BY BILL PHILLIPS
The fall election campaign is officially underway.
Well-known Prince George personality Kyle Sampson announced this morning that he is seeking a seat on Prince George city council in front of a crowd of about 120 people at Canada Games Plaza, including several current councillors and many members of the business community.
“I’m dedicated to Prince George, I love my community and I feel I have the skills and what it takes to give back in the ultimate way, which is being on city council and leading our community,” he said. “I want to be part of Prince George’s future and I think I have something to offer.”
He has three main topics in his platform – people, sustainability, and community development.
“With people, it’s the needs of the people,” he said. “Whether you’re a recreational enthusiast, an arts enthusiast, or business focused. I want to help meet the needs of all the people of the community.”
Sustainability, he added, means planning properly for the future.
Sampson was definitely buoyed by the large crowd who showed up for his announcement.
“I’m shocked, really happy,” he said. “I’m so proud to have the support of my friends and people in the community. I really appreciate that.”
And support he has from some local heavy hitters. Canadian Tire Selen Alpay introduced Sampson, saying Sampson is like a brother, albeit younger, to him.
“I forget my own age with him,” said Alpay. “He keeps me current and has the ability to understand what it truly relevant in this world.”
Sampson is no stranger to to the community, having been involved in a myriad of events, starting out as a DJ for 101.1 The River while still in high school. Deciding to pursue a career in broadcasting, Sampson moved to Edmonton for a couple of years, but Prince George kept calling him back. He returned to the city in 2013 and went back to work for the Pattison Group on radio. In 2016 he moved across the river to Pacific Western Brewing as northern B.C. manager, where he still works.
He has been called on be master of ceremonies for countless events in Prince George, including the Relay for Life, where he has been emcee for 10 years. He has organized charities for concerts, including last year’s tribute to forest fire volunteers. This summer he is organizing the Cariboo Rocks the North event. He’s a natural for the stage, having performed in local productions of The Nutcracker, Cabaret, and this summer will be in Legally Blonde.
He is also a board member of the Prince George Chamber of Commerce. He volunteered at 2015 Canada Winter Games, the Festival of Trees, and Ness Lake Bible Camp.
At 25 years old, Sampson will certainly be capturing the youth vote and wants to bring a younger voice to council.
“I think council needs to be made up of a wide range of people to appeal to all demographics of the community,” he said. “I think I can add to the demographics around the council table. If you look at it now, I think they’re going a great job but what we’re missing is some more young representation.”
He said, if elected, he will focus on enhancing partnerships between local groups and organizations in the city.
“We need to put and emphasis on attracting young professionals, students and families to lay their roots in our community,” he said. “We need to retain those people to bring a balance to our aging demographic. That said, we also need to ensure our seniors have the infrastructure and resources available to them to support them.”
Residents will go to the polls on October 20.