Columbia Valley Pioneer - April 18, 2024

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Vol. 21/Issue 16 Your Weekly Source For News And Events APRIL 18, 2024 Serving the Upper Columbia Valley including Akisq’nuk and Shuswap First Nations, Spillimacheen, Brisco, Edgewater, Radium, Invermere, Windermere, Fairmont and Canal Flats FREE THE COLUMBIA VALLEY PIONEER PIONEER BOAT MORATORIUM? NEW CENTRE PLANNED BY ?AKISQ’NUK MAIN STREET GETS REPAVING 3 5 8 The competition was fierce during the recent Nor Am Cup Finals at Panorama Mountain Resort where top athletes quenched their need for speed during downhill and slalom events. See more on page 9. PHOTO GARY JONES Eye on the finish! Paul Glassford PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION 250-341-1395 SEAN & PAUL ROGGEMAN P e r s o n a l R e a l E s t a t e C o r p o r a t i o n s Your listing on the front page with 250-341-5300 250-341-5445 Independent y owned and operated Sean@rockieswest com THINKING OF SELLING YOUR HOME OR COTTAGE THIS SPRING? TEXT OR CALL SEAN FOR A FREE ESTIMATE OF VALUE TO HELP YOU MAKE YOUR DECISION : Rockies West Realty NOT INTENDED TO SOLICIT BUYERS OR SELLERS CURRENTLY UNDER CONTRACT WITH A BROKERAGE 250-341-5445 Geoff HILL F AIR R EALTY Personal Real Estate Corporation CALL OR TEXT TODAY! 250-341-7600
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VALLEY NEWS Ambassadors call for boat moratorium

The Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA) last week added their voice to that of the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) and the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce in calling on federal and provincial officials for an immediate-but-temporary moratorium to stop out-of-province watercraft from coming into British Columbia.

In a letter sent on Wednesday, April 10 to Canadian Minister of Transport Pablo Rodriguez and B.C. Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship Nathan Cullen from Ambassadors chair Taoya Schaefer and vice-chair Shannon Nickerson, the group pointed to two discoveries last year —  of invasive mussels in Idaho, and the parasite causing whirling disease in Yoho National Park.

To stop the spread of these potentially devastating invasive species the Ambassadors asked for a temporary moratorium on out-of-province watercraft entering B.C.; introduction of ‘pullthe-plug’ (on bilgewater) legislation prior to the 2024 boating season; direction from Canada’s Minister for Public Safety that all watercraft entering Canada at border crossings be inspected prior to allowing entry; and a $4 million funding commitment to the Invasive Mussel Defence Program (IMDP).

“There are a lot of invasive species that have been found and reported around us in the last 12 to 18 months. Thankfully none specifically in our area yet, but both (invasive mussels and whirling disease) are spreading and are all around us,” Nickerson told the Pioneer

Over the past few months the Pioneer has run several news stories about whirling disease, which has extremely high mortality rates among iconic native fish species such as Kokanee salmon, westslope cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish and which is almost impossible to eradicate. But having quagga mussels in Idaho’s Snake River — a tributary of the Columbia River — is also “a very big alarm,’ said Nickerson.

Quagga and zebra mussels are native to the Black Sea area in Europe and Asia, but made their way across the Atlantic to the Great Lakes area 30 years ago, with pronounced economic, environmental and recreational impacts. Both mussels have since slowly spread westward across the continent.

The Columbia River watershed is one of the last major drainages in the Pacific Northwest to have so far been unscathed. Last summer’s quagga discovery sent Idaho officials spending $3 million to try to kill off any quagga in a 16-mile stretch of the Snake River. Testing this spring should reveal if that worked. If it didn’t, the species could

spread throughout the Columbia.

The spread of quagga or zebra mussels can be explosive. “They just come and coat everything,” explained Nickerson. They clog water intake pipes and screens, and hamper water treatment plants. They can coat docks, buoys, breakwaters, boat bottoms, and even beaches. And they also impact plankton and other food for aquatic species, altering freshwater ecosystems.

“It’s very bad environmentally. But it’s also really bad economically,” said Nickerson. “The cost of attempting to restore a system that has a mussel invasion is in the billions of dollars . . . it could have a big impact here in the Columbia headwaters because we do have drinking water intakes on Lake Windermere.”

Last November concerns about quagga mussels and other invasive species prompted the OBWB to call for a temporary moratorium on out-of-province boats. The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce joined in, sending a letter to provincial and federal officials in February, also calling for an out-of-province boat moratorium.

Nickerson said the letter from the Ambassadors is a duplicate of the OBWB’s and Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s. The Ambassadors are echoing the call from those groups “to strengthen the ask,” she said.

Given that boating season has already begun in the Columbia Valley, the economic importance of the tourism industry year, and the large number of out-of-province visitors and second homeowners here, Nickerson conceded that the Ambassadors are asking a lot. She did, however, point out that potential consequences of not doing anything could be high.

In their letter the Ambassadors said that “between May and December 2023, the IMDP intercepted 155 watercraft entering B.C. that were identified as high-risk for invasive mussels; 14 were confirmed to be carriers.

“Lake Windermere is located at the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River system and each summer we see upwards of 1,300 boats on our small lake. Many come from our neighbouring province of Alberta – where there is no watercraft inspection station along the way,” said Nickerson.

The group called for IMDP staffing to be returned to 2019 levels, and asked that officials update the provincial Early Detection, Rapid Response plan; create a long-term response, containment, and control planning process; and promote aquatic invasive species vulnerability assessments.

At least one local official, however, sounded a note of caution in response to the Ambassadors’s call for the watercraft moratorium.

“I certainly understand their (the Ambassadors) concern, and I am definitely in favour of checking boats and making sure there is nothing harmful coming in with them . . . but to just say ‘no’ to all out-of-province boats, I have an issue with that. I don’t think that will go over very well,” said Invermere Mayor Al Miller. “Tourism is a big part

of our economy here. Preventing out-ofprovince boats from entering sends the wrong message. We could have some valley residents travel somewhere, pick up an invasive species and bring it back, and that would be just as bad as out-ofprovince boats bringing it in. What we need to do is to check all boats. Then we are being fair to all.”

A watercraft moratorium on outof-province vessels should be established, according to the Lake Windermere Ambassadors and other groups that fear an invasion of quagga and zebra mussels (as seen here on this boat propeller).

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School dumpster set on fire

On the evening of April 11 the Columbia Valley RCMP were conducting patrols around Invermere when they located a vehicle being driven by a known prohibited driver.


The Pioneer was given incorrect information on the name of the artist who created the Mexican spirit animal on the front cover of the April 11 edition.

The correct name of the artist is Dakota from JA Laird Elementary School.

All of the students, including Dakota, have done a great job showcasing their talents in the ART from the Heart exhibition that continues at Pynelogs Cultural Centre until April 27. The annual event is hosted by the Columbia Valley Arts Council.

The vehicle was stopped and the driver was arrested for driving while prohibited and released with a fu-

ture court date.

On April 12 police received a report of a recycling dumpster being set on fire sometime overnight at David Thompson Secondary School.

The Invermere Fire Department attended to extinguish the remnants of the smoldering blaze.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact the Columbia Valley RCMP at 250-3429292.

Blaze destroys street sweeper

Columbia Valley Pioneer staff

A street sweeper caught fire in Timber Ridge on Monday night.

