Connie Jack has helped organize Cow Bay Days for several years. (Keili Bartlett / The Northern View)

Heart of Our City: Connie Jack is a moover and shaker

One of the organizers behind Cow Bay Days talks about how she brings it all together

Once a year, cow-print balloons pop up around Prince Rupert’s Cow Bay, leading everyone down the city’s own version of a yellow brick road to a day of festivities.

But the annual celebration of Cow Bay Days takes more than a day to put together, as Connie Jack can attest to. One of the shindig’s organizers, Jack said it’s taken the team of volunteers at least 40 hours to get ready for the big day — not including July 7 itself.

“Busy. Very busy,” Jack said of preparing for the event. “During Cow Bay Days I don’t even think, it’s just one task after another. But it is a lot of fun to see the kids enjoying themselves and their reaction to Moolissa and the cows.”

Moolissa, of course, is the moo-maid mascot. Dreamed up by the merchants of Cow Bay, Moolissa is a cow-mermaid cross. She joined the party about five years ago. Jack became involved about three years before that.

She starts by emailing all of the businesses in the area, then organizing those who are interested. This year’s 15 merchants each pitch in something for free, and kids and their families can enjoy a bouncy castle, golf putt, fishing game, Frisbee throw, bean bag toss, hopscotch, and snakes and ladders.

“On the day, we start off about 7:30 in the morning, setting up the things in the parking lot. Part of the slogan is to follow the cow balloon to participating businesses, so we have to make sure the balloons are blown up, delivered and tied up outside their business,” Jack said. Then she organizes volunteers and prizes. Finally, by 11 a.m., they’re ready for the 200-plus people who will come check out the event.

Bringing everyone together, Jack said, is one of the best parts of celebrating where she works.

“It’s beautiful down here,” she said. “It’s a very quaint feeling. It’s like our own little city within the city.”

Jack has lived in Prince Rupert for most of her life and has worked at Udder Bags (in Cow Bay, of course) for the last decade. As the store manager, Jack said she loves meeting new people who come in every day. She orders and receives their colourful collection of women’s apparel.

“It’s like Christmas time when you’re opening a box,” she said. “I like meeting people and helping them find the thing that they think is perfect.”

When she’s not in the Cow Bay area, Jack loves to cook. From September until June every year, she shares her cooking skills at the Catholic church on Sundays. She’s known for her chili soup and turkey rice soup, which she serves to anyone who shows up.

“A lot of the homeless and seniors, some single people who are just looking for company. It’s open to anybody and everybody.”

Even though she doesn’t attend service at the Catholic church, Jack began helping out when their soup kitchen was short staffed.

“I thought, ‘Well, I’ll do this for a while’ and I just haven’t given it up.”

That was several years ago, she adds with a smile.

On Cow Bay Day, the food made there also gives back to a good cause. This year, there will be the popular Filipino kebab stand, which raises funds for an orphanage in the Philippines. Another food truck donates proceeds to the homeless. A bake sale and barbecue at Breakers Pub gives to the Prince Rupert Wildlife Shelter.

“The homeless in our own community is something that we’re happy to support, and the wildlife shelter. The couple that has the wildlife shelter, they’re really sweet and they run it all on their own pension cheques, so we’re really happy to help them,” Jack said.

“It just celebrates where we get to work. It’s a unique area so we get to celebrate that and give back to the community. It still gives that small town feel that we have,” she said.

“My favourite part is organizing and working together with others.”

Read more Heart of Our City profiles here.



keili.bartlett@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

CMTN unveils renovated House of Cedar

$18.4M upgrade and renovation cited as key to modern trades training

WEB POLL: How will the lack of a mayoral race affect your decision to vote

Lee Brain was acclaimed as mayor on Sept. 21 after no other candidate entered the 2018 race

Mr. “I’ll do it” given volunteer of the year honours by International Sailors Society

Morris Kaardal honored with volunteer award on Sept. 18 at Prince Rupert Seafarers’s Mission

Toy Run aims to break its own record

With sun in the forecast Harley Riders’ president hopes to see more riders at the Prince Rupert event

Cops for Cancer complete 850 km ride in Prince Rupert

Bike fundraiser collected $195,400 for cancer research in 2018

This Week Podcast — Episode 103

Learn more Prince Rupert’s open air market, and our guest is an actor playing in Monkey Beach

Delivering the paper as a family

The Northern View is looking for newspaper carriers in Prince Rupert, join our team today

B.C. premier apologizes for removal of 1950s totem pole at Canada-U.S. border

First Nations say pole was raised at Peace Arch but removed to make way for tourism centre

‘Summer from hell’: vandals rob Fort St. James community garden following devastating wildfire season

The community rallied to keep the Health Minds Community Garden open in Fort St. James

An unexpected sight: Bear spotted eating another bear in central B.C.

Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief finds bear eating another bear’s carcass

RCMP confirm death of missing BC teen Jessica Patrick

No details on cause were given. Case is under criminal investigation and police are asking for tips.

CUTENESS OVERLOAD: 2 sea otters hold hands at the Vancouver Aquarium

Holding hands is a common – and adorable – way for otters to stay safe in the water

B.C. teen with autism a talented guitarist

Farley Mifsud is gaining fans with every performance

Yukon man facing new attempted murder charge in B.C. exploding mail case

Leon Nepper, 73, is now facing one charge each of aggravated assault and attempted murder

Most Read