The Okanagan Similkameen Healthy Living Fair, which took place at the Penticton Convention Centre on Saturday, March 2, had a higher profile in the region this year. The Healthy Living Coalition’s recent dialogues with local governments to raise awareness of the benefits of working towards the establishement of healthy communities has made the topic of healthy lifestyles a current news item in the region.
The Healthy Living Fair, which ran from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday, began in 2008. Health care providers, support groups, and others in the health care industry participated in the event, which was aimed at providing the general public with health care information through demonstrations and and speaker sessions, exhibitor booths and various “healthy living assessment” stations, as well as giving attendees the opportunity to sign up for coaching opportunities which would assist them in the setting of their own personal health goals.
“This fair provides an incredible benefit for seniors in the region,” stated Penticton MLA Bill Barisoff, who attended the opening ceremonies. Barisoff spoke of his own personal benefit from the fair, recounting a previous event when he stopped at a booth to have his blood pressure tested, subsequently discovering that it was high.
“With my schedule, a doctor’s appointment for a regular check up just doesn’t happen,” he said.
Barisoff noted that with the provincial budget eating up 48 per cent of the total revenue, keeping people healthy and out of the health care system was an important priority.
“We are hoping that this fair becomes a community model for the province,” said Healthy Living Society Director Barry Reid.
With more than 100,000 people to draw on in the South Okanagan – Similkameen, this fair is a huge benefit for seniors in terms of providing residents with health care and disease prevention information.”