Windermere firefighters responded to an “equipment fire” on April 15 with eight members and three trucks. “Upon arrival, we found a piece of street sweeping equipment fully engulfed in flames,” reported Joss Advocaat, Columbia Valley Rural Fire & Rescue

Assistant Chief.

“During the fire, one of the loader’s tires failed from the heat and exploded, causing a loud boom that could be heard from the surrounding area,” Advocaat said, noting the fire itself was contained to the one piece of equipment.

There were no injuries and the fire is not believed to be suspicious in nature.

The cause is still under investigation.

A street sweeper was fully engulfed in flames when Windermere firefighters responded to the Timber Ridge area on Monday evening. No injuries were reported, and a fire official said it was not suspicious in nature.

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Band planning new centre

?Akisq’nuk First Nation has approved the construction of a new multi-purpose centre featuring a health clinic, new band hall, and renovated administration building.

Band management says the 20,903 square-foot facility at 3050 Highway 93/95 in Windermere will provide a state-of-the-art and culturally relevant venue for ?Akisq’nuk members to gather, hold ceremony, and receive services. The centerpiece will be a large open space for community events, including feasts and traditional food preservation activities, courtesy of a commercial grade kitchen.

The centrepiece will be adorned with natural features with a depiction of river tributaries inlaid in the floor to define ?amak?is Ktunaxa.

“This endeavour isn’t just about bricks and mortar; it’s about weaving dreams, preserving heritage, and

shaping a brighter tomorrow,” said Nasu?kin (Chief) Donald Sam. “Encapsulated in the design is our past, present and future. Our dedicated staff will find more than an office, they will be embraced by the aesthetic reflections of our community and find inspiration and purpose in their daily work life.”

Sam said the updated services, with an emphasis on local elders, will enhance the quality of life for all ?Akisq’nuknik (people). “Their well-being will be nurtured within these walls, a testament to the commit ment of the ?Akisq’nuk First Nation to its people,” the chief noted.

Construction is expected to start this summer and be completed by fall/winter 2025.

During the construction period, all member and health services will be provided out of the band’s exist ing health centre and recreation centre offices. Man agement is also finalizing plans to locate some staff in nearby Invermere.

This is a rendering of the ?Akisq’nuk First Nation’s proposed multi-purpose centre at 3050 Highway 93/95.

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Why, grandpa, why? Dry your tears, little one

Our great grandkids are already calling to us. Can you hear them (soft as a whisper)? Why grandpa, why grandma . . . why?

Our planet, our province, our town are deep in kaka. Our planet needs help. Our kids' futures are burnt and bleak. It is time to work on our kids' futures. It is a choice.

If you look to the west of us, towards Steamboat Mountain, the rocks you see can be up to three billion years old. To the east, the Rockies, some 750 million years. Three billion years from now, Steamboat will likely have disappeared, but some may still be around. The Rockies will look much like Steamboat now. You and I? The most powerful and important species that has ever lived? Three billion years from now we will be a meaningless, insignificant micro-blip of history.

Unless we choose to change our ways . . . now.

We were given a paradise to live in. Nobody can deny any longer we are destroying it. It is our children's children, your granddaughter, your great-grandson living in a burnt, waterless, ever-warming desolation who will ask . . . why?  You all knew and did nothing. Why?

Our once unimaginable 50 C summer heat waves will be their cold February mornings. Do we want history to describe humans as the biggest ‘loser’ micro-blips ever? They were handed paradise and used it to annihilate themselves in a couple of thousand years.

We all watched Horsethief Creek burn last year. Ours was one of the tiniest of the hundreds of fires burning in BC. Across North America it is becoming impossible to buy house insurance for one of two reasons, flood or fire. Most summer days you cannot see across the valley because of forest fire smoke. We can no longer deny. There will be no forests for our children to explore, no camping at the lake, no sledding to Farnham glacier. It will all be gone.

We have to start looking at our ways. I have no right or ability to offer solutions, but I personally believe every person on earth should be asked this one question whenever necessary: “Do I need to start this internal combustion engine or can my great grandson walk on glaciers?” Just one of the hundreds of personal questions we have to start asking and answering.

I believe each of us intrinsically knows what is right and what is wrong. Our paths are a personal choice but I fear our children's, children’s futures rest on our working together to choose our paths wisely.

Wouldn't it be nice to go to Golden one day, look over at Steamboat and muse about what it will all look like in three billion years. Because at the moment, with the choices we are making, we all have futures with great-granddaughters looking at us with big tears in those beautiful eyes asking why? Why didn't you do anything?

Conflict of interest: what you should know

(This is part one of a two-part series on conflict of interest.)

What constitutes a conflict of interest?

A conflict of interest is a situation in which a person is in a position to derive personal benefit from actions or decisions made in their official capacity. In Canada a public official is considered to be in conflict of interest when they “…exercise an official power, duty or function that provides an opportunity to further his or her private interests or thos y have a conflict of interest.

For example, a landowner does not have a conflict if they wish to sell that land for a profit. The landowner may have a conflict of interest if they attempt, by way of gifts or promise, to influence decisions made by public office holders. But this would result in a conflict of interest on the part of the public office holder and be dealt with accordingly.

What to do if you have a conflict of interest?

If an issue comes before a public office holder

which could constitute a potential conflict of interest they should first seek legal advice as to whether they actually do, or do not, have a conflict of interest. If it is deemed that they do have a conflict, normally they are expected to recuse themselves from any discussion or vote on the issue. (Recuse is a legal term that means to voluntarily disqualify, excuse or remove oneself from an issue.)

If the conflict of interest relates solely to the person holding the public office, or their own business interest, it may be possible in some instances for that public office holder to sign a “letter of undertaking” that they will not bid on nor benefit from any decisions taken with respect to the specific issue.

Part two of this article with deal specifically with conflict of interest guidelines for elected municipal officials and senior staff in British Columbia, including Invermere.

(David Goldsmith served on the board of the Interior Health Authority for seven years, and on the board of the First Nations Health Authority in BC for four years.  For both boards he chaired the Governance Committee, responsible for conflict of interest matters.)

Last year’s Horsethief Creek fire burns in the distance. One wonders what the fire season will be like in the Columbia Valley this summer. PHOTO GORD CRAWFORD
aware of potential conflict of interest in your working life. PHOTO TADAMICHI/GETTY IMAGES

Invermere’s main street gets repaved

Invermere’s main street has been in a sorry state for most of this spring. But it is finally set for a full repaving, not just having potholes refilled.

The work is set to begin as this issue of the Pioneer heads off to press, and by the time it comes out on newsstands, it should be in full swing.

Many residents have gotten used to the occasional bump or two (or 10) while driving or biking along 7th Avenue (Invermere’s main street). But this spring it seems particularly bad. So much so in fact that Invermere resident Kathleen O’Neill felt compelled to come to a recent Invermere council meeting to find out what could be done about it.

O’Neill has been living in Invermere’s CastleRock subdivision for more than a decade, and she knows that main street — and many other roads in the district — can be a tad uneven, especially right after winter. Still, “it’s never been this bad,” she told the Pioneer

How bad? Bad enough that O’Neill and her partner Ben Mitchell-Banks are not able to ride their motorcycles on main street as they usually do. It may not be the most scientific measure of the state of a road, but it is a very telling one.

“You do feel the bumps more on two wheels than on four, but right now it’s worse than we’ve ever seen it,” she said, adding that potholes have been patched on 7th Avenue in the past “but it really needs to be properly redone.”

