Mayor Bob Simpson says moving the Gold Pan is not disrespecting our pioneers or the history of Quesnel.
Simpson, responding to a protest that was held yesterday, says it is a legacy of symbolic gestures from EXPO 86 and was installed in 1987.
He says they don’t know why it was installed in the northern most boundary of the city in the first place…
“If you think about the big skis in 100 Mile House, the big fly rod in Houston, the big wheel chair in Williams Lake, they’re all at their visitors centres or they’re all in locations where visitors who stop and get a picture at it and can immediately interact with the local economy or can be given information about the community.”
Simpson says, if anything, the new location at the train station, across from the museum, will actually notch up the Gold Pan’s role in being able to tell Quesnel’s story…
” We will make that a center piece for the Rocky Mountaineer train coming in from May to September, so about 270 people on Tuesday night and again on Sunday night. If they come in at the train station now they get out of their buses and go to their hotels. With the Gold Pan moving there we can hashtag market to the world by people simply taking their pictures and adding the hashtag that we put to that.”
Simpson says they are also going to put a kiosk there that tells the story of Quesnel, the train station and placer mining in the area, as well as let people know about current events and things to do.
He says they’re not sure when the move will be made…
“The base has been built at the rail station. Because of COVID and various other things. There has been some delays on building the two new big gateway signs coming in from the south and coming in from the north. When those signs are ready to be installed, then that is when the north sign will go in.”
A decision was made by Council in 2018 to update the community signage program.
That included new signage to help tourists find points of interest in Quesnel and new community gateway signage.
The vote to relocate the Gold Pan was held in October of 2019.