Columbia Valley Pioneer - January 25, 2024

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Your Weekly Source For News And Events


JANUARY 25, 2024



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Rocks on ice

Last weekend’s Bonspiel on the Lake attracted many curlers who couldn’t wait to throw all of these rocks.

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The Bonspiel on the Lake in Invermere last weekend was filled with competitive fun for many passionate curlers.

This week’s winner is…


Wes Coulson

Many, many more draws will continue through 2024

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JANUARY 25, 2024




Local baker reaches semi-finals of contest By Steve Hubrecht A math lesson from mom helped Vina Benn find something magical in baking — that ordinary-yet-wonderous alchemy that turns flour and eggs and butter and sugar into cookies. She was fascinated and she wanted to learn that alchemy. As she grew up, Benn became an accomplished home baker, the person everyone else asked to bake birthday cakes, because you just couldn’t buy in a store what Benn could whip up in the oven. Those skills came in handy when Benn launched her own Mama Bear Bakery business here in the Columbia Valley some years back, and they may propel her even further in the near future. That’s because Benn is currently competing in the semi-finals of The Greatest Baker, one of the biggest online-run baking contests in North America. As this issue of the Pioneer goes to press, Benn is sitting in second place in the online voting. If she bumps up to first place she’ll make the final — an astounding achievement for a small town mom running a home-based baking business. Voting for the semi-finals closes at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25 – the very day this issue of the Pioneer hits newsstands. (This, dear reader, is where you come in:

go and vote online as soon as possible at The Greatest Baker is run by media company and attracts many thousands of participants each year. The winner gets a $10,000 prize, is flown to New York to be featured in a multi-page spread in ‘Bake From Scratch’ magazine, and gets to meet celebrity baker and ‘Cake Boss’ reality television star Buddy Valastro. In case you’re wondering, no, Benn did not actually mail in any baking to New York for the contest – instead she sent a description about herself along with several images of her baking handiwork. That was compiled into a profile. Contestants are clumped together into groups, and online voting begins with the top finishers in each group moving on to the next round. Benn applied to be on the show after an ad suggesting she do so popped up in her Facebook feed. She did apply, not expecting much. But she got into the competition. Then, to her surprise, she began finishing at the top of her group, round after round. When the Pioneer first spoke with Benn last week, she had managed to proceed through six rounds of voting and was in the seventh round — the quarter-final stage, at which point only 1,000 contestants were left.

Longtime Invermere resident Vina Benn, owner of Mama Bear Bakery, is in the semi-final stages of The Greatest Baker, a continent-wide contest for passionate bakers. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Where Real Estate Happens™

Continued on page 5


BERNIE RAVEN 250-342-7415

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Avid baker Vina Benn is turning heads with her yummy creations that, try as you might, are hard to resist. PHOTO SUBMITTED

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JANUARY 25, 2024

Watch for our next Real Estate Market Update Coming February 1

Sgt. Ed deJong Columbia Valley RCMP This past week, January 15 to 22, the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to 57 calls for service. The following is a summary of some of the files our officers responded to: On January 18 police were advised by the Kimberley RCMP of a vehicle stolen out of their jurisdiction which was believed to be in the Canal Flats area. Members located the vehicle a short time later at which time it fled from police. The vehicle proceeded into Invermere where it was eventually located. All three suspects were arrested after a short foot pursuit and held to be brought before the courts. A search of the vehicle revealed firearms and drugs. Multiple charges have been recommended. On January 19, after being released from custody by the courts, one of the suspects from the above file

stole another vehicle in Invermere and drove south toward Cranbrook. Police located the vehicle and activated emergency equipment; however, the vehicle failed to stop and began to drive erratically. The male was later located by the Kimberley RCMP hitchhiking on the highway and was taken into custody. Further charges have been recommended. Columbia Valley RCMP have received a number of complaints regarding the driving behaviour around snowplows. It is both illegal and dangerous to pass a snowplow on the right hand side, and it is dangerous to pass a snowplow while it’s actively plowing snow on the left due to restricted visibility. Snowplow drivers will pull over and let traffic pass if required, but remember, if the plows are out, it likely means road conditions are snowy and/or slippery and speeds should be reduced accordingly.

RT Rice



to James and Jerry Jefferson of Jefferson Contracting Ltd. (JCL) for immediately returning my telephone call regarding a faulty propane furnace that was not working properly during our recent cold snap. Within one day of my call, they came to my home and got the furnace working again. Now I have heat. I cannot find adequate words that would show my appreciation for your help. You give the best customer service! -Pat

Recycling Questions? BC RECYCLING HOTLINE 604-732-9253 1-800-667-4321


The Columbia Valley RCMP has received complaints about driving behaviour around snowplows. Police remind motorists that it is illegal and dangerous to pass a snowplow on the right. PHOTO AETB/GETTY IMAGES

JANUARY 25, 2024


Cold snap put freeze on local economy By Steve Hubrecht The record cold snap that sent the Columbia Valley (and much of the rest of B.C. and western North America) into a deep freeze last week also put a chill, if only a temporary one, on the local economy. The super frosty conditions – the result of a polar vortex — began late on Thursday, Jan. 11 and continued through the weekend and into early last week. Temperatures were in the minus 30s (degrees Celsius), with wind chill factors making it feel even colder than -40 C. By Tuesday, Jan. 16 things were significantly warmer, yet still plenty cold with temperatures in the low minus 20s early in the mornings and at night. Things stayed the same for the rest of the week. It was so cold in fact that both Panorama Mountain Resort and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort ski hill shut down outdoor operations for two full days, with both hills closed on Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13. Safety of visitors and staff was the reason cited for the closures. Similar closures were in effect

at multiple ski resorts around B.C., including nearby Kicking Horse Resort in Golden. Columbia Valley residents dealt with the Arctic-like climate by staying indoors as much as possible as did visitors, taking a bite out of the valley’s winter tourism business. “It certainly did have an economic impact,” said Invermere Mayor Al Miller. “People were hunkering down in their homes. I don’t blame them. It was really cold, in fact downright nasty out there . . . the streets of downtown were quite bare when I checked.” Miller said several locals reported a noticeable decrease in traffic flow in Invermere during the polar vortex and he noted that traffic flow is often a major indicator of how retail businesses fare. Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce executive director Pete Bourke agreed there had been an economic impact, pointing to the closing of the ski resorts, which is an impact in and of itself, and adding that “what I have heard anecdotally is that there’s been a drop off in the new year, when school started again in terms of people out shopping at and supporting local business. That

happens every year, but this year it’s a little bit more than normal. So the cold snap definitely didn’t help that.” Aside from the economic impact, Miller was impressed with how local residents held up psychologically and emotionally during the extreme conditions. He was also happy that District of Invermere staff were able to balance clearing roads and sidewalks with staying safe themselves. “Overall we weathered it very well,” said Miller. Those sentiments were echoed by Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Doug


Clovechok. “Obviously the cold snap has not been that welcome,” he told the Pioneer. “But people have done a great job coping, especially with trying to conserve power and not overload the grid.” Clovechok noted that aside from the extreme temperatures, this winter has been much cloudier than normal. “But people in the Columbia Valley are resilient and take it (both the clouds and the cold) as it comes . . . at the end of the day we are Canadian, and this can happen in winter,” he said.