As it turns out, that’s exactly what the District of Invermere is doing — repaving 7th Avenue from the intersec-

tion at Sobey’s and the Columbia Valley Centre (4th Street) all the way down to 13th Street (the offset four-way intersection commonly known as ‘Disfunction Junction’).

The stretch from 4th Street to 9th Street (by AG Valley Foods) will be partially resurfaced, while the rest of main street (i.e. through the main downtown core) will be completely resurfaced. And, depending on the budget, the repaving may even stretch a block or two farther, all the way to 15th Street.

“It (main street) is pretty rough. There has been some significant frost heaving, I think,” conceded Invermere Mayor Al Miller. “It’s been a long time, it is in need of an upgrade.”

As of press time, the work was set to begin on Tuesday, April 16 and to wrap up sometime between Monday, April 22 and Friday, April 26. Each day a different section of main street will be completely closed off to traffic so the work can be done.

Miller lauded Invermere director of public works and operations Angela MacLean for getting the paving company — Terrace Paving — to do the work early in the shoulder season. “It is well before we start to see the heavy tourist traffic, and we are very pleased about that,” said Miller.

The main street repaving will cost roughly $450,000. The district has a paving budget of $540,000 this year. The extra $90,000 in that budget will be spent paving a few other spots needing fixing around town — Pineridge Drive near Westridge Way, 15th Avenue near Westside Park, and the tennis courts next to the old Canadian Pacific Rail (CPR) Lodge.

The main street (7th Avenue) in Invermere is more than a little rough around the edges. But that is being fixed courtesy of a full repaving job.
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Down hill racers

The turns were fast and furious at the Nor Am Cup Finals at Panorama Mountain Resort last week.

Top right photo shows national team member Cassidy Gray from Panorama compete in the women’s downhill.



HPSC Course Offered in Invermere

Submitted by Columbia Valley Community Economic Development

In the realm of home improvement and construction, staying ahead of the curve isn’t just about mastering traditional skills—it’s about embracing innovation and evolving with the times. Now more than ever, the spotlight is on energy efficiency and sustainability, and for tradespeople, this means delving into the realm of retrofitting homes to meet modern environmental standards. Professional development courses are becoming increasingly indispensable for single-family home retrofit contractors and other building professionals, offering essential insights and skills to thrive in this burgeoning field.

On April 25, the Community Energy Association in partnership with Columbia Valley Economic Development is hosting “Retrofitting with ‘A House as a System’ Approach. This course is an introduction to retrofitting with a whole-home, or house-as-a-system approach.

The course equips participants with the ability to understand the house as a system, identify common home issues that have energy retrofit solutions, how to explain the benefits of your products and services, and build a network to build your business.

One of the significant incentives for professionals to undergo such training is its integration into qualification criteria for various provincial rebates. In British Columbia, the Home Performance Contractor Network (HPCN) mandates that homeowners hire contractors who have completed relevant professional development courses to access retrofit rebates.

Upon successful completion, this course is eligible for 4 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Points through BC Housing.

This course is being offered with no charge! If you are a contractor, trades person, building

inspector, or in the home building/renovation industry, sign up today! The day will run from 9:00am – 3:00pm with breakfast and lunch included with registration. To register, visit the professional development calendar on www. or email


Thursday, April 18

• 10:15am-1:00pm: Tech Tutors. Invermere Public Library

2:00pm-4:00pm: Tech Tutors. Radium Public Library

Free one-on-one help with your computer, phone or tablet!  Assistance with websites or electronic forms.  Learn about games on your phone or iPad.  Please book an appointment with the library you would like to attend. By Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy.

• 5:30pm-7:30pm: Come Cook With Me. College of the Rockies Invermere Campus. Free. Cooking for families.  Learn recipes and cooking tips while making healthy, budget-friendly meals.  All supplies provided. Registration required: CBAL – or 250-409-4251

• 10:30am-11:30am: Seniors' Fitness Columbia Valley Centre, $2 drop-in. **please note that this week this event will take place at the Invermere Seniors Hall**

• 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: Needles & Hooks. Invermere Public Library. Join us on the 1st & 3rd Thursday of each month at 2:00pm for Needles & Hooks. Bring your current yarn project and meet with other makers. All welcome!

• 6:00pm-7:00pm: Read it and Eat! Invermere Public 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! Please contact the Invermere Library for details. The featured cookbook this month is: Two Peas and Their Pod: Favorite Everyday Recipes from Our Family Kitchen

• 6:45pm: Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Invermere Legion. $30 buy-in.

• 7:30pm: Families Housing that Fits. Zoom meeting with host Ben Postmus. Inclusive and supportive housing in your community. diversefamilyroots@

• 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, April 19

• 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-4:30pm: Wild Woolies. Radium Public Library. Join our fibre arts circle! Everyone and every skill level welcome. No registration required.

• 6:30pm - close: Meat Draw and 50/50 in the Legion! Members and guests welcome!

Saturday, April 20

• 10:00am-12:00pm: Earth Day Community Cleanup. Windermere ~ Hopkins Harvest; Invermere ~ Kinsmen Beach; Shuswap ~ outside Shuswap Band Health Centre. Complimentary refreshments, giveaways, garbage bags and sanitizer will be at each station. Drop off all garbage you collect by 12pm.

• 12:20pm: Groundswell Presentations. Kinsmen Beach. Learn how you can keep the Earth greener by making a small change in your kitchen: the power of worms in your compost and keeping kitchen scraps out of the landfill; the do’s and don’ts of recycling, and keeping your produce fresh longer. Enjoy some refreshments and celebrate a successful cleanup! Contact invermere@ for more info.

• 12:00pm-4:40pm: LEGO Expo and Lego Movie. Columbia Valley Centre. Everyone is welcome to join us at the great LEGO EXPO! Entry by donation–help support our bookmobile project. Explore the awesome LEGO exhibits! Try LEGO challenges and activities! Vote on your favourite bookmobile build and learn about our bookmobile project. Enjoy snacks & more! 3:00 pm: Screening of The LEGO Movie!

• 2:00pm: Flowshine. Arrowhead Brewing Company. Come see Flowshine at their afternoon acoustic set in the taproom! It's a free, all ages show. Come back at 7 pm to see their full band line up, plugged in! That show is $10 at the door, and ages 19+.

Flowshine's openness to their experimentation and desire to make something wondrous has left their peers unsure of how to characterize their brand of kooky indie/alternative. Their songs demonstrange strong musicianshop and relatable storytelling.

5:30pm: Hospice Spring Gala. 3-Course meal hosted by Ryan Karl & Conrad Kain Restaurant. Live music with Bryant Olender Live & Silent & Dessert Auctions. Tickets $65 (no door sales) purchase at: Mountain Casual.

• 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, April 21

• 6:00pm-8:30pm: Wildsight AGM Potluck & Film. We will gather before the AGM at 6pm for potluck dinner and nibbles, to connect, chat and celebrate. The meeting will start at 7pm. Following the meeting we will screen the documentary ‘Beyond Climate’ with tea and goodies. Full details and AGM agenda available at

• 6:30-9:00pm: Peace in Valley Coffee House. Raise your Spirit and Voices around peace for our World. Live entertainment and sing-a-long. Cost by donation. Coffee, juice, and snacks

• 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.

• 7:30pm: Dads Matter. Zoom meeting with host Ben Postmus. Dads connecting, Dads Supporting, Dads Inspiring. Do you have a son or daughter with Diverse Abilities? So do I.

