Columbia Basin Trust announces another edition of the virtual #BuyBasin Festival

The #BuyBasin Festival is returning this fall. Hosted by Columbia Basin Trust, the online event showcases local businesses from across the Columbia Valley.

File photo: A new Art Alleries diptych of paintingsl by Sinixt artist Ric Gendron was unveiled in September 2021. The paintings are located on the side of the Explorer's Society Hotel. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine
Columbia Basin Trust is hosting another edition of the virtual #BuyBasin Festival this fall.
The #BuyBasin Festival is an online showcase of local businesses from across the Columbia Valley. The virtual event runs from Oct. 18 to Nov. 10 and is hosted entirely through social media.

Over 100 businesses and performers are participating in this year’s festival, offering expert tips, giveaways, demos and live music. All events are hosted live through Facebook and Instagram.

While the #BuyBasin Festival lineup is still growing, a few Revelstoke businesses have already been announced.

Big Eddy Glass Works, Stoke the Fire Hotsauce, and Moxie Marketing are all hosting livestreams as part of the #BuyBasin Festival.

As more businesses and performers are added to the lineup, updates will be available on their official website.

#BuyBasin Festival Feature: Moxie Marketing

After nine years in business, Maggie Spizzirri reflects on the journey of Moxie Marketing. Photo provided by Maggie Spizzirri

Moxie Marketing was launched by Maggie Spizzirri in 2012. It is one of the businesses participating in Columbia Basin Trust’s #BuyBasin Festival, and will be going live on Oct. 27 at 1 p.m.

When Spizzirri started her marketing and design business in Revelstoke, social media usage was on the rise. This was intriguing for the budding entrepreneur, and would later be a pivotal turning point.

“One of the unique things about Revelstoke nine years ago, when I first got there, was Revelstoke was a very heavy Facebook town. The percentage of people on Facebook in Revelstoke was higher than the average in Canada,” Spizzirri reflects.

“That was the reason why, when I opened my marketing company, I decided to specialize in online marketing.”

The community’s influence extends beyond the timing of Moxie Marketing’s launch. The mentality that Spizzirri observes in Revelstoke inspires her overall business approach.

“At the core of communities like Revelstoke, it’s this amazing community that people want to live and play. And both of those things are very important to the people that reside there,” Spizzirri explains.

“It’s not all about business, and it’s not all being all about playing like you’re never going to work. It’s having that beautiful work-life balance that we strive for.”

Turning pandemic setbacks into new opportunities

In a story that echoes across industries, April 2020 was a difficult time for Moxie Marketing. However, the pandemic also provided a new perspective for Spizzirri; both personal and professional.

Despite specializing in online marketing, Spizzirri faced many of the same challenges as traditional brick-and-mortar businesses.

“I have a lot of clients that have been with me since I opened up my business. Those were the clients that continued with me through the pandemic,” Spizzirri recalls. “Initially, I did lose a bunch of business for sure. And it was definitely difficult.”

When federal and provincial grants surfaced to combat the economic effects of the pandemic, Spizzirri saw an opportunity. Using her experience with grant writing, Spizzirri helped her clients secure additional funding, offering them a sense of “strength and continuity.”

“They had me as a factor for them to put together this plan to be okay and make it through,” Spizzirri explains with a steady and confident tone.

After helping her network through the pandemic, Spizzirri felt inspired to grow that system.

Soon, Moxie Marketing is launching the Moxie Social Club. The membership-based service is catered towards small businesses in tourism towns. Beyond providing marketing materials and tools, the club is also a networking platform.

Specializing and expanding into ski town marketing

By spending nine years in Revelstoke, Spizzirri has found her niche.

“I find people in towns that are tourism-based, they’re passionate about so many things,” she explains. “It makes it so much more fun to work with those people because they’re so excited, they’re so passionate and they’re so driven.”

However, Spizzirri notes that each tourism community has its own “culture” and “claim to fame.” Revelstoke’s is the “big, bad mountain.”

“There’s a lot of extreme sports here. You kind of have to know what you’re doing,” Spizzirri says, adding that a more “family-friendly” side is emerging as well.

Although social media is a huge part of Spizzirri’s business, she also recognizes the negative toll it can take. Luckily, the lessons of work-life balance can help.

“There is that as well, reminding people, ‘hey, get up off of your computer, go outside and see the sunshine,'” Spizzirri elaborates.

“It’s all about helping people and bringing people together in this positive, fun way. That’s my nerdy outlook on it. I’m sure other people don’t look at marketing and social media like that.”

Spizzirri is taking the #BuyBasin Festival e-stage on Oct. 27 at 1 p.m. To watch the live stream and receive the latest updates, visit Moxie Marketing’s official Facebook or Instagram page.

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Bailey Gingras-Hamilton is a recent graduate of the Mount Royal University Journalism program, where she developed an interest in current events and social issues. As a chronically curious individual, she enjoys exploring new places, cuisines, and cultures.