The recent cold snap impacted local ski resorts that had to shut down for a couple of days for the safety of visitors and staff. PHOTO RYAN WATMOUGH

Local baker turning heads in contest Continued from page 3 To move on to the semi-final stage, Benn needed to finish not just near the top, but at the very top of her group in the quarter-finals. Benn, her friends and family (especially her sister Nikki) and the Pioneer watched as the deadline for quarter-final voting — 8 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 18 — ticked closer and closer. At first Benn was in the lead. Then, less than a day to go, she slipped to second. “My sister was watching right down to the wire. She told me that with 10 seconds to go I was still in second place. So I guess the voting must have been very, very close and at the end, I just got a few extra votes that pushed me over the line,” Benn told the Pioneer. “It’s crazy. It’s so unexpected and it’s very exciting.” At midday on Friday, Jan. 19, Benn was sitting first in her semi-final group, although she had moved down to second by Friday evening. “I definitely didn’t think I would get this far. It’s been very humbling,” said Benn. It’s quite a journey, and it has its beginnings when Benn was 10 and struggling with fractions in math class. Her mom lit on the idea of baking a batch of

chocolate cookies to help, guessing that the measurements — 3/4 cup of this, 2/3 cup of that — could give Benn a real-life example of how fractions work. Plus, it would be tasty. The math lesson worked very well. “Fractions suddenly made sense,” said Benn, laughing at the memory. Pretty soon she was creating all kinds of confections and baked goods. Cakes became one of her favourite things to make, and remain so today. “There’s a lot of room for creativity with cakes. I love when you make something special for a kid, decorate it in a way you know they’ll really like. Then they see it and get really excited. There’s just such joy,” said Benn. “I don’t know, I just love baking. Everyone likes a treat. It brightens your day. And if you’re the baker, you get to be part of that.” Benn says that aside from creating special birthday cakes, cinnamon buns are her favourite thing to bake. “The smell of cinnamon buns in the oven . . . I’ve just always liked that. And if you keep them moist, well that’s really yummy,” she said. (Benn’s sister Nikki separately and very emphatically attested to the Pioneer

Cinnamon buns are a favourite of Invermere baker Vina Benn, who has been baking since childhood. PHOTO SUBMITTED

about the quality of Benn’s cinnamon buns.) Benn moved to the Columbia Valley more than 20 years ago and lives here now with her three kids (two at David Thompson Secondary School and one at J.A. Laird Elementary School) and their mini Australian shepherd. She briefly ran Mama Bear Bakery out of a storefront in Radium Hot Springs, but these days runs it out of her home and at local farmer’s markets throughout the summer. Stay tuned to future issues of the Pioneer for updates on Benn’s run on The Greatest Baker.

BOARD OF VARIANCE TheVillage of Radium Hot Springs seeks three individuals, each for a threeyear term on the Village’s Board of Variance. This is a volunteer position. A Board of Variance is an alternative to applying for a development variance permit from a local government. A person may apply to the board of variance if they feel compliance with the bylaw would cause them hardship. For example, if an outcrop in a person’s yard prevented them from siting the house in conformity with the normal setbacks, a person could apply for a variance. Individuals applying to be a board member must not be members of an advisory planning commission or officers or employees of the Village of Radium Hot Springs. If you are interested in this volunteer position, please send a cover letter and resume to: Adrian Bergles, CAO PO Box 340 Radium Hot Springs, BC V0A 1M0 or by email to The deadline for submissions is January 31st, 2024. P.O. Box 340, 4836 Radium Blvd, Radium Hot Springs, B.C., 250-347-6455



JANUARY 25, 2024


A mad world Just when you thought you had heard everything. The new year stumbles with some shocking news that nearly rivals what you would read in any trashy British tabloid. In one court report out of Kamloops, a man who hit his wife and choked her unconscious (twice) at a family gathering was given a conditional sentence . . . to be served at home with his wife. Yes, with his victim. No doubt some people had to read this twice to make sure their brain was processing it correctly. House arrest at home is common these days, but to serve it with the victim is not what some might consider judicially appropriate. But the judge believed it was considering the abuser showed remorse and good behaviour since the attack, which was reportedly witnessed by the children. It is commendable that the defendant is thinking more clearly on the road to his rehabilitation, but a man who has prior convictions for assault, and then renders his spouse unconscious by choking, presents a risk to his family. That’s not even touching on the argument whether a conditional sentence represents justice for such a serious offence. The next bizarre revelation is that embattled former US President Donald Trump won a landslide victory in Iowa during the primary. Wait a minute; is this the same Donald Trump facing a slew of charges for everything but the kitchen sink? Afraid so. It’s not a shocker that Trump would have the nerve to run for president again, but that people would still vote for him after the chaos he caused and the rules he broke leaves one to question the electorate’s morals. To think that many Americans still idolize him is something only a revered psychologist could explain. Speaking of standards of behaviour, the recent swarming of a young girl in West Kelowna was another wakeup call that we aren’t doing enough to teach our youth respect and compassion. This defenseless girl curled up in a fetal position was kicked, punched, spat on, vomited on, and mocked during the brutal attack that was recorded by a group of teenagers. Nobody can legally publish the video due to the suspects’ ages, and of course the victim’s. Therefore, the attackers remain anonymous and protected for the time being. A couple of arrests have been made but you won’t likely hear any more than that. Which brings us to accountability (or the lack thereof ). Many people can recall the time when youth were identified and held accountable for their crimes, from stealing a farmer’s horse to breaking a window in town. But over the years something went awry and it was deemed too harsh to identify these delinquents out of fear for their safety. What about the victim’s? Without accountability there is no justice. The current system teaches our youth that they can swarm and beat anyone and still be protected by the law, and once all is said and done, the legal consequences will be minimal and eventually be forgotten. Lyonel Doherty, editor

Historical Lens

Shown here are five men with survey instruments working on a metal-lined flume in 1921. PHOTO PROVIDED BY THE WINDERMERE AND DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Smiley faces in a pickle jar Attached is a photo I took of a pickled happy face that I found in the bottom of a jar of Sophie's Original Choice pickles. As you may already know, this brand is made and sold locally in Edgewater by Zosia (Sophie) Timothy and her husband Dean. I sent this photo to Sophie, who replied: "The original face was a natural face found in my chopped pickle jar. Dean noticed two eyes and a ‘o’ for his mouth. We thought it was cute so we had to add one to each pickle jar, a last touch of the jar. We wanted to say thank you and put a smile on one’s face, and it does. And the pickles that went in there were happy." What are the odds that we would get one of those jars? The pickled smiley face definitely made our family laugh. What you may not know is that Sophie's Original Choice is derived from Zosia's mother's home recipe. Zosia and I grew up a block apart in Brantford, Ontario. As an aside, Wayne Gretzky grew up a couple of blocks away before moving to Toronto as a teenager to continue his amateur hockey career. Meeting again as adults after moving to the Columbia Valley from Ontario more than 25 years ago was also a pleasant surprise for both Sophie and me.

This smiley face surprised the heck out of Jim Jenkinson. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Jim Jenkinson, Invermere

The Columbia Valley



is independently owned and operated, published weekly by Amanda Nason, President and Publisher, Nason Publishing Limited. Box 868, #8, 1008 - 8th Ave., Invermere, B.C. V0A 1K0 Phone: 250-341-6299 | Toll Free: 866-496-8047 |

Amanda Nason Lyonel Doherty Steve Hubrecht President/Publisher Guest Editor Magazine Editor/Reporter Ext. 102 Ext. 105

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The Columbia Valley Pioneer is available free of charge at 13 essential businesses in the Upper Columbia Valley, limited to one copy per reader. This publication has been made possible, in part, by the Government of Canada and the support of our advertisers and is published every Thursday. The Columbia Valley Pioneer may be distributed only by its authorized contractors and employees. No person may, without the prior written consent of The Pioneer or its Publisher, take more than one copy of each issue of The Pioneer. The content is protected by copyright. Reproduction by any means is prohibited except with the permission of the Publisher.