• Monday, April 22

• 10:00am-11:00am: Baby Goose. Edgewater Hall. Learn songs and rhymes! Meet new friends! For babies and caregivers.  Registration is required. Hosted by Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy- Windermere Valley. wvcoordinator@cbal. org or 250-409-4251.

• 10:00am-11:00am: Senior's Yoga Columbia Valley Centre, Invermere. $2 drop in, open to all seniors.

• 2:00pm-4:00pm: Little Explorers. Kinsmen Beach. Outdoor learning for children ages 2 - 6 and caregivers. Siblings welcome! Age-appropriate learning about our natural surroundings - nature walks, hunts, games and crafts. Come prepared to have fun outdoors and get dirty.  Dress appropriately for the weather! Registration is required: or 250409-4251.

• 6:30pm: Poker (Chip up for Charity). The Station Pub $20 buy-in. Every Monday.

Tuesday, April 23

• 3:00pm-5:00pm: Seniors’ Game Days. Invermere Seniors’ Hall. Come out to the Invermere Seniors' Hall for an afternoon of playing board games and connecting!  Snacks and beverages will be provided.  This is a free event and pre-registration is encouraged: or call/text 250-409-4251

• 6:30pm-8:00pm: Straw Bale Planting Workshop. Groundswell Community Greenhouse. Join garden and greenhouse manager Stephanie Stevens and learn how to prepare and condition a straw bale to create a hot, composting middle that will create a cool garden addition and help build soil in the process. Tickets available online at: straw-bale-planting/

• 10:30am-11:30am: Seniors' Fitness Columbia Valley Centre, $2 drop-in.

• 10:30am-11:30am: Homeschool Meetup. Invermere Public Library. Dropin, 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.

• 6:30pm-8:00pm: Second WindS Community Band. We are looking for new band members! Play an instrument? Practice at Invermere Catholic Church Annex. For info please email

• 7:30pm: Families on Tuesday. Zoom meeting with host Ben Postmus. Families connecting, Families Sharing, Families Supporting Families: Support, Listening, Sharing, Connecting.

• Wednesday, April 24

• 10:00am-11:00am: Seniors' Yoga Columbia Valley Centre, $2 drop-in.

• 11:30am-12:00pm: Story Time. Radium Public Library - preschool & all ages.

• 3:00pm-4:30pm: After School Club. Invermere Public Library. A window of transition time between school and home or extra-curriculars. 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://

• 6:00pm-9:00pm: Wednesday Dinners & Meat Draw & 50/50 Invermere Legion. All welcome.


Freemason Greg Constable presents a cheque to David Thompson Secondary School Climate Action Club member Anika Rievaj in support of students’ ongoing activities. Other club members include, from left, Virginia Denchuck, Jules Turtle, Belinda Bandaras, Yuchen Liu, Charlotte Gorman, Noah Phelps, and teacher sponsor Michelle Rievaj.

Freemasons present DTSS club with bursary

Submitted Columbia Lodge #38 is pleased to sponsor a series of group bursaries to public service student organizations at Windermere Zone schools.

The Climate Action Club from David Thompson Secondary School promotes awareness of climate issues and actively seeks community and schoolbased solutions to climate challenges.

The Club’s initiatives have included collecting and distributing plants in school for better indoor air quality and atmosphere, a waste-free lunch initiative, mentorship for elementary students, representing youth at Columbia Basin Trust community meetings promoting environmental education, participating in the Canadian Rockies Youth Network, collaborating with Wildsight Invermere on waste reduc-

tion initiatives, and advocating to local government on climate issues affecting youth.

Currently, the Climate Action Club is partnering with Wildsight to raise awareness and seek solutions for improved local public transit.

The Masons and Shriners, their more visible affiliate, have long been active in the area of community support, and the Masonic Lodge in Invermere is

pleased to continue this benevolent tradition.

Freemason Greg Constable says he became involved when he inherited his grandfather’s roll-top desk at age 18 and discovered a Masonic apron in one of the drawers.  Since he admired his grandfather greatly, once he settled down into his teaching career he applied to the local lodge — 45 years ago.

SUBMITTED 658_ Invermere Docket # 195281 10/13/23 Actual size N Sarah Rd. Athalmer Rd. Eagle Ranch Tr. Arrow Rd. 95 Lakeview Dr. Kinbasket Trail Eagle Ranch Arrow Rd. 95 Kinbasket Trail COMING SOON 480 Sarah Road, Invermere Monday to Saturday: 8:00am - 8:00pm Sunday: 9:00am - 8:00pm Starts Thursday, May 2, 2024 at 8:00 a.m. 8-DAY CELEBRATION OF OUR EXPANDED STORE GRAND RE - OPENING Text ENG_GPS Art ENG_GPS_OPEN Art COM BKG Size: 10.33"w x 7"h Full colour GE24-401CS_S658 Invermere – Coming Soon Card Docket: 197107 Deal 401CS_S658 GE24_401CS_S658_10_33_x_7.indd 1 2024-03-25 12:07 PM

Peaks gymnasts solid at provincials SPORTS

A trio of Columbia Valley gymnasts from the local Peaks Gymnastics Society recently took part in the provincial championships.

The three gymnasts — Lauren Hofer (12), Sarah Johnson (13) and Lydia Stinson (14) — participated in the Gymnastics BC Championships at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver from March 28 to March 30 and returned to the Columbia Valley having put in plenty of effort and achieving some solid results.

“It is one of the largest and most prestigious annual gymnastics events in the province,” coach Amanda Stinson told the Pioneer

“These athletes put in a lot of hard work to prepare to compete. Just getting onto the competition floor at BC championships is an accomplishment. It takes a lot to get to that level and we are incredibly proud of them.”

The three Peaks gymnasts joined several hundred other competitors from 39 gymnastics clubs across B.C. at the event. They competed in Canadian Competitive Program Level 6 (CCP 6) and had to earn qualifying scores earlier in the season at other competitions to be able to go to provincials.

Lydia Stinson finished first in the balance beam, second in floor, second in all around, and fifth on the uneven bars for 14 year olds.

Johnson came second in the balance beam for 13 year olds. Hofer

earned sixth in the vault, eighth on the uneven bars and ninth in all around for 12 year olds.

Hofer had been to the BC championships before, but it was the first time for Johnson and Stinson.

“It is exciting. There is an extra element because there are so many clubs and so many gymnasts. It is a unique experience,” said Amanda, adding that the three gymnasts were not distracted by the magnitude of the occasion and were able to focus on doing their best.

“As a coach you see them practise, putting in a lot of effort during training. So to then see them go out and perform and have fun is really great,” she said.

Peaks Gymnastics Society has one of the highest number of participants of any sports clubs in the Columbia Valley, even rivalling youth soccer.

Part of the appeal, Amanda thinks, is that “in a lot of ways it is a very progressive sport. There is always a new goal to work toward. As soon as you master one thing, you can then move on to the next step.”

Gymnastics is more than a sport, explained Amanda.

“It really can be foundational for many things beyond sport. It goes beyond the physical aspect of gymnastics. Obviously there is a physical strength and capability there, but there is also a lot of perseverance, focus, confidence, goal-setting” she said.

“There are so many benefits that come from gymnastics that you can take forward in life. It’s very positive in that way.”

Invermere on the Lake



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

Water Main Flushing

The municipality will be flushing its community water system for the next 6 weeks.

This program, carried out twice yearly, is necessary to maintain the quality of our water supply. There may be some short interruptions in the water service and temporary discoloration of water as a result of the sediment and organic materials that are being flushed from the water mains. During this period, disinfection by chlorination will be continued. To assist the Public Works Department during the flushing operation, users are advised that if they are experiencing persistent discoloration or odour problems with the water, to immediately notify the Municipal Office and explain the nature of the problem.

