|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Steve Hubrecht
Email: steve@columbiavalleypioneer.com
More from

Reporter Steve Hubrecht arrived in the Columbia Valley after working for newspapers in Fernie, B.C., and Beijing, China. He spends as much time outside as possible – if he's not at the Pioneer and Echo office, he's probably out telemarking or hiking. He grew up in southern Ontario and graduated with an MA in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario in 2006.

Cenotaph Park completion delayed

Posted on May 15th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Ongoing renovation work at Cenotaph Park has fallen behind schedule and will not be completed by the May long weekend, as it was meant to.
The issue was brought up by councillor Al Miller at the most recent Invermere council meeting on Tuesday, May 12th.
“I’ve been talking with some of the business people downtown. They’re showing some concerns (about the delay). Their bottom lines have been dropping,” said Mr. Miller, asking staff for an update.
Invermere’s chief administrative officer Chris Prosser responded that local company Max Helmer Construction Ltd. …

Read More...

Farmers’ market standoff looms over Invermere

Posted on May 15th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Invermere is bracing for a farmers’ market standoff this summer.
At its most recent meeting, on Tuesday, May 12th, Invermere council voted to approve an application from the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion to run a downtown farmers’ market on 6th Avenue starting this summer.
The district received two applications to operate a downtown farmers’ market on 6th Avenue this summer, one from the Legion and one from Julia Oaks, who has (together with her mother) run the long-standing Invermere Farmers’ Market downtown since it began about …

Read More...

Good news for a change for mill employees

Posted on May 8th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Canfor Canal Flats mill employees finally had some positive news, even as mass layoffs finally took effect earlier this week.
The layoffs, which were first announced in February, came into effect on Monday, May 4th, but the week prior, mill employee Daniel Bybee — who had expressed critical opinions of how the company was handling the situation in previous Pioneer stories — had some positive feedback on Thursday, April 30th.
“It’s a way brighter picture than it was,” said Mr. Bybee. “There’s some good things.”
Chiefly among these positive developments …

Read More...
PUBLIC PRIZE — CBEEN’s Executive Director, Duncan Whittick, accepts the BCSSA 2015 Community Award of Recognition on April 14th for its progress in enhancing public education. Photo submitted

Local eco-education network’s approach jives with new education plan

Posted on May 8th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A draft version of the new BC Education Plan (better known as the BC Ed Plan) shows a shift to encouraging more hands-on, experiential learning, a move welcomed by the local Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN) as well as by those in the education field here in the valley.
“The new BC Ed Plan highlights the value of place-based, inquiry-based education and environmental education is a perfect vehicle to be able to accomplish that,” said CBEEN executive director Duncan Whittick. “The idea is if we get kids …

Read More...
SITE SURVEILLANCE — The snow avalanche risk zoning map for the Jumbo Glacier Resort day lodge and service building, the foundations of which were poured last fall. White Zone indicates low risk, Blue Zone indicates Moderate Risk, and Red Zone indicates high risk.  Image submitted

Province finds first foundations at Jumbo Glacier Resort not compliant

Posted on May 1st, 2015 by


The provincial Environmental Assessment Office has determined the locations of day lodge and service building foundations at Jumbo Glacier Resort, laid by developers last fall, are not in compliance with Glacier Resort Ltd.’s environmental assessment certificate for the project, and ordered the developers to halt construction at those sites.
In a letter addressed to Glacier Resorts Ltd. and Pheidias Project Management Corp. president Oberto Oberti, assessment office compliance manager Autumn Cousins said the foundations do not meet condition 36 of the assessment certificate, which reads “the proponent has committed that the …

Read More...
SITE SURVEILLANCE — The snow avalanche risk zoning map for the Jumbo Glacier Resort day lodge and service building, the foundations of which were poured last fall. White Zone indicates low risk, Blue Zone indicates Moderate Risk, and Red Zone indicates high risk.  Image submitted

UPDATE: Report places Jumbo service building in high risk zone

Posted on April 24th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff

A recent avalanche risk assessment report for Jumbo Glacier Resort has garnered a fair bit of attention in recent weeks. The report was conducted by Dynamic Avalanche Consulting Ltd. and addressed the location of the foundations of a day lodge and service building (laid by developers last October) with respect to two major avalanche paths in the area, finding that the service building foundation lies partially within a high risk zone and the day lodge foundation partially within a moderate risk zone.
“In early November last year, …

Read More...

