Aaron Nasipayko is featured in a Tourism Okanagan film dedicated to preserving and protecting the beauty of the area. (Video still)

Okanagan tourism video celebrates paddleboarding hero

Vernon lake defender featured in film focused on sustainable tourism

“Chloe and her grandfather have made the Thompson Okanagan their special place for as long as she can remember. From the bluest lakes and endless outdoor adventure to local harvest and learning about the land, it is the place she looks forward to going every year.”

That is the story behind the Thompson OKANAGAN Tourism Association’s latest venture, which a Vernon man has made great strides with.

Aaron Nasipayko, local lake champion known for cleaning up shorelines on his paddleboard, is featured in the latest tourism video, which also strives to protect this beautiful valley.

“I knew I was going to be a part of it but did not know the full script,” said Nasipayko, who is filmed on Kalamalka Lake taking a can from Chloe. “I had no idea how powerful the message would be. The message aligned in such a significant way with what I have been doing.”

READ MORE: Vernon paddleboarder completes shoreline cleanup

The video description continues: “Home to rich Indigenous culture, fertile and giving land from spring until fall, with stories woven through a landscape distinct and bold… The Thompson Okanagan is a special place for those who live and for those who visit here.

“So full of natural beauty, we are committed to preserving and protecting it so it may be enjoyed for generations to come. Learn more and sign the pledge at https://www.thompsonokanagan.com/pledge.”

The Thompson Okanagan Regional Pledge is called the Seven Affirmations for Seven Generations. It was created out of a need to develop guidelines for sustainable tourism in the Thompson Okanagan region and is based on the Seven Generations Principle.

The Seven Generations Principle is based on Indigenous philosophy that recognized that the decisions an individual makes today will have an impact for as long as seven generations to come.

“We live in such a special place,” Nasipayko agrees. “I think we all have so much pride in where we live and everyone wants to share in that.”

The film was released last week at the International Indigenous Conference in Kelowna.

Thompson OKANAGAN Tourism Association content producer Ryan Scott said Nasipayko was chosen for obvious reasons due to his grand initiative throughout the summer to clean both Okanagan and Kalamalka lakes.

“For us he’s one of the heroes of our region that we want to celebrate.”

The short film also later features Chloe’s grandfather in a wheelchair, on the dock at Kal Beach.

“The accessibility one (point) is probably the strongest point because almost everybody knows someone who has a mobility challenge,” said Scott.

The goal is to hopefully get the video into local cinemas, the airport and some in-flight advertising coming into Kelowna.

The video also features Vernon’s Planet Bee Honey Farm and includes other partners such as: August Mazda, Covert Farms Family Estate, Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards, Quaaout Lodge and Talking Rock Golf , Prestige Hotels & Resorts, Seven Stones Winery (BC), Robson Helimagic, Heli Adventures and The Film Factory.

“Hats off to the creative team at Thompson OKANAGAN tourism and everyone involved in that production because they nailed it,” said Nasipayko.

READ MORE: Get your head out of the clouds, Vernon


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