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Juno-awarding winning musician coming to Valley

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


A veteran roots musician is making his way to Invermere for a pair of showS the first weekend in April, drawn here by his past as a snowboarding trailblazer.
Lester Quitzau spent much of his time in the late 1980s helping develop what eventually became the sport of snowboarding, and the friendships he formed then are bringing him to the Easy Rider Snowboard Cup at Panorama Mountain Resort where he will play during the awards ceremony on Sunday, April 2nd, preceded by a more intimate show at Safta’s in Invermere on …

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Valley business community wary of propane takeover deal

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


Concerns about a takeover deal between a pair of Canada’s largest propane companies continue to reverberate through the Columbia Valley.
As reported in the March 10th edition of The Pioneer, the $412 million deal signed in mid-February by Superior Plus Corp. to take over Canwest Propane from its parent company Gibson Engery Inc. — a deal that is scheduled to close later this year — is raising some wary eyebrows here in the Upper Columbia Valley since these are currently the only two major propane companies in the area.
Local politicians have …

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Locals push for cell phone coverage in Kootenay Park

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


A group of valley residents are lobbying to get cell phone coverage established in Kootenay National Park.
The idea of extending cell coverage had first been discussed as early as 2011, and eventually grew into a tentative proposal to build six cell towers in the park, but the plan ultimately never went through, with Telus citing, in 2014, the expense and lack of power sources for the towers as the main reasons it chose not to proceed.
Now, however, efforts — led by Invermere resident Tracy Litchfield — are underway to get …

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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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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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Jumbo petition presented in provincial legislature

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


The long-proposed Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort project may be at a standstill, but the issue continues to draw attention, most recently on March 14th when it was subject of what may be the largest single petition ever presented in the provincial legislature.
More than 61,000 signatures adorned a petition presented by Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald and Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall (both members of the opposition NDP) during question period in Victoria on Tuesday. The day prior, the petition had been presented by local environmental group Wildsight and apparel company Patagonia …

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Valley resident scores high at renowned cooking school

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


A valley resident with creative culinary flair recently made waves at one of the most prestigious cooking schools in the world, and is setting his sights high for his cooking career.
Lucas Ruault spent last fall attending the Ballymaloe Cookery School, which is based on an organic farm near Shanagarry at the southern tip of Ireland. While honing his already considerable kitchen skills, he enjoyed 4 a.m. morning tromps to visit the cows and pick fresh garnishes — and scored some of the highest grades the school has ever given out.
“It’s not …

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Relocation study tracks local deer, variable results

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


A recent update report on the East Kootenay urban mule deer trial translocation study that began last winter shows anything but a single clear trend.
The trial involved capturing urban deer living in several East Kootenay communities last winter, including Invermere, and relocating them to backcountry areas nearby. As many of the deer as possible were fitted with GPS radio collars, and biologists have tracked their movements ever since.
Lead study biologist Ian Adams emphasized that the results so far have been incredibly variable, with some deer having moved tremendous distances, and …

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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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Massive funding boost for Legacy Trail

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


Submitted by Greenways Trail Alliance
On Friday, March 10th, Bill Bennett and Premier Christy Clark jointly announced the Westside Legacy Trail project will receive a $1,000,000 BikeBC grant towards construction of the trail, which will link the communities of Invermere and Fairmont Hot Springs.
“If you think there is an echo because you keep hearing the Westside Legacy Trail just received a large grant, your hearing is fine — the project did receive two large grants in the last seven days totalling $1,500,000”, said Mark Halwa, executive director of Greenways. “With …

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Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey seeking volunteers

Posted on March 16th, 2017 by


Submitted by Rachel Darvil
Do you love the Columbia Wetlands, birds, and being outside? If so, participating in the Columbia Wetlands Waterbird Survey may be for you!
Migratory bird surveys will be occurring this spring from 8 am – 11 am on each of the three following dates:
• Monday, April 3rd
• Monday, April 10th
• Sunday, April 16th
We are currently seeking citizen-scientists like you to survey for birds near Golden, Parson, Spillimacheen, Brisco, Radium, Wilmer, Lake Windermere, Invermere and Columbia Lake. Read more here…http://wildsight.ca/events/columbia-wetlands-waterbird-survey/.
We also offer free CWWS training modules as follows:
In …

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$1 million grant presented to The Westside Legacy Trail

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


The Westside Legacy Trail received $1 million of funding from BikeBC, the announcement came from Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. The funding was announced at the Provincial Budget overview with Premier Christy Clark at the Chamber of Commerce.
“It’s very very exciting never expected it to come like this often you get a comment or call back from the ministry providing the funds, it’s pretty rare when you get the premier to come and deliver that news. Really happy, very …

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Green Party choses local candidate

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


The race to become the next Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA in this spring’s provincial election, which for so long was a two-horse race to replace retiring long-time NDP MLA Norm Macdonald, now features a nearly full slate of candidate, with a fourth contender announcing his intention to run under the Green Party banner earlier this week.
Columere Park resident Samson Connery Boyer may be just 18 years old, but he is gunning hard to make large gains — it not win this riding outright — for the Green Party come this May.
Mr. …

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Westside Legacy Trail prepares for spring construction

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


The long-proposed Westside Legacy Trail took another big step closer to reality last week, when it received a major funding boost from the B.C. Rural Dividend Fund.
Greenways Trail Alliance, which is spearheading efforts on the planned paved bike trail (that, when complete, will run between Invermere and Fairmont Hot Springs), discovered on Thursday, March 2nd that it will receive a $500,000 grant from the fund — the single large piece of funding for the project so far.
“It’s really exciting, it’s big news,” Greenways executive director Mark Halwa told The Pioneer.
The …

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Planned propane deal raised competition questions

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


A business takeover deal involving two major energy companies has left some Upper Columbia Valley residents worrying about a lack of competition for propane heating here.
Superior Plus Corp. signed a deal in mid-February to buy Canwest Propane from parent company Gibson Energy Inc. for $412 million, with the deal set to close some time later in 2017, once the necessary approvals are obtained.
The deal has prompted concern here in the valley, and has already resulted in one local municipal council — Invermere — firing off a letter, registering this concern …

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Avalanche Canada warns backcountry users to be careful in March

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


Avalanche Canada put out a special warning on March 2nd, reminding backcountry users to take extra care over the new few weeks
The bulletin was a generalized message rather than a specific warning, but cautioned that March is one of the worst months for avalanche fatalities in Canada, and targeted snowmobilers as well as backcountry skiers, pointing out that last year 80 per cent of the country’s avalanche victims were snowmobilers.
Invermere-based Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) certified ski guide and Canadian Avalanche Association professional member Brodie Smith, who has taught …

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Small Business owners meet with Wayne Stetski to discuss local issues

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


Nine members of the business community had the opportunity to sit down with Member of Parliament Wayne Stetski and District of Invermere’s Mayor Gerry Taft to discuss concerns and challenges they’re facing on Wednesday, March 1st at Circle Café in Invermere. The small business forum was the second of three forums Mr. Stetski is hosting in the Kootenay-Columbia riding.
One of the larger topics covered at the forum in Invermere was surrounding agriculture in the area, and the challenges with transportation of goods, regulations on herbicides and pesticides, and lack …

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