|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Dan Walton
Email: dan@cv-pioneer.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!

Devon Coyote hit the street on Thursday, July 17th for a free outdoor performance during the District of Invermere's new initiative, the Downtown Get Down and Evening Market.

Downtown Invermere takes dynamic new approach

Posted on July 25th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The District of Invermere’s downtown is evolving to stay relevant as the Invermere Crossroads undergo significant development.
“When Home Hardware originally moved out of downtown, people said that would be the end,” said Justin Atterbury, District of Invermere councillor and owner of Rocky River Grill (located at the crossroads). “But downtown is still doing well — that space was almost completely filled by other businesses.”
Mr. Atterbury said the district most notably beautifies the downtown through its many flowerbeds, but the bulk of responsibility lies upon the store owners …

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CRAFTY TAFT — Invermere mayor Gerry Taft collaborated with Jessie Blakley and Kyle Burley of The Cross Roads Collective to create a mule deer out of wood for the CV Arts’ Celebrity Artist Challenge. Photo by Beverly Aitchison

Celebrity Artist Challenge: competitor no. 3

Posted on July 25th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Celebrity Artist Challenge is in full swing and contender Gerry Taft, mayor of Invermere, teamed up with The Cross Roads Collective for a woodcrafting project in his bid against his political counterparts.
Showing him the woodworking ropes were Jessie Blakley and Kyle Burley from the Invermere wood artisan collective. With direction from the pros, Gerry applied his artistic abilities to create a deer figure out of wood.
Asked about his choice of specimen, Gerry said it was a little tongue-in-cheek, offering a refreshing attitude upon ever-lasting controversy.
“If …

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HOSPICE HELP — Pictured during the declaration at the Hospice office on Friday, July 18th (clockwise from top left) were Brad Bromley of Sobeys, board member Catrien Dainard, executive director Maria Kliavkoff and Andrew Rutledge of Pharmasave Cranbrook. Absent are Keith Irwin from Pharmasave Invermere and Adrienne Turner of the Ivy House and Columbia Garden Village. Photo by Dan Walton

Hospice status heightened

Posted on July 25th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley hasn’t lost any steam since its strong start last September.
There were two major announcements on Friday, July 18th at their Frater Landing headquarters — the Hospice Society has been granted Charitable Status by the Canada Revenue Agency, and they’ve teamed with two new corporate partners.
The new status shows that Canada Revenue Agency recognizes the Hospice dedicates its resources to charitable purposes, which will make the society’s donors eligible for tax receipts. Before it was recognized as a charity, the Hospice …

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LIBERAL LEADER — Accompanied by East Kootenay MLA and Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett, Premier Christy Clark met with members of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce at Chateau Kimberley on July 11th. Photo by Dan Walton

Premier Clark drops in on East Kootenay riding

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Premier Christy Clark dipped into the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding last week, meeting with local business owners and party supporters in Kimberley on Friday, July 11th. After joining Minister of Energy and Mines Bill Bennett for a funding announcement in Cranbrook the day before, Premier Clark was invited to a round table discussion with the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce, and made time to attend a BC Liberal party barbecue before returning to the coast.
Her trip was initially planned for the announcement of two incentive programs at the Cranbrook …

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Pickups collide head-on on Highway 93/95

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
A head-on collision between two pickup trucks in Invermere required an airlift to Calgary for one man.
The accident was reported to East Kootenay Traffic Services at 1:22 p.m. on Monday, July 14th. The crash was caused by a pickup truck travelling northbound on Highway 93/93 near Juniper Heights Road, when it crossed the centre lane of traffic and collided into a larger pickup truck travelling southbound.
“From the witness accounts, people couldn’t understand why the vehicle entered the oncoming lane,” said Staff Sgt. Marko Shehovac of the …

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Valley Appreciation Day ready for 27th bash

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Invermere will be showcasing Valley Appreciation Day this weekend — one of the most exciting days of the year in the Columbia Valley.
Between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. tomorrow (on Saturday, July 19th), the streets of downtown Invermere will be closed to vehicles to accommodate the 27th annual celebration of the Columbia Valley lifestyle.
Between Lordco and CIBC, and from CIBC to the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena, roads will block traffic, giving pedestrians free reign through the heart of Invermere.
Four local service clubs — the Fairmont …

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Valley hosting two stages of six-tier race

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
A six-legged series of cycling races has been co-ordinated to test bikers in the most extreme terrain across Western Canada, and two stages will occur in the Columbia Valley.
The Singletrack Six will be making its inaugural rounds through Alberta and British Columbia later this month, arriving at the Nipika Mountain Resort for stage two on Sunday, July 27th, before taking their bikes to the Johnson Trail for stage three on Monday, July 28th. Competitors will be recharging in Radium Hot Springs before heading to Golden for stage …

