Pacificaires go for gold – again

Baby Ela Joy Dayton Barker

For the second year running, the Pacificaires Color Guard team from Surrey has won a world championship title.

Last week, the team won gold in the open class division at the Winter Guard International Championships in Dayton, Ohio.

It’s a repeat of the gold medal performance the team turned in last year, in the Independent A division, a win that promoted them to the “open” class division in 2011.

More than 35 competitors in their class from across the United States and Canada took part in the event. The team managed to capture first place in the preliminary and semi-finals, wins that took them to the finals on April 9.

The 12-member team has a strong connection to Cloverdale. Instructor and founder Florence Dyck lives here, as do several members, including Vanessa Jakubowski, who attends Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary.

The sport of color guard is predominated by teams from the U.S., where it had its beginnings in marching bands. It combines dancing, gymnastics and the use of props.

This is the first time a Canadian team has won consecutive gold medals at the event.

The competition was especially poignant for Pacificaires team member Alanna Barker, who’s also an instructor. Barker, 24, competed in the sport all her life – she travelled along with her parents, Florence and Alan Dyck who founded the Pacificaires. This year, she brought her own baby along, continuing the family tradition.

Ella Joy Dayton Barker was there to watch her mom help turn in the gold medal performance.