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No stopping restriction for Kootenay National Park lifted

Posted on June 24th, 2016 by


Motorists driving through Kootenay National Park in need of a break from driving, or simply wanting to pull over, now can with Parks Canada having officially lifted the temporary “No Stopping Zone” for an 11-kilometre stretch of Highway 93 South.
The restriction on pulling over during this stretch has been put in place for the last four years on an annual seasonal basis as a safety precaution to keep both motorists safe as well as bears coming out of hibernation safe so they feel undisturbed. This year, the restriction was put …

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Merv Kirker was one of several guests "captured" during the Run, Ride, Rock the Ranch, helping raise an additional $4,000 for the Westside Legacy Trail. Photo by Nikki Fredrikson

Legacy Trail fundraiser a huge success

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


Cow patty catapults, blacksmith demonstrations, bike and hike tours, and a pig roast — the Run, Ride, Rock the Ranch event was a success. The Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance held Run, Ride, Rock the Ranch at the K2 Ranch on Saturday, May 21st, with family fun games and activities from 2:30 to 5 p.m. and a ticketed dinner and dance in the evening.
“We were happy to raise $50,000 dollars,” said Greenways events co-ordinator Kim Turgeon. “It was a huge success. It was contributed to by a little more …

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Rusty the Moose celebrates five years in the Columbia Valley

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


Drive through the town of Invermere and there are a number of different things that you could stop and point out that are unique to the area. No doubt there are the picturesque mountains or the two beaches in the community that you will remember, but another image you’ll leave with, no doubt, is Rusty the Moose located just out front of The Artym Gallery in downtown Invermere.
Believe it or not, it’s been just over five years since Rusty arrived in Invermere on April 18th, 2011, looking over traffic …

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MEETING OF MINDS —The first meeting at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce to discuss the need for a public transportation route from the valley to Calgary took place in early May and attracted a sizeable group that included local seniors who shared their concerns. Photo submitted

Public transportation from Invermere to Calgary eyed

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


For those looking for public transportation between the Columbia Valley and Calgary, good news may be on its way. Members from around the valley have been meeting at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce in hopes of finding a reasonable solution to bring back a bus line in order to get to the closest metropolitan area.
Up until last fall, Greyhound had been running a public bus from Cranbrook all the way to Calgary that made several stops in neighbouring communities such as Invermere, Windermere, Canal Flats and Fairmont Hot …

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BIG TIME — Local author and former Pioneer publisher Elinor Florence launched her debut wartime novel, Bird’s Eye View, locally at Pynelogs in November 2014. File photo by Dan Walton

Invermere author’s Bird’s Eye View a national bestseller

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


It’s not often a national best-selling author lives in your own backyard. In the Columbia Valley, though, Elinor Florence just joined an exclusive club with her novel, Bird’s Eye View, that was recently named to both the Toronto Star’s and Globe and Mail’s bestseller lists.
She still can’t believe it.
“Well, it’s absolutely just the most wonderful thing and completely unexpected,” Ms. Florence told The Pioneer. “I don’t belong to a writing group, I’ve never been to a writing conference, I’m not plugged into the whole writing community in Canada. …

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DAZZLING DUO — Infinity Solstice (left) and Lightning Lix are bringing their timeless show to Strand’s on June 24th. Photo submitted

Infinity Solstice and Lightning Lix to perform at Strand’s

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


“Timeless and relevant.” That’s the best way Infinity Solstice, known as the Bright Wizard of Destiny, can describe the music that he and Ray Monroe, known as Lightning Lix, will be performing at the Strand’s Old House Restaurant on Friday, June 24th.
The duo has been working together for a little over a year, according to Mr. Solstice, and have developed a fair bit of chemistry in their performances. Mr. Solstice speaks high praises of Mr. Monroe’s work.
“Nobody can play guitar like that guy, he’s absolutely astounding,” he said. “He’s just …

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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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A traditional dancer performs at the 2015 National Aboriginal Day Celebration at Lakeshore Resort & Campground. Photo by Marlene Chabot

Celebrate First Nations culture at Lakeshore for Aboriginal Day

Posted on June 17th, 2016 by


Akisqnuk First Nation’s Lakeshore Resort and Campground will be the location for the Columbia Valley’s National Aboriginal Day Festival
on Saturday, June 18th.
The Akisqnuk First Nation is working with the neighbouring Shuswap Band to organize the event, which will start with a pancake breakfast (by donation) served from 9 a.m. followed by a Grand Entry of Chiefs and Elders with dancers of all ages and drummers at 11 a.m. There will also be food vendors on site, as well as craft vendors in Lakeshore’s teepee circle, craft activities (mini teepee …

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Members of city council, business owners and the general public, including Invermere mayor Gerry Taft and Invermere Inn manager Josh Estabrooks (shown here) met at the Invermere Community Hall on Thursday, June 2nd to brainstorm regeneration of downtown ideas.

