|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Dan Walton
Email: dan@columbiavalleypioneer.com
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Before joining The Pioneer early in 2013, Dan was employed at a Saskatchewan newspaper. While the views of the sky are an appealing feature of the Prairies, the scenery can't compare to the mountains found only in British Columbia, where Dan looks forward to hiking, biking, rock climbing and downhill skiing, and writing the occasional opinionated column, while keeping his mind open to opposing viewpoints. Any and all feedback is welcome!

LOTS OF LAND — After a meeting on Tuesday, October 29th, Shuswap Chief Sam Paul and councillor Alice Paul emphasize the scale of their Nation's traditional territory. Photo by Dan Walton

Transparency Act reveals Shuswap council earnings

Posted on October 31st, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
An audit has revealed that the chief and one councillor at the Shuswap Indian Band are among the highest paid in the province.
The First Nations Financial Transparency Act was enacted earlier in 2014, which now requires First Nations to post online their audited financial statements for the last fiscal year. Among the new figures listed are the salaries of chief and council.
The numbers submitted by the Shuswap Band show Chief Paul Sam to have earned $202,413 over the period of 12 months, followed closely by councillor Alice Sam …

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Kootenay hikers safe amid Himalayan disaster

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Five Invermere hikers were among a group trekking together in Nepal during a series of deadly disasters last week, and all of whom have since been confirmed alive.
Through Happy Feet Mountaineering — a Nepalese Sherpa guiding company — the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was told that the members of the group were all alive.
The news came as a relief after a series of blizzards and avalanches in the Himalayas claimed the lives at least 43, four of whom were Canadian, earlier in October. The event has been …

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SHOWING THEY CARE — Local non-profit Windermere Valley Musicians Who Care (represented here by Kurt Reichel, Ben Cameron, Fraser Smith, Bill Cropper and Mike Smith) delivered a new set of percussion instruments as well as a new MP3 system to the Mountain Ridge Early Learning Program, paid for by proceeds from the sales of the group’s two CDs.  Photo by Dan Walton

Caring crew amplifies music program

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Windermere Valley Musicians Who Care made a very special visit to the Mountain Ridge Early Learning Program last week to beef up the youngsters’ musical assemblage. Through sales from their two albums — Songwriters in the Valley and Christmas in the Valley — Musicians Who Care were at Mountain Ridge on Tuesday, October 21st to donate a new set of percussion-based instruments, as well as a new MP3 system. The early learning program bases a large portion of its curriculum around music.
“Music is healthy for anyone to …

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A fisherman’s friend - Jim Huey, the host of The Dimestore Fishermen, is coming to the Columbia Valley to film a segment for his TV show and locals interested in rubbing elbows with the famous angler will have a chance to do so. Photo submitted

Famous fisherman casting in Columbia Valley

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
One of Canada’s most famous anglers will be casting his rods in the Columbia Valley over the next week.
Beginning on Sunday, October 26th, The Dimestore Fishermen will spend three days on the local waterways to reel in some footage for its fishing program.
“I am The Dimestore Fisherman, the one and only,” producer and host Jim Huey told The Pioneer.
“When I was a kid, you could drive to a local store here in Calgary, and you could get all your fishing stuff — maybe four bobbers or your …

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Zombie attacks imminent

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
With Halloween approaching, residents of the valley are being warned of zombies swarming about.
Real Storage in Windermere will be reinforcing its headquarters in preparation for an attack on Saturday, October 25th.
“We want to show the Columbia Valley that we are their best defence in the event of a zombie apocalypse, and inviting a whole lot of zombies over is the best way to show that,” said Kim Baker, the manager of Real Storage.
Zombies are to show up at Real Storage in Windermere by 2 p.m., where first-timers …

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GYM JAM — Glacier Peaks Gymnastics owner and head coach TC Rogers (front row, centre) is preparing a roster of young gymnasts to compete in the USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics next year. Photo by Dan Walton

