Jeff Dolinsky believed Golden had some serious potential when he moved here 26 years ago. Initially, his friends and colleagues weren’t so sure.
“At first people were almost feeling sorry for me and now they’re completely jealous,” Dolinsky laughed.
Dolinsky grew up outside of Red Deer on a small farm. His father was a dentist, which helped influence his decision to get into dentistry himself.
“It was good to be in a profession where you could do something that would involve technical skills and helping people, and it (allows for) lifestyle flexibility,” Dolinsky said.
He earned his dental degree from the University of Alberta in 1984 and moved to Golden four years later with his wife. The couple’s two daughters were raised here, in what Dolinsky calls a family-friendly community.
“Golden was and is a great place to bring up a family,” he said.
He bought the Golden Dental Centre in 1992, a practice he has owned ever since. Recently, Dolinsky was given a prestigious honour when he earned a Mastership from the London School of Orthotropics. The award was given out based on criteria such as number of years in practice and demonstrations of before and after cases for patients.
As a dentist in a small town, it was only natural for Dolinsky to become a visible member of the community, but it wasn’t just his job that made it so. His extensive involvement in various organizations and clubs in his spare time has helped as well.
Dolinsky is the founding and current chair of the Golden Nordic Ski Club Society and he had a big role in making the Dawn Mountain Nordic Centre what it is today, and will have a big role in shaping its future.
“We have so many talented people in the club that it’s been a great collaboration,” he said. “In the future we’ll have better grooming and biathlon. That club’s been growing 30 per cent per year in visitation.”
Originally the group that developed the Nordic Centre was just hoping to have some nicely groomed trails, but the growth of the centre was rapid.
“Incrementally it got to be bigger and more important and (now) it is beyond anyone’s expectations,” he said.
In addition to his work with the Nordic Centre, Dolinsky has served as president of the Rotary Club, and was the founding chair of both the Golden and District Community Foundation and the Golden Outdoor Recreation Association.
It was always important for him to be involved.
“When you can see the results of something happening or the results of a creative effort, with people jumping on the bandwagon and joining you, everybody feels good about it,” he said.
In his spare time he continues to enjoy all of the outdoor sports that made Golden an attractive place to live in the first place, including skiing, hiking, rowing and climbing.
“I don’t watch a lot of TV,” he laughed.
It’s pretty obvious that Dolinsky doesn’t regret his decision to move to the Columbia Valley one bit and he sees himself retiring here in the future.
“It’s the best place on the planet to ski,” he said. “Golden has been an exceptional place to live over the past 25 years.”