Building Community Spirit in Nanaimo

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Seven thousand kilometres - that is how far Camela Tang travelled from her hometown in Trinidad to her current home in Nanaimo. It's also how far she brought her love of the Olympic Games, which she shares with her community.

"When you are from such as small country, the Olympics are a big thing, in particular the Summer Olympics, and they become a part of your culture," Camela explained. "I have always loved the Olympics from an early age, so now I am living the dream, but through the Winter Olympics."

Camela is the chair of the Nanaimo Spirit of BC Community Committee, locally known as Team Nanaimo for its diversity and team-oriented approach to developing community legacies. For Spirit of BC Week 2008, Team Nanaimo welcomed over 700 people to Sport Fest, an annual celebration of winter sport, community spirit and counting down to the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Team Nanaimo is one of 17 Spirit of BC committees on Vancouver Island, each finding its own piece of the 2010 spirit. For example, the Comox Valley committee developed a strategy to attract international teams to train in the region, while the committee in Victoria hosted several celebrations to commemorate British Columbia's 150th anniversary.

"I'm very interested in what the 2010 Winter Games can bring to all communities in B.C., not just Vancouver and Whistler," said Camela. "These Games are a once in a lifetime opportunity and if we don't actively take advantage of them, they will just pass us by."

With support from the Province of British Columbia, 2010 Legacies Now works with 95 committees throughout B.C. to discover what the Spirit of BC means to their communities. Building legacies and celebrating the 2010 Winter Games is what Camela sees Spirit of BC doing in Nanaimo, and she's ensuring her entire community is involved in the excitement every step of the way.


Spirit of BC is a province-wide program that involves 95 Spirit of BC committees, representing over 200 communities across the province. The program is supported by the Province of British Columbia. Visit for more information.