The District apologizes for any inconveniences caused by this operation. For further information, please telephone the municipal office at 250-342-9281

Sarah Johnson (bottom left), Lydia Stinson (top left), and Lauren Hofer competed in the Gymnastics BC Championships at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver on March 28-30. The three Peaks gymnasts joined several hundred other competitors from 39 gymnastics clubs from across the province. PHOTOS SUBMITTED
14 THE COLUMBIA VALLEY PIONEER APRIL 18, 2024 H ERE TO S ERVE Y OU Get your quote at WWW.GREENLEAFTREE.CA INFO@GREENLEAFTREE.CA WINDERMERE, BC 250-341-7029 GOLDEN, BC 250-344-0188 THE COLUMBIA VALLEY’S CHOICE FOR CERTIFIED TREE EXPERTS Tree Pruning Tree Removal Stump Grinding FireSmart Treatmemts Certified. Insured. WCB Coverage ROOTED IN THE COLUMBIA VALLEY SINCE 2007 READY MIX CONCRETE Concrete Pump • Sand & Gravel Heavy Equipment Rentals • Crane Service Proudly Serving the Valley for over 50 years For competitive prices and prompt service, call: 250-342-3268 (plant) 250-342-6767 (o ce) INVERMERE BRITISH COLUMBIA HERE TO SERVE YOU LANDSCAPING Call NOW: 250-688-0213 Carpets Dry in 1 Hour • Fastest Dry Time • Environmentally Friendly Products • Citrus Based, No Steam • Area Rugs and Upholstery • Stain Removal Specialists • Prompt Reliable Service Visit for more information TILE AND GROUT CLEANING Business: 250-342-9692 RR#4 2117–13 Ave. Invermere, BC V0A 1K4 Cell: 250-342-1273 Furnace, Dryer and Duct Cleaning Tile and Grout Cleaning HERE TO SERVE YOU CARPET CLEANING HERE TO SERVE YOU CARPET CLEANING HERE TO SERVE YOU CONCRETE Home, Auto and Business Insurance 101A – 1028 7th Ave, Invermere, BC 250-342-2175 ‘Protection for What Matters’ HERE TO SERVE YOU INSURANCE GBC Arbor Care Service Ltd. Qualified Residential & Commercial Tree Services DANNY BERTRAND Owner/Operator 250-939-8282 Follow us: @gbcarborcare EMAIL OR CALL FOR A FREE QUOTE We are located at 9120, Hwy 93/95 which is five kilometres north of Tim Hortons • Ready Mix Concrete • Concrete Pumping • Over 50 colours available and in stock • DELIVERED ON TIME at a fair price • Full range of sand and gravel products. Phone: 250-342-5833 Cell: 250-270-9444 HERE TO SERVE YOU CONCRETE HERE TO SERVE YOU LANDSCAPING in pursuit of EXCELLENCE • Manufacturers & suppliers of quality concrete & gravel products • Experienced, professional operators and the right equipment to get your job done • Serving the valley for over 30 years • Environmentally responsible • Steamed aggregate beds for top quality year-round concrete supply • We stand behind our service, quality and products 1756 Hwy 93/95 Windermere B.C. Office: 250-342-6500 Toll Free: 1-888-341-2221
APRIL 18, 2024 THE COLUMBIA VALLEY PIONEER 15 H ERE TO S ERVE Y OU Beat the fall rush ~ clean your Chimney this spring! CLEANING & MAINTENANCE ON ALL WOOD BURNING APPLIANCES • WETT INSPECTIONS ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHIMNEY SWEEPS LTD. 804 Almberg Road, Golden, BC V0A 1H2 CELL: 250.272.5599 OFFICE: 250.344.7323 • Septic Tank Pumping • Portable Toilet Rentals 250-347-9803 Columbia Valley sewer & drain ltd. (Servicing the Valley since 1999) • Complete sewer/drain repairs • Reasonable rates –Seniors’ discount • Prompt service • A well maintained septic system should be pumped every 2-3 years to avoid costly repairs NOW OFFERING HYDROVAC SERVICES! BC Corp Complete Drywall Services • Insulation • Boarding • Taping • Texturing • Ceiling Detail • Mouldings • Cultured Ceilings • Custom Detailing 250-409-5186 403-650-4622 • INTERIOR • EXTERIOR • WALL COVERINGS Gary’s Painting & Decorating CUSTOM WOOD FINISHING FAUX FINISHES JOURNEYMAN RED SEAL Seniors Discounts FREE Estimates Local Resident * Vinyl Window Sales and Installation * New Construction and Renovation * Professional Installation 250.270.0086 • 20+ years of experience Renew Windows Limited E N E R G Y S T A R FLYIN N FALLIN CALL KRIS 250-688-1625 ARBORIST TREE REMOVAL Year-round TANDEM PARAGLIDING April - October HERE TO SERVE YOU SERVICES HERE TO SERVE YOU SERVICES HERE TO SERVE YOU SERVICES HERE TO SERVE YOU SERVICES Tel: 250.341.6075 1351 Industrial Road #3, Invermere, B.C. Email: TRUSSES • ENGINEERED FLOOR SYSTEMS PREFABRICATED WALL PANELS WHOLESALE LUMBER • FRAMING CREWS COMPLETE FRAMING SOLUTIONS BUILDING SYSTEMS Give us a call! James, 250-688-1267 or Jerry, 250-342-5299 Email: Specializing in all heating, electric, gas and wood. • Fireplaces • Commercial and residential • New builds • Renovations. Emergency Service calls available A licensed, registered and bonded company Invermere & Golden, British Columbia 250-272-0468 CONTRACTING Our Services Excavation Hauling Landscaping Basements Water Lines Gravel Screening Gravel Products Site Prep Design & Install Septic Systems HERE TO SERVE YOU CONTRACTING HERE TO SERVE YOU CONTRACTING Renovations New builds Interior Exterior • Kitchens Bathrooms ICF foundations • Concrete Siding Windows • Decks Design Services Project Management Building Our Valley With Integrity Commercial & Residential Building the Columbia Valley Since 2011 250-341-7421 Snow Removal • Lawn Maintenance 250-342-5645 • • Everett Frater Enterprises Commercial Residential Serving the Valley for over 20 years! Please call Steve ~ a real local you can trust! 250-342-1791 FREE ESTIMATES Chimney and Eavestrough Cleaning and Repair Specialists You name it! I’ll take care of it! YOUR ONE-STOP SHOP for all home maintenance from raking your lawn to renovating your entire house. Keep your local businesses alive. Get your tree services right here in Invermere! Fully Insured & WCB Covered • Pruning and Removal of ALL Trees and Shrubs • Stump Grinding • Fully Insured & WCB Covered OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE Call now for a free quote! PAVING Patches • Driveways Parking Lots • Roads • And more! 1756 Hwy 93/95 Windermere B.C. Office: 250-342-6500 Toll Free: 1-888-341-2221

Al-Anon. Are you concerned about or affected by someone else’s drinking? For more information or to speak with someone from our fellowship, please call 250-878-2448 or 250-342-8392

Alcoholics Anonymous. If alcohol is causing problems or conflict in your life, AA can help. All meetings are at 7 pm. Columbia United AA, Invermere: Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at the BC Service Building, South End-624 4th St. Invermere. Please call 250-3422424 for more information or to speak with someone from our fellowship.

