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Otters find their flow in the Wood Shop - guitarist Nick King records a track last week for the band's full-length debut album. Photo submitted

Songwriters in the Valley CD set for June release

Posted on April 19th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
There was no shortage of success to come from Christmas in the Valley album released in December 2013 by the Windermere Valley Musicians Who Care, and a few of the same artists will be joined by many more valley musicians for a new album this summer.
From now through May, the valley’s finest musicians are booking themselves in at Wood Shop Productions, Ben Cameron’s recording studio in Windermere.
“There’s about a third crossover with groups that were on the (Christmas) album; there’s a lot of fresh stuff and a …

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COUNCIL CONTEMPLATION — Councillor Nancy 
Hugunin and Mayor Greg Deck mull over financial numbers at a council meeting on Tuesday, April 15th. Photo by Steve Hubrecht

First three readings given for Jumbo financial plan bylaw

Posted on April 19th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Mountain Resort Municipality of Jumbo Glacier gave three readings to its financial plan bylaw at its most recent council meeting, and will likely adopt it at next month’s council meeting.
The five-year financial plan — which projects revenues of $200,000 per year from 2014 to 2018, mostly stemming from the provincial Small Communities Grant — has sparked considerable commentary across the province and generated discussion, although not debate, at the April 15th council meeting.
Council voted unanimously to give the bylaw three readings and direct staff to reconcile …

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TOURISM TEAM — Tourism association board members, seen here last spring, were successful in gaining a community directed funds grant. Pioneer file photo

Cultural Tourism group granted $37,000 per year

Posted on April 19th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley Directed Funds committee voted at its most recent meeting to give a big funding boost for the next three years to the Columbia Cultural Tourism Association, a move that will help the association hire a full-time research coordinator.
The committee voted unanimously to give the association $37,000 a year from 2014 through to 2016, conditional to the association raising an additional $20,000 from other sources. The association will report quarterly to the committee and the third year of funding is pending the renewal of the …

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PRICY POOCH — Pitbull breeds are 
subject to a $1,000 dog licensing fee in the Columbia Valley, a far higher fee than for any other breed.       Photo submitted

Killer dogs to be deemed dangerous

Posted on April 19th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
Two dogs that killed a small dog and injured its owner in Fairmont Hot Springs on Tuesday, April 8th will be put on a very short leash, if their Albertan owners ever bring them back to the Columbia Valley.
“We will be deeming the dogs as dangerous dogs as per our bylaw; the awkward part is the owners of the dogs are from out of province,” said Dan McNeill, the Regional District of East Kootenay manager of building and protective services. “We’d be just as happy if they …

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CHASING KUBOTA - The Kubota L3560 would make an excellent Whiteway maintenance machine, says the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club. Photo submitted

Nordic club pursuing Kubota machine for Whiteway

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club presented to Invermere council its plans to purchase a piece of maintenance equipment that will boost its capacity to maintain the Whiteway, but which comes with a much lower price tag than the previously talked about LayMor 400 Sweepmaster, at the most recent committee of the whole meeting.
The plan now is to raise funds for a Kubota L3560, which will allow the club to plow and sweep at the same time, much as the LayMor would, but will cost the nordic …

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Lorne Elliott performed his latest production, Chasing the Big Silly, for a packed house at Christ Church Trinity on the evening of Tuesday, April 15th. Early that morning, North Americans were exposed to a lunar eclipse, giving the moon a rare shadow before changing its colour to a brownish red. 

Photo by Dan Walton

Lorne Elliott and the lunar eclipse

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by


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Cod Gone Wild meld various musical backgrounds into a modern Celtic sound. Photo submitted

Celtic cod ambling towards Edgewater

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The valley will get a taste of modern Celtic music when B.C. band Cod Gone Wild comes to Edgewater later this month.
“Modern Celtic is really a brand we’ve created,” said lead singer Andrew Mercer. “It’s an exciting twist on traditional songs, basically we modernize them with non-traditional instrumentation.”
The Vernon-based band took form when lead singer Andrew Mercer moved west from his native Newfoundland in 2009, eventually settling in the Okanagan. Mr. Mercer had been in bands performing traditional Newfoundland folk and Celtic music since he was in …

