|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

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.

Shuswap chief Barb Cote

New Shuswap chief determined to make a difference

Posted on December 19th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
New Shuswap Indian Band chief Barb Cote and first-time councillors Timothy Eugene and Rosalita Pascal have been busy since the band’s early November election.
“We have so much going on at this time, “ said Ms. Cote. “For me, the learning curve, it’s been the equivalent of taking a PhD in a whole range of subjects all at the same time.”
Ms. Cote said she’s treating the position of chief as a full-time job, and she and the councillors are wrapping their heads around not just band administration and …

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Familyyyyyyy2

Local family celebrates victory over cancer

Posted on December 19th, 2014 by


Christmas spirit is shining brightly in the valley this year, even more so for one family that has come triumphantly through a battle with cancer.
As reported four years ago in The Valley Echo, Crisanna McLeod’s daughter Crisdon Chaisson struggled with a rare form of cancer called ameloblastoma in her jaw. Thanks to surgery in Vancouver General Hospital, Crisdon has beaten the cancer and, three years later, life is back to normal for her, her mother and her two kids, Ataya and Rythom.
“It’s just this year that I’ve finally let …

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New Shuswap chief charges ahead

Posted on December 18th, 2014 by


New Shuswap Indian Band chief Barb Cote and first-time councillors Timothy Eugene and Rosalita Pascal have been busy since the band’s early November election.
“We have so much going on at this time, “ said Ms. Cote. “For me, the learning curve, it’s been the equivalent of taking a PhD in a whole range of subjects all at the same time.”
Ms. Cote said she’s treating the position of chief as a full-time job, and she and the councillors are wrapping their heads around not just band administration and Aboriginal Affairs and …

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Volunteer group of students makes its mark on the community

Posted on December 16th, 2014 by


A group of volunteer students from David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) is making a positive difference in the community.
The high school’s Interac Club is sponsored by the local Rotary Club of Invermere and this year is made up of 11 students, most of them in Grade 11.
“It’s (the Interac Club) about doing things in the community to help out, and also to help us develop leadership skills,” said club president and DTSS student Blake Glassford. “We as students choose what we want to do to help the community, we fundraise …

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CHILI TIME — J.A. Laird students (clockwise from back) Summer Dixon Ingham, Kylee Farrell, Brylee Hutchinson, Desiree Barnhardt and Pressly Irons help fix up some delicious quinoa chili during the J.A. Laird Cooking Program on Friday, December 5th. Photo by Steve Hubrecht

Valley food bank helps get J. A. Laird students cooking

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Students at J.A. Laird Elementary School are cooking up a storm, with help from the Columbia Valley Food Bank.
The Cooking Program is now in its third year, and has been a smash success, according to those involved.
“It’s been absolutely great and it grows every year,” said J.A. Laird teacher Kyler Gauthier. “The program is a great way to engage students in school and help to build a sense of community within our classrooms.”
The program, which is funded by the local food bank, runs every Thursday and Friday …

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The point of no return – A scene in Norway from the 65th Warren Miller film No Turning Back, which the Earl Grey Lodge in Panorama Mountain Resort will be hosting the weekend of December 12th and 13th.  Photo by Sverre Hjornevik/Courtesy of Warren Miller Entertainment

Earl Grey Lodge screens Warren Miller flick to start season

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Ski movie fans will be delighted to know Earl Grey Lodge will be screening this year’s Warren Miller film during the upcoming opening weekend at Panorama Mountain Resort.
“Warren Miller’s movies are so iconic; they really create a buzz and we just wanted to embrace them,” said Earl Grey Lodge co-owner Phil Marshall. “We thought it’d be fun for families and friends to start the season off by enjoying time together while taking in a great film.”
The lodge will show the film in its new theatre, which it …

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COLOURFUL CLOTHING — Stripes owner Cassy Campbell shows off some of her apparel in her home office in Westridge. Photo by Steve Hubrecht

Stay toasty warm in Stripes

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A family’s love of the outdoors has helped spark the launch of a new Invermere business.
Cassy Campbell and her family took over Stripes Gear, which sells gloriously striped, colourful polypropylene (polypro) long underwear for adults and kids, and moved the business from Revelstoke to her home in Westridge a few months ago. Cassy says her past work in the ski industry and her family’s endless playing time outside give her just the right background to build the business up.
“My kids spend so much time outside. I know …

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Lake Windermere freezes up, but dangerous spot remains

Posted on December 3rd, 2014 by


Lake Windermere officially froze this past weekend, marking the start of winter in the valley and making Invermere resident Laura Penney the winner of this year’s Catch the Freeze contest.
Ms. Penney correctly guessed the freeze date of November 29th in the annual Lake Windermere Ambassadors-run contest and said she picked that date after learning that last winter the lake froze over on November 22nd.
“This year hasn’t been as cold, so I thought it would be about a week later,” she said, adding that she’s looking forward to skating on the …

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PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE — Forestry work being done through December on Lot 48 on the east side of Columbia Lake will result in some smoke. File photo

Restoration work and winter celebration in store for Lot 48

Posted on December 2nd, 2014 by


Valley residents living near Columbia Lake may see some smoke in the coming days, as the Nature Conservancy of Canada carries out ecosystem restoration work on Lot 48.
Lot 48 is an ecologically significant tract of land on the east side of Columbia Lake, owned and managed by the conservancy, and the organization will be thinning trees there for the first few weeks of December and burning the resulting slash, likely in the middle of the month.
“Basically some thinning crews will be going through and cutting small-diametre thickets of Douglas Fir …

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Funding for new Windermere reservoir pursued

