Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. is throwing a Christmas party for the community of Wells and Barkerville this weekend as a way to say thank you.
The company, which has Cariboo Gold Project mineral tenures that cover 2,039 square kilometres along a strike length of 67 kilometres that includes several past producing placer and hard rock mines, has invited community members to a traditional Christmas dinner and tree light up Friday, Nov. 30.
Chris Pharness, Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM)’s vice president of environment and sustainability, says this is the first time the company has thrown a community party like this. Usually, BGM has a Christmas party and then takes a break for the winter, explains Pharness, but this year, after hearing from some community members about how nice it would be to have a get-together, they have decided to combine the Christmas party with a community gathering.
“It was some community members who gave me the idea to have a party,” he says.
Pharness says the mine has been here 20 years, and they have been mining gold for five years. Pharness himself has been in the area for five years.
“It’s time to show the community we appreciate the privilege of operating here and the acceptance we’ve had, and we hope to grow it,” he says, adding: “We’re pretty lucky we have so many local people working for us.”
Pharness says they are expecting about 200 people from Wells and Barkerville to take part in the Christmas party.
“We’re doing this for the community of Wells, and what’s interesting is we’re able to do this,” he says. “If you’re Canfor, you can’t do this for Prince George. We’re really pretty fortunate here to be able to do this for the community. It’s fun, and I’m looking forward to it.”
The Christmas party at the Wells Community Hall will feature a traditional Christmas dinner buffet provided by BGM’s camp caterers, Evolution Camp Services, who are right in Wells, as well as a visit from Santa Claus, crafts and activities, and live music by a local band, Interstellar Jays. The evening will end with a community tree lighting at Crescent Park.
As well, BGM will be accepting non-perishable Christmas hamper donations on behalf of the Royal Canadian Legion throughout the evening.
“We’re going to see how it goes, but we’re hoping to make it an annual event if it turns out well and there’s interest from the community,” says Pharness.