JANUARY 25, 2024



Big ice fishing derby set for this weekend By Steve Hubrecht Time to bust out the fishing rod because the Fishing Derby is back. The annual ice fishing event has been a staple of the Columbia Valley events calendar for two and a half decades and continues to grow. This year’s version, set for Saturday, Jan. 27, will be the 24th edition of the competition, and it promises to be the biggest yet. “This year we are expecting to see 200 people,” said event chair Steve Kuffler. “It’s going to be a great day . . . it’s a great way for families and friends to get together and enjoy a day on the lake.” The derby is a big event for locals and for those from farther afield as well, and in the past it has attracted participants from Creston to Calgary and everywhere in between. “It’s particularly fun for kids,” explained Kuffler, noting that every kid who takes part gets a trophy. The prizes for adults are pretty good too – the person who catches the longest fish during the derby gets $500. Registration for the derby is on the day of the event, from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m. at the Station Pub. Most of the ice fishers will be found on the northernmost part of Lake Windermere, by the collection of ice fishing huts near the Bayshore Condos lake access. The derby goes from 9 3 p.m. The prize presentations will occur at the Bayshore Condos after the derby wraps up. The derby is organized by the Kinsmen Club of the Windermere Valley, just like the annual snow golf tourna-

ment, which was scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 13, but was cancelled when the polar vortex that arrived in January sent temperatures well below -30 C. Like the snow golf tournament, the ice fishing derby raises money “for the Columbia Valley community’s greatest needs” explained Kuffler. “It’s unfortunate we couldn’t go ahead with the snow golf tournament, but these things happen,” he said. The club decided not to reschedule the event later in the winter because, as Kuffler noted, even in February conditions in the Columbia Valley can be quite mild — sometimes too mild for a snow golf tournament. The ice fishing derby, however, is set to go ahead. Kuffler and some others came up with the idea of having an ice fishing derby more than two decades ago, in part because they liked ice fishing and were looking for an excuse to do more of it and because they wanted to raise money for a good cause. “Locals love it and visitors do too. We have people who come from several hours away each year to take part. They come once, they experience it, they love it and they come back,” said Kuffler. “It’s always a lot of fun, and it’s going to be fun again this year.” Ice fishers may not keep game fish, so most of the prize winning fish in the derby are pike minnows or suckers. Derby participants will get a free barbecue lunch from the Station Pub. Tickets for the derby are $35. For more information call Kuffler at 250-342-1378.

You may not want to kiss them but you can surely catch them this weekend during the ice fishing derby. FILE PHOTO

NOTICE OF INTENT TO CONSIDER COUNCIL PROCEDURE BYLAW NO. 265, 2023 In accordance with Section 124(3) of the Community Charter, notice is hereby given that the Village of Canal Flats intends to repeal Village of Canal Flats Procedure Bylaw No. 1, 2004 and replace it with Council Procedure Bylaw No. 265, 2023. In addition to re-ordering and restructuring, applicable amendments to the previous bylaw have been consolidated as part of the new bylaw. Minor revisions and additions to provide clarity and housekeeping changes include: • The means to hold an electronic meeting; • Clearer language regarding: i. Code of Conduct and Debate, ii. Motions, iii. Reconsideration/Rescinding of a Motion, iv. Presentations, Delegations and Petitions Delegations v. Late Items Any member of the public may provide public input on this bylaw prior to adoption. Bylaw 265 is available for viewing on the Village of Canal Flats Website at or by request, Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm at the Village office. Questions and comments regarding the new bylaw can be received until January 22, 2024 at 4:00pm and directed to Sylvie Hoobanoff, Corporate Officer at 250-349-5462 or

Want to win a trophy? Well, you have to catch a good fish at this weekend’s derby on Lake Windermere. FILE PHOTO

P.O. Box 159, 8866 Grainger Road, Canal Flats, BC, V0B 1B0 Phone: 250-349-5462 Fax: 250-349-5460 Email:



JANUARY 25, 2024

Nearly 300 nordic ski lovers will unite this weekend for the Columbia Valley’s two-day Nipika Panorama loppet on January 27-28. The family-friendly competition is a fundraiser for the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club. PHOTOS SUBMITTED

Skiers ready for Nipika Panorama Loppet By Steve Hubrecht Like a flurry of snowflakes, snow and ice-centric events are coming on fast and furious in the Columbia Valley. Cross country skiers will take the stage this coming weekend, when the valley’s showcase nordic event — the

Nipika Panorama Loppet — takes place. The loppet includes both classic and skate skiing races, with the classic races at Nipika Mountain Resort and the Cross River Canyon recreation site on Saturday, Jan. 27, and the skate ski races at Panorama Mountain Resort on Sunday, Jan. 28. “It’s a great family-friendly compe-

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tition, with a great atmosphere,” said event coordinator Nada Courtliff. “Both venues are beautiful and have great views.” The classic races at Nipika include distances of 1.5 km, 3 km, 7.5 km, 15 km, and 30 km. The skate skiing races at Panorama include distances of 1.5 km, 3 km, 7.5 km, 10 km, and 20 km. Registration is done online at and must be completed prior to race day. The event functions as a fundraiser for the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club. The loppet has been running for many years, and traditionally was a one-day event held solely at Nipika. Following a COVID-19-related hiatus, in recent years the loppet has been expanded to include Panorama as a venue and has become a two-day affair. Courtliff noted there are very few loppets that are two days long and fewer still that give participants a chance to race at two different venues. “It’s pretty unique in that way,” she said. The loppet attracts plenty of Columbia Valley nordic skiers, but also quite a few from other parts of the East Kootenay and from Alberta. The Nipika Panorama Loppet is the first of four loppets that collectively comprise the Pacific Northwest Loppet Series. The others are the Ski to the Sun Loppet in Mazama (early February), Washington state, the Coast Outdoors Payakentsut in Whistler (late February), and the Sovereign 2 SilverStar Ski Mar-

athon in Vernon in the Okanagan (early April). Nordic skiing and loppets are an “excellent activity that the whole family can do. It’s a great way to get outdoors and exercise. And it’s a lot of fun,” said Courtliff. She added that both Nipika and Panorama have good nordic ski conditions this year, in contrast to a great many other nordic ski centres in B.C. which have suffered a lack of snow. Organizers are still looking for volunteers to help run the loppet, said Courtliff. Anyone interested in learning more, signing up, or keen to help out as a volunteer should visit

JANUARY 25, 2024



A night of terrible service for good cause By Steve Hubrecht Get ready for some horrendously poor service. Horrendously poor service on purpose, that is. Ullr Bar is bringing back its Slow and S*%&@# Service Night. The event is a lighthearted evening that doubles as a charity fundraiser for the Mountain of Hope Society, and gives diners the exact opposite of what they’d expect when it comes to restaurant and pub service.

“It’s all done in a lighthearted manner. But if you are easily offended by language or adult topics, for instance, we suggest not booking.” Richard Matthews Ullr Bar owner “There’ll be snippy comments, we’ll make fun of you, we’ll get your order wrong. And there will be dunce caps. Basically, you get a ticket to our event, and you get treated badly, but you get treated badly so that others get the help they need,” explained Ullr owner Richard Matthews. Ullr held its first Slow and S*%&@# Service Night two years ago. The event was a big success, so after a break last year, the bar is bringing it back on Saturday, Feb. 10.

The two-hour dinner begins at 8 p.m. and is by reservation only. The reservations are to ensure that people who show up at Ullr that night know exactly what they are getting into. “It’s all done in a lighthearted manner,” said Matthews. “But if you are easily offended by language or adult topics, for instance, we suggest not booking.” Matthews himself will be hosting and emceeing the night, and there will be three celebrity guests on hand. As with the first Slow and S*%&@# Service Night the celebrity guests are folks that are well known in the Columbia Valley, and who are guaranteed to add to the evening’s entertainment. One of the guests is locally-famous drag performer April Storm, but the other two are a surprise. Even the food will be interesting. “There will be things like tongue tacos, and a lot of different and funny cakes,” said Matthews. All proceeds from the event will go to the Mountain of Hope Society, a charitable organization founded by valley residents that anonymously helps local residents in times of need. In other words, for people who suddenly come upon difficult times and do not have other resources to call on. Tickets are $20 per person and there are only 98 seats available. Last time the event sold out very quickly, so those who want to attend are advised to buy their tickets as soon as possible. For those interested in attending, email

A fundraiser for Mountain of Hope will see the Ullr Bar host a night that you won’t soon forget for the bad service. ILLUSTRATION SUBMITTED

Babies of 2023 Miley Blake Krebs

Rónán Oshea Terensio Todosichuk

Welcome to Miley Blake Krebs who came into the world on August 17, 2023. We love you and can’t wait to see you grow with the crazy Krebs/McGrath Families you were born into! Love Dad and Mom, Blake Krebs and Zoe McGrath and proud Grandparents Jamie & Deanna Krebs and Dave & Cathy McGrath

Introducing Rónán Oshea Terensio Todosic Todosichuk, born on December 14th, 2023, at 4:27 pm in Cranbrook, weighing 7 lbs and 2 oz. The joy of Kelvin Todosichuk and Christiana Ituara, he is adored by grandparents Kari Zimmer (with step-grandpa Jason Brainard), Terensio Ituara, and Kerry Dubois.