Invermere deer cull on hold, Victoria group proposes new method

Posted on April 24th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff

The Invermere deer cull is on hold until December but urban deer management continues to generate attention in municipalities across the province, with a recently formed group in suburban Victoria trying to launch a whole
new approach.
The deer cull in Invermere came to a halt in March, with a total of 26 deer culled in 2015, when the municipality’s permit for the cull — granted through the provincial Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) — expired.
“Our permit ended in March and that will be …

Read More...

Valley teen prepares for judo nationals

Posted on April 24th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff

A member of the local judo club is heading to the Canadian national championships as part of Team BC in May.
David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) student Emma Norquay, 14, will be the Invermere Judo Club’s first representative at the nationals in several years. Emma has her green belt in judo.
“It’s exciting, but I’m also a bit nervous because this is the first year I’ve been really competitive with judo,” said Emma, who has been part of the club since she was six years old.
Emma earned her …

Read More...

Invermere OCP bylaw receives second and third reading

Posted on April 17th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff

A proposed bylaw melding Invermere’s Official Community Plan (OCP) with its Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (better known as Imagine Invermere) received second and third reading at the most recent Invermere council meeting.
The bylaw has been the subject of considerable discussion in recent weeks, having drawn 38 people to a public hearing in mid March and prior to that, a delegation of 15 concerned citizens to an early March council meeting. Most of the concern centred around agriculture land preservation and boundary expansion. In response to this …

Read More...

Proposed RV resort for Canal Flats in the works

Posted on April 17th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff

A rezoning bylaw for a proposed new RV resort development in Canal Flats will see some changes before coming back before village council next month.
A proposed bylaw had appeared before Canal Flats council at its meeting earlier this week, on Monday, April 13th, for first and second reading, but got as far as first reading before council recommended staff adjust it.
“We postponed it because there are some issues in the bylaw that staff will need to do some research on and then make some changes,” said …

Read More...

Relocation reduces Invermere rail crew

Posted on April 17th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff
The Invermere-based Canadian Pacific rail crew has been reduced by one third, with a pair of Maintenance of Way employees having recently been transferred out of the Invermere area.
The two employees are now based out of Parson (south of Golden). The move comes as part of a larger shuffle by the company and drops the number of Canadian Pacific staff at the Invermere detachment from six to four.
“We have done a recent reorganization of our maintenance of way employees. No jobs were lost in the area; …

Read More...
REGIONAL SEMI-FINALISTS — Shilo and Ben Cameron (top photo - band name Dandelions) and Pioneer/Valley Echo editor Nicole Trigg (songwriting name Niki Trigger) have been voted into the second round in the CBC Searchlight contest. Both are aiming to make the top 10 in the Kelowna Radio West region and move on to the national round.

Columbia Valley songwriters make CBC’s regional semifinals

Posted on April 15th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht, Pioneer Staff

Upper Columbia Valley musicians are making waves in the CBC Searchlight competition.
In this year’s version of the annual Canada-wide contest, entries from two local musicians — In the Mountains by Pioneer/Valley Echo editor Nicole Trigg (a.k.a. Niki Trigger, her songwriting pseudonym) and Take Me There by Ben and Shilo Cameron (their band name is Dandelions) — have survived the first round of voting to move into the regional semifinals.
“I’m blown away. Clearly I have a really supportive community of friends, family and co-workers who …

Read More...
EERIE CALM — The grounds outside the Canal Flats mill on Tuesday, April 7th. With layoffs coming on May 4th, production at the mill is set to be cut in half. Photo by Lizzie Midyette

Canal Flats mill employee airs grievances against Canfor

Posted on April 10th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
With the previously announced mass layoffs at Canal Flats mill less than a month away, one Canfor employee at the mill has come forward saying the company’s promises to make the transition as smooth as possible are not as great as they were initially made out to be.
When Canfor made the announcement about the layoffs back on February 5th, company public affairs director Corinne Stavness said the reduction would be from two shifts to one, affecting 81 Canal Flats mill employees, all of whom would be offered …

Read More...

