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In Focus | Russell Ebata

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.

What is your name?
Russell Ebata.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kamloops?
I've lived in Kamloops for 33 years.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
I would have to pick two people. My wife and one year old son.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
I’m told New Zealand is amazing this time of year. It's a place I would like to visit and heard it rivals Canada for natural beauty.

What is your favourite local store in Kamloops and why?
I would say Big Boot Inn. I try to support local as much as I can, plus they have great staff there and an amazing selection of great quality shoes for very affordable prices.

What is your favourite activity?
Fly fishing.

If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
Burgers. I love to barbeque!

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Having a patient come up to me and say hello and not being able to remember their name until after the conversation has ended.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
When I get to see the impact of having good vision and healthy eyes on a daily basis.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
One that stands out is getting to meet Scott Neidermayer, Darryl Sydor, Cory Hersch and Craig Bonner at Aberdeen Mall when I was about eight years old. The Kamloops Blazers back then were legendary and all of those players were part of a Memorial Cup Championship team!

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Ebata Eyecare partners with the United Way once a year to give complimentary eye care, exams and glasses, to some of the city’s people who are most in need. We also sponsor many community events like the Pinantan Lake Fishing Derby. We are also new sponsors of the Kidney Foundation in 2017 and we have our own fundraiser in November for Crohns and Colitis Canada called 'Glasses for Guts'. Our 'Stuff a Stocking' project in December where we fill stockings and give them to those in need and we are also a Diamond Sponsor of the ICCHA Wish Fund at the Royal Inland Hospital.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
'More conversations and less cell phones'

What is your favourite activity in Kamloops?
I enjoy getting a coffee at Café Motivo and walking down to Riverside park with my wife and son while enjoying some family time in the sunshine.

Where would you sneak away to in Kamloops to spend some time alone?
Sitting on my boat fly fishing somewhere that is out of cell service.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kamloops and why?
I think that everyone can do their part to improve things in Kamloops. It doesn’t have to be extravagant. Simply things like donating to the food bank, supporting a bake sale at your child’s school or picking up some garbage that you see on the street. A lot of small changes from many people can make a big impact to our community.

What do you think makes Kamloops great?
The natural beauty, the great weather and most of all the people who live in the Kamloops and surrounding area make it the best place in the world to live.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?
I’d like to say that I have seen a country on every continent. I would like to catch a 30 pound Tyee salmon and then release it, and I would really like to be a space tourist.

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
When I was 12, I had an all-points bulletin out for myself and two of my friends because someone saw us with pellet guns and thought we were going to rob a bank.

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)
I have it all. Instagram and Facebook, to the good old fashion telephone but probably the best is word of mouth.

What is the name of your business/organization?
Ebata Eye Care Optometry.

Why did you get into/start this business?
I ask myself how I got to where I am all the time. I’m sure my father, who is also a Doctor of Optometry had some influence.

What is the goal of your business?
Helping people live better lives through better vision.

What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
When you run a small business it always requires your attention. Trying to find that happy balance between your professional life and your personal life is always challenging.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I try not to live life with regrets and believe that all the experiences in life, good and bad can be learned from.

What do you always find yourself saying?
I say the word 'just' a lot but I'm not sure why. Maybe I subconsciously feel the need to justify myself!

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
The Queen of England. She is the longest ruling monarch of all time and must have a few good stories to tell!

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
If you ask someone to spend their hard earned money at your business then it is your responsibility to do the same in kind. By shopping locally you never know how it may also indirectly benefit your business.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
I am extremely proud of the outstanding service that my team and I give to our patients. I feel that service can easily get lost behind statistics and profit margins. It is the cornerstone of Ebata Eyecare and giving excellent customer service takes a lot of dedication and hard work.

Give someone you think that deserves a shout out and explain why!
My fantastic, amazing, talented and beautiful wife.

My choice for the KamloopsBCNow In Focus spotlight is:
Robert Atwood, owner of Hummingbird Drones.

Some general comments I would like to share are:
I think the first 31 questions tired me out!

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.

Send your comments, news tips, typos, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].

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