|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Greg-Amos
Email: greg@cv-pioneer.com
More from

Editor Greg Amos hails from White Rock, B.C., and recently arrived in the Columbia Valley after five years as a reporter and editor on the Sunshine Coast and in the Peace Region of B.C. He's looking forward to exploring the trails, ski slopes, mountains and rock faces of the Columbia Valley. Greg has a Journalism Certificate from Langara College and B.Sc. in Geography from UBC.

WAITING FOR CHANGE — Cindy and John Howard hope to see improvements to highway safety after losing family members in a July 2011 accident on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park.  Photo  by Greg Amos

California family awaits verdict in local trial

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
With a judge’s decision expected at the end of April in the trial of the man accused of dangerous driving causing a horrific accident in Kootenay National Park in July 2011, a long wait is coming to an end for relatives of the California family killed.
John and Cindy Howard, the brother and sister-in-law of one of the victims, spoke to The Pioneer outside of Invermere Provincial court after the four-day hearing wrapped up in late March, and emphasized the need for changes to make highways in the …

Read More...
Concert goers enjoy dancing to the Good Ol' Goats at the Steamboat Mountain Music Festival last summer. Pioneer file photo

Free concert offered for Steamboat early birds

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


Early bird tickets for the third annual Steamboat Mountain Music Festival will soon be on sale! The festival is set for Saturday, July 5th at the Edgewater Elementary School field. A special ticket launch party is being held on Friday, April 18th at the Edgewater Hall, with free admission for early bird ticket buyers and festival volunteers. Come and enjoy a great evening of free entertainment, coffee and dessert, all while saving yourself some money!
The launch party, a coffeehouse evening with dessert, will feature some of the local artists already …

Read More...

Council sticks to its guns

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
Another pitch made to develop the Athalmer waterfront — and another unenthusiastic response from the District of Invermere council.
Instead of a few good-looking homes, services and paved roads, the area adjacent to Pete’s Marina will likely continue to sit as a dusty expanse of undeveloped lots and basking grounds for the odd river otter. In the long-term, that may be a good thing.
The lack of foreshore access around Invermere is a legacy of poor planning and short-sighted decision making in the past, as well as a …

Read More...
CULTURE CREW —The Columbia Cultural Tourism Association directors: (front to back)Tony Berryman, Pat Bavin, Jessica Fairhart, Julie Brown, John Rouse, Alec Fleming, Jami Scheffer, and Chris Evans. Missing are Andi Dzilums and Al Miller. Photo by Ryan Bavin

Cultural tourism ‘tapestry of place’ takes shape

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
With its abundance of small attractions, historic stories, art products, culinary experiences and one-of-a-kind memories, the Columbia Valley has the ability to attract tourists who seek more than completing a checklist of attractions seen.
With that place-based approach in mind, the Columbia Cultural Tourism Association sought a new way to represent the valley to potential visitors — and now has a blueprint, with the recently-completed “A Tapestry of Place” study completed and being broadcast around the valley.
The 83-page study, prepared by Canada-renowned cultural tourism consultant Steven Thorne, was …

Read More...

Governments clueless on proper spending

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
The provincial government spends $200,000 per year on a municipality without residents. The federal government is set to cut health care equalization payments by $16.5 billion dollars.
It seems governments at these levels are capable of making some very poor choices with taxpayers’ dollars.
While municipalities face ever increasing costs and downloaded responsibilities from the provincial level, the province feels its alright to lavish operational funding on a municipality that’s non-operational. I have no problem with money to help keep a community going through tough times, and …

Read More...

Curling, coffee and a collision

Posted on March 21st, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
I never thought I would take up the sport of curling — yet now I can tell you what it means to hurry hard, curl it to the button, throw a raise or perform a takeout.
For myself and my Runty’s Wild Card teammates, the Invermere Curling Club turned us from skeptics to believers over the course of just a few months. These were winless months until we caught on to some playoff magic, making a (lucky) run that was stopped only by the eventual recreation league …

Read More...
KEEPING IT SIMPLE — Those who need help in the valley often receive it through Mountain of Hope. Musician Oso Simple, seen here at last year’s event, will be providing entertainment once again this year. Photo by Nigel Perry

Eighth annual Mountain of Hope Gala gears up for giving

Posted on March 21st, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
A high-profile mountain tradition of a marvellous meal and great music is setting the table for low-profile giving aimed at getting those who need help back on their feet quickly.
The eighth annual Mountain of Hope Gala will be held at Chopper’s Landing (at the RK Heliski compound) in Panorama Mountain Village on Saturday, March 29th, where generous donors will contribute funds through the $40-a-plate meal, silent auctions and more.
“We have had many local businesses that have supported us every year, along with some from Calgary,” said Mountain …

Read More...

