I came to Fort Smith at 22, because a small newspaper I was working for in Nova Scotia folded and I needed a job. There were three positions available in the NWT, Fort Smith was the first to offer me a job, so into the abyss (as it were) I went. I figured I’d be here for a couple of years, but I found the lifestyle and the place so appealing the South became less and less attractive. After 5 years of reporting and editing the living heck out of every issue possible, I did a few years of freelance communications, and then took a job at Aurora College in Public Affairs.
Here you can make a career in whatever mold you want to fit. Now I’m in communications with Parks Canada for the Wood Buffalo National Park and Nahanni National Park Reserve. I did all of that living in a small community that has grown to 2400.
I can’t even imagine what my life would be if not for this place. It’s like my real life started when I moved here. I came up here as a single man and within a year I was the paper’s editor. I got married here; I’m raising 2 kids here. Because it’s a small community, you fill in the holes. I had the experience of cub scouts when I was a kid and I wanted that for my son, so I formed a troop.
Three Edmonton Scout leaders came here last year and they were amazed at the amenities we have here — and that’s not a perspective we hear everyday from city people. But we have a beautiful National Park right here in our back yard for goodness sake — that’s something!
This is the kind of place where you will find unexpected opportunities. If you have the determination to act on them, it’s amazing where you can get to.