These are trying times for everyone. Summer weather was slow in showing up, events we look forward to have been cancelled and we are all scrambling to deal with the new protocols for doing just about everything.
As hard as it is, this month I want to reflect on how far we have come with Communities in Bloom and what it has meant to Sicamous.
Communities in Bloom efforts the last three years have been driven by the Sicamous Official Community Plan priorities of Town Centre revitalization and encouraging and enhancing community beautification.
In 2017 our Legion was badly in need of TLC, but it also represented an opportunity to kick start the revitalization of downtown Sicamous. The building frontage was not appealing and there were serious site drainage and icing issues. The parking lot was dusty and uninviting the cenotaph site was awkward and unattractive especially for people with mobility issues who had a very tough time getting around.
We started modestly by dressing up the front of the Legion with pictures, lights, and new trim. This was followed in 2018 by the refacing the dilapidated west wall and the addition of an amazing mural by the Eagle Valley Arts Council.
In 2019 things really took off with the paving of the parking lot by Valley Blacktop and the District of Sicamous, the makeover of the cenotaph, and the Communities in Bloom patio project. Suddenly we had a wonderful gathering place in the centre of town and the perfect site for a new weekly farmer’s market. People took notice and main street became a more desirable place to be and to do business. Existing businesses renovated their buildings and new businesses moved in with fresh ideas and fresh looks.
It has been a difficult and yet rewarding journey for everyone involved. The multiyear partnership with Communities in Bloom, the Legion, business sponsors, the District, and the Eagle Valley Arts Council has produced an amazing asset for our community and a wonderful, accessible place to remember our veterans every November 11.
Obviously 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Across the country, many Legions and businesses are closing. There are no guarantees in life, but when you have a community like ours where everyone is pulling together to make a difference, I am confident we will come through this.
Come downtown! Sicamous Town Centre has a lot to offer and it is open for business.
-Submitted by Deb Heap, Communities in Bloom Chair