Thoughts on a Pi-oneer production day

Posted on March 14th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
Math nerds rejoice — today is March 14th, sometimes denoted as 3-14 — and now commonly known as Pi Day.
If the graphic on this newspaper’s cover has confounded you, let me explain: pi is a constant used to compare the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter. The number is roughly 3.14159, though as an irrational number, it’s decimal figures never end. Every year, memory champions devise new ways to remember more decimal places of the number — in 2006, Akira Haraguchi, a retired …

Read More...
Invermere resident Devin Kazakoff was one of two local men arrested after deer traps were damaged in Kimberley recently. Pioneer file photo

Invermere men charged after Kimberley deer traps damaged

Posted on March 7th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
With four of five needed clover traps destroyed by vandals, the City of Kimberley has shut down its March deer cull in the wake of two Invermere males being arrested in the city in the early hours of Thursday, February 27th.
Invermere residents Devin Kazakoff, 30, and Lucky Gene Sikora, 28, face charges of mischief, and disguising their faces with intent to commit an offence, as the pair were each found to be wearing balaclavas.
The news was received with resignation by Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, who’s been in …

Read More...
Radium Hot Springs mayor Dee Conklin. Pioneer file photo

Radium seeking a say in Invermere community centre design

Posted on March 7th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
Radium Hot Springs is treading cautiously around the details of their financial support for a new multi-use community centre in Invermere, after hearing the pros and cons directly from Invermere mayor Gerry Taft at the village’s February 26th council meeting.
“Before the Village of Radium Hot Springs can commit to any kind of funding, there needs to be a process in place whereby the partners have a seat on a committee which makes the decisions on the building itself,” Councillor Clara
Reinhart told The Pioneer. “We are not prepared …

Read More...

Deer more lovable than shellfish

Posted on March 7th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
“We only want to protect the cute ones, folks.”
This line from Denis Leary’s 1992 comedy album No Cure for Cancer is highly relevant to the current situation in the East Kootenays, where a few individuals have turned towards lawlessness after failing to prevent deer culls using the legal system.
The bright-eyed ungulates clearly inspire far more devotion than some lesser creatures — namely scallops harvested commercially in the Vancouver Island area, who endured an unnatural cull to the tune of 10 million deaths recently, after pH levels …

Read More...

Employment holes prove tough to fill

Posted on February 28th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
Jobs, jobs everywhere, and not a person to fill them. This is the reality in the Columbia Valley, where the seasonal nature of our tourism-based economy creates an employment feeding frenzy every spring.
Want work in a hotel, restaurant, golf course, or resort? You got it — and bring a couple friends while you’re at it. It’s about making hay while the sun shines, and if you’re prepared to work long hours for modest wages, you can save up a good bundle before heading back to the …

Read More...

Home is where the heart is

Posted on February 28th, 2014 by


The valley’s own Morgan Childs, one of Canada’s top jazz drummers, brought three more talented musician friends (saxophone player Chad Makela, pianist Daniel Reynolds, and bassist Adam Thomas) to deliver a slick jazz performance at Christ Church Trinity on Friday, February 21st. Morgan put in his two cents about the need for a performing arts centre in Invermere, stating if one was built, he would like to organize a local jazz festival and pull in some of the best bands in the biz.
”To have a real theatre in town, would …

Read More...

