Summer is quickly nearing its end and before we know it, all this beautiful weather will be behind us. On top of that, we have had a less than ideal liquor reform courtesy of Suzanne Anton and John Yap which has left consumers paying more than ever for the beers they love. (You can read more about that here.) As sad as all of that may seem, you don’t have to fret, for I come bearing good news!
CAMRA Vancouver is exploring a new format regarding how we address Community engagement in the rural areas of the lower mainland. Last February at our AGM, when I took on this role, I talked a lot about engagement of areas outside of the Vancouver “proper” area. I have found over the years that we have been very good at engaging that core, but have heavily neglected the surrounding communities. I admit, this is a project I envisioned starting earlier in my tenure as president, but the unfortunate liquor reform brought to us by the BC government has put many of our plans on hold as we tried to decipher it and advocate on your behalf.
Now that the reform has slowed a little, and we are working with a new minister in charge of liquor, I turn my eyes towards community engagement. Now, it’s no secret that the beer community has expanded outside of the likes of East Vancouver, Mount Pleasant, etc, and into countless other communities across the lower mainland. We see thriving breweries in North Vancouver, Port Moody beer is becoming a staple of every event, and New West has an exploding brewery and pub community as well. All this amongst countless other thriving areas (We’re looking at you Abbotsford!)
What I’m looking for, are people from the lower mainland communities outside of the Vancouver city limits that feel as though they are ready to take a step towards being leaders of the beer community in their respective areas. I don’t want to give too much away of what we have planned, because what we do will be directly dependent on who steps up, but this is a fantastic opportunity to see what it feels like to move into a leadership capacity with CAMRA.
If you believe you are well embedded in your local suburban or rural lower mainland community or simply think you are up to the challenge of engaging your community in a very tangible way, I want to hear from you. You can email me or tweet me to let me know. Don’t worry, contacting me is in no way shape or form a full on commitment on your part, as I understand people want to know exactly what they’re committing to before they do it, but I’d love to hear from you if you think that being involved in making CAMRA a bigger part of your local community is something that you would like to do.
I am looking forward to what’s ahead, I hope you are too!
President, CAMRA BC – Vancouver Branch