Online forum links community to candidates

GoCampbellRiver.com is a new website created by local businesswoman and tourism marketing guru Catherine Temple.

Keith Barker

Special to the Mirror

GoCampbellRiver.com is a new website created by local businesswoman and tourism marketing guru Catherine Temple. Officially launched in June, the new site is an easy-to-use, comprehensive online directory designed to inform both locals and tourists about the wide range of activities, destinations, attractions, real estate, businesses and contractors Campbell River and its surrounding areas have to offer.  According to Temple, the purpose of the site is to offer the community an opportunity to showcase all of the vibrant amenities and facilities we have, both natural and man-made.

“This site is a win for everyone,” says Temple. “For our advertisers, for the community and the people who access the site for information, as well as for contractors, sub-trades, businesses and tourism in Campbell River.”

GoCampbellRiver.com is also about the people who make Campbell River tick. The site’s latest offering, launched on October 19th: the first online Municipal Council Elections Community Forum. This forum provides profiles of this year’s mayoral and city council candidates, using information and quotes provided by the candidates themselves, and it provides an opportunity for citizens of Campbell River to ask candidates questions directly – and get answers.

“Our Municipal Elections Community Forum is designed to allow the people of Campbell River to explore the issues of this year’s election,” says Temple. “We are the first community in the province to have this kind of online forum, linking candidates with the community.”

GoCampbellRiver.com’s Municipal Council Elections Forum questions and answers are archived for quick retrieval. Plus, along with the candidate profiles, there are links to candidate’s websites, blogs and Facebook pages, as well as reference listings for general election information and links to local newspapers for coverage of the election as it happens.

GoCampbellRiver.com was developed over five years, and Temple and her staff have invested over 5,000 hours so far. The site hosts over 1,100 pages of information about Campbell River and the surrounding areas – from Horne Lake to the farthest reaches of the North Island, out to the surrounding Discovery Islands, and west to Tahsis. The site also hosts over 3,000 businesses and not-for-profit listings, and includes all levels of schools, churches and community organizations.

“The Web is about giving out information,” says Temple. “The more you have, the higher your search engine rankings are. We are now coming up on search engines before CanPages and Yellow Pages in many instances. On Monday (October 17) we broke the 500 visitors mark for one day.”

Temple says she encourages citizens and businesses of Campbell River to send in input, including images, anytime. All the images used on the site are supplied by locals, and she adds that GoCampbellRiver.com is not a city initiative, but is privately run solely by her and her staff, and paid for entirely by advertisers. Text, updates, announcements, comments and photos for the site can be sent to catherine@gocampbellriver.com

“Because we have a team working on the site every day, our information can be kept up to date and as accurate as possible,” says Temple. “We are very excited about GoCampbellRiver.com. This is an exceptional economic development tool, and it is the first privately run community website of its kind that we have found – anywhere.”

Temple has been involved in tourism marketing for over 30 years.

She was on the board of directors of Campbell River Tourism for two terms between 1998 and 2002, and is the former owner of Campbell River’s highly successful “Snorkel with the Salmon” tours.

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