Glacier Peaks Gymnastics adds second home

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Glacier Peaks Gymnastics has grown to include a second location in the valley.
With the addition of its newest location in the Industrial Park, local gymnasts can now practice in both Invermere and Radium Hot Springs.
At the location in Radium, “things are going really well as far as training goes and the kids are learning some really cool skills and tricks,” said head coach TC Rogers. “But to keep the club’s longevity going and to grow a bigger base, Radium alone wasn’t working.”
Glacier Peaks was founded two years …

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WOOD WINNER — Mayor Ute Juras accepts the WoodWorks Community Award of Merit from Bill Billups, Technical Advisor for Canadian Wood Council/Wood WORKS! BC. Photo submitted

Discovery Centre wins award for Canal Flats

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Discovery Centre has won Canal Flats the WoodWorks Community Award of Merit for its support of the B.C. wood industry and its commitment to use wood for the Columbia Discovery Centre.
The Union of BC Municipalities presents the award at its annual convention each year during a luncheon with the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Government.
“The Columbia Discovery Centre is a log cabin that’s been refurbished,” said Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras. “One thing that qualifies you for the award is an innovative way to put
wood …

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songwriters-poster

Valley songwriters packing Pynelogs to party

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff

The songwriters of the valley are about to celebrate the release of their latest record. The 20-or-so musicians will be at Pynelogs Cultural Centre to be part of the CD release party on Saturday, November 1st.
After the huge success of last year’s Christmas in the Valley CD, Windermere Valley Musicians Who Care put together an album which can be enjoyed all year round — Songwriters in the Valley.
And most of those songwriters will be stepping out of the record and onto the stage for their first full …

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Canadian chamber recognizes issue hurting valley

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce is in sync with its counterparts around the country, as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce annual general meeting amplified a call for the federal government to review the recent changes made to the temporary foreign worker (TFW) program.
“We’re very pleased because this is a big issue for the country, but in particular, it’s a very big issue for us,” said Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director Susan Clovechok. “The feds are going to have to do something.”
The national assembly of …

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DECISION TIME - With a B.C. Environmental Assessment Office decision on renewing Glacier Resort Ltd.’s environmental assessment certificate looming soon (the project must be ‘substantially started’ by October 12th to keep the certificate, but exactly what constitutes ‘substantially started’ is unclear), opponents of the Jumbo Glacier Resort project make their opinions known during a Saturday, October 4th rally at kilometre 0 of the Jumbo Forest Service Road. Photo by Pat Morrow

Jumbo decision looms for assessment office

Posted on October 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
As the deadline approaches for Jumbo Glacier Resort to have its environmental certificate renewed, the Ministry of Environment further explained some of the deadline’s intricacies.
In making its decision to renew the certificate, the ministry will consult with three parties.
“[The] Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) will be inviting Glacier Resorts Ltd. (GRL), Ktunaxa Nation Council and the Shuswap Indian Bands to provide any relevant information they wish EAO to consider in its determination as to whether the project has been substantially started as of October 12, 2014,” said Ministry …

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The layout of the main lodge’s foundation at Jumbo Glacier Resort. Photo by Dan Walton

Constructing a Jumbo development

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Bridges have been installed and groundwork is underway in the Jumbo Valley, with the project’s environmental certificate less than two weeks away from its expiry or renewal date.
Also, the presence of an adequate flow of potable groundwater on site was proven last month after the drilling of a test well.
During a visit from The Pioneer on Friday, September 26th, styrofoam insulation was being installed as part of the foundation, with concrete expected to fill the frame before the renewal of the environmental certificate.
But at the nearby watchdog …

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Conservation officer busts poacher

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The discovery of a headless deer carcass within the district of Invermere has led to charges being laid against a local man.
A local conservation office received a call on the morning of Sunday, September 28th, from a concerned citizen. Earlier that morning, the caller had followed a trickle-like trail of blood behind his property which leads onto a ravine — where he ended up finding a large mule deer buck, minus the head.
“I attended, met with the concerned citizen and confirmed that a deer had been killed …

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Forfeiture Office inquires about $4,000 in criminal profits