A tale of two Gibraltars

Posted on February 28th, 2014 by


Top left: Windermere residents Rod and Christine Turnbull stood atop Gibraltar (off the southern tip of Spain) earlier this month, at a point where “the rock” is less than two kilometres wide and rises 1,340 feet (408 metres) above sea level . The last time the pair were in the area, 38 years ago, the border to Gibraltar was closed, so they were happy tick the peak off their bucket list. By snapping a shot of The Pioneer during their travels, the pair will be entered into a draw to …

Read More...
WEB---IMG_6494---showroom-floor

Ambiente in action

Posted on February 21st, 2014 by


After five weeks of volunteer efforts to get the new store up and running, Ambiente (formerly Interior World prior to being acquired by the Invermere Family Resource Centre) saw its first weekend shoppers on Saturday, February 15th. The home furnishings store has been re-painted inside, with pink accents and a treed theme giving it a new look.

“We wanted to brighten up the store a little bit to make it a whole new experience for all the regular shoppers we’ve had all these years,” said Ambiente manager Dru Wagner, who noted …

Read More...
CARING CROWD — $5,000 raised through sales of the Christmas in the Valley CD is going to a good cause. Standing, left to right: Henry Hoffman, Gail Hoffman, Helen Wynder, Pat Cope, Gracie Boake, Bruce Childs, Fraser Smith, Mike Smith, Kurt Reichel. Front row, left to right: Ben Cameron and Bill Cropper. Photo by Greg Amos

Musicians donate $5,000 to Christmas Bureau

Posted on February 14th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
If you still haven’t taken down the Christmas lights, you’re not alone in hanging on to the Christmas spirit. On Friday, February 7th, the Windermere Valley Musicians Who Care donated $5,000 of the profit from their Christmas in the Valley CD to the Columbia Valley Food Bank, as promised. The Food Bank turned around and passed on those funds to the Christmas Bureau of the Columbia Valley.
“The Food Bank was happy to donate to the Christmas Bureau, because we all help the same people,” said
Christmas Bureau co-chair …

Read More...
VIBRANT VOLUNTEER — Dorothy Brown was an 
enthusiastic volunteer until very late in life. Photo submitted

Valued volunteer remembered

Posted on February 14th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
As the matriarch of a family that spanned five living generations, Edgewater resident and full-time volunteer Dorothy Brown was a mother not only to her own
children, but to the whole community.
“She was an absolutely marvellous person, just
always ready to help us,” said Doreen Cooper, a long-time friend of Mrs. Brown, who passed away peacefully in Columbia Garden Village on February 5th at the age of 95. “She belonged to the Edgewater Legion, serving as president for seven years, and belonged to the Edgewater and Radium Hospital …

Read More...

Protect what you love

Posted on February 14th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
It’s a headline 500-million years in the making:
Kootenay National Park is proving to be a more valuable national treasure than its founders could have dreamed.
The significance of the Burgess Shale in nearby Yoho National Park is not lost on anyone who has even a passing interest in paleontology. It’s a world treasure, and the new find near Marble Canyon may prove to be just as valuable.
It’s high time that the provincial government gets busy on protecting our fossil heritage. Shockingly, B.C. lags behind …

Read More...

Paying deerly for poor decisions

Posted on February 7th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
As most valley residents could have predicted, the B.C. Supreme Court has not lent a sympathetic ear to the Invermere Deer Protection Society’s legal attempt to shut down Invermere’s deer cull. After dismissing the lawsuit last November, they’ve now awarded partial costs to the District of Invermere, lessening the hit on taxpayers by nearly $15,000.
The society has every right to fight for what they believe in, though the monetary loss they’ve incured on themselves could not be an easy pill to swallow. But it pales in comparison …

Read More...
Thanks to a gutsy, all-or-nothing performance in a World Cup downhill race last weekend in  Kitzbühel, Austria, Invermere’s Ben Thomsen has punched his ticket to Sochi, where he’ll meet a course that ‘s built exactly to his liking.  Pentaphoto / Alpine Canada photo

Family jubilant after Thomsen makes Olympic ski team

Posted on January 31st, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
Invermere downhill skier Ben Thomsen is bound for Sochi after an electrifying 12th place finish under intense pressure at a World Cup race in Kitzbühel, Austria last weekend — and his family in the Columbia Valley couldn’t be happier.
“That blew me away,” said Ben’s uncle, Fairmont Hot Springs Resort ski hill manager Peter Harding. “It was his last opportunity to get qualification, on one of the toughest courses in the world. He said it perfectly in an article: it was his mindset. It plays with you …

Read More...