Sea to Sky delegation gets organized for trip to Beijing 

Kamloops delegation returns to B.C. with six new agreements signed

About 15 people gathered at the Whistler Public Library Monday night to find out more about the Sea to Sky’s delegation to the B.C.-Canada Pavilion, which will be traveling to Beijing in September for the opening of the 2010 Paralympic Games.

The group included representatives from the Whistler Community Services Society, the Whistler Adaptive Sports Program, Cascade Environmental Resource Group and the accessibility tourism arm of 2010 Legacies Now.

According to organizer William Roberts, president of the Whistler Forum, the delegation will present local perspectives on accessible tourism and sustainable development from Sept. 8 to 9 at the B.C.-Canada Pavilion.

Presentations by the delegation at the pavilion will be free, but attendance will be based on invitation only. Roberts estimates approximately 40 to 60 guests at the pavilion each day. Guests will be chosen based on contacts the Whistler Forum has in China, along with those recommended by the Canadian Embassy in Beijing.

Bill Brown, Bruce Stewart, David Thompson and Lisa Ames from Leadership Sea to Sky Cohort IV have been hammering out the details of the trip over the past two months, along with Canadian-Chinese representative Helene Huang.

The Sea to Sky corridor is one of four B.C. communities sending delegations to the B.C.-Canada Pavilion in Beijing this summer.

A Kamloops delegation returned from China this week, after spending five days meeting with 80 Chinese investors, government officials and education partners at the pavilion.

“We will be phoning Kamloops up in the next few days to find out what they learned,” said Brown.

The Kamloops delegation was composed of 22 people, led by Mayor Terry Lake, and was successful in signing six new agreements during their stay.

“Kamloops has developed many key contacts in China as a result of a focused trade strategy that began with supporting Thompson Rivers University’s efforts,” said Lake. “As a result of the meetings at the B.C.-Canada Pavilion in Beijing we signed a total of six agreements with Chinese partners that will have immediate benefits for the Kamloops economy.”

During the trip, several private companies from Kamloops signed Memorandums of Understanding and formalized relationships with Chinese companies. The City of Kamloops also signed a Sports Training Agreement with the Chinese National Short Track Speed Skating Team to come train in Kamloops from July to September.

Other B.C. communities sending delegations to Beijing are Prince George and Metro Vancouver.

Roberts said everyone from the Sea to Sky community is invited to travel with the delegation to Beijing and participate in a subsequent China tour. The tour will visit Beijing tourist attractions, Tunxi Ancient City, Mount Huangshan and Shanghai. More details on the trip, along with costs, are available at www.whistlerforum.com .

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