KYAN group finds ways to get together through pandemic

KYAN offered an Outdoor Plein Air Painting workshop for local youth at McGinty Lake Recreation Site. Photo submitted

We have all, in our personal lives, and with any community group we may be involved with, had to learn how to function differntly this year. But that doesn’t mean that some normal activities can’t go on.

Such is the caes for the Kimberley Youth Action Network (KYAN).

Coordinator Lori Joe says that the youth were determined to keep meeting despite the heat and the pandemic.

“Ensuring that they are following guidelines set out by Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the youth have been meeting regularly in order to learn new skills, maintain friendships and have fun.”

Most recent events include youth from the arts stream of KYAN, holding a physically distanced paint party at McGinty Lake and then a ceramics event at McKim School grounds. Youth have also been participating in several photo contests, an online top teen chef challenge, and a virtual Environmental Youth Summit held in conjunction with other Youth Actions Networks in the Basin.

“We are working very hard to keep our young people engaged through the COVID-19 crisis,” said Joe. “We know that Kimberley’s youth are very active in their communities and COVID-19 really had an impact on their ability to have contact with others and that can be really tough for young people. During Stage 1 and 2 we didn’t want to put our feet up and wait until it was over so we came up with ways to offer them opportunities online to keep them engaged. Now that we are in Stage 3 of the provincial restart plan, we feel comfortable to come together again under safe conditions and best of all, the youth are excited to get out and see their friends and take on new challenges!”

Funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, and supported locally by the City of Kimberley, the Kimberley Youth Action Networks mission is to increase local activities and provide diverse opportunities for Kimberley and RDEK Area youth. KYAN is always offering new and exciting opportunities to learn new skills and enhance leadership abilities for youth. The best way to learn about upcoming events is to check out @kyanleadership on Instagram or email

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