Fun Facts: Miley has already been on the summit of many mountains and has been sledding at Forester!

Fun Fact: During his naps, Rónán finds solace in Jazz music, and his love for car rides began even before he was born.

Phoebe Pat Dunajski

June 7, 2023 - 7 lb 8.5oz Parents are Lily (Flamand) & Dillon Dunajski Grandparents are Erin McNeil & Chris Boulton Great grandparents are Pat & Karl Conway Fun Fact: She has a giggle after she smiles - always!



JANUARY 25, 2024

OUT OF OFFICE… Downtown Invermere Business Survey Businesses in Downtown Invermere are exploring strategies to add vibrancy and build on the reputation of being a place to shop, socialize, and stroll. One idea is to create a vehicle-free, pedestrian area in Downtown Invermere to allow free movement on the street on Fridays and Saturdays through July and August. The section being considered is 7th avenue from 9th street to 13th street. The Chamber of Commerce has created two surveys to gauge both resident and business opinion and response to the possible outcomes of Invermere Main Street becoming a walkable downtown for two days a week. In addition to being a pedestrian friendly area, the goal would be to create a festival feel. Discussions include more patios, live music, additional public seating, businesses expanding into the street, and moving the Saturday morning Farmers’ market to 7th Ave (from its current location in the Lakeview Parking lot).

When considering parking, the Lakeview Parking lot (behind the rink) has 115 parking spots. There are 123 spots on the full main street (7th Ave) from 9th street (AG Valley Foods) to 14th street (the Dentist office).

Additional Accessible parking would be designated to completely replace the Accessible parking spaces that would be lost. The purpose of these surveys is to sample interest in moving forward with this concept, considering feedback from both business owners and individual residents. We would ask that each business/organization or resident complete the survey only once. You can find the resident surveys online on the Chamber Website: If you would like a paper copy to fill out and return, they are available at the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce. Results will be released to the Invermere Business Committee (where the idea was originally put forward) and with the District of Invermere to be examined by Council in a future public meeting. Both business and resident opinions are vital in moving forward in a direction that will most benefit the community – have your say about the future of downtown Invermere!

JANUARY 25, 2024

Thursday, January 25 • 6:30pm-8:00pm: Read It & Eat. Invermere Public Library. A NEW program at the library! Read it and Eat is a cookbook club where we choose a featured cookbook each month, participants choose a recipe to make, and then bring the dish to the meeting to enjoy food and good company! This month’s featured cookbooks are the Whitewater Cooks series. 1. Stop by the library to choose a recipe from one of the Whitewater Cooks cookbooks and photocopy it. 2. Make the dish at home. 3. Bring it to the meeting and enjoy with other participants! • If you have the cookbook (and don’t need to look at our copy for a recipe) and want to participate, please contact us so we know how many people will attend and what recipe you are making. All welcome! • 10:30am-11:30am: Senior’s Fitness Columbia Valley Centre, $2 dropin. • 11:30am-12:00pm: Little Lambs – Baby Program. Radium Public Library. Join us for songs, rhymes, and stories with your babies! No registration required. • 2:00pm-3:00pm: Seniors Tea. Invermere Public Library. Join us for a cup of tea and a chat on the 2nd & 4th Thursday of each month. All welcome! • 6:45pm: Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Invermere Legion. $30 buy-in. • 7:30pm: Trivia Night Windermere Whitehouse Pub. Host Mandi Cox $3/ person, teams of more than 6 will be split into two groups. Ages 19+

Friday, January 26 • 10:30am-11:00am: Family Storytime. Invermere Public Library. Join us weekly on Fridays for Family Storytime at the library! With stories, songs & a craft. Geared towards preschool age (2-5) but all welcome. • 2:00pm-3:00pm: Friday Funday. Invermere Public Library. STEAM: Open-ended play with Ozobots, Dash bots and other fun tech. Drop-in programming. Drop-off for ages 7+. Younger children are more than


welcome to join with a grown-up. • 2:30pm-3:30pm: Teen Connect and Create Radium Public Library. Every fourth Friday of the month. Connect with other teens while making different creations each month! For ages 13 to 18. No registration required. • 6:30pm - close: Meat Draw and 50/50 in the Legion! Members and guests welcome!

Saturday, January 27 • 10:30am-11:00am: Family Storytime. Invermere Public Library. Join us weekly on Saturdays for Family Storytime at the library! With stories, songs & a craft. Geared towards preschool age (2-5) but all welcome. • 11:00am-12:30pm: LEGO/Duplo Club Invermere Public Library. We'll have Lego, Duplo, big blocks & more out to play with on Saturday mornings! All ages welcome. • 2:00pm-4:00pm: Buddy Reading. Invermere Public Library. Contact us to book a 30 minute session to read with a librarian. Practice reading aloud one-on-one to build skill, confidence & a love of reading! Open to all ages and reading abilities. • 6:30pm: Meat Draw and 50/50 in the Legion! Members and guests welcome!

Sunday, January 28 • 2:00pm: Cards, Cribbage and Darts Come to the Legion and have some fun! Members and guests welcome. • 7:00pm: Live Music Horsethief Creek Pub & Eatery. Accompanied minors are permitted. No cover.

Monday, January 29 • 10:00am-11:00am: Senior's Yoga Columbia Valley Centre, Invermere. $2 drop in, open to all seniors. • 6:30pm: Poker (Chip up for Charity). The Station Pub $20 buy-in. Every Monday.


Tuesday, January 30 • 10:30am-11:30am: Senior’s Fitness Columbia Valley Centre, $2 drop-in. • 10:30am-11:30am: Homeschool Meetup. Invermere Public Library. Drop-in, all-ages programming with open-ended STEAM play, group activities and art projects. A chance for homeschool kids and families to get together! Please contact us to get on the Homeschool email list to stay up to date and see what extended programs are coming up. • 1:00pm-3:30pm: Art in the Afternoon. Radium Public Library. A free program for local artists and art enthusiasts! Whether you sketch, paint, carve, knit or crochet, bring your supplies and work alongside fellow artists. • 7:00pm: Ullr Presents: Musical Bingo with Tim Richards. Ullr Bar. Every Tuesday - $5 per card.

Wednesday, January 31

• 11:30am-12:00pm: Story Time with the Columbia Valley Rockies. Radium Public Library. Storytime with the Columbia Valley Rockies. Join us for a special storytime with players from the Columbia Valley Rockies hockey team! • 6:00pm-8:00pm: Craft Connections Club for Adults. Invermere Public Library. Join us to make your own felt mug cozy! All supplies and instructions provided. Registration required. Phone 250-342-6416 or email to sign up. Please bring your favourite mug for sizing! • 10:00am-11:00am: Senior's Yoga Columbia Valley Centre, $2 dropin. • 3:00pm-4:30pm: After School Club. Invermere Public Library. A window of transition time between school and home or extracurriculars. Come colour, bead, play with LEGO and catch up with friends! Open to all school-aged kids and teens. Drop-off allowed for Grade 2 students and up. Younger kids are welcome with a grown-up. Please bring your own snacks! Register. https://invermere.bc.libraries. coop/ • 6:00pm-9:00pm: Wednesday Dinners & Meat Draw & 50/50 Invermere Legion. All welcome.



