Brian McAndrew, Publisher
With a background in many creative endevours, from painting and drawing to sign painting and more, I started in publishing in 1989 in Gibsons BC as a paste up artist working for the Sunshine Coast News, a weekly broadsheet newspaper. From there, in 1995, I went on to publish a bi-weekly tabloid format paper called “Northern Lite” for Powell River and the north Sunshine Coast including Texada Island.
I moved to Grand Forks in 1996 and after a couple of years working for the Castlegar Sun on a broadsheet newspaper, I went back on my own in 1999 and puplished 29 issues of a bi-weekly “coffee table” format paper “The OpenMinder”
While producing Cannabis Health Journal, I also produced the 2005, 2006 and 2007 travel magazine for Grand Forks and the Boundary (Welcome to the Boundary and the Beautiful Kettle River Valley) focusing on the “Spirit of 2010 Trail (Trans Canada Trail in BC). It came complete with double gate-fold map of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail in the Boundary Region. This travel magazine would later be the base inspiration for starting The Kettle Valley Express.
The 2018, #6 edition of the Kettle Valley Express will be the 65th publication I have produced since 1999 and the 72nd since starting in 1995.
In 1986, when the Coquihalla was built, the traffic along Hwy #3 decreased, seriously affecting the economy of South Central BC, between Hope and the Kootenays.
In 2013 the Kettle Valley Express was created and published as the first yearly, all seasons travel guide for South Central BC using BC’s rail trails connecting Hope to the Kootenays.
Research shows, for approximately every 2 hours of driving time, visitors would stay one night.
Using the Kettle Valley Express, the reader can make a travel plan starting at the western terminus for the Kettle Valley Railway in Hope, and following the stories, travel Hwy #3 thru Princeton, across to the Okanagan and Hwy 97, then over to the Boundary, West Kootenay’s and Slocan.
The visitor could stop a day or two to explore the attractions, visit the advertisers and off to the next, spending a week or two to cross the region and explore.
The magazine as grown rapidly and in 2015, while producing the #4, 2016 edition, a partnership was formed with Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association that provided advertising discounts to registered tourism stakeholders, not to mention, the extra exposure that this provides.
The 2016 issue #4, garnered a Silver Win at the prestigious Summit Marketing Effectiveness Awards. 1,100 entries from 12 countries, competing against $30 million annual budget companies. The win was for more than just good design. The goal of marketing communications is to change, influence or reinforce an audience’s knowledge, attitudes or beliefs and The Kettle Valley Express is doing just that.
We have been working closely this year with Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, Kootenay Rockies Tourism and Destination BC, adding 16 pages and a whole newly designed larger map with more trail information you want and need.