Royal Roads Tourism

Victoria, BC

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A Day in the Life at the Lakeview Hideaway- by Franky Fiordimondo

Lakeview Hideaway

Sunrise comes early on the Naramata Bench, around 5 a.m., I have never heard so many birds chirping, singing, warbling, and hammering. Those woodpeckers sound like they are knocking on my door, but I don’t mind. The early morning views of rolling hills of orchards and grapes cascading down to the clear blue of Okanogan Lake make it worth my while to enjoy the not so quiet, but still tranquil setting.
Mornings are busy, Skyler checking her schedule for client appointments and check-ins for the day by 7 a.m., and we compile a To Do List. Today is a Spring clean-up day at Lakeview Hideaway.



View from the Lakeview Hideaway

This two-bedroom cottage sits on a ridge overlooking fields of grapevines, the lake, and a view of Summerland across it. After the long winter and closing of the eight month rental of the property, there is a lot to be done in preparation for the coming vacation property rental season.  The carpenter, Emilio from Spain, is clearing out the storage shed for a trip to the dump, while I weed the front rose garden. As Emilio goes to remove a broken bar fridge he spots a snake and freezes, snakes are not common in Spain apparently. I become Franky, the Snake Whisperer and grab tongs and an empty coffee can and proceed to capture, contain, and release the little baby, foot long snake into the wild once again. Not sure if it’s a Rattle snake or a Bull snake but as calm, cool, and collected as I seemed… I was scared! Just an average morning in cottage country!


The Naramata Community Market Society

The Naramata Community Market Society

The Naramata Museum

The Naramata Museum







Lights are replaced, bushes are cut back and cleared, remnants of winter renters collected, irrigation is set up, and a run to the dump is made. On the return we have some lunch and a cold beverage by the beach, while discussing our afternoon list. Then we stop in at the Naramata Farmers Market for dessert….mmmm it’s cherry season. We take a short stroll through the Village proper (see below for links) passed the Museum, Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa, and The Village Motel, as the wind kicks up its usual afternoon gusts of cool air.

The Naramata Heritage Inn

The Naramata Heritage Inn

The Village Motel

The Village Motel








The New Gazebo

The New Gazebo


The gazebo is assembled and an outdoor eating area is created with a view of the lake. A short-supply list comes in via email from one of the cleaners and an impromptu shopping trip is in order. We gather the staple supplies necessary, toilet paper, paper towels, dish and clothing detergent, and sugar. Other staples required for cottage rentals are kitchen staples such as flour, salt, pepper, spices, body soap and lotion, and fully stocked First Aid Kits.




On our return we find the landscapers cutting the grass and edging, putting a temporary halt to our yard work since we can’t be underfoot. On our shopping excursion, Skyler has purchased a new cast iron bench for the Lakeview Hideaway and a storage bench for outdoor seat cushions. We busy ourselves with assembly and laundry while the landscapers finish up.

I gather the receipts for the day and label them all for future input into the accounting system, which we are still working on setting up for 2014. Last week I met with the accountant Jody for a rundown of the company setup, which went very well. The program is pretty straight forward, but the company itself is complex, with an account for each rental property as well as the Real Estate business. I will have to do accounts for both, which means special care on taxing information, the split up of supply money spent, and deposits and draws on the accounts.
Once this is done, it is already 4 p.m., how the days fly by! Another trip to the dump is in order of all the really heavy stuff, which takes about 45 minutes to load up. I stay behind to prepare a meal to feed all hungry workers on their return after a long day of heavy labour. Although this is not on my job description, it is a chore that needs to be done, and I can’t complain about cooking ribs on the barbeque! Yummy.
Skyler and Emilio stop at the beach for a quick swim to wash off the day and by the time they return with Jay, the houseboat mechanic, dinner is ready. We all sit and eat in our new outdoor dining area under the new gazebo and watch the sun slowly sink while we enjoy a lovely Gewurztraminer from Nichol Estate Winery (local wine of course) along with the breathtaking view.
Shortly after sunset we have a two hundred pound hairy visitor peeking into our picture window in the living room. This teenaged black bear is so cute, but none of us venture outside for the rest of the evening! A snake and a bear… bookends to another great day on the bench!


