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Emerging 2021 Stronger KAMLOOPS


Kamloops This Week looks at the challenges posed by the pandemic and casts an eye at what the near future may hold — with the help of city business owners, organizations, institutions, politicians and arts and sports groups Powered by


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TRU School of Trades and Technology Construction is booming and the way we build is evolving faster than ever. And with a large proportion of BC’s skilled tradespeople retiring, trades and technology graduates are more in-demand than ever. TRU’s School of Trades and Technology offers a full range of programs— from foundation through apprenticeship and degree options—that use the latest training equipment to prepare students for the challenges of tomorrow.

Start any time. Trades and technology programs have many intakes each year, so you don’t have to wait until the traditional academic semester starts to begin classes.

Stay safe in the classroom. Open shop spaces, personal protective equipment and a proven track record of COVID-19 protocols means you can safely get in-person, hands-on training.

Be job-ready in as little as six months. You can get the qualifications needed to start on the job in as little as six months. And after foundation training, a full range of apprentice programs are available for each career level.

Graduate and be in-demand by employers. BC is facing a shortage of qualified tradespeople and TRU uses the latest industry training equipment to ensure you’re ready to start working after graduation—using the most current tools of the trade.

Progress to a degree in trades. Red Seal tradespeople can continue on to complete a bachelor’s degree in trades and technology in just two years while continuing to work. TRU programs are backed by the Industry Training Authority of BC to ensure you will be qualified to work in the field in all the trades we offer, including: • Automotive Service

• Power Engineering

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• Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning

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Find out more about TRU School of Trades and Technology opportunities:



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New in 2021


With over 1,000 locations, Ashley HomeStore is the largest furniture retailer in North America. After much success with City Furniture & Appliances, established in 1988 by Sid Kandola, 2nd generation Paul Kandola opened a 35,000 sq.ft. showroom of Ashley HomeStore. Our customers are our reason for being! Without their support over the years we wouldn’t be able to reinvest in another furniture store,create more jobs, and contribute to the economic development of our city. “We have reinvested our returns into the very city that has invested in us, and that’s why this project means a lot to our family.”

Opening soon in 2021, continued expansion brings the birth of Designer Appliances Ltd. Premium kitchen & laundry appliances to complete your dream kitchen.


Our commitment is to make beautiful home furnishings affordable and give consumers more value for their money, which is why Ashley controls the entire process from design to delivery. We understand that the customer wants stylish and durable furniture, to help them create a home that suits their style. Over 7,000 items are available, designed in-house from rustic to modern, for small spaces or large, with more quality control than any other furniture company. This makes Ashley HomeStore the preferred choice. 2021 brings the expansion of a new, 3rd family run business to Kamloops. Adjoining Ashley HomeStore in the building in April is Designer Appliances Ltd., featuring premium brand appliances. As Ashley Homestore and City Furniture & Appliances continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to thank our customers for shopping with us and supporting our locally owned, family run businesses.

Paul Kandola

Ashley HomeStore, Vice President



1663 TRANS CANADA HWY EAST, VALLEYVIEW ashleyfurniture.ca


Family Business Voted Best Furniture Store in Kamloops 4 Years in a Row!















Sid Kandola President

Our City Furniture team values knowing our communities and our customers by name. “We run our operations with a family focused approach and a desire to always give back to the community. Because of this we are respected as the go-to location for furniture, electronics, mattresses and appliances.” Kamloops voted City Furniture the #1 Furniture Store - 4 Years in a Row (Readers Choice). They also won the prestigious Western Canadian Retailer of the Year Award in 2018. For over 44 years City Furniture products have helped to turn houses into homes. Our ever-expanding showroom features the most current trends. Our selection of dining, bedroom, and living room furniture is exceptional. We can custom order Canadian made furniture to fit your room, size, style or color needs, with options to fit your budget. We offer products at competitive prices while providing quick delivery and set-up. Our fleet of delivery trucks and professional movers will ensure your new furniture is delivered safely. We offer assistance for in-home set-up of your new products. New in 2020 was the addition of our Online Shopping Website, cityfurniturecanada.com. Now you can Shop Online- Locally- from the safety and comfort of your home as well as view our current flyers. Drop in to meet our friendly, knowledgable team. We don’t sell, we help you buy. It’s exactly this thoughtful blend of the new and the tried-and-true that makes City Furniture

Your One Stop Home Furniture Store

Nav Kandola

City Furniture, Vice President

A W A R D E D 2 0 1 8 R E TA I L E R O F T H E Y E A R B Y C A N A D I A N H O M E F U R N I T U R E A S S O C I AT I O N



We don’t sell. We help you buy!






PAGE 8 Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian sees resurgence

PAGE 10 Our Footprints not letting pandemic define its success

PAGE 24 A look at the RCMP’s role amid and after COVID-19

PAGE 30 SD73 juggled remote and in-class learning amid crisis

PAGE 34 Kamloops Airport hoping to see more flights in future

PAGE 48 Tourism Kamloops on pivoting on a dime when travel stops

PAGE 54 Western Canada Theatre proved the show must go on

PAGE 74 Minor sports groups doing all they can to get kids playing

PAGES 76- 77 A look at the pandemic, and the future, through art

We can all see that light


esilience courage, challenges, pivoting, adapting and “the new normal.” Those words and many more are included in the 80 pages of this magazine and they come from the minds of business owners, sport organization leaders, artists, politicians and more. They are part of a combined effort to try to make sense of the past 12 months, review the difficulties posed and creativity born and attempt to predict what comes next. The COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March 2020 and the year since that declaration has seen life change dramatically for all of us. It really has resembled a roller coaster — of emotions and of routine — as restrictions have been increased and eased and hopes have been raised and dashed, then lifted once again. When you read through the pages

6 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

of Progress 2021, you will find a recurring sentiment being expressed, be it from Kamloops Fire Rescue Chief Steve Robinson, Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky, Stride Spin Studio owner Kristi Fay or Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo MP Cathy McLeod. And that sentiment is resilience — with all of the above and more telling us the primary lesson learned from the past year has been realizing how resilient the people of this community and region have proven to be. Frontline workers — from grocery store clerks, to nurses and doctors, to paramedics, firefighters and police officers, to teachers and transit drivers — have had to be quick on the draw, adapting to a radically different daily way of life. And, as a whole, they have done a stunningly impressive job. The people in these pages are

strong and dedicated and, quite frankly, exhausted. With the COVID-19 vaccine rollout now underway, the heath experts tell us we might be able to see a significant change in the way we live by summer. However, that does not mean the “old normal” will by then completely replace this unwelcome “new normal.” And there is still the issue of the various COVID-19 variants ruining the best-laid plans by interrupting the efficacy of inoculations. But, as artist Carmen TeixeiraDerksen illustrated on page 32, we should always have hope, for those four letters can do wonders in carrying across even most daunting obstacle. Let’s remember the mantra of Dr. Bonnie Henry as we move forward: “Be kind. be Calm. Be Safe.” And have faith.

Outstanding Service. Low Prices. Great People. We believe in supporting important causes, and local initiatives that build a strong community. Our five Kamloops stores are very proud to be a part of such a great community. We take pride in giving back to a community that supports us. Sponsoring hundreds of groups and events throughout the year, we truly are your local stores. All of our stores are ready to meet the needs of the neighborhoods we serve. We are committed to Going the Extra Mile for our customers, offering the best in products and services. We remain vigilant in keeping our customers and team members safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our company’s culture of care, commitment and passion has lasted for over 106 years, and we are thrilled to continue that tradition in Kamloops.






SAHALI 1210 Summit Dr 250.374.6685

WESTSYDE 3435 Westsyde Road 250.579.5414 ext 637

DOWNTOWN #200-450 Lansdowne St. 250.374.4187

BROCKLEHURST #38 - 1800 Tranquille Rd. 250.376.5757

VALLEYVIEW #9 - 2101 E. Trans Canada Hwy 250.374.4343



Ken Christian


Kamloops Mayor

ast year at this time, we were ushering in a new decade and reflecting on the past 10 years of incredible progress our city had seen. It feels like another decade had passed since I penned my remarks last February and, while weary from all we have endured, I am no less optimistic for what the future has in store. The COVID-19 pandemic has left its marks on our community. I would never want to diminish the loss it has caused many, nor would I claim its impact is behind us, but I believe we have reason to take pride in the way we are weathering this storm. The challenges of 2020 have taught us how to collaborate and come together for the common good in true Kamloops fashion. Kamloops city council recently conducted a major review of its strategic plan and it was reassuring to see that, despite the pandemic, our priorities are still on point. We are moving forward in our strategic priority areas and have made revisions to stay on course, unfortunately postponing discussion on the proposed Kamloops Centre for the Arts. We continue to work hard to promote a vibrant economy. As a complement to the pandemic measures undertaken by the federal and provincial governments, we struck a task force in economic recovery and renewal to assist our citizens as we cope with the reality that this is not a short-term condition. Through this task force and the YKAStrong partnership, our business community is working together to build local resiliency. Many economic indicators for the City of Kamloops remained strong in 2020. Home sales were up, house prices were up and we continue a five-year streak of record-breaking building permit values. We also continue to make progress toward our goal of environmental leadership. In 2020, we launched engagement on a Community Climate Action Plan, which sets the direction for an 80 per cent reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We are now composting the city’s biosolids and we are turning our attention toward organic waste diversion. Organic waste comprises about 38 per cent of all residential waste that ends up at our landfill. After community consultation, a pilot curbside residential organic waste collection program will begin this year. We made the best of lockdown periods in 2020 by fast-tracking certain projects, including a $13.5-million upgrade to the Canada Games 8 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian sees hope in the city’s future. Here, the mayor is photographed next to the Locking in Hope sculpture in Riverside Park. The art piece was created as a fundraiser for the Kamloops Food Bank. Aquatic Centre, which has extended the centre’s life cycle and made it more accessible and more energy-efficient, with a 35 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas production. It is now open to the community, with excellent safety protocols in place. One of the most apparent consequences of the pandemic has been an exacerbation of social issues hitting our most vulnerable populations. At the city, we have taken several significant steps to better position ourselves to support these communities. In 2020, we undertook a complete restructuring of our Bylaw Services Division into a new Community Services Division, which will undergo enhanced training and will endeavour to strengthen relationships with local businesses, social agencies and other partners to provide better support for people in need. We are also advocating for resources from other levels of government for initiatives such as a new sobering centre, Car 40 expansion and enhanced social programming. Progress in governance and accountability this past year has meant finding new ways to communicate and engage with citizens. Our aim has always been to lead by example and

our efforts were recognized with an Excellence in Governance Award from the UBCM for our public engagement during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve worked hard to balance economic stimulus and progress with tax relief this year and are looking at a budget with the smallest tax increase in more than a decade for 2021, while still moving ahead with 13 of 15 proposed supplemental budget initiatives. We are also starting to work smarter, with better information. Thanks to a new partnership with Thompson Rivers University, the City of Kamloops now has a researcher-in-residence helping us make more evidence-based decisions. There is a lot to look forward to in 2021. COVID-19 vaccines are here and the city is accommodating large-scale implementation. With spring now here, our citizens can count on a government committed to progress that will make this city healthy, inclusive, diverse, sustainable and economically vibrant. I am confident what we have learned and the resolve we have collectively shown throughout 2020 will spur our community toward incredible heights.

2021 2021


Our Footprints Company owner Jennifer Norman in the company’s SmartCentre store, at 620-1055 Hillside Dr. Dave Eagles/KTW

Footprints stepping into the future Name of business: Our Footprints Company Name of owner(s): Jennifer Norman Contact: 620-1055 Hillside Dr., 236-425-1229 Number of employees: 4F/T, 7P/T Q: When did you open your business and from where did the idea come? A: On Jan. 19, 2020. I wanted to start my own business and one that would make a difference. Q: What has been the cumulative effect of the pandemic on your business thus far? A: It has been an ever-changing challenge. Starting with online and deliveries only when folks were too afraid to shop in store, to being open and having to have many safety measures in place, to navigating the mask debate when it was selfdirected, to having to enforce masks when they became mandatory, to having to limit customers and losing them if they don’t want to wait, to needing extra staff to keep everything clean and sanitary, but it makes it difficult as you’re taking up more of your occupancy numbers. It has 10 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021


Checking in with businesses that opened just before or amid the pandemic probably been the most challenging time to ever start a business, but my team has done great. Q: How have you pivoted in your business strategy during the pandemic to keep the doors open? A: We have really focused on optimizing our web presence. This has included building a website from scratch twice in one year to give the most user-friendly experience and making sure we are shipping in the least environmentally impactful

way (which is a lot of extra work) to ensure it’s in line with our ethos. Q: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently, hindsight being 20/20? A: I don’t think so, I am super proud of this business and its team as a whole. Q: How would you rate pandemic-related assistance from all three levels of government? A: Very poor. We received next to nothing in terms of grants or assistance due to restrictions on timing and, when we opened, for 95 per cent of them, we didn’t meet criteria just by a small margin. Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for your business? A: Due to our ever-changing ability to pivot and meet our customers’ needs, I feel so positive about the future of Footprints. With the support of our community and online following, the future is very bright.

