|  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.

Couple’s dream house burns to the ground

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by


After living in your home for 30 years, having built it with your own two hands, it’s hard to imagine anything more devastating than watching it burn to the ground. For Brisco residents Vern and Candice Snively this awful scenario became their reality last weekend, as the two were forced to try to douse their flaming log home alone — firefighters not able to attend since the couple’s home lies outside of any municipal or regional fire district.
“It was a log structure there when they moved in. =There were no …

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DOI council hears community concerns at the Westside Park public hearing

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by


The District of Invermere heard from local residents on the proposed Westside Park gas bar development plan at a public hearing on Monday, April 10th.
Developer Barry Brown- John presented his plans for the property, if council grants amendments necessary for the gas station to be built on the already commercially zoned property. The Westside Park property currently has C-3 zoning, which allows uses such as video store, beauty salon and barber shop and a convenience store. The amendments would change the zoning to allow for a gas bar. …

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Unsanctioned Kindersley trailbuilder loses court case

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by


On Wednesday, April 5th the Honourable Judge L. Doerksen came to a verdict in the David Pacey versus Parks Canada legal case.
Mr. Pacey took the stand earlier that day to make his case, fighting two counts of damaging flora, fauna, or a natural object, a contravention of the Canada National Parks Act. Mr. Pacey used the defence of due diligence and the defence of necessity to justify his actions of working on and altering the Kindersley Pass Trail without the requisite permission.
In attempting to use due diligence as a defence, …

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Greenways Trail Alliance announces 2017 Trail Vision

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by


On Friday, April 7th Greenways Trail Alliance held a public meeting to present their trail vision and recommendations to the community. The event had 100 community members in attendance to hear what plans Greenways has for the future of trails in the Columbia Valley.
“The Trail Vision document is the ‘beginning’ and it does not make decisions on trails. It is the initial point of discussion and to get the decision makers involved at a planning level. Which trails get developed and when is the next step,” said Greenways Trail …

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Wolf fatality in Dutch Creek-Findlay Creek prompts warning

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by


A suspicious wolf fatality in the Dutch Creek-Findlay Creek has conservation issuing a further warning to recreational users of the area to watch for strychnine poison. Conservation had issued a warning after the poison was found in the area in early march. The poison is a fatally toxic colourless crystalline powder that was found in white cupcake wrappers.
Conservation responded to a call on Monday, April 10th to the area after a concerned member of the community had discovered the animal. The carcass of a mature wolf was found dead …

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Cougar sighting on lower Johnston Road

Posted on April 13th, 2017 by


Residents are being reminded that Invermere is cougar country and to be mindful of that when out and about in the outlying areas of town. The public should be aware that a mother cougar and two young kittens have been spotted on lower Johnston Road. Conservation services have not had any formal reports made regarding the cats and conservation officer Greg Kruger says their is no public safety concern regarding the family.
“For the most, a cougar is going to be shy and allusive and avoid humans, she will be …

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Parks Canada lights fire in Kootenay National Park

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by


Kootenay National Park staff have been working hard over the past three years to prepare for a fire lit earlier this week in Sinclair Canyon. The prescribed burn, which was underway as the Pioneer went to press, will have crews burning from Tuesday, April 4th to Thursday, April 6th or Friday, April 7th depending on conditions, to help restore the natural habitat in the area.
“Essentially (there are) three main objectives, one is enhanced protection of the community of Radium Hot Springs by building a fire guard between it and …

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Canal Flats seeking more volunteer firefighters

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by


Not many will drop everything at a moments notice to go cover a fire or assist a community member in medical distress, however, Canal Flats Fire Department is hoping to find more people interested in getting involved. The fire department operates as a volunteer-run department relies on their 12 volunteer firefighters and seven volunteer first aid attendants to respond to emergencies within the community.
“We average two to six fire calls a year is our max but we get some months we get 10 first aid calls the average is …

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Al Miller celebrity lunch raises funds for youth centre

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by


The Windermere Valley Youth Centre Society is preparing for its second annual celebrity luncheon with special guest star Al Miller. The event raises funds for the Summit Youth Centre, an organization that supports local youth from all over the Columbia Valley.
“The Summit Youth Centre is a drop-in centre for youth age 12 to 18 from the Valley, from Canal Flats, Spillimacheen. Any youth is welcome to walk through our doors membership is free,” said president and board chair for the Windermere Valley Youth Centre Society Sherry Doerr.
The youth …

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Easy Rider Snowboard Cup Celebrates 30 years

Posted on March 31st, 2017 by


As the snowboard and ski season winds to a close, Panorama Mountain Resort will host the 30th annual Easy Rider Snowboard Cup April 1st and 2nd. The event is a fun way for snowboarders of all ages and abilities to get out on the hill for one last competition.
“It is a banked slalom event; it’s a snowboard event too, by the way. There are no skiers allowed and basically the run is built with lots of banked turns around gates and in a couple cases trees,” said event founder …

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MLA candidates react to new wildlife management model

