Kaslo offers spectacular scenery and a healthy lifestyle. (Photo submitted)

Contest woos creative workers to Kaslo

Fun stunt highlights serious concern for rural B.C. towns

Hey, Gen-Xers and Millenials! Tired of impossibly expensive real estate, traffic gridlock, crime, pollution, and stress in the big city?

A rural B.C. group is holding a contest to try to attract young professionals like you to small towns in the province’s Interior.

The winner of the “Escape the City” contest wins a four-day stay this summer in Kaslo, B.C., a town on the shores of Kootenay Lake.

“Small towns in rural B.C. are in big trouble. Many of our towns have a population drain,” says Randy Morse, the communications director for the BC Rural Centre. “It’s really designed to shed light on the fact that the current enormous population imbalance, especially when it comes to younger people in our province, can be somehow addressed.”

To enter, the young creative professional has to create a two-minute video describing why he or she may want to move to Kaslo, and what they can contribute to the community.

“During their stay they’ll be immersed in Kaslo life, visiting the school, meeting local entrepreneurs and business owners, joining a neighbourhood outdoor potluck complete with funky Kootenay-style live music, checking out available real estate, and enjoying a range of activities tailored to their interests,” the news release states.

The winner would be expected to tweet, live-blog, Instagram, and do all the other social media things internet-savvy professionals do while in Kaslo. While anyone can enter, the group is targeting creative knowledge workers in the 21 to 45-year-old category.

“The idea is to have fun, but the intent at the end is serious,” says Morse. “We believe this is a good way to remind these folks in these demographics that they have viable options, they can come to Nakusp or Kaslo and do the work they do where they are living today, but in a place with a much higher quality of life.”

With its incredible scenery, vibrant community life, and gigabyte-per-second internet coming this summer, Morse says there’s a lot to attract young professionals, their families and companies to a town like Kaslo.

The ultimate goal is to try to halt the slow decline that has gripped many of these communities, he says.

“Young people graduate from high school, they move out and they quite often don’t come back,” he says. “And new young people don’t come out to replace them. So the result is the population is growing increasingly older, that places downward pressure on schools, and it skews the kind of health care facilities we might have, if any.”

“It’s a complicated issue, there’s no one easy fix, but one piece of the puzzle is to begin to remind some young creative professionals in major centres that there is life outside the big city and that they might be interested in a higher quality of life, a lifestyle that isn’t quite as stressed, quite as frenetic, as the one they are currently experiencing in those major centres.”

Morse knows that from personal experience. He moved to Kaslo with his wife 13 years ago not knowing a soul, he says, “because it was so damned gorgeous”. But he stayed, he says, because of the people.

“Quite often people who move like this to Nelson, Kaslo or Nakusp move here not only for financial reasons, but they also appreciate what the local culture offers them,” he says. “It’s not just access to nature, which is a huge bonus, but also the human culture. The access to the quirky, colourful characters our towns tend to boast.”

Morse isn’t sure how many people will enter the contest, but the idea is generating a buzz.

“We are targeting Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton and Calgary, but of course social media goes everywhere, so who knows where responses are going to come in from?” he says.

The contest is open until Friday, April 13. You can find out more on their website, https://www.bcruralcentre.org/

The BC Rural Centre is a information resource for rural residents and organizations. It has representatives from First Nations, Regional Districts, and other government bodies from across the southern and central interior.

 

Kaslo offers the creative professional a great lifestyle and all the bandwidth they need, says Morse. (Photo by Kaslo Institute)

Just Posted

Trail Smoke Eaters grind out win over Vernon Vipers

Trail Smoke Eaters Kent Johnson scored the game winner in a 3-2 victory over the Vernon Vipers

Tea, crafts, music and dance this weekend in Greater Trail

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Nov. 15 to Nov. 21

Car accident prompts advisory from Greater Trail RCMP

Extrication by regional firefighters; driver and passenger walked away with minor injuries

Trail mayor announces task force to address crime

Coun. Sandy Santori was appointed to the Community Safety Task Force

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Extreme Education and Career Fair helps give back to the community

It’s estimated that there will be one million job vacancies in the next nine years in B.C.

Hunter who saved B.C. man pinned inside smashed truck says ‘God was sending me to him’

Sayward man describes chance discovery of Duncan Moffat, 23, in northern Vancouver Island woods

Road-weary Canucks thumped 6-2 by Wild

Vancouver hosts the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday

Toronto private school didn’t report alleged sexual assault to police

Police say a sexual assault at an all-boys Catholic institution was not reported to them

China says butt out; Canada calls for release of “arbitrarily” detained Muslims

A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman accused Canada’s envoy of going beyond their diplomatic roles

Harsh storms have nearly tripled power outages in last five years, BC Hydro says

More frequent and severe storms have damaged Hydro’s electrical systems since 2013

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed and preserved

The skin was removed in honour of the well known artist’s work

B.C. Realtor suspended after helping intern forge note about sick grandma

Vancouver real estate agent Jaideep Singh Puri has to pay fine, take ethics course

Offensive Facebook post by Okanagan Conservative riding sparks outrage

Post taken down after Conservative MP in neighbouring riding condemns it and demands removal

Most Read