Q & A with Bex Dawkes
Meet Bex Dawes, the Marketing Coordinator at Whitewater Ski Resort. Originally from Worcestershire, England, Bex completed degrees in Geology and Sustainable Development, before working for a Ski Tour Operator in the French Alps and then eventually moving into the world of communications. She chased the mountains out to British Columbia in September 2018 and quickly found a home in Nelson and at Whitewater Ski Resort. She’s passionate about environmental issues and spending time in the outdoors, so will most often be found on a bike, in a boat, or strapped to a snowboard. We sat down with Bex to learn more about her role at Whitewater Ski Resort and what to expect for the 2019/2020 winter season!
How did you come about working at Whitewater Ski Resort?
Right place, right time. I moved to Nelson last fall and was looking for a seasonal position. I have a background in marketing & communications, so when this role came up, I was pretty stoked. One season later, I’m hooked and in it for the long haul – so you’ll be seeing me around this coming 2019/20 season too!
Can you describe a day in the life of a Marketing Coordinator?
My days in and out of season are very different. During the winter, my days mainly consist of creating content for our digital media (taking photos and writing things for the website, newsletter and our social media channels), helping to run our big events and liaising with media and athletes. Plus, I try and spend my lunch hour on the mountain whenever I can. During the summertime, my job is much more about planning and strategy. I do a lot of design work, create implementation plans for next winter and try to come up with ideas on how we can improve the resort from a communications perspective.
How do you like living in the Kootenays?
I love it! It’s so incredible here. Every time I drive along the shore of Kootenay Lake or hike up a nearby peak, I have my breath taken away by the beauty which surrounds us. And I LOVE how accessible outdoor activities are. Last week I worked 40 hours and still managed to fit in a hike, a mountain biking session, a trail run and a morning of kayaking. It’s a pretty sweet spot to live, I feel very lucky to be here.
This winter season, Whitewater Ski Resort hosted a variety of events! Any favourite memories?
It was my first ever Coldsmoke experience, and although I was mostly busy working behind the scenes, I managed to sneak out for an hour on the Sunday and visit the Demo Village, which was just so cool! So many amazing brands offering free gear demos. I gave a few new powder boards a try which definitely convinced me that I needed to upgrade my setup! I also really enjoyed the Junior Freeski event in January. It was awesome to see all the kids so hyped and having such a great time tearing up the mountain. I think though, the stand out for me was our ‘Pipe Dreams’ event in late March. It was a brand new event for us so we didn’t know how well it would be received, but a huge snowboarding community came out for it (including a guest appearance from Nicolas Muller); they helped us hand build a mini halfpipe on the Friday and then jammed on it all of Sunday under some beautiful blue skies. It was awesome.
Any events we should keep on our radar for winter 2019/2020 season?
We’ve made some changes to our events calendar and have shifted our annual Community Day to just before Christmas – this year it will be on Friday 20th December. It’s going to incorporate much more than just a $10 lift ticket this year. I won’t give anything away quite yet, but mark it in your diary and make sure you get up to the mountain!
In your opinion, what makes Whitewater Ski Resort so special and/or different from other resorts in British Columbia?
BC is undeniably one of the world’s premier skiing destinations. Coming from someone who grew up skiing in the European Alps, the snow here is just phenomenal. Whitewater has something different to all the other places I’ve visited though; it has soul. This ski resort and the community which encompasses it is gnarly and hardcore, yet somehow it is also warm and soft and friendly. Maybe it’s because we don’t have WiFi and cell service so we all actually have to talk to each other, but everyone who works and lives here really values true human connection. It sounds clichéd, but you kind of have to experience it to know what I’m talking about. When you visit Whitewater, it sort of feels like coming home.
Any changes coming to Coldsmoke in 2020?
Yes! And some exciting ones at that. This year, we revisited why Coldsmoke was created in the first place, and so in 2020 are recommitting and refocusing on the original ethos of the festival: backcountry exploration. We’re adjusting the program to try and make Coldsmoke better for everyone, but not bigger. There will still be 2 days of backcountry clinics on Friday and Saturday. And the Coldsmoke Demo Village will still be around over the weekend, but the closing day of the festival will look a bit different, and we hope that it will be a draw for our regular Whitewater community, as well as for people visiting. That’s all I’ll say for now, but it’s set to be pretty epic. Coldsmoke Powder Fest 2020 will run Friday 21 – Sunday 23 Feb.
How do we stay up to date on the latest events at Whitewater Ski Resort?
Easy peasy! You can follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook, or subscribe to our email newsletter to get regular updates. Otherwise, head to our website www.skiwhitewater.com or just come and say hi! We love visitors!