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World record attempt at Pano

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley community is being presented with another chance to break a Guinness World Record. This time, it’s part of a Canada-wide effort — to make the most snow angels simultaneously in multiple locations on the 75th anniversary of Canadian Ski Patrol Day, taking place this Saturday, February 6th.
The snow angel record (which currently stands at 15,851 snow angels) was selected as the one to break on Canadian Ski Patrol Day because ski patrollers are viewed as the guardians on the snow — the effort to …

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Invermere resident Amelia Smart, 18, made the Canadian National Development Team last June and has competed in two European races so far this season. Photo submitted

Up-and-coming local skier grows her racing career

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
An 18-year-old Invermere inhabitant joined the ranks of the Canadian National Development Team this past June.
Amelia Smart, who now focuses on the technical slalom and giant slalom skiing events, began skiing at the mere age of four. In 2015, Ms. Smart began competing nationally and internationally.
“I started a ski racing program when I was 10, but it wasn’t very competitive until U14, which is ages 13 and 14,” she explained by email.
The allure of competing as a racer first appealed to Ms. Smart when she discovered the …

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Home care for seniors coming soon

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
The goal of reducing isolation and building strong relationships for seniors living within the Columbia Valley could become a reality for those in need of help coping with the daunting realities of daily life.
The provincially-funded Better at Home program will be offered in the Columbia Valley through its host organization, Family Dynamix, to help seniors with simple day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes and remain connected to the community.
“The valley brought the program to the community,” said Eirikka Brandson, …

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Summit Program Co-ordinator Kelsey Prichard

A safe Summit for inspiring youth

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Dorothy Isted
Special to The Pioneer
It is likely a surprise to some that the Summit Youth Centre has operated in the valley for 21 years. Another interesting aspect of the centre is the high quality of staff employed there. Summit seeks to be a safe place where teens aged 12 to 18 can come six days a week, either to just hang out or to learn something beneficial. The centre’s goal is for the youth of the Columbia Valley to get actively engaged in their own future, by supporting, inspiring …

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Michael Van Horne

Ovation for Van Horne

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
Editor’s note: This is the third story in a series of six featuring local golf pros who made the Professional Golfers’ Association of BC Top 100 list for 2015.
Michael Van Horne was ranked #41 by the 2015 Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) of BC for his efforts at the Fernie Golf and Country Club.
The 36-year-old, who lives in both Invermere and Fernie, felt “honoured” by his recognition in the third annual Order of Merit offered through the PGA of BC and hosted by Sunice.
“I’ve been playing golf for …

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GET YOUR RACE ON! — The Starlight Challenge course at the Fairmont Hot Springs Ski Area awaits those skiers and snowboarders with a need for speed looking for fun times every Friday night in February. Photo submitted

Recreational racing returns to Fairmont ski slopes

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
The 33rd Annual Starlight Challenge has returned to the Fairmont Hot Springs Ski Area this winter.
Recreational snowboarding and ski racing between adults (19+) will commence tonight (February 5th) at 7 p.m. and runs every Friday night until the end of February. Each competitor will have the opportunity to take two runs before 9 p.m. A staff person will record both of their times (with electronic timing) and determine the difference in time between both runs — the goal is to have the time recorded for the second …

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In honour of Puppy Love 5, Fire Vixen Tattoo owner and artist Sarah Eastick showcases the five dogs she has acquired and the Bull Mastiff she is currently fostering — all through GALS. She hopes to raise over $10,000 for the local animal rescue group at this year’s Puppy  Love fundraiser.  Photo by Breanne Massey

Rescued animals assisted with Puppy Love

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
Sarah Eastick is using the power of art to make a mark on a Columbia Valley cause that is dear to her heart.
The Invermere resident, who owns and operates Fire Vixen Tattoos in both Invermere and Golden, will be raising proceeds for Invermere-based animal rescue group Global Animal Lovers (GALS) at this year’s annual community fundraiser, Puppy Love 5.
She, along with several other tattoo artists, will be offering fresh ink to animal lovers and tattoo enthusiasts between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Invermere Community …

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A503-Lake-of-the-Hanging-Glaciers

Historic guide identified

Posted on February 5th, 2016 by


Dear Editor:
Thank you for your great little paper and all the historical photos.
I recognize this photo (January 29th Historical Lens) of the Lake of the Hanging Glaciers from our family collection because of the unique boat.
Can’t identify anyone with any certainty, though the man on the right could be my great-grandfather Walter Nixon, a local guide and outfitter in the early part of the 20th century.
I know he loved to build raft/boats anytime he set up his base camp near a lake or pond so he could get to the …

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VIRAL PROPOSAL — The image of valley resident Stu Bilodeau proposing to Karla Bliss a few weeks ago (above) was captured, unbeknownst to the couple, by a pair of professional Calgary photographers. When the photographer posted the photo to their Facebook account trying to find out who the couple were, it generated waves of attention across Canada. Photo by Mike + Diane Photography

Valley resident’s heartfelt proposal goes viral

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
After GPS coordinates failed to help a valley woman locate her boyfriend in -20 degree Celsius weather in the Banff National Park, the Invermere man nearly abandoned the scavenger hunt-themed wedding proposal he had spent several months planning.
Stu Bilodeau, 30, had planned to meet his girlfriend, Karla Bliss, 28, on December 30th under the premise of a lunch date that reunited the couple following an absence over the holidays, all while secretly planning to pop the big question.
“I had the ring for a few months and Karla …

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Local couple make land commitment

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
K2 Ranch owners Bob and Barb Shaunessy have joined with Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) to establish a conservation covenant on 11,000 acres (4,500 hectares) of grasslands of their ranch.
“Ever since purchasing the ranch we have been committed to restoring and conserving this land,” said Bob Shaunessy in a recent press release. “As the oldest working cattle ranch in the Columbia Valley, dating to 1898, the K2 Ranch deserved to be restored to her former glory. We are delighted that our partnership with the Nature Conservancy …