Narcotics Anonymous. Open meeting.

Mondays 7 pm at the BC Service Building, South End. 624-4th St. Invermere

Cheers to our neighbor, Jim who is always a great sport and up for a 105 laughs. You are an inspiration.

Cheers to Kirsten at H& R Block. You are dedicated to your job and your clients. It shows by the long hours that you put in. Keep up the good work!

GALS animal rescue would like to recognize Sarah from Fire Vixen Tattoos for this years successful Puppy Love fundraiser.

We would also like to thank the valley businesses for their gracious donations to the silent auction, Copper Point Resort for housing our out-oftown tattoo artists and Kanata Hotel for housing the band. With the support of our great volunteers and local attendees, it was a very successful event.

Cheers to Wen at BMO for the great friendly service.

Cheers to Rosanna and Shane for your willingness to help. It is appreciated.

Cheers to Sophie RMT. I came into your clinic in pain and left with a spring in my step. You are a great massage therapist and a lovely person. Cheers to Christine at the legion for the great service.  Cheers to Kandi at Couture Beauty for the great job on my hair. One happy customer here!


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

Heartfeltcompanionservices. com



Lawn & Dump Services

• Yard Cleans

• Hedge & Brush Trims

• Dump Runs



Sadly, Craig, at age 67, passed away in Cranbrook on March 1, 2024, after a brave skirmish with cancer.

He was born in Toronto, raised in Montreal, but chose Western Canada to settle down, marry, and embark on the career he loved.

Family meant the world to him. He was the son of Scottish immigrants, Hugh and Norah Millar, the younger brother of Iain (Margaret) and the cherished uncle of Erin and (late) Brian. Laura McKerrel Millar, his late wife and soulmate, shared his passion for golf, cementing their bond forever.

A keen interest in all sports led to his love of golf which prompted him to pursue a long and fulfilling career as a golf pro, instructor, and Head Pro.

Craig was interested in everything, especially music and enjoying other cultures as he trekked the world. An early career as a chef carried over into his married life as he and Laura shared many occasions together entertaining with his array of culinary expertise. His ever-present smile and contagious laugh endeared him to many. All of this resulted in a large circle of friends who have remained loyal throughout his life and supportive through his illness.

The Millar family would like to thank the staff at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital for the excellent care Craig received during his final days. Your professionalism, gentle bedside care and support for the family allowed him to leave us with dignity.

In Craig’s memory, if you smoke, quit.

Get-ER-Done Handyman

Landscaping, Asphalt Pads, General Contracting, Cleaning Gutters, House Checks, Pressure Washing. Call Ryan 604-346-5087

B. B.’s Home and Design Services

Renovations, Masonry & Handyman Services, Blinds, House checks, eavestrough/ yard cleaning/dump runs.

250-688-2897 or 403-861-8782

Ducks Unlimited busy conserving ‘wonders’

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) has been working across the provinces to conserve Canada's West Coast ‘wonders.’

In British Columbia, communities face floods, fires, and rising sea levels. These hazards affect ecosystems. DUC works to conserve and restore vital wildlife habitats in wetlands across BC, including floodplains along the Kootenay River near Fort Steele.

"At certain times, we will choose to restore these [ecosystems] back to a natural state," said Matthew

Wilson, head of conservation programs at DUC.

"We have a lot of projects across BC that are wetlands created by engineered structures that we've built over the years."

The particular program that Wilson leads focuses on naturalizing some of their older projects — projects that have been assessed or have shown that naturalization is a better option than rebuilding.

These programs are guided by a commitment to pioneering conservation delivery that benefits Canada's wildlife and wetland ecosystems. DUC is also working to support Indigenous-led conservation planning, which helps protect biodiversity and sustainable

development in ancestral territories.

DUC is currently partners with the ?aq’am community and working to restore Bummers Flats, a 600hectare floodplain along the Kootenay River. More information will be discussed in April with the ?aq’am community.

"We have various partnerships on different restoration projects across BC. We are excited to partner with ?aq’am, The Nature Trust BC, BC Wildlife Federation and The Province of BC at Bummers Flats," Wilson explained.

"Together, we're collectively working to restore these wetland areas in the floodplain.”

Building Operations is looking for lawn maintenance staff at Panorama Resort.
Duties include mowing, weed trimming, garbage removal, skid steer operation and general labor. Phone: 250-270-0435 Email:
Invermere & Area cell 250-341-1202

Invermere on the Lake

Summer Students

The District of Invermere has openings for Summer Students in the Parks Labourer, Garden Labourer and Events Labourer positions in the Public Works Department. This is a temporary full-time or part-time position within the CUPE Local 2982 bargaining unit starting in May until the end of August. Students will be able to work up to 40 hours per week, however we will also consider students for temporary part-time positions for less than 40 hours per week.


Parks Labourers

Under general supervision, the Student Labourer performs a variety of semiskilled and manual labouring duties. Work typically involves tasks such as parks and cemetery landscaping, garbage pick-up, painting, pothole filling, driving, graffiti removal and other tasks as assigned. The days will consist of 8 hour days, with a typical start time of 8 am, however start time may be as early as 6:00am. Typical work days are Monday to Friday, however some weekend shifts will be required.


Under general supervision, the Student Gardener is primarily focused on flowerbed planting and maintenance. Work typically involves helping with the preparation of flowerbeds, gardening tasks involving the cultivation of a variety of flowers and plants in large garden areas, planting, weeding, fertilizing, and pruning numerous varieties of plants, flowers, shrubs, bushes, and trees. The days will consist of 8 hour days, with a typical start time is between 6:00am and 8:00 am depending on activities and weather. Typical work days are Monday to Friday; however some weekend shifts will be required.


Under general supervision, the Student Event will assist with the set up and take down of Movies in the Mountains every Monday evening in July and August between the hours of 4:00 pm-1:00 am. These hours will vary based on the movie start times and daylight hours. Other assigned duties could also include assisting with the set up and take down of other District of Invermere events during July and August.


Employment will commence in early May and will terminate in late August.


The current starting wage for a student is $19.65.


1. Must be enrolled in high school or post secondary school.

2. Some related experience or an equivalent combination of training and experience.

3. Knowledge of Occupational Health & Safety Regulations as related and appropriate.

4.Valid Class 5 BC Drivers License.


If you are interested in this position, please send a cover letter and resume outlining your qualifications and experience to corporateservices@invermere. net or the address below quoting “Summer Student 2024 – the position you would like to apply for”.

After about eight months of sleep, Columbia ground squirrels have emerged from their hibernation. This curious one checks its habitat to see what’s new in the squirrel neighbourhood.

District of Invermere

Attn: Kindry Luyendyk, Corporate Officer

Box 339, Invermere, BC, V0A 1K0

Tel: (250) 342-9281

Fax: (250) 342-2934


This opportunity will remain open until it is filled.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those considered for an interview will be contacted.

Additional information about this opportunity may be requested by contacting the District’s Corporate Officer.

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

‘Wild’ film bolsters Wings over the Rockies

500 Days in the Wild is a documentary as part of the upcoming Wings over the Rockies Festival May 6 to 12.


Wings over the Rockies Festival planner Elizabeth Shopland was thrilled when she received word that a special film documentary that continues to sweep the nation would be part of the upcoming event May 6 to 12.

In November of 2023, the Whistler Film Festival announced the world premiere of Paramount+ Original Documentary '500 Days in the Wild'.