JANUARY 25, 2024

Fairmont Hot Springs Airport flying high Columbia Valley Pioneer staff Last year was a busy one for Fairmont Hot Springs Airport, and 2024 could be just as busy if not more so. In a recent presentation to the Regional District of East Kootenay, Columbia Valley Airport Society president Pascal van Dijk noted they saw a spike of up to 2,100 flights during the wildfire season, adding there were more than 600 flight movements in July and August. He pointed out that wildfire crews came as far away as Mexico to help out, which played a critical role in the fight. Van Dijk informed regional directors they were also busy with medical evacuations, search and rescue activity, and military training. He explained the airport can handle night air ambulance services, and said the airport supported the search for the downed plane in Brisco late last year. Van Dijk said they have installed new washroom facilities, and invested in upgrading instrumentation for pilots. “Everything is becoming more expensive . . . resulting in increasing utility costs,” he stated, pointing out the runway is approaching 40 years old. In Van Dijk’s report, one objective is to create a flying club, but that is on hold pending the outcome of the Airport Master Plan. Another objective is to

change the facility’s name to Columbia Valley Airport. Coming down to dollars and cents, the president requested a shift in RDEK funding to a ‘more permanent structure’ —a four-year commitment to provide $80,000 in 2024, $82,500 in 2025, $85,000 in 2026, and $87,500 in 2027. Mayor of Invermere Al Miller thanked van Dijk for what the society is taking on and accomplishing. “The new washrooms are appreciated . . . it’s a well used airport and we certainly understood the need from the onset.” Area F director Susan Clovechok thanked all the volunteers for keeping the airport open and operating it well. During question period, van Dijk confirmed that a facility (primarily a hangar) is being built for a developer’s personal use, noting the situation could “morph into a full-blown fixed base operator.” When asked about the airport’s relationship with the new owners of Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, van Dijk didn’t sound overly optimistic, noting the company is not interested in selling extra land (surrounding the airport) to the society at this point in time. It was noted that mortgage re-negotiations were delayed due to the sale of the resort.



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3 Family Day.................................. February 15th edition Labour Day....................................August 29th edition Easter..............................................March 28th edition Thanksgiving ...............................October 10th edition


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For more information contact Jamie Baes 250-341-6299 ext. 103 a holiday to remember It was spectacular fireworks. PHOTO

The Fairmont Hot Springs Airport saw many types of aircraft and flight activity during the wildfires in 2023. PHOTO CHRIS MOSELEY

Amendments coming Columbia Valley Pioneer staff Get ready for changes to the public hearing process courtesy of provincial amendments to the Local Government Act. The Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) says recent legislative changes are going to impact public hearings and the way some bylaw amendments are considered. “These changes are part of the province’s ongoing efforts to encourage residential development in the province,” said RDEK Planning Supervisor Karen MacLeod. She noted one of the big changes that residents will notice immediately is how the RDEK board considers certain zoning bylaw amendments because the province is now preventing regional districts from holding public hearings on applications that meet certain criteria. “This impacts not only how the board considers the applications, but also the timing of the public’s ability to comment on affected applications,” MacLeod said. Under the new legislation, regional districts are “prohibited” from holding public hearings when a proposed zoning amendment application is consistent with an Official Community Plan (OCP), and when the residential portion of the development accounts for 50 per cent or more of the total develop-

ment area. In these circumstances, the RDEK will follow the new requirements and provide a notice prior to the board meeting where the application will be considered. These notices will be posted on the RDEK’s website on the meetings and notices page under the ‘bylaw amendment notices - not requiring public hearing’ section. MacLeod said public hearings will still be required when amendment applications are not consistent with an existing OCP or do not meet the 50 per cent residential coverage guidelines. These notices will be posted prior to the public hearing and will be listed on the meetings and notices page on the RDEK website under the ‘bylaw amendment public hearing notices’ section. MacLeod pointed out these changes will also impact the timing for people to submit written comments on proposed applications. The planning supervisor acknowledged that all of this may be a bit complex to navigate, but “the important thing for the public to know is that while the process might look a little different for some applications, the ability for the public to engage and provide comment remains available.” To view current bylaw amendment notices, visit the Meetings and Notices page at

JANUARY 25, 2024 JANUARY 25, 2024


13 13

National Ribbon Ribbon Skirt Skirt Day Day tells tells aa story story National By Julia Magsombol By Julia Magsombol Local Journalism Initiative Local Journalism Initiative A single piece of clothing can tell single piece of clothing can tell an Aimportant story about survival, an important story about survival, strength, resilience and identity. Just ask strength, resilience and identity. Justwho ask any Indigenous person in Canada any Indigenous person in Canada who celebrated National Ribbon Skirt Day celebrated Ribbon Skirt Day on January National 4. on January Ribbon4.skirts are handmade skirts Ribbon skirts are handmade skirts worn by many Indigenous women. worn by bemany Indigenous women. They can worn during Powwow cereThey can be worn during Powwow ceremonies and even in daily routines. They monies and even in dailyand routines. They have different meanings symbols in have different meanings and symbols in

Cote First Nation member Isabella Cote First member Isabella Kulak wasNation shamed for wearing a Kulak was shamed for wearing a ribbon skirt to a formal dress day ribbon skirtelementary to a formalschool. dress day at her at her elementary school. other communities and are considered other and arethe considered sacredcommunities as they represent personsacred as they represent the personal connection between the wearer and al connection their culture. between the wearer and theirThe culture. skirts are traditionally worn by skirtsand are Métis traditionally FirstThe Nations peoples.worn by FirstLike Nations and Métis peoples. its name, the rows of colourful Like are its name, of colourful ribbons sewn atthe therows bottom. The coribbons are sewn at symbolic the bottom. colourful strips are all andThe always lourful strips are all symbolic and always tell a story. It can sometimes symbolize tell a story. It can sometimes symbolize

places, directions, and connections to places, and connections to Mother directions, Earth. Mother TheEarth. history of the ribbon skirt is diTheIthistory of the be ribbon skirt is diverse. can initially traced back to verse. It can initially be traced back to the 1800s. European women brought the 1800s.toEuropean women brought the skirts North America. the skirts to North America. During this time, to express InDuringwomen's this time, to and express Indigenous pride cultural digenous women's pride and cultural identity, many started adding brightly identity, startedand adding brightly colouredmany silk ribbons embroidered coloured silk ribbons and embroidered patterns to these skirts. patterns skirts.Act of 1876, a PotDue to to these the Indian Due to the Indian many Act of 1876, a Potlatch Ban hindered ceremonial latch hindered including many ceremonial items Ban and practices, the wearitems practices, including the wearing of and ribbon skirts. The ban imprisoned ing of ribbon skirts. Peoples The ban imprisoned many Indigenous and settlers many Indigenous settlers confiscated these Peoples preciousand ceremonial confiscated these precious ceremonial items. items. The Potlatch Ban was lifted in 1951 Potlatch Ban wasoflifted in 1951 but The entire generation Indigenous but entire generation of Indigenous Peoples still grew up deprived of culturPeoples still grew up deprived of cultural knowledge. Thousands of irreplaceal knowledge. Thousands of irreplaceable ceremonial masks, robes, blankets able ceremonial masks, robes, blankets and other potlatch items were lost forand ever.other potlatch items were lost forever.For more information visit https:// For more information visit https:// article/potlatch-ban. article/potlatch-ban. The January 4 celebration was inThebyJanuary 4 celebration was Kuinspired the experience of Isabella spired by the experience of Isabella Kulak, a member of the Cote First Nation lak, a member ofShe the was Cote shamed First Nation Saskatchewan. for Saskatchewan. shameddress for wearing a ribbonShe skirtwas to a ‘formal wearing a ribbon skirt to aschool ‘formalindress day’ at her elementary Deday’ at her elementary school in De-

cember 2020. As a result, a movement cember As a result, movement across the sawa Indigenous across country Indigenous women the wearing theirsaw ribbon skirts in women wearing their ribbon skirts in solidarity with Kulak. solidarity with Kulak. Mary Jane McCallum, a member of McCallum, a member of CreeMary FirstJane Nation and Manitoba senaCree First Nation and declared ManitobaJanuary senator, passed a bill that tor, passed a bill declared January 4, 2023 as the firstthat National Ribbon Skirt 4, 2023Although as the first Ribbon Day. a National celebration, it isSkirt also Day. Although a celebration, it is also

January 4 was National Ribbon Skirt Day. Here is a skirt made by Indigenous artisan Janice Alpine. January 4 was National Ribbon Skirt Day. Here is a skirt made by Indigenous artisan Janice Alpine. PHOTO SUBMITTED PHOTO SUBMITTED



The 2024 RDEK Board Meetings will be held as follows: FEBRUARY 9 MARCH 8 APRIL 12

MAY 10 JUNE 14 JULY 12


meant to remember the harsh laws that meant to remember the harsh laws that upended ancestral history. upended ancestral history. Like Kulak, many children are leadLike Kulak, many children ing the way; they are speakingare up,leadsaying the way; they are speaking up, saying that knowing our history is essential ing thathistory knowing ournot history is essential so that does repeat itself. so that does not repeat itself. Forhistory more information: https://wwFor more information: bon-skirt/.

