Local tour guide learns as much as guests

Castlegar councillor discusses current city-related thoughts

Councillor Gord Turner

Councillor Gord Turner

With strongly expressed concern for our best interests, and the ability to influence the future of our community, members of city council are being invited to speak through our pages, both print and web.

This installment features Coun. Gord Turner whose responsibilities on council lean heavily toward the cultural side of things.

“Even though the decisions about culture and who gets what, and how much it’s propped up, and so on, are made by council,” said Turner on August 4, “I try to monitor that and keep track of it.”

With an arts and culture-flavoured portfolio, Turner appears to have more on his plate than ever and he seems pleased about it.

“I’m quite impressed with how this community has changed-from simply being a hockey and a mill town to a town that offers much more-particularly cultural aspects people can tap into.”

Turner by no means downgrades the city’s illustrious and passionate sporting personality, but praises the community’s rising profile in a number of other areas.

“Our interest in supporting the original group that started Sculpture Walk has paid off,” Turner mentioned.

“We’ve been able to set up this liaison with Columbia Basin Trust to fund some of it, we (City of Castlegar) funded some of it and it’s just an amazing attraction.”

Turner is a believer in the program’s economic, as well as cultural impact on the community. He gave an example to prove his point as to the appeal of some local attractions.

“When these two people from England were here to visit us there were two things they wanted to see: Sculpture Walk and the Doukhobor Village. We went and walked the entire Sculpture Walk,” said Turner, adding that a visit to the Station Museum also went over well with the visitors.

“They were just so pleased, they’d never seen anything like it,” he described.

This point was especially pleasing to Turner, given that the guests were familiar with London and its assortment of world class attractions.

How did that make the councillor feel about his town?

“I was actually really proud,” he said, going on to share how they took their company out to see past winners, including the “Patient Hunter” blue heron near the Grand Forks turnoff, and the “Linotype Wapiti” at the airport.

Learning about Doukhobor culture was a strong desire of the Turners’ guests and a visit to the Discovery Centre was very enjoyable for them.

Gord Turner said his experience as a tour guide for out-of-country visitors, as in so many similar cases, was very illuminating. Finding out what it is about your home that interests someone else can really put things in perspective.

The tour wrapped up at the Kootenay Gallery, which again pleased the English folks.

He concluded with a reference to something getting no shortage of attention of late, and how it complements the big picture.

“The Millennium Walkway and Ponds tie in with culture, because that facility now will be able to be used for people who want to bring in events.”

Turner said he can just see all kinds of events and shows going on that will add to our quality of living in Castlegar.