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Contents Canadian Tire on target for May opening ...................... Z8 Kal Tire rolls out optimism about the future ................... Z9 OC education expands....................Z16 IPE manager shares tips to success of fair ......... Z26 DVA keeps city core alive, well and growing ................... Z40 Building healthcare ............... Z43 TIER helps people overcome job challenges................ Z54
| Website: www.vernonmorningstar.com Switchboard: Fax: 250-545-3322 250-542-1510 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: 4407 - 25 Ave. Vernon, BC V1T 1P5
On the Cover Pictures were submitted from the following from the top left: Enderby Cliffs Armstrong Chamber of Commerce Kal Lake Lisa Vandervelde Downtown Vernon (Tall) Jennifer Smith Downtown Vernon (Small) City of Vernon / Sproing Creative Armstrong Armstrong Chamber of Commerce Lumby Village of Lumby Downtown Vernon Cityscape City of Vernon / Sproing Creative
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Building a brighter future glenn mitchell Morning Star Editor
Spring is in the air and the sound of hammering this and welding that is certainly echoing through the atmosphere as it seems construction on big projects is in season. While the new BC Hydro building on Kalamalka Lake Road begins to take shape, an exciting seniors project begins to rise in downtown Vernon, and the Great West Equipment building in Spallumcheen looms large along Highway 97, it’s an exciting time in the North Okanagan. Of course there’s also the ongoing construction of the Interior’s largest Canadian Tire at the Village Green Centre and the new development taking shape on the old Kal Tire office complex on 48th Avenue, just to mention a few other large projects underway. However, it’s the things that you don’t necessarily see as you drive by that’s also exciting for the future of a diversified economy for the area. KingFisher Boats has added a second shift at its Swan Lake plant to keep up with demand, Okanagan Spirits continues to make a world-class product while introducing its new site to the must-see list for visitors, the Vernon Chamber of Commerce membership grew by 80 members in one year and the North Okanagan’s desirability means it remains one of the fastest growing communities by population in the province. Certainly challenges exist, including the fallout from low oil prices working its way through the system, the need to attract more hi-tech businesses to allow us to help build our children’s future closer to home, as well as environmental realities that will test our human resolve and ingenuity even further in the future. But as we strive to protect the environ-
Lisa VanderVeLde/Morning star
Construction continues on the new Great West Equipment building at the north end of Swan Lake. ment, we also celebrate all it has to offer here in the North Okanagan that makes it such a wonderful place to live and work and play all year long. Spring is when all those possibilities
come to life and alert our senses to the fact that life is good here. There truly is no place like home. The future looks bright. Pass the shades.
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST Jennifer Smith/ morning Star
Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce general manager Dan Rogers stands alongside president Tracy Cobb-Reeves and the board which is working hard to represent its nearly 530 members.
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The voice of Vernon business is on the grow. The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce saw substantial growth in 2015 across all facets of the organization which represents local business interests. “Growth in terms of focus, growth in terms of members, growth in terms of events,” said Tracy Cobb–Reeves, chamber president. “Even in terms of communications coming out from the chamber office. And we’re looking forward to the
same for 2016.” Membership grew by 80 to nearly 530 last year. “We had one of our strongest years last year,” said Dan Rogers, chamber general manager. “We added a number of new members, likely more than the last five years combined.” The chamber represents an array of businesses, from large industry to the small, mom and pop shop and even non-profits.
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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Along with health care benefits, training opportunities and networking, the chamber gives members a voice by advocating on their behalf. “It’s important as a growing community that we have a voice,” said Rogers. Which is why the local chamber makes its presence known, and voice heard, at both the B.C. and Canadian chambers’ AGMs. “Having that level of recognition that Vernon is at the table is important,” said Cobb–Reeves. Locally, the chamber is also vocal about issues important to its members – from a budget submission to Vernon this year (a first from the chamber), to exploring rail trail initiative opportunities and master water plan involvement, to demands for a reduction in red tape for residential construction and housing. “There are a number of major issues we’re going to continue to be active on and continue to follow,” said Rogers. The range in those issues matches the range of expertise members are represented by on the board. From real estate to law,
each of the 12 volunteer board members have varying skills and are dedicated to the community they live, work and play in. “It’s part of our objective to become very strong advocates for businesses,” said Cobb–Reeves, a communications specialist at Kal Tire. The chamber has also been growing its events offerings, and last year added a golf tournament as well as the Top 20 Under 40 recognition of young entrepreneurs. Giving members more value is part of the chamber’s strategic plan, which also includes increasing its profile and working on relationships with local, provincial and federal governments. It is also interested in expanding its relationships with others, such as the regional chambers, which would add to its current varied portfolio of involvement. The Vernon Chamber is pleased to see Jon Garson at the helm of the B.C. Chamber, providing a fresh look and his own expertise. “He was in Vernon and came to speak to our chamber which signifies the connection with the Vernon Chamber and B.C.,” said Cobb-Reeves.
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Area charms industry JACKIE PEARASE Special to The Morning Star
There seems to be no cut to the action in the local film industry. The Okanagan Film Commission experienced a very busy year in 2015 and this year appears to be kicking things up a notch. “This year is ridiculous. It’s insane,” said Jon Summerland, film commissioner. Seven movies are booked for filming in the region, including two in Summerland early spring and two starting April 1. One production company has five shoots lined up back-to-back and another company is considering adding another two films this year. “That’s not to mention the ones that are just going to pop up,” Summerland added. “We are very busy.” Summerland said the entire province is bustling with film production, as is Canada. The low loonie has been advantageous for film but Summerland said that is not something to rely on so he does not use it as a strong selling point. The beauty of the Okanagan is all Summerland needs. “It really is the best part of the films that are made here. Location has been the best part of the movies we make – it looks so good.” The area can substitute for California, New Mexico and other locales and the OFC has a huge inventory of locations to choose from. Summerland is scouting a wide assortment of locations this year including a tiny house, one that has the “Enderby Cliffs written all over it,” another where Armstrong might fit and even one to stand in for Africa – which he admits might be
a stretch. A few years ago, Summerland was hustling all over the region to woo production companies to the Okanagan. He is still very busy but reputation is doing the wooing. “Everyone who shoots here says they’ll shoot here again,” he said. “It’s got traction. The seed we planted is growing.” Being able to provide infrastructure and crew means companies can reduce their budgets and tax credits are an added appeal. As a labour-driven industry, animation continues to look to the Okanagan to take advantage of the tax credits but finding qualified labour continues to be difficult. Summerland said young people with two- or four-year degrees are being snapped up quick to work in animation. Summerland said the missing piece now is a studio where production companies could shoot entirely “in the box,” further reducing costs and opening the door to bigger companies looking for such space. “Amazon, Netflix, Shomi – they’re all homeless right now. They’re all in British Columbia vying for closed down relic warehouses in Vancouver, Pitt Meadows, all over the place, to make quality programs,” noted Summerland. A studio would also have spin-off benefits as suppliers popped up to service the industry with things from wigs to plastic flowers. Such a project would cost around $10 million to build but Summerland is confident that studio use and office space could recoup up to half of that within one year. Summerland said the film industry is fickle because they will go to wherever is best suited but his strategy to promote and sell the area at every opportunity seems to be working. “The whole region is being sold equally and right,” he said. “It’s not if it will come to that town, it’s when it will come to that town.”
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Canadian Tire on target for May opening Kristin Froneman Morning Star Staff
Canadian Tire is building for the future right here in Vernon. Residents and visitors will soon have a new place to spend their Canadian Tire money when one of the country’s largest retailers sets up its new shop in the former Target location at the Village Green Centre. The move not only brings more local jobs, but an exciting option for shoppers, said Vernon Canadian Tire owner Grant Turner. “Everyone is excited about having more choice. The feedback from the community has been positive and the excitement is building,” said Turner. At a job fair held in February, Canadian Tire hired 60 new employees from the area to help prepare for the move from the store’s current location on 27th Street to the new store. By the time all is said and done, the new location will employ from 120 to 150 workers, said Turner. “They are getting the shelves and baskets ready and we will start moving the stock from the old store. We will
Kristin Froneman/morninG star
the automotive service centre at Canadian tire’s new store will feature nine car bays and state-of-the art equipment.
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also be bringing in $2.5 million worth of new stock,” said Turner. All together, the new store will feature $7 million in inventory. “The new location includes 70,000 square-feet of retail space and the warehouse alone is 35,000 square feet and will feature two-to-three levels for storage,” said Turner. “This makes us the biggest Canadian Tire in the Interior and almost the largest store in B.C.” Similar to Target, the new Canadian Tire will feature two entrances, including one accessible from the mall, with registers located at both locations. “We will have wider aisles and computerized locators at the end of the aisles. We will also have maps of the store for easier access and extra staff on the floor so that people will be able to find what they want,” said Turner. Not only will the new store showcase a much bigger appliance and home wares section (at about three times larger than the old store), but also a pro shop loaded with equipment for the outdoors enthusiast. “We will have half-a-million dollars of new firearms, ammunitions and hunting clothing and accessories,” said Turner. The new automotive services centre,
located at the north end of the building, will feature large signs with easyto-find access from Highway 97. The nine car bays will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment. “We have a new automotive services manager, Earl Adams, who is a master mechanic from the coast. He will be putting a team together and knows what he is talking about,” said Turner. The new garden centre, which includes an enclosed greenhouse, will greet visitors at the main entrance to the store. “We have some great staff with tons of experience in gardening,” said Turner. “We will also have a huge amount of displays throughout the store, everything from patio furniture and tents to furniture and more.” As of press time, the current Canadian Tire on 27th Street will be closed from May 2 to 4. “The old store will be re-purposed by Canadian Tire construction and will likely have two-to-three new retail stores in it,” said Turner, adding the gas bar will remain at that location. The new store at Village Green Centre is expected to open May 5 or 6. “We will have a soft opening then, with a grand opening around the first week of June,” said Turner.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z9
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Kal Tire rolls out optimism about the future RICHARD ROLKE Morning Star Staff
The economy across Canada and around the globe is creating some uncertainty, but one of North America’s largest commercial tire dealers remains confident about the future. “Business conditions are challenging but there are lots of opportunities. We continue to grow in different segments of our business,” said Robert Foord, president of Vernonbased Kal Tire. “We are focused on the things we can influence. We want to improve our team members’ skill levels Robert Foord and ensure we continue to deliver the best value to our customer. We want to position ourselves for the future when things do turn around.” As a result, Kal Tire staff are constantly trying to evolve the business. “We need to understand what customers want from us. Is it digital or automation in mining and commercial?” said Foord. “People’s expectations are growing all of the time so we need to increase the service offerings.” Kal Tire is Canada’s largest independent tire dealer, with 254 retail/commercial operations from B.C. to Ontario. “If the economy isn’t as strong, people still need to have their vehicles serviced,” said Foord. “With our mechanical part of the business, we continue to see it growing.” It’s expected that Ontario will be the primary focus for expansion. “For the next three to five years, we’ll be looking for opportunities in that market. That market is bigger than all of Western Canada combined,” said Foord. However, Foord is also upbeat about
KAL TIRE PHOTO
Vernon-based Kal Tire has 3,400 employees in Canada and an additional 2,000 around the world. the future in the four western provinces, even with the current downturn in the oil and gas sector. “We’re looking long-term. We feel good about Alberta and the west’s economy in the long-term and we will continue to invest,” he said. “There are lots of natural resources and skilled people and the economy long-term has potential.” Kal Tire also has an international mining focus, operating in 17 countries on five continents. “There are a number of challenges with international business but it gives us more diversification,” said Foord. “With what we have learned from mining in Canada, there is lots we can take our customers around the world. But also in those countries, our team members are very creative and there are things they are doing that we can put in place in Canada.” Kal Tire owns and operates 10 truck tire retread facilities, while four earth-
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mover retreading facilities are located in Canada, Britain and Ghana. Currently, the corporation has a workforce of 3,400 people in Canada and a further 2,000 globally. “We continue to invest in our people,” said Foord.
