Judges for the national Winterlights competitions visited Conception Bay North’s two largest towns last week and went away delighted with what they saw. The towns will find out just how impressed the judges were in March when the winners are announced.
The judging is complete and now the Bay Roberts Special Events Committee and the Carbonear town council will have to wait patiently until results of the national WinterLights Celebrations Competition are announced next March in Prince Edward Island.
Competition judges Odette Sabourin-Dumais from St-Bruno Quebec and Ted Zarudny, Orangeville, Ontario spent a couple of days in Bay Roberts and Carbonear last week meeting local officials and taking in the sites as they carried out the judging in both CBN towns.
The pair are among five sets of judges from WinterLights Celebrations 2009-2010 who are criss-crossing the country visiting participating communities.
The WinterLights celebration, the winter edition of Communities in Bloom, is a national program focussed on community efforts that sustain and promote environmental, visual and economic programs throughout the winter months, with special attention to community involvement and outreach. The program encourages Canadians to join their local community events and activities and to experience the beauty and thrill of winter.
Bay Roberts is competing against the city of Stratford Ontario in the Circle of Excellence category.
Carbonear is competing in the 5,000 plus population section against several other towns includ- ing Barrie, Brampton and Kingston, in Ontario, Kamloops and Prince George, British Columbia and Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Sabourin-Dumais and Zarudny were the guests of honour at a lunch reception hosted at the Bay Roberts Pavilion Monday, Dec. 14. The event sponsored by the Bay Roberts Special Events Committee and town council, gave the judges an opportunity to meet and chat with key people from the community as they worked to grade the town on a host of criteria including visual presentation, winter pleasures, festive season celebrations, good will programs and tourism/promotional initiatives.
The Circle of Excellence category is the most prestigious level which a community can achieve within the WinterLights Celebrations program. In order to reach the Circle of Excellence category, a community must first win in their population category, then win the Winners Circle category, before entering into the Circle of Excellence.
Bay Roberts won the Population category in 2005 and the Winner Circle in 2007.
As the name of the competition suggests, winter light displays are a key part of the program.
For a number of years Bay Roberts has been wowing visitors and residents alike with spectacular and colourful light displays on residents homes and at the Illumination Park located at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex.
While in Bay Roberts SabourinDumais and Zarudny visited the Helping Hand Food Bank, Coley’s Point Elementary, Church of Latter Day Saints and a number of other places.
Both were impressed with the hospitality of the people they met.
“ We really enjoyed our time here,” said Zarudny, “ I’ve been to the province a number of times, but this is my first time in Bay Roberts. The scenery here is incredible. Wherever you go in town there’s a beautiful view of the ocean.”
The community spirit also impressed the judges.
“ There’s a lot of things happening around town and it is really evident,” said Sabourin-Dumais. “As we went from place to place we could feel the warmth and pride that people have for the town. There are many activities and events taking place on a regular basis here and people seem to really care about each other. That’s what the competition is all about, It’s all about community.”
WARM WELCOME - WinterLights judges Odette Sabourin-Dumais, Quebec and Ted Zarudny, Orangeville, Ontario, were the guests of honour at a lunch reception hosted at the Bay Roberts Pavilion Monday, Dec. 14.