BUSINESS RECOVERY SUPPORT RESOURCEFUL . SUPPORTIVE . CONNECTED Venture Kamloops’ entrepreneurial and business support programs aim to navigate the new business recovery climate by providing in-depth guidance on grants and loan information, data and statistics, and connections within the local community. We continue to dedicate our efforts to the sustainable growth of Kamloops by adapting our focus in this ever-changing world, and ensuring our business community is equipped to have every opportunity to succeed moving forward. Visit us online and learn more about our business programs and how we can help.







2021 2021


Prepping for a return to the campus

TRU focused on recovery Change came fast at Thompson Rivers University one year ago, when the university had to make the sudden shift to online learning and remote work. “In a week or so in March, we took campus operations and converted to nearly 100 per cent virtual learning, and we’ve had remote learning and remote work for a year now,” TRU president Brett Fairbairn said. That quick pivot wasn’t something many at the university thought would be possible. “If we’d sat around and discussed it, in the abstract, could we convert to remote like this, I wouldn’t think it’d be possible,” he said. Part of what helped the university transition so quickly was the experience among staff in Open Learning, the department that oversaw online and distance education

long before the pandemic. About half of TRU’s students are distance learners. The university did see a drop in enrollment as a result of the pandemic, and laid off staff as a result, but the impact wasn’t as bad as first anticipated. The focus is now on recovery, starting with a full return to campus planned for the fall. “When we go back in person, I have a feeling there are some virtual things we won’t let go of,” Fairbairn said. One of those is online mentalhealth advising for students. Fairbairn said that program has shown increased accessibility. “We have students who find that more accessible, that there’s less of a psychological barrier to access services that way,” he said. Other changes that might stick

12 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

include remote work among faculty and staff and more flexible work schedules, which might see staff come to campus a few times a week. One unit at the university is already on a pilot project to continue working from home beyond the pandemic. “We may not worry so much if people are working in the office every day of the week,” Fairbairn said. The president said he is looking forward to the day students return to campus and to students once again living the campus life, participating in orientation activities and something close to a normal campus life, including clubs and societies. “But the virus will still be out there, even with vaccination,” Fairbairn said. “So I think this will be our new year of transitioning to what is likely to be a new normal for one or two or three more years.”

Universities across B.C., including Thompson Rivers University, have been told to prepare for a “full return” to campus in September. The news came in a March 8 statement from Minister of Advanced Education Anne Kang, following a letter from Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry to university presidents. “I’m encouraged by Dr. Henry’s advice that a return to in-person instruction can be done safely this fall for all students, staff and faculty. In fact, it’s important to do so for people’s well-being,” Kang said. The plan to return to campus coincides with an accelerated immunization plan from the province, made possible by the approval of more vaccine types. Henry said she expects everyone in the province could receive their first dose by June. TRU president Brett Fairbairn said he was thrilled to see the announcement. “The letter received from Dr. Henry is clear on the importance of returning to campus in support of everyone’s health and well-being,” he said. Fairbairn said more details will be provided to staff and students once they are known. He said those details will be posted to the university’s return to campus website, which can be found by going online to tru.ca/covid-19/return-tocampus.

TRU president Brett Fairbairn

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The leadership team at Royal Inland Hospital would like to thank Kamloops residents and those living in surrounding communities for all of the words of encouragement for its staff in the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Early in the pandemic, signs in support of healthcare workers popped up around the hospital in downtown Kamloops. Encouragement also appeared online, through the clanking of pots and pans around dinner time at the change of a hospital shift and via hand-made signs hammered into the ground on the lawn in front of the hospital. According to RIH brass, the encouragement “meant the world to us.” Challenges in the past year amid the COVID19 pandemic included balancing the response to the disease with other hospital priorities, such as maintaining patient surgeries. In addition, a deadly COVID-19 outbreak occurred at the hospital in January and February of this year. Hospital leadership noted challenges for hospital staff, including ever-changing information and the stress of work and personal lives impacting everyone.

Some nurses who spoke to KTW during the outbreak expressed concerns about operating short-staffed, a need for more personal protective equipment and overall staff morale. There is hope on the horizon, however, and the hospital is looking toward vaccines rolling out at inoculation clinics in Kamloops and the opening of the patient-care tower in the summer of 2022.

RIH leadership hopes that as those two initiatives continue to propel forward in the coming months, people will continue to follow public health directives, while also being kind and adapting to the new normal. The biggest lesson? “We are stronger and more adaptable together,” read a statement from the hospital leadership team.


Kamloops Pharmacy Wellness by Julie Ford

Kamloops Pharmacy Ltd. is opening this summer Working as a pharmacist in Kamloops for the past 11 years, Julie has developed great working in the Aberdeen Village Shopping Centre. relationships with patients and the medical Locally owned and operated by pharmacist Julie and veterinary community. Specializing in Ford, Kamloops Pharmacy Ltd. will run under the administering vaccines, Julie will help you develop Pharmasave banner. After practicing pharmacy a plan for both routine and travel immunizations. for over 25 years, owning a pharmacy has been a lifelong dream of Julie’s and she is excited to take Julie and her team look forward to opening their doors this summer. on this new venture! Julie has a wealth of experience and healthcare knowledge. She is passionate about caring for her patients and delivering safe, effective pharmacy services. She offers detailed attention, focusing on client’s individual needs.


For more information, please visit our website www.kamloopspharmacy.ca Aberdeen Village Shopping Centre 1395 Hillside Drive (former Swiss Chalet location)

14 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

Have a HEART to GIVE, for a HEART to LIVE!

ICCHA / WISH “ICCHA” means WISH in many languages of India. I landed in Vancouver in 1968 from the tropical islands of Fiji after our family lost everything in a devastating fire which engulfed my mom and dad’s entire life savings in their business. At the time, their best option was to send me overseas for further studies. I was fortunate to settle in BC, enabling me to complete my graduate studies at UBC. We pioneered in many businesses and built the Patel empire with our family after joined me from Fiji. However, life took an unfortunate turn again and we lost everything in the recession of the 1980s. Being the youngest in our family, I had to start all over again in Kamloops, with my wife Bina, three children Sarika, Atish and Amrita to buy Scott’s Inn & Restaurant. We risked everything and purchased the Scott’s INN & Restaurant while having no knowledge of the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, as time passed by, I lost my mom, dad, eldest brother, eldest sister, and other family members - all from heart disease. With the loss of so many family members in my 40’s, the loneliness set in. I asked myself, “Why me?” Why was I spared? This gave me the strength to establish the ICCHA / WISH Fund in 2007, when my friends, Anil Parekh, Dr. Basawana Gowd, Hasmukh Parekh and Bob Purohit joined me to give back to Kamloops. Our commitment to Royal Inland Hospital (RIH) was for $50,000 per year for three years to improve cardiac care. However, Interior Health had no such program for RIH. Realizing the urgency for much-needed equipment in other areas of the hospital, our “wish” to improve health care excellence was backed by our community. With their support and generosity, we raised over $1.6 million to date and $690,000 in 2019, to establish the “ICCHA / WISH Coronary Care Unit” at RIH. Here, only four cardiac patients can be cared for 24/7 with very specialized equipment. Since the start of the pandemic, our resilient community has come together again to raise $300,000 for a 3D-Echocardiogram machine in 2020. We pivoted our traditional gala and hosted innovative



events including the Drive-Thru Dinner for Two, Valentine’s 50/50 Draw, a Row-A-Thon, our Hero of the Heart campaign and Our Community Giving Back magazine where many our donors are recognized. The unique part about the ICCHA / WISH Fund is that it is run by volunteers. I am grateful for all of the people who have dedicated their time over the years to help make all of the ICCHA / WISH Fund events extremely successful. The new 3D Echocardiogram will enable our cardiologists to perform further diagnostics at the patient’s bedside but the patients with heart attacks will still have to be driven to Kelowna General Hospital for more accurate diagnosis and stenting, if required. This traumatic and fatal journey sometimes for over 1,000 patients yearly to KGH must stop. Our community needs the facilities here and with the support of our government, Interior Health, BC Interior Cardiac Services and our Foundation, the ICCHA / WISH Fund will establish a Catheterization Lab. The ICCHA / WISH Fund is committing to raise $1 million to establish a Catheterization Lab at RIHour ultimate dream to serve Kamloops, our surrounding regions including the northern Prince George areas. We need your support now more than ever to raise the necessary funds to improve healthcare for all. Please donate online at: iwishfund.com and to volunteer, email us at: iwishfund@gmail.com

Al Patel - Founder


Thank You Kamloops for trusting our vision! SUCCESSFUL FUNDRAISERS TO DATE:

• Hero of the Heart Campaign ($42,000) • Drive Thru Dinner at Colombo Lodge ($20,698) • Valentine’s 50/50 Draw ($28,340) • Sponsors & Donations ($196,857)

• Row for the Heart with Tara Sales ($8,955) • RIH Radiothon ($3,150) • Kamloops Accommodation Association $5/room donation • Annual Sold-out Galas at Colombo Lodge • Our Community Giving Back — Magazine


®RIH Foundation

Contact Al Patel 1-250-319-2074 | e: iwishfund@gmail.com | iwishfund.com

2021 2021


Venture Kamloops executive director Jim Anderson outside the downtown heritage building that houses the organization. Says Anderson: “There is no doubt the local economy will look different as a result of the effects of COVID-19, but throughout this time,Kamloops businesses have given us every reason to believe they can survive — even thrive.” Dave Eagles/KTW

The ongoing story of perseverance Jim Anderson

Venture Kamloops executive director

To say the past year has been remarkable falls well short of adequately describing the pandemic months and how they have affected our community. The year 2020 was unlike any other and it goes without saying that the global pandemic shaped the world, our country, our province and our city in ways we could never have predicted. This uncertainty was thrust upon the Kamloops business community in mid-March of 2020. The first, and perhaps most overwhelming, aspect of the effects of the pandemic on business was the onslaught of information that was disseminated by all levels of government, business organizations and service providers. This was particularly impactful during the early days of the pandemic. In response, Venture Kamloops staff undertook the daunting task of understanding, interpreting and relaying the ever-changing information as quickly and as accurately as possible to as many Kamloops businesses as possible. In addition, we distilled and posted this data to our electronic channels. Staff reached out directly to more than 400 businesses to ensure those owners were aware of the 16 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

programs and initiatives available to them. This outreach drove record numbers of new clients for the organization. During 2020, Venture Kamloops spoke with one of every nine businesses in the city. But the story of the pandemic months is not these numbers. The story is the perseverance of Kamloops entrepreneurs. Throughout the toughest of times, they were the driving force behind a local economy that refused to yield to previously unimagined pressures brought on by the pandemic. The city saw record numbers of new business licenses issued. In 2020, the total number of active licenses grew by more than 200. Hundreds of businesses adapted their models or pivoted to something entirely new. Of course, it wasn’t possible for every business to fend off the disastrous effects of the pandemic.  Businesses made the painful decision to close temporarily, or even permanently, throughout the year and it took a toll on the owners and staff.  We at Venture Kamloops felt the weight of these business and personal losses. It made us even more determined to do whatever we can to help businesses through the continuing health crisis.

