One of the most visible personalities in Quesnel, the past couple of weeks, has been Hailey Murray. She was in attendance at the recent Quesnel Ambassador Leadership Program showcase, she waved to the crowd from a slick vintage car adorned with a huge B.C. flag in the Billy Barker Days Parade, she was in the winners’ circle at the Gold Pan Speedway’s Crash To Pass event, and at many of the weekend events in LeBourdais Park and elsewhere.
Murray, 19, is putting in these efforts as a candidate for the BC Ambassador Program. She is in the running with six other challengers for one of the three royalty positions in the leadership development pageant.
“I really loved when I was an ambassador in 2019 (for the city, as part of the Quesnel Ambassador Leadership Program for those aged 15-18),” she said, and wanted to continue the momentum on to the adult level. That moves up a level from local to provincial in scope.
There was a small global-sized snag in those hopes, however. “(The BC Ambassador Program) didn’t run again in 2020 or 2021 because of COVID, and there weren’t enough candidates in 2022. This is the first time in a long time. I really wanted to be a part of it: you do all your volunteering, you get out into the community, and you also get to meet all these other amazing girls from other communities.”
The other six candidates are Arielle Findlater from West Kelowna, Adiba Chowdhury from White Rock, Aikum Takher of Osoyoos, Cassidy Jean of Kamloops, Piper Cahoon of Vernon, and Brooklyn Kruk of Cowichan Lake. There has already been interaction between these contestants, and Murray said the competition is definitely friendly.
“Honestly, it hasn’t really felt like a competition because we are all so supportive. We’re emailing speeches, giving ideas for fundraisers, it’s just an amazing thing to be a part of.”
She has her own final showcase coming up soon, but that didn’t stop Murray from spending a lot of time with the teenagers in their Quesnel process that just wrapped up at a two-night climax on July 6-7, with Avery Cassidy and Jamie-Lynn Fedoruk crowned as the 2023 local ambassadors. Murray volunteered at some of their events, and also accompanied Fedoruk and Cassidy on many of their first duties with their crowns on.
“I call them my ducklings,” Murray laughed.
Giving back to the program is great preparation for if she becomes one of B.C.’s ambassadors. That will involve public appearances and being in the social eye as a representative volunteer in situations far away from Quesnel. Three are chosen, from among the candidates on the provincial slate.
Even her early career aspirations involve helping people, as she works as a pharmacy assistant at the Extra-Foods Pharmacy while taking Pharmacy Technician courses online through Stenberg College.
Murray is interested in photography, and is a medal-winning archer. She also likes to sew and crochet, among other pursuits. She chose to be apart of the British Columbia Ambassador program because she wants to help empower young adults to be more confident in themselves and their passions.
She is working now on speeches and elements of her candidacy for the grand finale on July 29 at the Honeymoon Bay Community Hall on Cowichan Lake just west of Duncan. The events start with a community showcase at noon and carry on until the evening gala at 7 p.m. culminating in the crowning of the 2023 British Columbia Ambassador team.