The 2018/19 Lady of the Lake royalty wave to enthusiastic supporters from the crowd. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)

The 2018/19 Lady of the Lake royalty wave to enthusiastic supporters from the crowd. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)

No Lady of the Lake at Lake Cowichan in 2020 for second straight year

The eventis looking to change with the times

For the second straight year the annual Lady of the Lake competition has taken a hiatus but, instead of cancelling the program altogether, organizers are looking ahead with optimism and charting a course for a successful future.

The event, which has stood the test of time pretty well, having run for most of the last 75 years, is looking to change with the times according to Cowichan Lady of the Lake Society president Jocelyn Lundberg.

“We understand that times are changing and perhaps there are barriers to participating in our program that we are unaware of,” she said.

“It’s very sad. The program is so well known in our community and the public events are always such a highlight during the Lake Days week,” Lundberg said. “Having gone through it myself as a teen I truly believe in the value of it and what it can do for the confidence of the young ladies who participate in it.”

For two straight years there’s been a lack of prospective candidates to be able to run the program. But, for some anyway, there’s always next year.

A March 4 information session for girls Grades 8-10 and their families will hopefully address some of the barriers to participation young women face, so that more will consider signing up in 2021.

The meeting is slated for 5:30 p.m. at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena.

In fact, the 11th graders who wanted to participate this year will be invited back to try again in 2021.

“We are truly sorry to the young ladies who will be graduating this year who unfortunately did not get to experience the program,” Lundberg said. “We wish you the best of luck in your future.”

Lundberg noted Cowichan Lake’s Lady of the Lake program isn’t the only one of its kind having challenges.

“Various other communities throughout B.C. are finding themselves in similar positions, but as I’ve said before the Lady of the Lake Society is not prepared to ‘cancel’ the program entirely; we will continue to find ways to generate interest and hopefully we will be able to revive the program for 2021,” she said.

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