Hockey or baseball may appear on the front page of the Times’ a little more often now that long-time sports editor Guy Bertrand has accepted the job as editor.
“I’m nervous and excited. I mean, I’ve been here for so long and I care a lot about the paper,” said Bertrand, who has worked at the Times for nearly 22 years. “It’s something that I really care about and I want to do well at.”
Bertrand is looking forward to a fresh team at the Times. He is replacing Tracy Gilchrist, who after 16 years as editor moved onto a new opportunity in Kamloops, while Jim Bailey, former part-time news reporter, will become the sports editor.
“I think change is good,” he said. “It’s great to have new writers, we – Ray (Masleck), Lana (Rodlie) and myself – we all enjoyed writing but I’m sure readers got a little tired of reading our perspective on things for so many years.”
While he expects there may be a couple growing pains during the changeover, and hopes readers are patient, Bertrand is confident his connection to the community will serve him well in his new role.
“I’ll miss sports, there’s no doubt about that,” he said. “I’ll miss all the people. But, that’s the great thing about Greater Trail is that a lot of people that are involved in sports are community leaders or business leaders so it will make that transition easy.”
Whether it was watching ski racers nose dive down a steep run at Red Mountain, covering a tight golf match at Birchbank or rubbing shoulders with local Smokies’ fans at the arena, Bertrand has had a blast on the sports beat.
He’s been recognized locally and provincially with awards from the BCHL, Curl B.C. and the Trail Athletic Association for his contribution to amateur sports.
But the Trail resident is eager to turn his focus to news and put his own “imprint” on the product he’s been devoted to for so many years.
“I’ve had some ideas over the years and I’m interested in seeing if they’ll fly or not,” he said. “Getting a new look in the paper, not necessarily a revamped paper, but just a new angle on things, and hopefully inspiring the reporters.”
Bertrand had short stints with other publications prior to settling into the sports editor position at the Times. He graduated from the same journalism program at Mount Royal College in Calgary as Gilchrist.
“Having worked alongside him for nearly 16 years, I can attest to his hard work ethic, team spirit and positive outlook,” said Gilchrist. “He is well loved in the community and already knows all the players – both in and outside the sports world -– in the area. I wish him and the entire staff all the best and know he will do an exemplary job.”
Bertrand also feels confident in handing his notebook and camera off to Bailey.
“Jim is tapped into the sporting community, he has a really good outdoor background, which I think maybe something that I didn’t explore enough for our readers. I think Jim can bring that perspective, there’s no doubt that a lot of people in our community are actively involved in the outdoors, whether it’s through the Trail Wildlife Association or just fishing down on the bank.”
For publisher Barb Blatchford, it’s refreshing to see a hard worker within the newspaper move up, much like she has over the 27 years she’s worked at the Times.
Since Blatchford joined the paper in 1984, the Times’ has gone through a handful of editors – Keith McQuiggan, Lynn Blanchard, Brian Mockler, Lloyd Mack, Murray Greig and lastly, Gilchrist.
“Guy has dedicated 22 years of his career to providing exceptional coverage of sporting events in this community; there couldn’t be a better fit for the editor’s chair,” said Blatchford. “Guy brings to the position a wealth of community knowledge, strong developed relationships and a background of excellence in journalism.”
The Times has served Trail since 1895.