The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association has launched a new website and podcast series in 2020 to showcase ‘iconic’ characters and ‘must-have’ travel adventures in the region. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association launches podcast series, new website

Podcast series hosted by Jason Ryll of Williams Lake

With a new website and podcast featuring local characters and travel adventures, the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association (CCCTMA) is aiming to generate bookings for the region’s businesses.

“I am thrilled to see the leadership and innovation of our tourism marketing committee,” tourism association CEO Amy Thacker noted in a press release. “New projects like the podcast combined with the power of the website driving bookings to local businesses are seeing excellent results.”

The creator of the podcast series, Untold Stories of the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast, is Jason Ryll, a city councillor and owner of Front Row Voiceovers in Williams Lake.

Read more: Indian Horse audiobook narrated by Williams Lake city councillor

Ryll told the Tribune he actually pitched the idea for the podcast.

“It’s a funny story,” he said, explaining he’s been an arm’s length contractor for the CCCTMA for several years.

A fan of podcasts himself, he decided to submit a proposal suggesting he host a regular podcast and said the CCCTMA came back with a counter offer and liked his idea.

“They said a podcast was cool, but also asked if I could host a travel blog. I said ‘absolutely’ and then had to quickly gather my senses and my skills and figure out how I wanted this project to look.”

He ‘jumped’ right into it and with the help of camera man Rick Magnell has been busy creating the first few episodes.

Praising Magnell for his ‘great’ skill set and being well-respected, Ryll said Magnell is just as curious as he is about getting out into the region to explore.

“He’s fun to work with,” he added.

So far the pair has completed three blog episodes: an interview with former Bonaparte Indian Band Chief Mike Retasket who lives at Xat’sull First Nation and is a cultural ambassador, an interview with professional photographer Chris Harris from 100 Mile House and a tour of areas along the B.C.’s Fishing Highway 24.

All three episodes can be viewed on the website.

Audio podcast interviews with Juanita Corbett, Harris and Retasket, are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Spotify, TuneIn and YouTube.

“I want to be able to cross promote using YouTube as a visual medium and the podcast platforms as audio only,” Ryll said. “If I go out somewhere and record it only as audio I also want to be able to display or share it on YouTube as well.”

Since embarking on the project he has learned more about the region he calls home and its people.

As Williams Lake is his hometown, he thought he knew a lot of people, but getting out and making connections has challenged that presumption.

In the B.C.’s Fishing Highway 24 episode he stops in at Lac Des Roche Resort and chats with the owner.

“Going there and making that connection with Luca and talking face-to-face I learned so much and met someone I probably would not have met otherwise.”

Ryll said there are some ‘pretty interesting’ characters living in the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast.

“Many people have their own histories of living here and promoting the area. They might have connections to building the ‘Freedom Highway,’ the Chilcotin Highway to Bella Coola, or the Esk’et Rodeo. These are just some examples of subjects I would love to get out and shoot.”

If people have thoughts or suggestions of stories he encourages them to e-mail or leave a comment on the Youtube channel.

“I am going to be encouraging people to watch the episodes, leave a review and leave us a comment. I’m going to pay attention to all the comments and if people come up with great ideas that’s where I am going to try and pull them from — listener feedback.”

It’s an exciting project, he added, noting anytime he has the opportunity to promote the region he does, whether it’s when he’s wearing his city council hat or just as a resident.

“I think we have an untapped potential for tourism in our region. I know the CCCTA has been around for 50-some years now, but I think utilizing today’s technology and today’s new media is something we can do a better job at and I’m happy to play my part in that.”

Read more: New MOU between CCCTA and ITBC to nuture Indigenous tourism

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