The Snowbirds pass overhead during Day 1 of SkyFest, Quesnel’s International Airshow. (Observer file photo)

Year in Review: August 2019

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer looks back on the stories that caught our attention in August 2019

• Heather Laurent led community efforts to revamp the Nazko baseball field, which had fallen into disrepair in the last decade and been further damaged by the 2018 floods. Laurent received support from CanLava Mining Corp and Emcon Services for upgrades.

• The 4th Canadian Rangers Patrol Group B.C. Company announced it was standing up a new patrol in Quesnel. The Rangers are a lightly-equipped self-sufficient segment of the Army Reserve and are considered the eyes and the ears of the military in local community.

• This year’s ArtsWells festival featured 200 performers on 10 unique stages and the festival’s first Rainbow Pride to open the festival, which was led by Ms. Fondle and was organized in collaboration with Pride associations in Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake. Even a power outage on the Friday night couldn’t slow things down, as all the performers continued playing by the light of cellphones and flashlights.

• Attendance numbers were down at this year’s SkyFest International Airshow, which returned to Quesnel after a four-year absence due to being cancelled in 2017 because of the wildfires, but those who did attend the airshow saw some incredible performances by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, the SkyHawks military parachute demonstration team, the CF-18 Demonstration Team, Kent Pietsch and his Jelly Belly plane and many more.

• Quesnel hosted the B.C. Team Roping Association Finals at Alex Fraser Park, which featured more than 800 teams competing over four days.

• Lora-Lee Murray of the Quesnel River Archers won a gold medal at the Canadian National 3D Archery Championships in the Female Barebow category, and Kayla Erickson won bronze in the Female Barebow Pre-Cub category. A couple days later, Murray won a silver medal at the 2019 Canadian Field Archery Championships, again in Female Barebow.

• The Yorston family has been ranching south of Quesnel since 1903, and in August, the provincial government recognized the Australian Ranch with a Century Farm Award. The Yorstons run a cow/calf operation on the ranch, and they operate the Cariboo Corn Maze, Haunted Maze and House.

• Quesnel athletes Kaitlyn Doucette, Destiny Bautista, Rylee Paterson, Amelia Musselman and Kiana Mero helped the Prince George Thunderbirds win a bronze medal at the U16 Western Canadian Softball Championships.

• Members of the Quesnel Model Railway Club were getting ready to dismantle their model railway layouts at the Maple Park Mall and were looking for a new home. They had been set up at the mall for 11 years.

• The Coalition of Substance Users of the North celebrated the grand opening of its new office space on Anderson Drive in West Quesnel During International Overdose Awareness Day. The office provides naloxone training and distribution, peer-to-peer support services, referrals to mental health and wellness services and much more.

• The Quesnel Prospectors Car Club hosted its 24th annual Prospectors Steak-Out weekend in late August, including a Rod Run and a Show and Shine Car show in LeBourdais Park.

• This year’s Fall Fair featured a Friday night Grand Opening for the first time, as the Quesnel Agricultural Exhibition Association kicked off the event with cake, live music and guest speakers.

• About 150 people gathered in front of Quesnel City Hall on Aug. 27 for a Quesnel in Action rally to voice their concerns about crime in the community. “We’re a newly-formed movement which is dedicated to get much-needed funding and resources that are needed in Quesnel,” said organizer Debra McKelvie, who worked with Evelyn Towgood to get the movement started. Towgood brought a binder full of letter she had been collecting from the public to send to governments and agencies, which she took to the city council meeting that followed the rally.

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Quesnel Agricultural Exhibition Association volunteers pose with Grand Opening guest speakers Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes (second from left) and Rob Borsato (second from right) Aug. 23 at Alex Fraser Park. This was the first year there was a Friday night Grand Opening for the Quesnel Fall Fair. (Observer file photo)

Daniel McKell and his daughter, Moira, perform during ArtsWells Aug. 4 in Wells. (Observer file photo)

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