Celebrations are included in the 2019 Corporate Plan, which includes recognition of the 100th Anniversary of the irrigation canal – “The Ditch”.
Expenses for the plaque and base will be allocated to the Water System Miscellaneous Budget $5,000 • Plaque – $3,495 • Base – TBD Expenses for the Reception will be allocated to Council’s Reception Budget Reception – $100-$200 (estimate)
To help build on Oliver’s community pride the annual Spirit of Oliver event takes place, and during Canada’s 150th party the Canada 150 Mural was painted by many members of this community.
Preliminary hype for the 100th Anniversary to date include:
• A publication titled “The Ditch” was brought to the Local Government Management Association 100th Anniversary Convention to be included in the history displays. The LGMA has also produced decade videos as part of their celebration, the 1919-1929 video comments on the first improvement district formed in the Province located in the
south Okanagan – which became SOLID.
• In the next edition of LGMA’s Exchange Magazine, Oliver will also be featured; the article highlights that both the LGMA and Oliver are celebrating centennial anniversaries in 2019.
Like the LGMA, the Town of Oliver is celebrating its centennial anniversary this year – dating its beginnings from the time the digging started on “The Ditch” that led to a community. While the official town began with digging a ditch, things really got started in 1918, when the provincial government purchased 22,000 acres of land in the south Okanagan and proceeded to develop an irrigation system designed to convert some 8,000 acres of desert land on each side of the Okanagan River into viable agriculture land. This land was made available, at a reasonable cost, to the returning soldiers from World War I. This project was brought to life by B.C. Premier “Honest John Oliver” – hence the origin of the name of the Town of Oliver.
• To formally recognize the irrigation canal’s 100th Anniversary, a 16″ x 20″ bronze commemorative plaque is currently being produced which will be installed on a base built by Public Works. The plaque installation will be in the linear park located on Fairview Road near the High School. A formal unveiling by Mayor and Council, Water Councillors, former SOLID trustees, MLA, local dignitaries, and members of the public will take place when the plaque and base are installed. As the weather may be cooler, a small reception could occur in Council Chambers after the unveiling. The Oliver and District Heritage Society assisted staff with the facts and wording for the commemorative bronze plaque.
• Social media posts will highlight the 100th Anniversary of “The Ditch” over the next month.
Target date for completion?