Welcome to the neighbourhood

John Devitt

We are on the cusp of a new snow season in Revelstoke, and like Rob Buchanan’s great cartoon from a couple weeks ago, there is a parade of new faces rolling in.  New faces with new accents are bringing new resumes and new rental needs.  Those who have stuck around for a season receive +50 Revelstoke points and are promoted to ‘Level 2 Apprentice Local’ and like clockwork, the same old ‘us versus them’ anti-local or anti-tourist junk shows up on the Stoke List.

The debate always comes back to respect.  New folks feel under-appreciated or stereotyped, locals feel new folks don’t respect the pre-resort existence of Revelstoke.  Well everyone that is here has contributed and will continue to do so in some way.  The reason why you as a new person have heard so many cool things about this place is because the folks that live here have spent years to build it that way.  Decades.  And, if you only look at the amount of change and effort made just since the resort opened in 2007 you’d be amazed.  And the reason why the town continues to exist is because of new blood.  Let’s just all accept these facts and move on.  No need to keep rehashing this debate.

There is a way to start this New Year off right and make it all work.  Just some simple steps that shouldn’t be

Every year Revelstoke debates the influx of foreigners, particularly those from down under.

that hard with an open mind, yeah?

Don’t walk around like you know it all already.  There are some of us who have been here for years and are still learning about this place.  Whether its meeting new people, learning new and old facts about the city, or neat little spots here and there, the fact is you’re not some brilliant first time explorer.  It’s just your turn.  This is true if you are a local, someone who has lived here a couple few years or if this is your first season, arrogantly acting like you know everything there is to know about this place is a huge mistake.

Get out of your cliques a little bit.  Sure it is early days, but when I see groups of new folks all huddled together with the same accents, I wonder how much you can really learn about a new place.  How much can you experience if you insist on staying in the comfort bubble of people you know.  Revelstokians are pretty friendly if you get to know them.  Don’t be upset if they don’t warm up to you right away, because like I said, you’re another visitor in a line of visitors, and next season there will be another you coming for the first time.  Stick it out a little though, and you’ll see why so many people have set up roots here.  It’s not just about the snow.

Get out of your comfort bubble, new people. This is not a ski town like any other. It’s a real working city.

It’s not just about the snow.  We get it, you love the snow and that’s why you’re here for the winter.  Most of us that live here will agree that we’re stoked too.  It is pretty amazing out there and there will be incredible days of deepness to be had.  But you know what, there’s a lot of good in the here and now of October.  “I can’t wait until it snows” and “I wish it would snow right now” are all good things to say if you’re worried about whether people are looking at you as a true shredder or not.  I mean Revelstoke is pretty hardcore right, and you want to be hardcore too, that’s cool.  But why not just be for a little bit?  There’s going to be 4-6 months of snow coming and it’ll be here soon enough.  Enjoy the now.

Get involved.  See how everyone says hello and stops to chat with people on the street?  It is because Revelstoke This city is also a community.  Lots of people have roots here, lives here, and love the place enough to give back.  So when you say “I love Revelstoke it’s awesome” I say prove it.  Volunteer at the food bank, for an event or any of the dozens and dozens of groups listed here http://www.revelstokecf.com/volunteers/groups.html.  As soon

If newcomers — even the transient ones who know they’re only here for a winter — want to have a really good time, they should make an effort to discover what Revelstoke and its people really have to offer. It’s not just a whole lotta snow.

as you start to get involved you begin to learn about this place, meet new people and find there’s much more to Revelstoke than just snow.

Note:  While written with some stereotyped visitors in mind, these steps can be easily adapted for some narrow minded locals as well.