As we breathlessly look back at 2020, it is important to remember the pandemic does not adhere to a calendar and the struggles of local business continue. It is tempting to refer to both last year and the pandemic in the past tense, but in most cases, Kamloops businesses are labouring under health guidelines that are more restrictive today than they were a year ago. It’s the success of local businesses in the face of such adversity that is cause for celebration and a reason for our continued efforts to ensure every business in Kamloops has the best possible chance at success though the pandemic and into the future. There is no doubt the local economy will look different as a result of the effects of COVID-19, but throughout this time, Kamloops businesses have given us every reason to believe they can survive — even thrive. Our programs are all free to Kamloops businesses and access to any data and information we have is available to anyone who would like it. We at Venture Kamloops are determined to spare no effort to make every Kamloops business successful and we hope for an end to the pandemic, but we rely on Kamloops business to emerge stronger.

Rockliffe at TRU

A Fresh Outlook, Emerging Stronger


ast year at this time, the 2020 Kamloops This Week Progress Report landed on thousands of doorsteps in Kamloops. The front-page headline boldly stated, “A New Decade of Success” but we would soon all be ushered into a completely different time, one filled with many challenges as COVID-19 made its way into our country and our communities. Looking back at 2020, Jason Fawcett, President of Kelson Group reflects on the changes and challenges and how the company he leads is poised for exciting growth ahead. “I would be remiss if I did not pause first to reflect on the ‘year that was’ and thank our incredible team of building and property managers, maintenance and cleaning teams, office support staff, and the many contractors who support our mission to provide housing to help our residents live better,” said Fawcett. “Our team was unbelievable at figuring out provincial health orders in two provinces where we operate – B.C. and Alberta – and, to use an overused word, ‘pivot’ to find the best strategies to do all we could to help flatten the curve and keep people safe. With 4,000 suites in our portfolio, there were many moving parts, and our team did what they do best and stepped up to help.” In 2020, Kelson Group was planning to move forward on several developments. When COVID-19 first emerged, the company took a brief pause but was able to keep moving forward on several projects in Kamloops. ROCKCLIFFE AT THOMPSON RIVERS UNIVERSITY “Our 40-suite development located in The Reach neighbourhood at TRU is a first for our company in that we are building a condo development and will

be selling the suites, not renting them. Rockcliffe will elevate your lifestyle, living in the heart of the TRU campus with unparalleled views, and within close proximity of every amenity.” Register at www.liveatrockcliffe.ca before April 10 for a VIP Sales launch. NEW APARTMENT: LIBERTY POINTE Also located on the TRU campus and a nextdoor neighbour of Rockcliffe at TRU is Liberty Pointe. “Liberty Pointe is a new 42-suite, five-storey apartment building currently under construction and we anticipate suites available for move-in this fall. Our first apartment building in The Reach neighbourhood at TRU, Legacy Square, was 100% rented within 3 months of opening and we have had great interest for Liberty Pointe too.” Register at www.libertypointe.ca for updates. CITY GARDENS IN DOWNTOWN KAMLOOPS In late September of 2020, Kelson Group announced the potential for a $140M development in the downtown core of Kamloops, City Gardens. “Our initial plan was to build 22-storey and 18-storey towers, with three apartment buildings and townhomes, providing a mix of well over 400 residential units. We started engaging the community for their feedback on the project and we were able to make a few changes to the original plans we will be submitting to the City of Kamloops this spring for approval to move forward.” “With the news (mid-March) that provincial health restrictions are starting to ease, we are anticipating we will see the light at the end of the tunnel soon, for which we are grateful. This should give us all hope for a fresh outlook to emerge stronger.”

Liberty Pointe at TRU

“...one thing always remains the same for our team and is the reason we do what we do: to provide apartments to help our residents live better! “ ~ Jason Fawcett, VP of Operations, Kelson Group

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2021 2021


Red Bridge Distillery owners Richard Bugera (left) and Dave Nikkel with their locally made spirits. Dave Eagles/KTW

Distilling an after-work patio idea Name of business: Red Bridge Distilling Name of owner(s): Richard Bugera and Dave Nikkel Contact: 11-1445 McGill Rd., redbridgedistilling@gmail. com, redbridgedistilling.ca Number of employees: 2 Q: When did you open your business and from where did the idea come? A: We opened officially on Dec. 10, 2020, just in time for Christmas. The idea to start a distillery was actually hatched over an after-work stop at Red Collar for a beverage on the patio almost two years ago. It has been a long process, but we are happy and excited to be open and bringing our craft spirits to the people of Kamloops and beyond. Q: What has been the cumulative effect of the pandemic on your business thus far? A: Since we opened during the pandemic, we would say that the largest impact was the delay in response from other businesses and levels of 18 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021


Checking in with businesses that opened just before or amid the pandemic government during the development of our business. Things seem to be moving a bit slower during the pandemic. This has had an added cost to our startup projections and budget, but the process was basically unaltered. Q: How have you pivoted in your business strategy during the pandemic to keep the doors open?

A: I would say we had to adjust our opening setup and first year’s projections due to the pandemic as most of our setup was being initiated while in the throes of the pandemic. Q: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently, hindsight being 20/20? A: Honestly, not really. We had to adjust, but other than that, we stayed the course. Q: How would you rate pandemic-related assistance from all three levels of government? A: Unfortunately, as a new business that is trying to open during a pandemic, we did not qualify for any assistance. Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for your business? A: We see 2021 and 2022 as an opportunity to grow our business and we are excited to be ready for the exit of the pandemic restrictions as 2021 progresses.

2021 2021


Tk’emlups te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir speaks on Oct. 29, 2020, at an event marking the completion of the First Nation’s $4.8-million reservoir project that will supply water to future developments on the reserve. Dave Eagles/KTW

Don’t forget lessons of the pandemic Rosanne Casimir

Tk’emlups te Secwépemc Kukpi7 (Chief)

On behalf of Tk’emlups chief and council, I would like to say Kukwstép-kucw to our members, our Secwépemc kwséltkten (relations) and residents of the City of Kamloops for all your sacrifices and personal efforts this past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a challenging and stressful time. It has been hard to socially isolate and be continuously diligent in washing hands and wearing masks when there did not appear to be an end in sight. We have all missed visiting with our friends and family and many have struggled with mental health. As leadership, we faced the additional challenges of planning on how to support and keep our communities safe in this ever-evolving pandemic. Governing in uncertain times has not always been easy. We must lift our hands up to the Tk’emlúps staff, especially our essential services staff, and all other essential service staff throughout Kamloops that have kept our communities safe and operating. We are grateful to you all. Chief and council were able to take this time to move forward a lot of key issues. The North Reservoir project completion was celebrated during 20 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

the pandemic. It has opened up 364 hectares (900 acres) of under-served and unserviced reserve lands with the opportunity for increased access to water and, therefore, economic development. Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) has seen significant progress in housing initiatives and other key economic development plans. Chief and council continue to advocate hard on behalf of our members for a multitude of issues, including COVID-19 funding and access to vaccines, which arrived in mid-March. Chief and council completed strategic planning and political strategy and are active politically with the Union of BC Indian Chiefs and BC Assembly of First Nations. We regularly communicate and collaborate with the City of Kamloops on multiple projects. TteS chief and council is proud of all that has been accomplished during these challenging times. In addition to all that we have been able to achieve professionally, we have appreciated the extra time with our families. We have qwetsetsúlecw-kt re tmicws-kucw (travelled out on the land) and have spent more time being active outside. Our elders have learned new technologies to stay in touch. People have

shown their appreciation for our health-care workers through signage and acts of kindness. Neighbours have come together to help celebrate birthdays by doing drive-bys. People have shown a little more patience with each other. In addition, health authorities, emergency operation centres and leadership have come together regardless of who we represent, to communicate and share information and best practices. The walls of division have crumbled, just a little. The need to work together for a shared common outcome has been reinforced. Looking forward, we can see light at the end of the tunnel and the promise of normalcy is growing stronger with the vaccine rollout. As we all patiently wait for our turn to be vaccinated, we encourage all to continue to show kindness and respect to each other. I hope, as our normal lives return, we do not lose the lessons of the pandemic, however big or small. We will work together collectively to rebuild our communities and our economic future. It is hoped that we will do that in a positive way, together, with the shared vision that COVID-19 has shown us is possible. Yecwestsútce — look after yourself.


Working together for Working together for Indigenous Economic Recovery Working together for Indigenous Economic Recovery Indigenous Economic Community Futures Development Corporation Covid 19 hasRecovery presented so many challenges of Central interior First Nations (CFDCofCIFN) Community Futures Development Corporation Community Futures Development Corporation promotes community economic development of Central interior FirstFirst Nations (CFDCofCIFN) of Central interior Nations (CFDCofCIFN) support services to Indigenous people within promotes community economic development promotes community economic development the Central Interior of British support services to Indigenous people within support services to Indigenous people within Columbia. Central Interior British the the Central Interior of of British Columbia. is one of Columbia. CFDCofCIFN 34 Community CFDCofCIFN is one CFDCofCIFN is Futures one of of within the province. 34 Community Futures 34 Community Futures We celebrated our within the province. within the province. celebrated 30th anniversary at our We We celebrated our anniversary the economic unity 30th 30th anniversary at at the economic unity conference we hosted the economic unity conference we hosted in Kamloops conference weFebruary hosted in Kamloops February of 2020 promoting and in Kamloops February of 2020 promoting and supporting Indigenous of 2020 promoting and supporting Indigenous business and partnerships. supporting Indigenous business and partnerships.

business partnerships. As we alland know we have had to As we all know we have had to work very hard to support and to adapt to the As we all very know we had work hard tohave support and adapt to the new normal of doing business andand helping worknew verynormal hard to and adapt tohelping the ofsupport doing business those with financial needs to stay operational. new those normal offinancial doing business andoperational. helping with needs to stay Training has also taken on to aonnew look and wewe has also taken a new look and thoseTraining with financial needs stay operational. have adapted in this area with online tools to to havehas adapted in thison area withlook online tools Training also taken a new and we provide the resources needed for for new and the resources needed new and haveprovide adapted in this area with online tools to existing entrepreneurs. existing provide the entrepreneurs. resources needed for new and existing entrepreneurs.

to existing business; we so were there to assist Covid 1919has Covid haspresented presented so many many challenges challenges with our Emergency Loan Program. to Toassist date to to existing existingbusiness; business;we wewere were there there to assist we have provided over 65 emergency loans with our date with ourEmergency EmergencyLoan Loan Program. Program. To date to clients totalling more than $3 million, wewe have loans haveprovided providedover over65 65 emergency emergency loans and we will continue clients totalling more than thanto million, totoclients totalling more $3 provide million, emergency relief and and we will will continue continue provide and we to business provide advisory services as webusiness play our emergency relief relief and and business emergency part in the provincial advisory services as we weeconomic play advisory services as play our our recovery plan. part in the provincial economic part in the provincial economic

recovery plan. recovery We haveplan. recognized the need Weadapt have recognized the need to to the challenges We have recognized the need to adapt to the challenges we have been faced with and to adapt to the challenges we have been faced with and have developed newwith training we have been faced and have developed new training modules, new partnerships, new have developed new training modules, new partnerships, lending policy financial new plan modules, newand partnerships, new lending policy and financial plan to lending move uspolicy forward to better serve andto financial plan to move us forward better serve our to clients moveand us communities. forward to better serve our clients and communities.

our clients and communities. CFDCofCIFN has developed strategies to CFDCofCIFN has developed strategies to assist and develop business for artisans, CFDCofCIFN has small developed strategies to assist and develop small business for artisans, tourism and agriculture by starting the assist and develop small business for artisans, tourism and agriculture by starting the Kweseltken(relatives) market partnership Kweseltken(relatives) market instarting partnership tourism and agriculture byin the with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc and Thompson with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc andpartnership Thompson Kweseltken(relatives) market in Okanagan tourism association. We rented the Okanagan tourism association.and WeThompson rented the with Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Kamloopa pow wow facility and provided Kamloopa pow wow facility and aa Okanagan tourism association. Weprovided rented the

George Casimir- General Manager of CFDC of CIFN, Keith Mathew - Chairperson of CFDC of CIFN, George Casimir- General Manager of CFDC of CIFN, George Manager of CFDC of CIFN, ShawnCasimirBonneauGeneral - Indigenous Tourism Specialist for Keith Mathew - Chairperson of CFDC of CIFN, Keith Mathew Chairperson of CFDC of CIFN, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association(TOTA) Shawn - Indigenous Tourism Specialist for for ShawnBonneau Bonneau - Indigenous Tourism Specialist Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association(TOTA) Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association(TOTA)

safe market for indigenous business to sell

safe market for indigenous business to sell their this “Cultural Livelihood” safe goods. market We for call indigenous business to sell their goods. We call thisthis “Cultural Livelihood” and proudly support area for our people. their goods. We call this “Cultural Livelihood” and proudly this area for our people. We alsosupport developing new loan and are proudly support thisaarea for ourportfolio people. We are also developing alivelihood new loanbusinesses. portfolio specifically for cultural We are also a newbusinesses. loan portfolio specifically fordeveloping cultural livelihood

specifically for cultural livelihood businesses. It is an honour for our board of directors,

