|  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.

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, …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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; …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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HELMETS ARE COOL —The first meeting for the new local campaign aimed at convincing teens that it’s cool to wear a helmet took place on March 18th. Left to right are Columbia Valley Rural Fire and Rescue Service fire chief Jim Miller, Oscar Mejia, Don Steedman, Crisanna Macleod, Crisdon Chaisson, Rhythom Chaisson and Anne Newhouse with Summit Youth Centre co-ordinator Kelsey Prichard in front. 
Photo courtesy of Rob Dunn/The Valley Peak

Campaign kicks off to convince teens to protect their skulls

Posted on March 27th, 2015 by


A local resident is starting a new initiative to get valley teenagers to wear helmets while cycling.
Crisanna MacLeod is enlisting the help of businesses, the RCMP and local volunteers to help get the message across to local teens to put their helmets on.
“Little kids do wear helmets on their bikes; teens however just don’t wear them,” said Ms. MacLeod. “They will put them on if you ask, but as soon as you’re not around, at the beach or at the skate park, they tend to take them off. And obviously …

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HOCKEY HIGH —Shamrock Lake in the Purcell Mountains has become the location of the newest hockey craze in Canada thanks to Panorama-based RK Heliski. The bottom left photo is the one recently featured in a Huffington Post article titled “We Aren’t Kidding That This Is The Most Canadian Photo Ever.” Photos submitted

Helihockey with RK Heliski proves to be a big hit

Posted on March 27th, 2015 by


RK Heliski has recently begun offering one of the most unique winter recreational options anywhere in the country.
Starting on Sunday, March 15th the Panorama heliski operation began its “helihockey” packages, in which participants fly up to a remote, frozen, high-altitude mountain lake to play a game of hockey.
“Nobody else is offering something like this as far as I know,” said RK manager Graham Holt. “It is a true pond hockey experience. There has not been a single person who has come back without a smile on his or her face.”
The …

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Invermere council responds to community critique

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by


Invermere council has gone back on changes it made to the latest draft of an updated Official Community Plan (OCP), following recent public outcry.
The latest revisions (termed the “changes to the changes”) centre around agricultural land use and boundary expansion, and were unveiled just prior to a public hearing on a proposed bylaw that melds the OCP with the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (better known as Imagine Invermere), which took place on Tuesday, March 17th.
“(Committe of the Whole) did meet yesterday (Monday, March 16th) and has made significant changes or …

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ROLLICKING ROCKER — Singer-songwriter Amy Bishop promises an energetic, electic performance at Strand’s on March 27th. Photo submitted

Vocal talent en route to Strand’s

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by


Singer-songwriter Amy Bishop is coming to the valley for her first-ever show, bringing her soulful vocals and acoustic sound.
“I’ve never been to Invermere and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Ms. Bishop, who will be playing at Strand’s Old House Restaurant next weekend.
The singer-songwriter hails from Calgary and has been playing music professionally since 1998, during which time she’s developed a unique sound.
“It’s really eclectic. There’s some old stuff, some new stuff, some covers, some originals. You could call it acoustic pop,” she said.
Ms. Bishop began singing as a …

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Chris Evans

CV Arts president steps down

Posted on March 20th, 2015 by


Longtime Columbia Valley Arts Council (CV Arts) president Chris Evans is stepping down after a decade at the helm.
“I think the most amazing thing for me has been the opportunity to work with a great group of people and see to the start of some great new initiatives,” said Mr. Evans. “Our orientation is to support emerging artists and I’m particularly pleased with how things have continued to evolved for CV Arts in that regard during the past 10 years.”
Mr. Evans and his wife Charleen bought a home here in …

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