Canada's 144th birthday allows time for reflection
I hope everyone has a beautiful Canada Day tomorrow. It's a fabulous time to explore your own community with all the festivities.
It's hard to believe it's been 16 years since I began scribing this column. I am celebrating this special occasion with a sense of achievement and humbleness. Some of the issues have dramatically changed since I entered these pages in June 1995.
I have always remained committed in sharing what we all need to do together if we're going go build an inclusive community. It's challenging, but nonetheless it gives me a sense of purpose and direction for the future.
It's still a long, uphill climb, but progress is being made at all corners and that's a reason to celebrate in my books.
I recall 16 summers ago knocking on various editors' doors and looking for that one opportunity to share my ideas.
The sad irony is many doors didn't open. It was disappointing to the say the least, but I never gave up on the dream.
That moment arrived when I contacted former Times editor Gord Kurenoff. It was my last phone call and lucky enough, he expressed an interest.
I was fortunate to work with two mentors - Kurenoff and then Rick Rake for most of these 16 years. They both taught me some valuable lessons, for which I remain forever thankful.
The first thing is never make the story about yourself. Always explore the issues and the people involved in the community.
I have never forgotten their words and they still echo in my soul. Life is truly based on opportunities and good people willing to listen. I have found in many cases that people have the skills, but just don't get the opportunities.
I find too often people's abilities get overlooked or underestimated.
Receiving the provincial proclamation from Abbotsford MLA and Minister of Health Mike de Jong two weeks ago was a unique way to celebrate this anniversary.
De Jong and Abbotsford Coun. Bill MacGregor, a cycling team member, took the moment to say some humbling words about my work and this achievement.
Honestly, our Cycling for Diversity team didn't do this journey for any recognition, but rather to celebrate and discuss the issues. Team members all had the vision of leaving our communities better than how we found them. The proclamation recognizes May 21, 2011 as Cycling for Diversity Day throughout the province. We've received four proclamations and counting.
The University of the Fraser Valley Community Radio Society, CIVL 101.7 FM recently, returned back from Halifax after sending three delegates to the 2011 National Community and Campus Radio Conference.
Earlier in the year, CIVL received the Award for Outreach at the Fraser Valley Cultural Diversity Awards in March. CIVL was honoured to receive the 2011 NCRA Award for Community Development in Halifax. UFV student and CIVL on-air personality Alicia Williams was given an honourable mention in music programming excellence.
CIVL Society co-founder and president Dustin Ellis was elected to the National Community and Campus Radio Association's Board.
According to Aaron Levy, station manager: "This year's accomplishments are clear signs that CIVL's efforts are working, and that UFV and the Fraser Valley are benefiting from them. CIVL Radio will continue working to help raise the national profile and local involvement of the communities it serves."
n Ken Herar is a freelance columnist with the Abbotsford-Mission Times. Contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.