By Tia Wayling, Recreation Services Co-ordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay
It’s been pleasurable to enjoy a gentle transition of seasons with a slow phase-out from summer to fall activities. The Creston Valley Fall Fair was a hit with my four-year-olds with the Clydesdales, giant hares, and the typewriter from the Creston Museum as the top attractions. And, because the growing season was late this year, I can even still find a few blueberries to enjoy from the local fruit stands. But, as the nights arrive earlier, are cooler, and Jupiter shines bright in the night sky (and won’t be this bright again for another 107 years), outdoor after-dinner activities are not as prevalent. Until December, this window will get shorter and shorter until we finally give in and move indoors.
But how do you find out all of the cool things that are happening in our community?
We are fortunate that indoor activities are once again permitted, especially at our recreation facilities. Even though normal operations have returned in 2022, people’s priorities, and therefore routines, have changed. This is not surprising, but it does make it challenging because community wants and needs, as well as how to communicate new opportunities, have inevitably changed over the course of the pandemic. New communication platforms have been used over the past two years so new strategies need to be developed using these platforms. However, not everyone has boarded the technological train, especially in small communities like the Creston Valley. This means that the challenging task of adopting both the old and new methods is required to keep everyone up to speed on what’s happening around town.
But, the challenge of reaching everyone is an age old problem, with or without technology. How do you let everyone know there is an exciting event or opportunity in our town? Word of mouth is certainly effective, but not everyone leaves their home anymore. Posters on bulletin boards and storefronts used to be highly effective until online shopping became popular. Newspapers are not as highly subscribed since online media sources flooded the market, but not everyone is online. Mail-outs are good, but more and more people put junk mail filters on their inboxes.
Advertising has gone from placing an ad in the paper and printing and posting a few posters to a task that is now high in finances and staff resources. Reaching a high audience volume is becoming more and more unattainable. This is especially tough for small community groups and local endeavors who rely on volunteers and low staffing. I believe that word of mouth in our community is probably the most effective. So, the next time you are meeting with friends, chat about some of the cool things happening in our community. Even if you’re not directly interested, your friend might be. Most of the exciting community events and opportunities are missed because, despite varied advertising efforts, is just not reaching everyone.
Speaking of exciting opportunities, the Kootenay Lake Gran Fondo is this weekend. This will be one of the last outdoor events this year. For indoor activities, fall programs at the Creston and District Community Complex (CDCC) are in full swing, but it’s okay to have missed a class or two. Get yourself registered or drop-in on some of the general admission classes or services. Check out the program guide online at www.rdck.ca/recreation. Or, pop into the CDCC if you’re not online. Keep your ear to the ground and talk about your community!