At 467 St. Paul Street, a charming burgundy building is home to Derek V. Smoluk Notary Corporation. Derek’s business has been located on St. Paul Street since the late 2000s; yet, his connection to the wider community is ingrained in his family history.
Originally from Merritt, Derek studied at Thompson Rivers University (then known as Cariboo College) then completed his undergraduate degree at Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. In between studying and working, Derek traveled to Papua New Guinea and other remote regions of Southeast Asia; yet, he always had an appreciation of the B.C Interior region.
A few years later, while assisting with his family’s business in Merritt, Derek, “stumbled upon the notary public profession”. He states, “I was always around small businesses. My parents owned a hotel and had worked for themselves since their late 20s. It was always appealing to me to be in a business for myself.”
In 1999, Derek moved to Kamloops to start a new career and raise his family. He states, “I’m a B.C Interior guy and I’m always happy to come back to the Interior after living and travelling elsewhere. Kamloops presented an opportunity…and it was a good fit for me and my young family. Kamloops is small in a good way that it’s big enough that anything that interests you is available, but small enough that you can get anywhere under 13 minutes.”
Today, Derek appreciates the cluster of organizations in the neighborhood. His team works closely with legal and financial institutions but can escape two blocks away to a corner of the TNRD Library and dive into a book over lunch hour. “In university, some of my friends could read whatever books they wanted in their studies, but our readings were always set. I enjoy reading today and the music in the plaza at the library is unique to a city our size.”
Furthermore, he adds, “It’s always about being downtown. When I started, the legal community and the banking community- which we work very closely with- was anchored in the downtown core. There was never a thought of being anywhere else. It’s where I wanted to be and still want to be. I think that the downtown is the most interesting part of a city other than its parks, perhaps. For tourism, for vibrancy of the business community it’s important that people come downtown, be here, recreate here. I think it’s a win-win situation for everybody.”
Most people will require the services of a notary at least once in his or her lifetime. Undoubtedly, the genuine reception- from the staff to Derek- inside the historic, burgundy heritage home building at 467 St. Paul Street is an addition we are grateful to have apart of the Downtown Kamloops community!