It is an honour for our board of directors, staff and contractors to assist so many It is and an honour for our staff contractors to board assist of so directors, many businesses in need during trying times. staff and incontractors tothese assist many businesses need during these tryingso times. We will continue to develop new programs businesses in need during these trying times. We will continue to develop new programs and services continue supporting We will continue to develop new programs and services totocontinue supporting thethe entrepreneurial spirit of Indigenous people. entrepreneurial of Indigenous people. the and services spirit to continue supporting

entrepreneurial spirit of Indigenous people. Kukwsts’etsemc (thank you Kukwsts’etsemc (thank you all)all) George Casimir / GM George Casimir / GM Kukwsts’etsemc (thank you all)

Kamloopa pow wow facility and provided a WHATWE WE PROVIDE: PROVIDE: WHAT

George Casimir / GM









Peter Milobar

MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson

I am pleased to be contributing for the fourth time to KTW’s Progress magazine to provide the perspective as MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson. It has been a full year since a worldwide pandemic was declared. The pandemic continues to create uncertain times in Kamloops, the North Thompson Valley and across British Columbia. Recognizing this, it is with absolute confidence that, as we progress from 2020 into 2021, I believe we will emerge stronger and with greater conviction. As the Official Opposition critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and the Official Opposition House Leader, I am very proud of the work my colleagues and I continue to do in Victoria. The role the opposition plays is critical to shaping policy and holding the government accountable, especially as we emerge from the other side of this pandemic. Although the pandemic has taken the spotlight, there is light at the end of this long and onerous tunnel as we look ahead. As the excitement of vaccinations starts to

build across the province, we can look forward to emerging from our homes, reconnecting with loved ones and resuming the activities we love. Our businesses that have continued to strive and adapt will emerge and prosper, stronger than ever. Throughout the pandemic, there have been positives. We in Kamloops and the North Thompson, while apart, have stood together, supported each other, shopped local, supported local agencies, stayed home, lent a helping hand, donated, cared for and emerged stronger, together. We have a lot to be proud of here in Kamloops and the North Thompson and I am very proud to represent the amazing people of this community, alongside my fellow MLA Todd Stone, to advocate for the issues that matter to you. While government policy is important, making sure the needs of our constituents are met is my greatest concern. We are always happy to hear from our constituents and are happy to help in any way we can. The Kamloops-North Thompson constituency office can be reached at 250-554-5413.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Peter Milobar is also the BC Liberal critic for Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation and the party’s House Leader. Dave Eagles/KTW

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Kamloops RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky thinks some of the new protocols necessitated by COVID-19 will stick around. Dave Eagles/KTW

RCMP had to ‘build the ship as it flew’ COVID-19 had noticeable impact on crime in community


he COVID-19 pandemic changed the landscape of policing in Kamloops and RCMP Supt. Syd Lecky thinks some of those new protocols will likely stick around. Doing more things via video conference or from home could become more prevalent in police work, and become cost savers in the future, he said. However, Lecky said, some procedures, such as training and briefings, will always be face-toface. Early on in the pandemic, the RCMP, as with all organizations, had to adapt to a new reality. “We were building the ship as it flew and we had quite a few unknowns and the uncertainty was the worst part of it all,” Lecky said of adapting to COVID-19 protocols. He said it was a matter of learning how to do business, such as wearing

masks, reducing room capacities, having some civilian members working from home and scrapping in-person briefings. “We realized at some point that the risk of not having briefings was worse than the risk of having them, so we had to put protocols in place,” Lecky said, noting the detachment now has half of attendees call in via teleconference. With cases much higher now than they were a year ago in Kamloops, there has still been minimal impact from COVID-19 at the detachment. But with some instances in which members of the 200-person staff have been potentially exposed on the job, the requirement to self-isolate has put a strain on operations. For Lecky, an outbreak of COVID19 amongst staff is a major concern, which is why he wants to see frontline police officers prioritized

24 24 || Kamloops Kamloops This This Week Week PROGRESS PROGRESS 2021 2021

for the COVID-19 vaccine. As with other high-risk groups like paramedics, police are dealing with people on a daily basis who could potentially expose them to the virus. While the Kamloops RCMP didn’t see a major impact in the office from COVID-19, there was a noticeable impact on policing in the community. Property crimes spiked in the first few months of the pandemic as businesses were left vacant and fewer eyes and ears were on the streets as more people were working from home, Lecky told KTW. On the flip side of that, residential break-ins and thefts from vehicles were down. Due to COVID-19 protocols, fewer prisoners were being held in jails, others were released early and first appearances were scrapped, which kept prolific offenders on the streets.

Looking ahead to the rest of 2021 and 2022, Lecky said he wants to revisit an educational program celebrating diversity and inclusion that took a back seat when COVID19 hit. “It’s something we’re trying to promote even within the organization. It is important to be reflective of the community we work in and that’s something I’d like to see,” Lecky said. Looking back on lessons from the past year, Lecky said he has learned everyone needs to be flexible. “We had to adapt and [I have] gratitude to many of our staff who showed that flexibility and were willing to adjust on the fly, work extra shifts when needed,” Lecky said, noting staff, especially frontline officers, made many sacrifices and adjustments to continue providing a safe policing response in Kamloops.

GIVE TODAY, GROW TOMORROW. “Your regional community foundation allows people to Give Where They Live,” says Rob Lemire, President of the BC Interior Community Foundation (BCICF). The BCICF was created in 1984 and serves the Thompson – Nicola and South Cariboo region. Unlike other charities, who collect donations for a particular cause or single purpose campaign, Community Foundations create and invest endowments, then disburse the annual earned interest to local charities. The BCICF makes tremendous impact upon the lives of our friends and neighbours. Here’s what some of our grant recipients have shared: “Dear BCICF Team, we would like to thank you for the grant for our food pantry. This initiative brings nutritious food and hope to vulnerable moms in our community” [Pregnancy Care Centre]

“You guys are life savers! Amazing organization, thank you so much! When I was sick with Stage 4 Melanoma Cancer, you provided me with flights from my hometown(Kamloops) to Edmonton that saved my life.” [Client of Hope Air] “Today we’re thanking the BC Interior Community Foundation for their donation. It’s because of their support that we’re able to improve the lives of children and families.” [Easter Seals Camp]. With over 70 scholarships and bursaries, two Community Project Grant cycles annually and nearly 220 endowed funds, we are able to make real impacts. All of this is thanks to the vision and generosity of our donors and fundholders. Please consider supporting our work. “Give Where You Live” Please visit www.bcicf.ca or call us at 250-434-6995.

Communities serviced, Ashcroft, Barriere, Cache Creek, Kamloops, Merritt, 70 Mile House, Clearwater, Chase, Logan Lake, Lytton, Lillooet.



Globally, Community Foundations have provided $5.7 billion annually in grants to make local communities more sustainable, livable and accessible (including educational scholarships)

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Lost revenues and increased expenses, a cancelled arts centre referendum, street issues, increased stress and more staff working from home were among impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the City of Kamloops. However, the city’s CAO, David Trawin, is looking forward, with federal funds to fill budget gaps, the potential for an arts centre ballot question in the next municipal election, work toward remedying street issues and potential efficiencies to be found from staff working from home. Trawin cited lessons learned, some of which may help to improve city operations going forward. “I would say, overall, we’ve come through it fairly well,” Trawin said. At the beginning of the pandemic, the city faced budget shortfalls resulting from lost recreation, transit and other revenues. It also feared residents’ ability to pay property taxes and utility

back,” Trawin said. “It’ll help us get bills, though that fear did not come to through this year, too, with some of the fruition. costs we’ve incurred this year.” In addition, the city faced Trawin said the pandemic increased expenses, including has meant increased stress for on personal protective staff. Trawin noted residents equipment, staffing and jumping up on city snow plows equipment rental for a new out of frustration over snow physically distanced meeting clearing and said that is not space in Sandman Centre, something the city would which it has shared with the DAVID typically see. He attributed it to Thompson-Nicola Regional TRAWIN pandemic-related stress in the District. community. Trawin said cost savings In addition, the city’s realized as a result of shutting community services (bylaws) officers down recreational facilities were not have dealt with more street issues this enough to make up for lost revenues. year, an existing problem made worse He said one positive has been transit with fewer eyes and ears on the streets and COVID-19 restart funding from during the pandemic, as well as other the federal government, which helped factors, including a housing crisis, a the city fill holes in its budget and offer move away from incarceration toward residents in need of financial aid the treatment and a lack of treatment lowest tax increase in more than a decade in 2021 — less than one per cent options for those who need addiction and mental-health supports. Council is increase. working with the province on solutions. “That was huge for us to getting

Capital projects, such as the Canada Games Aquatic Centre upgrades, were largely able to move forward during the pandemic. One big project came to a halt. At the onset of the pandemic, residents were about to vote in an April 4 referendum on whether to borrow funds for a Kamloops Centre for the Arts. It was among the many events cancelled during the pandemic. As for whether that question will again go to voters, Trawin said city council did not remove the arts centre from its strategic plan when it updated it halfway through the council term. He said community groups have suggested the question could be put on the municipal election ballot in October 2022. That decision is council’s to make. “Council hasn’t cancelled it. Their issue was it was postponed because of COVID and the referendum,” Trawin said. “They’ve decided to put a hold on it until COVID is gone and dealt with.”

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Arthritis Aneurysm Bladder issues Cancer Colitis - Crohns C.O.P.D. Diabetic Fibromyalgia Hearing IBS Pain - back, hands, hips • Speech issues • Vision issues • And more • • • • • • • • • • •

The experience may be modified, but the emotion is still the same.

Proudly representing the Thompson region in Victoria to ensure a prosperous future for our community.

Peter Milobar, MLA

Todd Stone, MLA

Kamloops – North Thompson

Kamloops – South Thompson 446 Victoria St., Kamloops, BC Phone: 250.374.2880 Toll Free: 1.888.474.2880 todd.stone.mla@leg.bc.ca

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The year 2020 has been all about overcoming adversity and rising to the challenge. Bobby and Tianna Bentrott know all about it – it’s how their business, Deadly Awesome Detailing, came to life. Bobby had unfortunately lost his job in 2017, and after applying for multiple jobs but getting nowhere, he was feeling defeated. To keep himself occupied, Bobby started detailing vehicles for his friends and family. “That’s when a light bulb went off and I encouraged Bobby to start up a detailing business,” says Tianna. “I asked Bobby what he would call our business and within five minutes he said: ‘Deadly Awesome Detailing’ because the acronym is DAD. The only thing Bobby loves more than cars is being a dad. “Bobby wanted to create something special that he could pass on to our son.” Deadly Awesome Detailing offers a wide range of automotive detailing services including interior vacuuming, shampooing, steam cleaning, conditioning, ozone de-


odorizing, exterior shampooing, degreasing, and power washing, specializing in interior detailing for vehicles big and small. “We can remove accidental spills, unwanted smells, mold, excess pet hair, rodent droppings, and of course average wear and tear from the daily use of your vehicle,” says Bobby. Detailing isn’t just about cleaning up a big mess, either – it can make all the difference when it comes time to selling your vehicle, or it can even help you get another year of enjoyable life out of a bought-and-paid-for vehicle when you’re feeling that ache for a new ride – for the cost of a single payment on a new car. “We help maintain the value of your vehicle,” says Tianna. Tianna and Bobby pride themselves on outstanding customer service, offering a full walkthrough of the work. “If the customer finds an area that still requires some attention, then we rectify it before we leave!,” says Bobby. But what sets them apart is the fact that their business is 100 per

cent mobile. “We conveniently bring the detail shop to your doorstep,” says Tianna. Bobby and Tianna also enjoy supporting local charities. In the beginning of 2020, they hosted a charity car wash called “Wash for a Cause,” with all proceeds donated to the RIH Foundation for the cancer ward. “Cancer hits home with us, as we both have family members battling the terrible disease,” says Tianna. “We look forward to hosting more charity car washes in the future.” Over the last two years Bobby and Tianna have worked hard on growing their business, forged in adversity. “2020 was a rough year for all of us, but we took the opportunity to reflect on our business, adjust our services, and put safety precautions in place,” says Bobby. Tianna and Bobby can’t wait to help your four-wheeled baby shine! Give them a call today at 250-572-6238 or visit their website at deadlyawesomedetailing.com.



