At Origin at Spring Creek, it’s all about the people: residents and staff make it a special place to live and experience genuine community.
Origin’s Meet the Team series shines a light on some of the remarkable individuals bringing positivity and care to the lives of Origin residents every day.
Want to make an impact while living in one of the most beautiful places in Alberta? Learn more about career opportunities at Origin.
Meet Joe: Maintenance Supervisor
Every well-run community needs someone like Joe. As the Maintenance Supervisor at Origin at Spring Creek, he is the go-to for everything from fixing computers to hanging pictures. With a professional background in plumbing, Joe brings years of experience to his position keeping the facilities at Origin in tip-top shape.
How long have you worked at Origin at Spring Creek for?
It’ll be three years in June. I’m approaching three years.
What does the day in your work life look like?
It’s usually really busy. There are lots of day-to-day requests from residents; it could be for something that they need help with in their suite, for example, having problems with their phones, or computer, or not being sure how to work the thermostat. I also work with contractors to keep the mechanical side of the building in good working order. One thing that I do daily is check the swimming pool that we have here. We keep daily records of the PH levels of the swimming pool, which is important for safety reasons but also so that the residents can keep using the swimming pool, which is a big thing for a lot of them in their day. That exercise – aquafit-type exercise – is very beneficial.
The pool has been closed for quite a while during COVID-19 but we just reopened it not so long ago. It has been shut down for a while which has been a bit of a downer for some of the residents. We’ve been following the protocols that had been advised by the local health board. It’s just reopened and I’m hoping to keep it open for some time now.
What is your professional background?
I did a plumbing apprenticeship in the UK. I lived originally in the southeast of England. I did a plumbing apprenticeship in my early twenties in the UK, and then when I came to Canada I continued working as a plumber for about six years, so I had to do my Red Seal exam in Canada to keep working as a ticketed plumber. So I worked for a plumbing company in Vancouver for a few years, and I worked for the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for a few years.
I used my trade for a number of years and then I transitioned to this position which is still hands-on but more of a supervisor type position, which I wanted to get my teeth sunk into at some point in my career.
I first came to Canada when I was eleven – I’ve always had an attachment to this country specifically to the Bow Valley, and I knew one day I would come back but I didn’t know when. I got itchy feet, and always wanted to travel and use my trade abroad somewhere so I chose Canada because I’d been here once before and I knew how beautiful this area was. I came out for a year on a working holiday visa and I’ve been here for about ten.
Been in Canmore for five years, and the previous years were in Vancouver and Lake Louise.
As a local, what activities or places would you recommend to visitors or newcomers?
I would definitely recommend local hikes in the summer, that’s a big deal, we love the hikes, we love having the playground of the Bow Valley and the Rocky Mountains on our doorstep. Lots of people travel here from all over the world so I feel privileged to be able to live in such a sought-after area. Local hikes, and a big one for me would be the local Nordic Centre because it’s very accessible and affordable and it’s got a lot of activities to offer depending on the time of year you go.
It’s great – you can get biking up there in the summer and then you can go cross country skiing in the winter, and lots of other activities.
Another spot, it’s not in Canmore, so only down the road, historically it’s called Fireside, it’s part of the original mine town in Banff. It’s lots of old buildings, dilapidated old buildings, but it gives you an idea of how people used to live, and when this area was predominantly mining, so it gives you an insight into what it was like all those years ago.
My nephew came out a couple years back and he’s one of those kids that likes to explore empty buildings that used to be something so he liked that, getting to check out empty buildings and learn some of the history of the area.
There’s also a lake nearby called Lake Minnewanka and I believe there’s even at the bottom of that lake, before they flooded it by removing the damn, there’s actually buildings at the bottom of the lake, so if you’re brave enough to go scuba diving, you can go check out these buildings underwater, which is pretty crazy. It’s got a bit of heritage and history and it’s used as a training lake for military divers.
What are some of the most rewarding parts of the work you do?
Helping residents, helping seniors depending on what their requests are – getting things resolved for them. When it puts a smile on their face. It could be something basic, like if they’re not sure how to work the TV remote or they need help with hanging pictures on a wall, basic tasks that can make a big difference to that individual. It makes their home at Origin feel more like their home that they lived in prior to coming here. Helps them settle in and put them at ease, and be happy.
I can chat with them; they’ve all got interesting stories about where they’ve traveled, and where they’ve worked in the world. Many of them have interesting artwork that may have come from far-away lands. I was just upstairs talking to a new resident, and she’s got a painting that she would like me to help her hang and it’s from Kabul, Afghanistan.
What is one thing you wish the world knew about the work you do at Origin?
I would shout from the top of a mountain that I work with a great bunch of people. A good team of people who are very focused on and endeavour to provide the best possible experience and quality of life for residents at Origin.
I would reiterate what a great job a lot of people do in this building and shout that out, really. It’s nice to get your voice out there. If I could shout this from the top of the mountain, I would and in fact, I probably could, maybe I will do that this summer!
There is one hike, it’s quite a small hike but it’s called Ha-Ling Peak and you can actually see Origin from the top of that mountain. So if I do do that, that will be the mountain I choose.
Learn more about career opportunities at Origin at Spring Creek and discover what makes Canmore an incredible place to work and live.