By Nicole Trigg

Pioneer Staff

What a glorious week its been for the Columbia Valley. First, the weather was fantastic for the B.C. Amateur Golf Championships that took over two of our local courses for the one of the most prestigious golf events to ever take place in the valley. Then the Canadian Downhill Mountain Bike Championships kicked off at nearby Panorama Mountain Village, with Canadian DH superstar Steve Smith ranked second in the world making his Panorama debut and winning the event.

Then Invermere came out on top in the Kraft Celebration Tour matchup against Pemberton by a whopping 89,482 votes, winning $25,000 for the Rotary Clubs Splash and Spray Park project and a live TSN Sportscentre broadcast from Kinsmen Beach, where the park will be built. As if that wasnt enough Invermere and Windermere were also home to the annual Heart of the Rockies triathlon this past weekend, attracting participants from across B.C. and Alberta, and as far away as South America.

The recent accolades and accomplishments seem endless. Lets not forget the now-famous Fairmont couple competing in Canadas first-ever Amazing Race TV show, or, as reported in this weeks Pioneer, that the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), the executive director of which calls Invermere home, has been awarded the highest prize for an organization of its type at the national environmental education awards ceremony last weekend in Victoria.

How fitting that, in the wake of so much high profile positivity, the valley is opening its arms and welcoming visitors for Valley Appreciation Day for a celebration of what makes the warmer side of the Rockies so unique.

This year may carry even more meaning and emotion than in years past because of the recent tragedy many of our Albertan tourists experienced during the recent flooding event in which homes were destroyed, businesses suffered and lives were lost. Here is our chance to share with our visitors what many of them consider their second home, share with them what makes the Columbia Valley so special, and give them a reason to come back again and again.