Todd Stone

MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson

I remember the first few times I heard the words “novel coronavirus.” At first, COVID-19 seemed like a strange and faraway concern, but it didn’t take long for it to infiltrate nearly every single aspect of our lives here in Kamloops. Restrictions on social gatherings and many activities have been so hard on everyone. We have seen the odd instance when fear and frustration have gotten the better of people. But throughout the pandemic, and especially here in our generous community in Kamloops, we have mainly seen the best in people. Seniors and those with compromised immune systems have had neighbours fetch groceries and deliver them to their doorstep. Children, and their parents, aching for something fun to do have had community members offer virtual book readings and other fun activities.

People have been looking out for each without needless stress and anxiety. A big focus for me as the BC Liberal other and coming up with new ways critic for Jobs, Economic to stay connected and protect Recovery and Innovation is to our physical and mental health keep pressure on the Horgan during this trying time. government so businesses One year into this pandemic, survive this pandemic. we may be feeling “over it,” but So far, the supports that we know there is still a ways have been offered have been to go. There is hope on the inadequate. It was about 10 horizon, as B.C.’s COVID-19 TODD months ago that all three vaccination program rolls out. STONE political parties unanimously Our Official Opposition approved funding that included continues to monitor this help for businesses. process and raise important The minister responsible designed a questions for the government to address. program about six months ago that was Will Premier John Horgan honour complicated and frustrating for business his commitment to seniors that they owners and many of them gave up even won’t have to leave their communities to applying. get the vaccine? Will people in smaller To this day, the government has only communities like Chase, Savona and managed to get about $50 million out of Westwold have the same convenient the $300 million in grant money into the access to clinics we see for people in hands of businesses. Kamloops? That’s not much to show for, a year We want to ensure everyone who after pledging to help them. wants a shot will be able to get one

By contrast, our community of Kamloops has done a tremendous job of boosting the local businesses we love. I encourage you to keep ordering takeout from your favourite restaurants, purchasing goods from our local stores that remain open or have pivoted to online shops or buying gift cards for later use for services currently on pause due to the pandemic. The actions you are taking are appreciated and are helping to keep businesses afloat during this difficult time. Moving forward, our collective focus needs to be on each other. We must continue to do our best to keep ourselves and fellow Kamloopsians safe and healthy. Please continue to observe public health orders and check in on loved ones who may be struggling. Finally, don’t hesitate to contact my office with any issues of concern. We are happy to help.

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The pandemic has had a significant impact in schools that has permeated “pretty well everything we do,” according to School District 73 interim superintendent Terry Sullivan. Kindergarten to Grade 12 classes ceased in-person instruction in March 2020 and a return-to-school plan was announced in May, with a partial return in June for a final month of instruction. With the return of students to class in September, Sullivan said he was “pleasantly surprised” that 95 per cent of students came back to in-school instruction. But that return didn’t come without some interruptions. As COVID-19 cases rose in the community, school exposures increased. In the first 69 days in session prior to Christmas, SD73 saw just five cases. But in the 29 days in session after Christmas, there were 42

cases, with school exposures causing constant interruptions and resulting in temporary drops in attendance at affected schools. Sullivan led the district for 15 years before retiring in 2014, only to return as interim superintendent in September 2020. The latest virus making the rounds has added to his experience. “In my time as superintendent, I’ve been through H1N1, I’ve been through SARS and now I’ve been through COVID. And each progressive virus has had a worse impact than the one before it,” he said. Sullivan said the district has done plenty of work adhering to health guidelines intended to keep schools safe, which include daily health checks, a cohort system and rigorous daily cleaning. He said some of the changes made will likely stick around, noting the possible effects they have had with

regard to keeping other illness, such as the flu, down. There is also an expectation that some students will continue with distance learning, augmenting attendance at brick-and-mortar schools with more choices when it comes to electives. For the remainder of this year, Sullivan isn’t sure where we’re headed just yet. Graduation remains a question mark, but Sullivan said he knows how important it is to students and families. The district is preparing for two scenarios, one in which graduation would look similar to how it did last year — without any large gatherings, but possible with immediate family in small ceremonies — and another, which might be closer to normal. He said it will depend on the province’s vaccination progress by June.

Kamloops-Thompson school district interim superintendent Terry Sullivan.

SUNNY SHORES DENTAL IS HERE FOR YOU Our dentists have a great deal of experience between them, and all of our team is constantly striving to better itself. The field of dentistry is constantly evolving, and our staff wants to ensure that we always have the most current and relevant practices available. Meanwhile, our dentists keep pushing themselves to learn more and gain more certifications, so that our services are always executed at the high standard that we have set Dr. Vitoratos

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1-1222 Tranquile Rd | Kamloops 250-554-2032 | www.SunnyShoresDental.com NEW PATIENTS WELCOME 30 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

Mr. Turbo - Mascot

Family owned, family run for 42 years

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Homemade European sausage and imported deli goods.

Thank you for your continued support. Fortune Shopping Centre, Kamloops, B.C. 250.376.0832 ~ garysdeli@shaw.ca




Come to explore. Stay for the experience

Located in the Heart of Downtown Kamloops, both Brown’s Repair and Ray’s Lock and Key have been an integral part of Kamloops culture. Brown’s Repair has been serving Kamloops and area for over 98 Years and Ray’s Lock and Key Mobile service for over 38 Years. Together, they are 2 great companies with one great service. Now offering you full shop and mobile service together. Brown’s Repair Shop Ltd is also a Member of the Better Business Bureau, The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association. Brown’s and Ray’s have always been locally owned businesses with friendly professional staff. The staff is diverse, with each member bringing a unique skill set that creates a unique and amazing team. Owner Ray Dhaliwal says, “From residential to commercial to institutional as well as mailbox, boat and ATV locks and keys, we have you covered.”

Brown’s has a large selection of automotive key fobs and keys, including Honda, Toyota, Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Nissan, Kia, Hyundai. They have an automotive tech on site and can rebuild Honda ignitions as well as program the keys for most vehicles. Ray Dhaliwal is a Community Leader , President of the Kamloops Multicultural Society for the past 8 years which hosts the Canada Day celebrations in Kamloops each year, a past City Councillor and a member of the North Shore Rotary Club. Over the past few years Ray’s and Brown’s staff have participated in the Kamloops Rotary Food Drives. Ray was also past Board Member of the Seniors Centre in Brocklehurst. Ray and the Staff of Ray’s Lock and Key and Brown’s Locksmith welcome you to visit the shop or give us a call. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm. We are also available on evenings, weekends and holidays for emergency service.


220 Lansdowne Street Shop 250-372-3656 • Direct 250-320-5625


Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021 | 31

2021 2021


Taking the pandemic in Stride Name of business: Stride Spin Studio Name of owner(s): Kristi Fay Contact: 369 St. Paul St., kristifay@stridespinstudio. com, stridespinstudio.com Number of employees: 10 Q: When did you open your business and from where did the idea come? A: My business was scheduled to open on March 28, 2020. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, our original opening date had to be postponed and we officially opened to the public on May 30, 2020. My idea for Stride stemmed from the passion I had for fitness and the community it brought. I wanted to bring a new fitness experience to Kamloops, where everyone could feel comfortable and confident in their own skin. Our space is designed for people to discover their own connection between movement and music, where each rider can feel motivated to push outside of their comfort zones and feel good in the process.

Q: What has been the cumulative effect of the pandemic on your business thus far? A: Navigating and living through the pandemic has been challenging, as it has been for everyone. However, opening and starting a business during this time has brought a whole new meaning to the word “challenge.” When we were in the process of getting ready to open our doors, never did I think we would be in a situation of facing a global pandemic. We persevered and decided to keep working toward our original opening plan. We soon realized this was not going to be a realistic approach for us and our opening date was no longer an option. I had two months to come up with a completely new business plan, with a new strategy and new vision. My top priority was putting together our own personalized COVID-19 safety protocols. I knew I needed to instil confidence in our community that our space was going to be safe for them. When we were given the green light, our capacity was at 50 per cent, our scheduled class times were more sporadic and our COVID protocols were strongly in force, but there was always this fear in the back of my mind, the “what if.” What if people didn’t feel safe leaving their homes and getting back into their fitness yet? What if people hadn’t heard of us? To my delight, our community showed up and we operated for five months. I was blown away by the support we received and how busy we had quickly become. Sadly, in November, under the provincial health orders, we were ordered to close. To this day, I still think of those “what-ifs,” but I also look back at the community we have built and the support we received and I choose to be optimistic we will be opening again soon.

Q: How have you pivoted in your business

76 || Kamloops Kamloops This This Week Week PROGRESS PROGRESS 2021 2021 32


Checking in with businesses that opened just before or amid the pandemic

strategy during the pandemic to keep the doors open? A: We’ve done everything imaginable to keep our doors open. We continued to follow and enforce our safety protocols and we continued to enhance and improve them as we learnt more about the virus. We reduced our capacity to 50 per cent to comply with social distancing. We enhanced our cleaning procedures and upgraded all cleaning supplies to hospital-grade disinfectants. We equipped the studio with new sanitization stations. We enforced masks to be worn in and out of studio, with the exception of when riders were on their bikes. Unfortunately, given the nature of our business, we were always at the mercy of government and the orders they would have in place for our type of exercise. While we understand, and the health and safety of our community is our top priority, it has still been a struggle as a new business owner, having been closed longer than been in operation. Our team is ready for that second green light. Q: Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently, hindsight being 20/20? A: Looking back exactly one year, I am proud of how our team was able to approach and adapt to opening amidst a pandemic. I really wouldn’t have done anything different from an operational standpoint. I have always felt very confident in our protocols, our team and our members for how we continued to follow provincial health orders and were able to exercise in a safe and respectable way. Looking at this question,

had someone told me that when I was in the middle of planning my new business, we would be faced with a pandemic, I would have held off in pursuing my business plan. I wouldn’t have given up on my passion or lost sight in my vision; however, I would have been patient and waited for this to pass. The year 2020 was incredibly hard on me and, while I appreciate how much I have learned and grown as an individual, from a business perspective, having been closed more days than open, it hasn’t been worth it financially. Q: How would you rate pandemic-related assistance from all three levels of government? A: If I am being honest, this is a tough one for me to answer. While I have the utmost respect and understanding of the provincial health orders, my business has been severely impacted. I think what most don’t realize is, being a new business, we were unable to qualify for any form of government subsidy. Therefore, between the closure and lack of government aid, we have been forced to find creative ways to stay afloat. There seemed to be no resources or support lines for businesses like mine and I couldn’t help but feel completely deserted. Thankfully, our team came together and we were able to develop an online streaming platform where people can ride with us at home or at their gym. It has certainly been a catch-22 situation for us. While it has been challenging dealing with the closure, it has also forced us to adapt and be creative in finding new ways we can be broadening and expanding our business. As a new business owner, it was great to see a lot of our local businesses navigating to stay open and qualifying for government funding; however, it was also very difficult not having that same support. Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for your business? A: While of course there is still uncertainty, I am very hopeful for 2021 and I am optimistic we will be able to open our doors again soon. Although I am certain our opening will present us with new challenges, I am excited for the opportunity in finding new ways to learn and grow. I see 2021 as a year of progress and gradual change. I see our community slowly and safely coming back together and inviting their fitness routines back into their schedules. While I certainly don’t want to get ahead of myself, I see 2022 as the year my original vision will be brought to light. I see our space operating in full capacity, our community being together and supporting each other and being able to utilize our space as a way to raise money and give back to our community. I see our online platform building and growing as we all Stride together through this newly adaptive digital world. Most importantly, I see comfort.

Giving is not just about making donations, it’s about making a difference. We are proud to support dozens of charities in the Kamloops region, including the Kamloops Food Bank, Salvation Army, the Fathers Day/Walk for Prostate Cancer, Run for the Cure & proud supporter of local schools breakfast program.



