On Thursday evening, Nelson residents will get a chance to get an up close look at a provincial newscast and the province will get a chance to get an up close look at Nelson.
The Vancouver-based Global TV News Hour has hit the road this week for a tour of British Columbia and the crew will be pulling into Nelson for its Thursday dinnertime newscast.
Led by anchor Chris Gailus, alongside sports anchor Squire Barnes and meteorologist Kristi Gordon, the News Hour team will be set up on the City Hall plaza.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to get a first-hand look at some of the issues that impact different communities around the province,” Gailus told the Star earlier this week.
“But it’s also a chance to just get out in the community and meet people. At times we can be a little studio-bound here in Vancouver and I have tried to be an advocate of us getting out of the studio and meeting people.”
The News Hour has visited the Nelson before. In 1998, then anchors Tony Parsons and Pamela Martin set up for their hour-long cast at Taffy Jack’s (now Spiritbar) at the Hume Hotel.
In addition to reporting on the biggest news of the evening, each News Hour on the road cast will also include locally-rooted content and elements. Gailus will contribute locally-focused stories and interviews highlighting interesting facts and pressing issues of most importance to each community. Barnes will also focus a special segment on local sports stories, while Legislative bureau chief Keith Baldrey will put together a political look-ahead of each region leading up to the provincial election.
One of the local stories Gailus is putting together for the Thursday show is on the local marijuana industry.
“We’re going to take a look and get an understanding of the changing marijuana production landscape as municipalities seem to be getting a little bit more liberal and accepting of the decriminalizing aspect of drug law,” he said.
Gailus will be speaking with area growers who are concerned that their livelihoods are at stake and what it will mean to the economy.
Thursday evening will also mark the television news debut of 11-year-old Nelson resident Kolbi Watmough who entered a contest for the opportunity to help meteorologist Gordon host a live weather broadcast.
Just as important as the local coverage will be the live interaction with area viewers. The News Hour is encouraging people to come out to watch the live broadcast between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. There will also be an opportunity pre-show and post-show to meet the television personalities.
“We really do want to make it a community event so we would love to see people out,” said Gailus. “We need to capitalize on the visit and we will be taking notes. So if there are things people want to talk to us about or just come out to say ‘hi,’ we’ll be there.”
Gailus has been with Global in Vancouver since 2006. The Calgary-raised journalist has been involved in the industry since 1989 and has worked in Calgary, Dallas and New York City.
Having friends who live in Nelson, this will not be his first trip to the Kootenays.
“I can’t wait,” said Gailus. “It’s been a couple years since I have been there… it’s one of the prettiest towns in the province, if not in the country. I just love the lifestyle, the restaurants, the shopping in the downtown. We’re excited to get there and experience Nelson and all it has to offer.”