You are invited to Celebrate Our Makers. The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce is turning the spotlight on businesses throughout the Thompson Valley that make our community distinct. We are taking a closer look at the people behind the scenes, behind the creation, and behind the experience - asking what is it that you create? Let’s find out.
Meet Julie Ratcliffe and resident porcupette (the correct term for a baby porcupine) Ms. Pricklesworth. Julie is the Marketing and Events Manager at the BC Wildlife Park, and Ms. P is a permanent resident of the park who arrived through their rehabilitation centre. Ms. P’s extensive injuries prevented her from being a successful candidate for release back into the wild and she is now training to become a BC Wildlife Park educational ambassador for her species.
Julie adores the compassion that she and the team have for the residents of the park. The events portion of her role puts her at the helm of committees that plan the park’s annual fundraising events such as Wildlights and the Country Concert Fundraiser. The labour-intensive component of these events are the responsibility of the hardworking facilities department, while Julie executes the marketing and administration. These events are complex and tedious, but the team perseveres because of the money they are able to raise for the park and its residents. ‘As a not-for-profit organization, it is so rewarding to be able to generate additional funds from these events that will directly assist with the ongoing cost of care and enrichment for the animals.’
Julie focuses the park’s marketing efforts on telling the stories of the resident animals and patients that come into the rehabilitation centre. Through this process, connections are created between people’s actions and their direct impact on wildlife, which aids in fostering change. Creating compassion, awareness, and sharing the animal’s unique stories increases visitation to the BC Wildlife Park thus generating more funding which allows the park to continue to expand and provide exemplary care for all its residents. As a fierce animal lover, creating this compassion for BC’s wildlife is Julie’s favourite part of the job.