Margo Wagner, chair of the Cariboo Regional District and director for area H, said the event was really successful, with around 75 people attending to speak with stakeholders from the CRD. Emily Epp photo.

South Cariboo Info Fair brings citizen engagement to local communities

‘It was busy the whole time, for the whole three hours’

The South Cariboo Info Fair provided locals with the perfect opportunity to speak with stakeholders on Thursday, July 11 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Forest Grove Community Hall.

Margo Wagner, chair of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and director for Area H, said the event was really successful.

“We had around 75 people come,” said Wagner, who added that many stakeholders were also on site, “From the Ministry of Transportation to Dawson Maintenance, RCMP, conservation was there, Canadian Mental Health, Interior Health was there.”

Emily Epp, Manager of Communications for the CRD, confirmed that about 30 stakeholders were present to represent their agencies at information booths during the fair and two local Conservation Officers were also at the event.

The Forest Grove Legion Ladies Auxiliary was also on-site serving hamburgers and hot dogs as an internal fundraiser.

The ladies actually sold out of everything, said Wagner, with the exception of two pieces of homemade apple pie. “They were really happy. I’m a firm believer in if you feed people, they will come.”

Read more: CRD develops internal policy for single-use plastics for its own operations

“It was busy the whole time, for the whole three hours,” Wagner said of the event. “The busiest table was, as usual, the Ministry of Transportation and Dawson Maintenance, they’re always the busiest. The feedback was really good. People love coming to these things where there isn’t an actual presentation.”

Wagner explained that many people don’t want to sit through a PowerPoint presentation or be spoken at. Rather, they want to engage with the people they have issues with, she said.

“I actually started these four years ago now and I call it a citizen engagement session,” added Wagner. “I’m really fortunate in that I do have some great constituents and they really seem to enjoy this format. It was good.”

The United Way also put on a fire smart presentation in the stage area during the Info Fair and the Forest Grove VFD. was on hand to feature their trucks for children and adults alike to investigate.

Related: New fire trucks for Forest Grove, Kersley and Lone Butte

The South Cariboo Info Fair is held every year, but Wagner explained that the fairs are done on a rotational basis.

“They will do one in the north and one in the centre this year as well, then they will rotate [hosting] through the electoral areas.”

Wagner said that the Info Fair offers both small and larger community groups to get involved, consequently building further connections amongst organizations in the community.

“It’s an opportunity for not just the big stakeholders, but for the smaller community organizations to have a presence.”

Wagner explained that the stakeholders are people like the Ministry of Transportation and Dawson Maintenance, “people that do things for the constituents within this Cariboo Regional District”.

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