Clara’s Big Ride comes to Hope

Cycling and speed skating Olympian speaks at Hope Secondary School on May 19

Clara Hughes will visit Hope on May 19 for a special event.

Clara Hughes will visit Hope on May 19 for a special event.

Olympian Clara Hughes is stopping in Hope on Monday as part of her Big Ride tour across Canada for Bell Let’s Talk.

Organized by Hope Mental Health and a local planning committee, Riding the Road to Hope and Beyond celebrates the accomplishments and talents of people with lived experience of mental health and others who support Clara’s Big Ride.

“It’s a celebration of resilience and strength, and an opportunity for the community to connect and build acceptance,” said Amanda Jackson, a local mental health case manager. “Clara is all about bringing heart to different communities, connecting communities and showing that whatever your disability is or the hardships you’ve been through, you can find passion and strength whether it’s in football, music, or arts and celebrate that and reach out to other people.”

Hope is the only small community that Hughes will be visiting on her tour in B.C. after stopping in Victoria and Vancouver. The six-time Olympic cycling and speed skating medalist began Clara’s Big Ride in March, which spans over 12,000 kilometres and concludes in Ottawa on Canada Day. The goal is to raise awareness about mental health and help end the stigma surrounding mental illness.

The local event will be emceed by Peter Adamo, who has hosted hundreds of live events including events for the Vancouver Canucks, BC Lions and Live Nation. Artwork by local artists, and artists from Stepping Stone Clubhouse and My Artists Corner in Burnaby will be displayed. There will also be performances from local musicians, Chawathil First Nation and Cheamview Clubhouse.

Riding the Road to Hope and Beyond gets underway at 7 p.m. on May 19 at Hope Secondary School. Doors open at 6:46 p.m. Admission is free, and desserts and beverages will be served.