Posted on March 31st, 2017 by


B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson has announced a new wildlife management system — the province will be re-investing all revenue from hunting licences into the enhancement of wildlife activities.
The government will form a new agency in the fall of 2017 with $5 million as start-up funds and will ultimately operate off of $9 to $10 million in hunting licence revenues. The BC Wildlife Federation congratulated the province on their commitment to wildlife; this new agency has been something the BCWF has been advocating …

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Commercial development being considered again for Westside Park

Posted on March 31st, 2017 by


It has been years since owners of Westside Park, Barry and Pat Brown-John, have applied to changed the zoning on their property to allow for commercial development.
Now, the Brown-Johns are reapplying to make changes to the C-3 Zoning and amendments to Bylaw 1520. If successful in their rezoning application, the Brown-Johns plan to develop a convenience store with a gas bar adjacent to the Westside Park neighbourhood. The changes would also allow for a small restaurant, personal care services, and a health facility.
“The major gist of the rezoning turns around …

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Local Freeride Club sends three athletes to Jr. Nationals

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


For the first time in the history of the Panorama Mountain Freeride Club, three young athletes were sent to compete at the Junior Nationals at Le Relais in Lac-Beauport, Quebec. Olivia Gibson, 14, from Calgary; Thomas Burnyeat, 14, also from Calgary; and local Avery Gerle, 17, all competed in the Mogul competition from March 6th to 12th.
“They did fairly well; it’s a completely different field for them, so they actually did very well, they put down good clean runs. They don’t have the same degree of difficulty as, for …

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Valley Zipline Adventures breaking ground

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


Adventure awaits for those daring enough to take on the Valley’s first zipline course just three kilometres from the Village of Radium Hot Springs. Valley Zipline Adventures is three months away from their grand opening in mid-July, however, co-owners Krista Berg and Patrick Tolchard confirmed to The Pioneer that construction official begins next week.
“The parking lot is next week and then the property cleanup will happen right after, and then June 6th is when the builders come in to put the lines in,” explained Mr. Tolchard.
Ms. Berg and …

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Manny Osborne-Paradis ends his season on a high

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


A lifestyle change and new equipment are what Invermere’s Manny Osborne-Paradis is crediting for his jump from his 28th ranking in the world to 11th this ski season.
Finishing up his season in Aspen at the AUDI FIS Ski World Cup finals, Mr. Osbrone-Paradis just missed the podium in the downhill competition by 0.07 second to end the race fourth.
“Bittersweet, getting the last three races 4th, 5th, then 4th. It would be nice to be getting podiums and such, but that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes,” said Mr. Osborne-Paradis. …

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Art from the Heart poster winner chosen

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


This year marks the 12th annual Art From the Heart art show, with a theme of Canada: Our Perspective. For the show, five elementary schools will showcase their student’s creations — over 700 pieces of artwork from students across the Columbia Valley will be on display at Pynelogs Cultural Centre.
Each year, one student’s art is chosen as the poster image for the show, the winner’s work selected from works submitted by all five schools. This year, Anna Thompson, a Grade 6 student at Windermere Elementary School, had her painting selected …

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All Candidates Forum date announced

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


As the provincial election nears, Valley residents will have the opportunity to hear each candidate’s opinions at the All Candidates Forum set for Thursday, April 27th at the David Thompson Secondary School theatre. Dean Midyette, chairman of the All Candidates Forum Committee, spoke to The Pioneer about the format of the event.
“Eight questions will be asked and each candidate has two minutes for prepared statements. Once each candidate has spoken to the question, then a five minute open debate will take place. Speaking order will be rotated through the candidates,” …

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B.C. premier meets with local Chamber

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


This year marks the fifth consecutive balanced budget the province of British Columbia has announced and on Friday, March 10th, B.C. Premier Christy Clark joined East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce building at the Invermere Crossroads to discuss the budget and its impact on rural B.C.
The Premier started her speech by discussing the importance of job creation, stating that when her government introduced the BC Jobs Plan, the province was ninth in jobs creation in Canada, but “today we’re number one in job …

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Errant trailbuilder’s court case begins

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


The Honourable Judge L. Doerksen heard arguments from Crown Prosecutor Rebecca Smyth in Invermere Court on Thursday, March 9th regarding the David Pacey case. Mr. Pacey is facing two counts of damaging flora, fauna or a natural object, which is a contravention of the Canada National Parks Act.
Mr. Pacey was found, on April 20th, 2016, using a Swede saw to remove a sapling tree from the path on the Kindersley Pass Trail in Kootenay National Park. The Crown brought forward four instances where Mr. Pacey engaged in conversation with …

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East Kootenay MLA Bill Bennett announces provincial budget

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


On Friday, March 10th, MLA of East Kootenay Bill Bennett presented the B.C. provincial budget at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. The event was a chance for Chamber members to hear from both Mr. Bennett and Premier Christy Clark on how the budget will affect rural communities.
Mr. Bennett emphasized to the crowd that the province will continue to have a provincial debt, but the government is working hard to pay off the operating debt.
“What we’re trying to do in B.C. is we’re trying to pay the operating debt …

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