Shuswap Tourism marketing co-ordinator Stephanie Goodey and Morgen Matheson, team leader of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Tourism and Film Commission, work to promote the Shuswap and develop tourism throughout the region. (Contributed)

Shuswap Tourism marketing co-ordinator Stephanie Goodey and Morgen Matheson, team leader of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Tourism and Film Commission, work to promote the Shuswap and develop tourism throughout the region. (Contributed)

CSRD’s Morgen Matheson aims to get movie productions rolling in the Shuswap

Tourism and Film Commission team leader excited to share local stories with the world

  • May. 24, 2022 5:20 a.m.

By Barb Brouwer

Contributor

It was hockey that brought Morgen Matheson and her family to the Shuswap and a love of the area and what is offered that has made her thrilled with the decision.

Six months ago, Matheson left her job at the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society to become team leader of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Tourism and Film Commission.

Matheson grew up in Nelson and Castlegar and says she has always loved the small-town vibe that often includes a friendly population. While living in Vancouver and then Squamish, Matheson’s small-town wish continued to percolate. So when her hockey coach husband returned from Salmon Arm tournaments he fanned the flames of interest.

“Every time he came back it was, ‘I love the Shuswap and Salmon Arm,” she said.

When an opportunity came up for her husband, the family made the dream a reality.

“It’s a better life for us personally and I fall in love with it more and more everyday,” said Matheson, noting she is very much looking forward to letting the world know about the “Beautiful, Casual, Down to Earth” Shuswap.

Matheson’s Salmon Arm work life began with the “fabulous team” at the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society.

“I was lucky to work with such an amazing group of people who do so much for the community,” she said, pointing out that part of her job of two-plus years was to market the hotel tax, which goes to local tourism initiatives.

“We worked collaboratively with Shuswap Tourism on several projects and I always thought it was an interesting industry sector,” she said. “Once I started working in it, it became more and more interesting and I began researching on my own so I could understand it better.”

Matheson is looking forward to continue working collaboratively to market the Shuswap regionally, provincially, nationally and to the world.

“It’s great being able to tell our stories and help the Shuswap to recover after two years of industry shutdown,” she says. “We’re working on a lot of asset development, making sure we have the right information to send to other destination marketing organizations.”

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While showcasing Roots and Blues and the Salute to the Sockeye is a must, Matheson said it’s equally important make people aware of other opportunities.

“I do feel we have a unique offering, more so than other lake communities, and it’s not just about marketing events, but making sure they are aware of everything to do here,” she said enthusiastically. “We have a robust tourism offering and we want them to have a fulfilled visitor experience.”

With Covid restrictions being lifted, the film industry is also starting to get busy again. Travelling between Hollywood and Vancouver’s “Hollywood North” has opened up and there are a lot of opportunities, she said.

“Film productions can get more tax breaks further outside of Vancouver, so we are making sure we’re prepared and ready to market the Shuswap as a great film location,” she added.

Matheson points out that film producers have a specific image gallery and the Shuswap Tourism and Film Commission is planning to contribute to it by updating images and checking for other potential film locations.

“We are always looking for interesting properties with a view to marketing them for a variety of films,” she said, noting the commission is also working with communities and electoral areas to make sure processes are in place to make it easy for film productions to get rolling in the Shuswap.

Matheson’s education includes graphics design at the University of Alberta, and marketing at Vancouver’s BCIT. She has volunteered with “several amazing marketing and design agencies” in Alberta and Vancouver.

“I would like to give a shout out to all my predecessors who made my transition easy by providing knowledge and support,” she said, shouting out high praise to colleague Stephanie Goodey, who has worked at Shuswap Tourism for eight years. “We wouldn’t be where we are without her; she has been a steady hand to help me navigate through all the nuances of tourism in the Shuswap.”


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