The Salmon Arm Observer presents Tori Jewell, one of 20 young community leaders recognized in Salmon Arm’s inaugural Top 20 Under 40 program.
If you have lived in the Shuswap for any period of time, you have likely crossed paths with our next Top 20 under 40 recipient.
Tori Jewell is an educator, entrepreneur and cultural ambassador for the region, and her contributions are felt wherever she goes.
Jewell wears many hats, all of which miraculously meld together. Each of her jobs comes with perks and challenges, yet there is a surprising ebb and flow of energy which continues to replenish her. Her contributions to the arts are highlighted in her volunteer time with the Carlin Hall board and work with Salmon Arm ROOTSandBLUES Festival.
Jewell has been active with the music festival since Grade 8. Over the past two decades, she has continually received increased roles and responsibilities. During the most recent years of live, in-person concerts, Jewell worked as the talent coordinator, acting as the face of the Shuswap and ensuring each performer’s experience is incredible.
When the provincial restrictions on gathering forced the festival to temporarily change its in-person format, it allowed Jewell to look for other opportunities to safely connect with her community.
With her mother as her partner, they decided to grow their small bannock booth into a four-market venture this year and even developed a line of bannock crisp snacks. Traveling to various markets has been a much needed way to be present and involved, and is interwoven with her passion for education.
This summer, Jewell and her mother redesigned their booth in orange, and have been actively collecting donations for the Indian Residential School Survivor Society.
As an Indigenous woman, and also working as an Indigenous education worker within the school district, Jewell has found a way to hold space for those struggling with truth and reconciliation, while also raising money to help those affected.
As an Indigenous educator, she provides emotional, social and cultural support to students, and advocates for important curriculum changes.
Her most important work comes from helping students succeed, all while dealing with racism, microaggressions and intergenerational trauma. Jewell is thankful to be recognized as someone people can reach out to and feel supported by, but also notes how heavy that work can be.
The balance of giving and self-care is important, and Jewell makes sure to make time to replenish herself too with music and company.
When Jewell is not volunteering, teaching or building her bannock empire, you can find her jamming in coffee houses, or just out spreading joy with her infectious energy.
Salmon Arm’s Top 20 Under 40 program was launched this year by Dustin Serviss, of Serviss Wealth Management, in partnership with the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society and the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, to acknowledge outstanding individuals, role models, mentors and community builders over the age of 18 and under 40. The top 20 were selected from individuals nominated by the public. Visit salmonarmtop20.ca.