|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Nikki Fredrikson
Email: nikki@columbiavalleypioneer.com
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Nikki Fredrikson joined the Pioneer in after completing her bachelor of journalism major in public relations from Thompson Rivers University. She previously worked with the Pioneer as summer intern returning in early spring to experience more of what the Valley has to offer. If she's not in the office you'll find her covering an event, hiking the trails or kayaking on the lake.

RAMP not moving ahead without First Nations consultation

Posted on August 16th, 2017 by


It’s a plan that will help backcountry enthusiasts find balance while providing enforceable regulations to protect the terrain. As the only area in the East Kootenay without a Recreational Access Management Plan (RAMP), members of different community groups including Summit Trail Makers, Windermere Valley Snowmobile Club, Wildsight and local government officials have been meeting to get started on the process to create a Columbia Valley RAMP.
Noticeably missing from the previous RAMP meeting held in May was representation from local First Nations Bands, Shuswap Band and Akisqnuk First Nation (part of …

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Volunteering on the front lines

Posted on August 16th, 2017 by


During a time of uncertainty, hardship, and natural disasters, there are few who would drop everything to go assist total strangers in their time of need. Lana Banham is one of those few who left the safety of the Valley to enter some of the most-affected areas of the province from wildfires, to care for displaced animals.
Ms. Banham took training with the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team last year in order to prepare for any disaster that may occur in Canada. Responding to the fires in the Cariboo region of …

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Off-road vehicle restriction in the back country

Posted on August 4th, 2017 by


BC Wildfire Service has placed a ban on the use of an off-road vehicle for recreational purposes on Crown land. The prohibition includes the Southeast Fire Centre, Cariboo Fire Centre and Kamloops Fire Centre to help prevent human caused wildfires.
“The ban includes all of the southeast fire centre which includes the Elk Valley all the way to the Alberta border and all the way up to Revelstoke. This is a complete ban,” said Doug Clovechok, MLA for the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding.
Mr. Clovechok and fellow Kootenay East MLA …

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Columbia Valley Centre donors get first look

Posted on July 28th, 2017 by


Donors of the new Columbia Valley Centre were dazzled as they toured the new facility during the donor appreciation event on Saturday, July 22nd. The four tour leaders recalled many donors were excited about the new modern space and the events it will attract. The common first impression of the space was surprise surrounding the size, natural light and elegance of the building.
“I think it’s a wonderful building with so much potential and it’s so versatile and I think it’s going to bring so much more into the building. So, …

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Council approves car wash in Althamer

Posted on July 26th, 2017 by


The District of Invermere will see a new carwash operating in Althamer after council approved a three-year temporary permit at their council meeting on Tuesday, July 11th.
“We’ve given it for three years. He only asked for the summer but the thought was if the permanent plans get delayed or he runs into delays with engineering, instead of making him come back again, and going through it all over again next summer, let’s just give it for three years,” said Mayor Gerry Taft.
With the three-year permit, proponent Daniel Smith will …

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District not implementing tobacco bylaw anytime soon

Posted on July 20th, 2017 by


No resolution was made to make the District of Invermere a smoke-free environment after council heard a presentation from Interior Health on the Kootenay Smoke-Free Coalition. While it is something council may discussion in the future it’s not an issue of importance for the community at this time, according to Mayor Gerry Taft.
“My own opinion is it’s sorta nice to have. It’s not the most pressing issue so I wouldn’t want to see another issue drop off the list because we’re going to spend a lot of time and energy …

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Columbia Valley Classic Autumn Show & Shine gets new location

Posted on July 7th, 2017 by


After six years of being held at The Springs Golf Course in Radium B.C., the Columbia Valley Classic Autumn Show & Shine will be moving to a new location. The decision to move venues came after a misunderstanding during a planning meeting between the course and car club organizers. The Columbia Valley Classics decided after their planning meeting it was best for the event to move to Copper Point Golf Club.
“The club doesn’t want to feel like they’re being bullied into anything or pressured into things that …

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A sneak peek at the new multi-use centre

Posted on June 30th, 2017 by


As the new Columbia Valley Centre opens its doors to host the David Thompson Secondary School (DTSS) graduation dinner and banquet The Pioneer discussed the new space with Invermere mayor Gerry Taft. With a total of 17,000 square feet (1,600 square metres), the new space will house a variety of performances, banquets, fundraisers, sports and the library.
“You know it is, first and foremost, a replacement of the existing hall, so it is larger space but it will be able to function and host the same events that have been …

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Adapting to fatherhood: Forrest Campbell’s journey

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by


Little boys are often high energy, spending most of their free time outside riding their bikes, playing at the skate park, and skiing, with their family. As a father you’re often the one taking the boys out to wear off some of that energy, and for local dad Forrest Campbell over the past two years he’s learned how to adapt the way he plays with his boys Owen and Taylor.
Two years ago Forrest was in a skiing accident that left him quadriplegic but he has never let his road to …

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A father-daughter perspective on hiking the Hoodoos

Posted on June 16th, 2017 by


To celebrate Father’s Day, reporter Nikki Fredrikson and her dad Neil, each wrote their own account of hike here in the Columbia Valley:
Neil – the dad:
During one of my visits in early spring to see my daughter in Invermere, she convinced me to come for a hike at the Hoodoos in Fairmont. Now I let her pick the hike but before she even got out of the truck. I took charge of the route we were going to take up the hill.
Luckily we somehow managed to get up to …

