Rose Bowl/Christmas Lights
The Rose Bowl
Early landscaping and planting were made free to homeowners through the Aluminum Company of Canada's beautification program that saw every homeowner receive a dump of topsoil. Contests encouraged townspeople to enhance their homes, adding beauty and permanence to Kitimat, and as a company official stated, "make Kitimat Townsite something to be proud of…" By June 1955, the first shoots of green grass were growing on Oriole Street through seeding efforts by the Terminal Construction Company - "the landscapers' plan to cover Kitimat with grass this year."
Mrs. P.E. Radley, in an official ceremony, June 1955, planted the first tree - mountain ash brought in from Terrace. To add interest to the programme, the first Sentinel Garden Competition, August 1955, was open to everyone in Townsite and Smeltersite. For Townsite, the Northern Sentinel Rose Bowl Trophy was awarded for the best garden. For Smeltersite, prizes were awarded for the best garden or lot improvement.
Terminal Construction Limited, the contractor for the landscaping of the townsite, and the Aluminum Company of Canada presented the cash prizes. H.M. Spiers of Pintail Street won in 1955. F.R.K. Lippke, "The Town Gardener" columnist at the Northern Sentinel, provided vouchers for imported bulbs. Points were awarded for the most effort following up the landscaping done by Terminal Construction. Eventually, the best streets for overall appearance were added to the list of winners.
Kitimat Christmas Lights Contest
Outdoor Christmas lighting in Kitimat got its start in 1955 when a single nativity scene in front of a project house on Haisla created a special Christmas atmosphere for early residents. Everyone from the camps and the townsite passed by to see the Christmas tableau arranged and lighted by the Ray Chenosky Family. Its impact was doubled because there were few houses, fewer street lights, poor road conditions, and bad weather.
Alcan's Power Distribution Department began Kitimat's annual Christmas lights contest in 1958. The first prize was 700-kilowatt hours of free power each month for a full year! A group of houses could also receive recognition and so, streets vied with one another for the honour of being the best-lighted street in Kitimat.
Northern Sentinel, December 1962