The 2024 Kootenay East Regional Hospital District Board Meetings will be held as follows:



MAY 10



The meetings begin at 11:30am at the Cranbrook RDEK office. The Hospital District meetings are open to the public. Agendas can be viewed a week prior to the Board Meeting on our website

Our Board meets each month and all meetings are open to the public. Board Meetings start at 9:00 am in the Board Room at the RDEK office in Cranbrook. The Thursday immediately before the Board Meeting, we hold Committee Meetings. The Committees make recommendations to the Board and these meetings are also open to the public. Agendas can be viewed a week prior to the Board Meeting on our website

19 – 24 Avenue South, Cranbrook BC V1C 3H8 | 250-489-2791 | 1-888-478-7335 | Fax: 250-489-3498 | |

The ReDi Grants program is now accepting applications for: support projects that benefit the broad community and public good through community-based decision-making and ensuring an opportunity for resident input. Planning a project that will benefit the community? Apply by 4pm February 12, 2024. Late applications will not be accepted.

City of Cranbrook City of Fernie City of Kimberley Village of Canal Flats

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JANUARY 25, 2024



Snowflake Festival and bonspiel rock!

Invermere was a beehive of activity last weekend with the Snowflake Festival and the Bonspiel on the Lake. Top left is River Town Band performing, while ice carver Kelly Davis makes an ice throne. Bring out the cotton candy and the Shuswap Band hoop dancers. PHOTOS CORTNEY PITTS



JANUARY 25, 2024




Al-Anon. Are you concerned about or affected by someone Hans O. F. Leverkus else’s drinking? Meeting Mondays 7:15 pm. at Canadian Martyrs Parish front side door. 712 12 Ave. Invermere. For Guenther Arthur Plassmann more information or to speak February 4, 1932 - January 14, 2024 with someone from our fellowship, please call 250-8782448 or 250-342-8392. Alcoholics Anonymous. If Guenther passed away in the loving care of COHO staff with his alcohol is causing problems or daughter and loving wife of 57 years by his side. He is survived by his con ict in your life, AA can help. wife Ann, daughter Gigi (Cody), sister Jutta, nieces Gisela (Martin), All meetings are at 7 p.m. It is with a heavy heart that we announce the Nicole (Russ), Loni, Amy (Brendan), and Kori-Ann, nephews Kai Columbia United AA, Invermere: devastating loss of Hans O. F. Leverkus, on (Dani) and Jacob, and granddaughters Ellie and Sasha, as well as great Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and December 27th, 2023. nieces and nephews. Wednesday at the BC Service He is survived by his wife Connie, sons Barend Building, South End – 624 4th A memorial service will be held at the Columbia Valley Centre, Saturday and Bjorn and his brother Claus Leverkus. St., Invermere. Please call 250January 27 at 1:00pm, with a tea to follow. If you knew Guenther, we A memorial will be scheduled at a later date. 342-2424 for more information would appreciate seeing you. or to speak with someone from our fellowship. Narcotics Anonymous HELP WANTED CHEERS BUSINESS SERVICES LOST AND FOUND Open Meeting Cheers to Dina at Invermere Mondays 7 p.m. at the LOST McDonald's. You are so kind and BC Service Building, South End. Pangnirtung toque, blue and friendly, not to mention patient 624-4th St. Invermere. black. Small reward offered. with me when I am learning If found, please call how to use the app properly. 250-345-2161 CHEERS SNOW REMOVAL AND GROUNDS HELP You are awesome! CHEERS to Dave Matheson who Help needed in Windermere, Get-ER-Done Handyman PLEASE cheerfully and efficiently always potential for year-round position. Landscaping, Asphalt Pads, helps me out of whatever RECYCLE Apply at Christmas Lights set up, trouble is visiting my house. THIS General Contracting, More than once he has sorted NEWSPAPER Cleaning Gutters, House Checks out television blips and this Call Ryan 604-346-5087 time has cracked the code on how to record a ‘series’ with the Providing newer Shaw remote. Hurray. real estate services Superman to the rescue. for Buyers & Sellers! H E L P WA N T E D

Happy to be Back!

Connect with Gerry for honest advice! cell 250-341-1202 Big Cheers to Dieter, owner of Diekri Technology Inc., for donating his time, expertise and ongoing maintenance to the Windermere Valley Museum. We greatly appreciate the installation of our new computers and network system.

Big shoutout to the students at DTSS, Running a petition for a schedule that better suits their needs. It's a sight to behold! and your efforts inspires.

Cheers to Erin at The Bistro. I hadn't been in to the restaurant for a while and when I went in Erin greeted me warmly saying she missed seeing me. It made my day! You are so kind and caring and always giving service with a smile. It's my favorite place to have lunch.

Ravenhead Fabrication Services is seeking a detail-oriented Metal Fabricator/Welder to join our team. Apply in person at 128-B Industrial Rd. 2, Invermere, or email resume to


Private Caregiver Seeking full-time and part-time experienced caregivers to work with a senior male in Radium Hot Springs. Salary will be based upon experience. Big Cheers to the Village crew for the attention to roads and Contact Erin: sidewalks. Good job!

BUSINESS SERVICES THE HEARTFELT COMPANION: Services for Seniors Since 2014 we've provided kind and compassionate non-medical care, transportation to Cranbrook, overnight care, meal prep, grocery shopping and more. Excellent local references. 250-341-5683

Under a beautiful night sky, avid curlers take part in the Bonspiel on the Lake in Invermere last weekend. PHOTO CAIO PAAGMAN

JANUARY 25, 2024



The wonder of wolves By Julia Magsombol Local Journalism Initiative

Minaker, June December 4, 1945-December 20, 2023

My beautiful mom, the strongest woman I know, has made her final trip of this lifetime. Mom passed away on Wednesday, December 20th at 4AM in Invermere hospital, at the age of 78. My mom was my best friend, my confidant, my number one cheerleader, and my inspiration. She showed me how to dance, how to be spontaneous, live life to the fullest, and connect with people at a deep level. She was the eternal optimist and if you were fortunate to know June, she had a way to lift you up and believe in the best for you. June loved to travel the world, loved learning about different cultures and history, she loved swimming in lakes, oceans, and pools, she loved to dance and party, and she loved to “get things done”! I will never say that June “lost” her battle to cancer. She won. She was an overcomer, lived in hope, and took action doing everything in her power to heal inwards and outwards. She was forever grateful to all the health providers and friends who supported her over the past 3 years. When I would call her she would often say “how blessed am I!!!” when describing all the love and support she was receiving from others. And she lived in faith and with strength right until the very end. Myself and my sons Julian and Octavian; my brother Eric, his wife Melissa, and their daughters Charlotte, and Chloe are fortunate that we were with her in her final days, final hours, and minutes. She was was celebrated, loved, and let free to fly. My mom made a tremendous impact on her community of Invermere, BC, where she lived the last 10 years. She volunteered with the Thrift Store, worked out at the gym, and made many close friends. It was, without a doubt, THE BEST place for her to be! Eric and I are so grateful to the incredible people of Invermere and all that they’ve done for our family. Mom I love you so much. I’m grateful that you are no longer in pain and suffering. I know you are starting the party up in Heaven and shining down on all of us. Until we meet again. June, also known as Jem, was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and grew up in Sioux Lookout, Ontario. Celebration of of Life service will be on Saturday, January 27th at 11AM at Christ Church Trinity in Invermere, BC. Lunch and refreshments will follow. There will be an incredibly talented live jazz pianist playing, as per my mom’s request! I will be wearing bright and colourful clothes. - Written by Christine Johanson, daughter



