|  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!

Classic Dan

That doggone Dan Walton

Posted on March 27th, 2015 by


I’ve been taken aboard another Black Press publication, and it’s in the Okanagan, so this is my last article for the Invermere newspapers.
It’s going to be hard to forget that these past two years ever happened.
The local geography really hardened me. Before moving here, ski hills that required three chair lifts to reach the top was just an urban legend, and I had no idea how rugged my little car could be before taking it up the deadly roads that lead to some of the best trail heads. Very few …

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Pride potent at Panorama

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by


Panorama Mountain Resort was packed earlier this month when world-class para-alpine skiers travelled from around the globe to race in the 2015 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships from Sunday, March 1st until Tuesday, March 10th. The event has received tremendous positive feedback and is praised by some as one of the best IPC events ever held.
“The IPC World Championships at Panorama were more than five years in the making and there’s no doubt we are extremely proud of our efforts in hosting athletes from around the globe,” said Steve Paccagnan, …

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CLASSIC JAZZ — Classically trained musician Fern Lindzon will be delivering a one-of-a-kind jazz concert at Pynelogs on March 29th. Photo submitted

Jazz trio coming to ignite Pynelogs

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by


Toronto songwriter Fern Lindzon will be sharing a classical spin on the genre of jazz at Pynelogs Cultural Centre next weekend.
On tour to promote her latest album, Fern has assembled a trio for a performance at Pynelogs on the evening of Sunday, March 29th.
As a classically trained musician, Fern was initially intimidated by the genre of jazz.
“I thought jazz was something you were born to love,” she said.
But finally after three years of university, she found herself inside of her first jazz club.
“I was flabbergasted — if this is jazz, …

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Dispute over big game hunting allocations continues

Posted on March 13th, 2015 by


Whether or not a hunter is from British Columbia determines what big game lotteries they can enter, and after the provincial government rebalanced the allocation late last year, resident hunters are feeling ripped off.
“The formula we’ve been using worked very well. Why all of a sudden is it not being used?” asked Rick Hoar, president of the Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club.
The hunting of big game animals — such as moose, grizzly bears and mountain goats — is controlled through an allocation system, which requires hunters to enter …

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CONTEMPORARILY CLASSICAL — Vancouver’s QuintEssence will be at Christ Church Trinity on Saturday, March 21st to share their modern take on opera’s timeless sound. Photo submitted

Opera ensemble slated for Christ Church Trinity

Posted on March 13th, 2015 by


QuintEssence — a young opera ensemble — will be in the valley next weekend to present a fresh take on their classical sound.
“We don’t want classical to be seen as an elitist, snooty snoozefest is what it boils down to,” said pianist Tina Chang.
Tina is the group’s lone instrumentalist, and she’s responsible for the rhythm behind four vocalists. Collectively as “vocal pyrotechnics,” they can take on any singing feat.
“We have one of every voice type,” Tina said. “A soprano, the highest female voice; a mezzo soprano, which is a medium …

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Burn ‘n’ Mahn in Invermere

Posted on March 7th, 2015 by


The Station Pub has to make room for two big instruments next week, when duelling pianists Brian Burn and Jamie Mahn come to musically attack one another on Thursday, March 12th.
Both Burn and Mahn have been honing their skills for decades, though he duo partnered up just three years ago – forming the Burn ‘n’ Mahn Experience.
Combining their repertoires, the two can play just about any known music. And that’s what makes their shows most unique – the ability to perform piano as “human jukeboxes,” according to their website.
“We cover …

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ROCKING THE ICE — Invermere’s Team Geiger is composed of (left to right) skip Jordan Geiger, third Nathan Evanoff, second Tyler Powell and lead Braeden Hessel with Joe Evanoff as the head coach. The foursome is currently at the 2015 Tim Hortons BC Juvenile Curling Championships in Lake Cowichan. Photo submitted

Team Geiger advances to provincials

Posted on March 6th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Editor’s note: In last week’s Pioneer, Team Bartlett was mistakenly profiled on page 13 in the article “Local curlers taking on B.C.’s best.” Invermere’s Team Geiger is participating in the 2015 BC Juvenile Curling Championships
After sweeping the competition in the Kootenays, a local foursome of juvenile curlers are in Lake Cowichan to take on the rest of the province.
Invermere’s Team Geiger is participating in the 2015 Tim Hortons BC Juvenile Curling Championships, which pits B.C.’s top eight Under-17 curling teams against one another.
Jordan Geiger serves as …

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COURT CASE — Former DTSS student Derek Wolf, who first learned to play basketball at J.A. Laird Elementary, is now showing off his skills for the Mount Royal University Cougars basketball team in Calgary. Photo submitted

Valley-raised basketball player brings game to next level

Posted on March 6th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
An athlete who once studied at David Thompson Secondary School has focused his priorities on a competitive basketball career.
Since leaving the valley with his family six years ago, 20-year-old Derek Wolf has crafted himself onto the starting line on the Mount Royal Cougars — the Calgary university’s basketball team.
Derek started kindergarten at Eileen Madson Primary, and found his love for the sport during his years at J.A. Laird. As he would watch his parents coach basketball to older kids from the valley, Derek always had an itch …

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Community meets multi-use centre architects

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
As the Invermere Community Hall continues to serve its purpose, it was the setting of a meeting to discuss the building that’s going to replace it.
The District of Invermere (DOI) and SHAPE Architecture, which will be designing the new Columbia Valley Multi Use-Centre, invited the community out to a Meet the Architect event on Tuesday, February 17th. A presentation was done by architect Alec Smith to share his team’s initial observations. They laid out the possibilities that can be realized through the resources available, which was followed …

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Artist-in-residence at Pynelogs ships paintings off to Europe

