Local podcast The Headwaters made a splash with its official launch of its first three of eight episodes on Thursday, May 26 which went swimmingly. The first three episodes had over 500 downloads in the first few days of its launch on May 26. A new episode was released every Thursday with the eighth and final episode released this past Thursday. The Headwaters podcast is a collaborative brainstorm between Kootenay Mountain Culture Productions, and Columbia Basin Trust (CBT). “We’re committed to sharing and celebrating the stories of the remarkable people and places in this region, and we’re excited to partner with the team at the award-winning Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine to help us do this,” says Delphi Hoodicoff, Director of Communications, Columbia Basin Trust.

Columbia Basin Trust recently released an audio version of a book they produced, Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine has always wanted to do a podcast, shares Mitchell Scott who has been Editor-in-Chief of the magazine since it started twenty years ago. “Both groups share similar values when it comes to issues and ideas in the region, and collectively we thought it would be an interesting way to reach a new audience in a very popular media format, podcasts,” says Scott.

The Headwaters takes listeners on an aural journey through one of North America’s most compelling landscapes, connected by a powerful river system. Anchored through one theme The Headwaters looks at saving species, innovations in the region, food sustainability, and more. The podcast was written, produced, and recorded in the Basin using journalists, writers, musicians, and designers from the region. “There’s a lot of mutual respect between our magazine and Columbia Basin Trust, what we both do and bring to the community. Through conversations with their communications team, we thought it would be interesting to collaborate on a project that educates Basin residents on issues and ideas as they relate to the environment, First Nations, business, the arts, the environment, food security, and so much more.”

The first episodes that launched on May 26 put a focus on the people living in the Columbia River Basin and the region. Other episodes also focus on Indigenous people and their connection to the lands and waters while Scott shares there is talk of also delving more into rich history of Columbia River in the future as a part of this new venture. “The podcast reflects a diverse and vibrant Basin region. It will connect people across the region through sharing these stories and that is a benefit for people to hear/see in terms of seeing a connected Basin culture,” says Rachel Lucas, Columbia Basin Trust Manager of Communications. “The Columbia Basin community can connect with stories of the remarkable people and places in the region in a new format that is both entertaining and educational/informative.”

Scott and his business partner thought this would be a fun project. “He started his career as a photographer and I’m a writer,” says Scott. “At the time there wasn’t a publication focused on all the incredible stories happening in the Kootenays. Over time we’ve managed to create something quite valuable to the region, and have worked with hundreds of local artists, writers, photographers, and editors. “The Headwaters podcast has been designed with the intention to be an audio version of the Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine. 

“We tackle themes each episode, like we do in each one of our magazines, and we approach them in an unexpected way. But every story takes a positive approach by talking to people who are doing cool, creative, innovative things in the region, says Scott. “They’re identifying problems and coming up with unique solutions. It’s intended to inspire and encourage people to find out more about the issues we’re discussing, and to also discover more about all the interesting projects Columbia Basin Trust are involved in throughout the region. They really do touch so many businesses and initiatives. They are an incredible resource we all should be proud about and knowledgeable about. More than anything, it’s about engaging listeners in the region with well-produced, well-researched, interesting storytelling.” 

All eight episodes of The Headwaters are now available at headwaterspodcast.com.