Through centuries wolves have been misinterpreted by many as wild beasts and dangerous predators. But the truth is they display much affection and emotions to their fellow species. In British Columbia the grey wolf subspecies lives in the mainland coast and near-shore islands. The wolf (Canis lupus) population in B.C. is stable. Their estimated population is approximately 8,500, and this number differs every year. But since 2015 and 2016, their population has decreased. Wolves in B.C. can appear black, grey or brown and can weigh 80 (36 kg) to 150 pounds (68 kg). They can grow to six feet in length. From afar, wolves look like dogs, but when one comes near, they are actually huge and can look scary. Wolves are carnivores, meaning they prefer to eat meat — huge animals like deer, elk, bison, and moose. They also hunt and consume smaller mammals such as beavers, rodents, and hares. For many reasons, wolves are interpreted as beasts and that is why an average adult wolf can eat 20 pounds (nine kilograms) of meat in a single meal. Another reason is their speed; they are great runners. They can run 50 to 60 km/h which is ideal for hunting. Wolves are considered eusocial animals that share four different characteristics: adults live in groups, cooperative care of the young ones, reproductive division of labour, and overlap of generations. Ants and bees are very eusocial. Wolves care for each other as individuals. They form deep connections and friendships. They also care for the sick and injured in their pack. If you have watched the movie Twilight or read the book, Jacob Black is a werewolf with deep connections with his family and friends. Wolves are also intelligent as they form packs, enabling them to communicate, educate the young, and transfer knowledge across their generations. Wolves usually stay in temperate forests, mountains, tundra, taiga, grass-

lands and deserts. Their first home is usually a den, a small cave in the ground. It must be enough to shelter the mother and her pups from the weather and protect them from other animals. In winter, wolves are equipped with a thick, double coat of fur, which allows them to endure temperatures as low as –40°F In 2015 the province decided to remove wolves in the South Selkirk and South Peace regions. The reason for this was to save the mountain caribou. The caribou are at risk of extinction, and their population decreased to approximately 1,500. This was reportedly due to the wolf's predation. Pacific Wild says that wolves are legally exterminated throughout B.C. The wolves are "hunted, trapped and shot from helicopters due to misguided and ineffective wildlife management policy…" Their goal is to save the remaining wolf population and stop the killing. For more information, visit: https:// Wolves in Indigenous culture In Indigenous culture, wolves are significant. Just like many Indigenous communities, they represent loyalty, strong family ties, communication, education, deep understanding, and intelligence. Many believe that wolves have the strongest supernatural powers and are the most accomplished hunters. The First Nations people have a great respect for wolves due to their similarities; they hunt, gather, defend and even educate their tribe or pack. Some Indigenous Peoples believe that wolves are the reincarnation of their deceased hunters, which is why they are impersonated at ceremonies. Wolves also represent clarity and persistence. The intelligence and determination of wolves can overcome fear, indecision, and confusion. First Nations believe that wolves are fierce, loyal, independent and able to offer support on the most challenging healing journey. For more information about wolves, visit mountain-caribou-and-wolves.

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Some Indigenous Peoples believe that wolves are the reincarnation of their deceased hunters. PHOTO MIRCEAX/GETTY IMAGES



JANUARY 25, 2024


BEY ND THE BLUE LINE By Stephanie Stevens Steady as she goes, boys. The Columbia Valley Rockies made up some points and edged ahead of Kimberley to take second place in the Eddie Mountain Division in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League last week. Tuesday Jan. 16 saw the Golden Rockets in Invermere but a full effort from the home team resulted in a 4-1 win. First period scoring was opened up by Bryan Kim (assists from Oleg Bitus and Nathan Kaye) followed by Kyran Gromnisky with a power play goal (assist from Carter Velker). Bitus added a third in the second (assists from Kade Cochlan and Jamieson Franz) and Kobe Mason potted one more in the third (assists from Gage Sather and Paddy Donahue). Nate Glenn was in goal and halted

24 of 25 shots on goal. The Friday, Jan. 19 game in Fruitvale against the Beaver Valley Nitehawks came after a stressful day on the bus, but while the Rockies lost 5-1 there were still lessons in resiliency to be gleaned. “Friday night we didn't show up ready to play and got outcompeted for most of the evening,” said head coach Tayler Sincennes. “We had some guys get beat up a little bit in that game as well. (It was) one of those games that you just kind of learn from and move on quick, being right back at it Saturday on the road.” Associate coach Tucker Braund said the trip to Beaver Valley followed a frustrating journey and wasn’t the team’s best effort. “We had a long travel day with bad roads and bus issues, Nate Glenn got injured which is always hard to see, but Jakubowski came in relief and played well.” Continued on page 19

Land Act: Notice of Application for a Disposition of Crown Land Take notice that I, Jodie Endicott of 1215 NW Davenport Ave, Bend, Oregon, have applied to the British Columbia Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship (WLRS), Kootenay Boundary Region, for a Crown Grant for residential use situated on Provincial Crown Land located in the vicinity of Windermere, BC. WLRS invites comments on this application, the Lands File is 4406447. Comments concerning this application should be directed to Sr. Authorization Specialist, WLRS, Kootenay Boundary Region, at 1902 Theatre Road, Cranbrook, BC V1C 7G1. Comments will be received by WLRS up to February 25, 2024. WLRS may not be able to consider comments received after this date. Please visit the website at for more information. Be advised that any response to this advertisement will be considered part of the public record. Access to these records requires the submission of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request. Visit to learn more about FOI submissions.

The Rockies’ Kobe Mason (left) gets ready for the puck drop against the Golden Rockets last week. PHOTO STEPHANIE STEVENS

CLRC has new plans By Julia Magsombol Local Journalism Initiative The Columbia Lake Recreation Centre (CLRC) has many plans for the new year. Located on ?akisq’nuk First Nation, the CLRC is offering new youth programs, such as soccer, dodgeball, and basketball. “It’s great to see [the children] enjoying themselves, and new skills improve week after week because I, as the coach, can see the development,” said Tom Smith. The new year also brings a collaboration between CLRC and Little Badger Early Learning. They have launched an Indigenous youth sports night every Tuesday, available free to all First Na-

Coach Tom Smith directs a group of children during a basketball skills workout at Columbia Lake Recreation Centre. PHOTO SUBMITTED

tion youngsters ages six to 12. Smith hopes to see many children take part. Another activity in the collaboration with Little Badgers is a fun family day on the last Saturday of every month. Smith added they want to focus on giving families healthy lifestyle choices with a catalogue of sports and activities at the rec centre. Smith told the Pioneer that sports camps, tournaments, and a leadership program will be available this summer. “I want to see this year as offering a wide range of sports, collaborating with other youth services in the area, and helping local schools with their delivery, structured sport recesses, and extracurricular clubs,” Smith explained. If you are interested in learning more, visit

JANUARY 25, 2024




Rockies build resiliency on tough journey Continued from page 18 Before he had to leave the game, Glenn stopped 22 of 25 shots on goal, and Jaiden Jakubowski stopped a further 20 of 22. Saturday in Nelson, however, was a total turnaround. “Saturday … was the opposite,” said Sincennes. “We competed really hard and won a lot of battles and had some timely scoring from guys that haven't been in on the offence in a little while.” Jakubowski was between the pipes for the tilt with the Nelson Leafs and by all accounts stood on his head, stopping 49 of 51 shots on goal. “We chipped away as a team and played well when we had the lead twice,” said Braund. “It was a good game defensively and when we got a chance to score we did. Our depth players have been great since the break; they are starting to chip in offensively but really playing hard even if they are in and out of the lineup.” Scoring at the Saturday game was Bitus in the first (assists from Cochlan and Franz), Danny Schmirler in the second (assists from Johnny Lozeman and Ethan Adair), Bitus once again (assists from Velker and Donahue) and in the third, another from Schmirler (assists from Cochlan and Franz) and Carter Krause (assists from Justin King and Ben Sharp). “We are really starting to become a deep team with lots of options and we are excited going into the home stretch of the regular season,” said Braund. The Rockies are out of town for the next two games playing the Division leading Fernie Ghostriders on Friday and the Creston Valley Thundercats on Jan. 30. They will be back in the Eddie on Friday, Feb. 2 against the Kimberley Dynamiters.

