The Bulkley Valley Kinsmen are still hoping to hold an extremely scaled-down version of the annual Telkwa BBQ this year.
The BBQ is the longest-running event in B.C. and the Kinsmen don’t want to lose that status. However, Kin Canada has stringent guidelines and protocols in place for any club that is holding events during the pandemic.
“It started in 1912, this is the 108th year,” said District 5 Kin Governor Lonny Wiebe. “Even during these interesting times with the pandemic, it would be a shame to see the longest-running B.C. event skip a year and end that timeline,”
Members of the group made a presentation to Telkwa Council at its July 21 meeting with a proposal to still carry on with the BBQ portion of the event and the tradition of Beef on a Bun.
The demo derby and softball tournament have been cancelled.
“There would be no public on the ground,” explained Wiebe to council. “Essentially, it would be a private cookout. They won’t be selling the beef, it would be just Kinsmen members and volunteers by association putting the beef in the ground and tending to it overnight and then we would pack it up and move it off-site and sell it at a different location in a drive-thru style in Telkwa and possibly Smithers.”
Their proposal outlines several safety precautions such as keeping the attendance at the cooking to a minimum, inviting RCMP to monitor, getting a fire permit, handling food and cash with adherence to food safety regulations and following enhanced cleaning protocols. Masks and hand sanitizer would also be used by everyone involved.
“I want it to proceed, I don’t want an interruption,” said Mayor Brad Layton. “We see in the news that COVID is spiking a little in places. However, in the North with our lifestyle and our separation already, we seem to be doing really well. As long as we take these safety measures, I fully support and I’m behind you guys in carrying on.”
Wiebe said they are still looking for a place or two to sell the beef and CAO Debbie Joujan offered a suggestion.
“We just found out from the health authority that we can have 50 people in the community hall and that has a window, so we were thinking and considering and we need to discuss this more but perhaps it could be sold through that window,” she said.
Council made a motion to receive the proposal and support it. However, Layton reminded the Kinsmen that things can change.
“If the Province comes down and says something different than we have to adhere to it,” he noted.