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Steve Hubrecht
Email: steve@columbiavalleypioneer.com
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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.

Crew shooting feature film in Invermere

Posted on May 20th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff

Invermere is about to see a little bit of lights, camera and action as cast and crew for a new feature film descend on the community from Halifax and Toronto to shoot their movie starting next week.
Those behind the film, entitled Suck It Up, have been working on it for several years and are excited to be on the verge of filming, which is scheduled to happen in and around Invermere from May 25th to June 15th.
“I still don’t believe that we are finally at this point,” …

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Horsepower limit proponent corrects misinformation

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Transport Canada’s public comment period on the proposed 20-horsepower limit for the main stem of the Columbia River may have closed a few weeks ago, but discussion on the matter continues to swirl in the Upper Columbia Valley, and proponents of the regulation are not only attempting to make their views known, but also frequently trying to clarify that the horsepower limit would not apply to Lake Windermere or Columbia Lake.
Several sources have conveyed, incorrectly, that the lakes would be part of the proposed regulations, including a …

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Grants enable women’s workshops

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Columbia Valley women looking to learn more about running their own businesses or getting into the trades will have more opportunity to do so this year, with two local women having received separate grants to run a series of workshops.
Invermere residents Steph Van de Kemp and Theresa Wood are among 19 women across the whole province to earn Catalyst for Growth grants, which are given out by the Women’s Enterprise Centre to initiatives that help encourage more B.C. women to get involved in business, trades or other …

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BALANCING ACT — Maren Gillies on beam at the Kootenay Zone Championship. Photo submitted

Glacier Peaks shines in zone championship

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Glacier Peaks Gymnastics club recently attended the Kootenay Zone Championship for the first time ever and put in a fantastic performance, with the club’s Junior Olympic girls Level 1 to 3 team winning the championship.
The Level 1 to 3 team (Megan Bell, Maren Gillies, Emily Bell and Aurora St. Amand) had a complete podium sweep in the all-around event as well as in several individual events.
“I was overwhelmed with excitement. We train in such a small facility and we were going up against girls that train …

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MAVERICK MOUNTAINEER — Valley resident and CMH co-founder Leo Grillmair, now in his 80s, is the focus of a new film that’s screening at Pynelogs on May 25th. Photo submitted

Film documents life of famous valley resident

Posted on May 13th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A film featuring the outrageous yet true stories of one of the Upper Columbia Valley’s most famous residents will be shown at Pynelogs.
The hour-and-a-half-long film centres around Canadian Mountain Holidays (CMH) co-founder Leo Grillmair (who, along with fellow co-founder Hans Gmoser, pioneered heliskiing) reminiscing about some of his more hair-raising exploits.
The project was the idea of valley resident David Goldsmith, who has been hiking with Mr. Grillmair for almost two decades.
“You would be sitting around the campfire listening to his stories — surviving a helicopter crash, …

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Wetlands conservation proposal incites backlash

Posted on May 6th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors recently passed a motion in support of the proposed horsepower limit on the main channel of the Columbia River, with the issue continuing to generate discussion here in the Columbia Valley.
The board voted at its Friday, April 8th meeting to send a letter to the federal Minister of Transport requesting that the proposed 20-horsepower limit on the river (excluding Lake Windermere and Columbia Lake) be approved.
“The RDEK has worked closely with the proponents of this regulation …

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WORKPLACE WIZARD — Kicking Horse Coffee CEO Elana Rosenfield accepts the award for being ranked number 10 in the 2016 Best Workplaces in Canada list. Photo submitted

Kicking Horse Coffee one of Canada’s top workplaces

Posted on May 6th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Kicking Horse Coffee has pressed its way to national recognition as a great place to work.
The local company has made headlines for years as Canada’s top organic, fair-trade coffee brand, and last year was named the 15th best mid-sized workplace in country by the Great Place to Work Institute. This year Kicking Horse Coffee climbed higher up that list to 10th place, and was named 16th best workplace in Canada for women.
According to chief executive officer Elana Rosenfeld and employee experience manager Meghan Watson, earning this kind …

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Information of Mecoprop spraying in Radium clarified

Posted on April 29th, 2016 by


The son and spokesperson of a herbicide contractor based in Wilmer is responding to a story in last week’s Pioneer about use of Mecoprop around a Radium Hot Springs condominium, clarifying some of the information brought forward by the couple quoted in the story.
The herbicide contractor Wayne Frater is currently away in Montreal for several weeks and unable to speak to The Pioneer, but his son Everett told The Pioneer that while he understands the concern of Radium residents William Nolin and Susan Oddy, some of their points may have …

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Bikeswap

Bike swap offers good deals for good cause

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by


The Columbia Valley Cycling Society’s annual bike swap is just around the corner.
The highly anticipated event is one of the society’s major fundraisers and always offers great bargains on the 40 to 50 used bikes that the swap typically elicits.
“It’s for a good cause as the cycling society uses the funds raised to maintain and build (bike) trails for everybody to enjoy,” said organizer Darcy Martin. “There are usually a lot of good deals as well as a really good selection of kids’ bikes.”
The swap will be held Saturday, April …

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Swing band comes to Strand’s

