Banff Bound

I packed my bags. I was ready to go. But, first, I wanted to make sure my 11:00 AM flight was on-time. I logged onto Toronto’s Pearson International Airport only to find that my flight was the sole to be cancelled out of dozens. Momentary panic. I called WestJet to assure I’d be on the next flight to Calgary.

The soothing voice on the other end of the line informed me that I was on the 5:00 p.m. flight. 5:00 PM? 5:00 PM! No. I needed to be on the 12:15 PM. It’s a 2-hour shuttle ride to Banff and I wanted to be unpacked and well rested for my first day as Podcast Producer at The Banff Centre courtesy of Corus Entertainment. I was told there was no room on the flight. A quick internet search indicated otherwise however and I let her know. 12:15 PM flight booked.

As I stood idly by to board said aircraft, a rather unruly passenger was causing quite a stir. “I checked in on-line! I’m claustrophobic! Let me know when you get your act together” and on and on it went. I don’t know what one expects to accomplish with such a poor attitude. Funnily enough the woman, who was on in years, wore a shirt stating “This princess saves herself” above a carton image of Princess Peach from the Super Mario Brothers video games.

As I settled into my seat which was situated in the first row with expansive leg room, a flight attendant asked if I was travelling alone. Indeed I was. “Would you be willing to switch to a middle seat? I’ll give you a $150 credit!” she said without skipping a beat. Sold! As you may have guessed the seat switching was to accommodate the damsel in distress I mentioned earlier.

The only method of payment up in the air is credit. Cash is useless above sea-level, apparently. Having just moved and switched banks, I am currently without the desirable plastic needed to purchase refreshments in flight. Unbeknownst to her at the time, the stewardess asked if I would like a sandwich. I informed her of my phantom credit card and she began to roll her cart away. She paused hesitantly, “Will you be ordering alcohol?” “No,” I replied. “We’ll give you a FREE sandwich since you switched seats.” Karma—someone should let the Botox-aficionado now sitting in my seat know about it.

The shuttle ride to Banff was breathtaking. The concept that this is to be my home for the next three months remains unfathomable. Meet the neighbours! These furry friends hang out by my window.

Today was Day 1.   Meetings, orientations, tutorials, oh my! It was a day chock full of info sessions. It’s a lot to take in. New endeavours are daunting and make me skittish. I over-anticipate what is to be expected of me and place an inordinate amount of weight on my shoulders. Things usually work out well. I emerge relatively unscathed and wiser from the experiences that cause me needless worry.

I am up to the challenge. This summer will be enormously rewarding. The Banff Centre’s motto is “Inspiring Creativity”; I think it is in part to the welcoming and supportive staff but it is also owed to the landscape. As soon as I step outside of a building and catch sight of the magnificent Rocky Mountains I am both stunned and amazed. I feel as though in a blink it could all disappear.

The creative possibilities attached to producing these podcasts seem endless. The eventual opportunity of bleeding over into video podcasting thrills me. With so much going on at The Banff Centre and around town, the only thing I should ask myself is where should I begin?

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