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) board of directors voted at their most recent meeting to ask the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to change the scope of an already-approved grant for Windermere water system upgrades to allow for reservoir construction.
The directors also decided at their Friday, November 7th meeting to ask the ministry for a one-year extension on the grant from the Build Canada Fund, which is set to expire on March 31st. The board has already approved the re-allocation of Community Works Funds for expanding …

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CLOUD CONTROL — New technology at the Fairmont airport gives pilots the capacity to land in poor visibility. 
Photo submitted

New equipment gives Fairmont Hot Springs airport a lift

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


New navigation equipment that allows planes to land in most types of inclement weather means the Fairmont Hot Springs Airport now rivals the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook.
The Fairmont airport now has a Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) instrument approach and two GPS (global position system) departures, which, in conjunction with Fairmont airport’s new state-of-the-art Automated Airport Weather Station (AWOS), helps pilots safely land at the airport even with clouds hanging in the valley just 345 feet (105 metres) above the runway.
“We now have, after seven years of bureaucracy, …

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Crafty Christmas sales kick off season

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


With the holiday season just around the corner, two annual community sales are giving shoppers a head start. The Headwaters Arts Society will hold its Winter Art Show and Sale in Canal Flats this weekend and the annual Christmas Craft Sale at the Invermere Community Hall takes place the following weekend.
“We do an annual winter show for people looking for unique gifts,” said Headwaters Arts Society board member Leslie Cartwright. “There’s a lot of diverse mediums that our artists work in.”
The Headwaters show on Saturday, November 29th runs from 10 …

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FULL SERVICE STYLISTS — New Anglz Salon and Spa owner Corinne Patterson and Anglz stylist Jessica Heisler have the newly renovated salon (located behind Subway) up and ready for customers. 
Photo by Steve Hubrecht

New owner gives Anglz Salon and Spa a makeover

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


New Anglz Salon and Spa owner Corinne Patterson had been visiting the Upper Columbia Valley from her former home in northern Alberta for three decades before she finally decided a few months ago to move here and start running a business.
“I just fell in love with it (the valley),” said Ms. Patterson. “I sold almost everything, packed up the rest along with my dog, Marlie, and moved out here not knowing a single soul.”
Ms. Patterson’s enthusiasm for the valley is matched only by her enthusiasm for turning Anglz into …

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Flood of new volunteers stops Christmas Bureau from folding

Posted on November 21st, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Christmas cheer will continue in the valley well into the future, thanks to an outpouring of volunteer support in recent weeks for the Christmas Bureau.
“The board of the Christmas Bureau of the Columbia Valley would like to thank the community for answering our call for help,” said bureau chair Helen Wynder. “We managed to have 14 new volunteers join our society so we can once again supply gift food cards and angel gifts along with gift boxes to those in need in our communities.”
The charitable society has …

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Change not in the cards as valley votes back incumbents

Posted on November 18th, 2014 by


Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Unofficial results are in for this past weekend’s municipal elections, and the valley has voted resoundingly to keep things the way they are, with incumbents returning to office in every race.
In the only mayoral race in the valley, incumbent Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras beat challenger Dean Midyette 200 votes to 83 votes.
All three Invermere councillors seeking re-election succeeded and the fourth councillor, Al Miller, is again a familiar face, having previously served on council from 2008 to 2011. The only true newcomer to the Invermere council …

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Bill Thompson

Much-loved science teacher remembered by community

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A celebrated David Thompson Secondary School teacher passed away last weekend, leaving family, friends, and former students and colleagues recalling him with fondness.
Bill Thompson, who passed away on Saturday, November 8th, taught science and biology at the local high school from 1970 to 2005. He was affectionately know as “Mr. T” and “Biology Bill” and his teaching style and legendary field trips made a big impression on those around him. He had recently celebrated his 70th birthday in October.
“He loved this valley. He taught students how …

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Foodies bring home Italian ideas

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Several local Columbia Valley delegates recently attended the global Terra Madre slow food conference in Italy, and returned inspired about family farming.
Spring Hawes, Byron Leinor, Bill Swan, Ally Candy and Shannon Swan went to the conference in Turin from October 23rd to October 27th. The conference is held once every two years and this year the theme was “Celebrating Family Farms”.
“It was a really big gathering of people from all around the world. There were literally thousands of people getting together to talk about the values …

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New figure skating club coach comes full circle

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley Figure Skating Club is delighted with its newest coach Marni Kreutzer.
“It’s great for us. It can be tricky to get high-level coaches in a small town,” said club president Leanne Beddie. “We are so pleased to have Marni come coach at our club. It has been a smooth transition.”
Mrs. Kreutzer is a valley local and was a member of the club as a kid — it was at the club that she first began figure skating.
“Marni started her skating right here in Invermere at …

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SCHOOL’S SET —The school in Ghana that a group of local volunteers helped build in 2013 has been completed, much to the group’s delight.

One more school for Ghana

Posted on November 7th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Local students who helped to start constructing a school in Ghana a year and a half ago are delighted that the building is now finished.
The David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) students, eight in total, went to Nyameyekrom in Ghana during their March break in 2013 as part of a Me to We and EF Educational Tours volunteer trip, and during their time there helped begin what would turn out to be the year-long process of building a more permanent school for the community.
The village sent the volunteers …

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Deadly driving case draws to a close

Posted on November 7th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A long-standing case in Invermere Provincial Court finally came to a close earlier this week with the sentencing of a Vancouver man convicted of dangerous driving causing death in connection with a fatal accident in Kootenay National Park more than three years ago.
Jaswinder Singh Bagri — who was found guilty this past April on four counts of dangerous driving causing death after a four-day trial in March — was sentenced in Invermere court on Monday, November 3rd to three years in jail and a five-year driving prohibition …

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