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by


A stripped down version of band with a long history of valley shows will make another appearance here this weekend, with half the members of the Alberta-based Polyjesters taking to the stage at Strand’s Old House Restaurant.
Polyjester lead vocalist Sheldon Valleau and lead guitarist Adam Young are playing the show, going under the name Half Polyjesters, as the other two members of the band are unable to attend, but Mr. Valleau vows concertgoers will enjoy the duo as much as the full four-man band.
“It’s going to be a unique show, …

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RDEK directors ask province to delay Jumbo’s voting seat

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by


The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors voted at its most recent meeting to ask the province to amend the letters patent for Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality in order to push back the time when the Jumbo is scheduled to take a seat at the RDEK table to January 2020. Furthermore, the board is encouraging the government to further amend the letter patent to link a voting RDEK seat for Jumbo municipality to a minimum permanent population and assessment value.
The motion was initially put forward by …

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Riverstone Villas residents expressed concern about the effect of pesticides on wildlife

Radium residents question pesticide use

Posted on April 22nd, 2016 by


A pair of Radium Hot Springs residents are expressing concern about pesticide use at their condominium complex.
Susan Oddy and William Nolin live in the Riverstone Villas condominiums near The Springs Golf Course and recently noticed warning signs posted around the property saying that pesticides were being used to control weeds such as dandelions. Alarm bells started ringing for Mr. Nolin and Ms. Oddy when they read that Mecoprop was among the pesticides used.
“It’s one of the most common pesticides used, but also one of the most controversial,” Mr. Nolin told …

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Public input sought on horsepower limit for Columbia

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The federal government is seeking feedback on a long-discussed proposed regulation to keep high-powered motorized boats off the main stem of the Columbia River between Invermere and Golden, as well as the main stem of the river near Fairmont Hot Springs.
As previously reported in The Echo on March 16th, the idea of such regulation was first floated more than 10 years ago and was then the subject of discussion among municipal officials and various stakeholder groups for a period of several years, before a consensus on a …

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New mine south of Golden eyed

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A proposed mine and the related silica processing plant near Golden became the subject of an exchange of letters between local Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald and Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett.
The points of disagreement between the two are well-covered in Mr. Bennett’s letter in the April 1st edition of The Pioneer and Mr. Macdonald’s response in this edition, but neither letter contained a detailed background of the planned Horse Creek Hi-Test Sand silica mine plant for those unfamiliar with it.
The Horse Creek project has been the …

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Retired RCMP sergeant gets send-off party

Posted on April 8th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Former Columbia Valley RCMP Staff Sergeant Marko Shehovac has been retired for almost a month, but his formal sendoff will happen next weekend.
Mr. Shehovac’s official retirement party will be held on Saturday, April 16th at Copper Point Resort and organizers say it will be a fitting occasion for a man who has served the Columbia Valley so well for the past six-plus years.
“In the past six years, I have had the unique experience of seeing the Columbia Valley’s Marko in action. From racing kids on the track …

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Brothers take Zelda to legendary heights

Posted on April 1st, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A pair of valley brothers have earned national recognition for being hardcore fans of the classic video game Zelda.
The original Nintendo game “Legend of Zelda” was launched in 1986 and grew to become one of the company’s most successful video game franchises, with 17 other Zelda video games following in the next 30 years. At the end of February, Nintendo announced a Canada-wide Ultimate Zelda fan contest, asking Zelda fans to create and submit short videos showing why they are the games’ foremost fans.
Invermere residents Landon and …

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Tax season delivers surplus of scams to valley

Posted on April 1st, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A number of Upper Columbia Valley residents have been on the receiving end of attempted scams in recent weeks, and the acting commander of the local RCMP detachment says such fraud incidents always increase a bit when the deadline to file income tax returns approaches.
“There does seem to be a bit of a jump around tax season, with people phoning and claiming to be Revenue Canada. They tend to use scare tactics to try to pressure people,” said Columbia Valley RCMP Corporal Grant Simpson. “Common sense dictates …

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Take care during tick season

Posted on April 1st, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Tick season is back in the Upper Columbia Valley.
A recent press release from Interior Health warned B.C. residents that warmer conditions across the province mean that ticks — which can carry Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other diseases — are active once again. The press release said ticks are most often found in tall grass and wooded areas, and advised covering up before heading outdoors as well as checking for ticks, especially on younger kids (who are less likely to be aware of tick bites) …

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Support sought for senior athletes

Posted on April 1st, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The local BC Seniors Games Zone 7 (East Kootenay) organization has a new executive that is aiming to ramp up participation in the event.
The organization has been sending out letters recently to East Kootenay businesses seeking financial support, so that the Zone 7 team has a bit more money to help with travel expenses.
“From what I understand, there’s typically been about 25 to 30 East Kootenay participants in the Games (which are for people 55 or older),” new Zone 7 president John Boucher told The Pioneer, …

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REHOMED — Two Invermere deer leave the transport trailer at the release point, west of Canal Flats.  Photo by Ian Adams

Deer relocation study moves to monitoring phase

Posted on March 25th, 2016 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The urban deer relocation trial study being conducted in several East Kootenay communities, including Invermere, has completed the capturing and moving of deer and is now monitoring the progress of them in their new, more natural habitat.
The relocation study team was in Invermere on Monday, February 22nd through to Wednesday, February 24th, during which time the biologists and volunteers involved managed to catch 13 deer and then release them into the backcountry west of Canal Flats.
“Our capture work has wrapped up. Overall, it went fairly well,” lead …

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