After arriving in Canada from India, it didn’t take long for Gitansh to find his groove. He went from being a student with a part-time serving job to a shift supervisor at a casino to the general manager of a major hotel in Castlegar! All within his first few years in his new country.
When Gitansh completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Hospitality Management at Selkirk College, he was quickly offered a general manager position at the Best Western in Castlegar, which was undergoing a renovation and transition from the Fireside Inn. Although at first, Gitansh says it was a little chaotic due to the renovations, paperwork, and other formalities happening all around him – he says it was a fantastic learning opportunity. It allowed him to put his education to the test by helping to shape the hotel’s operations.
“It was a good time for me to start because I helped to build all the setup and the systems. Now I know the hotel like the back of my hand. The owners know I’m capable of handling it, organizing it, and running it. It gives me flexibility,” says Gitansh.
The owners of the hotel helped him find the West Kootenay Rural and Northern Immigrant Pilot (RNIP) program to achieve his permanent residency (PR) and helped him purchase his first home in 2020.
“The owners of the hotel are so supportive, and it’s these little things that keep me going,” he says. “I feel like it’s a kind of achievement and the community is helping you become a permanent resident because they see value in you.That is my main motivation to stay in the community and do something for the community. I don’t want to move out because the community has given me an opportunity to be a permanent resident. Now it’s time for me to give something back to them.”
Gitansh even bought his first house before getting his PR because he was so determined to stay in Canada.
New camping gear and ski gear in tow, Gitansh looks forward to both the summer and winter months in Canada. His friends took him for his first camping adventure last year, and he intends to keep exploring Canada’s great outdoors in this way. He also likes to ski with his sister, who he encouraged to come to Canada and now lives with him.
“We’re still learning,” he says about their expeditions on the ski hill. “We just try to keep ourselves engaged. There are a lot of things to do in town, and you just need to go out and learn them, or know where to go to find out.”
Gitansh got a wonderful birthday surprise on September 7, 2021, when he found out that his PR was approved! Although he misses his family, friends and the fiery festivals of India, he says it’s the beauty of the community and the helpful, happy people that have touched his heart and will keep him here in Canada.
Gitansh is one of the applicants that successfully made it through the West Kootenay RNIP, a program that changes lives.