|  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.

EMP EMERGENCY — Students, parents and traffic mesh haphazardly on 20th Street, where the Eileen Madson Primary School Parents’ Advisory Committee is asking the district to consider building a dedicated walkway for students. Since these photos were taken, the district has put up temporary No Parking signs on the north side of the street. Photo submitted

Parents’ group presses council to include student pathway in budget

Posted on January 27th, 2015 by


The Eileen Madson Primary school Parents Advisory Committee (PAC) is pushing hard for a designated walkway along 20th Street to be included in the district of Invermere’s 2015 budget, even as time to do so runs short.
The PAC had presented their safe concerns about students walking to and from the primary school along congested 20th Street, and proposed a walkway as a solution, at a council meeting this past November. Council resolved at the meeting to put up temporary No Parking signs to relieve congestion on the street (which was …

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New cougar spotted in CastleRock area

Posted on January 23rd, 2015 by


The cougar that had become too comfortable with close proximity to humans was killed in CastleRock yesterday, but another has been spotted in the area today.
Local conservation officer Greg Kruger said there have been two calls this morning reporting a cougar walking through the CastleRock area, adding both reports said the cougar appeared to be just passing through and left quickly as soon as it became aware of humans being present.
“We’re going to monitor this cougar’s activity and if there a public safety issue we’ll respond accordingly again,” said Mr. …

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Ever-popular Wild Game Banquet returns

Posted on January 21st, 2015 by


The Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club is gearing up once again for its ever-popular Wild Game Banquet. This year is the club’s 96th anniversary, and the formal banquet has been running for at least 20 years.
“It’s a dinner and dance thing and it’s a tremendously fun time.
We get constant feedback from people on how much fun they had. People look forward to this event every year,” said club president Rick Hoar. “It’s also the club’s major fundraiser of the year.”
The menu at the banquet traditionally includes a scrumptious …

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CHARITABLE CHRISTMAS — From left to right are Stephen Ostrander (food bank), Pat McLaughlin (food bank), Gabe Quenneville (lifeguard), Tim Lynch (lifeguard), Shonna Murphy (pool manager) and Pascal vanDijk (FHSR president and CEO). Photo by Dean Midyette

Free Christmas soak at Fairmont pools brings in big donation

Posted on January 16th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Christmas spirit was in the air at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort during the holiday season.
The resort’s annual Swim Free with a Donation event — combined with money raised during the resort’s staff Christmas party — resulted in the resort handing over $3,805 and a SUV full of food to the Columbia Valley Food Bank.
“We were really pleased with the donations. It’s probably the most the event has raised so far,” said Fairmont Hot Springs director of sales and marketing Nancy Hetherington. “We really appreciate the support we …

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Local resident wins travel photo contest on 70th birthday

Posted on January 16th, 2015 by


Timing couldn’t have been better for this year’s Pioneer travel photo contest winners.
Radium Hot Springs residents David and Marilyn Goldsmith were randomly drawn as the winners of the annual photo contest (in which readers submit photos taken with a copy of the Pioneer at destinations around the world) on Wednesday, January 14th — which just so happened to be David’s 70th birthday. And if that wasn’t coincidence enough, when the Pioneer phoned the couple to inform them, it turned out they not in Radium as normal, but instead were celebrating …

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New B.C. hunting allocations causing concern

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The local rod and gun club is joining its voice with that of the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF) to raise concerns over the province’s proposed changes to hunting allocation policies.
The new changes to the Wildlife Allocation Policy outlined by provincial Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operation Steve Thomson in a letter to the BCWF range from an 80-20 split favouring resident hunters in some regions for some species to a 60-40 split favouring resident hunters in other regions for other species. The splits …

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Valley remembers charitable spirit of Tiger Open founder

Posted on January 7th, 2015 by


A man with longstanding connections to valley passed away just before Christmas, but many will remember him for years to come.
Robert “Tiger” Thygesen is probably most widely known in the valley for starting and running the Tiger Open golf tournament at the Windermere Valley Golf Course. The charitable events raised funds for the Alberta Children’s Hospital. It was held 19 times and raised a cumulative total of $1.4 million.
“He was kind of a social organizer at the mill (in Skookumchuk, where Tiger worked for more than 30 years), always organizing …

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Rod and Gun Club sets its scope on deer relocation

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley Rod and Gun Club is volunteering to help with any efforts to relocate the urban deer living in Invermere.
In a letter to Invermere council sent in late November, and received at the most recent council meeting on Tuesday, December 16th the club volunteered its labour, equipment and expertise to the district for the live capture, transport and relocation of mule deer.
“We have the skill base, we have the expertise and we have equipment,” club president Rick Hoar told The Pioneer, pointing out the club …

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MMBC leaves valley with no styrofoam recycling option

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A local resident is shining a light on how the province’s new recycling program, Multi Material B.C. (MMBC), fails to provide an option for dealing with styrofoam products located here in the Upper Columbia Valley.
Wayne Collens was surprised to learn that, under MMBC, the only recycling depots in the East Kootenay accepting styrofoam products are in Cranbrook, almost an hour and half’s drive away.
“This means that no styrofoam will be recycled in the Columbia Valley, with an estimated population of 8,000, because of distance,” wrote Mr. Collens …

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New festival highlights winter events in valley

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The valley will mark this winter season with a new festival.
The Winter In Motion festival, which runs through January and February, bundles many of the valley’s longstanding winter events into a single package.
“We just wanted to highlight everything that does go on here (in the winter) in one wrapping,” Columbia Valley Tourism Marketing Committee chair Andrea Tubbs told The Pioneer.
Doing so makes it easy for visitors to look up everything going on in the valley at once, rather than having each individual event clamouring for …

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EMP EMERGENCY — Students, parents and traffic mesh haphazardly on 20th Street, where the Eileen Madson Primary School Parents’ Advisory Committee is asking the district to consider building a dedicated walkway for students. Since these photos were taken, the district has put up temporary No Parking signs on the north side of the street. Photo submitted

Advocacy for EMP walkway ramps up

Posted on December 29th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The walk to and from school is a bit safer for Eileen Madson Primary students now that Temporary No Parking signs are up on the road near the east entrance and back parking lot of the school, but the issue of student safety in the area is not yet fully resolved.
Representatives from the school’s Parents’ Advisory Committee (PAC) were at the Tuesday, December 16th Invermere council meeting to thank council and district staff for the signs along 20th Street, but also to ask the district to consider …

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OUTDOOR FLICK — This year’s local screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will feature about 12 films potentially including Sufferfest 2 (shown here).    Photo submitted

Banff film festival returns to valley

Posted on December 29th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Outdoor movie lovers will once again be able to kick off the new year with the local screening of the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour.
“We have such a diverse group of people living here in the valley and with so many outdoor films, there is something to please everybody, whether you are into action films, nature films or something more educational,” said organizer Penny Powers. “A lot of the films are inspirational in an outdoors sort of way, and that really fits the personality of the …

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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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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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