In fact, about 500 to 700 employees go through the training program at the company’s headquarters on Kalamalka Lake Road annually. “We want to ensure we have the best qualified people to grow the business,” said Foord.
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Hospice helps families find end-of-life peace cara brady Morning Star Staff
Hospice House, operated by the North Okanagan Hospice Society, has been there for clients and their families for 15 years. “With our excellent staff and volunteers, we make every day the best day. We really have only one chance to get it right. Each person dies once and we need to make that the best it can be for them and their caregivers, family and friends,” said Ruth Edwards, executive director of the North Okanagan Hospice Society. “We are here every day, all day, all year and sometimes we need to take a moment to celebrate everyone and everything that contributes to the smooth daily running of Hospice. We have some staff members who have been here since the house opened and some volunteers who have been here longer, when we had our services in the community.” Hospice House also welcomes practicum placements of RN and LPN, care aide and medical students who want palliative care experience. “We can share knowledge about acute care in a setting that looks at the whole
Proud Hospice staff members from left to right: Lorrianne Topf, Chad Chambers, Monica Hayek, Elsie Swartz, Karen Andrews, Vera Effimoff, Josie Banning, Sheila Odney and Ruth Edwards display the certificate notifying Hospice that it is one of three finalists for the Non-Profit Excellence Award from the Chamber of Commerce. person and their family and impact of care on the entire family. Students tell us they have a positive experience here,” said Edwards. Part of hospice care is learning how to deal with grief. Hospice social workers help the patient and family cope with anticipatory grief and grieving after the death of a loved one. “Some people start to grieve when
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they get a terminal diagnosis and find that there are things they want to do or say before death that will make them easier in their minds. Sometimes people come to the end of their lives with a series of losses of chronic illness and with support for their needs and their caregivers, they can remain at home longer and have a better quality of life. We work with families one-to-one or in groups and these programs are open to the community whether they have had a loved one die at Hospice or not,” she said. Edwards noted that bereavement services are there for people at any age of grieving and that sometimes people will come for help years after a loss, whenever it feels right for them. The North Okanagan Hospice Society started with no government funding and was kept in operation by the community for many years. It now receives 53 per cent of its funding from the province and must continue to fundraise. “We do a lot of grant writing and receive memorial and corporate donations. We are now starting to see more bequests from people who thought to include Hospice in their wills many years ago,” said Edwards. “We are very fortunate to be in such a giving community and thankful to all the people who support Hospice in so many ways.” Community events to benefit Hospice include Dancing with the Vernon Stars, taking place at the Vernon Atrium Hotel Sept. 30, and the Journey Campaign. Business-sponsored events include the Home Building Centre Golf Tournament, a fundraiser at Butcher Boys to remember a co-worker who
died at Hospice and a variety of business in-house fundraisers. Some people get their friends together for a social event like a barbecue or playing cards and collect donations for the society. All this support means better services for the community. Community education workshops like Living Well, Dying Well, presented around the North Okanagan for the last three years, provide information about community support services, caregiver support, self-care, advance planning and more. The board of directors has managed donations so that there is now a sustained fund for capital expenses like equipment replacements and repairs which are done regularly since the house cannot shut down for even a short time. “We always have to be prepared and our staff and volunteers are always looking for ways to use every resource for the best. For example, the garden volunteers come up with ways to improve the soil and water use. Someone did research into the initial soil conditions on the site in the 1940s. We keep track of all suggestions for the house and property for possible use as needed,” said Edwards. Hospice House expects to see about 230 people, including those for respite care, admitted to year end in March. Volunteers put in 13,777 hours last year and 617 phone calls were made to bereaved family members. Hospice House was one of three finalists in new Chamber of Commerce category for non-profit excellence this year. Check out the used book corner at Bookland and take a book, leave a book and a donation to benefit the North Okanagan Hospice Society.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z11
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Tolko employees proud to be part of family and others who have enjoyed a 30- or 40-year career with the company. She grew up in Vernon, graduated from Vernon Secondary in 2007 and attended Simon Fraser University, where she graduated with a business degree. During her summer break, Enns ended up working in Grande Prairie, Alta. While there with her boyfriend, both had visions of returning home to the North Okanagan. “We were looking for opportunities to get back home,” said Enns. “My boyfriend
Former Canfor employee Glen Cunningham wasn’t worried about finding a job in the North Okanagan when he moved from his native Richmond to Vernon more than 40 years ago. With four or five mills in Lumby, Cunningham – who, at 21, was married and moved to the North Okanagan “because it was beautiful” – walked into Tolko with a resumé and came out with a job pulling lumber off the chain at the Lavington mill. He stayed with the company until his retirement in 2015. Karleena Enns, 26, can remember, as a five-year-old, getting cool free Tolko T-shirts from her grandmother, who worked for the company as a custodian. Enns’ grandmother talked glowingly about the company which now employs her granddaughter as a marketing coordinator, much to grandma’s delight. With one former and one current employee talking openly about their experiences, it’s easy to understand why Tolko was recently named one of B.C.’s Top Employers for 2016 in an annual competition organized by the editors of Canada’s Top 100 Employers. It’s an award that recognizes employers who lead their industry in offering an exceptional place to work. “They’re going to win more awards, it’s not a one-time shot,” predicts Cunningham. “Every year at the mill you could see changes, and it was always for the better.” Cunningham started on the chain and driving a forklift and then, because he had a truck driving licence, got a job in Tolko delivering lumber to job and construction sites. When that “awesome job” started dwindling, Cunningham returned to
roger knox/morning star
saw the job posting (Tolko marketing co-ordinator) and thought I should try.” But it was her grandmother who first told Enns about the company. “I knew it was a family-owned company that had a great reputation for being a family-owned company. My grandmother spoke highly of working here and working for the Thorlaksons.” Grandma’s impressions were bang-on. Enns said working for Tolko gives her a chance to have “a big-city career in a small town.”
Out With The Old ... In With The
Karleena enns and glen Cunningham share their experiences as new and veteran employees of Tolko. driving forklift but was hopeful of getting a permanent day-shift job in the shipping department. “I wasn’t too excited about the swing shifts (afternoons and graveyard), I wanted day shift,” he said. He got the shop and stayed there until his retirement. Cunningham said working for Tolko, founded by Harold Thorlakson in 1956 and whose grandson Brad Thorlakson is now president and CEO, is like working for family. “The Thorlaksons are great people,” he said. “Nobody ignored anybody. There was always hellos, everybody knew my name and I knew their names. It all felt like a family. “I’d only been there for two years, we were a non-union mill, and they brought in pension benefits, medical, stuff like that. Nobody asked, they just did it.” Enns is hoping to be like Cunningham
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Wesbild reaches peak at Turtle Mountain Kristin Froneman Morning Star Staff
There’s no denying the views at Turtle Mountain and Predator Ridge are spectacular. It’s one of the reasons the Wesbild communities are attracting new home buyers from around the province and beyond. Turtle Mountain has capped off recent development with a new street of 17 new homes. The top row, Turtle Pond Place, is the “king of the castle,” says Turtle Mountain sales agent Trevor McMorran. “It is as high as we will go to the summit at Turtle Mountain,” said McMorran. “It backs onto an environmental reserve and has the views of Okanagan Lake and the city below.” Turtle Mountain’s success is evident in the number of homes and premiere single loaded lots that have been sold since the project began. All have that incredible view as the properties are built only on one side of the street, creating low density neighbourhoods. “Our premiere phase has theatre-style development and is terraced so everyone looks the same way. The view is protected. We actually build the community bottom to top so you have certainty in the views,” said McMorran. Wesbild also supplies market-ready homes – featuring different designs, colour schemes, size – for those who want to move right in. Although the new phase of homes is currently under construction, many of them have already sold. “We are getting low on inventory,” said McMorran. “As we stop supplying the market, the value of the land becomes evident. It’s an affirmation of how the project has gone. “In 10 years, 50 years, no one will have
Kristin Froneman/ morninG star
trevor mcmorran, sales agent, enjoys the view from some of the homes being built at the Wesbild community at turtle mountain. Wesbild’s other community, Predator ridge, is celebrating its 25th aniversary this year. a product like this. It’s very unique. The infrastructure is unmatched.” Another reason for Turtle Mountain’s success is its vibrant community feel. One way Wesbild brings Turtle Mountain residents together is by hosting a golf day twice a year at Predator Ridge. “Buyers here say what they want is a community neighbourhood and we support that with golf days.” Over at Wesbild’s other community, Predator Ridge, construction has been booming. And the results have been recognized by the building trades industry. This year, Predator Ridge won two gold and four silver Tommie Awards for development at its new Whitetail neighbourhood at this year’s Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA) Okanagan gala. “Whitetail was positioned to mark a new era in design at Predator Ridge and this recognition is rewarding,” said Wesbild vice president Okanagan, Brad Pelletier. “Predator Ridge has been rec-
ognized for its leadership in craftsman design for more than 20 years and today is being recognized once again for its leadership in new design. We are very proud to see our homes perform so well at the Tommie Awards.” And the development continues. New Prairie-style Fairway Homes, located near the third hole of the Ridge golf course, as well as Portfolio homes in Whitetail offer a range of accommodation from one and two-level semi-detached homes with two bedrooms, den, and double garage. Another new development, Wesbild’s Trademark Homes, located south of the Fairway, feature five lots in a small bareland strata area. “A showhome is being built on one of the lots. It has the modern elevation and all of the homes in this road will be built in this style. The lots are east facing and will offer views of Ridge 3 fairway and green,” said Predator Ridge sales agent, Claire Radford, adding the lots will be on
the market this spring. Havencrest is Predator Ridge’s newest neighbourhood. The 17 lots are located above the Birdie Lake Place homes and are close to Sparkling Hill Resort. “The lots can accommodate large homes, mostly with a walk-out lower level, and the views are fabulous,” said Radford. “There are three lots that would be suitable for a one-level rancher home, without a walkout lower level. The land will come on the market in the spring. A new large show home is under construction on one of the lots.” All residents will have access to not only excellent hiking trails, and those breathtaking views, but local amenities such as the Predator Ridge clubhouse, which is being enlarged this winter to provide more dining space and the opportunity to host more events such as weddings. “Predator Ridge is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. There are going to be some special events to mark this occasion,” said Radford.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z13
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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People are wanting to make Vernon their home and invest dollars here. In 2015, the City of Vernon handed out building permits worth $110 million. “We’re seeing a strong resurgence in the residential construction market and commercial was the second best year,” said Kevin Poole, economic development manager. Bolstering construction are a couple of factors. One is the low dollar means many Canadians are not heading south for holidays and they are looking for sunny destinations in this country. The other factor is the downturn in the oil sector is leading to some people leaving the business permanently or partially. “We are a great place for semi-retirement,” said Poole. “We’re definitely an area people are looking at.” B.C. Stats says the Regional District of North Okanagan’s population climbed 1.9 per cent from 83,0111 in 2014 to 84,587 in 2015. Of that, Vernon’s population jumped 3.4 per cent from 39,167 to 40,497, making it the fifth fastest growing among B.C. cities with a population of 25,000 or more, while RDNO was the third fastest growing regional district. To handle the demand for housing, three large residential projects are moving ahead. BX Crossing will feature 86 rental units on the site of the old Kal Tire corporate office on 48th Avenue, while Regency Retirement on Rimer Road will have 150 rental units for seniors. Construction is also underway for the Interior Health Authority develop-
ment on 29th Avenue downtown. The Hamlets will include 250 housing units. “The IHA project will need staff to operate it. We are working with them on their needs for employment,” said Poole. Construction is also proving strong for the industrial/commercial sector. B.C. Hydro received a $23 million building permit for redevelopment of its Kalamalka Lake Road operation, while the former Target at the Village Green Centre is being converted into the Interior’s largest Canadian Tire. With the economy expanding, one issue has become evident: the gap between employers’ needs and labour with the necessary education and training. “There is a need to upgrade skills,” said Poole. “Migration also has to play a large role.” But Poole is confident that steps are being taken to increase employment opportunities in Vernon and throughout the North Okanagan. “We talk to businesses, and when we ask if they are growing, they say yes,” he said. “There are a lot more retailers looking at the region again and city council has a strategy to focus on the technology sector.” The city is also co-operating with the Regional District of North Okanagan to identify land for potential industrial development. “We need to work as a region and not as separate municipalities,” said Poole, adding that Armstrong or Lumby residents spend money at shops and restaurants in Vernon, while Vernon residents are employed throughout the region. “We all benefit from economic development. We can’t work in isolation.”
