Valley Echo staffer shortlisted for B.C. newspaper prizes

The Valley Echo is up for two awards at this year's Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards.

Echo production manager Jess de Groot is a finalist for this year's Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards.

Echo production manager Jess de Groot is a finalist for this year's Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards.

The Valley Echo is up for two awards at this year’s Ma Murray Community Newspaper Awards thanks to the work of production manager Jess de Groot.

De Groot is the finalist in two advertising design categories open to all B.C. community newspapers with a circulation of less than 25,000 copies.

A full page ad designed for Invermere’s annual Light Up Night is up against work from Yukon News and 100 Mile House in the collaborative design category, while her custom-built ad for A&W’s Cruisin’ for a Cause campaign is shortlisted along with pieces from The Interior News and the Powell River Peak.

“It was pretty exciting. I wasn’t really expecting that,” said de Groot of the nominations, her first since signing on with The Echo a year and a half ago.

“This is only my second year entering ads (in the competition), so I’m pretty stoked that already I’m getting some recognition,” she added.

“It really confirms your skills that you’ve worked so hard for that there is some recognition coming in that, yeah, you’re on the right track.”

The two ads came from fairly different design places.

In the case of the Light Up Night ad, she was working with a poster designed by the Invermere Business Committee, an arm of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. For the A&W piece, she was creating her own art based on the restaurant’s nostalgic image.

“For that category you can’t have any other graphics supplied other than corporate identity, so the A&W logo was in it and that picture of a car they have with a family sitting in it,” she explained.

“Other than that, I did everything myself. I made this little boomerang, table top background and I spent quite a bit of time on that one.”

A vintage aficionado herself, de Groot says the Cruisin’ for a Cause ad was a favourite to work on.

“The A&W ad, it’s all about the 1950s and diners, and I love the ’50s. So for me it was a really fun ad to design.”

The Ma Murray awards, named for pioneering journalist and publisher Margaret Murray, are open to nearly 200 community papers across the province.

This year’s winners will be named April 14 at a ceremony in Richmond.