Terrace celebrates Big Brother star Kiefer Collison with parade through town
A drive-by parade was held in Terrace on Saturday to celebrate the return of Kiefer Collison, who had spent over two months away from town as a contestant on the reality TV show Big Brother Canada
The premise of the show involves 14 contestants living in a house together with cameras watching their every move. They compete in challenges and can evict each other from the house until one winner remains.
Collison, who was born in Old Massett but now lives in Terrace, was the fourth-last “houseguest” to be evicted.
Although he didn’t win the show, fans voted him in as “Canada’s Favourite player,” an award that comes with a $10,000 dollar cash prize. And he returned to Terrace as a local celebrity.
“It’s one thing to see likes and shares on the internet – which are great – but to see people physically change their schedules to come out and support me, it’s honestly overwhelming,” he said. “And I would be lying if I said I didn’t shed a bunch of tears. As you guys might have seen watching Big Brother, I do that quite often.”
Collison says it feels good to be back, but he’s also exhausted. He described being on the show as a stressful experience.
“It was tough. It started from day one being extremely difficult, all the way to day 64 when I got evicted. So it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but that means I've lived a blessed life if that's the hardest thing I've ever had to do."
In the Big Brother house, contestants have almost no contact with media or the outside world. Collison says it was difficult being cut off from his family.
“Right from day one, it was a deep ache that is hard to describe. It kind of felt like my soul wanted to just move but my body couldn't. So it was extremely tough.”
As an Indigenous contestant on the show's most diverse season yet, Collison says he was proud to represent First Nations people on national television.
“I think I represented all indigenous people across not only North America, but the world, because I had the opportunity to be entrenched with culture and tradition, and obviously I live an urban lifestyle as well. So I'm your modern-day Indigenous person. I’m finding out I resonated with a lot of different communities from all across the world, which is freaking me out a little bit, but it feels great.”
Now that he’s back, Collison plans to hit the ground running. He hopes to organize seminars on personal empowerment, and he plans to meet with kids in classrooms to chat about diversity and the power of their voice.
"I'm just a kid from the rez, and I want kids from the rez to potentially rule the world."