OSOYOOS TIMES-April 27, 2011
By Paul Everest - Osoyoos Times
Beginning this summer, Destination Osoyoos (DO) will be deploying “ambassadors” throughout town to give visitors to Osoyoos the low-down on everything from community events to local attractions.
Dubbed Team Osoyoos: Your Local Know-it-Alls, the ambassadors will be uniformed and knowledgeable about all things Osoyoos and will be trained to answer any questions tourists and visitors may have.
They will be stationed at high-traffic areas in town— such as Gyro Beach, the downtown core or at special events such as the Cherry Fiesta parade— seven days a week from June to August from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Team Osoyoos project was unveiled during DO’s 15th annual general meeting on April 20 at the Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort.
According to a media release handed out at the meeting, the ambassadors will receive training to become familiar with Osoyoos’s hotels, resorts, wineries and restaurants.
They will also take courses provided by St. John Ambulance to become experienced in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and the use of automated electronic defibrillators and will train to become certified in the B.C.-based WorldHost customer service program.
The roughly 25 people who attended the meeting, including current DO board members and representatives of local businesses and the Town of Osoyoos, also heard about plans for the upcoming third annual Osoyoos Celebrity Wine Festival from Glenn Fawcett, president of Oliver’s Black Hills Estate Winery, which is a presenting sponsor of the festival.
The festival kicks off on June 9 and the celebrities who have confirmed their attendance so far include Jason Priestley, who owns shares in Black Hills, Canadian actor Bruce Greenwood, country singer George Canyon, Olympic gold-medal winner Ashleigh McIvor and Lorne Cardinal of the Canadian television show Corner Gas, among others.
It’s also possible, Fawcett said, that the entire cast of Corner Gas could make an appearance at the festival.
He said last year’s festival brought roughly $100,000 worth of media exposure for Osoyoos and organizers hope to double that amount this year.
Charities that will benefit from this year’s festival include the Desert Sun Counselling and Resource Centre, the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club, Success by Six, an early childhood development program, and the Dragonfly Pond Family Society, all under the umbrella of the United Way of the South Okanagan.
Fawcett said at the meeting that 50 tickets for the event have already been sold.
The meeting concluded with recognition of Derek Noske’s 10 years of service with DO.
A former chair of DO’s board, Noske was named an honourary lifetime director with the organization.
Following the meeting, DO elected its board of directors for 2011-2012.
Don Brogan stays on as chair, Mohamed Awad is vice-chair, Peter Bueschkens is secretary-treasurer and Paul Scanlon is interim acting past chair.
James Quilley, Chris Tolley, Jim Henry, Cam Bissonnette and Todd Mallen will serve as directors.