Community currency, filling a hole and taking photos

Lisa McGeady and Derrick Bruce own Baker Street’s Kokanee Camera. - Eliot Robins
Lisa McGeady and Derrick Bruce own Baker Street’s Kokanee Camera.
— image credit: Eliot Robins

“The Nelson Business Association captures the pulse of what’s going on here and now. Whatever issues come up, we’re talking about them right away. There’s an immediate response to immediate concerns.”   — Justin Pelant of Ted Allen’s Jewellery 

Welcome to the third edition of the Nelson Business Association’s (NBA) monthly column. Each column will give the business community and beyond an overview of recent NBA activities, events and initiatives. Features in this monthly submission include profiles of members and guest speakers.  


 The NBA consists of business owners, the self-employed and those otherwise involved in or interested in the business community. Weekly meetings are held on Thursdays from 8-9 a.m. in the Emporium Room or the Library Lounge of the Hume Hotel. At the round-table discussions, members talk about the issues and activities concerning their own businesses as well as topics related to the NBA. Business issues, collaborative business ideas as well as new ventures for the NBA are also discussed. The format is loose and informal.

The NBA warmly welcomes and encourages new members. Membership is free and a donation is collected at each meeting. For more on the NBA visit


 Print isn’t dead! The demise of the Nelson Daily News and more recently The Express has left a hole in Nelson’s print media and as a result, magazines and newsletters are starting to pop up around town. 

NBA member Austin Partridge, formerly of The Express, is preparing to launch Creative Culture Arts and Entertainment on March 1.

“Print isn’t dead!” Partridge exclaimed. 

The magazine will feature event listings, classifieds and High Fives and Hairballs (a spin on The Express’ Fish Heads and Flowers column). 

Chad Hansen, formerly of 103.5 The Bridge, was on hand at the February 10 NBA meeting to discuss his newest project, Kootenay Quick Shot.

“It’s the kind of thing you see in a waiting room,” Hansen said. “It’ll come out on Thursday’s, so it’ll cover what’s happening on the weekend.” 

The weekly publication will feature news, events, entertainment, horoscopes and much more.

“We’re focussed on producing a relevant paper in town,” Hansen said. 

The launch party is set for tonight at Sage Tapas and Wine Bar. For more information go to        


Member: Lisa McGeady 

What she does: Owner of Kokanee Camera along with her husband Derrick  

How long: “Since late 2009, but we have been in the photography business for 14 years.”

Duties involved in running this business: “Researching the latest photography equipment and accessories. A big part of our business includes custom camera sales and teaching our customers how to use their cameras. We also produce custom prints and fine art reproductions as well as provide local photographers with a place to display their photography.” 

Business approach/philosophy: “Each customer is unique and we customize each sale so that each customer gets the camera best suited to their needs. Every print we do is ‘hand-made’ to look its best. Our customers receive a wealth of knowledge and expertise each and every time they come into our store.”     

Life is best when...“we are with our kids!”                                                    


Speaker: Bill McNally

Subject: an upcoming local currency known as Community Dollars

Local lawyer Bill McNally spoke before the NBA in January and discussed a plan to introduce a local currency in Nelson and the Columbia Basin on April 22 — Earth Day. McNally feels the program, which uses what are referred to as Community Dollars, will help keep dollars circulating within the community as well as help lead people away from buying cheap products by way of the internet. 

“This program is a way to make sure buyers keep coming back to your store,” McNally said. “If we have a local currency, people start to think, ‘I’ll buy something from the guy down the street, even at a higher price point.’ Community dollars will also serve to enhance the loyalty of your customers.”

The cycle begins when businesses sign up and make donations, in the form of community dollars, to community organizations.

“You create it as a form of credit for your services,” McNally said. From there, community dollars can be used to top up staff wages, given to volunteers, or spent at participating businesses. 

In this way the local currency — community dollars — makes a full cycle through the community. Businesses that take community dollars decide what percentage of those dollars they will accept.

Community dollars are based on a model developed by Comox Valley resident Michael Linton. For more information visit    

Speaker: Robyn Sheppard

Subject: Project Turquoise Snowflake

LVR staff and students are hard at work preparing for the production of a feature-length motion picture. From global warming to terrorist attacks, Project Turquoise Snowflake endeavours to tackle big themes. 

According to writer and director Robyn Sheppard, an English, drama and film teacher at LVR, the film follows two teens as they create Project Turquoise Snowflake as a challenge the Canadian government.              

The characters in the film are a composite of the numerous teens Sheppard has interacted with. 

“What I tried to do was look at the concerns kids were having and write those into the film” she said. 

Shooting will run from March to June and there are 60 roles available for everyone between six and 100. For more information visit 

Elliot Robins is a local realtor and member of the NBA. His column is featured in the Nelson Star once a month. For more info visit 


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