|  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!

Doc and Connie Lang

Farside Pub fundraising for Canal Flats couple with cancer

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The Farside Pub in Fairmont Hot Springs is inviting the valley to its fundraiser this Sunday, December 14th to help out a local couple in need.
Connie and Doc Lang from Canal Flats are both undergoing treatment for cancer. Connie is scheduled for surgery on Tuesday, December 16th after her second diagnosis. Doc was told four years ago that he had just three months to live and continues to defy his medical prognosis. It’s for them that the Farside will be hosting the Jam Night Fundraiser, where guests …

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Cross-Canada comedy - A trio of hardy comedic Canucks are stopping to deliver a load of laughs on Wednesday, December 17th at Panorama’s Great Hall as part of their cross-Canada “Weather Permitting” winter comedy tour.  Photo submitted

Trio making puns at Pano

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Three Torontonian comics are touring across Canada this winter, and they’ve appropriately titled their show the “Weather Permitting Tour”, attempting to navigate their way in an imported sedan.
The trio is made up of Michelle Christine, Andrew Barr and Michael Flakmank. They’ll be bringing their jokes to the Great Hall at Panorama Mountain Resort on Wednesday, December 17th.
“You can find a funny thought on just about anything. What makes a comic unique is that they have an interesting perspective on life,” Michelle said. “Which is why you …

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ROCK STARS — Left to right are skip Zane Bartlett (Grand Forks), third Sam Gaspar (Invermere), second Logan Powell (Invermere) and lead Jordan Geiger (Grand Forks). Photo submitted

Local junior curlers eyeing B.C. championship

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Two of the valley’s most promising young curlers, Sam Gaspar and Logan Powell, are looking to take the province by storm after assembling a foursome with two of Grand Forks’ best.
While the two pairs have to practise apart, they’ll be coming together between Sunday, December 28th and Saturday, January 3rd to compete for the Junior Men’s Provincial Curling Championship in Parksville. The winning team will represent the province as Team BC.
Sam and Logan’s Grand Forks counterparts are Zane Bartlett and Jordan Field. Before they reached the Junior …

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Walkers vs. Ivan Hoes.psd  HOCKEY HANDOFF — The BC Pond Hockey Championships event that takes place on Lake Windermere each winter is now a Columbia Valley Rockies fundraiser. File photo

Rockies take over BC Pond Hockey Championships

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Lake Windermere will serve again as the venue for the fourth annual BC Pond Hockey Championships in Invermere, but this year it will be the Columbia Valley Rockies running the show.
John Reed, a hockey enthusiast from Rossland who got the tournament rolling over the past three years by marketing the tournament throughout Western Canada, has offered the Rockies a new fundraising opportunity by allowing the Rockies to take control of the tournament.
“(John) rounded up a lot of teams from all over, and many have already replied that …

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Mainroad maintenance explained

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Drivers throughout the East Kootenay were able to get a better grip on winter driving during a recent series of free presentations by Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting in Invermere, Fernie, and Cranbrook.
Each year as the colder weather sets in, the Surrey-based Mainroad Group hosts pre-winter seminars in areas where it operates. The meetings help taxpayers make sense of the province’s responsibility to maintain the roads.
In British Columbia, highway maintenance and repairs are provided by local highway maintenance companies contracted by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure …

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Mountain Resort makes Panoramic improvements

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The opening weekend at Panorama Mountain Resort is approaching and, since last season, there’s been $10,000,000 invested to grow every element of its community — on the slopes, at the eateries, and in the residences.
The 2014-2015 season commences on Friday, December 12th, and the first weekend is Discovery Weekend: a grand opening celebration to commemorate the new Discovery Zone. A new chairlift, the Discovery Quad, as well as the Little Ripper — the new magic carpet — have been constructed to offer novice skiers a more comfortable …

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Osborne-Paradis splits second in Lake Louise

Posted on November 29th, 2014 by


Manny Osborne-Paradis made every wrinkle of time matter on Saturday, November 29th, as he tied in second place at the World Cup downhill ski race at Lake Louise.
Manny was just one of seven Canadians in an event with 65 competitors.
Alongside Guillermo Fayed from France, Manny finished the event in one minute, 50 seconds, and 34-thousandths. The first place finisher, Kjetil Jansrud from Norway, completed the track 14-thousandths of a second sooner. Placing fourth was Dom Paris from Italy, who was 41-thousandths of a second behind Manny. The course was 3,133 …

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Movember Mile moves downtown

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


The Movember Mile is back. Expect moustached joggers to reveal themselves in downtown Invermere this weekend.
In support of the fight against cancers that affect men, a growing global tradition has seen the month of November used to groom facial hair.
“The tradition of this fundraiser has been everybody is clean shaven for November 1st, and have grown a moustache or facial hair in support of the Movember Foundation,” said Beva Kirk, who co-organizes the event.
All that hair will be in its prime on the final day of the month — Sunday, …

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Kootenay Bayou returns victorious from 2015 Scovie Awards

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


Kootenay Bayou turned up the heat in the southern USA, where they won three awards at the annual Scovie Awards.
“The Scovie Awards are like the Academy Awards of hot sauce,” said Kootenay Bayou Voodoo Habanera Hot Sauce founder Dale Hunt.
Upon entering the Roasted Red X flavour into the 2015 Scovie Awards (they’re awarded a year in advance) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dale won first place in both the habanero hot sauce and Louisiana style hot sauce categories, and second place in the medium heat category.
This was the first, and probably …

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RACE READY — The B.C. Alpine Team is taking advantage of Panorama’s stellar pre-season conditions to get a head start on race training. Photo by Dan Walton

Panorama Mountain Village slopes set up for success

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


As the staff at Panorama Mountain Village keep busy blasting the terrain with snow, some of the world’s best skiers are training on the mountain and giving the runs their groove before opening day.
The resort has upgraded its snowmaking system this year for its best production ever, and favourable winter conditions are amplifying those results.
Since last year, new snow blasting guns and an improved recipe have been implemented into the production. Both new assets will improve the speed, versatility, and quality of manmade snow.
“These guns will go everywhere,” said Scott …

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LEARNING MADE EASY — The new Discovery Zone at Panorama Mountain Village will be in operation starting opening day on Friday, December 12th. Photo by Dan Walton

Discover the new learning zone at Panorama Mountain Village

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


Panorama Mountain Village is now delivering bigger doses of winter by opening up the new Discovery Zone and improving its snowmaking fleet.
From the main village area, the Discovery Zone has been designed for beginner and intermediate skiers, who now have more comfortable options to maneuver the hill. The most prominent feature is the new lift — the Discovery Quad — at the base of the mountain. The chairlift carries riders to where Stinger meets Campbell’s Canyon, which gives skiers access to more gradual runs than what’s offered from the
Mile One.
“If …

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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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