"We are so fortunate to have this come to our community. Many thanks to the good folks of the Invermere Film Festival organization who helped Wings to bring this extraordinary documentary to the festival,” Shopland said.

This film will be shown on Thursday, May 9 at Columbia Valley Centre in Invermere.

Dianne Whelan is no stranger to shooting indie films in extreme locations. She’s filmed on Mt. Everest for ’40 Days at Basecamp’ and on the most northern coastline of Canada for ‘This Land,’ so travelling the longest trail in the world while simultaneously shooting a film about the experience didn’t seem too far-fetched. And then her es-

timate of 500 days on the trail became six years.

In August of 2021, Whelan became the first person to travel the land and water trails of the 17,000 miles or 27,400 kilometres of the Trans Canada Trail— the world’s longest trail.

The trail stretches across the continent of North America, connecting the Atlantic, Arctic, and Pacific oceans.

Whelan travelled the entirety of the land/water trail, the only person to ever accomplish this journey. She pushed 150 pounds of her heavily laden bike over rocks, hiked through flooded bogs, paddled 2,500 miles on the Mackenzie River to the Arctic ocean, snowshoed through dense forests, skied across wind-blown plains, cycled along pristine trails in all seasons.

For a woman in her 50s who is not an extreme athlete, it was sometimes gruelling, occasionally harrowing, often exhilarating and always surprising. And there were many good belly laughs about the absurdity of the situations she occasionally found herself in.

To purchase tickets go to www.

Free home retrofit course being offered

Over the past decade or more the trend toward energy efficient ‘green’ homes has become more pronounced. No wonder, as energy efficient homes not only make sense environmentally, they often save homeowners money in the long run.

In an era of climate change and rapidly inflating consumer prices,  who doesn’t want to help the planet and end up with extra change in their pockets at the same time?

Energy efficient retrofits can be expensive up front, even if they save buckets of money in the long run, but in recent years a growing number of federal, provincial and even regional grants have been introduced to help offset those costs, sometimes quite significantly.

The only hitch, at least in the Columbia Valley, is that to qualify for some of these grants or funding programs, the work must be done by specifically qualified contractors. And even in the Columbia Valley, where there the local home building and renovating industry has plenty of green-minded companies, there simply aren’t always enough contractors to meet demand.

Take for instance, Brad Thom’s home in Radium Hot Springs. Thom bought the house about a decade ago, and he and his young family have lived there ever since. The home, like many single family residences in the Columbia Valley is on the older side (he estimates it was likely built around 1980)

and was not as energy efficient as it could be. So, recently the family did a retrofit, adding a heat pump, upgrading the electric panel (in order to handle the heat pump) and putting in more attic insulation, all with some help from Thom’s aunt Tracy Flynn.

“Everything is going great,” Thom told the Pioneer, explaining that the house is more comfortable and he’s looking forward to spending less on propane in the winters ahead.

The only unfortunate thing was that “we could have done more but couldn't find the (certified) contractors to do the work” explained Flynn.

A lack of certified contractors, and people not knowing what retrofits are, much less which grants are available for them are the two biggest roadblocks to having more energy efficient homes in the valley, according to Flynn.

To help change that there will be a ‘Retrofitting with the House as a System’ course for local contractors this coming Thursday, April 25. It is a joint effort between the Community Energy Association, the Home Performance Contractor Network (HPCN), and the Columbia Valley Economic Development Office. The course is free, and it is mandatory for contractors wishing to become certified, so that homeowners can hire them to access some of the provincial energy efficiency rebates.

Retrofits differ from renovations — retrofits involve modifications made to the home to specifically make it more energy efficient, explained Flynn. Not only do they make homes more energy

efficient and more comfortable, they also can help improve air quality, she added.

The grants and other funding can add up to large amounts: Thom and his family spent $21,500 on their retrofits, but got $17,500 back in rebates, for a net cost of $4,000. Over time they’ll save back that $4,000 and through lower heating costs.

“In addition to the grants, there are low interest or no-interest loans available through the Canada Greener Homes program,” said Flynn.

Aside from getting contractors certified and making homeowners aware of the grants and rebates, Flynn is hopeful she can encourage local gov-

ernments that there is a need for a concierge retrofit service, which would help people navigate the various funding programs, and Property Assisted Clean Energy Program (PACE) financing, which ties retrofit costs to the property, not the owner, and then can be paid off over time.

The Retrofitting with the House as a System course on April 25 will run from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. and will be held at the Lion’s Hall and Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce at the crossroads.

Find out more at https://

The home retrofitting course will be held at the Legion Hall and Chamber of Commerce on April 25.

Spring welcomes crocuses to beautify the Columbia Valley.

Library needs items for sale

This week’s column was written by Jacqueline Kozak, director of the Radium Public Library, and Friends of the Library volunteer Donna Tunney.

We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came out to our annual Easter Egg-Stravaganza event on March 30 – we had 200 children participate, and over 600 people attend the event. We look forward to seeing you all again next year. The library would also like to extend our gratitude to all the dedicated volunteers and staff who helped make this event possible.

Many of our regular programs will continue throughout the spring and take a short break over the summer; we have programs for infants and caregivers, preschool aged children and families, school aged children, teens, adults, and seniors. Check out the What’s Happening CV Events page in the Pioneer or check out our Facebook or website to view our upcoming programs.

Friends of the Radium Library

Signs of spring are popping up everywhere, from pretty crocuses to nesting birds. It’s a time for sprucing up our nests too, as we clean and reorganize.

When you’re clearing out your garage and closets, set aside your gently used household items for our annual May long-weekend community garage sale and barbecue, hosted by the Friends of the Radium Library, the Radium Rotary Garden, and the Radium Fire Hall.

We’re looking for donations of seasonal décor, small appliances and electronics, luggage, toys, games, puzzles, baby items, tools, camping and sporting equipment, fashion accessories, outerwear, and small furnishings, as well as tables and chairs for the patio. No large items, please.

We’ll begin collecting donations on May 1. Or drop off your items at the Radium Fire Hall the evening before the event—Friday, May 17.

Then come shopping on the Saturday, for new-to-you, low-priced treasures. Bring the kids to meet Randy the Ram, Radium’s mascot, and enjoy the mouth-watering barbecue prepared by the volunteer firefighters.

If you have items you want to donate, contact us at friendsoftheradiumlibrary@, @Friends of Radium Library on FB, or call 250-347-2434.

And look for our Pop-up Book Sales on main street starting in May too.

Premier David Eby’s reckless spending is costing British Columbians.

As taxpayers here in Columbia River-Revelstoke, you deserve a government that is responsible with your hard-earned tax dollars and ensures that it goes to enhance the services that you need. Unfortunately, seven years of reckless NDP spending has led to a deteriorating health care system, reduced public safety, and the affordability crisis that we have all been experiencing.

Shockingly, British Columbia recently received two credit downgrades in a single day. This is the third year in a row that B.C.’s credit rating has dropped.

Each credit downgrade results in less money for services as more money must be spent on B.C.’s debt interest. Your kids and grandchildren will be paying off the NDP’s debt for years to come, and with David Eby, it’s only expected to get worse. What they don’t seem to understand is that we simply cannot spend more than we make.

It’s embarrassing to think that British Columbia is already the least affordable province in the country. We face North America’s highest gas prices, gas taxes, and most unaffordable housing. Since 2017, the NDP has piled on 32 new and increased taxes, worsening the strain on B.C. families.

