Welcome to UrbaNate !

By Nate Dolha
Published: Sept. 28, 2012


First off, please let me welcome you to the first edition of The Squamish Reporter in print, and to UrbaNate.

Urbanate is a place where I’ll look at our community through the lens of an urbanite – providing an outside view of this community we call home. Before we jump in, let me introduce myself.

Many of you will remember me as the bright eyed rookie who sought a seat on Squamish council last fall. Beyond that, I’m a Gen X dad to two amazing kids, married to an amazing lady, and a bleary eyed southbound commuter Monday to Friday.

I have an oversized music collection to go with my undersized carbon footprint, and no shortage of things to say. My day job places me at the intersection of globalization, technology and our daily lives, and I am an unwavering champion for progress.

Squamish has been home long enough to feel local, and the vast potential of this community is what keeps me here.

Now that we have some context, let’s talk about content. This column will relate the experience of the outside world to the challenges facing our community and its citizens; our sagging local  economy, our aging infrastructure, local governance, our social fabric – nothing is off limits for Urbanate.

I’m going to seek out ideas to import, and I’ll challenge the status quo.

I want to have the conversation about how we can take what we do, and do it better.

As for you the reader, you’ve already taken the first step towards tomorrow! This newspaper, The Squamish Reporter, embodies what I hope to accomplish with Urbanate; to challenge the established order in a balanced, non-partisan fashion.

To build something from the ground up you have to dare to dream, you have to set yourself apart from the others, and you have to take a risk.

Seeing as no conversation is complete without feedback, let’s close the loop. Do you like what I’m saying? Share it! Disagree? Tell me! Have something to add? Yes please!

Over the coming months, I hope this column will inspire, infuriate, and challenge you.

Most importantly, I hope it starts a conversation about using tomorrow’s answers to solve tomorrow’s problems.

I can be found on Twitter @natedolha.




  1. Richard Tripp says:

    Good on you Nate! I wish you all the best with this and look forward to signs of engaged progression taking root in Squamish. If you are able to foster some of that from within this column you will have served the Little Town That Should very well indeed.

  2. Melinda says:

    Conversation is always a good place to bring problems to the forefront…….to find resolutions. I am looking forward to your views and opinions.

  3. Mary Billy says:

    I’m one of the old timers who welcome not only new people to town, but new ideas. Having said that, I hope that you don’t set about trying to turn this place into Vancouver. Most of us live here because we don’t like city life and al it entails. We prefer the small town way of doing things. Many people have already moved away because of all the changes that have been made in the past few years. So, please, bring your new ideas, but tread carefully and with respect. Things move slower in rural areas, but we still want to grow and move towards a more inclusive and modern society.

    • Nate Dolha says:

      Thanks for the feedback Ms. Billy, I do appreciate it!

      By no means am I advocating we turn our piece of paradise into Vancouver, rather that we take a hard look at innovative ideas from Vancouver and beyond, and use those concepts to handle the growth pressures that Squamish is facing now, and anticipating that those pressures will increase over time. I came of age in a very small community in central Alberta, and saw first hand how poorly thought out growth destroys community. Squamish is at the beginning of this cycle, and if we lay the foundation correctly, we can grow thoughtfully and respect the history of the area, but also evolve in how we approach our challenges as a community.

      Once again, thanks for reading; I look forward to continuing the conversation over the coming months!