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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Lumby and District Chamber of Commerce’s building is now bigger and better. Renovations performed earlier this year will allow the building, which also serves as the visitor information centre, to be more accessible in a variety of ways. While the chamber has had technology available for residents and visitors, such as computers and tablets, the problem before the renovations was space. There wasn’t much room. “If we had five visitors and three staff in here, we weren’t able to do our jobs,” said chamber manager Stephanie Sexsmith. “We’re a busy centre, it’s non-stop yearround. The renovations will allow us to serve visitors better and possibly extend our hours.” Sexsmith hopes the bigger and better chamber office will tie in to the village’s community ambassador program, started almost two years ago, where local volunteers can come to the centre and help visitors who stop in with questions. The expanded chamber office also came in handy when it came time to vote during the Kraft Hockeyville competition, where Lumby was one of 10 national final-
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ists competing for arena upgrades. The chamber set up a number of computer stations for residents and visitors to vote for Lumby during the competition. Also new to the centre is an information kiosk that is set up outside the building. “If we’re not here, or someone comes through at night and wants information on what’s going on in and around Lumby, all they have to do is hit the touchpad,” said Sexsmith. “The information will be available to them.” The chamber will also be working with businesses on customer service-type training for visitor information items. “We want to bring our businesses together and make sure we’re all projecting the same image and information as to what there is to do and explore in the community,” said Sexsmith. One goal in 2016 for the chamber is tweaking its annual business showcase. Usually held at the Lumby Curling Club, the chamber this year will be offering a Passport to Explore program, where residents can pick up a passport and use it to visit Lumby’s businesses. The passports are available at the chamber office. “It will be a one-day event and it’s like the same event it’s just that it won’t be at the curling club,” said Sexsmith.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z15
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Z16 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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“We had 14 students involved last year with positive reactions. Students are Okanagan College Kalamalka Campus pleased to have this opportunity and it regional dean Jane Lister is enthusiastic as gives them more options to learn about the college looks to the future. choices for further studies and to get “We have just launched a strategic ahead in their education,” said Lister. plan, Toward 2020, which includes all Courses in office administration and the campuses. There has health care assistant offer been a lot of consultation new graduates and peowith staff, students and ple returning to educathe community to find tion more choices. The out what is important to Continuing Studies departthem as we engage, lead ment offers more opporand serve the community,” tunities for certificate prosaid Lister. grams and general interest She is pleased that courses. the strategic plan found Student enrolment in an internal coordinator, all programs has remained Kerry Rempel, a professor steady, up to 969 students of business. this year from 950 last year. “We have had a lot of The college continues to Okanagan COllege phOtO activity on this campus Colton Gottfriedson takes reach out into the commuover the past year with part in Aboriginal Culture nity to work with businessnew programs,” said Lister. Day in the Stepping Forward es with customized training “We have worked with the to meet needs and allow program. Okanagan Indian Band to employees to keep skills develop Stepping Forward current. Speakers on a variwhich provides a nine-week skill-devel- ety of topics are of interest to the commuopment program for transition to further nity. The Patchwork Farms Community education or employment.” Garden continues to draw a lot of interest The college also offers an Aboriginal in the area. Support Worker certificate program, There is not a specific international indigenous support cultural compe- student program at the college now but tency training for organizations with there are international students enrolled. non-aboriginal staff as well as an arts “We encourage international students credit program, Indigenous Studies to integrate into regular classes which 100. Another new program for 2016 lets them benefit more from their time in is Anthropology 121, Introduction to Canada and gives Canadian students the Cultural Anthropology. benefit of getting to know the internaOkanagan College has offered tional students,” said Lister. dual-credit college/high school courses The Greater Vernon Athletics Park, in trades for several years and has now opened last fall near the Kalamalka partnered with School District 22 to offer Campus, is not operated by the college, the anthropology and indigenous studies but is already getting a lot of use, includcourses to high school students, as well as ing from students and staff. first year, university transferable coursAnother change at the college is the es in economics, political science and cafeteria becoming the Kal View Café, English. Interested students should speak operated by Basket Case caterers and with their principals about enrolment. open to the public weekdays. Cara brady
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z19
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
KingFisher stands out jackie Pearase Special to The Morning Star
Going the extra mile is keeping KingFisher Boats busy. A new website, great customer service, constant innovation and a quality product are all part of the Vernonbased company’s effort to stand out among its competitors. “We’re going into a third year of maximizing our capacity,” said Mark Delaney, sales and marketing director. “The demand for heavy-gauge welded aluminum sport fishing boats is outstripping fibreglass in our segment.” The business, along with its sister company in Washington, enjoyed a record year of sales in 2015. People are purchasing jet boats, offshore class boats, lake boats and everything in between. The development of a new 22-foot vessel in its mid-coastal series and a 20-foot sport model to complement its Falcon series are examples of how KingFisher is catering to anglers looking to take advantage of what the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
“We’re trying to appeal to new boaters as well as boaters that want to downsize and more mature owners who want a day boat for offshore fishing,” said Delaney. KingFisher’s customers are mainly anglers seeking offshore, mid-coastal and sport fishing boats but the intersection of the destination cruising market with the sport fishing market is creating new customers. “It’s the couple or two couples who not only want to fish or do some crabbing but they want to visit some destination points,” Delaney explained. With B.C.’s coast offering ample destinations, KingFisher had to add a second shift at the plant to keep up with demand. KingFisher’s central location makes it ideal for distribution, testing and employment. “Boat building is an exacting process that requires skills in fabrication and assembly. Quality is always a key factor in our success. That’s why we have to find good people,” said Delaney.
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Z20 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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Strong fish stocks and steady cost of aluminum help add to KingFisher’s success but the value and durability of its boats will always be its mainstay.
Longevity key to sales Continued from Z19 “The Okanagan is great not only for attracting qualified employees but we can also test our products on Okanagan Lake. And it’s not an issue to get raw materials in and finished product out.” Constant communication and forecasting with its dealers allows KingFisher to keep on top of market trends and react to their needs. KingFisher’s new website includes an online selection program where a customer can basically build their boat. It allows a person to focus on the series that best meets his/her angling needs and then move on to selecting colour, length and key features and options.
Delaney said the service is working well, resulting in leads for dealers to follow up on and provide added customer service. Boat shows are an important aspect of sales and KingFisher will be part of 21 shows this season, with Delaney attending a bulk of them. Strong fish stocks and the steady cost of aluminum help add to KingFisher’s success but the value and durability of its boats will always be its mainstay. “The longevity is a key component,” said Delaney. “You should have the best resale value in the class and it is also backed up by our lifetime transferable warranty.”
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z21
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Healthy home market JACKIE PEARASE Special to The Morning Star
House hunters can expect a fairly balanced market this year. The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board is coming off a year with the strongest recognizable growth since 2007 that saw modest price increases across most areas. “The market has been increasing over the last couple of years and that really just has not abated at all,” said Christopher Miller, Chris Miller OMREB president. The one blip on the screen is a decrease in the number of active listings. “The active listings continue to be one of the lowest in that period since 2007,” he said. “The demand is still there, it just seems that the supply is decreasing.” Miller expects demand to continue putting pressure on the market but people may not find exactly what they are seeking due to a decrease in listings. Modest price increases were seen in single family dwellings (2.5 per cent) and townhouses (2.75 per cent) but condo prices in the Central Okanagan rose 6.3 per cent and dipped six per cent in the North Okanagan. “It varies from zone to zone depending on the very distinct economic conditions,” Miller noted. Recreational property sales have been affected by both the downturn in the Alberta economy and the below-par loonie. The Alberta situation resulted in a slump in sales in the Vernon area and the Shuswap. Vernon has yet to rebound but sales have picked up in the Shuswap, with some prime properties being sold.
“We noticed there was definitely a drop there but then it began to pick up. This is one of those things where it’s going to take a little while to see what happens,” said Miller about the effect of Alberta’s downturn. Miller said Alberta usually accounts for about 18 per cent of out-of-province buyers and that number has dipped to 14.7 per cent. On the other hand, the strong U.S. dollar has resulted in some movement in the Central Okanagan. “I know January was an extremely outstanding, healthy month for say, Big White,” Miller said. “People are realizing that the prices up there have come down considerably and if you’re buying a recreational property with the U.S. dollar, you’ve got a lot of leeway there.” Another positive is the fact that a majority of buyers are coming from within the region. “We’re at a point right now where we’re sustaining nearly 60 per cent of our own business. That’s quite heartening. That reflects the area’s confidence in the economy and such,” said Miller. “What we have is a very healthy market right within our own board area.” Miller expects changes to the industry in coming years. “We are on the edge of a completely new market coming up. And that’s the millennials. There’s going to be some new rules written, I think, in terms of who buys what, when and where.” Regardless of any changes, Miller said purchasing a home will continue to be one of the biggest investments in most people’s lives, which requires planning and expertise. “I always feel that buyers have to take into consideration just that: how is your investment going to hold up five years from now?” he said. “Make sure the present is accounted for financially and the future is in your plans, somehow.”
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BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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Centre builds future CF on getting their business ready for sale. The future of business is in good On the other end of the spectrum, hands locally. Community Futures also provides Between helping entrepreneurs start resources for those trying to start up. up, aligning skilled workers with the Business loans last year amounted to right jobs and keeping existing business- approximately $1.4 million, supporting es in success mode, Community Futures local health care, retail, agriculture, tourNorth Okanagan is here ism, manufacturing, technology and to help. food services sectors. The communiOthers have also found support ty-based, not-for-profit through the Enterprize Challenge, corporation has been which is currently in its second year. serving the needs of Out of 22 budding entrepreneurs, businesses for 30 years seven finalists are chosen and three now. winners will be chosen who essenOne of the areas CF tially get the tools and resources Leigha Horsfield is seeing an increase in is needed to successfully start their the number of individbusiness (on top of the services prouals looking for work whose jobs have vided throughout the challenge). dried up in Alberta. All of the competitors will be at the While there are upwards of 200 posi- April 12 tradeshow at Okanagan College tions listed on the job board at any given from 4 to 6 p.m. time, a number of them are part time, “We really want the business commusome are seasonal in nature or additional nity to come out and see what ideas are education or training requirements are incubating out there,” said Horsfield of needed. everything from agriculture and small But CF wants those seeking work to manufacturing to food services and know that if they are on EI, they may green businesses. be eligible for training, self-employment Community Futures has also develservice and wage subsidies. oped a new initiative to support the local “We can help them with that,” said manufacturing sector. The manufacturLeigha Horsfield, business services ing mentorship group sees non-comco-ordinator. “They’re not on their own.” peting manufacturers get together once CF also provides support for busi- a month to tour each other’s site and nesses owners at the end of their careers. location. “We’re still seeing a need for support “The intention for this cluster of manin succession planning,” said Horsfield, ufacturers is to do well and hire more noting that in the Okanagan there is an people,” said Horsfield. “Manufacturing expected 7,500 businesses that will go up jobs are good jobs.” for sale in the next five years. Yet few are If it’s successful, there could be an ready and could end up closing up shop. opportunity to move the program to “If 31 per cent of businesses close their other sectors, such as agriculture or doors because they can’t sell that’s going health services. to hurt our economies,” said Horsfield. For more information about But businesses can gain support from Community Futures visit futuresbc.com JENNIFER SMITH
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z23
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Armstrong chamber focuses on community RogeR Knox Morning Star Staff
Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce is more than just being about business. It’s also about community. With that in the mind, the chamber has changed the name of its annual business excellence awards to the Community Excellence Awards, which will be handed out Saturday, May 14, at Centennial Hall complete with a ‘Vintage Vegas’ theme. “There will be 10 awards handed out, all with sponsors, and there will be a new award recognizing the volunteer of the year,” said Patti Noonan, the chamber’s executive director. Other awards include Rising Star, Micro Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Mid-Size Business of the Year, Corporate Business of the Year, Employee of the Year, Revitalization and Innovation Award, Hospitality and Tourism Award and Organization of the
Year. The awards will come in the midst of a busy 2016 for the chamber. One of the first events is a first-ever business walk, scheduled for Wednesday, April 20, where a chamber board member will team with a community member to go to Armstrong businesses downtown, and several in the Spallumcheen industrial park, with a short questionnaire. “We’ll be asking businesses ‘what are your challenges or successes, how can we help you do business better,’” said Noonan. “The goal is to see how we can better provide services to our members and to the community as a whole.” The business walk will be held in partnership with Community Futures. The chamber also plans to recognize the community’s deep heritage and will carry that over into 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday.
