The Ashcroft Community Barbecue returns on July 13 with a new twist. Photo: Barbara Roden

Local News Briefs: The Community Barbecue returns to Ashcroft, and this year there’s a twist

Plus free swimming at the Ashcroft pool, Coqiuhalla lane closures, ‘Arx and Sparks’, and more

Ashcroft community barbecue (with a twist)

Ashcroft’s mayor and council invite residents to the third annual Community Barbecue on Saturday, July 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Heritage Park on Railway Avenue. There will be free hamburgers, water, and cake, and everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair and come down to visit with friends and neighbours.

What’s the twist? At the suggestion of young Ashcroft resident Kiera Bolton, this year’s event is a “thank you” barbecue. Kiera feels that it is important to thank people for the things they have done, and reached out this year to see if a “thank you” event could be held in Ashcroft. It was decided that the community barbecue could be such an event, and there will be special “thank you” cards available for attendees to take, fill out, and present to people they want to thank. Kiera will also be collecting donations (non-perishable food items or cash) for the local Food Bank, so any donations would be greatly appreciated.

Free Saturday swimming at Ashcroft pool

Thanks to the generosity of the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society, there will be free swimming at the Ashcroft pool (561 Elm Street) during the public swim sessions (1 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.) every Saturday through July and August.

Take advantage of this opportunity to keep cool, enjoy the pool, and spend time with family and friends this summer.

TRU public consultation

What do you want to see happen at Thompson Rivers University during the next decade? TRU wants to hear from everyone in the communities it serves. President Brett Fairbairn’s Envision TRU project is opening the doors to the people of Kamloops and area so they can share their thoughts and ideas about the university’s future.

This 10-year vision will become a map for TRU’s priorities. Already, on-campus consultations have resulted in thousands of comments and ideas being compiled. But the university does not exist by and of itself, and that is why stakeholder groups and citizens at large are being asked for their input and thoughts.

There will be consultation sessions in Kamloops from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11 at the Brocklehurst Activity Centre (Centre for Seniors Information, 9A 1800 Tranquille Rd.), and on Wednesday, July 17 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Desert Gardens (540 Seymour St.).

For more information, or to submit your thoughts online, go to

Celtic music at UniTea

Gillian Wale with Rockland Moran present the Raven Ramblers at UniTea Café and Lounge in Ashcroft on Sunday, July 14, in a concert of Celtic, Americana, and roots music that will feature great stories and songs.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. For tickets or more information, drop in to UniTea at 210 Railway Avenue, or call (250) 457-1145.

Arx and Sparks

Do you have a teenager (or know someone with a teenager) between the ages of 12–15 who is interested in learning about welding? Then let them know to apply for Thompson Rivers University’s “Arx and Sparks” welding camp. It’s a free, fully immersive camp that will introduce teenagers to welding, with participants able to make (and keep) a variety of items.

The camp runs daily from July 29 to Aug. 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the TRU School of Trades and Technology. For more information, or to register, contact Dwayne Geiger at (250) 852-7187, or email

Writing contests

Poets and writers have opportunities to submit their works in two upcoming contests.

The Poetry Institute of Canada is holding its 26th annual open ages poetry contest, which will see cash and other prizes awarded to successful Canadian poets. The contest is open to all poets of any age, whether they have been previously published or not. Any style or subject of poetry or prose poetry is acceptable, and there is no entry fee.

Submitted poems must be original, and consist of 32 lines or less. As well as the opportunity to win cash prizes, the best poems received will be published in a beautiful anthology of verse.

Short stories, essays, and anecdotes of up to 850 words can also be submitted for the opportunity to win cash prizes and be published in an anthology in the creative writing contest. Writers do not have to have been previously published, and there is no entry fee, but works (either fiction or non-fiction) must be original. The contest is open to those aged 18 or over.

The deadline for both contests is July 31, 2019. For more information about guidelines and submissions, go to

Youth and Elders on the land

The Kamloops Youth and Elders Doc Project is looking for Indigenous youth in the Kamloops area to participate in a free “Youth and Elders on the Land” film program from Aug. 1–6. Participants will learn how to plan, shoot, and film a short documentary about a local elder, go camping and fishing, and have a lot of fun.

Food and transportation, as well as camping and film equipment, is provided, and the films will be screened at the Reel Youth Film Festival. Space is limited, so sign up now at The project is a partnership with the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society, and is made possible with support from Storyhive.

Coquihalla lane closures

Lane closures will be in effect on Highway 5 (the Coquihalla) approximately 25 kilometres north of Hope from now until the end of October, as crews rehabilitate the 30-year-old Carolin Bridge. Work will involve concrete repairs, bearing replacement, and deck resurfacing.

On Sundays from 8 p.m. until Fridays at 8 a.m., traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. An additional counterflow lane will be in place from 8 a.m. Fridays until 8 p.m. Sundays, with the extra lane for northbound traffic on Fridays and Saturdays, and southbound on Sundays. To accommodate the counterflow, the width of the travel lanes will be narrowed from 5 metres to 3.8 metres.

Drivers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes, and if possible, should plan to travel outside peak times (southbound: Fridays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.; holiday Mondays noon to 6 p.m.; northbound: Fridays noon to 4 p.m., or 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on long weekends).

Drivers are asked to follow signs, obey posted speed limits, and watch for traffic control personnel and workers. For the most up-to-date highway travel information, visit

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