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Posted: October 13, 2021

#BuyBasin Festival returning

Michele A Sam

By Erin Knutson

Fall has arrived, and with it, the return of the #BuyBasin Festival, a LIVE virtual event celebrating and showcasing businesses, entrepreneurs, and entertainers throughout the Columbia Basin.

The festival, hosted by the Columbia Basin Trust (the Trust) and FestivalSeekers, will provide an opportunity for 100 local businesses to show off the best of their products and services to the community and beyond.

“All participants are paired with a social media expert to coach them on putting their best foot forward with LIVE video,” said FestivalSeekers Social Media Manager Stevie Froese.

Michele A Sam Consulting is one of the businesses taking part in this year’s festival.

Michele Sam has a successful and sought after Indigenous place-based consulting company that supports understanding Indigenous peoples’ lived experiences, and is in the process of launching a brand new website as well as a podcast to showcase her 30+ years of skill and expertise,.

“It’s important that people recognize Indigenous businesses and what we bring to the Basin – there are a lot of homegrown quality Indigenous businesses right here offering a variety of goods and services,” she said.

“I’m a firm believer in the local economy and that it will see us through the challenges – the Ktunaxa have survived and thrived for thousands and thousands of years here and will continue to do so. I’m excited to familiarize people with the quality that exists in the Basin,” she said. The festival, Michele Sam said, is “just the exposure needed for a positive experience and an opportunity to grow together.”

Morgan Turner Photography – Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards last year.

Of the groups enjoying a free feature spot in the lineup #BuyBasin, Morgan Turner has also signed up to promote his photography business (Morgan Turner Photography) and to create a personal connection with his audience.

“It’s the second year for the festival, and it’s starting to gain traction – for me, it’s a call to action to check out my website, to bring traffic, and to boost my social media presence,” he said.

Turner, who specializes in a robust technical skill-set and lighting mechanics, mentioned the measurable outcomes of the festival as part of its appeal.

“They have an objective with #BuyBasin LIVE, and that’s to create a five per cent increase in traffic and sales. So it’s intentional promotion, with a measurable metric, and that is effective marketing,” he said.

The photographer also praised the benefits of inclusion, accessibility, free training, and broad-reaching exposure as part of the merits that #BuyBasin affords its participants.

“It caters to everyone, and they provide any level of support that’s needed. It’s great for businesses that are used to a traditional way of marketing to help them develop, get creative, and grow on social media with extra guidance and by providing hands-on tools and support,” he said.

Turner applauded the the Trust and FestivalSeekers for sponsoring #BuyBasin.

“I want to thank the Trust and FestivalSeekers – I want to encourage the businesses participating this fall and to give a shout out to people to get in on it next year,” he said.


Cranbrook’s Retro Sound and Collectibles.

Retro Sound and Collectibles in downtown Cranbrook will also be going LIVE on Facebook and Instagram as part of the Basin businesses sharing expert tips, giveaways, demos, live music, and behind-the-scenes entertainment at this year’s event.

“It’s really about exposure – we opened our store around the beginning of the pandemic, and now we’re introducing ourselves to people who haven’t heard about us,” said Retro Sound and Collectibles owner Jeremy Youngward.

According to Youngward, #BuyBasin is an opportunity to bring awareness to existing businesses in the area, whether that’s highlighting smaller communities like Canal Flats or bringing in business from urban areas like Calgary or Vancouver.

Youngward credited the Trust’s efforts toward promoting the Basin while highlighting the benefits of the group exposure that will result from the festival.

“Our business is in downtown Cranbrook, so it’s about all the businesses here – their success is our success,” he said.

The #BuyBasinFestival is scheduled for October 18 to November 10. Virtual attendees will enjoy a few returning favourites as well as a host of new faces.

There are daily performances LIVE on social media from Columbia Basin bands and artists throughout the #BuyBasin Festival.

Among the performers going LIVE will be Cranbrook’s own Maddisun, on October 28 LIVE on Facebook and The Parsons LIVE on Facebook on November 4.

For a complete lineup, including musical sensations Shred Kelly from Fernie, Cranbrook’s The Parsons, and Valemount’s Nick Beddington – visit HERE.

Viewers will be able to connect to each business or performer’s Facebook or Instagram page directly from the lineup for LIVE viewing.

If attendees miss a LIVE video, they can catch up using the lineup and even score some fantastic local deals and giveaways.

Photos submitted


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