As Lake Days enters its 71st year, the Lake Days Society is struggling to keep the event above water after executive chairperson Bob Day stepped down from his position on Jan. 20. As nobody put their names forward for Day’s position during the group’s annual general meeting, Laurie Johnson is proposing an alternative solution.
Johnson was present at the Feb. 3 town council meeting, where she asked the Town of Lake Cowichan to take on oversight of the annual event.
Johnson said she hopes the town will be able add funds for Lake Days to its seasonal decoration budget (which she estimated to be around $16,000) to cover the costs of running Lake Days.
Town council is set to deliberate the proposal this week.
In the meantime, Johnson said the group will also be pitching the same idea to the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce and Cowichan Lake Recreation, and are still holding out hope that a volunteer will step up at the next meeting, keeping Lake Days an independent entity. But as the group falls farther behind schedule, Johnson’s not holding her breath.
“I get it, people are busy, and running Lake Days is a lot of work,” she said. “The whole week is a lot of work, but its rewarding.”
Day cited “personal reasons” for stepping down, and Johnson, who previously served as both secretary and treasurer, stepped down to focus on working towards a senior care facility in Lake Cowichan. For now, she remains focussed on finding a solution for Lake Days.
“It’s a community event, it generates money, it brings people to Lake Cowichan,” Johnson said. “In the six years I’ve been involved, I’ve seen people plan grads, weddings and other events around Lake Days, because that’s when people come to Lake Cowichan. We’ve already lost the Appollos [softball] tournament, we’ve lost the Great Lake Walk and I’d hate to lose this too.”
Johnson said the Lake Days Society is looking into the possibility of hiring a paid staff member to administer the event, which would likely affect admissions prices to Lake Days.
She also said she hoped a new face could bring fresh ideas to Lake Days.