BC Winter Games leaders named are eager, excited

Penticton has named Bill Bidlake and Doug MacMillan as the leaders of organizing committee

PENTICTON Mayor Garry Litke (foreground) joined Bill Bidlake and Doug MacMillan

PENTICTON Mayor Garry Litke (foreground) joined Bill Bidlake and Doug MacMillan

Bill Bidlake and Doug MacMillan are being counted on to lead Penticton’s 2016 B.C. Witner Games Organizing committee.

The city made the announcement Monday afternoon and are thrilled to have Bidlake take on the role of president and MacMillan vice-president.

“Both individuals are very passionate and community-minded, so they are a great fit,” said Mayor Garry Litke in a press release.

Litke also praised their leadership skills, pointing to Bidlake’s background as a teacher and administrator for 35 years. MacMillan brings a business background being the owner of Canadian Tire.

“We thought it would make a really good match. They will be able to feed off of each other’s strengths,” said Litke, noting that Bidlake’s name was the first one to go on a list made up of people from the school board, Recreation Centre, council and other community advocates, including the B.C. Games Society.

“I’m really excited about it. It’s quite an honour actually,” said Bidlake, who retired as principal of Pen High in 2012 and helped organize the 1978 Summer Games in Penticton. “To have an opportunity to work with so many great volunteers in Penticton, I’m just really looking forward to it.”

MacMillan brings the experience of having built recreation centres in Port Aux Basque, Nfld., and Lloydminster, Alta. His Canadian Tire store in Penticton also provided 60 skates through Jumpstart for Queens Park Elementary’s learn-to-skate program. MacMillan’s decision to join the fold was simple.

“I figured it was time to step up and do a little bit more than just coach minor sports,” said MacMillan. “I’m looking forward to the challenge. I think it will be a lot of fun.

“I’m a sports guy, I’ve been a sports fanatic forever,” said MacMillan. “To watch all the kids come to the community and the parents come to the community, Penticton gets another chance to show off.”

Litke said there was a lot of brain storming to decide which two people should take the roles. Litke said there were another 15 to 20 names, but “nobody else could hold a candle to these two guys.”

Bidlake and MacMillan will now begin forming the rest of the organizing committee.