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Trio of bears destroyed in CastleRock

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by


It’s easy to forget to bring in your garbage, it’s even easier to leave your barbecue uncleaned, and if you’re living in the Castle Rock community it seems especially easy to attract bears. Following a series of unfortunate events and an apparent switch to a non-bear-resistant garbage bin, three black bears were destroyed within 48 hours in the subdivision.
“Over the last week, I noticed that the bin in CastleRock was not a bear-resistant one; I believe both bins used to be bear-resistant. We asked Southeast (Disposal) to switch the …

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Bear un-aware

Posted on June 9th, 2017 by


By Nikki Fredrikson
Pioneer Staff
The journalist part of me was intrigued when I found out that there was a bear roaming around CastleRock, but the animal lover in me knew immediately there could be no positive end to this story. When I read a Facebook post discussing the bear and its confidence to walk on back decks I had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach knowing that this bear was destined to be destroyed.
While investigating the events that caused three black bears to be destroyed by local …

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Special Olympics athletes training hard at Valley Fitness Centre

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


Every Friday afternoon at the Valley Fitness Centre a group of dedicated volunteers and athletes get together to workout as part of the Special Olympics Club Fit program. The program typically has anywhere from three to six athletes coming to workout together to build healthy habits and friendships between the athletes.
“Club Fit was designed as one of the programs for Special Olympics to help the athletes not only stay in shape, but help them perform better and improve their performance in any of their activities that they’re doing,” said …

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Edgewater residents battle to get crumbling road fixed

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


Residents of Hewitt Road in Edgewater are raising concerns over unsafe road conditions after a spring flood in early May has left their road with large ditches and portions of the road missing. Their concerns have been growing as the residents have been dealing with a lack of road maintenance over the past two years.
On May 19th, 2015 the residents were told via email that a survey would be done on the road to look at fixing damaged culverts, erosion, and potential widening of the road but, according to residents, …

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Snowmobile club gets new groomer

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


After 15 years of actively fundraising, working with the Columbia Basin Trust, and the Village of Radium Hot Springs the Windermere Valley Snowmobile Club raised enough to purchase a $85,000 groomer.
“We got to the point now when we had enough funds available, that we went out to tender through four, or five businesses to find a groomer that met our stipulations, based on year and the amount of hours that were on the groomer. Once we found the location and the person selling one, we made the arrangements to …

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Motorcyclist survives rock wall crash at Sinclair Canyon

Posted on June 2nd, 2017 by


Inexperience and unfamiliarity with the area are to blame for a single-vehicle accident on Sunday, May 21st which resulted in the hospitalization of a 53-year-old male. The accident occurred at 11:45 a.m. when a motorcyclist lost control of his vehicle heading east near Sinclair Canyon. The driver overcorrected his motorcycle according to RCMP Sergeant Bob Vatamaniuck, which resulted in the driver hitting a rock face one kilometre from the Kootenay National Park entrance.
“When people are unfamiliar with typography and the geography of the area certainly we do see a high …

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DTSS production of “Spy School” takes to the stage

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


Since spring break students in the senior theatre class at David Thompson Secondary School have been spending their free time memorizing lines, researching the 1960s, and rehearsing during their free blocks at school to put together their production Spy School.
The play is set in 1961 where Jane Doe — played by Grade 12 student Melissa Weber — is drafted by the CIA to infiltrate a high school and locate a Russian spy.
“Jane Doe, she’s an ordinary teenage girl. But she is, as it says in the play, destined …

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Trio of Columbia Valley alpine racers eye Olympics

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


With the Winter Olympics coming up this February three local skiers — Amelia Smart, Manny Osborne-Paradis, and Benjamin Thomsen — are one step closer to the Games. The trio of skiers have been nominated to the 2017-2018 Alpine Canada team after meeting criteria this past season.
For Ms. Smart, the nomination takes her from the development team and skiing on the North American Circuit (NorAm) to the World Cup level.
“Training wise it will definitely stay the same, but it might be a bit different during the season because I’ll …

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Radium construction continues

Posted on May 26th, 2017 by


Construction at the Radium Hot Springs Pools and along nearby sections of Highway 93 will continue throughout the summer season as upgrades and safety improvements are underway. Work being carried out at the pools is being done to ensure the facility meets current building codes and safety requirements while reducing environmental footprint by using modern heating technology according to a press release from Karin Smith marketing coordinator, Canadian Rockies Hot Springs.
The project is working to improve habitat for rubber boas, a species of snake that is of special concern …

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A&W co-owner wins Rotary award

Posted on May 19th, 2017 by


“I think you got the wrong guy,” was what Eric Vanderkruk, co-owner of A&W, said when he received a call from Eric Redeker from the Rotary Club of Invermere, saying he was selected as the Rotary’s Citizen of the Year.
“It was quite interesting because we were in Durango, Colorado. We just arrived and we were looking for a parking spot to park our trailer and Eric phoned. It was shocking,” said Mr. Vanderkruk.
According to his wife Liz Vanderkruk, the call wasn’t a surprise as she knew that Krysta Helmer, …

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