Hope is nestled at the far end of the Fraser Valley, the most popular valley in British Columbia, among the peaks of the Cascade and Coast mountains. Hope is surrounded by a diverse coastal rainforest and bordered on two sides with the Fraser and Coquihalla Rivers.
The area around Hope was first settled nearly 9,000 years ago by the Sto:lo First Nation. Sto:lo traders, hunters and gathers established the trails through the mountains and routes via the rivers that later would be co-opted by the Hudson’s Bay Company (1848) and those seeking their fortune in the FraserRiver Gold Rush (1858).
Hope CiB is a diverse group of people coming together to foster volunteerism throughout our community. With a population of 6,000 people we have a high percent of retirees moving to Hope from the lower Fraser Valley. Along with our local residents, CiB has a huge resource of skilled volunteers willing to donate their time to projects for the betterment of Hope. Our “I’m a bloomin’ volunteer” t-shirts are worn as a badge of honour to be part of a team giving back.
To be a successful CiB, you need long term funding to keep the planning of projects moving forward. We have (2) five year agreements with the District of Hope plus a small amount of money put aside yearly for projects in the future. One agreement is for the maintenance of the chainsaw carvings, which are located throughout the District of Hope. We are building a storage and maintenance department
with the help of Advantage Hope. A few years ago, the carvings were showing their age and we had lost a number due to lack of maintenance. Hope CiB set about to undertake the task of sanding, gluing, wedging and refinishing the carvings to save them. This weekly workbee goes on throughout the entire year. In 2015 we hosted the World Class Chainsaw Carving Competition with 10 carvers from around the world. Over the 4 days we had 4,200 people attend this amazing display of art. With the help of our media partners were Black Press and Connect Media Team, we reached over ¾ million people for this event.
The second agreement with the District of Hope is to fund all our projects, such as Earth Day, Trash 2
Treasure, Graffiti control, plant & flower displays, organic weed control and cleanups. Another important point to our success is having the District of Hope work crew on board with our program and helping out with many of our projects.
Hope CiB is about partnering with others in the community to leverage relationships for the greater good. We’re consistently looking for new way to make our community better. We are all about taking pride in our town’s appearance. Having a positive attitude really does make a difference!
Written by: Victor Smith, Chair of Hope CiB