The Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce’s yellow jackets are back.
The summer Ambassadors program traditionally had volunteers in bright yellow jackets situated in several tourist areas, such as Cathedral Grove and aboard the MV Frances Barkley. The coronavirus pandemic halted the program in 2020 for two years, but the Ambassadors are back out at Cathedral Grove, says spokesperson Ian Staton.
“Each year hundreds of thousands of tourists, mostly people from Canada, Europe and Asia, are awed by Cameron Lake and then stop at Cathedral Grove,” he said. “They are information seekers and need to know something about Port Alberni on their way out to the West Coast.”
Staton, who is on his ninth year as an Ambassador, said volunteers are there to point out amenities and services in Port Alberni, to encourage people to stop on their way west.
The Ambassadors will only be out at Cathedral Grove this year, unless they have a huge influx of volunteers. They started June 11 with shifts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and will expand as personnel allow. Shifts depend on volunteer availability.
One thing the Ambassadors are not responsible for is parking or traffic control at Cathedral Grove, Staton said. Volunteers will be near the trails talking to people. “We’re there to benefit the businesses of Port Alberni and inform the public of activities we have in Port Alberni.”
There is always a need for more volunteer Ambassadors, Staton said. Training and coaching will be provided, and volunteers may choose their shifts. Anyone interested in volunteering should call the Alberni Valley Visitors Centre at 250-724-6535.