There's been a buzz in the air for Prince George residents and organizations to stop working in their own silos and collaborate more, pushing in the same direction for a common good.
Whether it's to promote Prince George as a great place to visit, to live or to do business, it's an idea that's long overdue.
But sometimes the best way to get people to change their thinking is not to tell them but to show them.
The best opportunity available to illustrate how various groups could come together and create something greater than the sum of their parts is for a unified Prince George winter festival.
As reporter Ted Clarke noted in his story in Monday's Citizen, there's a variety of events going on over the winter in Prince George - Coldsnap, Mardi Gras/Snow Daze, Over The Line, Francofun, Frostbite and Iceman.
Wouldn't it be great to bring them all together into one or two weeks of winter fun?
Ottawa has Winterlude and Quebec City has its spectacular Winter Carnival, so why not Prince George?
Jana Phillips, the incoming CEO of Mardi Gras/Snow Daze, says a joint effort with other groups would mean a bigger budget to put on great events and promote them regionally and provincially as a tourism draw.
Tourism Prince George CEO Aiden Kelly points to the 1,400 people that turned out in Fort George Park earlier this month for a host of activities to launch the new TakeOnPG website as proof there's a local demand for family fun over the winter.
A celebration of culture, winter and community would be an excellent companion piece during the 2015 Canada Winter Games and serve as an excellent ongoing legacy of the games into the future.
It's too easy for Prince George residents to hunker down after Christmas, nursing the post-holiday hangover and the depressing bills, bummed out by the short days, long nights, cold temperatures and growing snowbanks.
A unified winter festival, with plenty of indoor and outdoor events, both free and paid, for the old and young and families, would give us that kick in the pants we all need at this time of year to make it until the days start getting longer and spring becomes more than a distant possibility but a distinct reality, right around the corner.
But it wouldn't be just for us.
Folks across Northern B.C. and even in the Lower Mainland are looking for their own break from the dreariness of January and February. For Vancouver residents wanting a winter experience beyond the crowds, the outrageous cost and the crass commercialism of Whistler, Prince George has so much to offer - national class cross-country and downhill skiing and snowboarding, an outdoor ice oval, and perfect conditions for snowmobiling and snowshoeing.
Working together, local groups could use the facilities, along with the talent and ambition of their devoted volunteers, to host the top winter festival in Western Canada.
We Are Winter, Prince George told the national judges in its winning bid to host the 2015 Canada Winter Games. It wasn't just a fluke that Prince George beat out Kelowna and Kamloops for the games. The judges saw our potential as a winter city to be great hosts to the nation.
So why would we do it just once, in 2015, and then go back to miserable winter months, broken up by a smaller event here and there?
Let's get to work, Prince George, and make ourselves known as one of the top winter festival cities in Canada.