Posted on October 9th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer staff
Before $4,000 of dirty cash can clean up its act and become property of the Queen, the RCMP is giving anybody with a legitimate stake in the matter an opportunity to file a notice of dispute.
The cash was scooped up while the Columbia Valley RCMP were executing a search warrant at the Green Acres Trailer Park in Dry Gulch on May 11th, 2011.
“When the money is a result of a criminal involvement, then we can seize the money and put a forfeiture in,” said Staff Sgt. …

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Young amputee inspires others

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Eight-year-old Keira Neal of Fairmont Hot Springs was in Winnipeg last month for this year’s War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Seminar, which carried the theme, “set the bar high.”
Keira, who lost her right leg to cancer at the age of one, took part in the event with around 100 other young amputees, who travelled from throughout central Canada to learn that their disabilities don’t have to hold them back from living a full and active life.
“The purpose is for the kids to network and learn from …

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Rockies reinvent classic broadcasting duo

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
After a 25-year break, a Rockies broadcasting duo that reigned at one point during the team’s decades-old dynasty has been reborn, but their medium has evolved and one role will be filled by a family descendant of the original pair.
For those watching the KIJHL online, Barry Brown-John and Jean-Paul Askey will be calling the play-by-play over a live video feed of every Rockies home game this season.
For four or five years in the 1980s, Barry along with Jean-Paul’s father, Gordon, were the radio broadcasters for the …

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KIJHL rule change gives Rockies a leg up

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley Rockies have a new geographical advantage over many of their KIJHL (Kootenay International Junior Hockey League) counterparts, after the league relaxed regulations on recruiting, removing the limit of Albertan players allowed on the roster.
“There’s Fernie, Golden, Kimberley, and Columbia Valley — if you’re from Alberta, you’re going to want to play in one of those four towns,” said Rockies general manager Ross Bidinger. “We had a big turnover in players this year, so we were able to find a good amount of quality talent.”
Previously, a …

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KHI_9649

Grasic makes national ski team

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff

One of the valley’s most promising downhill skiers — Martin Grasic — has been called to represent the nation as a member of Alpine Canada.
“Once you get to the national team, it really becomes everyone’s full-time job,” he said. “I really like the team; it’s a good dynamic. We really push each other.”
He’ll be joining four other skiers on Alpine Canada’s development team. Earning a role with the national squad is major progress in Martin’s professional career, after spending the past three winters competing for the provincial …

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TOO BLUE — Tribute artists the Blues Brothers Too will be on the roster at this year’s classic car Show and Shine in Radium Hot Springs. Photo submitted

Blues Brothers Too joining car show fleet

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
In Radium Hot Springs this weekend, the Blues Brothers Too will be behind the wheel of the Blues Mobile Too – which will be joining the fleet at the 25th annual Columbia Valley Classics Autumn Show and Shine car show.
The Blues Brothers came to fame in the late 1970s, serving out a mission from God. The duo used entertainment to raise enough money to save the orphanage where they were raised. After succeeding in their campaign, the brothers made a career out of their musical showmanship. The …

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Fundraising required by multi-use centre user groups

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Moving forward with the Community Hall Advisory Committee seems like a Catch-22 for some of the user groups involved.
The committee met at the Invermere Municipal Office on Tuesday, September 9th.
Many of the building’s features will be contingent upon fundraising results conducted by different organizations, but District of Invermere councillors won’t be able to gauge the success of each fundraising initiative before having to inform the architect of certain specifications.
The performing arts consortium hired Don Parman of Evan-Par Productions for a consultation on their portion of the project. …

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SCHOOLING SKIRMISH — Teachers’ rallies took place in each school district across British Columbia on Friday, September 5th. In School District 6, dozens of members of the Windermere Teachers’ Association met at Kinsmen Beach for a rabble-rousing assembly led by local president Doug Murray. Photo by Dan Walton

Adjusting to life without school

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Parents and students of B.C. are managing to occupy the unexpected free time that’s come as a result of the B.C. teachers’ strike by making alternative arrangements to the regular school year.
The younger students don’t seem to be struggling as the kids’ camp offered through the College of the Rockies Invermere — a non-instructional weekday program for kids as a response to the situation — only garnered limited interest, said Invermere campus manager Doug Clovechok.
“It was an opportunity for parents to get their kids involved with …

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