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Valley-made fine paintings are on their way to London, England for the artist’s first international showing.
Chloe Marson is the artist in residence at Pynelogs Cultural Centre, and earlier this year, her abstract style was noticed by a scout from the Brick Lane Gallery in London, England.
“An international stage and presence is vital as an artist,” she said. “You have the potential to reach a broader client base, but whatever the intention of your work is, you still want to reach them; get inside them and help …

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Local chamber offers staffing solutions to businesses

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Losing access to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program because the local rate of employment is below the national average has challenged many Columbia Valley businesses in the hospitality industry, and the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce (CVCC) has wasted no time looking for new solutions.
“There are a number of issues around it and a variety of solutions,” said Susan Clovechok, CVCC executive director.
The chamber hosted two Workplace Planning sessions this month, which explored separate methods for luring workers into the valley.
On Tuesday, February 10th, Diamond …

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Contestants feel duped

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
A local high stakes contest had its rules changed at the last minute and those eligible to win feel deceived.
The Columbia Valley Rockies hold a Shoot to Win contest at all of their home games, which gives raffle-winning fans the chance to step onto the rink, challenging them to shoot the puck into a small target from far away. Those who were successful were invited back to the final home game of the season to shoot again with the promise that if they were successful again, …

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LIVING ON — Tourism Radium manager Kent Kebe is focusing his efforts on enhancing the evolving wildlife display inside the Radium Hot Springs Visitor Centre. Photo by Dan Walton

Community donations support Radium wildlife display

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Wildlife is one of the valley’s most unpredictable attractions, so Tourism Radium is in the process of collecting and exhibiting some of nature’s most majestic species in the safe confines of its Visitor Centre.
“Not everybody who drives through (Kootenay National Park) gets to see wildlife,” said Kent Kebe, manager of Tourism Radium. “We thought that by creating a wildlife display for the valley, they could come in here in a safe fashion — cars won’t be parking on the side of the road to see animals.”
The …

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East Kootenay drivers petition against Mainroad

Posted on February 6th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Dissatisfied taxpayers in the East Kootenay haven’t relented in their fight against the regional road maintenance contractors.
Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting is responsible for keeping highways safe to drive upon, which has proven to be a challenge in recent winter months.
Those involved with the Taking Back East Kootenay Highways Facebook group, which has nearly 1,900 members, believe that the solution is for the public sector to reassume responsibility of highway maintenance in the East Kootenay, as well as increase the minimum standards for winter highway service. To …

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GALS fundraiser grows for its fourth year

Posted on February 6th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The annual Puppy Love Fundraiser has outgrown Fire Vixen Tattoos’ studio, so the local tattoo parlour is bringing in more artists and growing its event, moving into the Invermere Community Hall for its fourth year.
In the valley’s biggest venue, four artists from Cranbrook will be in town to take on more clients. The external talent will be coming from Runaway Elephant Tattoos and Pin Up Tattoos.
“We’ll have the tattooing set up like a mini convention,” said Sarah Eastick, owner and artist at Fire Vixen.
Puppy Love is happening …

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Invermere high school hosting community career fair

Posted on February 6th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
A day of professional reflection will be encouraging local students to wrap their heads around what they want to be when they grow up.
On Wednesday, February 11th, David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) will be hosting two occupational events — Find Your Fit by WorkBC, and a locally organized career fair in the evening.
Every student and teacher will be spending one block of their day to experience WorkBC’s Find Your Fit program — DTSS was the only school to be selected as a host in the East …

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A doe with her fawn out front of the Pioneer's office in August 2014. File photo

District of Invermere revives cull and court costs

Posted on February 4th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
After the legitimacy of a local deer cull in 2012 was unsuccessfully challenged in court, the District of Invermere is looking to recoup some of its legal costs as another round of culling gets underway.
In May 2014, council authorized district staff to submit a deer cull permit to Service BC. The permit is to cull 30 deer per year at a capped cost of $30,000 annually. The process began last week, and has been handled by district staff.
“This (year’s cull) is much more operational — we’re hands …

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Prefatory parturition produced by local politician

Posted on January 21st, 2015 by


The mayor of Invermere is the father of the valley’s New Year’s baby.
Parents Gerry Taft and Nozomi Ishii welcomed their firstborn child, Kelvin Arthur Taft, into the world at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital on Sunday, January 12th at 3:05 p.m.
Gerry and Nozomi both agreed that the name Kelvin was the right fit for their son. His middle name, Arthur, comes from Grandpa Taft.
Gerry said he’s not yet sure which sports or clubs he thinks Kelvin will join, but he’s sure that Nozomi won’t want their son following in his …

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Earl Grey Lodge at Panorama Mountain Resort offers moviegoers a weekly fix

Posted on January 16th, 2015 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
As the valley re-adjusts to life without the Toby Theatre, the newly renovated building at Earl Grey Lodge is set to begin morphing into a temporary movie theatre each week.
By taking part in Movie with a Meal, guests will experience a newer Hollywood flick after enjoying a delectable plate off of Earl Grey’s menu.
“We’ve bought a public performance license, which allows us to show pre-release movies,” said owner Phil Marshall. “Once the ticket sales of a big production film has begun to wane in theatres, (the Copyright …

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Local Slow Food movement grows high school kitchen

Posted on January 14th, 2015 by


The future culinary artists of the valley are set for another educational advantage, as Slow Food Columbia Valley (the local movement) is helping chip away at the cost of a big item on the Chef Training Program’s wishlist.
The Chef Training Program at David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) is working toward the purchase of a commercial bread-baking oven. The school is currently equipped with ovens to bake bread, but the students’ passion for fresh food is outgrowing the existing arsenal.
“What we want will have a stone floor and a nice even …

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