No criminal record for IDPS president in trap tampering

Posted on April 10th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
An Invermere resident charged with mischief and with disguising his face (wearing a balaclava) with intent to commit an offense will not be getting a permanent criminal record after being given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay fines in court in Cranbrook last week.
Invermere Deer Protection Society (IDPS) president Devin Kazakoff had been charged with offences following a clover trap tampering incident in Kimberley in February 2014, and the case had been in Cranbrook Provincial Court ever since. Clover traps are used to catch deer and …

Read More...
SPRING FUN — The valley is well and truly in its shoulder season, with snowboarders such as these two at Panorama Mountain Resort on Saturday, April 4th still on the hills and golfers already on the fairways and greens. Photo by Nicole Trigg

Panorama and Fairmont team up for spring deal

Posted on April 10th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Panorama Mountain Resort and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort are teaming up to help season pass holders from both resorts beat the shoulder season blues with some great cross-promotional perks.
Under a deal between the two resorts, Fairmont ski hill season’s pass holders will be able to ski free on Panorama’s Discovery Zone quad chairlift, Silver Platter lift and its carpet lifts, as well as getting a 50 per cent discount on lift tickets for the rest of the mountain until Panorama closes on Sunday, April 12th.
In return, Panorama …

Read More...

Valley farmers’ input wraps up OCP public hearing

Posted on April 3rd, 2015 by


The public hearing on the proposed bylaw melding Invermere’s Official Community Plan (OCP) with its Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (better known as Imagine Invermere) wrapped up earlier this week.
The hearing had begun two weeks prior, on Tuesday, March 17th, but was recessed and then reconvened on Tuesday, March 31st, in order to give the public more opportunity to comment.
At the latest instalment of the public hearing, valley rancher Dave Zehnder gave a presentation on behalf of the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute, conveying the organization’s comments on elements of the …

Read More...
The Amazing Jeremy

Local magician prepares for his greatest act

Posted on April 3rd, 2015 by


The Amazing Jeremy has a new trick up his sleeve.
Local Shuswap magician Jeremy Stevens (better known by his stage name — the Amazing Jeremy) is set to pull off his most audacious feat yet, with plans to make a person completely disappear in front of a live audience at the Invermere Community Hall next weekend.
“To make somebody disappear, it’s a really big step in a magician’s career. Making your own illusion is not easy and for mine, there’s going to be a twist at the end,” said Jeremy.
The local magician, …

Read More...

Fuze set to open in new location

Posted on April 3rd, 2015 by


The owners of Fuze Food are clearing the air around some discussion that has arisen surrounding its move to a more permanent location.
“In light of the recent advertisement in the paper, we’d like to clarify the situation by announcing our new location. We’re taking over the Fat Boyz 2-For-1 Pizza location (near Subway), which is exciting because we’ll be open year-round,” said Fuze owner Sarah Adamson.
The ad was in last week’s Pioneer and was not paid for or endorsed by Ms. Adamson or her partner Justin Futa. The ad touched …

Read More...
TAKE ME THERE — A still image from the new tourism marketing video of the Columbia Valley.  YouTube screen shot

New YouTube video highlights summer in the valley

Posted on March 27th, 2015 by


Following on the success of the Columbia Valley Whiteway winter tourism marketing video, the same crew has just recently launched a summer promotional video of the valley.
The five-minute long video, this time entitled Take Me There – Columbia Valley, was put up on YouTube on Wednesday, March 18th by the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“We wanted to represent what it feels like to live and spend time here in the valley and we wanted to capture the emotions that come with that,” said video producer and project manager Courtney Allen, …

Read More...
CARING COMMUNITY —Once again, the local community is reponding to a family in need —this time the Campbells. Forrest Campbell has had to undergo extensive surgery in Calgary after a skiing accident at Panorama. Photo submitted

Valley community pulls together for Campbell family

Posted on March 27th, 2015 by


The valley has banded together to help a local family in a time of need.
Longtime valley resident Forrest Campbell was severely injured in an accident on Sunday, March 15th while skiing on the frontside of Panorama Mountain Resort. The exact nature of his injuries have not been disclosed, but ski patrol attended the scene immediately and Mr. Campbell was flown by helicopter to Invermere and District Hospital before being transferred to Foothills Hospital in Calgary, where he underwent seven hours of surgery and where he remains as of press …

Read More...