For a volunteer-run charity, people are everything, and the spirit of community that they bring infuses every aspect of that organization.
It is so for the New Westminster Hyack Festival Association, now in its 48th year of delighting audiences locally and internationally with their festival, events and award-winning float.
On January 16 2019, The Hyack Festival Association held their annual AGM Dinner Gala and unveiled the new theme, “Shining Bright in the Royal City”, spearheaded by their new president Lili De Capite.
You might recognize Lili’s name for her terrific work as a volunteer in the community through many organizations, including Honour House Society, and for her involvement as a chaperone in the May Queen Suite.
Lili was impacted by her involvement with the Hyack Ambassador Leadership Program as two of her three daughters have been Hyack Ambassadors and benefitted from the training elements, skills and ultimately empowering them to develop self-confidence.
Lili puts family and community first, as well as tradition, as she pointed out in her acceptance speech:
“History and tradition are some of the things that excite and inspire me about Hyack, then it’s the people within the organization. You are a dynamic group with exceptional community spirit, and it is contagious!!”
So contagious in fact that the Hyack Festival Association installed their new board of directors in front of over 70 people including many community leaders such as Councillor Jamie McEvoy, Chief Rhonda Larrabee, Honourable Justice Crawford and Constable Jeff Wise from the Vancouver Police Motorcycle Drill team, receiving their “Supporter of the year” award.
The new board, already working on the many events and socials planned for the upcoming year, is comprised by both new and familiar community supporters, namely, Jim Olsen, Debora Sutherland, Rick Molstad ( 2007 Citizen of the Year), local realtor Becci Dewinetz ( and Miss New Westminster 1981), David MacGrotty, Penny McIvor (Hyack president- elect 2020), local artist Theresa Henry-Smith, Virginia Bociek, Gloria Munro, Brenda Adam, local lawyer Peter Goodwin and Trudy Jenkins.
In taking the opportunity to be the 2019 President and lead the organization for a year, Lili De Capite said it was “a decision that would change my life, supported by friends who had faith in me”. But most importantly, Lili pointed out that she would use her role “to better my community, build relationships, teach each other by example, lift arms that hang, promise beams of light and perpetual wisdom and tender mercies”.
With that in mind, the Hyack Festival Association is unveiling many new programs, including the “Shining Bright Recognition Program” to point out individuals and organizations within our community who truly go out of their way to make this city shine, the Neighbourhood Float Workshops, (with local Artists provided by the Arts Council of New Westminster through its ArtsToGo program), and many other small-scale and large-scale events including the much-loved (and 2018 Readers’ Choice Award Winner) Hyack Festival, Parade and Canada Day Celebration Fireworks, just to name a few.
“In a City with so much diversity there is a place where everything is familiar and where you truly feel you belong and everyone is in common with each other, and this is at our Hyack Festival!”