VICTORIA -- Despite being one of four newly elected councillors in the Kamloops city hall, Donovan Cavers is the one who gets labeled as rookie.
Cavers, who celebrated his 27th birthday earlier this month, is the youngest member of council and this week joins other newbies in his first Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria.
Among them is Luke Strimbold, who, at the age of 21, was elected mayor of Burns Lake last November.
Its pretty energizing, everyone coming together for the same reason, said Strimbold. On Monday night, the convention put on a meet and greet for young elected officials.
For Strimbold and Cavers, there were no youthful trailblazers they looked towards when considering their run for municipal office.
I think it was the lack of that representation was part of it more than having somebody that inspired me to [run], said Cavers, who first became involved in politics when he secured his first nomination for as a candidate for the federal Green Party in 2008 when he was 22.
Strimbold said role models come more in the form of people who empower young people to get involved in politics.
We look up to them for allowing us to become engaged and respecting the fact that we want to, he said, noting the Burns Lake council is fairly young overall, with no one over the age of 50. Were all energetic and ready to move forward.
The voters would not have put their support behind them if they didnt believe they could handle the job, as well.
Cavers, who completed a degree in culinary arts at Thompson Rivers University and is currently taking economics courses at the school is still very connected to the post-secondary crowd. But he said their support alone would not have put him in his current position.
There were definitely older people that thought that council needed some youth and vitality, he said. They were the ones who actually helped elect me.
There were some who were concerned about the Burns Lake mayors age during the run up to his election, Strimbold recalled. But a younger population and Strimbolds vigorous campaign turned heads.
We had a record voter turnout, said the former University of Northern B.C. biology student. Once people understand youre prepared to work hard, it doesnt matter how old you are.
Amongst that hard work is also the need to carry on with their regular lives. Cavers maintains his small business, Conscientious Catering, and Strimbold works with a family logging company.
But while the Kamloops councillor said hes still able to conduct a social life normal for someone his age, be it going out to concerts or having a drink at bar, Strimbold said there are expectations of behaviour for him.
I dont go out to our local bar, thats for sure, he said.