Local man

Business reporting in 2011

Nakusp Music Festival, ethical businesses, and award-winning videos from the Kootenays in 2011.

Nakusp Music Festival board faces tough choices after two years of losses

September 29 Even on a rainy Monday, 30 people from local businesses crowded into a room at Selkirk College in Nakusp after receiving a letter from the Nakusp Music Festival board.

“We now find ourselves in a position of deciding if a 2012 festival is possible and are working diligently to find a solution to continue,” the note read, indicating the festival is in serious trouble.

It’s no secret that ticket sales to the classic rock festival fell significantly in the last two years. Now, it looks like the fate of the Nakusp Music Fest (NMF) will be determined by mid-October.

Each year, commitments are made about which performers will be coming, which allow early-bird ticket sales to begin around the middle of October. This year, the choice isn’t simply about who will be headlining, but whether or not the show will go on at all, giving the board just over two weeks until their deadline of October 14.

“In 2010 we lost $80,000,” Donna Rebman, president of the NMF board. The financial hit prompted serious cost cutting.

Even so, the festival went on in 2011 even with the $80 grand deficit.

“When ticket sales go on in October, it starts covering [costs],” Rebman said. Last year the sales continued to look good over Christmas, and appeared to have the momentum to pay off the debt and create a busy 2011 festival.

“They were right on track and then in the spring – poof,” she said. The first annual Sturgis North motorcycle festival in Salmon Arm that was held on the same weekend may have had an effect on ticket sales, by then it was too late to turn back.

“You’ve already booked bands by then,” Rebman said, so organizers forged on with their plans for the 2011 festival.

“We were scrambling to cut costs and trying to do as much as we could,” which included hosting bar nights for other Nakusp events Horizon and Targa, Rebman said.

At the end of the day, it wasn’t enough. The board saw lack of admission sales as what made the difference, and what led to their current $200,000 debt.

The level of local support has been “awesome” in Rebman’s words, and said that even though financially the festival didn’t succeed this past summer, the event itself was still great.

“It was one of my favourite festivals,” Rebman said about the 2011 festival, “The crowd was just awesome. Everybody was happy it was so positive.”

Ethical practises pay off for local businesses

November 24 There are rewards for being an ethical business, and they may include delicious Mexican food.

On November 17, the Rotary Club of Nakusp presented five awards to local businesses who were nominated by members in the community for their high ethical standards in their business practices.

The Seniors’ Hall was warm and welcoming, and filled the smells of good cooking, after travelling through the night of first real snow this winter. Guests were invited to fill their plates with enchiladas, tacos and a delicious creamy salad made by accomplished volunteer cooks. Many went back for seconds.

Dinner gave way to dessert, and then awards for the businesses deemed as deserving for this first year of the Rotary’s High Ethical Standards for Business and Professions Awards.

After collecting nominations from the public, a Rotary committee determined which fit the Four-Way Test and selected five businesses for the award. The Rotary four-way Test the nominations were guided through asks the following questions: Is it the truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all?

This year’s inaugural list included Ron and Nancy Balske for their capabilities as fair negotiators and good communicators, values every home buyer or seller appreciate, as presenter Terri McLeod noted.

Wayne Abbot, who arrived after hockey practise and (unfortunately for him) after dinner, was presented with his award which was based on the good will and the trusting relationships he has with customers.

“Wayne and his staff show truth and fairness in providing estimates, speedy, safe and reasonably priced automotive repair, in addition to going the extra mile to transport customers to and from the shop,” McLeod said in congratulations.

From Home Hardware, Carol Olsen and Steve Fergusson were commended for their excellent customer service, cleanliness and neatness of the store and store grounds, and willingness to “go the extra mile” to help all their customers.

Travelworld’s Angela Mobrey was noted for giving best possible travel options and travel advice before and after a travel experience.

“The convenience of having a travel agency in town is appreciated by many in the community,” related McLeod.

Financial Service Representative Christy Peters from CIBC was recognized for her high standards of confidentiality and fair equitable treatment to all her customers demonstrated through her willingness to research the best investment rates for her customers.

The cheer and goodwill that radiated through the room, partly from the dinner but mostly from the wonderful company, likely kept many people warm on their snowy drive home that night.

The Kootenays are the perfect setting for a video production company

October 5 Opening scene: the Burton beach stretches out, the camera pans across the blue water reflecting the sky and green mountains. In the distance, a family plays on the sand and in the long grass.

As the camera zooms in, we see the family is the Alaric’s, who are having a picnic.

The scenery jostles about as the camera is set down on its tripod.

The operator comes out from behind the video camera and walks down to the beach, her blonde hair swings back and forth as she walks. When she turns to check on the camera, even though she is shading her eyes against the sun, we can see the operator is Rory Case.

JoAnne Alaric and Rory Case are two of three parts of the Number Five Video Productions team, the other third being Nancy Rosenblum, their teacher and mentor as well as their partner.

Based in the Kootenays, the company has the skills needed for complete video production, from coming up with an idea and producing a video, all the way through to posting it on YouTube.

Both Alaric and Case are Kootenay girls through and through, and are making a living for themselves thanks to high-tech as well as more traditional methods like word of mouth promotion.

The Kootenays are a source of constant inspiration.

“There are so many stories here,” Alaric said, who is currently working on “The Uphill Baker,” a documentary about a Nelson baker who delivers his bread by bicycle.

Other than their own films, Number Five Productions are kept busy making videos for local organizations.

For both Alaric and Case, the end goal is to work as full-time video professionals themselves, on projects ranging from Nelson through to Revelstoke. Being that kind of professional is seriously fun for them both.

“The video work is not really work,” Alaric said, and Case nodded in agreement. They are getting to do what they love, and the flexibility of the work means they can often do it wherever and whenever they like.

“It is insanely flexible,” Alaric said, “lots of times I’ll be editing in the middle of the night or early in the morning in my pajamas with my coffee.”

 

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