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Z24 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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City part of quilt trail Continued from Z23 The organization is launching a barn quilt trail, though it’s not a fabric quilt, rather a piece of plywood painted to look like a quilt square. Once painted, the squares are installed on heritage barns or significant landmarks. “This started in Ontario and, right now, the trail runs from the Maritimes to the Alberta border, there are none in B.C.,” said Noonan. “We did some research to come up with a program that sets us apart from the other provinces. We’ll be like the Last Spike of the barn quilt trail. “The squares are designed to recognize and celebrate rural heritage and that’s what we are. We have barns and we have quilts and we’re proud of our rural roots.” Starting in March, painting squares will begin locally with the official unveiling of the first six squares set for May. Another six quilts will be unveiled in the fall. Next year, the chamber plans to add barn quilts recognizing all of
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Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce executive director Patti Noonan is preparing for another busy year. Canada’s provinces and territories to help the country celebrate the 150th birthday. Noonan said the trail has been an economic boon to small Ontario communities. “It’s amazing,” she said. “There are as many quilt tours and bus tours to see these quilts as there are to see the wineries in Niagara. “This is a good opportunity for us to offer something different to our visitors.”
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z25
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
O’Keefe Ranch saddles up for its 150th CARA BRADY Morning Star Staff
O’Keefe Ranch is a place for everyone in the Okanagan to be proud of. “It’s our heritage, the first European settlement in the valley. We have stories about every community in the valley and how they tie back to the ranch in some way,” said O’Keefe Ranch general manager Glen Taylor. “Now we are working with First Nations, the Okanagan Indian Band to tell the complete story of the ranch and we are planning some joint projects and First Nations exhibits.” O’Keefe Ranch, Glen Taylor which will celebrate its 150th birthday in 2017, is older than Canada by two weeks and older than Vernon by 20 years. The ranch had the first post office, general store and stage coach stop in the valley. It also had the oldest Catholic Church, St. Ann’s, in the valley and the church is still popular for weddings. A letter from a priest to ranch founder Cornelius O’Keefe dated 1889 and asking him to invite area Catholics to Palm Sunday services was found in the floor joists of the church during renovations. The O’Keefe family occupied the ranch for 120 years. Now it’s one of few historic destination points in the Okanagan with year-round activities. “Our motto is ‘Visit the ranch again for the first time,’ because you can’t see everything in one visit and things are always changing. There’s so much to learn. I’m always learning,” said Taylor. More people than ever visited the ranch last year, 36,000 visitors, up 22 per cent from the previous year. “There are so many different projects we’re doing. We want to develop a heritage garden and there will be an exhibit showing the history of the ranch in 50 objects. We have so much here, I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re going to do that one. “We’ve done upgrades on the RV park to include water and power to make it easier for people to spend time here and the wedding program is almost booked to capacity. Attendance at the Cowboy Dinner Shows was up 30 per cent last year so that will be expanding and we have lots of family and youth programs, including
the summer day camps.” Animals have always been part of the ranch and the rare breed goats and sheep, which are on loan for the summer, as well as the poultry, and horses and ponies, who are at their homes over the winter, will be back. Trail rides are still on the schedule. The year’s events started with the O’Keefe Family Treasure Hunt of Hearts Feb. 14 and continues with garage sales, teas, racing events, crafts demos, Dog Daze, car rallies, a photo exhibit, barbecues, murder mystery nights, a brew festival, ghost tours and more, ending with Victorian Christmas. The buildings and exhibits are open throughout the season and there are resident artisans, including a blacksmith and potter. All of the programs rely heavily on volunteers. “People visit the ranch and want to get involved and there’s lots for them to do. We need our volunteers and appreciate them,” said Taylor. The volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds and can do everything from general repairs, to helping with productions and sets, to working with the animals and gardens to staffing the general store in period costume. While O’Keefe Ranch grows in popularity, it has to deal with a mandate to be self-sustaining in three years. The ranch is owned by the City of Vernon which will cut funding from $150,000 per year to $10,000 per year by that time. The BC Arts Council has also provided funding but that is being cut. “As we have expanded our activities outside of the heritage scope of the ranch to be sustainable, we are making some more money but that means funding is being taken away. We are not getting grants for capital funding. Heritage B.C. has denied funds for restoration of St. Ann’s church but we are going to try to find a way to go ahead with that as it is really needed,” said Taylor. “We need to secure some base funding or we’ll have to give the keys back.” If sufficient funding is not secured, the ranch will default back to the Alberta Government Devonian Foundation which gifted it to the City of Vernon. “I am optimistic,” said Taylor. “We’ll talk to the city and show them what we’re doing and there may be some new initiatives to help with the sustainability of the ranch. And remember to come and see us this season.”
O’KEEFE RANCH PHOTO
Along with all the fun it provides during the day, the Historic O’Keefe Ranch’s Cowboy Dinner shows are a popular affair, which saw a 30 per cent growth in attendance last year, therefore they will be expanding this year.
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Z26 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
IPE manager shares tips to success of fair jackie Pearase Special to The Morning Star
Event coordinator is consistently on top 10 lists of stressful jobs but you wouldn’t know that by the smile and easy-going manner of Bryan Burns. Now serving his ninth year as the general manager of the Interior Provincial Exhibition, Burns revels in the constant planning and management of the event and the many components that go into a successful agricultural fair. It takes 125 employees and 450 volunteers giving 11,000 hours to put on the five-day event involving 38 non-profit groups, hundreds of vendors, exhibitors, 4-H members, performers and more. But Burns begins planning the next fair as soon as the tents are down and the last carnie has pulled away from the midway. “A lot of it is how you solve things without anyone knowing,” Burns noted. “By no means do I think everything is going to run smoothly. But it’s more about how we solve the problem or how we fix it; it’s how we go forward that people will remember. I think that’s why we do such a good job as a whole orga-
nization: we have plans in place to solve things quickly.” That know-how made Burns a popular guy at a few agricultural conferences this winter where he served as a keynote speaker. He spoke about the importance of community engagement through the utilization of non-profit groups, volunteers, student scholarships and community investment combined with effective management and an ability to change when needed. “Those things are huge and not everybody gets that.” Last year’s IPE enjoyed great fair weather and therefore good attendance but Burns is also impressed with a record number of exhibitors at 2,096. “I love the fact that that continues to maintain or grow where lots of other fairs, they don’t have that.” The 117th annual fair in Armstrong Aug. 31-Sept. 4 will highlight the field and seed division with a theme of ‘Bushels of Fun for Everyone’ – which Burns loves but admits the difficulties around dressing up as a field of wheat for the parade.
City of Armstrong For over 100 years, Armstrong has prided itself in being a vibrant community to visit and live in. We offer a friendly environment with activities and attractions, and a strong sense of heritage. Our history is visible throughout the community. The signiﬁcance of the rail line is recognized by the Spirit Square train station in our downtown core and by the caboose that welcomes you into town. Armstrong recently became Sister Cities with Rathfriland, County Down, Northern Ireland to commemorate Catherine Schubert – the ﬁrst European woman to enter British Columbia overland from eastern Canada. Armstrong supports a variety of artisans: hand crafted cheeses, gourmet chocolates, deluxe oils and vinegars are a few to name. The small restauranteurs proudly showcase local products in their menus. The oldest farmers’ market in BC and the 2015 Farmers Market of the Year winner is found in Armstrong. There is no place like home when you live, work and play in the Heart of Country, Armstrong, BC. Come and experience “Pride of our Past, Spirit of our Present, and Vision of our Future.” Chris Pieper Mayor PO Box 40, 3570 Bridge Street, Armstrong, BC V0E 1B0 Tel: 250-546-3023 email@example.com • www.cityofarmstrong.bc.ca
Morning Star File photo
Armstrong’s Interior Provincial Exhibition is a highlight for both locals and visitors who flock to the area for all the thrills, sights, sounds and tastes the fair has to offer. The theme coincidentally coincides with the UN’s International Year of Pulses, such as peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas, and Burns is sure to make the most of that fact. Burns works hard to balance tradition with the need to evolve and embrace change where needed. He understands the need to provide entertainment like the midway, games and music stage, but he also sees that as a way to also provide some agricultural education. “We draw people to come through entertainment and then, while I’ve got them, now I turn them over into the barns. I force them into a direction where they learn something – like that their milk comes from a cow and not the grocery store.” This year includes more mini chuckwagons, possibly an off-road course to test drive a Dodge Ram truck and an enhanced lumberjack show. “We add more grandstands and
more people show up,” said Burns about the lumberjack show, now in its 13th year at the Armstrong fair. “This year they’re going to do more interactive stuff between shows. Where you can actually go up and learn to throw an axe and learn how to log roll. It’s going to be a new interactive thing.” Burns likes to offer people an authentic and unique experience that will get them through the gates and lets the fair do its magic to keep them coming back each year. “We know we can’t fit too many more people on Saturday or Sunday so my whole goal is to figure out ways to attract people on different days or multiple days.” This year’s event remains around the corner but that has not stopped Burns from looking forward to next year’s IPE. “I think in 2017 we may try to tie things in with community and Canada’s 150th.”
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z27
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Z28 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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As the craft beer market becomes more complex, Okanagan Spring Brewery is keeping things simple. “We want to be the uncomplicated craft,” explained Mathieu Aubin, marketing manager for western Canada. “We have well-made, well-rounded products. We are not playing at the extreme…at Okanagan Spring we prefer to be something a bit more balanced.” The Vernon-based brewery has an established market with its classics, 1516 and Pale Ale, but the rise in the craft market has had its effect. Aubin said the plant dipped just below the 80,000 litre mark in 2015 due to a drop in sales to restaurants and bars and a slight decline in Pale Ale sales. He said premises that used to have five beers on tap might now have up to 100, which naturally has an adverse effect on the rate of sales for any brand. “The good thing about beer is that it is kind of recession proof,” Aubin added. This translates into an increase in retail sales as consumer habits change with the struggling economy, with people heading to the liquor store instead of the pub. “The volume is still there. It’s just different volume,” noted Aubin. It has been a challenge to grow the brand outside B.C., as the local aspect is always a strong selling point with any craft beverage. “We have great product but other breweries have great product as well and if they are local, they will always have a little edge on us.” Aubin said Okanagan Spring con-
morning star File photo
Okanagan Spring head brewmaster Stefan Tobler continues to lead the brewery with new flavours each year. tinues to be the biggest craft brewery in the province, employing 144 people at the plant. Upgrades to the 30-year-old plant last year increased its capacity by 20 per cent for an overall investment of $4.5 million. The launch of a hefeweizen pack with three different flavours of the wheat beer was well-received last summer, as was the chili porter released in the fall. “It’s a good play on sweet and spicy,” said Aubin about the chili porter. “It created quite a lot of buzz.”
