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Editorial: From prairies to mountains

After a turbulent year filled with health restrictions and political unrest, my new life in Jasper is a major positive change that stands out amid all the negative ones.

Starting this month, I am becoming the new editor and publisher for the Jasper Fitzhugh as Fuchsia Dragon leaves this role to go on maternity leave.

I am moving from Grande Prairie, where I served as an editor for the Grande Prairie Daily Herald-Tribune, along with three weekly publications.

Grande Prairie is a retail hub for northwest Alberta and a community primarily supported by a trio of industries – oil and gas, agriculture and forestry – while Jasper is a resort town that caters to tourists from around the globe through its vast natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Alongside the change in scenery from vast prairies to towering mountains, Jasper has a different mode of living that I’m still adjusting to. Rather than having to drive everywhere, most necessities are a 10-minute walk away with diverse and original small businesses taking the place of homogenous box stores.

The job itself will provide me with new opportunities and skill sets, as this is my first venture into the publishing side of the business, but through my previous experience as an editor, I know how important the behind-the-scenes folks are for running an effective newspaper.

Jumping from a retail hub to a tourist hub is a bit of a culture shock for sure, but an occasional shock to the system never hurts, especially when there’s a fine view of the mountains from your office window.

Peter Shokeir

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