The Sylvan Lake News has recently welcomed a member to its team, with Publisher Alanna Wilson now working out of the publication’s office in the Town of Sylvan Lake.
Wilson’s commencement of her role as publisher with the Sylvan Lake News and Eckville Echo is something of a homecoming for her, she noted, given that she has a solid background in community newspapers, print publication and graphic design – and an appreciation for small communities, having grown up in one.
“I started in community newspapers and went through to printing,” said Wilson. “I started at a community newspaper, in ad building. I worked in graphic design and building ads, but later spent a lot of time in actual printing and publishing.”
In her career, Wilson has worked in large plants like in Vancouver, where they had web and sheet-fed printing, and a graphic design studio in Calgary.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Wilson, who added that her work has also entailed a leadership role in the publication of everything from annual reports to cookbooks – the latter of the two being with a publication company called Company’s Coming, where she held the title of Vice President of Production.
“Later, I came back to community newspapers about 10 years ago,” noted Wilson. This course of action that brought her to the Edmonton Capital Region, where a lot of her extended family lives, while she worked with Postmedia.
“I bought a condo in Leduc, and really enjoyed it there for 10 years,” said Wilson. “There’s been a lot of change in the newspaper industry, and I decided I want to work for a different company. So, I was very excited to see that this job was available, and am super excited to get to know everybody in town.”
Wilson, who is originally from a small community in Manitoba, said she felt an urge to return to a smaller community, and that Sylvan Lake and Eckville felt like great opportunities to do that, while doing the work she loves.
Wilson believes that in smaller communities, people maintain an appreciation for community newspapers, and that there are loyal audiences for print publications.
“In these communities, people still value their papers. People like to hold the print version of their paper,” she said. “They like to see their kids on the page, and things like that – so it’s very important to build relationships with the community.”