I’ll never forget the first time I was in Invermere. I had just returned from teaching English in South Korea and ended up in the East Kootenay because I had agreed to join a friend on her treeplanting crew, which was working out of Radium. A veteran treeplanter with seven years under my belt, I didn’t think it would be a problem. But my year in South Korea had changed me and within a matter of days, I found myself standing in the middle of a cutblock with planting bags around my waist, shovel in hand, wondering what on earth I was doing there. Making up my mind to leave, I bid my friend and the rest of the crew farewell, and made my way to the nearest youth hostel, in Invermere.
It was a pleasant couple of weeks. Summer was in full force, and I spent my time chatting to people at the hostel and exploring town and the nearby area. I was soon offered a landscaping position and a place to stay at Panorama and it was there that I first heard the early rumblings about a proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort.
That was 2002, almost a decade ago to the day. I didn’t stay long. The call of journalism school drew me back to my native Vancouver and after applying late to the Langara College post-degree journalism program, I discovered I was accepted the day before classes began.
It’s with great anticipation that I begin my time here in Invermere as editor to The Valley Echo and I hope the experience and passion for communication I bring with me benefits the paper as much as I stand to benefit from this unique community nestled away in such a beautiful part of the province of British Columbia — “God’s country,” as a friend of mine calls it.
Before I left Squamish, I had a chance encounter with an elderly gentleman who informed me he first came to Invermere from Alberta in 1964 and said the friendliness of the people and the beauty of the area made a lasting impression on him — one that he carries with him to this day. I’ve been here less than a week, and I can understand why.
On a different note, I want to stress that a community newspaper is a collaborative effort, from editorial to design to sales to the community itself. I encourage everyone who wants to get involved to do so. We welcome letters to the editor, photo submissions, story ideas and submitted articles on an ongoing basis and will accommodate as much as we can as far as space allows. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org — I look forward to hearing from you.