A lesson in excellence and success

A lesson in excellence and success

Mary Kemmis, president of the Prairie Division of Black Press Media, and publisher of the Red Deer Advocate, was one of those kids who was always asking questions in class.

That natural curiosity and a talent for writing led to her leaving the family farm near Smithers, B.C., to enrol in the Langara College journalism program in the ‘80s.

Her move from rural British Columbia to Vancouver — at the time, the biggest city she’d ever seen — was made easier by the supportive learning environment created by the dedicated instructors who cared deeply for both their subject and their students.

Fast forward to today, Kemmis is the recipient of the 49 Langarans Award for her contributions to the community newspaper industry. Recipients were chosen from Langara alumni and staff for the positive difference they’ve made to their communities, industry or Langara over the past 49 years.

Kemmis’ career began as a reporter at her hometown paper, the Smithers Interior News, followed by the Cranbrook Daily Townsman, where she met her husband Mel.

After a few years as a reporter, and a move to the Lower Mainland of B.C., Kemmis made the switch to media sales and sales management, working for newspaper and radio companies across Western Canada, and later, Ontario.

Kemmis returned to community newspapers as a publisher with Black Press Media in 2007.

For Kemmis, newspapers offer more than a long career in a stimulating work environment.

“Newspapers remain integral to supporting our democratic process by shining a light on decisions that affect our readers and by telling the stories that resonate in both small and big ways,” says Kemmis.

In addition to the ability to make positive changes, Black Press Media has been a particularly good fit for Kemmis because it offers an equal-opportunity environment that supports career growth.

“I’m proud of the people that I’ve worked with who have gone on to greater success, and I hope that in some small way, I’ve helped contribute to that.”

Kemmis’ history of board-level volunteerism in Western Canada includes the Red Deer Health Foundation, Volunteer Richmond, Tourism Richmond, the Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association, Banff Canada Day and Banff First Night.

Among the many recognitions she’s received are the Paul Harris Fellowship and Inspirational Women of Richmond Award.

About Langara College’s 49 Langarans

Celebrating its 49th year on 49th Avenue, Langara is honouring 49 Langarans; those who are making an impact in the community and have helped shape the college into what it is today. From theatre directors and journalists to small business owners, community advocates, and dedicated employees – the stories of the award recipients are as varied as the college’s journey over the past 49 years.

Meet the 49 Langarans at https://beyond49.langara.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The future of Westerner Park continues to be plagued by many unknowns, including when city council will make a decision about financing its operations. (File photo by Advocate staff).
Red Deer city council delays making decision on Westerner Park financing

It will mean missing the next opportunity to apply for a provincial loan

Nineteen-year-old Amanda enjoys a ride during a visit to Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. photo submitted
Busy days at Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler

The ranch, which launched operations last summer, provides support through animal interaction

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer at the announcement that the city will be getting a drug treatment court Thursday. Jason Luan, associate minister of mental health and addictions, looks on.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Veer concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in Red Deer

The City of Red Deer is reminding citizens to protect themselves against… Continue reading

Rode
Volunteering played major role in RDC awards

Under normal circumstances, the RDC Red Deer Bottling Athlete of the Year… Continue reading

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw said on Thursday that the province has seen its first case of the B.1.617 variant. (Photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Red Deer nears record number of active COVID-19 cases

Alberta reports 1,857 new cases of COVID-19, 1,326 new variants

Curtis Labelle (second from left) and his band are planning a cross-Canada tour in 2022. Meanwhile, Labelle is continuing to host his weekly livestreamed talk show, Chattin 88. (Contributed photo).
Red Deer rock pianist takes on a talk show role

Curtis Labelle’s Chattin 88 gets views from around the globe

Letisha Reimer is shown in a photo, part of a memorial to her outside Abbotsford Senior Secondary School in Abbotsford, B.C., Monday, Nov.7, 2016. A B.C. Supreme Court judge is expected to deliver her decision today over whether a man who stabbed two high school students is not criminally responsible because he had a mental disorder. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geordon Omand
Man who stabbed two students in Abbotsford, B.C., found criminally responsible

Man who stabbed two students in Abbotsford, B.C., found criminally responsible

Light from the sunset hits the skyline in Toronto, Ont., on Tuesday October 31, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Blinch
Hate crimes jumped 51 per cent in part spurred by pandemic, Toronto police report

Hate crimes jumped 51 per cent in part spurred by pandemic, Toronto police report

A passenger from Air India flight 187 from New Delhi arrives at Pearson Airport in Toronto on Wednesday April 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Canada to suspend flights from India and Pakistan for 30 days

Inter Pipeline's Heartland Petrochemical Complex in Fort Saskatchewan, Alta. is shown in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Inter Pipeline *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Hostile takeover target Inter Pipeline reports 60% of Heartland plant is contracted

Smoke pours from the stacks at the Portlands Energy Centre in Toronto on Thursday January 15, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Risk experts say climate change to take big chunk of Canadian economy by 2050

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030, short of U.S. goal

A health care worker prepares to test a Coastal GasLink field worker for COVID-19. (Coastal GasLink photo)
Alberta bill would protect health workers, care homes from some COVID-19 lawsuits

The bill proposes exempting a range of workers, including doctors, pharmacists and care-home operators, from being sued over COVID-19 unless it was for gross negligence

In this Nov. 5, 2004 file photo, the logo of Kansas City Southern is down on a restored 1954 Kansas City Southern passenger locomotive at Union Station in Kansas City, Mo.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Norman Ng/The Kansas City Star via AP
War of words heats up in battle between Canadian railways for Kansas City’s KCS

War of words heats up in battle between Canadian railways for Kansas City’s KCS

Most Read