1. KIESZA: The Selkirk College alumna returned to her alma mater in November to perform at the college’s annual gala alongside music program students. She also spoke to students beforehand and did a meet-and-greet with fans at Mary Hall.
“Kiesza is a great songwriter but what really sets her apart is she’s a great person who knows how to relate to people,” said spokesman Bob Hall. “Kiesza came to tell students how to be successful and to show them what it’s like. She came to touch lives, and she did that.”
2. JUDITH GUICHON: BC’s 29th lieutenant-governor toured West Kootenay in May and stopped at Touchstones Nelson (where she was photographed with the ceremonial uniform of her predecessor, Edgar Dewdney) and Trafalgar Middle School where she told students “I’m a rancher. I chase cows.”
She also encouraged them to learn outside the classroom and urged them to vote: “Go to your elected leaders, attend council and regional district meetings and ask them what they are doing.”
3. BRENT BUTT: The Canadian comedy star performed a sold-out show at the Capitol Theatre in May. On his Twitter feed, he wrote: “People always say ‘#NelsonBC is full of hippies.’ So far that has not been my experience. Half full at best!”
Butt told the Star that no two shows are ever the same: “What I do onstage is determined by what the crowd is into. The fact that every night it’s different is what keeps it fresh and exciting.”
4. TAMARA TAGGART: The CTV news anchor visited Nelson in late April as the guest speaker at the third annual Find Your Divine event. Taggart shared intimate details about two conversations that altered her life and how the power of perception and attitude can affect people.
Taggart learned to be an advocate for her first child, who was born with down syndrome, which prepared her to be her own advocate when she was diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor.
5. RON SEXSMITH: The Canadian songwriting legend appeared at Spiritbar in September and noted his first show at the Hume Hotel was over 20 years earlier, opening for Ani DiFranco.
“I feel like a survivor,” he told the Star. “The industry’s been through so many changes, I’ve gone through so many labels, and for someone who hasn’t sold that many records it’s pretty amazing to have such a loyal fan base.”
Plus one celebrity who didn’t visit: Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall invited Miley Cyrus to tour the habitat of locally endangered mountain caribou after the pop star made headlines for criticizing the BC government’s wolf cull. However, Cyrus hasn’t yet taken Mungall up on the offer.