Bring out the party hats. Squamish residents are gearing up for one big, yearlong bash.
The year 2014 marks Squamish’s 100th birthday. The town’s name officially changed from Newport to Squamish in 1914. That same year, the community tried to incorporate, but failed as the First World War diverted people’s attention.
Under the umbrella of the Squamish Chamber of Commerce, community stakeholders are coming together to organize centennial celebrations.
“We want to make 2014 the year that nobody can forget,” chamber director Gregory Fischer told a group of interested participants on Monday (Feb. 18).
The idea is to get everybody on board, such as Squamish Logger Days and the Test of Metal, and incorporate the centennial theme throughout the year, he said. On top of the annual events, centennial celebration organizers hope to add to the festivities, Fischer said.
The Squamish Arts Council (SAC) aims to resurrect Wild at Art in 2014, SAC chair Jan Durocher said. The weeklong culture, art and heritage festival was founded in 2004, with a closing date of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
In recognition of Squamish’s big birthday, Durocher suggested the melding of art with the community’s trail network. Markers or informational panels could be placed at points where artists and photographers captured their scenes, she said.
Durocher also recommended local schools work together to create a time capsule.
Whatever the community decides upon, time is an issue, Fischer stressed. There is government grant money available for centennial celebrations, but deadlines are quickly closing in, he noted.
“We only have 10 months,” Fischer said.
Besides the Chamber of Commerce and SAC, the District of Squamish, Squamish Public Library, Downtown Squamish Business Improvement Association and the Squamish Nation are key members of the organizing committee.
Anyone interested in volunteering or participating in the organization of the centennial celebrations should email firstname.lastname@example.org.