Prince George is a city with a small town feel. It’s easy to meet people and make connections if you know where to start. When I first moved to Prince George, I spent all of my time with my sisters; we lived and adventured together. We even grocery shopped together! Other than my partner, who I met at work, I didn’t spend much time getting to know the community. Fast forward 18 months and I was on my own – both of my sisters had moved away and my partner was travelling for work much of the time. Luckily, people are super welcoming and there are many ways to strike up new friendships. I have met more people in Prince George than I did in Vancouver and Victoria combined.
Attend an event
Admittedly, for me this is the most difficult way to meet people. However, if you’re a social butterfly and not afraid to talk to new people, there are events to attend every weekend. Before the pandemic, on any given weekend you could partake in Art Battle, 6×6 Auction, Cariboo Rocks the North, Ribfest, Halloween Menagerie, WinterFest, SummerFest, Kidz Art Dayz, Family Fun Day, and more. In addition, there are venues that host comedy shows, art exhibitions, hockey games, musical performances, and live theatre. One of my favourites events was the Mayor’s Black & White Ball for the Arts – a ritzy plated meal with live musical, ballet and vocal performances.
Throughout the pandemic, virtual events have emerged. If you’re a little on the shy side or if you have kids at home, virtual meetups can be a great way to meet people. Try a Dungeons & Dragons adventure or Ukulele Jam Session with the Prince George Public Library; join the weekly live Worth Repeating online auction for Hospice; or share your creation during one of Two Rivers Gallery’s Monthly Makes.
In February 2015, Prince George hosted the Canada Winter Games. I joined the Torch Relay Planning Committee as a volunteer about a year before that. The committee was responsible for planning Illuminate the North – a journey that took the Torch thousands of kilometres throughout northern B.C. leading up to the Games. It was a great way to learn more about northern communities, and to meet people – many of whom I’m still connected to today. As a gateway to the north, Prince George has and continues to host notable national and international athletic events that offer volunteer opportunities. The City hosted the World Para Nordic Skiing Championships in 2019 and is set to host the 2022 BC Summer Games.
Join a service club
If you’re looking to network with other professionals, consider a service club! The Rotary, Kiwanis and Kinsmen Clubs are all active in Prince George. Service clubs host fundraising events, lunches and after-work events, and members participate in service projects to benefit the community. I’ve been with the Kiwanis Club since about 2012. One thing that really appeals to me about Kiwanis is the family-friendly vibe. I bring my kids along to group hikes, outdoor skates, and semi-annual garbage cleanups. Service clubs help you find like-minded people who have similar values. Some of my very favourite and most-trusted friends are folks I met in Kiwanis.
What are you waiting for? Move on up, and get ready to build your social circle!