Three-time Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet will be in Keremeos next week to help get the discussion going for an event about mobility in rural communities.
The talk, which is organized by the Community Foundation (CFSOS) and the Lower Similkameen Community Services Society, covers how residents want their community to grow, what mobility issues they face and how mobility can remedy these issues.
Kim English, regional community development officer with CFSOS, said the goal is to take the temperature regularly as to what the gaps and immediate needs of rural communities are in the region. Talks like these happened about every two years, she said.
“Things can change quickly. We lost the Greyhound service recently. We can talk about what people are doing right now with this gap and what we can do. What are the different or potential possibilities are out there,” she said.
English said the talk, which is open to residents in Keremeos, Cawston, Olalla and Hedley, will look at how rural communities across Canada are adopting new ways to transport people. For example, she pointed to rural and southern Ontario where people have begun contracting winery vans used in the spring and summer for transportation in the winter.
“Some of the smaller service provider organizations are contracting these drivers and vans to take their clients and community members from A to B,” she said.
Ultimately, English said the aim of the talk is to stimulate conversations about innovative or new ways to get around in rural communities.
The event takes place at the Keremeos Seniors Activity Centre on July 24 from 3 to 4:30 p.m.