Christianne Wile has been on both sides of the camera.
“(Journalism) has helped a lot – I’m able to look at a situation from a reporter’s perspective,” explains the manager of marketing and public communications for the Comox Valley Airport.
One of Wile’s first jobs after graduating from Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in journalism was in broadcasting – at RDTV in Red Deer.
“I always really enjoyed journalism, and really the broadcast side of things,” she notes.
With a passion for documentaries, Wile soon realized the reality of the television and film industry, and knew she needed a way to find a steady way to pay rent.
Once her contract ended at the Global-affiliated television station, she took a maternity position with the Alberta government in public relations, calling it “a really great fit.”
She then worked in public affairs for then-Premier Ralph Klein, where she explains one of her most interesting experiences was planning press conferences.
“Working with the press gallery in Calgary … they would get interesting for sure,” she adds with a laugh.
Leaving the position to work for a global oil and gas company took Wile from Alberta to Paris on a regular basis.
“The company was based in Paris and it was super interesting – a great experience. I would go there for a week or two at a time. It was really interesting to get a different perspective while working there and spending time there – we got to see what real life was in Paris, as opposed to the romanticized version of the city.”
She admits she doesn’t speak French fluently, rather calling it “fluent in primary French.”
“My daughter is in French immersion (elementary) now – that’s about my level,” she notes with a smile.
All it took was a summer while visiting her husband’s parents who retired to the Comox Valley to discover “the gem we didn’t know existed.”
While on maternity leave, Wile applied for the position at the airport, and moved to the Valley before starting in fall 2010.
“We used to go through the daily grind – it was awful. On a bad snow day in Alberta, you’d be sitting in the car for up to an hour-and-a-half for the commute. My commute now is five to 10 minutes. Sometimes, it feels like we have an extra three or four days in a month.”