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z29
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Z30 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
hank you so much to our valued customers – we couldn’t have done it without you!
At JC Bradley Jewellers, our team is always striving to give each and every one of our customers outstanding service, attention to detail, and consistently source and deliver the highest quality products. We appreciate your loyalty and support and are so very honoured to have your business for all these years in our amazing community. Above all, we appreciate being able to be a part of the most memorable occasions in each of your lives: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, engagements and weddings…many of you have become family to us over the years! Your satisfaction is our top priority and we look forward to serving you for many years to come! Richard & Chantelle Pierson VILLAGE GREEN CENTRE 250-545-4944 | 380 ALEXANDER ST. NE SALMON ARM 250-832-8040 | www.jcbradleyjewellers.com
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z31
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Brewery adds new twist Continued from Z28
a new beer and that work needs to be This year will also feature the launch ongoing to stay on top of the market. Okanagan Spring has found its of a darker fall/winter brew and someniche as a premium craft beer that thing lighter and fun for the summer. “I can’t tell you exactly what it is appeals to a wide demographic due to but it is a style of beer that is very its stability and consistency of taste, he added. suited for the summer “With too much and we’re giving it a litchoice, sometimes tle Okanagan twist. We you go back to what are working with an you know because you Okanagan supplier to know you’re not going add something to it to to be disappointed. give it a flavour twist That’s one way we from the Okanagan,” — Mathieu Aubin can separate ourselves said Aubin about the from the rest. Because summer quaff. “It will people have tried us before and they set us apart, we believe.” Aubin said it is important to contin- know they won’t be disappointed.” Regardless of the future of craft uously innovate to give the consumer brew, Okanagan Spring is proud to be something out of the ordinary. “Because if you just do the same part of its history. “Okanagan Spring were pioneers liquid as everyone else, you’re not going to stand out. And there are so in craft breweries in B.C. and kind of many that you need a little something launched that movement. I’m really happy that it generated what we see special.” Aubin said it takes about one year right now because in the end it benefits to research, develop, test and launch the consumer.”
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Maven Lane has been providing high quality child care, education, and BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST recreational programs since 1994.
Z32 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
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Car dealers on a roll Morning Star Staff
It was another record setting year for new car sales in Canada for 2015. At just a shade under 1.9 million combined truck and car sales, this number showed an increase of 2.5 per cent over 2014, and made three record years in a row. The industry also saw an increase of 12 per cent in the small cross over segment in 2015, which emphatically made it the biggest selling vehicle category in Canada. “These statistics are reflective in Pat Loehndorf Vernon, and only time will tell whether we’ll be setting even more records in 2016,” said Pat Loehndorf, president of the New Car Dealers Association of Vernon. Loehndorf attended the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and says it is definitely a great time to look at purchasing a new vehicle. “Almost every manufacturer is introducing new, technologically advanced models. Yes, this year did feature the usual acres of new sheet metal, and concept
vehicles from almost every auto maker. Some of the highlights was the Acura concept vehicle, new pickups from both Honda and Nissan, a Kia crossover, the new Porsche 911 turbo, plus and a lot more.” One challenge new car dealers are facing is the drop in the Canadian dollar. “It’s tougher to keep an inventory of used product because it’s being eaten up by our neighbours to the south,” said Loehndorf. Meanwhile the New Car Dealer Association of Vernon continues to support its community. Contributions include the annual fall golf tournament, which was well attended and raised funds for the Boys and Girls clubs of both Armstrong and Vernon, Allan Brooks Nature Society, the upgraded transit park in downtown Vernon (to be completed in 2016) and the Salvation Army Christmas drive. “Approximately 400 people are employed by the eight dealerships in the Greater Vernon area (Bannister Honda, Bannister GM, Watkin Motors, Vernon Toyota, Hilltop Subaru, Vernon Volkswagen, Vernon Nissan, and Vernon Hyundai) which definitely helps stimulate our economy.”
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z33
Canadian Car of the Year. The all-new 2016 Honda Civic.
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BANNISTER HONDA “A Family Business, with Family Values ” 6425 Hwy 97 N, Vernon BC
bannisterhonda.com • 250-545-0531 • 888-545-0531
Z34 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Bees creating a buzz Jennifer Smith Morning Star Staff
Sunlight at your command.
Business is blooming at Vernon’s honey hub. Planet Bee continues to build on its success and momentum year after year, as a growing number of people come in not just for the sweet benefits of honey, but also leave with a better understanding of the bees. “It’s about coming here, learning a little bit about bees and their importance,” said owner Ed Nowek, who has seen the support for bees grow immensely over the years on social media within the community and globally. “Everywhere, there’s just more and more awareness on how important they are and people want to support it.” Planet Bee has come out with a new product for those interested in doing just that – bee-friendly flower and herb seeds which attract bees and butterflies to your garden. It’s just one of many bee-related items that fill the store, including 20 different kinds of honey. Varieties range from blueberry to Cypress sweet clover and fireweed to a host of other varieties which come from throughout B.C.
Having hives at various locations helps the honey pot’s bottom line when one region doesn’t do as well as others from year to year. “It was not a good year for the honey production here in Vernon,” said Nowek. “Too hot, too dry and too early. “But we still got a pretty good crop. We had better than average in Lumby/ Lavington way,” said Nowek, also noting some nice fireweed from Vancouver Island. “That’s why you don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” While honey is the staple at Planet Bee, mead is becoming an increasingly popular addition. There are 10 different varieties of mead, or honey wine, with a new release possibly coming this summer. “We’re working on a blackberry one.” The mead tasting bar was expanded last year to give visitors a larger space and was well received. Planet Bee has also been expanding its presence in the community – it was at the farmers market last year and plans to continue at markets and local festivals this year.
See LOCAL FLAVOUR on Z35
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Offer runs from January 1st to April 30th, 2016. †Purchase a minimum of 4 Silhouette® with PowerViewTM and receive a $500 rebate and an extra $100 for each additional shade purchased or purchase a minimum of 4 Silhouette® with UltraGlide® and receive a $250 rebate and extra $50 for each additional shade purchased. Valid at participating retailers only. The rebate will be issued in the form of a Hunter Douglas Prepaid American Express® Gift Card. THE PROMOTION CARD is a trademark of The Hunt Group. All Rights Reserved. THE PROMOTION CARD is a Prepaid American Express® Card issued by Amex Bank of Canada. ® Used by Amex Bank of Canada under license from American Express.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z35
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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jennifer smith/ morning star
Robert and Christine Burns from Sherwood Park sample some mead from Lisa McCoy at Planet Bee.
Local flavour a favourite Continued from Z34 For the locals, it’s nice to have a unique spot to bring visiting guests, said Nowek. “When you live in the Okanagan you get visitors all the time.” Planet Bee is also a hit in the Chinese tourist market, with tour bookings remaining steady. “We had hundreds of hundreds of buses last year,” said Nowek. The honey hub is also getting on board with an Okanagan initiative called Bead Trails. The trail, which has been successful in the south Okanagan, sees customers
purchase a bracelet at the visitor’s centre and get a map of local attractions which sell unique beads. “We’re going to have a honey hive,” said Planet Bee’s Lisa McCoy, adding that beads are affordable at $6 a piece. The initiative is coming to the Vernon area this year with Davison Orchard and Good Gracious among those taking part. Nowek is also eager to create more of a family affair at Planet Bee this year now that his son is working full time at the shop and his daughter is coming in the summer with her marketing expertise.
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Z36 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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Change is moving Enderby in new directions and the local chamber is definitely along for the ride. A complete overhaul of the main street, new businesses showing interest in the city and a growing chamber membership are signs of forward momentum said Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce general manager Corinne Van De Crommenacker. “This is the first year I’ve seen this many new businesses pop up.” A new lawyer, martial arts studio, pottery shop and more have been added to the community in recent months, along with two industrial businesses that set up shop last year. Membership also continues to rise, with the roster sitting around 160 at the end of 2015. “In the year I started there were 88 members,” noted Van De Crommenacker. “So we’ve almost doubled membership in three years.” She attributes that to a growing awareness among businesses about the benefits of being a chamber member combined with the Enderby chamber’s renewed focus on its membership. “We are paying attention to them. There has been a lot of personal contact to help them grow their business,” she explained. “The businesses are becoming more aware that the chamber has resources for them that are available that they can use for free.” One effort to better assist businesses came as a result of a business walk last year where many asked for more business development and education. “We have partnered with Community Futures, which is now in town once a week, to put on a six-part series workshop – four in the spring and two in the
Jackie pearade/Morning Star
Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce general manager Corinne Van De Crommenacker is excited about the growth in the community. fall. Those are geared to all the things that businesses need to know.” The workshops cover topics like succession planning, marketing basics and marketing options. Socials After 5 on the last Wednesday of the month provide networking opportunities while a monthly chamber open house on the last Tuesday of each month lets businesses get information around a theme during work hours. “It’s at your leisure to come in; spend five minutes, spend an hour,” said Van De Crommenacker about the open houses.
See CITY OPEN on Z38
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z37
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Z38 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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ational programming in Enderby. “The (recreation) inventory report Construction on Cliff Avenue is sched- really showed the gaps in the community uled for this spring and fall, with a stop- and what this community wanted.” What people wanted were more local page during the summer months, and the chamber has plans for an “open for recreation options and the hiring of Sheryl Hay as recreation business” campaign. coordinator helped Ongoing updates on conmake that happen. struction, notifications of “People are no lonclosed accesses, informager going to Salmon tion on businesses with Arm and Vernon rear accesses, signage because they are getand maps of free parking ting their recreation locations will be posted online and communicat- — Van De Crommenacker needs filled right here in their town,” Van ed to the community. De Crommenacker The street renewal is an exciting project that will hopefully noted. Annual events to entertain locals and draw more investment to the downtown and create marketing opportunities that visitors alike, such as the Enderby Arts are sure to be explored once the project Festival, Gold Panning Championships, is complete, Van De Crommenacker said. Funtastic and more, plus the recent open“From a tourism perspective, drawing ing of the Splatsin Community Centre, that traffic into town has always been a have all helped make Enderby a destinachallenge and when this is done, I think tion and the chamber aims to keep it that it will actually draw more people into the way. “There’s momentum here,” said Van De city.” The chamber has also been instrumen- Crommenacker. “People are recognizing tal in the recent enhancement of recre- what there is here.”
Continued from Z36
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z39
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Mountain a star attraction year-round Jackie Pearase Special to The Morning Star
Strong leadership and growth are working hand-in-hand to keep Silver Star Mountain Resort busy year-round. Excellent snowfall and the sub-par loonie resulted in a strong winter for the Vernon-based resort. “This winter season exceeded expectations for snowfall, which was welcome after last year’s average accumulations, and it brought a huge increase in visits to the resort, especially from Washington state visitors, who had the exchange rate working in their favour in a big way,” said Erik Kalacis, sales and marketing director. Big snow meant a big increase in the number of guests over the previous year and the addition of new and improved
amenities gave users more reason to come. People wanting a different winter experience were happy to learn that fat biking and access to 15 kilometres of fat biking trails were added to the My1Pass. The ski resort’s groomed runs also got a boost this winter with two additional Pisten Bully groomers bringing the fleet to nine machines, including two winch Cats. The resort constructed a new race centre on Cloud 9 in the Silver Woods area that added 12 acres of new terrain and created a world-class training centre for the Vernon Ski Club. A feather in their hat this year came about in November when SnowSports School director Norman Kreutz
was inducted into the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Association Hall of Fame – the only inductee selected in 2015. “Norman Kreutz’s induction was incredibly heartwarming for both Silver Star and Vernon,” said Kalacis. “Norman has made immense and meaningful contributions to the association as well as racing in the region. We couldn’t have been happier for him.” And the resort looks forward to even better ski instruction after Nordic sports coach Marie-Catherine Bruno was selected by her peers to attend Interski in Argentina on behalf of the Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors. Interski is where the best snow sports instructors in the world meet to exchange knowledge. The repaving of Silver Star Road last summer has smoothed the journey up the mountain, one people are making in winter and summer. “Momentum from our successful winter is carrying forward to the summer,” said Kalacis. “With a favourable U.S. exchange rate and increased awareness of our summer experience, we’re looking forward to seeing an increase in visitors this year.”
