From her paid and volunteer efforts, Carol Palladino has, for more than two decades, been shaping the cultural fabric of our town.
Many of today’s thriving businesses in Revelstoke got the “GO” from our own Carol Palladino.
At the end of the 1980s, when the town was staring down unemployment rates of 15 per cent or more, the federal government initiated the then-named Business Enterprise Centre, now Community Futures, with funds to loan to small businesses.
In 1988, Palladino was hired into the role of Business Analyst and, for almost two decades, reviewed budding business proposals for their viability.
Her good judgment has shaped our community.
Palladino was also closely connected to the visioning and planning processes for Revelstoke. Those involved set their sights on tourism and recreation and have never looked back.
An extremely quiet winter in the late 1980s resulted in the closing of most of Revelstoke’s hotels.
“I clearly remember one thing that contributed to the town’s turn-around. Some young entrepreneurs came to town with a vision for making Revelstoke a snowmobiling centre,” said Palladino. “They bought an older hotel and focused aggressively on that market.”
Within a few years, Revelstoke was humming with snowmobilers – which had a significant economic impact.
Palladino recognizes that there are some challenges associated with becoming a resort town, but she is optimistic that we will come up with our own made-in-Revelstoke solutions.
“People who come here as visitors come to a real place. On any given day, you can find yourself in a coffee shop sitting next to working folks, like loggers or railroad engineers; the next day greeting visitors who are here for a hill; and yet the next, a young family recently moved for new opportunities. It’s not a manufactured place. There is an organic aspect to who we are and we need to take care of that. The mix makes Revelstoke a real community,” opines Palladino.
What makes a community healthy and resilient? The heart and soul of its residents.
As a passionate Revelstoke resident, Palladino is an active volunteer with everything from the Women’s Shelter to the committee established to bid for a new school.
But if you know her, you know that her raison d’etre is the arts, and she does much to build arts appreciation to our town.
Since its inception in 1997, Palladino has been active with the Arts Council, currently serving as the Chair.
She was part of the committee that negotiated getting the Performing Arts Centre.
“I feel great about being part of that community accomplishment – what a valuable venue for the town.”
She is an active member of the Public Arts committee, where she is forever reminded of how much people enjoy public art.
“It has a charm. Public art says something about our culture and our aesthetic. It makes Revelstoke a very attractive community to visit and live in. I love to see visitors snapping pictures.”
Part of the joy of chairing the Arts Council is helping to choose what is showcased here. Palladino is involved in the arts on both a regional arts board and Arts BC at the provincial level.
“If you were to take all of the arts and culture-related events away from our community… take away the Street Festival, the gallery, public art, the interesting architecture, all the music in the venues… what kind of a place would you live in?” asks Palladino. “The amount of cultural activity that goes on in a community is a real measure of its possibilities and its potentials. It makes a community more diverse; it makes it more inclusive. It creates dialogue and connection.”
Carol Palladino highlights the value of Revelstoke’s perfect blend of arts and culture.
Revelstoke has a mountain culture – active to the extreme. People love that. To have the arts interwoven into the culture is extraordinary… and it takes a lot of hard work by the people who see the value.