Sam Steele Days in Cranbrook has officially been postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Carrie Schafer, Sam Steele Society chair, says that the decision was made to postpone the event in order to give more time to the organizers to see what unfolds over the next few months.
On April 18th, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, said that no large events or gatherings will be able to be held this summer because of the pandemic. Although some social contact restrictions may ease mid-May, Henry said major events like parades and fairs won’t be possible.
Schafer says they are hopeful about hosting something in the fall, however the most important thing is the Sam Steele Sweethearts.
“We’ll have to wait and see what happens over the next few months,” Schafer said. “We’re hoping for the fall, or maybe to have it on a smaller scale, but we’re just giving it a bit more time to see what happens. I think the most crucial part are those young ambassadors.”
The Sweetheart Youth Ambassador Program provides training in public speaking, resume writing, budgeting, interview skills and other life skills for young women in grades 10-11 in Cranbrook.
The sweethearts are also a big part of the community through volunteerism and leadership. Every year, at the Sam Steele Days event there is a pageant and the opportunity to become an official youth ambassador for the City of Cranbrook.
The Townsman spoke briefly with Sweetheart Ambassador Program coordinator Karin Penner. She explained that a decision has not been made about the fate of the pageant, but that the coordinators are meeting on Tuesday (April 21) to discuss. Sweetheart Ambassador program participants are continuing their program virtually for now in hopes for a pageant at a later date.