Being named a silver level ride centre by the International Mountain Bicycling Association is helping to highlight Silver Star as an ideal summer destination while annual events are resulting in word-of-mouth advertising. “The BC Cup and Single Track 6 events we hosted last year brought riders from all over the world who were amazed with the quality of our trails,” noted Kalacis. Cranked Kids summer camps, bike school programs for all ages and mountain biking camps for women are a few of the ways in which resort management is working to appeal to a wide base of recreational summer users. The Mile High Wine Festival in August is a sell-out event each year that also exposes the mountain’s amenities to a different demographic. A renovation at The Saloon and its re-introduction as The Red Antler created some buzz and is now a favourite venue for pub-style cuisine and a lively nightlife scene. So, no matter the time of year or the time of day, Silver Star Mountain Resort is working to better serve the needs of its users.
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Z40 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
DVA keeps city core alive, well and growing Kristin Froneman Morning Star Staff
Downtown merchants are at the heart of what brings locals, and visitors, to shop in their community. Boutique businesses, offering a variety of retail services and places to relax and enjoy a meal or beverage, are popping up all over downtown Vernon. The Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) wants to keep that momentum going by continuing with its successful events, marketing, and promotional programs that are enlivening Vernon’s central core. The DVA has been working with the city and Kevin Poole, manager of economic development and tourism, on new GIS mapping software that will provide an interactive map for developers and those interested in available leasing space downtown. Construction on the new care facility at 30th Street and 29th Avenue and the former Bank of Montreal space at 30th Avenue and 32nd Street, which will contain a dental office and new retail space, are just two examples of new development in downtown. “Our available lease space has lessened. We are way below the target of 10 per cent. We have also seen a relocation of businesses to the downtown core,” said DVA executive director Lara Konkin. Part of the DVA’s job creation projects, which it received funding for, has been working on a street services database, which is an assessment, inventory and audit of all downtown Vernon’s street level assets. This includes an inventory of benches, street lights, trees, garbage cans and light standards. “We want to make it user-friendly and fluid so that we can easily add
Peter SolymoSi Photo (left) and morning Star file Photo
DVa events coordinator Hailey rilkoff (left), executive director Lara Konkin and member services manager Dina mostat enjoy some live tunes at Civic sounds. meanwhile the downtown market will be revamped when it returns may long weekend. or take away from what is needed,” said Konkin. “It’s an extension of our services to offer upgrades or repairs or help with such things as garbage or graffiti removal and track that information.” The DVA is also engaging its business community and downtown merchants with Curbside Chats. The next chat, to be held in April, will take the form of a job fair and provide downtown businesses with the opportunity
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to connect with potential employees. “We want to let our businesses know that they have value and can retain employees and show how we can highlight what small businesses can offer employees,” said Konkin. The DVA continues with its successful events such as Civic Sounds, the Sunshine Festival and sector specific promotions such as UnWined, a women’s night of late night shopping at downtown boutiques, with special discounts and deals and food and beverage samples. It is also looking at revamping its market (former Avenue Market). “The DVA took every opportunity to engage its stakeholders when it came to the strategic planning of the 2016 market season,” said Konkin. With help from one of the job creation projects, other markets in the valley were visited and local businesses were surveyed to address challenges. An idea recently approved by the city, is to move the market to Cenotaph Park every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. from the May long weekend to
September. “All merchants from the downtown core will have access to the sidewalk and no roads will be closed,” said Konkin, adding the market will be geared more towards families. To meet the needs of those who still want a street-style market, the DVA is going to have a rotating block of 30th Avenue closed on the last Friday of the month from May to August from 6 to 9 p.m. “We will have one block at a time along 30th Avenue for the market,” said Konkin. “This will be a more adult-oriented with wine tastings, a focus on food and live bands and musicians. “This ticks all the boxes for a lot of people.” It’s also part of the city’s parks master plan to activate downtown parks and community spaces such as Cenotaph Park, Justice Park, and Civic Plaza for community use, said DVA member services manager Dina Mostat. “We are doing our part to make that happen,” she said.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z41
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Quality over quantity VERNON LOCK Jennifer Smith
Morning Star Staff
Like comparing fast food to home made, you can taste the difference that time, quality and precision make. So when it comes to comparing commercially produced liquor versus a craft product, there really is no comparison. “We’re not that product,” said Okanagan Spirits’ Rodney Goodchild, director of marketing and operations. And being North America’s only designated World Class Distillery, Okanagan Spirits obviously stands out among the rest. “There’s no other distillery like this in Canada,” said Goodchild, standing among the copper stills and columns of the new, year-old Vernon location. It starts with the roots of the operation – Tony Dyck, his wife and their three adult children, who have invested an unsurpassed amount of time, energy and funds into the business, their 27 different products, and the community. Then there are the ingredients. “Being a craft distillery we make everything from 100 per cent B.C. mate-
rial,” said Goodchild. From grains currently being grown in Lavington and Armstrong to huckleberries picked from the Shuswap this year, apples from Okanagan orchards and even the newest addition of haskap berries from Smithers and Salmon Arm (for the new Haskap Liquer). “Fruit is still very much that backbone.” While fruit is very rarely used on a commercial level (where corn is a staple), Okanagan Spirits is proud of being able to use local products, in return supporting local farmers, and churning out a finer product. “It gives the alcohol a more quality finish,” said Goodchild, noting that the copper stills also enhance the product by giving it a smoother taste. The most popular product is gin, but Goodchild says that’s only because they don’t have enough whisky to sell. “It’s quite a process,” he said, explaining all that goes into making whisky, including the three-year barrel aging.
See SPIRITS on Z42
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Z42 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Spirits high in demand Continued from Z41
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Jennifer Smith/morning Star
Chris Burke, junior distiller, pours heated grains into the tank as he prepares a batch of the highly sought after whisky at Okanagan Spirits in Vernon.
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Last year, 2,000 bottles of whisky were sold, but 4,000 people had applied online to buy a bottle. “It’s such a big driver. We get called repeatedly, ‘have you got whisky?’ “It’s always been a behemoth in the industry.” Okanagan Spirits is trying to keep up with the demand and is diversifying the range to include single malt, rye whisky and bourbon-style whisky. Looking ahead, Okanagan Spirits is going to explore a license to allow the Vernon location to be a bar and lounge (as its Kelowna location is). The demand is there, as the impressive facility has already become a hotspot for corporate events and parties. “It’s really the wow factor,” said Goodchild. “People are blown away just by the investment the family has made.” Locals are constantly bringing in visiting relatives and friends from out of town, out of province and even out of country.
Check out all the events at our newly-launched mobile-friendly website
www.okeeferanch.ca • 250-542-7868 Visit O’Keefe Ranch for the First Time Again!
We invite you to come by and say hi! We are dedicated to providing the very best in professional health care, in an atmosphere of caring and compassion, and we believe in being accountable to you. We treat your pets like the valued family members they are.
2800-45 Avenue Vernon
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z43
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Building healthcare RogeR Knox Morning Star Staff
For the first time in two years, the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation is not focused on a direct fundraising campaign. The foundation was able to announce in September 2015 that it had completed its goal of raising $2.5 to equip the top two floors of the new Polson Tower. The goal was to raise the money by mid-2016. The two floors with 60 beds opened in January.
“We were so proud when the floors opened, it’s amazing how quickly we accomplished our goal,” said Sue Beaudry, the foundation’s director of development, and one of four foundation employees (along with Andrea Egan, Eleanor Diekert and Terri Manke). While the top two floors are officially opened, health care in the North Okanagan, of course, continues to have its needs which is where the foundation comes in.
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See eVenTS SUPPoRT on Z45
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Z44 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
This is where you plug in. No smartphone can give you the real inside perspective on the important economic issues facing our region. We plug you into the people that matter. Chamber events make it easy to connect, meet new people, make contacts and build lasting business relationships.
Close to 550 members for referrals and advice.
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Join the people who get things done. Your membership provides you with a connection to local businesses, events, seminars and member exclusive deals that save you money.
People are 44% more likely to think favourably of you and 80% more likely to do business with you if they know you are a member of the Chamber!
We stand up for you.
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Don’t like new tax hikes or think there’s too much government red tape? When you let us know how you feel, we let “them” know.
To learn more about the value of being a Chamber member, call us at 250.545.0771 or visit vernonchamber.ca
We do it armed with the facts and we say it with a credible voice. The Chamber brings business issues to the forefront and works to encourage positive change. We are the influential voice of business in Greater Vernon and our continued advocacy supports our members and the community at large.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z45
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Events support hospital
OUR STORY Over 100 years and three generations of European trained sausage makers has made Helmut’s Sausage Kitchen what it is today.
Continued from Z43 Beaudry and the foundation’s volunteer board of directors receive a list of health care priorities that the Interior Health Authority has been unable to fund for the coming year. The foundation and board work with IH to determine top priorities. The wish list presented to them totals around $1.5 million. “We buy scopes for surgery that cost between $25,000 and $40,000, and we buy breast feeding kits for $1,100,” said Beaudry. “The kits are just as important to the public health nurses as the surgery equipment is to the doctors. It’s all relevant.” The community helps the foundation by holding a number of fundraising events throughout the North Okanagan. Among the events is the foundation’s Charity Golf Classic, set this year for May 29 at Predator Ridge Resort with Telus confirmed as the major event sponsor. Proceeds will fund more equipment for VJH’s surgical units. The foundation is also teaming up this year with another popular golf event to pay tribute to a well-loved and
Helmut’s is situated in the beautiful Okanagan Valley in the small town of Vernon British Columbia. This is where you will ﬁnd Helmut, Monica and staff continuing to uphold his fore fathers devotion to the art of Charcuterie.
VJH Foundation board members Elise Allen and Richard Finn chat with golfers at the annual Telus Charity Golf Classic at Predator Ridge Resort. respected Vernon businesswoman. The Wine, Women and Woods tournament at Predator Ridge, chaired by the resort’s AJ Eathorne, normally raises funds for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. This year, WWW is teaming up with the VJH Foundation to raise funds for equipment that helps diagnose and treat ovarian and uterine cancer.. “They want to recognize Brenda Hala’s memory through the golf tournament,” said Beaudry, referring to the longtime Vernon photographer who died of cancer in 2015. “We’re really excited about that.”
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Z46 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
Rejoice & Celebrate with us each week in His love and vision for humanity. ALL ARE WELCOME! “Helping People Discover Jesus Christ & Become His Followers” Come & Join us this Sunday or visit us online for more information. www.easthillcommunity.com
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10:00am Sunday School & Adult Bible Fellowship 11:00am English Worship Service 7pm Evening Service Wednesdays 7:00pm Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z47
Z48 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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The goal is to introduce North Okanagan residents to something new. Staff at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre are constantly looking for new acts to bring to the stage. Among them is Cirque Alfonse’s Timber April 5. “It features French-Canadian folk music,” said Erin Kennedy, the centre’s artistic director. “It’s something different and something for all ages. Because it’s about timber, we thought it would be perfect for our community. “We always try to find a show people will connect with and there are shows people may not realize right away are gems until they come and see them.” Financial assistance from donors, as well as the federal and provincial governments, helps bring travelling shows to town.
