The Castlegar and District Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an all candidates meet and greet on Tuesday, Oct. 9 at the Sandman Hotel.
The event is open to all candidates running for the positions of Castlegar mayor, Castlegar council, and Regional District of Central Kootenay Area J director.
The event runs from 6:30 to 9 p.m., but candidate speeches will begin promptly at 6:40 p.m.
Candidates will each have three minutes to share their platform with the audience.
The speeches will be followed by a meet and greet session with candidates.
The format is a change from previous candidate events the Castlegar Chamber has hosted, but executive director Tammy Verigin-Burk says it has garnered mostly positive responses.
She also says that even though Chamber of Commerce doesn’t have a mandate to hold a forum or any election event, “We have always felt it is important to provide the opportunity for the community to learn about the candidates.”
Verigin-Burk says that the Chamber felt the large number of candidates was prohibitive to having a good debate, greatly limiting the number of questions that could be asked and answered.
“It is important for people to understand that we are a non-profit organization that is not affiliated with the City of Castlegar,” she explained. “City council — current, or candidates — have no decision-making power in what the Chamber of Commerce decides to do for any election that happens.”
The Chamber hopes that the emphasis the format puts on face-to-face exchanges will encourage residents to come out and get their questions answered and get to know candidates they are not familiar with.