The village of Nakusp is a bustling busy little burg in the mountains, with so much happening that a Nakuspian can be torn choosing between conflicting events. November 6 was just such a case, with the Columbia River Treaty discussion taking place at the same time the Bergmann Duo was tinkling the ivories with all four hands at the Bonnington. Fortunately, organizers got wind of the potential event collision and scheduled an additional afternoon CRT session.
But the musical-treaty collision is not unique, and in order to maximize the possibilities for the good citizens of Nakusp, Craig Savage has become the Events Systems Coordinator, thanks to the Nakusp and District Chamber of Commerce and a CBT grant.
Previously Beth McLeod had been the community projects coordinator until 2009, and when she stepped down, the Chamber of Commerce had stepped up to fill the role. As duties mounted for the new head of the Chamber, Dawn Devlin, who coordinated last year’s Celebration of Light, the idea of having an events coordinator resurfaced. Securing funding from Columbia Basin Trust, a new position was created, with Craig Savage taking the helm.
This time, the plan is for the coordinator to create templates for future events that will streamline the planning process and maintain a list of contacts that will build on what has already been accomplished in previous years. The hope is to have a system that will make it easy to expand events, rather than having to make them up in an ad hoc manner each time.
Savage took on his new role in October and has been kept very busy chairing meetings and bringing together community groups to make the Celebration of Light happen. Finding resources and people to take part and designing ads and posters is all part of the fun. Although Devlin is still leading up the parade, Savage is responsible for the overall event, and is excited by the prospect.
“The job is what you make it,” acknowledged Savage, who recognize that each person brings their unique gifts to the process. “I haven’t been in this kind of role before, but church work is similar.” The part-time pastor is bringing his talents for gathering people together and working on community projects to the new role, and he finds the two roles readily intertwine.
Chamber president Dawn Devlin sees and appreciates what Savage is bringing to the position: “Craig’s amazing, I have to tell you. I’m so grateful.”
At the moment, his focus is on two major community events, the Celebration of Light and the July 1 celebrations, but this is not the end of the planning road. The Chamber and Savage are aiming to hold more events that support downtown businesses, and make Nakusp “a place where things are happening, where people want to live,” according to Savage.