See PERFORMANCES on Z49
lisa vandervelde/morning star
Pamela Burns Resch (left), Sigrid Ann Thors and Erin Kennedy believe the Vernon Performing Arts Centre must continue to provide new cultural opportunities.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z49
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Performances abound Continued from Z48 “It allows us to attract high-calibre performers,” said Pamela Burns Resch, executive director. “We try to make the performances affordable and we’re able to do that because of grants.” Beyond performances, the focus of the Vernon Performing Arts Centre is outreach. “We want people to enrich their understanding of the performing arts,” said Kennedy. As an example, the centre will host a rock camp for youth in May. “They will learn how to play instruments and put on a show. We will augment this with writing workshops,” said Kennedy. It’s hoped that by the variety of events taking place, local residents will continue to embrace the centre. “We need people to tell the community, their neighbours, about the programming and that it’s worth the effort to visit,” said Burns Resch. Another key to the success of the facility are the volunteers who fill a
number of roles behind the scenes and front-of-house. “We couldn’t manage without them,” said Sigrid Ann Thors, Vernon Performing Arts Centre Society president. There are 300 volunteers, with about 15 who are regularly active. Their efforts consist of about 7,000 hours a year. “They are our ambassadors,” said Burns Resch. “They do a tremendous service telling their friends about the calibre of the shows here.” The centre opened its doors in 2001 and that means that maintenance is critical to ensure the integrity of the public asset. Steps are also taken to install the latest in technology, such as an induction hearing loop. “Sound is projected to the loop and people with a hearing aid can receive sound from the loop. It’s a remarkable improvement,” said Burns Resch. Capital improvements are done in conjunction with the Regional District of North Okanagan, which owns the facility.
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Z50 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Katherine MortiMer/ Morning Star
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Joanne Salé and Jim Swingle play plinko at the okanagan Science Centre. the game is part of the new exhibit, Food: too Good to Waste.
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Photo from Left: Claudia Brewis, Karin Lowen, Kim DeSmoker
Food waste targeted Katherine MortiMer Morning Star Staff
The Okanagan Science Centre is putting the focus on food, with its latest exhibit, Food: Too Good to Waste. Visitors to the OSC can learn all about food waste, the serious issue of food insecurity and help out the Salvation Army Food Bank at the same time.
The newest exhibit at the centre got its start after executive director Jim Swingle and his wife watched the documentary, Just Eat It, which looks at the issue of food waste, from farm to household. “I saw it last spring and I was very motivated by it, so I was thinking it would be a really interesting idea for an exhibit,” he said. “I think many dif-
ferent venues have gotten really good about getting some messages out about recycling and climate change, but I don’t know if kids are really getting the message about how many people are going hungry in Canada or at least have food insecurity, and at the same time just the amount of food being wasted.”
See eXhiBit on Z51
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z51
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Exhibit collects support Continued from Z50 Swingle then brainstormed with exhibits coordinator Joanne Salé and other OSC staff members to come up with a way of turning abstract concepts into hands-on experiences for kids. With a background in fine arts, Salé has been bringing her expertise to exhibits at the OSC for the past year. “I have a personal interest in science; I have my nerdy streak, although I did go to school for fine arts,” she said. “Even when I was in art school, a lot of my sculptural work either implied interaction or it actually was interactive, so this is a really good fit for me.” Running until the end of the year, the exhibit is thanks to a grant from the Valley First Community Endowment, an endowment held by the First West Foundation, the charitable arm of Valley First Credit Union. Visitors to the exhibit are encouraged to bring a non-perishable item for Feed the Valley, the signature cause of Valley First, with all donations going to the food bank in Vernon. The exhibit is set up to give OSC visitors a hands-on, interactive experience, such as a row of large glass jars, each containing a different food item, with a magnifying glass in front of each, to illustrate how food decays: a mouldy piece of cheese, a red pepper that still looks fine, save for a hint of mould just forming on the stem. “The food exhibit is addressing three ideas at the same time: there is food insecurity, so we want to bring attention to the fact that not everybody knows what dinner’s going to be that day, and also food wastage, which is happening simultaneously, and the environmental impact of food wastage,” said Salé.
The Okanagan Science Centre got its start in 1990, where it began life as the Interior Space and Science Centre in the basement of the Tolko building downtown. The non-profit centre has been in its current home in Polson Park since 1997 and relies on income from a variety of sources. “We get some of our revenues through admissions and memberships, science camp and programs, and we get some of our revenue through government grants like the gaming grants. “One of our challenges is always funding for some of the core activities we have to do to be open, because a lot of groups like to fund a given project or exhibit, so things like gaming that provide the core funding are really important to us.” Swingle said a number of organizations and corporations have been key to helping keep the centre running and providing new exhibits, including the Foord Family Foundation, which has provided funding towards the new biohazard exhibit, opening in a few weeks. Now in his second year on the job, Swingle said it’s been interesting. “Because you come in with a lot of ideas and then you hit reality and you realize which ideas are really good ones and which ones just aren’t good for this particular environment and you get to fine-tune.” Ideas come from a variety of sources, said Swingle, before he and his staff move to the brainstorming stage. “I’m also big on having a lot of different people in that room because everyone on staff will have ideas,” he said. “And then at some point we need to reel it in and say, ‘OK we have enough ideas.’ That’s the fun stage, you could just keep going with ideas forever.”
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Z52 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Gallery gets artistic with space challenges Kristin Froneman Morning Star Staff
It started with a big idea in a small space. Last spring, the Vernon Public Art Gallery (VPAG) faced a dilemma when it was its turn to host the first International Okanagan Print Triennial (OPT). The event that rotates between the VPAG and the Kelowna Art Gallery every three years, this was the first time the OPT was held as an international event and the Vernon gallery’s current location under the downtown parkade did not have enough space to house the amount of artwork from international artists that had been accepted into the juried exhibition. And so the gallery came up with a solution in the form of a few big steel boxes. The VPAG received city support and local business sponsorship, including from BigSteelBox, to set up a satellite gallery using large containers to house the art. The location, at 31st Avenue across from Cenotaph Park, was also fitting as it is where the VPAG has proposed a new gallery building to be situated. The satellite gallery was so well received, it remained open from its deadline of May to the Labour Day weekend and earned the gallery a provincial award of merit from the B.C. Museum Association for the innovation and magnitude of the project. “It was so positive in every aspect. We had tremendous feedback and buzz in the community,” said VPAG executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant. “The partnerships and sponsorships we had from local businesses and the public intrigue was amazing. We even had some people asking us if they could rent the steel boxes after.”
Vernon Public art Gallery executive director Dauna Kennedy Grant shows the gallery’s art rental program. This international version of the OPT received an innovation grant from the B.C. Arts Council, and continues in 2018 with a solo exhibition by Sean Caufield, winner of the 2015 OPT, at the VPAG. The event set the course for what Kennedy Grant describes as a “spectacular” year for the gallery Besides the overwhelming community support for the OPT, the gallery had its most successful Midsummer’s Eve of the Arts fundraising auction and garden party at Turtle Mountain Winery and the Riot on the Roof alternative arts
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event for youth, which saw 700 attendees atop the parkade in August. “We’ve had blockbuster numbers this year and we want to keep the momentum going,” said Kennedy Grant. All this has created dialogue on why a new building is needed for the gallery, which has experienced more water damage from roof leakages this past year, said Kennedy Grant. The referendum on the new building is on hold as the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee (GVAC) completes its arts and culture master plan. “They are doing their thing and we are still working on it in the background,” said Kennedy Grant, who sits on a number of community-related committees and task forces and is vice president of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce. “We are working on capital campaigns. We want to make sure there are not missed opportunities for grants. There is infrastructure money out there.” In addition to its pursuit of a new facility, the VPAG’s curator Lubos Culen and staff have been focusing their energy on exhibitions, programming and events, such as the successful Art After
Kristin Froneman /morninG star
Dark soirée, which takes place two times a year. “It brings something fresh to downtown and offers a fun thing to do after dinner where you can enjoy a cocktail, socialize, listen to the DJ, and do creative activities relating to our current exhibitions,” said Kennedy Grant. “We have a variety of exhibitions coming with new media, installations and participatory exhibitions. We are really putting a strong focus on programming that links to our exhibitions.” Programs such as live model drawing and Family Saturdays have been well attended and the gallery’s new education coordinator has been busy facilitating school programs, along with new mini artist sessions for preschoolers and the Discuss and Create program for retirees interested in art, said Kennedy Grant. “Our staff have also done a great job of revamping the gift shop and sourcing new items from local artists and artisans to sell,” she said. “We also have a ton of new artwork in our art rental program, including contemporary and traditional pieces that the public can come see and rent out or even buy if they want.”
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z53
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
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Community Arts Centre
After years of supplying Vernon with handmade bowls and delicious Irish stew during the annual St. Patrick’s Day Empty Bowl event, the Vernon Community Arts Centre has decided it’s time for a change. A new fundraiser called Mugs & Music takes place Saturday, April 30 (1 to 3:30 p.m.) and will instead feature handmade mugs and an afternoon of live music. “Empty Bowl was a fantastic event that ran for several years and brought a lot of new people into the building,” said manager Terry Dunstan. “But we felt it was time for a change, and we wanted to give Vernon the chance to
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Over the past several months, Village Green Centre, the North Okanagan’s largest enclosed shopping centre, has welcomed in several new tenants into the centre, with some exciting new additions still to come in 2016. DAVIDs TEA opened their doors to shoppers in early December amidst great excitement. Teriyaki Express opened around the same time, adding wonderful new flavours to the food court. The upcoming arrival of Q Nails and the highly anticipated Canadian Tire are the perfect accompaniments to the centre’s current mix.
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Z54 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
TIER helps people overcome job challenges Katherine MortiMer Morning Star Staff
In the current job market, finding meaningful work can be a challenge. For someone with a developmental disability, those challenges can be multiplied. But thanks to TIER Support Services, adults 19 and up are able to acquire the skills they need to start earning a pay cheque. “Our office is primarily vocational support but we do community inclusion work as well,” said Kathryn Willardson, with TIER. “We look for work suitable
to our clients’ strengths and we want real work for real pay — that often entails training well before we go and speak to an employer because we want to make sure that they are work-ready.” Willardson said the skills her clients learn can be anything from dressing appropriately for the job, to learning that the food in a work fridge is not there for the taking. “Some of the areas that we work on may seem odd to other people but these are the basic things that our clients need some training in,” she said. “So there
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Kathryn Willardson, with tier Support Services, said having an office at the People Place makes it easy for clients to access services offered by other non-profit agencies in the building. may be leg work long before we go and call on an employer.” Community Living British Columbia refers clients to TIER, and from their office in the People Place, Willardson and colleague Julie Armitage currently have 17 clients. Willardson delights in discovering her clients’ particular skills, and translating them into a job. One such client, who is on the autism spectrum, always loved solving puzzles and can get completely absorbed in them. “We thought this is a highly employable skill and we took him to Canadian Tire and he was hired to assemble bicycles; in a four-hour shift, their technicians could do about three or four bikes and he is so good with puzzles and looking at how they fit together that he could do nearly a dozen.” That same client has recently earned his bicycle technician’s certificate, loves his job and never wants to leave. “A number of our clients may never work full time but they are earning and contributing to the community and feeling like they are really valued.” Willardson said the People Place is the ideal location for TIER. “I think that this is the best place for our services to be, we’ve been networking well with the other agencies. Some of our clients have other needs, and the Family Resource Centre is right upstairs. “And we’ve built great relationships with Independent Living; they’ve helped do classroom training with us on office equipment for example.” Willardson said she would love to hear from employers who are ready to hire an adult with a developmental disability. “Vernon has wonderful employers;
they know they have someone coming in that requires accommodation and they give them the opportunity to be successful.” Some of TIER’s clients are now being empowered as self-advocate leaders, and are available to speak to employer groups or at employee meetings. “It’s one thing for me to knock on doors but we have people ready to advocate for their own communities, to say ‘we want to work, work is important, we have bills too and this is what we can do.’” If you’re an employer who would like to learn more about TIER, please call Willardson at 250-307-8437 or email email@example.com TIER is one of 15 non-profit, social service agencies under one roof in the People Place. “This is the first time since we opened in 1997 that we have had office space available in the People Place,” said manager Elaine Collison. “I think it is a sign of the challenges that many non-profit groups are facing.” The People Place has a number of fundraisers throughout the year: the parking lot garage sale April 30, the Garden Tour June 11 and the clothing sale Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. One of Collison’s favourite events is the annual Children’s Christmas Gift Workshop on Dec. 10. “It’s where children in low-income families can shop for gifts for the significant adults in their lives,” she said, adding that the People Place hosts the event sponsored by Sandra Bradley, Re/Max Vernon; the North Okanagan Optimist Club, We Care Home Health Services and Beta Sigma Phi. For more information, call Collison at 250-558-6585.
Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z55
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Predator Ridge celebrates silver anniversary KEVIN MITCHELL Morning Star Sports Editor
There was dreaded fescue all over the place, costing the average golfer to lose a dozen balls in a single round. There were only a few rooms on the property and you had to drive into Vernon or Kelowna for amenities. That was Predator Ridge Golf Resort some 25 years ago when it created a major buzz in town with a stunning new championship 18-hole track. Since then, Predator has hosted two World Skins Games with names like Greg Norman, Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir while building up an award-winning community with 36 championship holes, its own firehall, spa and gym facility and cycling and walking trails. “Our 25th anniversary is going to be a very exciting year,” said GM Rod Cochrane, in his ninth season. “During each month, we’re going to focus on one thing at the resort and put on lots of specials. May will be culinary month and June will be all about golf. The biggest celebrations, which we will announce later, will be in July.” Cochrane said the resort was optimistic as they catered to “north of the mid-50s” in total thousand rounds, a number which beat the 2014 digits. Predator plans to open Wednesday, April 6. Designed by renowned golf course architect Doug Carrick, the Ridge Course was voted Best New Course in Canada by SCOREGolf when it opened in 2010. The Ridge Course is challenging but playable, featuring breathtaking views of Lake Okanagan that gives way to dramatic elevation changes dotted with beautiful granite outcroppings. A new heartbeat logo, as part of a branding refresh, and some new investment have people taking about The Rise Golf Club and its spectacular Fred Couples Signature Course. Chad Scott is the new Director of Golf at The Rise. “I’m excited to contribute to the growth and expansion of this premiere club,” he said. “There’s big investment in the future here. The team is committed to creating a top-notch destination and I can’t wait until it opens up in April (8). Up here feels like a getaway from the everyday. I want every member and visitor to feel that — to have an exceptional experience every time they come.” Originally from the Okanagan, Scott began his golf career as a junior member at the Fernie Golf and Country Club. In 2001, he became a member of the PGA of Canada, and then took business administration and professional golf management at Victoria’s Camosun College.
LISA VANDERVELDE/MORNING STAR
Predator Ridge Golf Resort marks its 25th anniversary this year with special events throughout the golf season. After graduation, he accepted a position as assistant professional at the Point Grey Golf and Country Club in Vancouver. In 2012, Scott was given the professional development award from the PGA of B.C. for his dedication to learning and career development. A new, luxury, custom clubhouse is being designed by environmental leaders and construction innovators, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, and for the 2016 season, new E-Z-GO golf carts will be available for use at no extra fee. “We really wanted a logo to match the world-class experience we’re creating,” says General Manager, Ian Renton. “Up at The Rise, every guest should enjoy the perfect merging of earth and water and feel like they’ve escaped their busy world.” Spallumcheen Golf & Country Club enjoyed their second-earliest opening ever, on Feb. 27. Head pro Myles Johnson, in his second full tour, will be re-joined by his wife – Katrina Johnson – as club GM after her maternity leave. “We have a new greens roller and it’s making a big difference, making the greens even faster and smoother, even better than they were.” Spall hosted 67,000 rounds between its championship (42,000) and nine-hole courses. Spall is reviving the once popular April Showers Tournament April 24 to be sponsored by the Kal Sports Bar. There will be more than $6,000 in prizes. Siegfried Schreve will take over more of the teaching programs. The Vernon Golf & Country Club, which had a March 10 opening, featured 43,000 rounds last year.
“We had the best winter we’ve had in a long time: Mother Nature was very good to us,” said acting head pro Brooks Jones. Vernon will likely host the B.C. Amateur Ladies and the B.C. Summer Games, both in 2017. Ever popular Hillview, an 18-hole executive, is a good test for beginners and a
great facility for company tournaments. North of Vernon is the challenging nine-hole Royal York in Armstrong and the par-3 Birchdale in Grindrod, Coldstream has a nine-hole track, while Highlands on Buchanan Road has a gorgeous nine-hole, par-3 experience. River Ridge is a fun nine holes in Cherryville.
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Z58 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Area keeping active richard rolke Morning Star Staff
The North Okanagan is known for its lifestyles and activities abound for virtually every interest. Recreation programs continue to be popular in Armstrong, Enderby, Greater Vernon and Lumby. “Programming is geared towards making health and wellness fun and affordable for you! From toddlers to seniors, recreational opportunities for people of all ages are offered,” said Tate Bengtson, Enderby’s chief administrative officer. “More and more people are discovering that joining a recreation program not only provides health benefits, but it is a great way to relax, have fun, and meet people.” There are more than 22 programs during winter and spring in Enderby. “Seven fitness classes per week are offered, including zumba for kids, yoga, high-intensity interval training, and strength classes,” said Bengtson. “From June to August, eight aquafit classes and lap swimming times will be offered weekly to keep you active in the
richard rolke/morning star
Doug Ross, the City of Vernon’s recreation services manager, is looking forward to the 50th anniversary of the Vernon Recreation Complex. summer.” The City of Vernon is also preparing for a busy 2016 at the Vernon Recreation Complex. “May is our 50th anniversary and we will have a special ceremony,” said Doug Ross, recreation services manager. The facility, which opened in 1966, experiences about 300,000 user visits annually.
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z59
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Rec Centre marks 50th Canal trail and the Lakeview Park and Lavington wading pools. Kal Beach, Kin “I see people coming in as parents and Beach, Sovereign Park and Paddlewheel they were kids here years ago. Consider Park are places to cool off during the all of the kids who have gone through summer heat. swimming lessons and summer camps.” In Armstrong-Spallumcheen, activiRoss credits the success of the recre- ties gravitate around Memorial Park, the ation program to the evolving schedule. swimming pool and the skateboard park “We’re constantly changing. Our pro- as well as Nor-Val Sports Centre. grammers are known for stealing ideas Proposed capital works for 2016 from other communities,” he said. include a cold flood system and com“We have programs that work well pressor rebuild at Nor-Val and a tennis and they pop up in other communities.” court repair at Memorial Park. Also moving ahead is a master plan, There could also be a roof repair at which will determine the future of recre- Hassen Arena and an exterior renovaation in Greater Vernon. tion to Centennial Hall. “That will be our blueprint for bricks Work is also planned for the fairand mortar and programs,” said Ross. grounds. “You have to look five, 10 and 20 “There could be culvert replacement years into the future so you make sure planning and engineering,” said Byron you are meeting the community’s needs.” Sayer, Armstrong-Spallumcheen Parks Renovations are underway to the and Recreation Commission general Vernon Recreation Complex’s entrance manager. and all of the work should be done by Lumby has the Salmon Trail and Oval May. Park, which includes a children’s spray Outside of the recreation complex, area and outdoor exercise equipment for there is plenty to keep Greater Vernon adults, while there are a number of ameresidents OSB_HoneyKolsch_MorningStarAd_FINAL.pdf active. nities Cherryville’s Hanson 1 available 2016-03-09in 4:21 PM You can access Polson Park, the Grey Park.
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Z60 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
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Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star Z61
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Women mean business CARA BRADY Morning Star Staff
Vernon Women in Business has been providing inspiration, information and networking opportunities for members for almost 30 years. President Galina Labun started her term as president in September and was MC of the Leadership Conference held at Sparkling Hill Resort in October. “This was open to men and women Galina Labun and was very well received. We are planning another leadership conference this fall.” Vernon Women in Business continues to provide education for members throughout the year with speakers at the monthly lunch meetings. There is also a monthly afterwork social meeting. Meetings give members the chance to share about their businesses, what works for them and ask and answer questions. “It’s a safe and comfortable environment where women can support women. We are also using social media more to
build our presence and to help members connect and network,” said Labun. Members of Women in Business do not have to own a business. Members include women who work for other businesses, professionals, owners of home-based businesses, and those thinking of starting a business or rejoining the workforce. Labun’s involvement in Women in Business inspired her to follow a dream she had for some time. She and Jennifer O’Callaghan-Strachan launched Glitz Consulting Agency at the end of January. The business focuses on marketing, business development, events, fundraising and project and social media management. “We’ve had a fantastic positive response,” said Labun. “We invite women to come out to the meetings and find out about what we (Women in Business) do. These are lively, energetic women and we have fun at the meetings. I can see myself being involved in some way for a long time to come,” said Labun. Vernon Women in Business has lunch meetings each second Wednesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Prestige Inn. For more information see vwib.com.
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Z62 Sunday, March 27, 2016 - The Morning Star
BUSINESS REVIEW & FORECAST
Getting the word out
richard rolke/ morning star
Ange Chew, the City of Vernon’s tourism manager, is in constant contact with media about promoting the North Okanagan.
Morning Star Staff
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Wining and dining is paying off for the North Okanagan. Last year, the City of Vernon’s tourism department hosted 103 out-of-town media outlets and that translated into $2.78 million worth of articles. “There were articles in Germany and the U.S. and those are advertising markets we can’t afford,” said Ange Chew, tourism manager. Most recently, features about Vernon and area appeared on Luxury Travel Mom, a blog with 40,000 daily viewers, and on VitaminDaily.com, with a data base of 100,000 people. “They are reaching markets we don’t reach and they add credibility,” said Chew. “These are third parties with audiences that trust them when they say, ‘Vernon is great.’” Tourism Vernon continues to rely on traditional advertising, but when a full page ad in some magazines costs $11,000, that can be cost prohibitive. As a result, the city is focused on encouraging journalists to write about their experiences in Vernon. “An article has all of the activities in the community and what you can see and do,” said Chew. As part of its media familiarization tours, the city works with the Thompson-Okanagan Tourism Association, Destination B.C. and Destination Canada. Enhanced marketing is partly a result of the city’s two per cent accommodations tax. In 2015, the tax generated about $600,000, 12 per cent ahead of the year before. That translates into about $30 million in hotel/motel revenue and a total visitor
impact of $120 million as tourists also frequent local shops and restaurants. “That doesn’t include people visiting and staying with their friends or staying in RVs,” said Chew. There can also be a long-term impact far beyond the dollars dropped over a few days. “People fall in love with the area and they might move here. Tourism brings growth to the city,” said Chew. About 73 per cent of visitors want to return to Vernon at some point, and Chew is convinced that residents and those working in the tourism sector can play a key role in that occurring. “It’s about creating ambassadorship, evangelism and engagement,” she said. “What sets Vernon apart from other destinations is the people here and the passion. They may be an active foodie or a (ski) boarder. It’s all about the choice they made to be here in Vernon and their delight in it.” Global economic trends can have a significant impact on the tourism sector and one aspect Chew is observing is the low value of the Canadian dollar. “There is an opportunity to attract more U.S. visitors but there is a challenge as a Canadian agency as it costs us extra to advertise more in the U.S.,” she said. Seventy-eight per cent of all visitors are from B.C. and Alberta, but Chew anticipates increased focus on Washington state and primarily Seattle and Spokane. And that’s where establishing firm relationships with the media — newspapers, bloggers and television — will lead to success. “Writers and visitors are charmed by Vernon and as local residents, sometimes we forget about what we have here,” said Chew.
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Section Z of the March 27, 2016 edition of the Vernon Morning Star