Carter Krause of the Rockies battles for the puck during a game against the Golden Rockets on January 16 in Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena. PHOTO STEPHANIE STEVENS

District looks at EVs Columbia Valley Pioneer staff Rocky Mountain School District #6 is on its way to reducing its carbon footprint through the acquisition of electric vehicles. In a report to the board last week, director of operations Al Ure said senior management has identified carbon reduction as an annual initiative, noting the goal is to complete an assessment of the district’s carbon footprint. “This information will provide us with a roadmap on where we can focus our efforts to reduce the impact we have on the environment,” Ure said. He added the objective for 202425 would be to acquire two white fleet electric vehicles (EVs) and upgrade the charging infrastructure for EVs and buses. “The goal for 2025-26 would be to double the electric bus fleet to six buses.” Ure noted the district received a $13,900 grant through Clean BC Initiative, which will help pay for the EV fleet assessment that cost $22,900. The remainder was paid by the district’s op-

erations fund. Ure said the grant marks a significant step towards achieving the district’s sustainability objectives. To support these efforts, the operations team is actively engaged in upgrading the electrical service in Golden and Kimberley, a crucial step in facilitating the transition to electric vehicles. Ure pointed out the district has been putting money aside for the past few years for the purchase of EVs. “Once we are ready to move forward with installing more chargers, we will begin the procurement of two new vans,” he said, adding this is anticipated to take place this summer. Ure said the province is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 16 per cent by 2025, 40 per cent by 2030, and 60 per cent by 2040. Under the Zero Emission Vehicles Act, the province has committed to 10 per cent of new light duty vehicle purchases being zero emission by 2025, 30 per cent by 2030, and 100 per cent by 2040.


914 – 8th Avenue, PO Box 339 Invermere, BC V0A 1K0 Tel: (250) 342-9281 Fax: (250) 342-2934

NOTICE TO ALL DOG OWNERS All dogs over the age of four months residing in the District of Invermere require an annual dog license, from January 1st to December 31st. Licensing allows Animal Control Services to contact you as soon as possible if your animal has been impounded or if the animal has been injured as a result of traffic or as a result of other causes. If you live within the District of Invermere and own a dog, please drop by the municipal office at your earliest convenience to pick up a dog tag. Fees are as follows: UNSPAYED FEMALE DOG UNNEUTERED MALE DOG SPAYED FEMALE DOG NEUTERED MALE DOG

$35.00 $35.00 $15.00 $15.00

Spaying / Neutering We encourage all pet owners to have their dogs spayed or neutered to assist in promoting the health of your animal and to minimize the potential for unwanted pups in the community. As an incentive to spay or neuter your dog, the various license and impound fees for spayed or neutered animals are less than if your animal is not spayed or neutered. For dog control issues within the municipality, please contact our Dog Control Officer at 250-342-1707. As we now know, plastic is not so fantastic. Up to a trillion plastic bags per year are used around the world. While most of them go to landfill sites where, scientists estimate, takes up to 1,000 years to break down, millions still end up in waterways, trees, and in our oceans where it eventually ends up in stomachs of fish and birds. We encourage you to use biodegradable dog waste bags, which are available at various sites throughout town.




Books for your mental health By Brent Woodard Anglican/ United Church Apparently in the UK, it is legal for doctors to prescribe books to people who are suffering from mental exhaustion, distress and depression. As I understand it, there are about 30 books on the official prescription list – books that have been found measurably effective. It came about because some people, when faced with long wait times for treatment, turned to books and were helped by them. Personally, I have found some literature medicinal. I like to use the word “medicinal” because some literature literally has an effect on me like medicine. When I am out of sorts, when I have gone down a rabbit hole of “stinking thinking,” I have found wisdom in literature that can sort me out, help untangle the mesh of thoughts which are causing me distress, and help me get back to sanity. I keep this literature near at hand. Call it a crutch. But I’d rather have inner peace with a healthy crutch than inner turmoil without hope, aid or with an unhealthy crutch. It’s possible to Google the list of books that are recommended in the UK. I would like to share a list of books that work for me. It’s important, though, that

everyone finds the literature that works for them. What resonates with one person might not resonate with another. Neither is it necessary, I would say, to have a large collection. A small amount of literature works if, when you read it, brings you back to reality, balanced thinking and sanity. Here’s my list: The three books by Eckhart Tolle – 1. “The Power of Now,” 2. “Stillness Speaks,” and 3. “A New Earth.” 4. David Burns book “The Feeling Good Handbook. 5. Jon Kabat-Zinn’s book “The Mindful Way Through Depression.” 6. Joseph Bailey’s book “The Serenity Principle.” 7. Almost any literature from the 12-Step recovery programs. 8. Sandra Matri’s book “The Spiritual Dimensions of the Enneagram.” I’m sure it is good to read through a whole book, but for me a sign of medicinal literature is that you can sometimes just read a sentence or two, or a paragraph or page, and feel it having an affect on you. If Pepto-Bismol is good for an upset stomach, the right literature for you is good for an upset mind. I am part of an online community that meets Friday mornings to listen to talks by Eckhart Tolle and have time for discussion. It is free. The group meets from 10-11:30 MT. It’s very relaxed and non-threatening. To receive an email with the zoom link, please send an email to the church I serve by going to office@ I hope you find medicinal literature that helps you on your journey.

JANUARY 25, 2024

Columbia Valley

Churches LAKE WINDERMERE ALLIANCE CHURCH While you are with us, you are always welcome to join us. Sunday at 10:30 am 326 10th Avenue, Invermere 250-342-9535 |

WINDERMERE VALLEY SHARED MINISTRY ANGLICAN-UNITED Minister: Brent Woodard Sundays at 10:30 am, in-person or on Zoom. For the Zoom link, please visit our website at 110 - 7th Ave. in Invermere.

VALLEY CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY Pastor: Justin Furse Sunday 10 a.m. Worship Service 4814 Highway Drive, Windermere 250-342-9511 |

ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH St. Anthony’s, Canal Flats: Saturday, 4 pm Canadian Martyrs’, Invermere: Saturday 5 pm, Sunday 9 am St. Joseph’s, Radium: Sunday 11 am Father Francis Dela Cruz | 712 -12th Ave., Invermere 250-342-6167

ST. PETER’S LUTHERAN CHURCH Sunday 1:30 p.m. Worship Service at Valley Christian 4814 Highway Drive, Windermere

RADIUM CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP Sunday 10 a.m. Worship service Pastor Wayne and Linda Frater | 250-342-6633 #4, 7553 Main St. Radium | 250-347-9937

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS Worship Service, Sunday, 10 a.m. Relief Society, 11:15 a.m. President Kendyn Mackensie • Columbia Valley Branch • 5014 Fairway, Fairmont Hot Springs 250-439-9041

CHURCH OF CHRIST (Iglesia ni Cristo) Worship Service: Sunday 9 a.m., Thursday 7:45 p.m. Chamber of Commerce (Lions Hall) For inquiries: 250-688-1643 250-270-2208 or 250-688-0629 For more info about the church, you can Google online at or

Deep freeze - The Denau-Newill family braved -33 degree temperatures to check out a fun experiment. As the sun rose, daughter Sarah Denau and dad Mark Denau (shown here) took pots of boiling water outside and threw the water over their heads to see what would happen. The frigid temperature froze the H2O in mid-air, making for a ‘cool’ photograph. PHOTO ALLEGRA NEWILL


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