Helping Canadians eat better, feel better, do better 750 Fortune Drive, Kamloops, BC PROUDLY CANADIAN





Airport hopes to be flying high again With provincial public health orders and federal travel restrictions in place to combat the novel coronavirus, Kamloops Airport saw a significant drop in passenger traffic last year, causing spinoff effects. Pre-pandemic travel activity is not expected to return for some time, although cargo traffic and charter flights continue to soar into the skies of Kamloops. Airport managing director Ed Ratuski said passenger numbers in 2020 were down 68 per cent compared to 2019. In 2021, passenger numbers are expected to remain down, due to COVID-19 variants of concern and continued travel restrictions in place. Ratuski said he is optimistic recovery will still happen, with pent-up demand for travel to visit family not seen during the pandemic, but it might take longer than initially expected. Ratuski said the industry is not expecting to get back to pre-COVID-19 passenger levels until late 2023 or 2024, due to the amount of time it will take to onboard thousands of airline staff and rebuild markets to destinations previously served.

Kamloops Airport managing director Ed Ratuski. One unknown remains business travel. More firms have shifted operations online out of necessity during the pandemic, meaning it is unknown how many people will be required to hop onboard a plane for work in the future. Because Kamloops Airport relies on revenue from passenger and commercial-based traffic,

spinoff effects have been felt at the airport, including on its business partners, such as car rentals, parking facilities and food and beverage operations. Half of the airport staff were laid off due to the pandemic and part of the challenge for staff who remained has been maintaining essential service with half of the revenue. “That’s a challenge,” Ratuski said. However, international travel markets are expected to take longer to recover, hurting ski hills like Sun Peaks, which typically welcomes international visitors on its slopes. Ratuski said the airport is working closely with Tourism Kamloops and Tourism Sun Peaks and has been active in the YKA Strong campaign. Kamloops Airport through Vantage Group is also working with Harvard University’s School of Public Health, partnering with it to help make the public feel confident about travel using sciencebased best practises. Ratuski anticipates increased collaboration in the future. “It’s going to take a real group effort to pull together,” he said.

The silver lining in the sky


www.AandT.ca | 250-851-9292 34 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

It’s a bird, it’s a plane — it’s online shopping purchases and staff headed to work camps. While passenger numbers remain down at Kamloops Airport, planes can still be spotted flying overhead. Kamloops Airport managing director Ed Ratuski said planes seen soaring over city skies are air cargo and chartered flights for employees heading to remote locations for work. Ratuski said plenty of online shopping purchases arrive by air and between six and eight cargo flights land at the airport daily, five days per week. While cargo flights have not increased in frequency, they have more product, he said. “Some of our airports out east — in Hamilton, for example — are hugely busy right now with cargo activity because they’re the entry point to Canada for a lot of the PPE (personal protective equipment) that was coming into the country,” Ratuski said. “Here, the cargo’s been busier.” Chartered flights are also continuing. Ratuski said resource-related companies have chartered planes for workers to get to work camps. He said without convenient or frequent commercial flights normally utilized in such scenarios, such as Air Canada and WestJet, mining companies and other resource industry-based companies are chartering their own aircraft. One example would be workers at BC Hydro’s Site C dam in northeast British Columbia. “They still have to get them there,” Ratuski said. “Those are the essential passengers we’re talking about, people who are actually getting to work. There’s several charter flights here every day, probably more than we would have normally seen.” Ratuski said the airport has also seen flight training and is ramping up for wildfire season.

Piloting safety at YKA, from takeoff to landing It will come as no surprise that Kamloops Airport - and the community it serves - faced a very challenging set of circumstances in 2020, due to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Early performance and forecasts indicated that Kamloops Airport was once again on pace to achieve record passenger traffic, with promising prospects for new air service and non-aeronautical growth opportunities. Coming off a record year for passenger traffic, with 361,586 guests welcomed in 2019, the reality of a global health crisis had other plans for all of us. Safety has always been the airport’s license to operate. Faced with the realities of the pandemic, Kamloops Airport immediately implemented robust safety protocols, which included enhanced cleaning and sanitization, mandatory face mask and passenger access-only policies, and a sustained information campaign to communicate these critical measures. The local airport team also tapped into the global knowledge and best practices of its parent company, Vantage Airport Group, which provided resources and support through its Airport Reactivation Task Force. More recently, Vantage and its network airports participated in a Harvard-led study which studied the risk of transmission of COVID-19 during the air travel journey, finding that with layered protective measures like face masks and physical distancing in place, the risk of potential transmission is very low both onboard aircraft and in an airport. These findings validate Kamloops Airport’s COVID-19 response measures and provide assurance that when passengers are ready to travel again, the airport is ready to welcome them safely.

Although the airport’s airline partners including Air Canada, WestJet, Swoop and Central Mountain Air had to make difficult route and frequency decisions due to the dramatic global decline in air travel, Kamloops Airport remains in close communication with each carrier and is poised to support recovery of the region’s tourism sector, as community vaccination accelerates, travel restrictions lift and consumer demand for air travel returns. A bright spot for air connectivity came in early February 2021, when Pacific Coastal Airlines returned to Kamloops Airport with six weekly flights connecting Kamloops to Vancouver. This was followed by additional Vancouver service offered by Central Mountain Air in early March. In May, the Kamloops community and Canadians across the country were devastated by the tragic Canadian Forces Snowbird crash near the airport, which claimed the life of Capt. Jennifer Casey and injured Capt. Richard McDougall. The airport’s emergency aircraft fire rescue team attended the scene to support Kamloops Fire and Rescue, provided support to the investigation and welcome the City’s initiative to pursue a permanent memorial to Capt. Casey at the airport. Despite this difficult year, Kamloops Airport remains committed to its role as regional connector, job creator and community contributor. While some planned infrastructure upgrades to the terminal building have been temporarily deferred, the airport team successfully deployed an improved, touchless parking payment system in 2020. Discussions with the City of Kamloops and local businesses on adjacent land development opportunities also advanced in 2020, a positive sign of long-term recovery and clearer skies ahead.

You can find Kamloops Airport online at kamloopsairport.com



Q: Looking back one year, is there anything you would have done differently, hindsight being 20/20? A: When March 18, 2020, rolled around (provincial state of emergency declaration), I was pretty upset and fell into an outright depression. I thought there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to launch Crooked Crown. In a lot of ways, I held back. I didn’t order enough products because I was scared we wouldn’t sell any of it and I would be stuck with it all. In our first weekend of launching online, we sold out of a ton of different products. When B.C. started to see more COVID-19 cases in the fall, I held back on ordering again, thinking we would slow down. I think if I could go back a year, I wouldn’t have doubted myself or our community as much and just went for it.

Name of business: Crooked Crown Name of owner(s): Emily Sedgwick Contact: 404 Victoria St., 250-214-7000, info@ crookedcrown.ca, crookedcrown.ca Number of employees: 2F/T, 4P/T Q: When did you open your business and from where did the idea come? A: We were set to open our doors on April 16, 2020, but we all know how that went. We decided to launch our business online for that day instead, then opened our space on June 2, 2020. Growing up, my mom and I always dreamt of having our own retail gift shop. As we travelled, we were always finding things that we wished we could shop locally for. As I grew up and got married, I started to travel more and more with my husband. I was always finding the cutest little boutique stores and dreaming of one day opening a store of my own. After many career changes, I knew I loved retail and wanted to make it a long-term career. Gratefully, when the opportunity to move into the space at 404 Victoria came up, I already had a business plan and was ready to pull the trigger. Q: What has been the cumulative effect of the pandemic on your business thus far? A: The biggest negative effect the pandemic has had on our business is delaying our opening by almost two months. It’s been a conscious effort for me to focus on a lot of the positive things that have happened. Some days have been harder than others. We have been super fortunate that the people of Kamloops have banded together to support local. The #YKASTRONG campaign is a fantastic example of this. I’m not sure what my business would look like without a pandemic, so it’s hard to say the effects it has had on us. I’m extremely grateful for the people who’ve chosen to support us in spite of being in a global pandemic. I’ve had some pretty amazing people cheering Crooked Crown on and supporting us in any possible way they can. Q: How have you pivoted in your business strategy during the pandemic to keep the doors open? A: I think the biggest thing we did was right from the beginning — launching our business online and then building our business slowly for when we could finally open our doors. We introduced curbside pickup and local delivery and still offer these services to our guests today. We relied heavily on our social media and 36 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

Crooked Crown owner Emily Sedgwick in her store, downtown at 404 Victoria St. Dave Eagles/KTW


Checking in with businesses that opened just before or amid the pandemic ensured to keep our website up to date so our inventory that is available online is the same as what you would find in store, minus a few one-of-a-kind brands. In our original business plan, we were not set to launch our website until we had been open for four months, so we just accelerated out our timeline.

Q: How would you rate pandemicrelated assistance from all three levels of government? A: As a new business, we did not qualify for any pandemic-related financial assistance. It was tough for us because we had incorporated our business and signed our lease in February of 2020. All the financial assistance programs I was able to find had a qualifier of being able to show the effect the pandemic had on our business versus the previous year. That being said, I have an extremely understanding landlord who believes in small businesses like mine and worked with me to ensure I could make it through. I also was able to participate in some government-funded programs to help assess our digital resiliency, which was a great opportunity to work with our local chamber of commerce. Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for your business? A; Slow and steady. As of June 2021, we will be open for one year, so I’m looking forward to being able to compare year over year the changes in our business. Right now, we’re still seeing a lot of first-time visitors to the store, so we want to make sure we’re creating a experience for them so they want to continue to come visit us. In 2020, we sponsored Brennan’s Ugly Sweater Run and we most definitely want to grow our relationship with them and continue to support the run. Earlier this year, we announced a scholarship for a graduate in the First Steps program and will also continue to support the program, and grow our relationship with our local Boys and Girls Club.


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elcome to this edition of the Sports Legacy Fund Annual Report. It is published in conjunction with the Fund’s 2021 allocation of grants and marks the milestone of $4 million in funding invested in the sport community since its inception. The original $7.5 million fund resulted from the sale of the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club franchise in 2007 and a contribution with the dissolution of the Blazers Foundation in 2008. The Society has operated independently from the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club since the sale but has dedicated the Sports Legacy Fund to the history of the community support for the franchise since its inaugural season in 1984. The first grants were disbursed in 2009. With the completion of the fiscal year, the Fund distributions to the Kamloops and region sport community will reach an accumulated total of $4.1 million, while retaining the original capital. During this interval, 118 organizations have received grants. These are challenging years for the local sport community faced with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The Fund is positioned to help the organizations weather the storm. The Annual Report represents the evaluation and confirmation that the grants have been appropriately directed, contributing to the sustainability of the recipient organizations, or meeting the expectations outlined in the application process. It recognizes that the Sports Legacy Fund is a community resource, and the reporting commits to the transparency of the allocation process. The Fund is overseen by a nine-member dedicated Board of Directors. Grant applications are accepted from October 1st to November 30th of each year and reviewed to evaluate the eligibility of the requests, following which an allocation process is used to determine the direction of funding for the following year. Follow up Community Impact Reports are submitted by the recipients in the December following the receipt of the funds. The process and an oversight of the Sports Legacy Fund governance structure may be reviewed by accessing the website at www.kamloopsblazerssportssociety. com. Inquiries are welcomed throughout the year. The 2021 allocation of $334,296 is directed to 29 sport organizations. A number of the grants are leveraged or are matched, providing for the completion of capital projects, equipment and uniform purchases or coaching support. 2021 GRANT RECIPIENT HIGHLIGHTS The Sports Legacy Fund is unique to Kamloops and the region and is envisioned to operate to perpetuity by way of a diverse managed investment portfolio. The 2021 grants include funding

for the Kamloops KidSport Chapter of $30,000 and PacificSport Interior BC for $80,000, which have been multi-year commitments as Board initiatives and are not part of the application process. Support for TRU athletic scholarships was maintained at $25,000, $15,000 of which will be matched by the university, resulting in a total contribution of $40,000.

by grants of $5,000 each to Adaptive Sports at Sun Peaks, Kamloops Minor Hockey Association and Kamloops Youth Soccer Association. The local sport community will also benefit by the $13,445 funding of the Kamloops Sports Council for computer software designed to provide multiple organizations activity registration and volunteer management.

