Pat Dubé, a member of the Burns Lake Mountain Biking Association (BLMBA), has recently made a great presentation to Burns Lake council about a symposium he attended in Revelstoke.
I was impressed to find out that BLMBA has only been operating since 2004. Given the amazing system of trails we have in Burns Lake, and how successful the events that they host have been, I thought mountain biking had started several decades ago in Burns Lake.
I was equally impressed by the number of members they have (236) and the amount of participants in each of their events. In fact, Dubé said it’s not uncommon for them to turn people away because of the increased interest in mountain biking.
Unlike many other events that he attends as a teacher across B.C., he said everyone at the Revelstoke symposium knew about Burns Lake and how great our mountain biking has become.
If this group was able to accomplish so much in just over a decade, it’s interesting to imagine how much further they could go. Dubé talked about great ideas such as a trail connecting the Boer Mountain Recreation Site to Burns Lake, and even the idea of a pipe mountain coaster (search on You Tube if you don’t know what this is), which I thought was very cool. It’s interesting to think about what this means for Burns Lake in terms of branding and attracting visitors.
This week I also learned a lot about another successful local group – the Omineca Ski Club, which celebrated its 90th birthday last Saturday at the Jean Paulson Lodge. It was great to learn about its rich history, and the fact that it is one of the oldest cross-country ski clubs in Canada, founded in 1927.
It was also interesting to find out that the club has never been simply about skiing – it has been a way of bringing people together. According to the Canadian Ski Annual, which used to be published by the Canadian Amateur Ski Association, the early ski tournaments took the form of a festival. Held in mid-February, they were a welcome break in the long haul from New Year’s to Easter, says the publication.
What is most impressive about both the mountain biking club and the cross-country skiing club is that their work is mostly done by volunteers. This says a lot about the Burns Lake people and what this town is capable of. That’s why I am confident that the new committee responsible for diversifying the local economy will find a great solution, or a series of great solutions, to offset any potential losses in the forest products industry.
This town has the ability to reinvent itself, creating great projects and organizations. It’s safe to say that Burns Lakers have proved this over and over again.