Community People Profiles is a series on the Salt Spring Exchange featuring local personalities on our dynamic Gulf Island. Our People Profiles are short interviews, with one answer questions to share with you a little about what each of the people we will feature are thinking about as they go about their lives living on Salt Spring Island.
This weeks featured local people profile is: Kelly McAree
Kelly McAree brought his family from Kelowna in 2010 to be the manager at Hastings House, he has been active in many of the tourism related committees on Island and is often quoted in off island publications telling the world about how wonderful Salt Spring Island is. We caught up with him in the winter season as he juggles a number of hotel duties from greeting guests to stoking the fire, all without missing a beat and asked him our favourite five short questions.
Q. What brought you to Salt Spring Island.
A. I had the tremendous opportunity to lead Hastings House Country House Hotel and its amazing employees.
Q. What one thing about Salt Spring would you tell someone who has never visited the island.
A. It is the hub of the Gulf Islands: educationally, medically, artistically and culturally with diverse experiences end to end
Q. If you had a magic Salt Spring wand, what island thing would you change.
A. Build a bridge to the mainland, it would skyrocket the economy and provide new opportunity for everyone leading to more resources to tackle all the problems that the island struggles to find funding for.
Q. Which well known person, living or dead, do you think would be a good addition to the island.
A. Tough question- I would probably pick people with foresight to lead our island to a more prosperous future but firstly mindful of the past, innate culture, environment and potential. Alot of individuals come to but maybe David Suzuki and Ralph Klein in is prime, Mr. Suzuki to keep what we value and Mr. Klein to get the economy going.
Q. Is there a really good interview question should I have asked you....and what would the answer be.
Q: What keeps me here and keeps me enthusiastic about the future of the island.
A: The continued opportunities I see for growth at my hotel, improving governance through the Chamber, Island Trust and Regional District and the improving economy which will lead to all sorts of opportunity for everyone on the island if its sustained.