Greg Nesteroff and Eric Brighton have won a BC Heritage honour award in the Education, Communications, and Awareness category for their book “Lost Kootenays - A History in Pictures.”
This comes just over a decade since Zac Odin first started the Lost Kootenays Facebook page on Mar. 22, 2013 and just under two years since the hard-copy book was published.
Brighton and Nesteroff were previously both administrators of the Facebook page, but Brighton has been running it on his own since spring 2020. When he first took it over it had just under 30,000 followers and it’s now grown to a following of over 67,000.
“I was very excited and grateful to learn we had won the Honor Award from the highly respected Heritage BC,” Brighton said. “Our followers are very enthusiastic about the page and they were incredibly supportive of the book.”
Brighton added their publisher gave credit to his viral posts as a huge factor in the book’s success. He has since launched a new page, a cousin to Lost Kootenays, called Lost BC, that already has 40,000 followers.
The page celebrates its tenth anniversary this year and Brighton said he has assembled an “all-star team of editors” who will “take the page into its next decade.” He added there have been several discussions about a second book.
The book features around 130 photos covering the history of the Kootenays from the 1860s to the 1950s and has been extremely successful, even getting a second printing.
Nesteroff said the book’s success was beyond even what they might have hoped and said that all the positive feedback its received has been very gratifying.
“[The award] was a big surprise, especially since I didn’t know we were nominated,” he said. “Berdine Jonker, a heritage conservation professional from Nelson, was our nominator, so I’m very grateful to her and pleased the judges saw fit to recognize the book.”
“Lost Kootenays is an excellent book that reflects on the importance of understanding community histories and places of importance,” Jonker said. “The work that Greg and Eric have done through their book and on social media to capture memories and stories related to places (whether lost or surviving) makes a significant contribution to the appreciation of the collective history and heritage of British Columbians.”
Brighton said there is a huge number of people to thank and said he’ll be doing special thank-you posts on the Facebook page throughout the year as part of their 10-year anniversary celebrations.
“Off the top of my head Stan Sherstobitoff, Tom Lymbery, Luanne Armstrong, Brian Wilson, Vernon Oickle, Keith Baldrey of Global BC,our Lost Kootenays followers and all the museums and book stores in the Kootenays,” Brighton said.
The book is available at numerous retailers throughout the region, as well as through sits such as Amazon and Chapters, Indigo and Coles.
You can follow the Facebook page here: facebook.com/LostKootenays