors and artisans, food, and most excitingly, a sponsored recreation area where people can come down to try kayaking or stand up paddle boarding for free. This area will be offered by several of our sponsors, and offer instruction and information on their use.
We want to build a day that highlights the potential of the Sooke Harbour and engages the community at large. The Sooke Harbour Festival will exemplify the beauty of our coastal town while taking advantage of the resources Sooke has.
Although this town may have been built on the extraction of fisheries and forest, Sooke has the potential to be the tourist hub of Southern Vancouver Island, but lacks exposure and relevance within the CRD. Our local fishing, hiking, surfing and small town feel are comparable to that of Tofino, one of the most successful tourist industries on the island, but we have not yet entered the same niche market. Our activities alone could form the basis of a booming tourism economy, but without exposure, this is a lofty ideal.
Sooke Harbour Festival not only presents an opportunity to encourage tourism in the Sooke Municipality, but has the potential to increase youth participation in our community. There seems to be a skewed definition of youth engagement in our country. We form programs and events for those in highschool, those with children, and those considered elderly, but there is a large group that slips through the cracks. The definition of “youth” is someone between the ages of 13 & 25, but those over 17 are often overlooked. We see this event as a way to engage this of ten ignored demographic in a healthy, community enriching event.
This festival would provide the community with an opportunity to showcase the recreation potential of our waterways and parks, promote tourism in our municipality and most importantly, give our community a chance to come together for some friendly competition, music and fun.
Thank you for listening.
[SPN: Quinn Yates requested that the park fee be waived for their event. Councillor Parkinson made the motion that the District waive the fee for this event. The motion was seconded by Councillor Reay, and Council passed it unanimously]
Watch Quinn’s presentation to Council
Other recent Delegations
- Sooke resident raises many questions wants dialogue, transparency, answers
- Sooke Council passes motion in spite of “strong” staff recommendation
- Sooke Youth initiate Sooke Harbour Festival, starting this summer