Bringing Home the Spirit of the 2010 Winter Games

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Some would think a community that is more than 1,500 kilometres from Vancouver would have a hard time connecting to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. But the residents of Fort Nelson are feeling the excitement thanks to their local Spirit of BC committee.

There are more than 95 Spirit of BC committees around the province, representing more than 200 communities. These volunteer committees are the heart of the Spirit of BC program, a partnership between 2010 Legacies Now and the Province of British Columbia, which promotes community innovation, pride and excellence.

Through these committees, we work with local leaders to bring together people, projects and ideas to engage and excite every city and town through province-wide celebrations of excellence and innovation. And through these celebrations, we help to connect British Columbians in every corner of the province to the excitement and benefits of the Games.

"Once our committee engaged the community, we found we had over 80 ideas and concepts to explore," says Allen Kessler, chair of the Fort Nelson Spirit of BC Committee. "We worked on upgrading our outdoor recreational area by adding ball diamonds, parking and washrooms, and now we're developing a non-motorized community trail and upgrading our winter sliding hill."

Although the Spirit of BC committees are active throughout the year, each February from 2006-2009, they planned local events to celebrate Spirit of BC Week, a countdown to the 2010 Winter Games and a celebration of B.C.'s unique communities. These events included winter festivals, sport tournaments, arts performances, literacy presentations, and celebrations recognizing the work of volunteers.

In Fort Nelson, the excitement around the 2010 Winter Games has created a feeling and belief that anything is possible when people work together, and that's what Spirit of BC is all about.

Spirit of BC was a province-wide program that involved 95 Spirit of BC committees, representing over 200 communities across the province. These committees supported local programs and helped create opportunities in sport and recreation, arts, literacy, volunteerism, business and tourism.

The committees also hosted local events for Spirit of BC Week, an annual province-wide celebration. Spirit of BC Week was held in February, and showcases local programs and services that strengthen community arts, literacy, sport, recreation and volunteerism. Spirit of BC was supported by the Province of British Columbia.