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

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

Red Deer firefighters look for coloured tags on downtown fire hydrants to determine water pressure levels before connecting their hoses to fight blazes, such as this fire at a low-income housing complex last summer. (Advocate file photo.)
Tagged fire hydrants are some of the City of Red Deer’s new innovations

New ideas are being generated to improve services or save money: general-manager

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
‘Fake’ police officers demand money, Red Deer RCMP warn of scam

Red Deer RCMP are warning the public of a concerning incident where… Continue reading

The sit-down area of Red Deer's Tim Hortons at 3020 22nd St. was closed to the public on Monday because of an "evolving health situation." The drive-through was open and remained busy.
Photo by PAUL COWLEY/Advocate staff
Red Deer Tim Hortons restaurant dining room closed due to “evolving health situation”

Drive-through at Tim Hortons in southeast Red Deer remained open

Although B.C. has not made masks mandatory in public indoor spaces, some business owners are requiring all customers to wear them before entering their store. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Community peace officers and RCMP ready to enforce new mask bylaw

Residents asked for co-operation obeying new rules

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut, is shown after 2 p.m. sunset on November 24, 2020. The territory plans to start lifting a two-week lockdown due to COVID-19 spread on Wednesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter
Nunavut to start lifting its two-week lockdown as COVID-19 cases recover

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is to start lifting a two-week lockdown on… Continue reading

Minister of International Trade Mary Ng participates in a news conference on the Canada-United Kingdom Trade Continuity Agreement in Ottawa, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020. Ng says she is unable to provide a guarantee to MPs that they will see a bill to ratify the new provisional Canada-Britain trade agreement before Parliament adjourns on Dec. 11.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
No text of Canada-U.K. trade deal, minister says as Dec. 31 tariff deadline looms

OTTAWA — Canada’s International Trade Minister Mary Ng says she can’t guarantee… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault responds to reporters during a news conference on Thursday, November 26, 2020 at the legislature in Quebec City. An association of Quebec booksellers says it acted in haste when it removed social media posts outlining Premier Francois Legault’s book recommendations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec booksellers’ group apologizes, republishes post outlining premier’s top reads

MONTREAL — An association of Quebec booksellers says it acted in haste… Continue reading

Regine Laurent, president of the Special Commission on the Rights of the Child and Youth Protection, arrives at a news conference to deliver a preliminary report in Montreal on Monday, November 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Quebec urged to create national director of youth protection to oversee system

MONTREAL — A provincial commission looking into the protection of vulnerable children… Continue reading

Ontario Premier Doug Ford puts his mask back on during the daily briefing at Humber River Hospital in Toronto on Tuesday November 24, 2020. Ford says he wants a clear delivery date for the province’s share of COVID-19 vaccines, stressing that “the clock is ticking” when it comes to fighting the novel coronavirus. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario premier pushes for clear delivery date for COVID-19 vaccines

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says he wants a clear delivery date for… Continue reading

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

The Alberta government passed new, stricter COVID-19 measures across the province on Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Here’s a list of Alberta’s new COVID rules

The Alberta government has provided a list of new COVID-19 measures to… Continue reading

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2019 file photo, George Clooney participates in the "Catch-22" panel during the Hulu presentation at the Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour at The Langham Huntington in Pasadena, Calif. In a Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, interview on “CBS Sunday Morning,” Clooney said he's been cutting his own hair for more than two decades with a Flowbee device. (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP, File)
George Clooney’s secret to cutting his hair, as seen on TV

LOS ANGELES — George Clooney is just like us, maybe. The star… Continue reading

Most Read