Kootenay Mountain Culture senior writer and Nelson, British Columbia, local Jayme Moye talks about her role as the Whitewater Ski Resort “Writer-in-Residence.”

For the 2019/20 season, Whitewater Ski Resort launched a first-of-its-kind program in support of the arts, and named Nelsonite Jayme Moye its “Writer-in-Residence.” Jayme is also a senior writer at Kootenay Mountain Culture magazine and is responsible for such features as “When I Grow Up” and “Heroes and Horses.” We caught up with Jayme to ask her about the Whitewater role and the impact she’s hoping it will make in the community.

Above: Jayme Moye with KMC publishers Peter Moynes (left) and Mitchell Scott (right). Top: Jayme at Whitewater as photographed by Ryan Flett.

Hey Jayme, when did your relationship with Whitewater begin?

I reached out to them the year after I moved here from Colorado, for the 2018/19 season, to see if there were any opportunities to work together. I write for a number of outdoor-adventure focused publications like Men’s Journal, Outside and Adventure Journal and was mainly looking for story ideas. I ended up writing a story for the Whitewater blog, in March 2019, about a series of alpine highlines that Mia Noblet had rigged (and walked) in and around the resort.

What’s the idea behind the new residency program?

The marketing team at Whitewater is well-aware that the town of Nelson—and all our friendly, quirky, artsy locals—is part of what makes Whitewater so great. I think the team was looking for ways to leverage locals who, as my friend Lauren Powers puts it, blend the lines between artist and athlete. This year is a prototype, but the way I understand it is Whitewater selected two of us, one writer, that’s me, and one artist, Jessa Gilbert. We serve as resort ambassadors, with complimentary season passes. Jessa’s work is on display at the resort, and I’m charged with producing three stories during the season inspired by my time skiing at Whitewater, which are published on Whitewater’s Writer-in-Residence blog. We’re also encouraged to run community engagement programs.

Click to enlarge.

Is this a thing at other ski resorts?

No, but it totally should be. And I think one day it will be. I’ve gotten a couple inquiries already, from people asking for more details on the program and how they might go about implementing it at their local resort, mainly in Colorado where I used to live. I love it that Whitewater, and our remote little mountain town of Nelson, were the first.

What kinds of community engagement programs are you planning?

I’m doing something for the KMC Coldsmokin’ Bush Party, at Railtown in Nelson on Saturday night, February 22. I’ll be reading from my Banff-award winning story “Thirteen Feet Under” about a paranormal experience during an avalanche. In March, I’ll be teaching a two-hour adventure writing workshop at the Oxygen Centre, a collaboration between Whitewater and Elephant Mountain Literary Festival. I’m in discussion about a second workshop, to be held at the resort itself. But the big one is Nelson Lit—as in literature—which is a completely new idea that was directly inspired by my Writer-in-Residence post. Each quarter, I’m hoping to bring a prominent mountain sports and culture writer to Nelson to do a book talk. The first is Thursday, February 20 at the Prestige. Sharon Wood, the first woman from North America to summit Everest, is coming to town from Canmore to present her new memoir about the 1986 expedition called Rising. So many people were interested in attending, I had to rent out space at the Prestige to hold them all.

So this community program will outlast your term as Writer-in-Residence.

Absolutely. And I think that’s the real power of the Writer-in-Residence concept. It’s really just a springboard.

Ed note: Tickets for Nelson Lit’s inaugural book talk featuring Sharon Wood are $10 and can be purchased online at nelsonlit.ca/tix.