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Two Golden rafting companies are using helicopters to lift customers, guides, rafts and equipment into the Lower Canyon of the Kicking Horse River

Rafting companies take to the air to access Lower Canyon

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


Rafting companies running the Lower Canyon of the Kicking Horse River have come up with a creative solution to their loss of access to the iconic stretch of whitewater and are now using helicopters to airlift clients, boats and guides up and over Canadian Pacific railway tracks paralleling the river.
The rail company had earlier this springs told the rafting companies using the river, including Radium Hot Springs-based Kootenay River Runners, that they would not longer be allowed to simply walk across the tracks, as they had done for decades, because …

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Composting program on trail at Windermere landfill

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) is launching a new pilot composting system.
The project, which has come with the support and encouragement of the Groundswell Network Society, will run this summer in certain parts of the RDEK— one of which is the Upper Columbia Valley — and will accommodate nearly all kitchen scraps.
“Residents are now able to drop off their household kitchen waste at the Columbia Valley landfill (in Windermere),” said RDEK environmental services manager Kevin Paterson in a press release. “The composting bins for the public are specially …

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Hobnail and Hemp Rope team that re-enacted Conrad Kain's first ascent of Bugaboo Spire on its centennial in 2016.

Climbers re-enact famous Bugaboo Spire climb with antique equipment

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


Climbing a mountain is an arduous process in and of itself. Facing the environment, you’re scaling an unpredictable and life-threatening obstacle for the sake of saying you did it. Add in the fact that you’re climbing with equipment that’s been out of date for a century and the danger multiplies.
That’s what a group of four mountain climbers did last week, though, re-creating the climb of Bugaboo Spire that was first climbed by one of the legendary figures of Canadian climbing, Conrad Kain, in 1916.
Bryan Thompson, Rob LeBlanc, Garry Reiss …

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New 'N' Improved Network--Cyclists from the valley and beyond have been enjoying the expanded Lillian Lake Recreation Trails network that has almost doubled in size.

Cycling Club seeing the benefits of trail additions

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


Mountain bikers in the Columbia Valley are making the most of new trails created at Lake Lillian this year, with that success resulting in a push for even further additions to the cycling trail network in the not-to-distant future.
Starting this spring, the Columbia Valley Cycling Society (CVCS) unveiled an additional 13.8 kilometres of trails to the network at Lake Lillian for mountain bikers from within the valley as well as visitors to utilize. Originally, the trail network at Lake Lillian was only approximately 10 kilometres long, containing several difficult …

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Live it up Latino Style--Music lovers in the Columbia Valley are in for a treat when the famous Cuban band El Grupo Cubano plays at the Invermere Community Hall on Wednesday, July 27th.

El Grupo Cubano to make stop in Invermere

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


For the third time since 2013, El Grupo Cubano will be stopping in Invermere on Wednesday, July 27th as part of their tour across Western Canada performing their award-winning music.
Since 1999, the famous Cuban five-person ensemble has been performing their music while being featured daily on Cuban National Radio. They’ve even had the opportunity to perform for former Pope Benedict.
In 2003, the group first began coming to Canada as both a quartet and a quintet until 2007. After taking several years off from travelling north of the 49th parallel, …

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Gardener Mark Cullen wearing his Order of Canada pin.

Garden columnist Mark Cullen receives Order of Canada

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


Garden columnist Mark Cullen, who has his writing featured in The Pioneer and 30 other newspapers across Canada, has recently been announced as one of this year’s recipients of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest civilian honours.
Mr. Cullen is being appointed as a Member of the Order of Canada to recognize “his contributions to promoting and developing horticulture education in Canada and for his ability to explain how Canadians can protect the environment,” said the office of Governor General David Johnston.
For Mr. Cullen, his life has …

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Quality Control - Kent Shoemaker and the rest of the organizing committee for this year's Invermere MusicFest have organized a stellar lineup for this year's fest Photo by Nikki Fredrikson

Invermere MusicFest bringing the best to Kinsmen Beach

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of the story that ran in last week’s Pioneer featuring local music festival aficionado Kent Shoemaker.
With decades of experience behind him, Kent Shoemaker is excited to help bring such a diverse lineup to this year’s Invermere MusicFest. As a member of the organizing committee for this year’s festival, Kent, along with the festival committee, has been working hard to find the best artists to perform at the Kinsmen Beach Greenspace August 19th and 20th.
“The variety of music is so wonderful. You look …

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Community Foundation delivers 51 student awards

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 by


For 51 students from the Columbia Valley, post-secondary education fees will be less of a financial burden thanks to the Arnold Ellis Scholarship Fund. The scholarships offered through the Columbia Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) are annual awards that Columbia Valley students are able to apply for and receive twice during their post-secondary education.
“Arnold Ellis left a gift to the community when he died in 2012 through the community foundation. His gift was just under a million and a half dollars. It’s because of that gift we’re able to help …

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Invasive mussel defence stations gaining momentum

Posted on July 16th, 2016 by


The invasive mussel defence program was created to prevent zebra Mussels and quagga Mussels from being introduced into the province of British Columbia. Since April the eight provincial stations have inspected a total of 6,100 water crafts for invasive aquatic species. The station in Radium Hot Springs. has inspected 1,284 of those stopping 20 water crafts identified as high risk.
“What the crews are doing they’re are inspecting boats. They’re mandatory inspection stations so if you have any sort of water crafts — that includes canoes, kayaks car toppers, …

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Canada Day brings in thousands for the valley