This year, 25 organizations were selected from the applicants to receive grants totaling $198,096. This ranges from $500 for the Kamloops Sunrays Synchronized Swim Club to $40,000 funding for the Kamloops Gymnastics Trampoline Centre to contribute to an airbag pit, which will replace the current foam pit and complies with the pandemic restrictions. The Capital Project Reserve Fund was not accessed for the 2021 grants.

Representative of the equipment grants is funding of $8,000 to the First Nations Snowboard Team Sun Peaks for snowboard gear, $13,000 for the Kamloops Canoe and Kayak Club to purchase canoes instrumental for their program and a grant of $8,200 to provide lacrosse equipment and field portable nets for the Kamloops Minor Lacrosse Association.

The 2021 allocations are listed within the report and include contributions to capital projects, equipment purchases, uniforms and coaching development. A number are contributions to larger undertakings and include facility upgrades to the Barriere Recreation Society of $10,000, Kamloops Long Blades Speed Skating Association for $20,000 to purchase a state-of-the-art timing system and $3,373 to the Kamloops Waterski Club to complete the acquisition of an automatic ski jump measuring system. These will be complimented by additionally sourced grants. Coaching development remains a key to organizational capacities and is supported

2021 ALLOCATION SUMMARY REPRESENTATIVE 2020 GRANT COMMUNITY IMPACTS The 2020 grants were provided to 37 Kamloops and Region sport organizations for a total allocation of $338,275. Annually measuring the impacts of the funding and revisiting the groups receiving them is an important component of the governance and oversight of the Sports Legacy Fund. The funds are strategically aligned with the recipient organization’s goals to utilize the grants to strengthen capacity and maximize the benefit, whether purchasing equipment, completing a capital project, or developing coaching skills. The 2020 grants were not fully accessed due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the inability of the recipient organizations to complete the terms of the grant or deliver the allocated program. The original allocation was $416,212 directed to 41 organizations. The review provides a process to evaluate the grants and determine if the funds continue to be well invested and meet the expectations envisioned by the Sports Legacy Fund vision, mission, and guiding principles. The community impacts are reflections by the organizations based on the funding impacts for 2020. KAMLOOPS BALL HOCKEY ASSOCIATION The Association was formally established in 2019 as a not-for-profit after existing as a men’s competitive league for over 50 years. The goal was to expand awareness and offerings to the community as ball hockey




provides a significantly more affordable alternative to the country’s sport. The first ever Spring registration recorded over 100 youth registrants before being cancelled due to COVID-19.

Despite this, the $3,775 grant has afforded them the opportunity to provide local youth with an authentic organized hockey experience for a fraction of the price. The Association purchased four sets of youth jerseys with logos and numbers, goaltender equipment, balls, and other equipment necessary for practices, scrimmages and eventually league play. These contributions have directly lowered the cost of participation for the community’s youth and will provide many with their first opportunity to play organized hockey and experience the excitement of putting that jersey on for the first time. KAMLOOPS MINOR LACROSSE ASSOCIATION Kamloops Minor Lacrosse Association was granted $5,000.00 to contribute to the purchase of a rink divider board system for Memorial Arena. They were able to purchase the xHockeyProducts rink divider board system to split Memorial Arena into two playing surfaces for the youngest lacrosse players. Following in hockey’s footsteps, lacrosse in BC adopted the smaller area of play for the youngest players in Mini-Tyke (6U) and Tyke (8U). For a more engaging lacrosse experience, they will run a 3 vs 3 game format, splitting the arena floor into two playing surfaces for the children. After researching and experiencing several rink divider products, the xHockeyProducts divider system proved to be movable, secure, durable, long lasting, and highly recommended. These boards provide coaches and volunteers the peace of mind of setting up a safe and secure system, while turning their attention solely to the children. This rink divider system will aid with better monitoring of players and fewer playing delays due to out-of-play balls and will provide Kamloops Minor Lacrosse Association the ability to safely host games and tournaments. It will provide an easier

transition for the younger players moving to full length floor as the boards mimic similar game playing area, just in a smaller size. They will be useful for future events such as the ‘Kamloops Day of Lacrosse’ where they normally set-up stations, as well as hosting simultaneous practices for any of the other age groups. Unfortunately, the box lacrosse season within BC was cancelled this year due to the pandemic.

KAMLOOPS SPECIAL OLYMPICS SOBC Kamloops is run entirely by volunteers and provides sport development and competition opportunities for over 120 athletes who have an intellectual disability. The fundraising efforts are ongoing, and the $5,000 grant was a boost to the powerlifting, basketball, rhythmic gymnastics, and swimming programs. Up until receiving the grant, the local committee did not have the funds to provide the personal equipment for the powerlifters. This meant that the lifters did not have gloves, belts, and other equipment they needed for competition. As a result of the right personal equipment and hard training, the athletes had their best showing ever at a provincial meet in January 2020. At the onset of the 2019-2020 SOBC basketball season they had a surprisingly high number of registrants compared to recent seasons, which almost doubled the count to 35 athletes. This created a few dilemmas including not enough basketballs and pinnies to enable team designations during scrimmages. The funding also assisted them purchase another set of uniforms. Swimming also saw a big increase in participants which meant that the five lanes they usually rented from the Y were not enough to accommodate all the swimmers and still run a good practice. The grant funds were used to purchase a new lane rope. This benefitted the Y as well as the SOBC swim program. Having the sixth lane was a game changer for the athletes. The sport of rhythmic gymnastics had not been offered by SOBC Kamloops for several years. The fall of 2019 saw 8 athletes register to train in rhythmic gymnastics. The


kamloopssportslegacyfund.com OR BY POST:

Sports Legacy Fund Administration PO Box 934, Station Main, Kamloops, BC V2C 5N4 250-828-6896


Bob Smillie, Executive Director Phone: 250.828.6896 Cell: 250.318.1116 email: rsmillie@shaw.ca

The annual application period extends from October 1st to November 30th of each year and the allocation by the nine members Board of Directors occurs following the review process.

Sports Legacy Fund grant meant that they were able to purchase all the balls, hoops and ribbons required to train for the regional competition. KAMLOOPS WATERSKI CLUB The $8,189 grant was to purchase equipment to be used for both adaptive waterskiing and youth development waterski jumping. The purchase of this equipment allows for the growth of waterskiing as a sport and gives opportunities to youth and individuals who would otherwise be unable to participate in the sport of waterskiing. The equipment was an adaptive slalom ski, adaptive cage and jump skis, suits, and helmets for the junior program. The club also purchased specialized buoys to use at the 2021 Waterski Provincial Championship. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, most of the equipment was unable to be used in 2020. However, the KWSC is anticipating putting all this equipment to good use in the following years and seeing more development and performances by club members and program participants. Planning is already underway for 2021 events in which all the equipment will be used. The equipment purchased is expected to last many years (20+) and provides an excellent foundation from which to expose people of all ages and physical limitations to the sport of waterskiing for years to come.



THE FUND IS INTENDED TO SUPPORT • The improvement of amateur sport facilities and sport activities. • Funding the purchase of land, buildings and equipment. • Funding for training, education and research pertaining to amateur sport. • Funding for organizational capacity building, leadership development and volunteer support. The Legacy Fund will support fledgling organizations establish themselves within the sport community on the understanding that oversight expectations and due diligence are increased until the organization is established and sustainable. Smaller sport organizations, which are not incorporated under the BC Societies Act, are encouraged to apply for funding and will not be restricted by the application requirements.

No Limits



To provide and promote culturally based, inc to enhance holistic well-being and pride


ALL OUR PROGRAMS AT THE KAMLOOPS ABORIGINAL FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY ARE FREE, CONF MESSAGE FROM OUR KAFS BOARD PRESIDENT WEYT-K It has been my pleasure, and quite the learning experience serving as the Board President of the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society this past year. No one could have predicted this pandemic that is upon us. Going forward, it can serve as a reminder to be thoughtful and to continue to be creative in connecting to our urban population.

what lies ahead.

In the past year, our leaders, workers and volunteers shouldered the responsibility of keeping a steady focus on urgent matters in front of us each day, and at the same time finding the energy and enthusiasm to focus on

Maintaining transparency and accountability, andadopting practices of good governance are a high priority to me. I would like KAFS membership and community membership to know that our values, mission, strategic planning process are front and centre through all decision making processes. Some of our highlights from the past year include the following: • Here at the Friendship Center, establishing stability is of utmost importance. To this end, Vicki Michaud has been moved into the position of Executive Director of the KAFS. With her many years of experience, she comes with the knowledge and background that fit with our organization’s values and goals. • The KAFS website site has been refreshed, and now includes a “Donate Now” button for the organization to quickly and easily accept donations. • We have also entered serious negotiations with the construction management firm Dexterra for a new residential/office building on site where our current building stands. • Our storage site in downtown Kamloops has expanded to include laundry, showers, storage bins, and a temporary mail address. With such amazing progress, it is with great pride that I have served in the role of President. We must always keep our focus on the needs and wants of the Urban Aboriginal population. Part of our goal for the future is to reach even further than just the people that come into the center. This will require us to be even more creative and work to have a place where everyone feels they belong. Kukwstsemc Margaret Anderson, President

MESSAGE FROM OUR EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR WEYT-K EVERYONE, The Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society (KAFS) is situated on the traditional and unceded lands within the Secwépemc’ulucw, the traditional territory of the Secwépemc people. I am a very proud member of the Secwepemc Nation and I am honored to be working at the KAFS for the past 20 years. I would like to thank all of our staff, our Board of Directors, Elders and all the members of the KAFS for their work and dedication to our Centre. I would also like to thank all our community partners and our funders for continuing to support the KAFS and the essential services that we provide to our Urban Indigenous People and our Non Indigenous peoples. On March 23rd 2020 our Friendship Centre had to close due to the COVID pandemic. Our dedicated staff and Management team were able to continue to provide support remotely to our children, youth, families and our Elders. We were able to open back up on July 1st 2020 with a COVID exposure plan in place. This pandemic has certainly changed the way that we continue to provide services but we continue to move forward in a positive direction. Our future for the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society looks very promising as we are continuing to move forward with our new building. Phase 1 which will have two stories of office space and two floors of residential and Phase 2 will be a six-floor building with 2 floors of office space and 4 floors of residential for our Urban Indigenous people. We currently have a Go Fund Me page to assist us with the cost of funding our new building. If you can donate or spread the word, please go to our link: charity.gofundme.com/newfriendshipcentre.


OUR MISSION “To Provide and Promote Culturally based, Inclusive programs, supports and activities, to enhance holistic well-being and pride in Urban Aboriginal Peoples” The Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society has been providing essential services to our Urban Indigenous and Non-Indigenous people for 49 years. We provided services to over 10,000 infants, children, youth, families, clients and Elders this past year. Our mission hasn’t changed, but our needs have. Our current building is unsatisfactory and it’s well past its lifecycle, and our current programs have certainly outgrown the buildings capacity. We hope to break ground on a new facility by early Fall. The new building will accommodate our current functions, as well as much needed affordable housing for our Urban Indigenous Elders, single parents, and couples. The main building will also contain our Urban Aboriginal Health Centre, community spaces for programming, a multipurpose room, and a large industrial community kitchen. It will be a safe space for people to turn to for help that will empower them to find their success. We have started a GoFundMe Campaign to assist us with needed funds over and above grants and financial assistance that we are currently applying for. Our grant writers are working closely with Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation (CHMC) and BC Housing. We are hoping the GoFundMe campaign will bring us $500,000 closer to ours goal. We have started with a portion of the overall amount to start slow, steady, and small, just like we did in our humble beginnings as a Friendship Society. Similarly, we hope a sustained effort and consistent focus will propel us to achieve our goals. We believe that the Campaign, combined with grant applications and in-kind donations, will help us reach our total to move forward with our New Centre. We have an amazing team of people who are working together (our KAFS Board of Directors, our KAFS Staff, our professional grant writers, and the Dexterra team) to make this dream come true for the betterment of our people and our community. We want you to join our team and become a part of our success. Together, we serve not only the urban Aboriginal community in Kamloops but the entire city that benefits from our investments in family. Our success is the city’s success. We need partners like you who share an interest in and commitment to the advancement of reconciliation. We know that you see the value in continued support of developing a vibrant community. This capital campaign will help to revive interest in our work. We aim to revitalize our little space in the world and, in doing so, contribute to the progress we see in the community we share.