It’s disturbing that under this NDP government, more than 50 per cent of British Columbians are $200 or less away from being able to pay their bills at the end of every month. The last thing they need is more taxes. What we all need is a government that prioritizes fiscal responsibility and takes decisive actions to resolve the affordability crisis.

BC United, led by Kevin Falcon, is

committed to changing this negative fiscal trajectory. We’re committed to cancelling David Eby’s carbon tax hikes – including the one on April 1 – removing the carbon tax on home heating and scrapping it for on-farm fuel. Helping farmers save on operational costs will lead to lower grocery prices for everyone. We will also scrap the provincial fuel tax saving families up to 15 cents per litre every time you fill up.

If you want to make housing more affordable then you need to make it less expensive – it’s just that simple. BC United plans to make housing more affordable include a rent-to-own program allowing more families to enter the housing market, eliminating the provincial sales tax on residential construction so we can build more homes, using empty public land to build more affordable housing, and scrapping the property transfer tax for first-time home buyers up to $1 million to make it easier to save for a home.

These are only the first steps that BC United will take to make your life here in Columbia River-Revelstoke more affordable again.

Frankly, life doesn’t have to be this expensive. David Eby’s policies continue to drain our wallets with no relief in sight. I know people are struggling, I hear about it every day.

Folks, ‘United’ we can fix it and give you a fighting chance.

I want to hear from you about any concerns you have about this or any other issue. I read every email I receive. Please reach out to me at or call my office in Kimberley at (250) 432-2300 or Revelstoke at (250) 805-0323.


EMBER STOMP Jaffray Community Hall (7369 Jaffray Village Loop Rd) 10 am – 3 pm

Over 20 organization coming together to provide a day of learning and fun for the whole family. Drop by to learn about making your home and community more resilient to wildfire. FireSmart BC™ will be in attendance with Ember the FireSmart Fox as well as FireSmart Landscape Specialist Carla Hoffman. The RDEK’s Rural Fire & Rescue Service will be showcasing their new Structural Protection Unit Trailer and other wildfire response units. The BC Wildfire Service will be there with an Initial Attack crew, wildland engine, and games for the kids. A concession will be available for lunch brought to you by Bolter Farms, Corner Veggies, and the Lions Club.

EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS FAIR Western Financial Place parking lot (1777 2 St N, Cranbrook) 10 am – 2 pm

The East Kootenay FireSmart Program will be one of 12 exhibitors at the fair providing preparedness educational materials, games, and fun for the whole family.

Upcoming FireSmart Neighbourhood Events in Grasmere, Audia Road (Rosen Lake), and Wilmer.

To find out how you can get involved in the East Kootenay FireSmart Program, visit

MLA Minute Doug Clovechok, MLA Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Minute
Doug Clovechok,
Columbia River-Revelstoke
19 – 24 Avenue South, Cranbrook BC V1C 3H8 | 250-489-2791 | 1-888-478-7335 | Fax: 250-489-3498 | |
Upcoming FireSmart


The many voices in the Bible

I find it helpful to see that there are many voices in the Bible. This is because the Bible is a collection of literature that was written more than 1,000 years ago by many authors and communities, telling stories and conveying messages that reflect their particular historical situations and the way they understood things in their time.

Because the Bible looks like one book, we think it should have one united message, or speak with one voice. But the Bible is, in truth, a library of books, or of literature, which means it does not have a unified message, and it does not speak with one voice. This is not a problem when we know what the Bible is and how it came to be. It is only a problem if we think the Bible speaks, or should speak, with one voice.

For example, the Bible begins with two creation stories. They both have their own beauty and meaning, but they are quite different from each other. The first story says that, out of nothing, God created for six days, creating the universe, the earth, plants and animals. It says on the sixth day God created man and woman together, both in the image of God.

The second creation story says God created an earthling out of the soil and then created animals, trying to find a helpmate for this earthling, and then finally God created a woman out of the earthling and then there was a man and a woman. Then God put them in a garden called Eden.

It is now believed that these two stories were written several hundred years apart from each other, by different authors, to convey different messages. So, the

voices of two communities come through two creation stories.

On the topic of slavery, clearly there are different voices in the Bible.

For hundreds of years pro-slavery people used the pro-slavery voices in the Bible to defend slavery. For example, 1 Peter 2:18 says, “Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh.” Thankfully, there are other voices in the Bible which say that slavery is not what God wants.

On the topic of the female/male relationship, there are voices in the Bible which put women in a subservient and silent position to men. Yet, there are other voices which put women in an equal and mutually empowered position with men. There are different voices in the Bible on violence. If you want to find verses where murder and genocide are divinely sanctioned, they are there. If you want to find verses where non-violence is the divine will and way, they are there.

The list goes on – for example, about the character and nature of God, about what the resurrection of Jesus was like, about whether we should live by grace or by works, about life after death. There are multiple voices on these and other topics.

It is not helpful when someone says, “if you want to know what my world view is, just open a Bible,” because we need to know what voices in the Bible that person is listening to, or wants to listen to. In the least, to think the Bible speaks with one voice is too simple. The Bible is more complicated than that.

Again, that the Bible has many voices is not a problem. We can work with it. We can see where those voices came from and discern which voices, which voice, best speaks to us now.

Teens invited to Go Wild!

Submitted by Wildsight

For teens wanting a summer adventure with training in leadership, teamwork, and wilderness skills, Wildsight is now accepting applications for the Go Wild! program.

Go Wild! is a six-day backpacking program for youth aged 14 to 18. With tents and sleeping bags, hiking boots and backpacks, 14 teens will experience the wild Rockies wilderness as they may never have before.

"Go Wild! isn’t just a backpacking trip, it’s an education in backcountry camping and hiking that will open the door to a lifetime of adventure," says Dave Quinn, Go Wild! coordinator and lead guide.

Quinn, a Kimberley-based wildlife biologist, ACMG-certified wilderness guide, outdoor educator and teacher, will lead this summer's excursion alongside Revelstoke’s Leah Evans, a professional skier who focuses on helping women reach their full potential on skis through Girls Do Ski camps.

Participants learn no-trace camping, route plan-

ning, map reading, navigation, wildlife safety, wilderness survival, mountain botany, basic wildlife ecology, and how to thrive in the wilderness in all conditions. They learn about the extraordinary diversity and abundance of Kootenay wildlife, and how critical wilderness areas are for wildlife to thrive.

This summer's specific destination in the southern Rockies will be determined closer to the trip dates. Past Go Wild! programs have explored the Purcell wilderness, Height of the Rockies, the Hornaday wilderness and Top of the World Provincial Parks.

Students start the trip with heavy packs and leave with light hearts.

“I learned so much, from facts about the alpine to flowers, to how a diverse group functions. I learned the capability I had and the capability others had. And I definitely expanded my skills that I previously had and learned more about myself,” says 2023 participant Joy Harris.

This year's program runs August 5 to 10. The 14 spaces fill up fast, so apply early. Learn more at

Columbia Valley Churches


While you are with us, you are always welcome to join us.

Sunday at 10:30 am

326 10th Avenue, Invermere 250-342-9535 |



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.


Pastor: Justin Furse

Sunday 10 a.m. Worship Service

4814 Highway Drive, Windermere 250-342-9511 |


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


Sunday 10 a.m. Worship service

Pastor Wayne and Linda Frater | 250-342-6633

#4, 7553 Main St. Radium | 250-347-9937


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

Check the BC RECYCLEpEdia Where to recycle? Recycling council of B.c. MeMBeR

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