Last year I came across an amusing article showcasing the top Mayoral Photo Ops of 2014. Little did I know at that time, how many photos ops I would be asked to participate in my new role in 2015. Personally I always feel a bit awkward at these scripted photo events, but putting aside their corniness, photo ops do have an important function to assist in bringing attention to important events and announcements. Looking back at the photo ops for the past year, I realized that they are in their own unique way an interesting way to look back at some of the important events that have occurred in New Westminster over the past year.
TOP 10 Photos Ops of 2015
10. Trapp Block: Giant scissors made their first appearance in 2015 at the grand opening of the new Trapp Block Development. Although there were several new development projects in the city that were finished in 2015, this one was particularly special because of the heritage facade restoration of the Trapp Block which has been a landmark on Columbia Street for over a century.
9. And the Winner of the Car is: At events, I often get called get called upon to draw door prizes, but drawing the winner of the Key West Ford car draw to support Family & Monarch Place was pretty cool. Thank you to Key West Ford for your support of so many different community groups in our city.
8. McHappy Day: Being a vegetarian I had mixed emotions about this one, but the event raises funds for an excellent cause and helps a lot of families with seriously ill children. Having never worked in a fast food restaurant it also gave me an interesting perspective about how fast paced and demanding working in this industry is.
7. Anvil Battery Salute: New Westminster is a city filled with traditions. One of the loudest of these traditions is the Anvil Battery Salute, which is New Westminster’s unique way of saluting Queen Victoria. It was an honour this year to participate in the firing for the first time. My ears are still ringing from the experience.
6. Body Break: New Westminster welcomed the opening of Willowbrae Child Care Centre this year and I was happy to participate in the event. The facility has a big focus on physical activity, so I was very excited to get to meet my childhood idols Hal and Joanne from Body Break at the opening.
5. Transportation Referendum: My vote in last year’s transportation referendum was as public as it gets. Unfortunately voting in front of hundreds of people on a giant novelty ballot was not enough to turn the tide during the referendum.
4.Wow Westminster: 2015 saw the opening of probably New Westminster’s most controversial and talked about public art projects. The big “W” probably didn’t need giant scissors to attract attention to it.
3. Washing the Tin Soldier: I can now add giving a bath to the world’s largest tin soldier to my resume. It was a tough job, but someone had to do it.
2. RCH Expansion: The first phase of a major redevelopment plan for Royal Columbian Hospital was announced this year. RCH play an important role in health care in our region and is a major economic driver in the City of New Westminster, so this was big announcement for our community.
1. Banana Suit: At a Tourism New West event, I made a classic rookie Mayoral mistake. I agreed to dress up in a banana suit and sing karaoke. Sadly all photographic evidence of this occurrence appear to have been voluntarily destroyed.
Only time will tell what exciting photos ops will occur in 2016. The deconstruction of the parkade is bound to be very photogenic. A photo op involving the new high school project would also be very welcomed in the community. If any provincial or federal officials are reading this post, I would also like to mention that I am more than happy to facilitate giant novelty cheque photo ops in 2016.