Welcome Week and the pull of Revelstoke

Welcome Week and the pull of Revelstoke

Jill Zacharias reflects on what it was like to be a newcomer in Revelstoke

Jill Zacharias

Social Development Coordinator

When we landed in Revelstoke we thought we’d give it a year or two. Leaving the ‘big city’ was like jumping off a cliff. We were leaving established professions and friends behind. We had no idea what living in such a small community would be like. The only thing we did know was that we wanted to leave the rush and tumble of Vancouver. We wanted to spend less time in our car, and more time doing all the things we loved to do. I had lived in Jasper and Banff and liked a mountain lifestyle, and my partner had family in the region, so we took the leap. We ended up buying an old wreck of a house and fixing it up. We re-established our professions here. We dove into mountain living like we were coming home. We got married, raised our daughter, and suddenly, 26 years has passed. Sound familiar?

Revelstoke has a tendency to draw you in. For some reason, most people quickly start feeling a deep sense of belonging. I’ve met so many folks who have initially come for a short visit. The next time it’s a little longer. Then they figure out a way to spend the season. Then they start hearing about how nice it is here in other seasons. Pretty soon they’ve cut the cord and have moved here permanently. These days, this is all despite the high cost of living and difficulty finding a place to live or a job that pays enough to make it work. You kind of have to tough it out and get creative – or do what we did way back when and bring your job with you.

Being a newcomer to any place is not easy. But what made it so much easier for us was that the community really welcomed us with open arms. Being connected to community is positive for so many reasons – from increased volunteerism to better mental and physical health. For me, it made me want to help develop our community in ways that were positive – a path that began with volunteering, inspired me to return to university, and eventually landed me in a new career.

So when our community started growing and changing a few years ago, I thought about the strong sense of belonging that Revelstoke seems to generate and how we could promote it. Enter ‘Welcome Week – Connecting Newcomers & the Community”. This year marks the 7th annual Welcome Week. It’s a week of free or low cost events and activities that help showcase our town and all the great things it has to offer, as well as – let’s just say it – an attempt to bring our community closer together.

This year, Welcome Week kicks off with Moonlight Madness on Friday Nov 23 and includes everything from Soupalicious to the Volunteer Fair and Community Dinner, Snow Shoe Tours to Axe Throwing. The Girls Do Ski event – Collection – on Monday 26th is not to be missed. Look for event brochures around town. For all of us Revelstokians – old and new – we know there is something special about this place and it’s something to celebrate. I came to Revelstoke with no expectations. Now, when I’m out there in the mountains enjoying my life to the full, I think of the words of Sophie Atkinson, a well-known artist who lived in Revelstoke in the early part of the 20th century – “I simply decided to stay”.

Welcome Week Activities

All Week

Free public transit Nov. 24-Dec. 1

Tightwad Movie Night at the Roxy- Bring a Welcome Week Brochure and see a move for only $6

Children’s Activities-see more at revelstokeearlychilddevelopment.com

Friday Nov. 23

Moonlight Madness 6 p.m.- 10 p.m. Downtown

Kid’s Swim, Pizza and Movie Night 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Community Centre-Kids have fun while parents shop $20

Saturday Nov. 24

All Day Lego Play 10:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Revelstoke Library-Drop in and build Lego and Duplo creations, all ages

Soupalicious 12 p.m.-3 p.m. Community Centre-Bring a bow and spoon to sip, slurp and savour $10 (12 and under free) Proceeds to the Food Bank

Children’s trackside Christmas party 12 p.m.-2 p.m. Railway Museum-Scavenger hunt, Santa, Polar Express movie and more-$5 for kids (under 2 free), adults by donation

Dirty Catfish Brass Band 7:30 p.m. Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre-Community Band opens for this wild collective drenched in rhythm and soul-$15 at the door

Revelstoke Coffee House 7:30 p.m. United Church-Main act and local talent-$3 at the door

Sunday Nov. 25

Toonie Swim 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Revelstoke Aquatic Centre-Swim and soak for only $2

No Host Bazaar 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Community Centre-Giant local craft fair, silent auction, door prizes-$2 each or $5 for a family. Crimestoppers Fundraiser

Flow Yoga 5:30 p.m. Welwinds Therapeutic Spa and Yoga-By donation

Restorative Yoga 7:15 p.m. Welwinds Therapeutic Spa and Yoga-With live music with Ivan Blanco by donation

Monday Nov. 26

Event ‘Collection’ 7 p.m. Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre-Girls Do Ski presents storytelling, film, music and inspiration from a female perspective

Tuesday Nov. 27

Community Dinner and Volunteer Fair 4 p.m.-7 p.m. Community Centre- Meet, greet and eat! Check out volunteer opportunities. Dinner $5.

Overdose Awareness 4:30 p.m.-7 p.m. Community Centre-Learn signs of overdose and how to best respond.

Knitting Club 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. Revelstoke Library-Informal drop in knitting group for all experience levels and ages

Wednesday Nov. 28

Museum Open House 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Revelstoke Museum and Archives

Brown Bag Talk: Revy History 101 12:15 p.m.-1 p.m. Revelstoke Museum and Archives-See our history of skiing, avalanches and more

Yoga for skiers and snowboarders 4 p.m.-5:15 p.m. Balu Yoga

Event ‘Staying Alive’ 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Community Centre-Avalanche Awareness and mountain safety trade show starts at 5 p.m. Pro speakers start at 6 p.m. presented by Revelstoke Mountain Resort and Avalanche Canada

Artist Demo and Reception 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Revelstoke Library-Join expressive artist Karen Millard. For all ages

Movies in the Mountains 7:30 p.m. Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre-Kayak to Klemtu Adventures of a young woman kayaking the B.C. coastline. $8

Thursday Nov. 29 Flu Vaccination Clinic 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Seniors Centre-Drop in and stay healthy this winter

Dog Sled Adventures 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Revelstoke Mountain Resort-Meet and greet our furry friends and learn about this historical mode of travel. Outside guest services

Snow Shoe Tour 12 p.m. Revelstoke Mountain Resort-Snow show tour from the top of Gondola. Tickets at Guest Services. Bring own snow shoes if you have them. By donation. Proceeds to Youth Access Fund.

Writers Group 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Revelstoke Library-All writers welcome, share ideas, feedback and inspiration. Presentation on self-publishing

Axe Throwing 5 p.m.-9 p.m. Peak Axe Throwing-Unleash your inner lumberjack! Learn the basics, play a game. Only $5 for 30 minutes

Humane Society Info Session 7 p.m. Animal Shelter-Friends helping friends, visit the shelter and learn how you too can volunteer with animals in need

Friday Nov. 30

Fitness Drop In all day Trans Canada Fitness-Drop in, work out and explore this great local gym

Opening Party 4 p.m. Village Idiot-Ski movies, pizza, buffet, Salomon TV, prizes and more. Tickets $10

Saturday Dec. 1

Opening Day 8:30 a.m. Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Francophone Holiday Potluck Dinner 5:30 doors, 6 p.m. dinner Legion Hall-Bring a good dish to share and plate/cutlery. Welcoming all Francophones and Francophiles. $3 per person or $10 per family

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