Summer has given way to fall, and kids are back in school. The summer tourist season has just about wrapped up too, and along with Invermere’s summer community ambassador program.

Invermere was one of several municipalities in the East Kootenay to hire a summer community ambassador, as part of the East Kootenay Restart program, when the region began to open up after the province-wide COVID-19 lockdown this past spring.

Valley resident Caitlyn Raven filled the position this summer, regularly visiting local public spaces in Invermere, including Kinsmen Beach, Pothole Park, the Mount Nelson Athletic Park (and its ever-popular skate park) and the downtown area (including the farmers’ market) to educate the public about the importance of physical distancing, provide information and answer questions about the B.C. Restart Plan and the community in general, and to encourage safe use of available amenities and services.

In her wrap-up report, Raven outlined that much of her time on the job was spent reminding visitors and residents to keep two metres apart or to use sanitizer (after using the playground, for instance). She also spent a good deal of time answering queries about the farmers’ markets, hiking options, whether or not dogs were allowed at the beach and other tourist questions.

“People generally really appreciated (the ambassador position),” said Invermere Mayor Al Miller, speaking at the September 8th Invermere council meeting, at which council members discussed the report. Councillor Greg Anderson concurred and suggested that Invermere should entertain the idea of having a community ambassador again in future years, even if the COVID-19 pandemic is over.