The Parksville Downtown Business Association (PDBA) has youth ambassadors hitting the streets of Parksville once again.
The executive director of the PDBA, Pamela Bottomley, went before city council during the last council meeting on Monday, July 5, to introduce the newest members of the organization’s youth program.
Addy Waldy and Noah Cody make up the two-person team that will navigate downtown Parksville and help tourists and residents alike explore what the city has to offer. Bottomley said the team will also act as an outreach for PDBA members.
Waldy, who will be going into Grade 12 at Ballenas Secondary School in the fall, said she was interested in the position because of the social interaction and communication aspect of the job, since she plans to become a teacher.
Cody, who will be going into Grade 11 at Nanaimo Christian School in the fall, said he thought the program was a great way to learn more about the community since he’s interested in pursuing marketing and graphic production, and thought experiencing the business part of town would be a good avenue into those fields.
As the liaison for the PDBA, Coun. Mark Chandler said he anticipates 2021 being an incredible year for Parksville.
“I think that we’re going to see people coming from all over the place. A lot of big smiles out there. People will be almost like freed from the craziness of COVID, a little bit. And I think you’ll see some very happy folks. I think you’ll encounter a lot of really fun stuff,” said Chandler.
Over the summer, Waldy and Cody will be on the streets of Parksville five days a week, Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m until 4 p.m. for 10 weeks.
At the end of the summer, the team will put together an end-of-season report for the PDBA board of directors and Parksville city council.
The program, now in its sixth year, will have the team performing such tasks as tracking pedestrian traffic patterns and noting any problem areas that either the city or PDBA need to address, as well as noting any gaps in services and retail opportunities provided downtown.
After their introduction at the Monday council meeting, members of council went around the table and expressed their excitement and thanked the team for their coming work throughout the city.
“Probably the biggest compliment I get from these tourists when they’re in the downtown core are our ambassadors going around and helping out all of these people that don’t know where they are, or what they’re doing. And it’s a great tradition. It’s wonderful. I’m really happy to see both Noah and Addy in here doing this,” said Mayor Ed Mayne during Monday’s council meeting.