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A Day in the Life of the Destination Marketing Intern at Tourism Victoria – Bradley Cottrell

Bradley Preparing for the Tourism Victoria Membership Forum

Membership Forum Preparations

I am Bradley Cottrell. For my internship semester in the Bachelor of Arts in International Hotel Management program at Royal Roads University, I have stayed in Victoria, BC and have been working at the corporate office of Tourism Victoria, which is a non-profit destination marketing organization for the city. My official title during this internship is the Destination Marketing Intern and a large portion of my day is spent engaging the community of members and fans of Tourism Victoria in meetings, events and social media.

Being from Calgary, Alberta, I had moved to Victoria specifically for school at Royal Roads University. I have grown to love this city, and felt that with my previous marketing background that a corporate position was the best to go after. Although the program is called international, staying local where I could build upon the reputation and brand that Royal Roads has established gave me great leverage into finding an internship that matched my personality and interest. This also has also given me a strong possibility of turning an internship and education into a full career with many paths to pursue.

My work at Tourism Victoria is varied and I do not have a set day by any means. The only constants I can count on day-to-day is the three kilometre walk in and the three kilometre walk home along the Songhees West Song Walkway. I love that living in a smaller city I have the ability to walk to work every day even though I do not live in the core.

Also, since Victoria has one of the only functioning inner harbours in the world, I get some pretty cool scenes along the way like this:

I am usually up around 5:30 a.m. and get a breakfast meal in my belly to start the day. I like to do some light exercise, shower and pack some snacks and a lunch before heading off to work to start at 8:30 a.m. When I started, I needed about an hour to walk the 3 km’s into the core from my home. After buying some proper footwear and not stopping to take pictures for a blog, I cut that time down to about 35 minutes. In comparison to living and working in Calgary where I lived outside the downtown core, I would have an hour drive minimum at best most days and after a snowfall, usually much more.

Part of my morning walk to Tourism Victoria

Once at work, I like to check out the analytics and statistics of how various projects are going since the day before. In my two months at Tourism Victoria, a couple large-scale, never before done, experiential marketing campaigns were launched in target market cities such as Vancouver, Seattle and Calgary. Being able to work with and learn from the Director of Destination Marketing, Trina Mousseau, has been an experience so positive that I struggle to adequately describe it.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel in Downtown Victoria

A large part of gathering tangible data to analyze the next day and making sure key marketing messages are received by the target markets is interacting with both the Tourism Victoria membership companies, as well as the community at large. The Twitter hashtag #Bradtheintern was specifically created by Margaret Doyle with me in order to brand myself within Tourism Victoria as a social contact. This has been picked up by some of the most influential people in Victoria’s hospitality industry and with most things so far in my internship, I feel honored to be part of it.

Tourism Victoria is located here at Bastion Square

Social Media is an ongoing project throughout the day and I often times find myself adding comments, answering questions and conversing with the community on Facebook and Twitter. Something that has made this blog post vastly easier to compose is that I have been tasked with reviving the “Going Local” blog for the company. This plan behind this blog was originally for many industry and community experts to impart knowledge that the average visitor would not know and help them get a more rewarding tourist experience. Being that I am not an expert at anything (except maybe procrastinating writing any blogs), the scope of “Going Local” has changed slightly to provide a local tourist point of view from a perspective of someone who lives in the city, but is new to the experience. My fit in the role was obviously an easy choice. The blog has taken me all over the city and I have had a wonderful experience being a local tourist. I get away with asking all the silly questions and have an easy time making light of it because there is no language or culture barrier.

The View across the Harbour from the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa

These are about the only regular activities I do each day. Many other tasks fill up my time, as I am sort of a “Johnny on the Spot” jack-of-all-trades type person around the office. Each day absolutely flies by, and I rarely even stop to take a lunch break. Whether I am creating a potential marketing campaign to launch on short notice, writing a press release, going to festivals and events like the Dragon Boat Festival, I am motivated and excited by the prospects of what another day will bring.

#Bradtheintern covering the opening of the Victoria International Buskers Festival

While my internship may not have the glamour of being in an exotic land or tropical location, there is a quantifiable take away that I get from being able to attend meetings and shake hands with the owners and executive managers of the hospitality businesses in Victoria. Between the education with Royal Roads University and the hands on experience I have received with Tourism Victoria, I have no doubt that I will be able to join many of my classmates and alumni in going international once again when the right opportunity comes along.

The Russian Tall Ship "Pallada" Paying a visit in the bustling harbour