Kudos must be given to the Kinsmen club for such a successful revival of the soapbox derby on the BC Day long weekend.
The event was popular from the outset, as some parents and grandparents recall the original soapbox derbies that once ran in the Alberni Valley. Rob Cole, a former city councillor, even had his original soapbox derby race car on display in front of Char’s Landing.
The Kinsmen approached the event in a smart manner: they started small, and didn’t let the event get out of hand despite its early popularity.
From the outside, the event ran smoothly—hundreds of people lined Argyle Street to watch the event, businesses like Char’s Landing, the Paramount Theatre and Capitol Theatre caught the enthusiasm and opened their doors for bathroom facilities and refreshments, and volunteers made sure the event was a success.
All these ingredients mean this event could run annually again, and there were many, many supporters who are hoping that happens.
The other point that must be brought to attention is the revival of the Kinsmen Club itself: new members rallied behind organization of the soapbox derby, with support from existing members.
Service clubs are facing a crisis across Canada as younger people are looking at volunteerism in a different manner. It’s nice to see some new blood and fresh perspective.
— ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS