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PROGRESS SOUTH OKANAGAN BUSINESS REVIEW

2014


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

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Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Mayor and council see revitalized Penticton as well as having a spinoff effect on surrounding properties and businesses. “If you look at the cinema and how many For the past few years, “open for busi- years it was talked about, if it wasn’t for those ness” has been one of the favourite phrases incentive zones, then the cinema was not at Penticton city hall. have been built,” said Coun. Andrew JakuIt became official at a recent Union of beit. “ Without the incentive … we wouldn’t B.C. Municipalities convention, when the be where we are at right now.” city was recognized with the Open for BusiThe Downtown Investment Zone is part ness Award, marking Penticton as one of the of a bigger picture, summed up by another most business friendly communities in the key phrase at city hall: “Vibrant Penticton,” province. referring to the city’s long-term plan to revi“Our vision for the community fosters in- talize the city’s downtown core. novation and economic opporThree years of planning tunity, and it is very rewarding and public consultation started to be recognized as a provinbecoming a reality in Februcial leader in small business ary, when construction began development,” said Mayor on the first phase of the downGarry Litke. town revitalization plan, a The awards are issued by our vision for $1.25 million project to makeB.C.’s Small Business Roundover a one block area around the community Martin Street and Westmintable, established in 2005 to be the voice for small business to fosters economic ster Avenue, creating a more government, and recognizes pedestrian-friendly streetscape opportunity ... with new street furniture, communities that support small business through local lighting, trees and replacing government measures. the sidewalks with decorative Those local measures inpavers. — Garry Litke, Mayor cluded items that the city has The enhanced streetscape, been working on since the said Litke during the kickoff 2009 core review including a event, will spur more nightlife reduction in building permit fees between 25 and more activity in the downtown. and 30 per cent to be the most competitive “It will make this entire area a much in the South Okanagan, an ongoing commit- more energetic place to be, not only during ment to entrepreneurs led by the economic the daytime but in the evening as well,” said development office and development servic- Litke. “Investing in the downtown’s ecoes division and the development of economic nomic opportunities is what will make the investment zones using tax breaks and fee re- downtown grow.” ductions to encourage businesses to invest in That investment in downtown continues, developing their presence in Penticton. with planning work underway on the larger The program was expanded in 2014 part of the project to similarly redevelop through the introduction of a new Downtown Main Street. Investment Zone, with incentives for cleanA parallel project to refurbish the boarding up brownfield sites, building on vacant walk along Okanagan Lake from The Peach sites, constructing residential units, improv- to the SS Sicamous has just been completed, ing building facades, and providing public refreshing one of Penticton’s most wellamenities like parks or community gardens. known and used amenities in time for the It also includes a major 20-year tax break main tourism season. on land and improvements for the first deDan Ashton, now Penticton’s MLA, was veloper to bring a grocery store to down- mayor when work on these initiatives began. town, something Anthony Haddad, director Noting that the Saturday public markets are of development services, said is one of the already a major high point for the city, drawmost desired uses downtown the community ing people from up and down the valley, he wants to see. said it was important to build on that sort of Since 2010, Penticton has had economic attraction. investment zone bylaws related to tourism “When you have a strong downtown, you and industrial development. Those, said have a good strong community,” said AshHaddad have been successful, resulting in ton. $276,000 worth of tax breaks and millions of “It’s become an attraction. dollars invested in the city. “It’s like anything else, it gets a little tatThe Landmark Cinema, for example, cre- tered and you have to put the shine back on ated both permanent and construction jobs, it.” Steve Kidd

Western News Staff

The new and improved penticton lakeside pathway on the okanagan Lake waterfront is open to the public again in time for the summer months. The section had been closed during the work on the first phase with construction on the other areas scheduled to begin in September.

mark Brett/western news

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

The headlines are shocking: ‘The Best and Worst Charities’ or ‘Where Does the Money Go?’ Janice Perrino - Executive Director For the Penticton Western News

We’ve all read the articles telling us the disturbing information about charities and the executives making upwards of $1 million a year in salary, cars, trips and other luxury expenses they receive. Other stories point to how much is spent in administration and how little actually goes to the charity. I ask the same questions as you do: when did people working for charities get so greedy? Friends forward these media stories to me regularly because I’m the executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen (SOS) Medical Foundation that raises funds for the Penticton Regional Hospital and 12 other health care facilities. My first thought is always the same: do people really think we make that much money per year or worse that our charity raises so little at the end of the day? Let me set the record straight on what is happening in the Okanagan. Throughout the North, Central and South Okanagan there are about 1,000 charities. You can check out any registered charity on the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) website www.cra.gc.ca under “charities

and giving” to find out what their salary ranges are, what money they have received from donations, grants and other types of funding. What is important is that it is wise to check out more than one year to see how things have changed. Some years we grant more than other years and some years we receive more donations. Fluctuations happen because of special circumstances, the financial markets, campaigns or estates. In my research, very few organizations pay their top executives what would be considered an outrageous salary and very few seemed to be “rolling in the dough”. Everyone I checked with was careful in their expenses and were granting funds according to their organization’s bylaws to maintain the good health of their society. Still there are some things that may or may not concern you. It costs money to raise money, but you might want to ask: what is my limit? Every time organizations host events, depending on the experience, they are generally considered awareness builders. Sometimes they often cost organizations more than the event actually raises but special events help everyone to become aware of the organization and it’s purpose. Anytime organizations send you ad-

dress labels, pens, toys or other gimmicky items, it is nothing more than a way to help them stand out from the crowd, something that isn’t easy to do when you have a 1,000 organizations to compete with. We recommend you ask some important questions when you want to find out what and how your charity of choice is doing. Questions such as: • What are the goals and purposes of the charity? • What is the cost of fundraising and administration combined? • How do you pay for your fundraised and administration costs? • How does the charity raise money? We like to brag that the SOS Medical Foundation’s goals are simple. We raise donations to purchase critical care medical equipment, support staff education and improve the quality of care for patients. Each year we try to pay all of our fundraising and administration costs, about 15 per cent last year, out of funds earned from non-donated sources. Our goal is to give 100 per cent of donated funds back to our hospitals. While some incredible organizations are able to work exclusively with volunteers, some organization’s are stewarded by paid staff.

Giving today for a healthy tomorrow. www.sosmedicalfoundation.com South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation 550 Carmi Avenue, Penticton, B.C. V2A 3G6 Phone: 250-492-9027 • Toll Free: 1-866-771-0994

In most of the organizations we researched, staff are compensated fairly and we couldn’t find any extreme salaries compared to their peers. As with most organizations, we don’t give away catchy items to get you to donate, nor do we host lavish events regularly. Very few organizations in the Okanagan do. Donations coming into the organization are raised regionally and stay within our regional boundaries for all of the patients. Yes, there are some provincial and national organizations paying up to $1 million in salaries and spending millions to raise funds. We encourage you as a donor to exercise your right and find out what your favourite charity is doing, see how they spend the donations you send in and how they grant out the donations you give. Given our research, we give top marks to the majority of the North, Central and South Okanagan charities. We all try to take care of our communities in a respectful, honest manner. Thank you for donating, your support makes all the difference and more important, you make great things happen. Janice Perrino is the executive director of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation.


Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Recreation at the heart of Community Centre Emanuel Sequeira Western News Staff

Recreation has a grip on Penticton thanks in part to the amazing programming at the Community Centre. In 2012, the City of Penticton recreation department began implementing their new three-year plan to increase the number of people using the facility. Lori Mullin, City of Penticton recreation manager, said pool admissions doubled in 2012 from the older facility and the fitness room saw a 25 per cent increase. The fitness room (more than 33,000 visits, 41 per cent increase compared to 2012) remains a popular spot for adults. Also drawing a crowd were Zumba, Pickleball, Chi Gong and Tai Chi, skating lessons, fitness room drop-ins, kayaking and Try it for Free programs. The fitness room added several new pieces of equipment, including spin, upright and recumbent bikes; treadmill; ergometer and several pieces of strength equipment. The city attributes the success of 2013 to the efficiently run programs and services as well as new projects and programs. Children loved the gymboree, child minding and family gym time, according to the

city. They also loved Summer Day Camp as well as Spring Break Day Camp and Summer camps like Byte Camp and Dance Camp. Programs offered in partnership with Hoodoo Adventures for kayaking, outdoor adventure and hikes also had strong participation. The city decided to continue its pilot project of operating on statutory holidays since it was successful. “We averaged 350 people using the facility on these days and received many positive responses to have the Community Centre open,� said Mullin on 2012 figures. In 2013, the Community Centre had more than 541,000 people visit for an increase of more than seven per cent from 2012. More than 288,000 visited the pool in 2013, an increase of more than two per cent. The city also launched an Active Club membership a year ago that provides three options for one-year memberships and offers exclusive savings and benefits for members including discounts, free passes, early registration and a free water bottle. The city annual report stated in its inaugural year the Active Club exceeded expectations with the number of enrolled members, it increased participation in programs, and generated a new revenue stream.

Jade Mullin and daughter Mckenna enjoy the comfortable waters of the Penticton aquatic Centre swimming pool during the parents and tots swim session, just one of the many recreational activities at the community.

Western news file photo

The recreation department is always looking for new partners to deliver recreation programs. They are programming now for the fall and winter seasons. Call 250-490-2426 to discuss how you or your business might be a good fit with the Community Centre.

Additions in 2014 for adults includes Women on Weights, stand up paddle board, Zumba core and glutes, classical pilates, lunch core and strength and prenatal class. For children, pre-school programs including music, gymboree and Bugaboo U were revamped.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

Auto dealers ready to test drive 2014

Improved sales bode well for local economy and community groups that the economy will start to increase and rebound as well,” he said, agreeing that people working in trades will buy The impact auto dealerships in Pent- vehicles. icton have on the community goes beDealerships in Penticton are looking yond the scope of selling vehicles. forward to a stronger 2014. David Newman, owner of Skaha A few years ago PentFord and president of the icton welcomed the Kia Penticton Auto Dealers dealership which NewAssociation, said there is a man also owns. trickle down effect. Newman said there Dealerships also feel might be expansion in the it’s important to support next few years, but said community charities and continued growth and supA lot is given events. port from the city to drive Skaha Ford was the back to the and push new business is largest single contribu- community. We necessary. tor to the United Way last The two sides enjoy a all live here. year and were awarded good relationship. the First Time campaign “As long as the econoIt’s a great award recently. my can support it, somecommunity. “We all have charione may say it makes ties that we deal with,” sense,” he added. — David Newman said Newman, noting Dealerships have also the South Okanagan supported construction Women in Need Society businesses through renoand local sports teams vation projects the last two (Penticton Toyota is a sponsor). years. “A lot is given back to the commu“We all used local trades to do that,” nity. We all live here. It’s a great com- said Newman. munity.” When vehicles are purchased, dealWhile the industry experienced erships also help their customers get economic setbacks in 2008 and 2009, their insurance setup through local inNewman said it is starting to come surance companies and Newman said back. that helps them grow. “We’re starting to see new vehicle He also pointed out the contribution car sales increase,” he said. dealerships make to the City of Pentic“We’re all looking forward to a ton tax base. stronger return to the economy.” Their taxes are significantly higher, He also credited the recent housing plus there is the economic contribudevelopments as a leading indicator. tions from the families of the 290 em“When the trade industry is ployees from the nine dealerships that busy, those are leading indicators support the city. Emanuel Sequeira Western News Staff

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

Future looking bright for Penticton Indian Band prosperity to follow with construction of health centre, hatchery, and Skaha hills million winery, which is also in its first stages of construction. Jason Pechet, president of Stage West 2014 is the year for the Penticton Indian Hospitality, said the vines are going in this year, and the winery and Band’s economic developbistro will be built in ment plans to start blossom2015. ing. The winery is expectA new health centre is on ed to be producing their the way and construction is first vintages in 2017, finished on the fish hatchery but Pechet adds that building, but the biggest event will be from purchased was the opening of sales for grapes. the Skaha Hills residential deWhat we are building The first wines from velopment this spring. their own grapes aren’t “What we are building here is going to expected before 2020. here is going to be something be something truly The PIB is also estabtruly amazing. It is going to lishing itself as a leader be beautiful, it is going to be amazing. in economic developbreathtaking,” said Chief Jonment in another forum, athan Kruger, describing the — Chief Jonathan Kruger having hosted their seclocation of the development, ond Aboriginal Business perched on a bluff overlookMatch in February. ing south Penticton and SkaThey also hosted the ha Lake. 2013 AMB, which was “There are no words to exso successful organizplain it. I would just encourers decided to return to age people to go up on those Penticton for a second hills and take it from a difstraight year. ferent vantage point of how The 2013 conference generated an estibeautiful the city of Penticton really is,” said mated $30 million of business deals, by linkKruger. “It is going to attract a lot of people that ing the 150 First Nations that attended with an equally large number of companies eager are interested in buying quality homes.” Kruger was right. Initial sales exceeded to do business with them. “What we have done here is something all expectations. Staff at the Skaha Hills sales centre were that is very successful and something we are very busy in the days that followed the open- very proud of,” said Kruger, adding he was proud the PIB could be a part of the success ing on April 4. Within a week, 30 of the 47 lots in the first for both aboriginal business, First Nations phase were sold. With that kind of response, communities and B.C. companies. “This is growing into something that I Curt Jansen, Skaha Hills vice-president, is think is going to be huge. This is a new way already looking to the future. “This is our first week and we are already of doing business,” said Kruger. “What this is about is making the connections.” moving on to plan phase 2,” he said. Though the business venture deals are The project is a joint venture between the PIB and Greyback Construction; the important, Kruger said networking plays a land is owned by the PIB and was released big part in the activities, from First Nation for development to Greyback in Oct. 2013, to First Nation, to governments and even besecured by a 150 year crown lease with the tween businesses. As an example, Kruger points out that federal government. Though sales have been brisk, it will still other First Nations attending the conference take many years to build the $250 -million noted the PIB’s gravel business, WestHills development out to its full capacity of 600 Aggregate — which is also playing a large homes. The resort-style community will in- part in the construction of Skaha Hills — and clude a variety of amenities, including a $5.2 asked for advice on starting their own. Steve Kidd

Western News Staff

Backhoe operator kelly Blade of West hills aggregates empties a load of soil and rock from a trench at the construction site of the new penticton Indian Band fish hatchery near the en’owkin centre. the new facility is scheduled to be operational in 2014.

Mark Brett/Western News

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Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

www.pentictonwesternnews.com 9

Renovations give dealership a brand new look

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AfteR months of RenovAtion, the Penticton skaha ford dealership is sporting a brand new look.

Contributed photo

Skaha Ford is the fastest growing Ford store in Western Canada and the dealership is showing how much it’s grown since 1990 when they first opened their doors. Led by David and Joanna Newman, Skaha Ford has grown leaps and bounds through the years. This year they have made their biggest move with a complete overhaul of the building. As part of Ford Motor Company Millennium project the store front has seen major changes including a full renovation. “ It has been very extensive and our staff is very happy and excited to be a part of it,” said Joanna Newman. “It feels like a brand new dealership.” During the past three months numerous changes have been made including the construction of a 175-gallon salt water fish tank (believed to be one of the largest in the Okanagan), which is located in the newly renovated customer lounge. The service department has also seen many upgrades as it continues to provide excellent award winning customer service. When visiting the dealership to purchase a new or used vehicle customers will be seeing a whole new look with new offices, and a new showroom featuring the newest models from Ford.

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

Renewal puts Penticton Tourism on track Diana Stirling, owner of Loco Landing, was announced as vice-chair at the beginning of March, following the resignations of the It’s a fresh start for Tourism Penticton and previous chair and vice-chair, Miranda Halan injection of youth on the volunteer board laday and Sally Pierce in January. might just be the right first step. “We were very specific with who we felt In March the board of the Tourism Penticwould be the best person to be chair of our ton society announced entrepreneur Max Picboard. We specifically went out and recruited ton as their new chair. The co-owner and president of Barefoot Max and he was up for the job.” said Stirling, who cites energy, progressive Beach Resort was named the leadership and tourism industry Young Entrepreneur of the Year experience in the move to recruit in 2012 and was the first recipiPicton. ent of the Top 40 Under 40 series Stirling said even with the spearheaded by the JCI and sevchanges in staff, the timing is not eral partners. I am a firm an issue. Planning for tourism After executive director Jescampaigns had all happened in sie Campbell resigned her pobeliever in the months leading up to Campsition with Tourism Penticton, Penticton and bell resignation and the latest Picton said it is a critical time for the tourism industry in Pent- always promote campaign to win a trip to your happy place, has already begun. icton. Using vivid imagery, the new “We are in a pretty fierce mar- it because I love ket here with several local comcampaign, which builds upon it so much. munities that are all competing last year’s successful You Are — Max Picton for the same market segment. I Here marketing efforts encourthink there are quite a few asages people to envision thempects that make our town unique selves doing the activities they love, such as and we just really need to focus on highlight- golfing, wine-touring, boating etc., in Penticing them,” said Picton. ton and Wine Country. “We want to educate the consumer market The Tourism Penticton website www. and leave a lasting positive impression of the YouAreHere.ca gives potential travellers an city, that is really the goal here.” opportunity to win one of four vacation packPicton said they have been receiving qual- ages to Penticton. ity resumes from talented people to fill the exAlready the response has been strong with ecutive director role which he believes will be Tourism Penticton reaching 50 per cent of hired by July. their targeted contest entrants. Having been raised in the city, Picton said Tourism Penticton, the Summerland Chamhe has always promoted Penticton wherever ber of Economic Development and Tourism, his professional career has taken him. Discover Naramata and the Regional District “For me, I really felt it was a natural extenof Okanagan-Similkameen’s areas D and E sion of my business and role in the commujointly funded the campaign with additional nity,” said Picton. “I am a firm believer in Penticton and al- financial support from the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Air Canada. ways promote it because I love it so much. “Working with our regional partners on “I stepped out of the bar and nightclub inthis campaign is critical to its success,” said dustry because I found I was promoting the Picton. city to people who were already here. I want “Strategic cooperation enables us to proto draw people back into the community and mote all the amazing experiences our region with this role I am doing exactly that. has to offer, and working together allows us to “It is a great fit for me.” leverage a greater media reach with a limited He stated having a great board to support budget.” him in his new role has also been critical. Tourism Penticton also launched their new “Everyone is so passionate and that is the best thing there can be for this community. I official website www.VisitPenticton.com in really feel we are positioned to do great things April. With a revamped design and better funcin the upcoming years,” Picton said, adding they are working on new concepts to promote tionality, the new site provides a significantly improved portal for visitors and stakeholders. the area. Kristi Patton Western News Staff

Max PIcton relaxes inside one of the yurts which provided another accommodation option for tourists coming to Penticton. the yurts are located at the Barefoot Beach Resort which Picton and his partner opened last year near the Penticton Regional airport at the south entrance to the city.

Western news file photo

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Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Nothing but good news for retail sector Mark Brett

Western News Staff

After an outstanding year in 2012 good things are continuing to blossom in the city’s retail sector. One of the major highlights of last year was the muchanticipated opening of the Wal-Mart Supercentre in early November. The expansion to the existing business was a multimillion-dollar, 2,800-square-metre food floor which not only made the grocery business more competitive, a win for retail shoppers, but added 60 new, full and part-time jobs. Wal-Mart currently has a staff of over 300. “I think certainly when you create 60 jobs anywhere that’s a positive thing because those people that fill the jobs will help boost other business and that is great,” said President Campbell Watt of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. “Overall last year in terms of retail we did great, with the feedback I get and with my own business I feel like it was more of a stabilization than an increase but I think that is extremely positive.” Still on the grocery scene, Watt added there is more good news for shoppers in the downtown sector with word there is very real interest by an individual who would like to open a grocery store there. “We’re just trying to put all the bits together to make it happen,” said Watt. “But especially with the financial (tax) incentives (from

Corrie Corfield toasts her newest location of dogtown Coffee Co. on Winnipeg Street in Penticton. The future for retail in the downtown core and the rest of the city is looking bright with the addition of new businesses and expansion of others.

Mark Brett/Western News

the City of Penticton) the first guy in is going to win.” And while recovering from a recession of any magnitude can be a slow process, Watt, believes a pending real estate boom and the decision by WestJet to begin a non-stop, flight service between Penticton and Calgary, Alta. the future for city retailers is very bright.

“With the real estate, I think it will be bringing in new people to Penticton and that will mean new money,” he said. “Also, I think that the word of the correctional facility coming in here (Oliver) has generated some exceptional interest, so it’s all positive.” Specifically for the downtown core, the chamber president feels there are some very good things taking place or about to happen. Revitalization of the areas in and around the north end of Martin and Main streets according to Watt is “fantastic.” “Part of the whole idea behind it is that it’s going to create a lot more walking traffic and when you tie that in with the improvement to the waterfront, it’s tremendous,” he said. “I would love to see more lakefront development for tourists. “We’re called a tourist town and there is no reason we can’t blossom into more of a tourist town and these are all just pieces of the puzzle to put together to create an environment to bring more people here and I think we’re on the right track.” He added the proposed rejuvenation of the former Pen Mar Theatre by a local group hoping to make it an entertainment hub will only add to the good news scenario for the downtown. “I see more positive changes in the coming year,” said Watt. “I’m excited, I see more businesses starting up, I think the existing businesses are going to prosper. “We’re moving in tremendous direction with some great momentum.”

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A3

City told marketing cycling trails a better strategy

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VOL. 48 ISSUE 29

B1

Hugs help McIvor deliver safety

B4 page

FRIDAY, April 11, 2014

A11

entertainment High Bar Gang brings bluegrass to Dream Cafe

sports Bob Nicholson retires from Hockey Canada

GEESE BEWARE Addling program helps reduce number of geese along beaches

NEWS PENTICTON WESTERN

EVIL ON TRIAL — Darth Vader (John Swanson) gets plenty of legal advice from local lawyers (left to right) Deb Drissell, Paul Varga and Tyrone Duerr on the steps of the Penticton Courthouse Thursday. Two mock trials are taking place at the courthouse Friday in recognition of Law Week. Local middle and high school students, members of the bar and Crown will be participating.

Mark Brett/Western News

the addling program by the end of May. Steve Kidd Western News Staff Key to the program, said Lynka, is pubIt may not be easter for another week, lic participation in finding new nests. but the hunt is on for more than just the “It is just a few weeks when they are chocolate eggs the bunny has left out. nesting and the more reports we get, the For the eighth year, communities better job we can do,” he said. throughout the Okanagan are beginning Lone geese, pairs of geese, or nest lothe Canada Goose egg addling program cations on private or public land can be and are looking for property owners help reported by e-mailing coordinator@okanin locating nests in their quest to manage agangooseplan.com or calling 1-877- 943the valley’s resident goose population. 3209. “It’s having a very The public is also asked positive effect,” said Jeff to keep away from goose Lynka, parks supervisor for nests and to avoid touchPenticton, who estimates ing the eggs. there are 6,000 fewer geese Lynka said an additionin the Okanagan thanks to al program, where geese the addling program. are rounded up and relo“Without the addling cated in the early summer Our goal is not program, we can only has also been successful, imagine what the goose to eliminate the though he isn’t sure if it population would be.” The geese aren’t native goose population. will be repeated this year. “We’ve done relocation to the valley, but were in— Jeff Lynka in two summers, 2012 and troduced in the 60s and 70s 2013,” he said. to encourage the creation “It temporarily removes of an Okanagan goose popthe geese off swimming ulation. beaches for a period of What was not foreseen a few weeks in the early was their ability to adapt summer. to and thrive in the mild “Only about half of them have come Okanagan climate and their inability to migrate because they had no natural parents back.” The others, he said are choosing to stay to teach them how. As a result, the number of geese has in their new, relocated homes. “I think overall, not only in Penticton, grown with few natural controls, creating but throughout the valley, we are all expea need to manage this population. The Okanagan Valley Goose Manage- riencing fewer geese on our beaches and ment program works to control the repro- waterfront parks,” said Lynka. “Our goal is not to eliminate the goose ductive output of Canada geese, particupopulation, it is just to manage the species larly in public spaces. Trained contractors identify mating from some of our sensitive areas, like our pairs and nesting sites and will complete waterfronts and our beaches.”

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Arts community thriving in Penticton Kristi Patton Western News Staff

Jennifer Vincent, cofounder of coWork Penticton, consults with DPA executive director Kerri Milton and Penmar owner Jim Morrison, prior to announcing the restoration of the theatre. All three are directors of the new Penticton community Arts Society.

Western news file photo

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It has been an exciting year for the arts community as Penticton continues to grow and expand to the vibrant cultural scene. What formerly stood as a portion of Penticton Secondary School has become a hub of arts activity for the community. From hosting classes, films, speakers, live music and theatre; the Shatford Centre has blossomed into a creative centre. The Okanagan School of the Arts at the Shatford Centre also has big plans to unite the community through their stomachs. Installation of a community kitchen will help the building become more sustainable because it will provide a welcoming place where food and people come together in the spirit of community, said Jane Shaak, executive director of the centre. “I think there’s a whole bunch of people really excited about it,” said Shaak. “It is something that’s going to be a real benefit to the whole community, it’s a legacy resource and the kind of facility that will be for many generations, it’s going to make a world of difference.” The project is a partnership with the Rotary Club of Penticton. Installation costs for the kitchen are estimated at $220,000. Rotary has committed to contributing $110,000 with the remainder coming from the OSA, which has raised more than $55,000 so far. Kitchen plans will include holding culinary art classes operated through the OSA, and lifestyle and wellness classes for meals related to heart disease and diabetes. Shaak said the kitchen will also be used for special occasions (reunions and community celebrations) and be available for rental to farmers for food processing such as canning, dehydration and preserving, and rentals to caterers for fundraisers. “It’s also for students that are taking classes at the Shatford,” she said. “When we have, let’s say a one-week program – this is what used to happen long ago at the Okanagan School of the Arts – we had a cafeteria for our students. “It’s kind of like for meals and breaks for students that are attending school here.” Shaak said raising funds for the project has gone well since it began in the spring of 2013. Something old has become new again when the Penmar Community Arts Society took over the former movie theatre with a vision to make it an entertainment hub again. Fundraising is now underway to re-

unite two of the theatre’s four auditoriums for presentation of movies, live music, live theatre, speakers’ series and other community events. Penmar Community Arts Society has started selling memberships that include incentives like discounts and access to special events. Society secretary Jennifer Vincent said since they revealed its plans publicly in November, the board of directors has been “overwhelmed” by positive feedback. “It’s been obvious that this is a point of nostalgia for people and they were very sad that it closed,” she said, when it was shuttered in favour of the Landmark Cinema 7 that opened in October 2012. Colleen Pennington, Penticton’s economic development officer, also sees the reopening of the Penmar as fitting well with the city’s strategic priorities for the downtown. “It’s wonderful to see a community group come together to figure out a strategy that is sustainable to get this building back open and contributing to the community,” she said, adding that it will help draw people to the downtown and increase economic activity. Visual artists also have found a new creative space. Art House Penticton is a project based on the idea of allowing artists working in a wide range of media to rent space and provide an opportunity to share ideas. Located in the industrial area at 2345 Government St. it features dedicated and common workspaces for a mixture of fulltime and casual member artists, hackers, makers and artisans to use. In addition to meeting individual artists’ needs, Art House Penticton has broader community activities such as studio tours, exhibition openings and hosts a monthly open creative play session rotating between Kindrie Grove and their space. Artists, writers, hobbyists, hackers, enthusiasts and dabblers are all welcome to bring a project to work on, or dream something up while you’re there. Also new to the arts scene is a celebration of outstanding achievement contribution and support of arts and culture in Penticton and the surrounding area with the Penticton Arts Council Arts Awards. Lynn Allin, administrator of the Penticton Arts Council, said the board of directors worked on the inaugural event for four months and learned a lot of things going forward for planning next year’s awards. “I was completely thrilled with the first Arts Awards evening,” said Allin.


Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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Airport lands WestJet for Calgary flights Mark Brett

Western News Staff

Penticton Regional Airport (YYF) will be welcoming some new aviation faces in the coming months with the recent news WestJet is coming to town. Thanks to the perseverance by local governments and the general populace the airline recently announced it will be adding a long-awaited and what many people say is a much-needed direct flight to Calgary. The company’s regional carrier WestJet Encore is slated to begin the once-a-day, round trips at the end of October. “The response from the community was very good. That means a lot to us,” said WestJet Encore president Ferio Pugliese. “The Okanagan and the Southern Okanagan is a large enough market that we believe can support this sort of service and potentially see growth.” The new service will eventually mean additional revenue for the airport in landing and departure fees charged for commercial use of the facility as well as other things provided by on-site services providers to the airline and its passengers. The WestJet news came on the heels of the announcement by Air Canada in late February that the Jazz round-trip flights between Penticton and Vancouver would be increasing to four flights daily from three. Airport manager David Allen had said earlier Jazz ridership from the YYF remains steady throughout much of the year. He also believes the new flights planned by both companies as well as the previous year’s multi-million-dollar major expansion of the Canadian Helicopters (now HNZ Topflight) training school shows the aviation business community has a lot of faith in the Penticton airport. Penticton Mayor Garry Litke applauded the success of the airport, saying it gives the facility a much broader scope in its regional service which benefits everyone throughout the local area, including the city’s hospitality industry. “This airport is absolutely essential to the economic viability to the city and the entire region because it is a regional airport,” said Litke. He added it was also good to see Nav Canada (which operates the facility) keeping up with some of the latest technical standards such as the global positioning systems (GPS).

Penticton mayor, Garry Litke, was all smiles at the press conference announcing WestJet’s plans to launch a Penticton-calgary flight at the end of october.

Western news file photo

Officials are confident the proposed expansion the expansion of the Penticton Regional Hospital and construction of the $200 million jail in Oliver will mean a jump in air travel, especially between Alberta and Penticton as construction workers move between the two locations. “As well, supervisors to the staff that is being recruited to work at these facilities there will be a need for national and international access to the rest of the world,” said Litke. With the new GPS system, landing at YYF will be safer and easier for pilots. As well, fewer aircraft will be turned away due to visibility issues.

apex mountain resort draws a crowd Emanuel Sequeira Western News Staff

Mother Nature wasn’t as kind to Apex Mountain Resort at the start of 2013 season as she was in 2012, but that didn’t stop the resort from having a good year. “It was fantastic. We had some very difficult snow conditions early this year,” said general manager James Shalman. “That was kind of leading into Christmas. Even in January we had 10 days of warm weather, almost spring-like.” That was followed by an incredible February and March. “Huge snow, perfect temperatures,” said Shalman. “Our skier visits went through the roof.” Public support was strong and season’s passes were up, which Shalman said always bodes well. “The big thing there too is that we had a lot of big events this year, everything from Olympic teams training early season to state and provincials teams from across the U.S. and Canada.” Among the mogul events at the mountain

were the Canadian Selections identification camp in December, the first Timber Tour for the B.C. Series in January, NorAms, which featured national team members in February, and the senior nationals, which welcomed Olympic gold medallists Alex Bilodeau and Justine Dufour-Lapointe and silver medal winners Mikaël Kingsbury and Chloe Dufour-Lapointe in March. Canadian Freestyle Ski Association chief executive officer Bruce Robinson said the weekend event was amazing. “Apex Mountain is one of the clubs in the country that really does a fantastic job of staging events,” he said. “This is a great venue for it. There is an amazing legacy here.” Shalman maintains the events held at the mountain support the entire Apex economy and said junior nationals is a huge event. Shalman said they also cut five new runs which had skiers excited and they made a new day lodge, which received positive response. “I would just like to thank everybody that came and played with us this winter,” said Shalman. “I hope everybody enjoyed themselves.”

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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

Seniors residence offers lifestyle enrichment When complete residence will have 50 employees and offer a variety of activities such as woodworking put in a lot of high-end amenities, like theatres and first-class dining and woodworking shops and hair salons and health spas and evA new high-end seniors’ residence looms erything,” he explained. large at the south end of Penticton, and that’s “And in order to do that, you need a cerliterally only the half of it. tain number of units to justify those ameniWhat you see there now ties. is just the first four-storey, “So we couldn’t build 7,400-square-foot residena smaller building, but we tial wing that will contain weren’t sure there was a de80 suites, while a separate mand in Penticton for that building under construction larger building.” will become a 1,900-squareThe tax incentive provided foot recreation and amenities a bit of insurance to the comcentre. We get them down pany, and Hall said it will Work on a second, identicome back in spades to the cal residential wing, which in the wine room city. will boost the Southwood and we bring in a He noted the $25-million Retirement Resort’s total occonstruction project is utilizcupancy to about 200 people, wine connoisseur ing some local contractors and will start when the first be- to teach them how suppliers, while the payroll for gins to fill up. the 50-person staff that will to make wine. That will probably be next open the building is expected year, according to Ed Hall, to be in the range of $2 million — Ed Hall president of Regency Retireannually. ment Resorts, which operates “That’s what we pointed four similar developments in out to the city. This is a good, Kelowna. clean employer. It creates reSouthwood is expected to welcome its ally permanent, lasting jobs, and there can be first residents on Jan. 1, he said, and those career development,” Hall said. people should have lots of new neighbours “For a lot of young people, we’re their to meet. first employer.” “We are overwhelmed with the response. Regency is attempting to fill a niche at the We already have more names on our priority upper end of the market that’s occupied by a reservation system than we have suites avail- growing number of aging Canadians. able, including in the second phase,” Hall “I think that the senior of today is much said, adding he’s confident the facility will more demanding of lifestyle enrichment. be able to accommodate everyone who’s in- They’re looking for a place where they can terested as the opening day approaches. go and enjoy life and be active and engaged. Regency attracted some criticism from And we really work at that,” he said. some of the city’s established seniors’ resi“We have welcoming committees and we dence operators due to a tax break it received get people engaged and we help them on the back in 2012. computers so they can Skype with their chilThe incentive, worth about $500,000, was dren and grandchildren in Winnipeg,” Hall granted under the city’s economic invest- continued. ment zone bylaw, which was created to spur “We get them down in the wine room and development activity in Penticton. we bring in a wine connoisseur to teach them But Hall said that incentive was the decid- how to make wine. ing factor for his company. “Things like that. “In order to create the lifestyle and enrich“It goes way beyond the description of a ment that we offer in our resorts, you have to seniors’ home.” Joe Fries

Western News Staff

Work is currently underWay on the southwood retirement resort on a section of the property that was formerly occupied by Waterworld rV Park. this is just one of two residential wings planned.

Mark Brett/Western news

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Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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SOEC delivers top-notch music Kristi Patton

Western News Staff

The South Okanagan Events Centre hit its stride as it turned five last year and things continue to get better. Over one million people have been through the SOEC doors over the five years and the facility forever changed the face of entertainment and events in the South Okanagan. “2013 was an exceptional year at the SOEC and all our concerts sold very well thanks to great concert promoter partners and all the work and effort from the staff, Mayor Garry Litke and council, Chuck Loewen and Annette Antoniak. They have all been big proponents in pushing us in the right direction,” said SOEC general manager Dean Clarke. “We have a lot of positive momentum and continue to build on that as the area embraces the building. It has been a 180-degree turnaround since 20092010.” In 2013 Eric Church set a record as the highest attended concert to date at the SOEC. This was followed by Brad Paisley, Motley Crue, Alan Jackson and Celtic Thunder. To kick off 2014, country’s hottest duo, Florida Georgia Line, and iconic blues-rockers The Steve Miller Band posted back-to-back evening sell-out shows. Florida Georgia Line also helped the SOEC set a first-day ticket sales record for the venue. The Steve Miller Band sold the most tickets on their tour in Penticton. “This is all great for the community because we are attracting concert-goers from the outside area as well which generates an economic impact to Penticton’s restaurants, hotels and more,” said Clarke. Clarke gives credit to the marketing team at the SOEC for doing a great job. Director of marketing Carla Seddon was a recipient of the Top 40 Under 40 award this year. Clarke said they are fortunate to have her and the rest of the hard-working staff. “Our environment is a bit of a pressure cooker. She gets inventory and she has to sell it. There is an end date when that concert comes and she has been really successful at her job the past couple of years and it is a big reason why we have been successful in Penticton,” he said. A diversified entertainment roster has also helped fill seats. In the past year this has included the Okanagan Throwdown, Monster X Tour, varying genres of music from country acts to Alice In Chains in August and the Okanagan Hockey School hosted the 2014 national women’s hockey team which went on to win a gold medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics. “We still have three shows to announce for this year that show a great diversity,” said Clarke. “For me, I wake up every day thinking how can I improve this workplace for the betterment of the community and the staff? It is just an awesome thing to be part of.” Another positive is that the anchor tenant, the Penticton Vees hockey club, has seen an increase in attendance. Clarke said the Vees’ aggressive campaign to win more season ticket holders through special pricing and catering towards bringing families in has been successful. Attendance was up 25 per cent over last season. In-game promotions combined with the SOEC jumping in to include reduced pricing on food and beverages for Wicked Wednesday promotions has also proved successful. An economic impact study of the SOEC and the immediate facilities managed by Global Spectrum shows $33.9 million in

total economic activity, generating the equivalent to 368 jobs. In 2014, the SOEC complex is expected to have an operating deficit of $1.25 million, as compared to $1.37 million projected for 2013. Clarke said one of their challenges this year will be an aggressive budget. Last year was also a banner year for the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre, which is also managed by Global Spectrum. Clarke said this year’s numbers are unlikely to equal that. “That business runs on a two-to three-year cycle so we do expect some drop off, however we have had some amazing things come through, especially in aboriginal business. In July the B.C. Elders Gathering will be using the facilities which is a tremendous piece of business that we are proud to have,” said Clarke. The 38th Annual BC Elders Gathering will also make use of the South Okanagan Events Centre and the Okanagan Hockey Training Centre as more than 2,500 Elders from around the province meet in Penticton. Adding to the event’s overall attendance, more than 1,000 student volunteers will assist the elders. Two convention highlights in 2013 were the Aboriginal Business Match (ABM) and the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres (BCAAFC) 11th Annual Youth Conference: Gathering Our Voices. Combined, the two events contributed to an estimated economic impact of over $1 million and resulted in 4,200 room nights for local hotels and motels. Both events were held during a relatively quiet time for Penticton, giving a much needed and welcomed boost to the local economy. The whole complex of Global Spectrum-run buildings also hosted the B.C. Interior RV show for the third year in a row. This is the largest RV show in the Interior that covers nine acres. It draws on average about 10,000 people from all over Western Canada.

The Band Perry, top, and Florida Georgia Line are just two of the a-list musical acts to appear at the South Okanagan events Centre in 2014.

Western news file photos


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

Fruit growers look to harvest on optimistic forecast Steve Kidd

Western News Staff

Fruit growers are hoping for a third year of good prices for the products of their trees. “Growers, in general, have had two decent years,” said Glen Lucas, general manager for the BC Fruit Growers Association, “which has really started to get them back on their feet and create a little more optimism out there.” Lucas is primarily referring to prices growers are getting for their apples, one of the hardest hit crops in terms of pricing over the past decade. “I think we need a few more good years before we get really optimistic. Certainly it has taken a bit of the edge off,” said Lucas. Lucas said that though there have been ups and downs over the last few years, the cherry market has been generally good for the last few years. “That is continuing to generate a lot of interest in late-season cherry varieties and replanting with them,” said Lucas. In general, apple prices have been higher for the past two harvests, and growers are showing a lot of interest in replanting with the newer, popular varieties, especially ambrosia. Even though ambrosia was discovered by chance in a Similkameen orchard in 1993, and has been in solid production for more than a decade, it is still growing in popularity, according to Lucas. “The appeal to the consumer in terms of its look and its eating experience is really our best apple, in my opinion,” he said. “Some people like honeycrisp, but my personal experience is that in a side-by-side taste test and given a repeat taste, the ambrosia comes up on top.” The increasing emphasis on late-season cherries as well as newer varieties of apples, like ambrosia, has resulted in fruit growers carving out a specialty niche for themselves. “I think there is a dawning recognition that we need to specialize and do what we are best at, because we are the small guys on the block and we are next to this elephant, Washington State,” said Lucas. “We need to do the things we are best at in order to survive.” Since 2007, when the fruit industry embraced a restructuring policy, the BCFGA has been working with growers to modernize and enhance the industry, not only renewing varieties through replant but also amalgamating and retooling packing houses for better efficiencies along with an overall focus on high quality. “I think we need to rebuild that strategy. We have achieved what we wanted to, now we need to say, ‘We got there, we need to move ahead from where we are at and further refine that strategy,’” said Lucas, adding that the BCFGA is working to develop a new replant funding program with provincial minister of agriculture Norm Letnick. Letnick knows the Okanagan well and understands replant, said Lucas, so the conversation on that front has been reinvigorated. “We continue to work on replant and get a new replant program in place,” he said. “We haven’t had a final decision on that, but we have had a lot of direction and communication with the minister of agriculture.” Another positive move on the provincial level for valley growers is the B.C. government’s stance on the Columbia River Treaty, currently being renegotiated with Washington

Rod Hollett reaches to pluck a gala apple from one of the bountiful trees in his Naramata Road orchard. Fruit growers are expecting another good harvest. Mark Brett/Western News

State. “We are very pleased that position now includes, for the first time, benefits provided to the U.S. in terms of irrigation,” said Lucas. “We are at a place where we have never been before on this one. It’s always been restricted to flood control and power generation. For us, it’s a big step forward.” Though the BCFGA has taken a stand against them, Summerland grower Neal Carter thinks his genetically modified Arctic Apples will also enhance the future of BC’s apple industry. Carter developed his line of Arctic Apple varieties, using genetic techniques to turn off the gene that causes apples to turn brown after being cut. He claims that not only makes them more attractive to the prepackaged food industry, but the apples retain their nutritional value longer. Arctic Apples, he said, are well on the way to federal approval in both the U.S. and Canada, and that his innovation could put B.C. on the leading edge of the apple industry. “Arctic Apples are just an apple. People are getting awfully excited about just an apple,” said Carter. “I am excited too. I am excited the other way, though: for it to happen and people to experience this product because it’s fantastic. “We wouldn’t put this much effort into something if we didn’t think it was worth it.” Another issue causing a lot of conversation is the provincial government’s introduction of changes to the Agricultural

Land Reserve. The industry, Lucas said, feel there needs to be a lot more consultation before the changes become law. While the growing area in the Okanagan will be most affected by the change to a regional decision making panel, rather than provincial, some fruit growing areas will be affected. “Zone 2 is the north but it also includes the Kootenays, which includes the fruit growing area of Creston. Some of our members are impacted by the creation of that second zone and the different way of handling land use,” said Lucas. “There seems to be a sense of eventually there would be just one zone again, but it would go to the lowest common denominator,” said Lucas. “There was a case made for the grain sector to have a little more flexibility in their land use, because they have so much land up there (northern B.C.), and then the Kootenays were thrown in. I was just over there and they have remarkably little arable land.” “That they were put in that same group is definitely for different reasons that were given for originally including the north.” Since this is a pan-agricultural issue, Lucas said the BCFGA is not participating directly, but is supporting the BC Agriculture Council in their drive for more consultation with the industry and stakeholders on the future of the Agricultural Land Reserve.


Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

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17

Okanagan College makes education sustainable Joe Fries

Western News Staff

Okanagan College’s flagship building in Penticton is close to finally hitting its stride. In September, the college will welcome its first 26-student intake into the Sustainable Construction Management Technology course. The three-year diploma program will be housed in the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation, a working classroom that showcases the latest in green building technologies. Tasked with getting the course off the ground is Amy Vaillancourt, whom the college recently announced will be its lead instructor and program chair. “The goal of the SCMT program is to train students in new ways of doing things, and to prepare them for jobs opening up in the sustainable construction field,” she explained. “As older workers retire, gaps are created and a new generation of workers needs to have the knowledge and skills to work with changing building codes and new industry and government regulations.” Vaillancourt, who holds a PhD in civil engineering from the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton, noted the Centre of Excellence “has visible geo-thermal heating and cooling, screens that display energy conservation, solar water heating, and more. “It’s the perfect environment for students, and will definitely be an important part of the learning experience.” Okanagan College regional dean Donna Lomas said interest in the new program has been strong, but there are still seats available. “Because it’s a three-year program, people will have to think about taking that much time and leaving the workforce,” she said. Traditional trades programs are also booming at the college. “For example, in the electrical programs we had to add another section, so we’ve got 40 first-year, pre-apprentice electricians on campus, plus we’ve got overflow in our apprenticeships,” Lomas said, adding enrolment in the trades is cyclical. “If the perception is that the construction industry is taking off, then your electrical, your plumbing, your HVAC, they go with it,” she explained. “Right now, we know that there is a demand up north for jobs in the oilfield, so we do have a number of students who are taking their training here in the Okanagan but who are anticipating working in the north.” Meanwhile, the college is also preparing to open a new facility designed for one this region’s most vibrant industries: wine. The BC Wine Information Centre Sensory Lab is set to open in May, although it will be

Through iTs firsT Two years, Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Penticton has welcomed about 4,600 students, and a few dozen more are on their way with the addition of a new sustainable construction management program. Joe fries/western News

more akin to a tasting room than a science centre. “This is an industry-driven project. They have been looking for a place they could do some of this high-end testing and it’s also a great opportunity for the college to expand its programming,” Lomas said. “We already have the viticulture program and wine sales program, and now they’ll have an appropriate place to grow and develop their curriculum.” It will also be used for more gourmet-minded courses. “We have all kinds of new and interesting programming: food and wine pairing, cheesemaking, pizza-making and corresponding it with wine,” said Lomas. “And of course the sensory lab will also be used by our local wineries to help them test their wines and be able to increase the quality of their products.”

school district adds diversity to curriculum and community Joe Fries

Western News Staff

In the face of declining enrolment and shrinking budgets, the Okanagan Skaha School District has found hope in its international student program, which is attracting new faces and dollars to local communities. The program has grown by leaps and bounds since the school board made it a priority several years ago to help generate revenue. In 2012-13, the district welcomed 17 full-time students, who were replaced by 29 newcomers this year, according to information supplied by Okanagan Skaha, and the district already has 41 learners registered for next year. The district has also welcomed smaller groups for shorterterm stays — as little as two weeks — that are generally meant to help students learn English as a second language. Most weekends see the students taking in local sights and opportunities for adventure, like skiing, and generally getting

homestay parents are enriched by the visitors’ presence. — Bruce Johnson

a taste of life in Canada. Tuition for a full-time student here is currently set at $12,000, the lowest in the Okanagan, and the program is already in the black. This year, revenue is projected at $469,200 on expenses of $382,000, for a profit of $87,200.

“We’re very pleased about it and look forward to its continued growth,” said school board chairman Bruce Johnson. “Obviously the money-making part of it is important in this day and age with our budget the way it is, but the other factors is there are really, really neat young people that are coming into our community.” Superintendent Wendy Hyer noted growth of the program is limited only by the availability of homestays for the visiting students. Host families are paid $725 a month in exchange for providing meals and lodging for a student, and can have a maximum of two students in their home. More information is available at www.sd67.bc.ca. “Homestay families are enriched by (the visitors’) presence,” Johnson said. “So it’s not just the money; it’s the whole learning environment and learning opportunities for the foreign students and our students here.”


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Wednesday, May 7, 2014 Penticton Western News

Real-estate market breaking new ground Kristi Patton Western News Staff

Real estate in the area is on the upswing said the president of the South Okanagan Real Estate Board. Judy Klassen said since an area-wide increase in December things are continuing to pick up. “Interest rates are still at historical lows,” she said. “We don’t expect them to be going up soon. Towards the end of this year, we might see some increases, that is what they are forecasting.” “There is things happening around the Okanagan that will encourage building. “There are projects coming ahead that I think we will see in the spring that will assist with that.” Klassen said the South Okanagan real estate market has been progressing steadily with home listings on the rise as nicer weather approaches. “Buyers have a great selection of property and pricing is very good. Buyers really have the upper hand right now,” said Klassen. “Definitely in the past few weeks we have seen a lot more people looking for homes, it was like someone flipped a switch.” The real estate agent also speculates with the Okanagan Correctional Centre supposed to break ground late spring, Klassen said she expects an influx of buyers because workers who are relocating will be looking for a home. South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce president Myers Bennett agrees in part. He said the Oliver business community, particularly the portion with an interest in real estate, seems to be holding its breath while waiting for the project to break ground. “I would say about six months ago there was quite a bit of activity on some of the small business buildings downtown, more so than (residential) real estate,” said Bennett. “I think until people start to see the jail get built and people moving here that it’s going to be kind of a false economy.” In Penticton, new construction has begun at the Sendero Canyon development, a 230-lot subdivision in the Upper Carmi area. The master plan for the community calls for a mix of twolevel homes with in-ground basements suitable for young families who want secondary suites, and single-storey ranchers that should appeal to more mature buyers, said Gordon Cameron, vice-president of Canadian Horizons Development Group, who expects Sendero Canyon’s appeal to reach beyond the region. “Penticton has everything, but it still has some of that smaller-town charm, and we just see it as very appealing to the Albertan that wants to retire into the Okanagan Valley, or the person from the Lower Mainland that wants to retire into the area,” he explained. Real Estate agent Brian Cutler said there are currently 16 homes under construction and 34 are expected to be completed by November in the new residential community. He said there are two fully staged show homes and they are planning a open house for the public on May 10. “You won’t believe the activity we have seen up there. People are constantly driving through to have a look and construction is going good. We have had a lot of interest and of-

RealtoRs Brian (left) and Joni Cutler look over plans with construction manager Martin Lemoine at the Sendero Canyon residential development in the Upper Carmi area. Increased activity at the location and in other areas is pointing to an improving real estate market.

Western News file photo

fers that are pending,” said Cutler of the no-restriction lots and homes. “There is nothing else in Penticton right now like this, this is not a strata and there are no restrictions.” Lots are moving quickly at the Skaha Hills development on Penticton Indian Band land. Just two weeks into sales they sold more than half the initial offering of 47 lots. Since the purchase contracts include a clause that construction must start within two years, they are not likely being driven by land speculators, according to Curt Jansen, Skaha Hills vice-president. He suggests it is because of pent up demand for view lots in Penticton, an improving economy and a construction firm behind the project with a long-standing reputation. “We thought that this phase would take us one to two years,” said Jansen. The multi-phase, mixed use development is a residential community but has potential for different uses on the land. Skaha Hills is a 550-acre, $250-million development on the bench west of the Penticton airport that will build 550 units in seven phases. The PIB is partnered with Greyback Developments Ltd.

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Last year the PIB announced another partnership with Stage West Hospitality to build a $5.2 million winery and vineyard on a 0.8 hectare site at the entrance to the Skaha Hills community. “This is our first official winery but the master plan of the Skaha Hills development will have a hotel and things like this if the market is sustaining the project. This is an exciting opportunity with this partnership with the band,” said Mohamed Awad, who was selected as general manager. “We are excited to now be in B.C. and build this new relationship with the band.” More than 67,000 property owners throughout the South Okanagan region received their 2013 assessment notices that showed a stable trend. “Most homes in the South Okanagan region are remaining stable in value compared to last year’s assessment roll,” said Tracy Wall, deputy assessor. “Most home owners in South Okanagan will see modest changes in the five per cent to plus-five per cent range.” Commercial and industrial properties in the South Okanagan saw similar changes in their assessment..


Penticton Western News Wednesday, May 7, 2014

www.pentictonwesternnews.com

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Another Another successful successful year year for for Penticton Penticton Toyota Toyota

Penticton Toyota had a remarkable Toyota hadproven a remarkable yearPenticton in 2013 and it was with the year in 2013 and it was proven with the title of top sales for a Toyota dealership title of top sales for a Toyota dealership in British Columbia*. In addition Pentin British Columbia*. addition Penticton Toyota is PresidentInPride Award for icton Toyota is President Pride Award for their 4th consecutive year. Many factors their 4th consecutive year. Many factors that attributed to the success of PenticthatToyota attributed to the success of Penticton in 2013 were the introduction tonsome Toyota in models 2013 were introduction of new and the a dedication to of some new models and a dedication to great customer service. great customer service. Hendrik Keij purchased the dealership Hendrik purchased the dealership in 1981 andKeij it has been under the same in 1981 and it has been under the same management since. Larry Pidperyhora management since. Larry Pidperyhora General Sales Manager has been at the General Sales hasTony beenWhiles at the dealership sinceManager 1992 and dealership since 1992 and Tony Whiles Service Manager since 1994. Both Larry Service 1994. inBoth and TonyManager became since co-owners the Larry dealand Tony became co-owners in the dealership in 2003. At Penticton Toyota great ership in service 2003. Atis Penticton Toyota great customer a culture that has been customer service is a culture that has been developed over the years. With longevdeveloped over the years. With longevity of employees and a great work atmoity of employees and a great atmosphere it is the ingredient to awork successful sphere it is the ingredient to a successful business. business. Penticton Toyota offers customers a Penticton Toyota offers customers a

different experience in the purchase of in the purchase of adifferent vehicle.experience Penticton Toyota is commita vehicle. Penticton Toyota is committed to excellent customer service, vehicle ted to excellent customer service, vehicle knowledge and serving you with informaknowledge and serving you with information to make the right decision. Buying to make the be right ation vehicle should an decision. enjoyable Buying event! a vehicle should be an enjoyableToyota event! That’s why the Team at Penticton That’s why the Penticton is committed to Team givingatyou the bestToyota expeis committed to giving you the best experience. rience.

With the arrival of exciting new veWithin the arrival of aexciting new vehicles 2013 it was major factor to hicles in 2013 it was a major factor to the accomplishment of Penticton Toyota. the accomplishment of Penticton Toyota. Some of the key vehicles were; the allSome of the key vehicles were; the allnew 2013 Toyota Rav4 was introduced in new 20132013 Toyota Rav4 was introduced in February and it became an instant February 2013 and it became an instant

hero. The compact sport utility market is hero.aThe compactmarket sport utility is such competitive but themarket Rav4 is such competitive up fora the challenge.market but the Rav4 is up for the challenge.

The much anticipated completely reThe much completely redesigned 2014 anticipated Toyota Corolla was introdesigned 2014 Toyota Corolla was introduced in August 2013. The bestselling car duced in August 2013. the Thebar bestselling car of all time just raised to a whole of alllevel. timeItjust raised barToyota to a whole new is an icon the in the famnew level. It is an icon in the Toyota ily and it has been our most successfulfamcar ily and it has been our most successful car of 2013. of The 2013. unveiling of the 2014 Toyota Tundra Thethe unveiling of the 2014 Toyota Tundra broke mould of truck stereotypes. With broke the mould of truck stereotypes. With a rugged design and industry first standard a rugged design and industry fi rst standard back up camera, it has made the truck comback upcheck camera, hasview mademirror. the truck competitors its itrear Offering petitors check its rear view mirror. Offering

a variety of configurations that appeal to the a variety oftoconfi gurations that appeal to the contractor the executive, Tundra is tough contractor theproject. executive, Tundra is tough enough for to any enough for any project. Toyota is one of the only vehicle manToyota is manufacturers to one offerofathe fullonly linevehicle of vehicles ufacturers to offer a full line of vehicles from Cars, SUVs’, Cross overs, Minivans, from Cars, Cross overs, Minivans, Trucks and SUVs’, a full line of Hybrids. Trucks and a full line of Hybrids.

Thanks everyone for the making 2013 Thanks story everyone for the making a success at Penticton Toyota.2013 We a success story at Penticton Toyota. are looking at 2014 as following that We diare looking at 2014 as following that direction again. rection again. *Based on Toyota Canada dealership *Based on Toyota Canada dealership targets in British Columbia targets in British Columbia


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May 07, 2014  

Section X of the May 07, 2014 edition of the Penticton Western News

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