Posted on July 15th, 2016 by


Parades, fireworks, face-painting and dancing — if there’s one thing the Columbia Valley knows how to celebrate it’s Canada Day.
Thousands flocked to the valley on the Canada Day long weekend to kick off the month of July and celebrate Canada’s 149th birthday. In Invermere, the day started with the annual parade going through downtown and ending on Kinsmen beach with other towns and businesses celebrating in their own ways.
In the village of Radium Hot Springs, visitors came out and enjoyed the parade on what was an extremely busy …

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ColumbiaValleyLogogCMYK

Columbia Valley: It’s time to unwind

Posted on July 15th, 2016 by


After months of searching for a cohesive voice for businesses throughout the Columbia Valley, the Regional DMO (Destination Marketing Organization) unveiled the brand they look forward to building on to promote increased tourism — “Columbia Valley: It’s time to unwind.”
“It’s so important that we use that word versus relax because I unwind by taking my kids paintballing,” said CULT Collective chief executive and partner Chris Kneeland. “Other people would find it highly stressful.”
Mr. Kneeland presented his company’s findings earlier this week, on Tuesday, July 11th, to a room filled …

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One of the new exercise bikes at the Valley Fitness Centre in Invermere.

Valley Fitness Centre offers expanded hours

Posted on July 11th, 2016 by


For nearly a decade, society at large has been hit with a wave of attention to the health and fitness industry, pushing more and more to gyms throughout the country.
Valley Fitness Centre, a local gym in Invermere, recently accommodated that ideological shift, increasing its daily hours to be open from 4 a.m. to midnight seven days a week.
Helen Breau, executive director at the Valley Fitness Centre, said that the move was made in hopes of leveling out usage during high-peak times.
“We have some people that work shift …

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Sandra Beingessner working on her project that will be showcased at the Calgary Stampede this year.

Local artist heads to Stampede to showcase art

Posted on July 11th, 2016 by


For the first time in her life, Sandra Beingessner is going to the Calgary Stampede. While that may not be a big deal to the thousands flocking to the famous festival as spectators, it is for Mrs. Beingesser, who will be one of six artists participating in the Stampede’s Western Showcase Artist Ranch Project.
The Artist Ranch Project is an initiative designed to facilitate an interpretation of western heritage and values through contemporary art. Each year the Stampede funds a small group of selected contemporary artists to spend a weekend …

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NIFTY NAILS — Invermere resident Carmen Hayward has been earning national and international accolades for her nail work.  Photo submitted

Nail salon owner makes mark in international competitions

Posted on July 8th, 2016 by


Tucked away in Invermere B.C. is a hidden gem of talent, wisdom and passion for education within the All Dolled Up Nail Salon. Her name is Carmen Hayward and she is the owner of All Dolled Up, certified in nails, lashes, permanent makeup and is a master pedicurist.
Ms. Hayward has been doing nails professionally for the past 12 years, opening her own establishment in January of 2011.
“When I moved here there were two nail techs in town and to be honest I just saw the business opportunity …

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DEDICATED PROS - Valley golf pros golfed from before 5 a.m. to after 11 p.m. to play as many holes as possible for the Golfathon for ALS.  Photo submitted

Golfathon raises funds for ALS patients

Posted on July 8th, 2016 by


Typically golf professionals play one round of golf in a day but on the longest day of the year, golf professionals in the Valley played as many rounds as possible. Golf pros across the province of British Columbia spend one day a year testing their endurance for the Golfathon for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Copper Point and Windermere Valley Golf Course both participated in the Golfathon raising funds for patients with ALS.
“We did 162 holes which is nine rounds. We were hoping to do a little bit more but …

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Farmers’ Institute readies for Summer Fair

Posted on July 8th, 2016 by


Much like a farmers market, the Windermere District Farmers’ Institute Summer Fair brings the community together for a day of events, food, and booths. The Summer Fair is in its third year in and puts an emphasis on supporting non-profit in the community.
“Farmers’ Institute had their 100-year celebration in 2014, we are currently in the process of building an abattoir. We represent the interest of the local farmers so if there is a negotiation with the government, we are involved in it,” said Windermere District Farmers’ Institute Projects Coordinator Hedi …

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Soiree en Blanc returns

Posted on July 8th, 2016 by


An impromptu dinner with a hidden location and an all white dress code? It must be Soiree En Blanc returning to Invermere B.C. for the second year. The event is an evening of food, drinks and music — a great night of fun and enjoyment.
“It’s the second year in a new location in Invermere on Saturday, July 9th and tickets are on sale online or at the Best Western. Ticket holders find out the location on Saturday at noon and they all show up and we have a big dinner …

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Consultants finish resident attraction plan

Posted on July 8th, 2016 by


The Upper Columbia Valley resident attraction and retention plan is now finished, with Invermere council having received a copy of the plan from the consultants hired to create it during the most recent council meeting.
The strategies recommended in the plan were adopted by council at the Tuesday, June 28th meeting. Copies of the plan have also been sent to Radium Hot Springs council, Canal Flats council and the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK).
“We anticipate they (the other municipal entities in the Upper Columbia Valley) will also adopt the strategies,” …

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Get your name on a seat in the new Columbia Centre

Posted on July 4th, 2016 by


As the construction of the Columbia Valley Centre moves forward, so do the donor opportunities and campaigns to get involved in the project. The Columbia Valley Fundraising Committee is rolling out the Buy A Seat Campaign where donors have the opportunity to purchase a seat that will be in the new centre.
“Right now we’re just trying to raise money for the seating and were selling them off at $1,000 a seat and that will get your name or company name on a little metal template put on the seat that …

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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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