Opinion

Nelson leaves imprint

One of Cole’s first assignments was covering the Sheilah Sweatman memorial in July of 2011. - Bob Hall photo
One of Cole’s first assignments was covering the Sheilah Sweatman memorial in July of 2011.
— image credit: Bob Hall photo

I’ll admit when I moved to Nelson a year and a half ago, I didn’t know much about the town.

I had visited a handful of times as I travelled between Victoria and Saskatchewan when my family road tripped to visit my grandma.

I knew it was a beautiful mountain town with steep hills. I knew about the great coffee and that it had been the setting of Roxanne. I had also heard of Shambhala Music Festival and had seen Wasabi Collective several times while going to university in Victoria.

Being a reporter has a way of immersing you in a community in a way no other career can.

Instead of telling the tales of memories I’ve collected here in Nelson, I’ve decided to share my favourite moments.

Funniest story

Last winter we received a panicked call from the Catholic Cathedral. The worst had happened — Joseph had gone missing and just days before Christmas.

I understand vandalism isn’t something to laugh at, but the way the story played out still makes me smile. Joseph was abducted from Mary’s side in the middle of the night and all that remained was a bare light bulb.

What really couldn’t be explained was why it was Joseph? Why not a shepard or a wise man? We never found out what happened to the missing member of the holy family, but hopefully he spent Christmas somewhere warmer.

Favourite interview

Joel Plaskett. A lot of you might have just asked yourself “who?”

Plaskett is somewhat of a staple in the Canadian indie rock scene. The Nova Scotia native began his career in the band Thrush Hermit. He entered my life when I was in my early 20s living in Vancouver. I had grown up listening to punk and through university started listening to a lot of different genres.

I bought the album Truthfully Truthfully and was immediately hooked and have been a big fan ever since. I’ve seen him a total of five times — including his recent show at the Capitol Theatre — and jumped at the opportunity to interview him.

I’m not embarrassed to say I had butterflies as I picked up the phone to call him. I couldn’t have been happier when the interview was over. He was friendly, talkative and very humble.

Top three stories

3. Shambhala Music Festival: I have done several stories on Shambhala now, but the reason it ranks in the top of my work in Nelson is because I believe — unlike some people in the community — I have seen the real meat behind the festival.

I was there last year touring the farm before the 10,000 attendees arrived talking to executive producer Corrine Zawaduk and her dad Rick Bundschuh about their history and why they started the event. And I was there again with Zawaduk when they mourned the loss of their first festival-goer.

It’s been exciting to learn about their evolution and I can’t wait to see where the future takes them.

2. The Civic Theatre: I’m sorry I won’t be in Nelson long enough to see a movie at the Civic Theatre, but this is a story I had the opportunity to cover from the day the Downtown Athletic Club pitched their idea for the space, to the presentation from the Nelson Civic Theatre Society’s vice president Roger Ley. It was also great to watch the community react to the project and see the enthusiasm that built around it.

1. Johnsons Landing: Covering the devastation at Johnsons Landing will likely be a lasting memory for me. I witnessed devastation in a way I had never seen before. I learned about a community, a family and continue to learn about the people who are rebuilding.

Only the people who had the opportunity to stand at the end of the slide or see it from the lake can have an understanding of the true destruction and size of the slide.

Like with the Civic Theatre, I saw the true power of community through out the region from Johnsons Landing to Kaslo and Nelson people rallied to help those in need.

As I prepare to move back to my hometown of Victoria, there are many memories I will take with me. Some are connected to the work I shared on the pages of the Nelson Star and many go beyond to the friends I made and the community I built here.

Megan Cole will be missed by the Star and we wish her well her future.

 

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