Main Street Boost Program Comes to Invermere

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


This past week members of the community have been working alongside Invermere council and the National Trust for Canada for a special regeneration project. It’s called Main Street Boost, a program that aims to enhance the downtown core of the community. Jim Mountain, director of regeneration projects at National Trust for Canada was in Invermere B.C. last week meeting with the community to work through the beginning stages of planning.
“Regeneration is a name we use for taking the assets of the community, the natural, cultural, human aspects, and …

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Training Day-- The District of Invermere tests its sprinkler system to determine the water efficiency for its property. 
Photo Submitted.

Water conservation program, a smart move

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


Since 2013, when the District of Invermere joined the Columbia Basin Trust Water Program, there has been an increased focus on lowering water consumption within the town of Invermere.
This year the District took that one step further, hiring Andrea Smillie as the Water Smart Ambassador to lead education and water conservation efforts throughout the community. Ms. Smillie is the first Water Smart Ambassador for Invermere who will focus her efforts on outdoor water usage, specifically residential irrigation which accounts for nearly half of residential water usage during the summer …

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Area F recognizes Andersons as volunteers of the year

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


From the rolling green hills of Northern Ireland to the frigid cold atmosphere of Canadian hockey rinks, it’s been an interesting journey for Graeme and Noelene Anderson who recently were awarded volunteers of the year for Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Area F.
It’s been a decade since the Anderson family arrived here in the Columbia Valley in 2006. New to the area, it was their son Luke who brought the family into the hockey scene, signing up in the Windermere Valley Minor Hockey Association. It was at that …

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Ultimate Frisbee--Competitors battle in a classic game of Ultimate Frisbee as they will this Friday in Invermere. 
Photo Provided.

Nation-wide Ultimate game makes its way to Invermere

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


Starting on Friday June 10th at 4 p.m., people from across the country will be lacing up and gathering in local communities such as Invermere to take part in the annual Art Hawkins Great Canadian Ultimate Game.
The Art Hawkins Great Canadian Ultimate Game boasts to be the world’s longest annual Ultimate game, being played in 35 communities across Canada with several international communities in Cambodia, Dublin, Dubai and Malaysia participating this year as well.
The annual game will start in Ottawa at 4 p.m. on Friday, being played …

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Mayor Gerry Taft, File Photo

Invermere mayor aims to become next local MLA

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


It seems far away now, but the day is rapidly approaching for people to go to the polls to determine the new MLA for the Columbia River-Revelstoke riding. Among those putting their name in the hat to replace incumbent Norm Macdonald is current mayor of Invermere Gerry Taft.
Mr. Taft’s roots are deeply engrained in the town of Invermere already, growing up in the town before joining town council at the age of 20 in 2002. By 2008, Mr. Taft was elected as the mayor of Invermere and began serving …

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Butchers extraordinaire--Konig  Meat and Sausage Company owners Craig McGowan and Michael Hecken show off the awards they won at the Great Canadian sausage Making Competition. Photo by Eric Elliott

Konig duo bring home more ribbons

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


For the fourth consecutive year, the team from the Konig Meat and Sausage Company has left the Fraser Valley Food Show’s Great Canadian Sausage Making Competition with multiple awards for a variety of their delectable sausage products.
Held on April 2nd this year, the Fraser Valley Food Show judges some of the best sausages made by 18 different butchers from across the country. This year, co-owner Craig McGowan said the team took home five-second place finishes in the competition.
“It’s really competitive,” Mr. McGowan said. “It’s a serious thing when …

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River access battle gets set to boil over into large-scale protest rally

Posted on June 10th, 2016 by


The fiasco over access to the Lower Canyon of the Kicking Horse River — which appeared on the verge of resolution just a few weeks ago — is still not settled, although the rapidly rising river, swollen with spring runoff, temporarily cooled any controversy and prevented what otherwise would have been a bitterly disappointing Victoria Day long weekend for rafting companies.
The reprieve was momentary, however, and the disagreement is set to reach fever pitch in a few day at a potentially massive protest rally.
The issue flared to national and provincial …

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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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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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