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B.C. Mom’s mission: Son’s death prompts call for national air quality awareness

Carter’s Project hosting a town hall on May 14 at 100 Mile Community Hall

As wildfire season approaches, the goal of Carter’s Project’s to raise awareness about air quality and its effects on asthma is all the more important.

That’s why Amber Vigh, Carter’s mom, is preparing to host an information session at the 100 Mile Community Hall on May 14 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This town hall meeting will inform the public about the 10 new air quality monitors that will be dispersed throughout the community and 90 indoor monitors for select homes that apply in advance.

“The indoor monitors are pretty cool because it is a digital display and tells you not just the air quality in your house but also the temperature,” Vigh said, noting they will be easy for children to use.

During the meeting, she said everyone who attends will learn how to make their own air purifier using household items you can buy from a hardware store. Vigh said these items will be provided at the open house for people to use.

“I think my biggest push is education now and teaching people about air quality. It’s not just bad for people who have asthma, it’s bad for everybody. You immediately think it’s smoky outside and I’ll just stay in the house but often times the air quality in the house isn’t any better if you don’t have any air purifiers or have your windows open.”

Already Vigh said that wildfires are burning across the province in the midst of a drought. Earlier this month she noted she checked the air quality app on her phone, using data from Williams Lake, and was shocked to see air quality was already at a three on a scale of one to 10, 10 being the worst.

“This is not normal, every year things are changing. In the beginning, when Carter passed I was adamant I didn’t want this to be about climate change. In the research I’ve done (since) more and more it is about climate change. There is so much happening in our world and we can’t just turn a blind eye to it,” Vigh said.

Founded last year following Carter’s death on July 11, 2023, from an asthma attack caused by wildfire smoke, Carter’s Project is an initiative started by Vigh and her husband James in partnership with the B.C. Lung Foundation. Its initial goal is to install these air monitors in 100 Mile House and then communities like it across B.C. but Vigh has bigger goals.

She plans to make Carter’s Project a provincial and eventually a national force for change. Rather than just installing air quality monitors in one town every spring, she wants to do multiple communities every year.

“If we do one a year it’s going to take us forever to get it done. After we’re done with B.C. I want to go to Alberta and then Saskatchewan and go straight across Canada,” Vigh said. “I think it’s of such huge importance that people know the real-time air quality in their area.”

Outside of the air quality monitors, Vigh explained the other big component for her is asthma awareness. She hopes to run an Asthma Camp in 100 Mile House this summer so children outside of Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland can learn new ways to manage and live with the condition.

To help fund these ambitions both the B.C. Lung Foundation and Vigh have been raising money. The foundation raised $50,000 from its Wonder Gala in November which will go towards the initial purchase and installation of the air quality monitors in 100 Mile House

Vigh, meanwhile, raised $1,900 at a 100 Mile House Wranglers game and over $6,000 last week from an online auction she ran using community donations. Local businesses and individuals donated furniture, services, a sailboat, colouring books and hotel stays, among other things.

“It’s humbling to see how much our community has come together to help us with this,” Vigh remarked. “I’m trying to make sure we’re doing right by Carter and building his legacy because he would have made a difference in this world and we’re able to do this for him.”

In the future Vigh plans to attend 100 Mile Elementary School’s Hello Spring Market on Saturday, April 13 and the Cariboo Women’s Fair in May to raise more awareness and money. She has also partnered with 100 Mile House print shop Fraser and Pine to create merchandise like sweatshirts, t-shirts and hats for community members to buy to support the foundation.

Vigh encourages the community to follow Carter’s Project on Facebook for more information or go to to sign up for one of the air monitors.

“People just need to be aware of what’s happening and asthma needs to be taken seriously because it can go from zero to 100 in the blink of an eye,” Vigh said.

Patrick Davies

About the Author: Patrick Davies

An avid lover of theatre, media, and the arts in all its forms, I've enjoyed building my professional reputation in 100 Mile House.
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