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Tame temperatures result in reasonable runoff

Posted on July 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
An intense spring runoff was expected after the winter season accumulated a heavy snowpack, but favourable conditions have brought about a gradual drain of the seasonal currents.
“The snow pack is currently sitting at about 135 per cent of normal, and we haven’t yet hit our spring freshet,” read a May 15th press release from the Regional District of East Kootenay. “But it’s important to understand that the level of the snow pack is less significant than the way the melting occurs.”
And the melt occurred at a favourable …

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Geoffrey Melvill-Jones worked on the development of aircrafts for the British Army during the Second World War, measured the effects of gravitational force during the advent of the jet engine, and assisted with NASA in its infancy; and the 91-year-old pilot recently completed a week of training at the Invermere Soaring Centre. Photo submitted.

Pioneering pilot visits valley

Posted on July 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Few pilots can claim a bigger stake in the marvel of human flight than Geoffrey Melvill-Jones, but, even at 91 years old, he is still learning about it — which is why he was training at the Invermere Soaring Centre last week.
Born during the infancy of airplanes, Geoffrey’s been involved in aviation since he was a twinkle in his father’s eye.
In the early 1910s, Geoffrey’s dad, Sir Bennett Melvill-Jones, left the steady field of mechanical engineering to take a leap into what then seemed like science-fiction — …

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CHALLENGE HEATS UP — Radium mayor Dee Conklin (centre) works with Ryan Bavin (left), Leah Duperrault (right) and Pat Bavin (missing) on May 27th to design a vibrant vase, which will serve both as Dee’s entry into the CV Arts Celebrity Artist Challenge, as well as a heartfelt gift for an ill friend. Photo by Dan Walton

Celebrity Artist Challenge: competitor no. 2

Posted on July 14th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
For the next round in the Celebrity Artist Challenge, Radium Hot Springs mayor Dee Conklin has teamed up with the glass blowers at Bavin Glassworks in Invermere.
“There’s such a strong element of artism,” Dee said. “You can express so much through glass blowing.”
In collaboration with glassblowers Ryan Bavin, Pat Bavin and Leah Duperrault, Dee created a handblown glass vase. It’s a combination of magenta and cyan, and was named “The Delphine” after a close friend of hers.
Through a consultation at the glass studio, the team at Bavin …

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Possibility of Deja Vu studied

Posted on July 4th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Mountain bikers might be one step closer to having a new trail network near Radium Hot Springs.
The Village of Radium Hot Springs has approved $4,000 in funding to tackle a large portion of a $5,500 ecological study, positive results from which will allow for the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance to begin the approval process of the Deja Vu trail — an unpaved trail to be located on Crown land south of the village.
“The study is needed to begin the sanctioning process for the Deja Vu trail,” said …

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Local parent troubled by policy

Posted on July 4th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
A local store was in line with the law when it sold a personal vaporizer to a 12-year-old girl, but the customer’s mother wants that to change.
Regardless of the legality, those transactions shouldn’t have happened, said parent Lindsay Birch.
“If the law won’t change, the store could at least have the decency to say no.”
The vaporizers are used by inhaling steam from flavoured cartridges, allowing “smokers” to enjoy aspects of the habit while avoiding the tar, carbon monoxide, nicotine, heat and other byproducts resulting from burned tobacco. Some …

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PIZZA PANACHE — The Mitchell family, Todd, Brenda, Madeleine, and Alexandra, have banded together to bring the valley Pizzeria Mercato, the new restaurant operating alongside Hopkins Harvest. Photo by Dan Walton

Pizza pioneers open in Windermere

Posted on July 4th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The valley’s newest pizzeria spares no expense putting together top-quality dishes. Operating in tandem with Hopkins Harvest, Pizzeria Mercato has joined the market to include a hot new line of wholesome food.
“There can never be enough great pizza in one valley,” said owner Todd Mitchell.
Pizza has been a big part of Todd’s career, who’s spent more than two decades in hospitality — as the general manager and co-owner of Best Western Invermere Inn. Knowing that the next step in his career would revolve around pizza, Todd studied …

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Valley loses access to Temporary Foreign Worker program

Posted on June 27th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Employers in the food service industry had their ability to hire Temporary Foreign Workers suspended in April, and while the suspension was lifted last week, employers across the board have been hit with heavy restrictions. And those operating in jurisdictions with above-average unemployment, such as the Columbia Valley, will no longer be allowed to use the program to fill jobs that offer below-average wages.
“There are a number of business owners in the valley that are not happy, but this is the new program,” said David Wilks, Member …

