This story is part of a three part series introducing Sun Peaks to new residents, or anyone who wants to brush up on their local knowledge.
Sun Peaks is all about community, so it makes sense that the area has many great not-for-profit organizations that all benefit the community in unique ways.
For residents wondering what is being done in the community or how to get involved, SPIN spoke with a few local organizations to get a sense of what they’re all about.
Mountain Rescue Society
Sun Peaks Mountain Rescue Society raises money for equipment, training and resources for first responders and community members in the local area.
Chris Mark, president of the Mountain Rescue Society, said their goal is to fundraise money to provide free resources to Sun Peaks Fire Rescue and Sun Peaks Ski Patrol, as well as provide residents with first aid courses to help strengthen local first response.
“We live so far away from any sort of first aid response, apart from what we can provide in the fire hall and ski patrol, so we’re just trying to help the locals learn some new stuff and get the equipment to do it,” said Mark.
In November, the society held two Red Cross Basic Life Support courses. They have certified over 80 people in the past two years.
The Mountain Rescue Society fundraises in many different ways, including raffles, fire truck pulls, selling baked goods and auctioning off items. They also have a collection box at Sun Peaks Ski Patrol full time for anyone who would like to donate.
Rotary Club of Sun Peaks is a group of people who are passionate about making positive changes in the community.
Catherine Tarasoff, president of Rotary Club, said they focus on local as well as international community. Tarasoff said they host local events and work with youth in the Sun Peaks schools, but are also a part of the Rotary International Polio Campaign to put an end to polio worldwide.
“There’s no real limit to what you can do if you’re involved with Rotary,” said Tarasoff. “Some people choose to focus on the bigger initiatives and others choose to focus on the community ground-level, grassroots initiatives.”
A big initiative they have taken on is the bottle depot, which collects returnables to raise money for Rotary and other non-for-profits in Sun Peaks. Anyone in the community can volunteer to help sort the bottles and cans that are donated.
Tarasoff said as a newer club, they are always open to new ideas, initiatives and community projects. Rotary currently has 14 members, but welcome new members to join.
“People can get kind of involved as much as they want to,” said Tarasoff. “It’s a great way to meet new people.”
Rotary meets the first and third Thursday of every month at 8:30 a.m. at the Cahilty Hotel. Tarasoff said anyone is invited to sit in during a meeting to get an idea of what they are about.
ArtZone Sun Peaks is a community-based group of artists and culture enthusiasts.
“We work with our community at all levels, to organize festivals, events, workshops, exhibits, art demonstrations, and cultural events to showcase this beautiful place we call home,” said Marj Knive, the president of ArtZone.
The art mediums that ArtZone covers are vast. Members create visual arts, painting, photography, music, fiber arts, mixed art and digital arts. They also have a writers group, as well as hold workshops for people interested in film. Each year, ArtZone hosts the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, which this season will take place in January 2022.
ArtZone has around 50 members, made up of artists and people who want to support the arts. Their funding largely comes from a registration fee to become a member, as well as through the fee they charge to participate in workshops. Despite the shift to online events, ArtZone has still been able to thrive.
“I’m actually really pleased at how we’ve been able to kind of carry on, despite the virus for the most part in the last couple of years,” said Knive. “We’ve certainly had to cancel some events and that sort of thing. But we’ve tried to carry on with our exhibitions and everything as best we can even though we can’t all get together.”
Here are some other local non-for-profit organizations to check out:
Sun Peaks Recreational Trail Association ― Aims to promote a healthy community lifestyle and an appreciation for the environment by helping in the development and maintenance of recreational trails around Sun Peaks.
Adaptive Sports Sun Peaks ― Provides opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in snow sports and recreational programs.
Sun Peaks Volunteer Firefighters’ Society ― Maintains the safety of community members and visitors through training, responding to emergencies and helping with fire prevention and reduction initiatives.
Sun Peaks Secondary Academy ― Offers education to students in grades 10 to 12, focusing on non-traditional classroom settings to teach about healthy outdoor lifestyles and global stewardship.
Sun Peaks Community Garden Society ― Plants and maintains a community garden near the entrance to Sun Peaks, and will offer educational programming about gardening during the spring and summer seasons.
Sun Peaks Skate Park Foundation ― Fundraises for the future design and construction of a free use skate park.
Sun Peaks Nordic Club ― Encourages participation in cross country skiing and offers programs, coaching and social outings.
Sun Peaks Freestyle Club ― Promotes competitive freestyle skiing and snowboarding for athletes in Sun Peaks, Kamloops and surrounding areas.
Sun Peaks Alpine Club ― Promotes alpine sports as a healthy and enjoyable activity for people of all ages and abilities.
Bluebird Day Fund Society ― Provides opportunities for economically and/or socially disadvantaged youth to participate in athletic and recreational programs.
Sun Peaks Community Helps ― Provides information and assistance to residents of Sun Peaks and Whitecroft during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sun Peaks Health Association ― Works to provide health services for residents, including raising funds for the Sun Peaks Health Centre and required equipment.
Did we miss any local non-profits? Feel free to reach out to [email protected] if you have an addition to the list.