(YALE) It’s only fitting that a community with deep historical roots has a stump at centre stage for its July 1 celebrations.

And it’s even more fitting that the headline performer at Yale’s Canada Day in the Canyon is the Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Iona Campagnolo. Her Honour will stand atop the sawed-off platform to give the same “stump speech” delivered by Gov. James Douglas to a crowd of over 10,000 people in 1858, the height of the Fraser River gold rush.

The dramatic recreation of this pivotal moment in modern B.C. history is the centerpiece of a day of celebrations featuring music, street theatre and living heritage that previews celebrations to come in 2008.

“BC150 will shine a spotlight on the rich history of this province,” said Tourism, Sport and the Arts Minister Stan Hagen. “Governor James Douglas’ 1858 speech was an important moment in B.C.’s history, and I’m delighted that her Honour the Lieutenant Governor will be delivering the ‘Stump Speech’ in Yale on Canada Day.”

BC150 is a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Crown Colony of British Columbia in 1858.  Every community in B.C. is invited to participate in this year-long celebration of B.C.’s cultural diversity, community strength and widespread achievement.

The Lieutenant Governor’s speech will be the high point of an afternoon of festivities that includes music by performers like up-and-coming B.C. singer Hayley Sales, whose hit, “What You Want” is in the top 10 AC Canadian charts. First Nations performers like the Siska Dancers will also take to the main stage.

The event runs from 3-8:30 p.m. July 1, with games and entertainment throughout the day as guests, visitors, locals and government representatives celebrate Yale’s importance to B.C. and Canada. Her Honour will arrive by train from Agassiz at 6:00 p.m.

With street performers recreating some of the colourful characters from B.C.’s past, gold panning for the kids, storytellers, and historic walking and zodiac tours for all ages, the July 1 festival has something for everyone.

It’s the first celebration organized by the New Pathways To Gold Society (NPTGS), a community-based organization dedicated to continued reconciliation with First Nations, investment in B.C. heritage and economic development. The society is funded by BC150 and is working in partnership with the Yale First Nation, the Yale and District Historical Society and local residents and businesses.

NPTGS Co-chair, Lytton First Nation Chief Byron Spinks, says the celebrations bring native and non-native communities closer together.

“Sharing our stories and our cultures helps the reconciliation process and creates a better understanding between First Nations and other communities,” says Spinks. “Everyone benefits when we work together towards a common goal.”

A significant milestone in B.C. history, 2008 marks the 200th anniversary of Simon Fraser’s journey downriver, assisted by the First Nations, and the 150th anniversary of the Fraser River gold rush and subsequent proclamation of B.C. as a Crown colony.

The NPTGS gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through BC150, a Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts initiative. For more information on BC150 events and programs, please visit

About New Pathways To Gold Society (NPTGS)

NPTGS is a non-profit, non-partisan organisation working with communities along the Gold Rush/Spirit Trails corridor from Hope to Barkerville. The Society is dedicated to heritage tourism, First Nations reconciliation and economic development. NPTGS acknowledges the financial support of the B.C. government.

For more information, please contact:
Don Hauka, Communications/Creative Director  |  604.524.1884