A community dinner, free ice skating and on-ice entertainment on Friday, Jan. 4 will kick off the City of Port Coquitlam's year-long birthday celebration.
Set to run from 5 to 9: 30 p.m. at the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex, the 100th Birthday Launch Party is the first of a series of community events and legacy projects to be held throughout 2013 to commemorate the city's 100th birthday.
The city was inaugurated on Mar. 7, 1913 after splitting off from largely rural Coquitlam, according to a press release.
What began as a hub of industry centered around the Canadian Pacific Railway operations has evolved into a diverse community of 57,000 with a central location in Metro Vancouver, a healthy base of business and industry, 271 hectares of protected parks and trails, established neighbourhoods and a strong sense of community spirit, known as PoCo Pride.
"We have a lot to be proud of in Port Coquitlam. As we mark our 100th birthday throughout 2013, we'll not only celebrate where we came from, but also look for ways to build on what we've achieved," Mayor Greg Moore said. "It's a great opportunity for our residents to learn more about where they live, to tap into our community spirit, and to find out what makes Port Coquitlam unique from other cities."
Planning for the city's centennial has been spearheaded by Port Coquitlam's Spirit of BC Community Committee, which coordinated the successful community celebrations and legacy projects associated with the 2010 Winter Olympics. The year-long celebration is intended to honour the city's past, present and future and reflect all aspects of the community.
"We will be celebrating history in the making and everyone in Port Coquitlam can be in on it," said committee chair Rénee Chadwick.
"Over the past year, the Spirit Committee has been connecting with a variety of community businesses and organizations, and collectively we have planned activities and events for all ages. We invite everyone to take part in the festivities and catch the centennial spirit."
Plans include signature events such as the Jan. 4 launch party along with events organized by community groups such as the Port Coquitlam Heritage and Cultural Society. Existing community events will take on a centennial flavour, including Spirit Week, May Day, Canada Day, the Terry Fox Run and the Rivers & Trails Festival.
The Spirit Committee is also in the process of setting up a fund to provide grants to local groups that want to host a 100th themed event, and will be providing block party celebration kits to Port Coquitlam neighbourhoods. Legacy projects may include a digital art exhibit, tree planting, time capsule, carving of a 100-year-old silver maple, and new banners along the Coast Meridian Overpass.
The city's special edition 2013 centennial calendar was distributed to households on Dec. 5. To learn more about 100th birthday events, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/100.