The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)

The Binche Fishing Derby at Stuart Lake is fast approaching. (Binche Fishing Derby Facebook photo)

Binche shares excitement for upcoming fishing derby

“It’s more than just fishing,” says Dave Birdi

The Binche Fishing Derby will once again allow individuals to spend time with their family and friends amongst nature while supporting fundraising efforts for a new 24-passenger community bus.

$40,00 in cash prizes is available this year on Stuart Lake from Wednesday, June 30 to Sunday, July 4.

“We’re excited,” Dave Birdi, economic development manager of Binche, said of their 6th Annual Fishing Derby.

Like last year, the event that has attracted participants from around the world will be kept small.

“I’m expecting about 700 people,” Birdi added.

“In the past, before COVID-19, this became an international event. This year our main focus because of the travel restrictions is more of a regional event.”

On top of participation prizes of $2,500, $1,500 and $500 for simply registering, thousands more will be up for grabs in the fishing portion of the competition that draws individuals of all ages-both Indigenous and non-Indigenous from communities across B.C., such as Williams Lake, Fort St. John and Hudson’s Hope.

Birdi said the Binche Fishing Derby was never intended to be a profit maker but to provide family time. Costs would sometimes exceed revenue as past fishing derbies would also feature live music, lunch and dinner, and free toys for children under the age of 12.

In 2020 a special cash draw of the remaining revenue was held for participants on the last day of the derby.

“That’s the approach we’ve taken with the fishing derby is giving back to the community and also to promote all of the communities working together,” Birdi said.

“This year, we know that we need to replace a bus, so what we have decided is to put the proceeds aside for the bus.”

Binche currently has two 14-passenger buses that provide transportation to individuals, elders and families for medical appointments in Prince George, and community events such as a three-day healing ceremony held Friday, June 18 to Sunday, June 20 at the site of the former Lejac Residential School.

A new 24-passenger bus would provide more operating capacity when demand is high.

“Our main goal is still the same —to send the message: don’t hitchhike. For elders and people who don’t have their license or vehicle, this is an alternative option,” Birdi said.

“The goal is to have a new bus before the end of the year.”

Read More: Photos: 4th annual Binche Fishing Derby a success

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