Invermere voters will have a chance to get up close and personal with their candidates before the election at a new all-candidates forum that includes a speed-dating portion, said organizer and outgoing councillor Paul Denchuk.

Each council and trustee candidate in attendance will take a seat at a table and wait for residents to join them. The one-on-one or small-group conversations that arise at the tables will help voters decide who they want to partner with for the next four years.

After voters have had a chance to visit with the candidates, those vying for votes will move to a head table where they will take questions from the audience. Candidates will also have the opportunity to respond to each other’s answers.

“Complete transparency is what we’re going for here,” said Mr. Denchuk. “We just want to provide a different perspective and more opportunity for the citizens to engage their candidates.”

Mr. Denchuk, who is not seeking re-election, is holding the event as the chair of Imagine Invermere, a council advisory committee. (Councillor Greg Anderson is also on the committee but has excused himself from planning the forum as he is seeking re-election.)

Mr. Denchuk encouraged residents to attend the event to interview the candidates and get informed.

“It matters to vote because local government is the most important level of government in Canada because it affects you in your everyday life,” said Mr. Denchuk.

When Mr. Denchuk raised the idea of the second forum at council, he told the existing council members and council hopefuls in the audience that “we thought we’d provide more access to the candidates during the campaign… to give more people access to you.”

From the audience, Ute Juras, who is running for council, said she supported the idea and appreciated the additional opportunity for the public and their candidates to connect.

The all-candidates forum will take place on Thursday, October 11th at the Columbia Valley Centre. The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., with the speed-dating portion of the evening to start at 7 p.m.

Cancelled all-candidate forums

All-candidate forums put on by the Chamber of Commerce for Invermere and Canal Flats were cancelled Tuesday afternoon due to inclement weather. As of press time, there was no new date set. See the Pioneer’s Facebook page for updated information.