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A love letter to Revelstoke

Many have visited Revelstoke and fallen under its spell.

To explain why it’s so special here, we asked some local faces to explain what it is that keeps them here. The letters below are an admission of love from locals who have moved from far and wide to make Revelstoke their home.

Art by Rob Buchanan, see more of his work here.


Dear Revelstoke,

True story – I live in Revelstoke because it’s where the van broke down. Almost 25 years ago, my girlfriend and I were tramping through the BC interior when our camperized Dodge Caravan refused to drive one more metre. There was a hiss, a sickly grinding noise, a crack, and we traded our life on the road for a season in the mountains. The van was quickly forgotten as we discovered the magic of Revelstoke.

It was love at first sight – spectacular mountains in every direction, meadows of wildflowers, rivers, waterfalls, and later that year, snowflakes the size of promises. As an artist and photographer, it was heaven. As a lover of outdoor sports, it was paradise. And then something unexpected happened.

Don’t be afraid, don’t worry – we didn’t resurrect the van. We planted roots. We made friends, the kind of relationships that last forever and become family. We discovered the deep history of the area, the layers of stories that make this place so special. We fell in love with the sense of community and every new day added to the security that we were meant to be here. 

I married my sweetheart, started a family, and embraced a career as an artist in one of the greatest mountain towns in the world. As for the van – that clunking, leaking roadside frustration from the past gave us the best gift one could ever hope for. Home. Happy Valentine’s Day Revelstoke.


Rob Buchanan, local artist.

JJ Vinet shredding pow. Photo: Morgan Mcglashon


Dear Revelstoke,

You won my heart over 10 years ago,
Your winters are deep with mountains of snow, 
Although sometimes your temperatures are frigid and cold, 
Your mountains always welcome me with a warm hug hello, 
You are more than a place or persons or things, 
You are all of that and that makes you reign king, 
I hope we can be together for ten years more, 
…and ten after that without ever a bore.


JJ Vinet, local pro skier.

Three locals skiing Mount Revelstoke in 1919. Photo: Revelstoke Museum and Archives

To Revelstoke, my Valentine

Revelstoke, I first met you in 1973, the same way many people met you. I was on a trip with my family and we stopped at the A&W on our way through. I met you again on the Labour Day weekend in 1977 when I came here to meet the parents of my now-husband Ken. It rained all weekend – also a common experience for many first-time visitors. But by this time I was committed, and I moved here permanently in 1978 when we were married.

Revelstoke, it wasn’t until I started working at the museum in 1983 that I really got to know you. I have come to know you through the people who lived here before me – the people who shaped you into the community that you are today. I feel as though I know many of these people, partly through encountering them through the archives, but also through meeting their descendants. 

Revelstoke, people come to you to work, to play, and to live. It’s easy for people to put down roots here, because you are the embodiment of all of the joys, struggles, and human experiences of everyone who has ever lived here. Your history draws in us and makes us want to be a part of you.

Revelstoke, thank you for letting me be a part of your story. 

Cathy English, Curator of Revelstoke Museum & Archives.

Jana’s second love standing atop Mt McCrae. Photo: Jana Thompson

Dear Revelstoke,

Yup, you have captured my heart.

Our romance started off as an innocent crush, really. With your enchanting glacier capped mountains and views for days right from your downtown. But once we started going on a few dates I didn’t really stand much of a chance. I was under your spell.

Like, seriously- not only are you one of the earth’s most incredible places, with your beautiful rainforests, stunning mountains and endless flowing waterways, but you really got me with your alpine meadows. All that beauty in plain sight! Good luck walking away from that kind of attraction.

I started having a lot of sleepovers under your starry skies, along your sparkling lakes, and on some of your mountain peaks, then I moved in pretty quick… Some people said we were moving too fast but when you know, you just know…you know? I haven’t looked back since, our love just getting deeper and stronger every year.

But I really knew I was in beyond the point of return the moment I started meeting your people. How many human crushes is too many I wonder? All these energetic, passionate, diverse, inspirational, humble, selfless, adventurous, fun-loving, humans in one community? Almost too good to be true! But you are most definitely for real.

There’s not many decisions that come easy in our lifetime, I’m lucky choosing my forever home was such an easy one. So here’s to you my love, may you always fascinate and inspire me until I grow old and grey, while you just keep looking better and better each day.

Jana Thompson, Executive Director of the Revelstoke Chamber of Commerce.

Revelstoke Mountain CoLab Cooperative. Photo: Carly Moran


If you could work from anywhere in the world, why choose Revelstoke? Simply, because I love it.
 
I sling words for a living, a solitary profession that locks you away inside the cubicle of your own brain. Writing is arguably the original remote work, requiring only a pencil, paper, and the room to foster thoughts into something with shape. But it takes something, more, too. It takes a sense of being part of something bigger.
 
In Revelstoke, I’m a part of a community of nearly 70 remote workers who walk into
Revelstoke Mountain CoLab Cooperative every day to make their machinations into reality. Our local co-working space brims with a quiet force of architects, programmers, marketers, creatives and entrepreneurs changing the face of modern work. Under the watchful Selkirk and Monashee Mountains, we’re empowered by communications technology that lets us work anywhere in the world with solid internet. Here, our uel is the ringing symphony of peaks and waterways we reside in, and each other. This is my culture. These are my coworkers, my colleagues, my community—my friends.
 
Let me count the ways you let me be the best version of me, Revelstoke: all of them. I couldn’t do what I do without this place, or these people. Thank you, coworkers. Thank you, community.
 
In love, forever and always.


Matt Coté, writer and Revelstokian.

1 Comment

  • This is such a heartfelt and genuine article. Love it.

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