NORNORTHTH ofof 5050 August 09 page 3Thompson/Nicola/South Cariboo
Armstrong's Shirley Fowler loves the satisfaction of completing the circle,of seeing things to the end. And as the current Interior Provincial Exhibitionpresident, a city councillor, a successful business owner, a mother and wifeand a member of several local organizations, she is part of many circles.
"It's completing the circle when I get involved in something. It's leavingnothing unfinished. I don't like to take on new things unless I know I canoffer something and commit to it," shesays in her office at the new IPE buildingon Wood Avenue. "I like to see things doneright and I like to do my part to see thatthings get done right."
Fowler has a lot to do lately, working witha dedicated team to get the 110th InteriorProvincial Exhibition & Stampede off andrunning Sept. 2-6. She seems to thrive onthe momentum of being constantly busy.So much so that this year's theme of Let'sGo Hog Wild! in the midst of worldwideswine flu panic leaves her philosophical.
"That's all part of agriculture. We're goingahead. I don't think it will affect us," shesays pragmatically. "It's a perfectopportunity for the swine division to usethat worldwide media thing right now tothe benefit of agriculture, specifically theswine."
Involvement with Armstrong's fair began many years ago, when her now-grown sons were tots. The two boys entered their Lego creations while momentered her flowers and vegetables. True to form, she was soon working onthe vegetable committee.
"Then after a couple years on the vegetable committee, I became the headvegetable," she quips. "Which puts you on the board of directors. After afew years on the board of directors, I was fortunate or unfortunate enoughto be elected to the executive."
She has now served 10 years on the executive and was vice-president beforebeing elected president last year.
Commitment to community comes naturally to Fowler. She considersherself very lucky to have been part of the Armstrong community since shewas a child and married to a third generation Armstrong resident.
"I feel very fortunate that I have lived all my life here. So many people thatI went to school with have gone away, had their careers and raised theirfamilies and they come back here to retire. And I've been able to just do thatwhole cycle here."
A love of horticulture was first nurtured by her next-door neighbour onBecker Street, Ralph Whipple, who had been gardening part of the propertywhen Fred and Shirley Fowler purchased it in 1974.
"He was really my gardening angel. He taught me not only how to garden,but the appreciation of planting a seed and watching it grow and ending upwith food on the table," she says before recalling a memory of her son."When Mike was just a tot, he had a little acorn and he said to GrandpaWhipple - that's what we called him - 'If we plant this, will it grow into atree?' And in his infinite wisdom, he said, 'Mike, there's only one way toknow that and that's to plant it.' And that tree is in our yard today. We call itthe Whipple oak. And there's several offspring of that Whipple oak aroundArmstrong now."
A job at a greenhouse furthered her passion, which led to starting a yardmaintenance business, which led to her getting Armstrong's gardenmaintenance contract, a job she has done for 12 years.
Dont miss the fun at the IPE!Dont miss the fun at the IPE!The 110th Interior Provincial Exhibition & Stampede has lots to offer this year. Asalways, there are the old favourites and some new changes to .keep things freshand interesting.
The IPE is ready to challenge last year's numbers of more than 150,000visitors, 2,000 exhibitors and 8,000 entries. The Swine Division will be honouredthis year with the theme, Let's Go Hog Wild!
Some changes were made to the layout last year to improve pedestriantraffic through the grounds and better utilize facilities and the improvement wastangible. A few more changes this year will create better flow to the arena andthrough the Heritage Village. The logging show will also get more room at alocation by the arena.
People can enter to win two tickets to the gold medal speed skating eventat the 2010 Olympics and try out the interactive sports activities at the 5,000square foot B.C. Winter Sports Pavilion.
Youth aged 13-21 can partake in a youth talent show on the mainstage (atthe food court) each night at 8 p.m. The IPE has been granted the authority to havea youth talent zone in B.C. in addition to the Provincial National Exhibition inVancouver. The winner from each event will attend the Canadian Youth TalentCompetition hosted by CAFE (Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions) inCharlottetown in November.
Mark Wagner, of Wagner Shows that provided the fair's midway for manyyears, will be inducted into the Canadian Rodeo Hall of Fame during Saturday'srodeo. The rodeo will also feature stock provided by the Calgary Stampede andminiature chuckwagons.
Centennial Theatre will feature presentations, demonstrations, movies,speakers and tastings designed to educate people about food security issues. Adifferent theme will set each day's agenda.
Back again will be 4-H shows, Mooturnity, Kids Zone, Dodge Truck Stage,50/50 draws, great vendors, West Coast Amusement midway and a whole lotmore. For up-to-date information on IPE events, check out their Facebook page orwww.armstrongipe.com.
She has happily brought the gardening bug to the city via her role as acouncillor. Enthusiastic about Communities in Bloom after a visit toQuesnel, which had undergone a "floral transformation" after adopting theprogram, she jumped at the chance to attend a national conference on behalfof the city. A community group fell together easily and Armstrong startedwith one small project.
"We picked the Marigold Mile, which was theflowers along the hedgerow (through the heartof town). And when people saw the success ofthat, then they really wanted to be on board.People want to climb on board a successfulproject. We had lots of people who could see weweren't going away. We were serious aboutwhat we were doing and we're serious aboutdoing it well."
The city quickly reaped the benefits, earningthe provincial title in three years and thenational title the following year. Fowlercontinued, acting as a provincial judge in 2007.As with all projects she is involved with,Fowler is quick to steer any accolades to thegroup.
"That's not me, that's a team of volunteers. Thatwas teamwork that did that."
Fowler is excited with what the IPE team has pulled together this year andlooks forward to many more fairs. Content now to fulfill her duties aspresident, she knows her role with the IPE will have come full circle whenshe is back in the flower and vegetable divisions vying for a piece of theprize money and prestige. No matter what happens, she aims to be happy.
"Everything that I do is stuff I like to do. People often do what people expectthem to do. I think that's really good advice to people: Try to find things thatyou actually have a passion and make a living out of it. You'll be happy.Rather than dreading going to work, you go to work and do the things youreally want to do."
IPE President Shirley Fowler has been working hard with a team ofdedicated volunteers and staff to make the 110th InteriorProvincial Exhibition and Stampede a fun, entertaining andeducational event. Last year the event drew 151,000 visitors.Photo supplied.
Shhiirrlleeyy Foowwlleerr: Commitment to Community Story and cover photo by Jackie Pearase
NORNORTHTH ofof 5050 August 09page 4 Thompson/Nicola/South Cariboo
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Venture Kamloops Business Development Societyhas announced the following new members to itsBoard of Directors; Kate Calhoun, Anthony Muzzilloand Corrine Serink.
Kate Calhoun has resided in Kamloops since 1988and was a realtor for 11 years. For the past 7 years,she managed the operations of Wayside Printers buthas since moved on and started her own consultingbusiness. She has considerable knowledge inoperating a small business and years of experiencemanaging people and business development.
Even with a family of 6, she still found the time toserve with the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA and sat onthe board of directors for the Women of Distinction.
Anthony Muzzillo, Dealer Principal of SmithChevrolet Cadillac and co-owner of KamloopsHyundai, has 28 years of experience and training inthe dealership operations. Since taking co-ownershipof the Smith Chevrolet dealership in 1990, he carrieson the dealership tradition of being an activeparticipant in the daily operation and is a dedicatedsupporter of the Kamloops and area communities.
Anthony has been a resident of Kamloops all his lifeand throughout the years hes contributed and servedwith many non-profit