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Farewell Squamish: Amy Reid's journey to her new Ontario home

Join beloved Squamish actress Amy Reid for a heartfelt goodbye party tonight before her big move across Canada to a more affordable arts-focused community.

Soon, well-known Squamish theatre and screen actress—and beloved local—Amy Reid will load up the U-Haul with her family's belongings, and the car with herself, her daughter, her dogs and a lizard for a cross-Canada trip to her new home in Ontario.

Though she loves Squamish and all the folks she has bonded with over the years, after 13 years in the district, Reid is pulling up stakes for a more affordable, arts and culture-based community, Picton.

But before she goes, there is a party tonight (Friday, May 24, starting at 5 p.m.) at The Backyard in Valleycliffe for anyone who wants to say goodbye.

"I think it is going to be a big cry fest," she said, with a laugh.

"Come in for five minutes, or come for the night—whatever you want to do.”

Though it is admittedly hard to leave, it seemed a sign she was making the right move when she recently discovered that, just a short bike ride from her new home, there's a 70-acre former Second World War air training base, which is a growing master-planned community based around arts and culture, called Base31.

“It’s crazy,” she said. “They've already taken a number of the different venues on there, like the old airport hangar and a whole bunch of different locations and made music venues and little like comedy club kinds of venues and art installations and food trucks and food culture.”

Finding that artistic hub made her feel like this move, though difficult, was meant to be.

Reid’s good friend, Sue Dinsmore, has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help the family on their way to a new life.

"For anyone who has moved, the new adventure is certainly daunting, and very exciting. It’s also expensive, very expensive," reads the "Amy’s Ontourio Road Show ….. Picton or Bust!" campaign.

Reid said to feel less awkward about the campaign she is trying to think of it like the once common housewarming party, though in reverse, or a baby shower.

"I've got nice friends and they recognize this as a difficult and challenging thing, to move across the country, and they wanted to help. But it is weird and uncomfortable," she said.

There will be one final trip with the rest of her stuff, her son and their cats in mid-June.

And while farther away, she isn't gone from Squamish for good, she is producing on Between Shifts Theatre's Peter and the Starcatcher, with the youth from the company’s mentorship program, The Studio.

And she will continue to audition in Vancouver, she said.

"[It's] so easy to stay in touch with people remotely, with Zoom and FaceTime. It's a different world. So I'm hoping that the friendships that are set here and the relationships that I've made here will continue for many more years to come. And everybody needs to come out there and visit," she said.