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UPDATED: Orders-in-council overturned; would have exempted ski resorts from environmental assessments

Posted on April 18th, 2014 by


NOTE: the two orders-in-council referred to in this story were announced on Monday and rescinded on Wednesday.
By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
A provincial order-in-council signed late last week may smooth the path to development for Jumbo Glacier Resort and other ski resorts in B.C.
The order, which was approved and ordered on Friday, April 11th and deposited on Monday, April 14th, will exempt new ski resorts yet to be built and existing ski resort wishing to expand from the environmental assessment process, starting on January 1st next year.
B.C. Minister of Environment Mary Polak …

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Council listens as Carlisle Group developers Doug McIntosh and Gordon Mross explain their bid to develop 11 waterfront homes on a parcel of land adjacent to Pete’s Marina at a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday, April 8th. Photo by Steve Hubrecht

Council hears latest on Athalmer lakeshore development bid

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
The Carlisle Group (owners of the Pointe of View condos) updated council on their plans for developing what is often called the Windermere Resort property in Athalmer (the area behind the old Lakeside pub, near Pete’s Marina).
The development plan was first floated 20 years ago and the would-be developers have talked with Invermere council in the ensuing years, but no building progress has been made. At the April 8th committee of the whole meeting, representatives Gordon Mross and Doug McIntosh presented conceptual designs of their latest plans, …

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HOT OTTERS — Otters are aiming for the regional finals in the CBC Searchlight Contest. The valley-based band has until Sunday afternoon to garner enough votes to advance to the top 10 in the Kelowna region. From the left is drummer Ryan Stimming, frontman Al Fraser, bassist Andrew Turgeon, and guitarist Nick King. Photo by Dan Walton

Otters trying to attract CBC’s Searchlight

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Local band Otters are looking to make a splash on radio, as the valley-based band is competing in the CBC’s annual Searchlight Contest.
The East Kootenay region got great exposure from the contest last year, as Cranbrook’s Good Ol’ Goats placed second in the nation-wide contest. This year, Otters are taking a swing, but first, they have to advance through the Kelowna (Radio West) region of CBC Radio – one of 24 in Canada. So far, the band has qualified as one of the top 25 in the …

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Skiers enjoy a run down the Jumbo Glacier in years past.
Pioneer file photo

MLAs, mayors debate Jumbo funding B.C.-wide

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Public funding for Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality leapt to provincial attention last week, sparking combative commentary in the B.C. legislature and on provincial radio shows.
Jumbo municipality’s recently released five-year financial plan shows a projected $200,000 a year in funding, mainly from provincial and federal grant money, the Small Community Grant in particular. That revelation prompted strong rhetoric from Columbia-River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald, Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungal and Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes during question period in the legislature on Monday, March …

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WAITING FOR CHANGE — Cindy and John Howard hope to see improvements to highway safety after losing family members in a July 2011 accident on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park.  Photo  by Greg Amos

California family awaits verdict in local trial

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
With a judge’s decision expected at the end of April in the trial of the man accused of dangerous driving causing a horrific accident in Kootenay National Park in July 2011, a long wait is coming to an end for relatives of the California family killed.
John and Cindy Howard, the brother and sister-in-law of one of the victims, spoke to The Pioneer outside of Invermere Provincial court after the four-day hearing wrapped up in late March, and emphasized the need for changes to make highways in the …

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Invermere coffee lovers had the chance to learn how to produce their own gourmet coffee, when more than a dozen enthusiasts joined Jeremy Ho, as the 2012 Canadian Barista Champion put on a coffee-making clinic Manual Brew Methods for Home Brewers at Eagle Ranch on the afternoon of Saturday, April 5th. It was one of several events in a successful debut of the Invermere Coffee Fest.
Photo by  Erin Knutson

