TIEL’S TALES: Uncovering the secret ingredients that make Campbell River special

As a newcomer to the community, I delight in getting to know you better

During a recent interview, a new community leader remarked on what a vibrant community Campbell River was.

It’s true. The city is on an upswing and appears to be firing on all cylinders. But it’s tough to put your finger on exactly what makes our home special. Like grandma’s old family recipe, there is a secret ingredient.

I’ve been lucky to live and work in some pretty incredible communities. From Alberta’s prairies, to Canada’s North, to the Monashee Montains, to the Okanagan. There’s local flavour everywhere you go.

But here’s the thing: they’ve all been landlocked.

As Karen Blixen (writing as Isak Dinesen) said, “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears, or the sea.”

Nowhere else in my experience can your day-off activities include adding a new seashell to your collection, spotting orcas from the ferry deck or rubbing shoulders with your neighbours at the market over local folk art and homemade or home-grown delicacies.

So far I’ve enjoyed heading to the beach on my days off and have been able to sneak in a few swims at McIvor Lake.

For me, part of what makes Campbell River special is its unique position on the Island. There is a perfect mix water and land. Need a little nature therapy? Great. There’s parks and marine space abound.

However, what has really stood out in my short time here is the atmosphere that people create.

You’ve likely spotted me around town — I’m hard to miss with a giant camera slung over my shoulder. As a newcomer, I appreciate your warm welcome.

Already I’ve had a wealth of memorable assignments: from meeting wood carving artists to heavy games athletes; to sharing moments over tough conversations.

Don’t be a stranger. My inbox is always open (marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com). I look forward to capturing – in words, photos and video – our beautiful community.

As a community journalist, I will endeavour to capture the heart of Campbell River.

Over time, I’ve learned that there’s different layers of images, a hierarchy if you will.

According to the Washington Post, it goes like this: Informational — just the facts ma’am; Graphically appealing — something creative is happening in an otherwise banal situation; Emotional — you’re going to feel something; and Intimate — you will feel like you’ve become part of the moment the photo was captured.

While all these photos have their place, I hope to document images of Campbell River that resonate.

I’m looking forward to learning more about what makes this community so special.

And perhaps I’ll be able to get closer to putting my finger on that secret ingredient.

In the Yukon we had a saying for seasonal residents versus locals. It was said that if you could survive a Yukon winter — the good and bad of it (all few hours of daylight, Northern lights and unimagineable cold) — you deserved the nickname “sourdough.”

Now, I’m not sure what nickname you earn for spending a winter in Campbell River, but I don’t think it’s going to be hard to adapt.

Marissa Tiel is a multimedia journalist with the Campbell River Mirror

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