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In Focus | Hope Mikal

Meet Hope. Hope has lived in Kamloops for over fourteen years. Hope is currently planning the 13th annual Power of Being a Girl Conference through the Kamloops YMCA/YWCA. This one-day free conference is for girls aged 12 to 14 years old, designed by girls for girls, to explore the challenges of growing up in a fun and empowering way.

Hope is also the face behind the social media and organizational side of a local film company, Joy Factory Films Inc. You'll probably find her at Red Collar for a pint or out on the trails around town.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
Originally I’m from a small town called Gold River on Vancouver Island, but I have loved living in Kamloops for over fourteen years.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
My cat, Rembrandt. Okay, but seriously, I love spending time with my 'fitness friends' who are able to make a hangout into a hiking date or time on a yoga mat, or sweating my face off on a spin bike.

What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
With so many great third spaces in our downtown core, it is hard to choose just one... Café wise, you can usually find me at Caffe Motivo or The Art We Are. For window shopping and great local and Canadian sources products, my go to is Far + Wide.

Describe yourself in one word.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I would go anywhere!!! I love exploring new places and trying new experiences that push my boundaries. My top bucket list destinations are New Zealand and Iceland… for oh so many reasons.

What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
HIKING!!! This beautiful desert that we live in is full of great trails. I also love that I can drive in any direction for twenty minutes and find tall trees and beautiful, clean lakes to explore.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Honestly, I am pretty clumsy and awkward. I’d say that embarrassing things happen to me on a daily basis. Nothing major to note here, haha.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Right now, I am working a lot with Junior Achievement Kamloops’ Steminist Company Program. Over the past year, I have been mentoring four fifteen and sixteen years olds on building up their first startup company. You may have heard of it, but if not, find Recycled Sounds on Instagram @recycledsoundskamloops. These girls inspire me so much and remind me that hard work can make anything happen. They have been crushing goals left, right and centre by selling lots of their unique wooden speakers, winning scholarships, creating their own documentary with Shaw TV and hopefully (fingers crossed) attending an international case competition in Lima, Peru next month.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I’d like for everyone stop, take a deep breath, and realize that we are all the same on some deep level. I think a lot of the world’s problems could be solved by believing in this statement and simply, by being kinder to one another.

Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
Somewhere outdoors, a quiet booth at The Art We Are with a cup of coffee, or strolling through the library in search of a good book.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why?
I think we are on the right track, but I'd love to see Kamloops have more public spaces like the recent pilot project on 4th Avenue. More places for people to connect, have fun, and be creative is essential.

What do you think makes Kamloops great?
For me, it is the people that live here that make Kamloops my home and proud to be a member of this generous, innovative and growing community.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
- Just in hiking alone, I want to try some bigger hiking trips like Berg Lake/Mount Robson, the Pacific Crest Trail (from Mexico to Canada), and the Camino De Santiago (from France to Spain).
- I'm going to need to try skydiving soon!
- And to visit as many countries as I possibly can!

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media?
You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Linked In at @hopemikal. Follow my work life at @joyfactoryfilms.

What is the name of your business/organization?
I work for a film production company called Joy Factory Films Inc.

Why did you get into/start this business?
I've been with Joy Factory for about a year and a half. I always feel like I fell into this amazing job somehow, but I love how diverse this career choice can be in finding new ways to help our clients share their stories.

What is the goal of your business?
My coworkers (aka the film fam) and I create commercials and films that challenge the conventional ideas of Kamloops media while remaining professional and true to our vision of capturing ideas, human emotion and beauty.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
Being busy is not something that I idolize, but I often struggle finding a balance between working, volunteering, making time for my family and friends, and showing up for myself.

What do you always find yourself saying?
Nothing worth doing is ever easy.

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Be grateful. Happiness isn't a destination, it is a daily commitment.

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
I'd love to have a coffee with this guy named 'Banksy'...

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
It is important to know where items we use in our daily lives come from. And I just love being able to say hello to the farmer who sells me fresh zucchini or ask how my favorite baker’s daughter is doing when I’m treating myself to a cinnamon bun.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Graduating with two degrees, one from Thompson Rivers University, and one from Breda University in The Netherlands; working as a contracted Event Manager for the annual TED Talks Conference in Vancouver; Being an aunty to two wonderful nephews!

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Hi Mom! You're the bomb dot com!

My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Neil Manuel of Brass Monkey Skateboards. He makes really neat stuff.

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kamloops.

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great!

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