Canada Day prep proves tough without Nicol

North Okanagan Regional District chair Patrick Nicol.

VERNON - Volunteers are having a hard time pulling together Canada Day celebrations without the leadership of councillor Patrick Nicol.

Nicol, who passed away in January after a long battle with cancer, chaired the Canada Day committee for many years and vice chair Ken Barker says his name was “synonymous with the day for more than 20 years.”

“This year is proving to be a challenge without Patrick's leadership and guidance but we are hoping the community will support us in helping make this year a special tribute in his memory,” Barker said in a letter to the city. 

Barker came before council Monday to ask for assistance with Canada Day preparations, including a city liaison and coverage under the city’s liability policy. He got both. Coun. Catherine Lord was appointed liaison and says she’s happy to take on the role.

“I’m quite excited. I think Patrick did a wonderful job and not only that, he was sort of the guiding force,” Lord said.

Canada Day celebrations in Polson Park feature activities for kids, food vendors, a ceremony with speeches by dignitaries, live music and fireworks. Missing this year will be the Canada Quiz put on by Nicol himself.

“He invited kids up on the stage to answer questions about Canada to win one of many fabulous prizes given out throughout the day,” Barker said.

“We hope to keep the Canada Day celebrations going not only for the community but as a legacy for Patrick.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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