“So what’s your story?”
It’s a question I’d never really thought about ahead of moving to Revelstoke in early May for my journalism work term.
Though as strangers at bars and sources prior to interviews made small talk about my past, I was left to think a little bit harder about what I’ve done and how I ended up where I am.
Having landed the position with the Review in late April, not much time was given before I packed up my belongings from my childhood home in Calgary and made the trek into the mountain town I had heard plenty about but never visited.
Gone were the skyscrapers of the city and replacing them quickly came the peaks of Mount Begbie and Revelstoke in their place – quite a dramatic change of scenery from my normal commutes.
Luckily, my job was quick to thrust me head first into the community, learning what makes Revelstokians unique from residents of other mountain towns.
I was immediately thrown off by the friendly demeanour of strangers and the eagerness to make everyone comfortable in town, whether it be through high-level service at local establishments or momentary greetings on the sidewalks of 1st Street.
Admittedly, the general vibe of the city made me nervous at first. Quick directions based on unmarked landmarks often made my head spin, and the topics of interest within the city made for a few nights of studying before I began to understand what made Revelstokians tick.
Though as I became comfortable in my role, fitting into the community felt natural and welcoming. Never was I hesitant to ask for direction or stroll into a meeting for event coverage.
As a first time working journalist beyond school, preconceived notions based on relationships between the public and press made me worried how I’d be taken in by the community, though those anxieties too were quickly dispelled. And while negative comments on the paper were not unheard of in my time here, I was delighted to find most held a creative-criticism tone rather than one stemming from anger.
Over my three months, I filed roughly 100 stories for the Review, covering topics I never would have expected.
Beginning with my first published story here on Invasive Species Action Month on May 9, all the way to my last completed paper on August 15, I’ve been given opportunities to explore the community through numerous topics and met countless fascinating people along the way.
Even as I leave Revelstoke, I look forward to seeing how the paper and city continue to change and grow, with a subscription back to Calgary already in the works and the URL for the webpage burned permanently into my mind.
Though my story may take me a number of places in coming years, Revelstoke will remain a pivotal experience in my life.
I’d like to thank publisher Barb Mukanik and multi-media-marketing-mastermind Myles Williamson for making the office feel like home day in and day out, as well as editor Jocelyn Doll for pushing me as a reporter and making my first taste of a newsroom an incredibly positive opportunity.
In addition, I’d like to thank my roommates Nathan Rey, Myron Walrond and Sylvia Graham, along with Sadie, for making Revelstoke feel like home.
Lastly, I want to thank the residents of Revelstoke — thank you for creating a fantastic opportunity for me. I look forward to including you next time a stranger poses me the question: “So what’s your story?”