The monument to volunteers during the 2017 wildfires will be unveiled in downtown Kamloops on Friday morning (April 12).
In the fall of 2017, following a devastating wildfire season, Thompson-Nicola Regional District board approved spending up top $100,000 on commissioning a public piece of art that would be installed to recognize the volunteers who helped during the wildfires, as well as the volunteer community in the region as a whole.
The wildfires in the B.C. Interior led to thousands of people being evacuated from their hometowns, with Kamloops a destination for a large portion of those people.
After a call for artists, three designs were chosen by a panel. The designs were shown in regional libraries during June and July of 2018 to allow for a people’s choice vote.
The chosen Lend a Hand monument, designed by Lee-Anne Chisholm and Aaron Harder, is dedicated to the countless volunteers who willingly gave their time and effort to volunteering throughout the TNRD. The artists say the piece is an expression of support created through the kindness of helping fellow neighbours.
Lend a Hand will be unveiled on Friday at 11 a.m. outside Sandman Centre, which housed thousands of wildfire evacuees in the summer of 2017.
Taking part in the ceremony will be the artists Chisholm and Harder, TNRD chair Ken Gillis, Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian, Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod, Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone, Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar and emergency support services volunteer Gord Davis.