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Lacey Maria rings in 2016

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
After three hours of labour, Rebecca and Michael Hecken welcomed their daughter into the world — the first baby to be born at the Invermere and District Hospital in 2016 — a fortnight ago.
New Year’s Baby Lacey Maria Hecken was delivered by Dr. Jane Fleet at 6:43 a.m. on Saturday, January 16th. The newborn arrived at a healthy weight of seven pounds and 14 ounces.
“My contractions really started at about 3:30 a.m.,” said Mrs. Hecken, 26. “I called my Mom to come down and watch (our son) …

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Works begins on resident strategy

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Dorothy Isted
Special to the Pioneer
More than 65 people, more than the number registered, turned out at the Columbia Valley Lion’s Hall on earlier this week to engage with elected officials and MDB Insight, a company contracted to look at ways to bring in more permanent residents to the Upper Columbia Valley.
Invermere mayor and Permanent Resident Strategy steering committee chair Gerry Taft welcomed the guests on Tuesday, January 26th and said the goal was not to create a document that would sit on a shelf but they were looking …

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Branding and marketing committee proposes single valley-wide DMO

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Dorothy Isted
Special to the Pioneer
The Columbia Valley Branding and Marketing steering committee presented an intriguing idea earlier this week — a way to generate more marketing dollars so everybody from non-profits to small and large business owners can increase their profitability.
The proposal is to create a single Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for the entire Columbia Valley. Currently we have two: Invermere/Panorama and Radium. Canal Flats and Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Areas F and G, including Fairmont Hot Springs, are not currently aligned with a DMO. …

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Rod and Gun Club president Rick Hoar.             File photo

Valley readies a fine feast as Wild Game banquet returns

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
American comedian Jay Leno once said that taking a hunting trip with Dick Cheney might not be on everybody’s bucket list.
However, experienced hunters should weigh up their catches of the past season and allow foodies to delightfully reap the benefits of consuming wild game at a major fundraiser for local outdoors enthusiasts.
The Wild Game banquet hosted by the Lake Windermere District Rod and Gun Club is being held at 5:30 p.m. at the Invermere Community Hall on Saturday, February 20th.
“It’s been running since the mid-50s as a …

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Moose Hide hits home

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
Domestic violence is an issue that hits home for many people around the globe, but the Moose Hide Campaign is hoping to put an end to it by urging men to take a stand against violence for women and children.
Debra Fisher, who serves as both the Columbia Valley Metis Association (CVMA) president and Shuswap Indian Band’s (SIB) education co-ordinator, has begun distributing small square moose hide pins to the community to honour the cause and help it gain traction within Canada.
“It’s an awesome initiative because it’s men-driven,” …

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Dr.-Mike-Baker

Sweet spot from reducing sugar intake

Posted on January 29th, 2016 by


Natural Health
By Dr. Mike Baker
Pioneer Columnist
As part of my practice, I routinely discuss the benefits of a healthy diet and consistently find that cutting back on sugar is a critical component of patients getting better. This not only helps their present concerns but may also help prevent diseases and conditions associated with excess sugar such as: alzheimers; cancer; diabetes; cardiovascular disease; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; tooth decay; and obesity.
Recently, a study confirmed that replacing sugar with healthier options can result in impressive health improvements. The study changed the diets …

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IMG_4335elon

Fundraisers planned for Goldie family

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
After being diagnosed with Stage 4 Glioblastoma (brain cancer), Tim Goldie and his family are welcoming support that has been flooding in from the Columbia Valley community.
A Support Timmy fundraiser event, featuring a silent auction, will be held at Panorama’s Great Hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday, January 30th to help raise money to cover the costs of Mr. Goldie’s travelling to Calgary, Alberta for chemotherapy and researching treatment options worldwide.
The fundraiser will also have plenty of family fun and games.
“I think as a small business …

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Valley revs up for charging station network

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
The growing popularity of electric car charging stations has taken off in B.C., and now the East Kootenay region is looking into developing just such a network with strategic locations.
Megan Lohmann, head of community energy management at the Community Energy Association, is encouraging the Columbia Valley to create efficient travel options for commuters and tourists alike, while offering drivers an alternative to reduce greenhouse gases.
“Electric vehicle charging stations and electric vehicles have been increasing in popularity, particularly in the Lower Mainland and all through the corridor down …

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Elk poachers convicted

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by


By Breanne Massey
Pioneer Staff
Local Ministry of Environment conservation officer Greg Kruger has voiced concerns about the dangers of poaching and is urging the community – along with hunters and wildlife advocates — to be mindful about wildlife conflicts and to crack down on those who hunt illegally.
Mr. Kruger acknowledged two men from Canal Flats were recently convicted of several BC Wildlife Act offences in Invermere Provincial Court on Monday, January 11th after the duo illegally shot a cow elk dead on March 16th, 2015.
“The big message that the conservation …

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Acoustic duo at Safta’s and Horsethief

Posted on January 22nd, 2016 by


By James Rose
Special to the Pioneer
The Raven & The Fox, an acoustic duo based out of Canmore, will be performing at Safta’s on Sunday January 24th at 6 p.m. and at the Horsethief Creek Pub & Eatery on Monday January 25th.
The duo can best be described as a love-inspired folk-pop act. Julie Chang’s smooth, sultry vocals over Sean Isaac’s moody acoustic riffs offer outstanding melodies paired with passionate lyrics. 
Hailing from Canmore, the energy of the Rocky Mountain town’s alpine environment and mountain lifestyle can be felt in the quality …

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