Luke Thibeau and Violet Cummings are looking forward to all that Corner Brook Winter Carnival will have to offer —especially the food.
Thibeau and Cummings, both 16 and Level 2 students at Corner Brook Regional High, were named ambassadors for the 49th carnival which starts Friday. They were selected during the ambassador contest finale held at the high school this past Sunday.
Entering the contest was a first for both Thibeau and Cummings.
“I’ve always been interested in being a leader in the community,” said Thibeau, who was encouraged by some teachers to get involved.
Cummings had considered entering last year, but her schedule didn’t allow it.
“I wanted to get involved because I knew a lot of people who were in it and I knew that they were very good people, so I wanted to spend more time with them,” she said.
She also heard from last year’s ambassadors — Jenna Layte and Logan Dwyer — about how much fun it would be.
As for what she’ll bring to the role, Cummings said, “I think that I’ll just be able to share positivity around our community.”
During the week-long competition the seven ambassador contestants participated in a variety of activities from painting murals and building snow sculptures to bowling with Girl Guides.
Thibeau said it gave the contestants opportunity to engage kids and work on being a leader — big parts of being an ambassador.
During the finale the contestants got to show off some of their talents.
Thibeau participated in a group Cha Cha Slide challenge and Cummings sang, “They Say Times are Hard for Dreamers.”
Thibeau agreed the dancing will help prepare him for some of the dances during carnival.
“I’ll be ready to boogie.”
When it came to the questions they had to answer, Thibeau was asked what being a leader in the community means to him.
“I think it mainly means being seen as a leader by others,” he said of his response.
He said that includes what others see in him, like whether his teachers see him as trustworthy when they ask him to help out.
He said a leader is someone who can take on a lot of responsibilities.
“There’s a lot of working towards goals on your own and also helping everybody else as well. Teamwork is a large part of it.”
Cummings was asked if alcohol and drug abuse is a growing problem in youth and what can be done to fix it.
She does believe it is a problem, but suggested helping youth build their confidence instead of trying to educate them more on drugs and their side effects.
“So that they actually care about what happens to them.”
Cummings knows what confidence building can do for a teen as she’s seen a change in herself since getting involved in the Graham Academy.
“Before I started that I was not the most confident person.
“I didn’t really look at myself as someone that the community would look up to as a role model.”
She plans to use her role as ambassador to help people grow their self-esteem.
“Just by teaching them to let loose and be around people that they love.”
When it comes to the meals of carnival, both ambassadors are looking forward to Saturday’s chili competition.
“Because I heard there’s some really good chilis out there. So I’ll have to give those a try,” said Thibeau.
Cummings said she’s been hearing a lot from local radio personality Lenny Benoit on his entry.
“I’ve got to see if it’s as great as he talks it up to be.”
Thibeau is also looking forward to checking out the spelling bee for elementary students.
He participated in the spelling bee for three years, and still recalls being put out of the competition on the word 'jewelry'.
“So I think it’ll be really cool to go back now as an ambassador. I remember as a kid seeing the ambassadors there every year and kind of thinking how cool it would be to be one of those one day, and now here I am five years later.”
Thibeau said having Cummings as his co-ambassador will be good as the two have moved up through the school system together, done some theatre together and have been in a lot of the same classes in junior high and high school.
“Everyone there I would have been glad to be co-ambassador with,” said Cummings, “but I’m glad that Luke is my co-ambassador because he’s also a very bubbly, easy to talk to, positive person.”
The runners-up in the contest were Mira Buckle and Noah Hamilton.
Corner Brook Winter Carnival starts Friday
The flag raising and lighting of the carnival torch will take place outside Corner Brook City Hall at 6 p.m.
That will be followed by a torch light parade from city hall to Margaret Bowater Park at 6:45 p.m.
Opening ceremonies will take place in the park at 7 p.m.
Source: Corner Brook Winter Carnival