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Twin Lakes tragedy claims Invermere man’s life

Posted on June 27th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
An Invermere man has lost his life after cliff jumping with friends at Twin Lakes.
Shortly before 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 21st, the Columbia Valley RCMP detachment was contacted from a cell phone with poor reception. The caller was able to relay that an accident had happened at Twin Lakes on Westrock Mine Road. The site has two circular-shaped lakes with small diameters, with rock cliffs situated to allow jumping high distances into the eastern lake.
Upon arrival, friends and family of the 38-year-old victim informed police …

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ROCKIES RAFFLE — Invermere Home Hardware’s Lucy Miller helps out the Columbia Valley Rockies by selling tickets for the hockey team’s classic car raffle on Saturday, June 21st at the first Invermere Farmers’ Market of the 2014 summer season. Tickets for the ‘66 Mustang will be on sale until the fall at the Radium, Invermere and Fairmont markets Photo by Erin Knutson

Markets start as summer begins

Posted on June 27th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The summer markets are starting up, and they’ll be easy to find anywhere in the valley. In addition to the Invermere Farmers’ Market in downtown Invermere every Saturday, weekly markets are also set up at the Invermere Legion, Fairmont Hot Springs, Radium Hot Springs, and Edgewater; and they’ll all be in full swing by mid-July.
The Invermere Farmers’ Market kicked off last week. It runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. each Saturday and attracts about 50 to 60 vendors each week. The organization has just launched a …

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HEROIC EFFORT — It took close to a dozen volunteers to safely transport the massive fish tank donated by Rocky Mountain Grill to the Community Greenhouse on Monday, June 16th. Photo by Erin Knutson

Fish tank migrates to greenhouse

Posted on June 20th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
One of the valley’s largest fish tanks has jumped ship now that the Rocky River Grill has donated its massive aquatic habitat to the Groundswell Community Network.
“We’ve had it five years; it’s time to change it up,” said Rocky River Grill owner Justin Atterbury.
Through his restaurant, Mr. Atterbury began participating in a Groundswell composting program over a year ago. Through that connection, he had little trouble deciding where to make a new home for the fish tank.
“Justin came to appreciate what Groundswell is about; the things we …

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SOCCER STARS - The home team didn't let much of the hardware leave the Columbia Valley Titans Invitational Tournament last weekend. The U-17 Titans won gold in their category and the U-17 girls claimed bronze. Both U-14 boys and U-15 girls were runners up in their categories, while U12 girls won bronze and U-12 mixed was awarded silver. U-16 girls and U-12 girls both finished fourth in their categories.

Soccer tournament packs valley

Posted on June 13th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer staff
There were no empty soccer fields in Invermere last weekend, as the district was packed with more than 30 teams competing in the Columbia Valley Titans Invitational Soccer Tournament. Twenty-three of the teams came from out of town to compete among eight divisions split by age and gender.
The well-attended tournament will hopefully be held on an annual basis, said event co-ordinator Cheryl Maybuck. Invermere held an annual soccer tournament in the past, but teams then became complacent with travelling to other communities for tournaments.
“This year our club …

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Vancouver-born musician Brandi Disterheft, who now resides in New York, is putting on a show at Pynelogs on June 17th with her touring quartet featuring local jazz success, drummer Morgan Childs.  Brandi is a renowned stand-up bassist, composer and vocalist.

Jazz geniuses on their way to Pynelogs

Posted on June 13th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
During her Canadian summer tour, New York’s Brandi Disterheft will be bringing a quartet through Invermere where her drummer — Morgan Childs — will feel right at home.
The two met many years ago when Brandi was living in Vancouver. The two are family friends, as Morgan used to drum for Brandi’s mother.
“Morgan swings really hard, we hear the music the same way and we like the same type of jazz,” Brandi said. “Because we’re friends, it’s really easy to work together.”
While she shares ambient vocals through her music, Brandi …

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Bid big at Summer Kickoff

Posted on June 13th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Summer officially begins on Saturday, June 21st, and the local chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society will be kicking the season off with a party at Invermere Community Hall.
Beginning at 6 p.m., the society will host the Summer Kickoff — an evening of dinner, dancing, and bidding. Food will be provided by Anne Riches Catering, music will be delivered by Will C Productions, and auction items have been generously donated by people and businesses in the valley. Donations will be auctioned both silently and live, with auctioneer …

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