Penticton and South Okanagan
Young host brings history to life
Oct 2, 2013 / 5:57 am
At age 9, Kehler Smith is comfortable working on both sides of the camera.
The Penticton youngster takes pictures for a hobby, but is perhaps best known as the host of the Heritage Hipster Highlights video series.
"I've always wanted to be a journalist and an inventor," he says. "So this gives me a chance to start on that."
Kehler has long been involved in Penticton Museum and Archives programs, so when curator Peter Ord and program coordinator Manda Maggs, decided they wanted to do some videos and have a kid host them, he was the right fit.
"We wanted to do the videos to showcase bits and pieces of Penticton's past and the area," said Maggs. "And we both thought Kehler, who is always a good kid, would make a really good host."
Kehler, an Uplands Elementary School student, and his mother Barb Sheppard liked the idea.
"My mom told me on the way to school, and I was really surprised and excited," he said. "It felt really nice to be picked for this."
While Kehler serves as host, Maggs does the video production. He does a lot of the research and comes up with interview questions, and he and Maggs have planning meetings where they come up with ideas.
Their first team effort, made this year, is a video featuring the S.S. Sicamous.
It features Kehler, clad in a red shirt and wearing a hat, doing an interview with local historian Randy Manuel and talking about the large sternwheeler.
The video is now on YouTube, and so far has received a great response, said Maggs.
Other videos they have worked on, not yet published, are on the former Aquatic Club, where the Peach is now in Penticton, and on water and how it brought people to the city.
For the former, Kehler did interviews with three longtime residents who were once involved with the Aquatic Club, while the water video takes a look at former aqueducts.
The team is currently working on a fourth video on the rock ovens in Naramata.
Kehler said working on the videos has been a really great learning experience.
"It has just made me interested in history, personally. My favorite one would have to be the one on water. I have always been fascinated with electronics and gadgets and seeing the water flow through the aqueducts was fascinating.
The young hipster also says there is a side benefit.
"And just by doing the videos, I've made a lot of good friends along the way."
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