First Coffee Fest brews success

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


Submitted by Lizzie Midyette
Coffee is the perfect beverage to wake up with, a great reading buddy for the afternoon, and a wonderful way to end a dinner out or in with loved ones. Last weekend, coffee aficionados, business owners, and those who are simply coffee-curious attended the very well-received first annual Invermere Coffee Fest, where the Columbia Valley’s thriving coffee culture was celebrated in style.
Everything from the production of coffee and our relationship as consumers with the farmers who grow the delicious beans, to brewing the perfect cup of coffee …

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COURAGEOUS CREW - Courageous Hearts board members (left to right) Kim Baker, Tiffany Gulbe, Cori Gadomski and France Andestad (missing is Heather Pryndik) are spearheading a new fundraising society in the Columbia Valley that allows individuals to “pay it forward” by helping people in the community.  Photo submitted

Courageous Hearts starts with auction action

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
The valley’s newest not-for-profit group is making a powerful start, as Courageous Hearts will be hosting a Storage Wars-style auction as its debut event.
In partnership with Real Storage in Windermere, Courageous Hearts will be hosting the event on Saturday, April 19th, before a silent auction and dance later that night.
The auction takes place at 1 p.m. at Real Storage in Windermere. The fundraiser will feature five storage units loaded with valuables that have been donated by local sponsors. In a fashion similar to the reality television program, …

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Concert goers enjoy dancing to the Good Ol' Goats at the Steamboat Mountain Music Festival last summer. Pioneer file photo

Free concert offered for Steamboat early birds

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


Early bird tickets for the third annual Steamboat Mountain Music Festival will soon be on sale! The festival is set for Saturday, July 5th at the Edgewater Elementary School field. A special ticket launch party is being held on Friday, April 18th at the Edgewater Hall, with free admission for early bird ticket buyers and festival volunteers. Come and enjoy a great evening of free entertainment, coffee and dessert, all while saving yourself some money!
The launch party, a coffeehouse evening with dessert, will feature some of the local artists already …

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Two events replacing Relay for Life

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


Submitted by Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon
The Canadian Cancer Society is inviting all Columbia Valley residents to join us as we bring two new and exciting fundraising events to the valley. The society, along with its unit and Relay For Life volunteers from around the area, looked at declining relay participation and decided it was time for something new.
“We are excited to be beginning a new chapter of Canadian Cancer Society support in the area,” said Sheila Tutty, Canadian Cancer Society unit volunteer and past leadership chair for …

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vol11issue14

2014, April 4 – Online edition

Posted on April 4th, 2014 by


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Norm Gagatek and his son Braeden prior to Norm's stroke in 2008. Pioneer file photo

Gagatek continues rousing recovery at home

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Invermere resident Norm Gagetek’s incredible recovery will continue in the valley, after the stroke survivor spent the last six months at a care facility in the Okanagan re-learning how to live independently.
“He’s now at 80 per cent self-dependant,” said his wife, Kimberley Harris. “He was at about 60 per cent before.”
Norm spent the two-and-a-half years prior with his family at home in the valley, but plateaued in his recovery because of limited local resources available, Kimberley said.
However, even before his time in the Okanagan, Norm came a …

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WEB---EK-Melissa-Lauren-Performance-Pic-2

Singin’ the blues in church

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by


Jazz and blues singer Melissa Lauren performed live at the Christ Church Trinity in Invermere on Tuesday, March 25th. Ms. Lauren is currently promoting her new album, The Other Side, and is making her mark on the Toronto music scene.Photos by Erin Knutson

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Dan Poirier, owner of DA Poirer Productions Inc., films a scene for the "Take Me There" promotional video. Submitted photo

‘Take Me There’ video a valley-wide collaboration

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by


By Erin Knutson
Pioneer Intern
The Whiteway “Take Me There” promotional video was an undertaking of passion, inspiration and creativity that helped unite the Columbia Valley community.
A year ago, $13,000 in funds were secured by various organizations and backed by the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Marketing
Committee to help create a promotional video for the Lake Windermere Whiteway.
The video was a labour of love for Andrea Tubbs, project manager at Swansea Communications, which headed up the project, eventually partnering with Dan Poirer of DA Poirer Productions Inc.
“Dan took it outside the box …

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