|  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.

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Rally for river access draws hundreds to Golden

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


Rafting companies appear to be literally locked out of the Lower Canyon of the Kicking Horse River this summer by Canadian Pacific Railway, and a couple hundred residents of nearby Golden voiced their disapproval at a protest rally in the town earlier this week.
A crowd of about 200 people — rafting company employees (including guides from Radium-based Kootenay River Runners), members of the Golden business community, paddlers from across the Kootenay region and concerned members of the general public — gathered in Golden’s riverside park on Monday, June 13th, waving …

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Spring Hawes talks with Invermere residents at the formal launch event o her bid for the Columbia River Revelstoke NDP nomination

Former Invermere councillor views for NDP nomination

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


Former Invermere councillor Spring Hawes has announced that she will seek the NDP nomination in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.
Ms. Hawes sent an email on Tuesday, June 1st outlining her intent to replace current Columbia River-Revelstoke NDP MLA Norm Macdonald (who will step down come the 2017 provincial election to return to his teaching career) and then formally launched her nomination bid with an event at the Circle Cafe on Monday, June 6th.
“Earlier this year I had a call from some people with the B.C. NDP asking me to considering putting …

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Southeast Fire Centre bans large, open fires

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


Dry conditions in at least some parts of southeastern B.C. have led the Southeast Fire Centre to ban Category 3 open fires. 
The ban was effective on noon on Friday, June 3rd and the accompanying press release from the Southeast Fire Centre said the move was an effort to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. 
“Other areas of the Southeast Fire Centre are probably drier than the Upper Columbia Valley. It always come sooner or later, but with the wet conditions we’ve had here, I was surprised to see it as soon as we have,” said Columbia Valley rural fire and rescue services fire chief Jim Miller. “We’re actually in pretty good shape here, and they (the Southeast Fire Centre) are simply taking precautions about bigger fires.” 
Category 3 fires include any fires that are larger than two metres high or three metres wides, any group of two or more fires, and grass fires larger than 2,000 square metres.  
The prohibition does not apply to campfires, burn barrels or other open fires smaller than two metres high by three metres wide, or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes. 
The Southeast Fire Centre is asking that fires not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions, that adequate tools, water and people are on hand to contain the fire, and that people ensure fires are fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time. 
The prohibition covers all B.C. Parks, and Crown and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of municipal governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws and are serviced by fire departments. 
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca.

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WEB Sarah Award 1

Fuze owner wins Women In Business award

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 by


Fuze restaurant owner Sarah Adamson was recently recognized as one of the Kootenay region’s top women entrepreneurs, winning Kootenay Business magazine’s Influential Women in Business award.
Ms. Adamson was one of three women in the East Kootenay (and one of six in the entire Kootenay region) to earn the award in 2016, with winners announced at a ceremony in Cranbrook on Thursday, May 26th.
“It was really amazing. I was nervous to be in front of a huge roomful of talented, motivated women, and then to win. It was really humbling,” said …

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Intensive French program will stay put for now

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 by


The Intensive French Program at Windermere Elementary School will remain there for the next school year but it could potentially move in the future.
Rocky Mountain School District No. 6 recently sent surveys to parents in the school district’s Windermere Zone asking if they are interested in enrolling their kids in the program when the kids reach Grade 6 (which is when the program begins), and, if they are interested, whether they would prefer that the junior years (Grades 6 and 7) of the program run at Windermere Elementary School or …

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WEBKootenay Business Mag - Roberta and Laurie

Community foundation launches Vital Signs survey

Posted on June 3rd, 2016 by


The Columbia Valley Community Foundation has launched its Vital Signs survey and is encouraging local residents to help shape the valley’s future by filling it out.
The Vital Signs is a sort of community check, being conducted by community foundations across the country, that seeks to measure the vitality of communities, evaluating key aspects of each community that contribute to its quality of life and identifying significant trends.
The valley’s version of the survey was launched on the Columbia Valley Community Foundation’s website (www.valleyfoundation.ca) earlier this week, on Tuesday, May 31st and …

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Former Invermere councillor Spring Hawes aims to replace outgoing MLA Norm Macdonald as the NDP nominee for Columbia RIver-Revelstoke.

Former councillor Spring Hawes seeks provincial NDP nomimation

Posted on June 2nd, 2016 by


Former Invermere councillor Spring Hawes has announced that she will seek the NDP nomination in the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.
Ms. Hawes sent an email to her friends and contacts on Tuesday, June 1st outlining her intent to replace current Columbia River-Revelstoke NDP MLA Norm Macdonald, who will step down come the 2017 provincial election to return to his teaching career.
“In discussions around his (Macdonald’s) stepping back, my name came up as a potential candidate to be the next NDP nominee in our riding,” wrote Ms. Hawes. “Some months ago I was …

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Athalmer boat launch in need of upgrade

Posted on May 27th, 2016 by


Invermere council will look at the possibility of improvements to the Athalmer boat launch, after getting a report at its most recent council meeting suggesting some upgrades need to be done.
Aquaparian Environmental Consulting Ltd. completed an assessment of both of Invermere’s boat launches (Athalmer and Bayshore), which was received by council at its Tuesday, May 10th meeting, and voted to integrate boat launch improvements details into the review process for the 2017 budget.
The report outlines multiple problems with the Athalmer boat launch, reading that “the existing concrete boat ramp is …

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Radium course debris trucked to Alberta

Posted on May 27th, 2016 by


The demolition debris pile at the Radium Course that came to provincial attention when it caught fire earlier this year is being hauled away to Alberta, a move that one of contractors doing the work has pointed out means a substantial chunk of lost revenue for the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).
Valley resident Glenn Findlay is helping to haul the waste material. He told The Pioneer that initially it was heading to the landfill in Windermere, run by the RDEK, but that the Radium Course switched to dumping …

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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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