It’s been about seven months since my spouse and I moved to Kamloops, and taken very little time for us to agree there’s no looking back.
What a treat this city’s been.
From our tiny house in the downtown (which I’ve come to call Lilliput because of the pervasiveness of adorable wee houses) we’ve walked to many of the apparently endless list of events that happen at Riverside Park and throughout the City’s core.
I think it was Ribfest that sealed my fate as a die-hard Kamloopsian.
And I’m not blowing smoke when I say I haven’t seen a better Canada Day celebration than at Riverside Park since I left the nation’s capital 20 years ago.
A little background in case you’re curious.
I’m a French-Canadian Ottawa transplant by way of Vancouver, Valemount and Squamish. (I’d say something about my brief stint in Prince George but my better judgment prevails.)
I’ve been to enough places across Canada to know that nearly every town and city calls itself the friendliest. Some places led me to wonder, with friends like that, who needs friends?
But as far as I can tell, Kamloops has a right to toot its horn.
I can walk into a yoga class, an Italian deli, a teashop or a farmers market and get the same cheery greeting.
That’s not to say there isn’t an underbelly. The parking lot and alleyway behind the Daily News building provides a regular reminder that there are plenty of people here struggling with poverty and substance abuse.
But the fact that I get to write about the good and the bad — that’s the most thrilling part of being in Kamloops for me.
You see, I’ve been in this business for a decade and for the last four or five of those years, I took the helm as editor of a weekly, then a daily.
Climbing the corporate ladder seemed like an obvious thing to do back then. But I soon felt that disquieting dread you get when a bubble of self-delusion pops.
Maybe it’s when I heard a management workshop instructor say that too many people feel compelled to go for promotions when really, they’d be much more happy staying put.
I always loved being a reporter and I missed it terribly.
In hindsight, I should have known.
My mother likes to tell people that when I was three, I’d scribble indecipherable looping scrawls on a piece of paper and beg her to tell me: “Is this a word? Can I write yet?”
I asked so many times one night while she was trying to make dinner that she lied to get me out of her hair.
“Yes, you wrote the word ‘theatre.’”
I clearly remember feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment like no other. I still can’t explain where that came from.
My passion to collect and write down people’s stories never left me.
And I’ve had some incredible stories to tell in the short time I’ve been here and I look forward to telling many more in the years to come.
On that note, I encourage anyone with a compelling tale to tell to reach out by calling our newsroom at 250-371-6149, emailing email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org or following @mildobserver on Twitter.
Hope to hear from you soon.