In the late 1860s, Chinese miner and rancher Nam Sing led a pack train between Quesnel and Barkerville, driving cattle and delivering produce during the Cariboo Gold Rush. His crew included a mix of First Nations cowboys, Mexican vaqueros, Kanakan paniolos and packers of all backgrounds.
The New Pathways to Gold Society (NPTGS) and its partners are giving local horse enthusiasts a chance to ride through history as part of the Nam Sing Packing Expedition Historic Recreation, which will take place this September.
The event will recreate one of Chinese pioneer Nam Sing’s deliveries of produce and other goods to Barkerville in 1869 to commemorate the rebuilding of Theatre Royal and the rest of the town following the disastrous fire of the previous year.
The recreation is being filmed by Richard Wright’s Winter Quarters Productions, and organizers are hoping local equestrians will sign up to be extras and take part in the packing expedition.
“We’re looking for experienced folks with steady horses to act as outriders and others who would have been on the Cariboo Waggon Road travelling to Barkerville on that day,” Wright, who is also the director of the Newman and Wright Theatre Company, said in a press release. “They’ll have a chance to take part in the creation of a video documenting this wonderful multicultural heritage event.”
Qualified participants will be given a free pass to Barkerville Historic Town and Park’s Cowboys and Drovers Jubilee weekend, Sept. 7-8, free camping, assistance with costuming, as well as a few other incentives. Those who wish to register are asked to contact organizer Andy Maton at firstname.lastname@example.org or 604-700-6167.
The public will be able to watch the wagon train and riders parade down Barkerville’s main street Sept. 8 at noon. For admission information, contact Barkerville Historic Town and Park at 1-888-994-3332.
NPTGS and the project partners are staging the event to raise awareness of B.C.’s rich multicultural identity.