|  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!

Heat hindrances

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
As the colder months renew seasonal heating habits, homeowners are reminded to demonstrate caution.
The Invermere Fire Department has attended to two fires so far this month. On Sunday, November 2nd, the attic in an abandoned house on 10th Avenue caught fire. The cause is under investigation and appears suspicious, said Invermere fire chief Roger Ekman.
The Invermere Fire Department was busy again on Monday, November 11th, when a storage shed on 12th Avenue went up in flames. No injuries were reported from either incident.
While chimney fires …

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Wild and scenic films to roll

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Invermere Community Hall will become a cinema for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival next weekend.
The event has been organized by Wildsight, and will project 15 films onto a big screen on Friday, November 28th and Saturday, November 29th. On the latter date, alpinist Barry Blanchard from Canmore — who’s spent nearly 3,000 days of his life mountain guiding — will be presenting as the guest of honour. Based on his new book, The Calling: A Life Rocked by Mountains, Mr. Blanchard will offer a multi-media …

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Invermere lights up for the holidays

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Invermere’s about to get its glow on for the holiday season.
The annual Light Up Night is happening on Saturday, November 22nd, when the streets of downtown will be lined with families watching the annual Santa Claus Parade, which will lead to seasonal festivities at Pothole Park.
“As a a family festival, it’s a nice kickoff to the holiday season,” said District of Invermere events co-ordinator Theresa Wood.
And in the spirit of the season, families will have the chance to help out the Columbia Valley Food Bank, which will …

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Thrift Shop goes up a size

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
After shutting down for three weeks to prepare for its big move, the Invermere Thrift Shop has opened new doors to offer a bigger and better facility.
Operating out of the space formerly used by Selkirk TV and Appliance, the popular second-hand store will operate at ground level with about twice as much space as before.
More volunteers and prep space will allow for a larger inventory as well as restocking each day, rather than weekly, and prices will not increase.
“We’re very proud of the new space,” said …

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DISTRICT DEBATE — The District of Invermere All-Candidates Forum took place at the DTSS theatre on Monday, November 10th. From left to right at the table are District of Invermere councillor candidates Paul Denchuk, Kayja Becker, Justin Atterbury, Al Miller and Greg Anderson. On the far right, moderator Craig Knapp. Photo by Dan Walton

Invermere candidates make their pitch

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Five candidates are vying for four council positions at the District of Invermere, and voters had the opportunity to compare those in the running at the all-candidates forum last week. Those in the running are incumbents Greg Anderson, Justin Atterbury and Paul Denchuk, as well as newcomer Kayja Becker and former councillor Al Miller. Around 75 people were in the theatre at David Thompson Secondary School on Monday, November 10th for the event moderated by Craig Knapp.
Candidates were able to prepare answers as they were given notice …

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IN THE RUNNING — The All-Candidates Forum for Area F director for the Regional District of East Kootenay took place at the Lions Hall on Wednesday, November 5th with incumbent Wendy Booth (left) and her challenger Andrea Duncan.

Area F director candidates square off

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
In their campaigns to serve as the Area F director for the Regional District of East Kootenay, incumbent Wendy Booth and newcomer Andrea Dunlop both made a pitch for votes during the all-candidates’ forum at the Lions Hall in Windermere on Wednesday, November 5th. Questions throughout the evening largely centred around water, including runoffs, safe drinking water, and lake access. In providing Windermere with potable water to meet Interior Health’s standards, Ms. Booth said that test drilling has been planned by the RDEK over the next few …

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DISTRICT DEBATE — The District of Invermere All-Candidates Forum took place at the DTSS theatre on Monday, November 10th. From left to right at the table are District of Invermere councillor candidates Paul Denchuk, Kayja Becker, Justin Atterbury, Al Miller and Greg Anderson. On the far right, moderator Craig Knapp. Photo by Dan Walton

School board seat contested

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
In the fight for the only contested school board seat in the valley, two candidates differentiated themselves at last week’s all-candidates forum.
Cory Stanbury is challenging incumbent Amber Byklum as the Area 4 School District Trustee for Rocky Mountain School District 6. One defining factor between the two contenders is how they hope to divvy up the boards’s resources.
Mr. Stanbury said the quality of rural schools’ core programming suffers at the expense of the hockey and intensive French programs.
“Hockey and the intensive French program artificially decrease the student …

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SEWER SAVIOUR — Newly elected Shuswap chief Barbara Cote said that hooking up the Rivers’ residence with water and sewer will be the new council’s first order of business. Photo by Dan Walton

Chief Barbara Cote to lead new Shuswap council

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Barbara Cote was named the new chief of the Shuswap Band at the new council’s first meeting on Monday, November 10th.
After winning one of three seats on council in the band’s November 7th election — alongside Timothy Eugene and Rosalita Pascal — Ms. Cote was elevated to the position of chief at the new council’s first meeting. With the greatest number of votes among any of the candidates, Ms. Cote was also the only councillor to win re-election.
“I’m really pleased to be working with the other two …

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DW---Alice-and-Paul-Sam

Shuswap spending to be tested at the polls

Posted on November 7th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
As the Shuswap Band office and Kinbasket Development Corporation (KDC) reaffirm the justification of their top earners’ salaries, other band members are doubling down on claims of corruption and incompetence.
In a Tuesday, November 4th press release, the band reiterated the substantial economic growth that’s been overseen by the incumbent government.
“The development of lands from zero property tax base in 1998, to a development tax base in excess of $70 million in 2014.”
However, claims are being made that there is no fair distribution of that money. According …

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Rally to rocket ‘round the region

Posted on November 6th, 2014 by


Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
This weekend, extreme automobiles will be pushed to their physical limits all throughout the valley during the annual Rocky Mountain Rally competition.
“It’s really nerve-racking when you see them flying by,” said Cheryl Williams, Rocky Mountain Rally media liaison. “When they take the curve you think they’re just going to fly off but somehow they don’t. It’s really cool how they control these crazy cars.”
This will be the 41st year of the event, but only the second year that it’s held in the valley (aside from one stage during …

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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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