Mr. PG is looking toasty in a new hand-knitted scarf this month, but the iconic Prince George symbol is also bringing awareness to the fact that not everyone is warm this winter.
Mr. PG’s new 13m-long scarf was knitted by ten local women between the ages of 67 and 92, who started the project in the summer as a way to connect socially during the COVID-19 pandemic. They met outdoors in Prince George’s premier park, Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park, and each knitted a few squares of the scarf, the colours of which represent different organizations and sports teams in Prince George. The Mr. PG scarf took hundreds of hours to create.
Normally, the women knit mittens, toques, scarves, and sweaters for families in need and give much of their time to support local charities. In that spirit, Mr. PG is wearing the scarf this month to bring attention to the work of charitable organizations and to encourage everyone to support this work with donations.
Today, December 1, is the National Day of Giving and Giving Tuesday, a perfect day for Mr. PG to kick-off activities aimed at encouraging the spirit of giving this month:
- Organizations and non-profits can take photos at Mr. PG and post these on their social media channels along with information about the fundraising activities they are presenting. Posts that are tagged with #mrpg60 may be shared by Mr. PG via stories or posts on his Instagram channel (@therealmrpg) and the SupportPG channels.
- Residents who donate to local non-profit organizations this month also have a chance to win an exact, human-sized replica of Mr. PG’s scarf, hand-knitted by the same women. To be eligible, residents simply need to comment with the name(s) of their favourite charities on the posts about Mr. PG and his scarf on City of Prince George, Tourism Prince George, and Mr. PG social media channels. The comments need to be added by noon on December 21, with a winner randomly selected that afternoon.
“Who wouldn’t want to be the only person to have the same scarf as Mr. PG? All anyone has to do to be entered in the draw is to make a gift to a local charity this month and tag that organization on the posts about Mr. PG that will be appearing on City and Tourism PG social media channels this month. It’s terrific that Mr. PG is using his popularity to draw attention to people who are less-fortunate, especially during this pandemic,” says Prince George Mayor, Lyn Hall. “If Mr. PG symbolizes the spirit of our community, these local women – and so many others who give of their time and talents – embody that spirit through their acts of charity and kindness. It’s important that we all share in this spirit year ’round, but especially in the winter.”
“Since I arrived in Prince George earlier this year, I’ve been amazed at the fantastic stories that emerge from this community,” says Tracey McBride, CEO of Tourism Prince George. “Mr. PG is an iconic figure and the idea these women had to dress him up in a simple way to demonstrate community pride and draw attention to the needs of the less-fortunate is really moving. These are the stories that make us proud to be residents of Prince George, and in turn make people from outside of Prince George want to visit us.”
Mr. PG is 60 years old this year. He first appeared publicly at a Rotary International conference in May 1960, and subsequently became the most well-known symbol of the community across BC and around the world. Mr. PG is just over 8m tall and has been standing at the intersection of Highways 16 and 97 since 1970.