In Friendship, Vicki Michaud

125 PALM STREET, KAMLOOPS • 250.376.1296



clusive programs, supports activities, e in Urban Aboriginal Peoples

FIDENTIAL AND PROVIDED IN A POSITIVE SAFE ENVIRONMENT The link to the fundraiser is - charity.gofundme.com/ newfriendshipcentre.

traditional teachings, while also supporting and encouraging the connection with their family, extended family and Indigenous community. MCFD Funded.

Our confidential and free programs currently being offered at the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society are:

ELDERS WELLNESS PROGRAM Our Elders Cultural Coordinator has a unique and essential program for our Indigenous and non-Indigenous Elders who are 55 years plus. The Coordinator continues to promote our Elders physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being and healing. There are many program activities and events scheduled for the new fiscal year. Program by BCAAFC.

FAMILY PRESERVATION AND YOUTH SERVICES Our team consists of a Team Leader/Family Support Worker, Family Preservation Worker, Indigenous Family Support Worker, Youth Worker and Outreach Support Worker. All our support workers in this program provide culturally appropriate services to children, youth and their families that need support. This team provides support services to Child Protection, Guardianship, Youth Services, some of the services offered are: Individual Counseling, Family Counseling, Family Court Advocacy, Crisis Intervention, In-home and Office Visits. Funded by MCFD. EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM Our team consists of two ECE Family Support workers, Outreach Support worker and a Nutritional Support Worker. These workers provide in-home and in-office support for families that have children aged 0-6 years. ECD helps connect families that may feel alone and who have little support within their community. Funded by MCFD. HEALTHY BEGINNINGS PROGRAM Our Family Support Work will work directly with Indigenous and non- Indigenous families whose children are 0-6 years old living in conditions of risk to have improved health and social development, services offered: Parent and Tot Play Group, prenatal and post-natal. Expecting moms and/or their partners may access prenatal information about pregnancy, labor and delivery, baby care, and postpartum care of Mom. Funded by ICS. FAMILY OUTREACH SUPPORT WORKER Our Outreach support worker is part of the Family Preservation and ECD teams and is unique and is geared towards increasing healthy birth outcomes, enhancing parenting skills and supporting child development. By working with the family, community in a holistic approach we can help build strong and healthy families, by providing in-home support, the worker can offer counseling that teaches parents appropriate parenting skills, and behavior management. Funded by MCFD. CHILDS ROOTS ARE FOREVER PROGRAM Our Roots Worker will work directly with Indigenous children and youth who are in care with the Ministry for Children and Family Development and Secwepemc Child & Family Service. The program ensures that each child in the Ministries care, are provided with a strong foundation based on their cultural, spiritual, mental, and emotional

Old building is over 105 years old and is part of the main building and cannot be used.


CULTURAL EDUCATION COORDINATOR FOR SCHOOL DISTRICT #73 We provide culturally appropriate services that promote and ensure positive educational experiences for students through the School District #73. The Coordinator also participates in Aboriginal grad, National Indigenous Day and cultural events held at School District #73. The following activities have been presented: Welcome Song, Drumming, Traditional Governance Past & Present, Story Telling, Residential Schools, Traditional Hunting, Community Roles, Drumming, Dream Catchers and Button Blankets, Medicine Pouches, Lanyards and Pine Needle Baskets, Rattle Making, Beaded Earrings/Keychains and Ribbon Skirts. Funded by School District #73. SUBSTANCE USE PROGRAM Our Addictions Counselling Program provides one-to-one counseling for individuals who are seeking support and information for recovery from an alcohol or drug addiction. Services from the alcohol and drug counselor include counseling, referral to treatment centers, in-house referrals, information support and prevention. This program has assisted men, women, youth, and elders in their journey to sobriety. Funded by Interior Health. YOUTH CONFERENCE AND STUDENT BURSARIES Our program is a partnership activity with TRU and the Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Centre. The proposed program framework will provide annual two-day youth leadership conference at TRU for forty youth 16 to 24 years of age. Urban and rural Aboriginal youth in the TRU catchment area will be recommended by their schools and communities to attend. Student bursaries will be presented again this year for Indigenous students graduating from grade 12 and who will be attending TRU. Funded by TRU..

Registered Charity No. 12995 5126


The logo represents native and non-native people working together to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal people. The four feathers represent the colors of all the Nations from around the world. AFFORDABLE RECREATIONAL COMMUNITY HEALTH PROGRAM (ARCH) Our program allows low-income families to participate in all the Kamloops Parks and Recreation Activities at a more affordable cost to them. To apply, you need to show photo I.D for the applicant and birth certificates of all family members, a current utility bill for proof of address, and all adult applicants last years’ income tax assessment to prove income eligibility. Application forms are now available at 125 Palm Street through the KAFS receptionist. Funded by Parks Recs Kamloops. OUTREACH SUPPORT WORKER We work with our Homelessness street entrenched population, our worker provides the following services: Intakes, connecting to shelter and housing resources, Referrals are made to Mini Storage Site, Street nurses, BC Housing, Ask wellness, Mustard Seed, Emerald House, John Howard, Interior Community Service, Salvation army, Red Cross, Income Assistance, Interior Health, A Way Home Kamloops, Rapid Access clinic, Urban Native Health clinic, LMO, Covid Meal Train. Funded by Reaching Home City of Kamloops. INDIGENOUS OUTREACH SUPPORT WORKER We provide services to our Indigenous Homelessness population. Intakes, referrals and trying to place them into affordable housing. We also distribute harm reduction kits that are available to everyone that continues to use. We continue to provide gift cards, food supplies, limited cell phones and start up kits if the client is moving into housing. Funded by FNHA MINI STORAGE SITE Our mini storage service is located at 48 West Victoria Street to service our homeless population. It is open 7 days per week from 11:00-5:00 and is only closed on some stat holidays. The storage site has 4 employees and a Supervisor that attends to client’s needs. We provide a laundry service, showers, and public washrooms. Clients may use this address for their mail. Clients can store up to 50 lbs. of their personal belongings which are put into a plastic bag and then into a storage bin. Funded by Parks abd Rec Department, City of Kamloops.

URBAN INDIGENOUS DIABETES AND OBESITY PROGRAM Our Community Research Liaison works with local community members, Health Care Providers and knowledge keepers to provide Research and Health Education Training. This project is funded by the [CIHR] Canadian Institute of Health Research for a study to offer local Traditional and Western health approaches to urban settings for prevention and management of diabetes and unhealthy weight. Funded by UBC.

The rendering below is an artists representation of what a new Kamloops Aboriginal Friendship Society facility might look. It includes affordable housing units on the upper floors, while lower floors will continue to serve the community.

125 PALM STREET, KAMLOOPS • 250.376.1296


Carl DeSantis


Executive director, Downtown Kamloops

ccasionally, circumstances require that we take a small step back before proceeding and taking big steps forward. Now that we have navigated a full 12 months of challenges in response to this pandemic, many are asking: Where do we go from here? Before moving ahead, reflecting on the past year can identify valuable lessons learned and opportunities to apply them toward a successful economic-recovery strategy. COVID-19 has disrupted every sense of normality we knew and the negative impact resulting from the pandemic, even just locally, has been pushed to the extreme. However, these challenges have created an opportunity for businesses to build strength that is sustainable and will provide pathways to move forward. Economic recovery and the capacity for businesses and services to continue is entirely dependent on community collaboration, political will and the introduction of creative solutions that will contribute to reigniting consumer confidence in the downtown business community. What the pandemic challenges have taught us, and how our business community can respond, can be best summarized as Learn, Earn and Return. LEARN: Pandemic-related interruptions have enabled businesses located throughout downtown to appreciate, even more, the value of business-tobusiness relationship building. We have seen enhanced communications between local business leaders that resulted in coaching and mentoring opportunities offered to other businesses and their staff. Our business community has engaged locally and with business colleagues throughout the province. There is frequent collaboration and co-operation between businesses, business owners and staff, demonstrating their genuine efforts to extend olive branches and support one another. There have been significant lessons learned, which have enabled businesses to apply new strategies intended to overcome pandemic challenges and keep their doors open. EARN: We have seen multiple examples in which downtown organizations have introduced new operational practices in an ongoing commitment to earn your patronage. Throughout this past year, businesses have introduced every precaution to ensure your downtown experiences remain safe and healthy. 42 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

Downtown Kamloops executive director Carl DeSantis with the Thompson River and downtown Kamloops behind him. Dave Eagles/KTW Additional changes have been introduced to include the development of an online presence for ordering, as well as takeout, delivery and pickup options for customers. While adaptations such as website development and e-commerce platforms may seem to be relatively minor changes, these were actually monumental modifications for many of our smaller business owners and required them to essentially learn and become fluent in another language, all within days. Our downtown business community appreciates your business and requests that each of us continue supporting local and shopping local. RETURN: We continue to see evidence that significant confidence remains throughout our downtown — confidence in new businesses, confidence in new commercial and residential development and consumer confidence. Challenges are being replaced with opportunities. During the pandemic, various entrepreneurs demonstrated optimism by introducing and opening new businesses downtown. Other businesses

completed significant renovations. Also during the pandemic, construction began on major projects, including The Hive. Downtown Kamloops continues to look forward. Our business community, having learned and adapted to recent circumstances, is well positioned for economic recovery and will emerge stronger. Increased pedestrian activity throughout the downtown is expected to coincide with the re-introduction of extended outdoor patios. People can also look forward to the introduction of rotating block closures occurring on weekends throughout the summer. We understand and appreciate that more time is still required before our community can completely resume all of those normal activities and events everyone anxiously looks forward to and enjoys. As you return to our downtown, know that it is our commitment to continue offering a safe and healthy environment in which eating, drinking and shopping are all comfortable experiences. To our valued Kamloops community, thank you for your understanding and thank you for your ongoing support.

Emsland Insurance is Kamloops’ only 100% locally owned & operated insurance agency. Our team has industry experience totalling over 175 years of combined service in the insurance business. We do our very best to provide you with great coverage at competitive rates. Drop in and say hi! Ask us for a free quote and a Homemade Cookie. We will check all our insurance providers and compare rates to show you how we can save you money and ensure the correct coverage. We wish to thank our clients for choosing us, supporting local, and keeping our team safe during the past challenging year. To continue to keep you safe, we offer you your choice of service - In Person Or Electronically.

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2021 2021


Kamloops Chamber of Commerce executive director Acacia Pangilinan: “As we rebuild our city and our economy, we must put an emphasis on and support diversity, equity and inclusion in all industries from the top down.”

YOUR BUSINESS CONNECTION kamloopschamber.ca @kamloopschamber

44 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

Talking about tomorrow’s Kamloops by Acacia Pangilinan

Kamloops Chamber of Commerce


hen the novel coronavirus arrived last March, the Kamloops Chamber team was freshly wrapping up its annual State of the City Dinner with Mayor Ken Christian, with more than 130 attendees attentively listening as he laid out his vision for 2020 in a crowded ballroom in downtown Kamloops. The next day, everything changed. COVID-19 pulverized the traditional 9 to 5 office in favour of remote setups where terms like “you are on mute” became commonplace lingo as our community retreated to the safety of our bubbles at home. What COVID-19 taught our team is that there is no use thinking about returning to the past. Instead, it is time to focus on and embrace the future and think about the Kamloops of tomorrow. I challenge you to paint in your head a picture of Kamloops in the year 2070. What does it look like to you? How will we get there as a community? The acceleration of technology has given us a glimpse into that future. This future looks bright even amidst the uncertainty we feel today. As we look toward recovery, it is time to prepare for the new-age workforce — a workforce driven by creative entrepreneurs who embrace digital tools focusing on sustainability, a workforce that wants flexibility with when and where it works and a workforce with diverse leadership,

bringing with it fresh and new ideas. According to Shopify Research, 53 per cent of North American buyers said the pandemic had changed the way they will shop going forward as they embrace recent digital trends. The report also noted 57 per cent of buyers are seeking out local, independently owned businesses to support. This shows our community is embracing the #shoplocal movement and it keeps the dollars in our community. If you are a business owner, I encourage you to meet your customers in the digital arena. The internet is not a fad or a shiny new toy. It is integral to all of our lives and, although it can seem daunting (I know from experience), it will help you to remain competitive in your industry. But don’t worry — you are not in it alone. The Kamloops Chamber of Commerce and its partners are available to provide you and your business guidance, while offering digital-skills training and programming to help you make that leap. Not only is the way that we shop changing, but the way we work has also been altered. Many feared productivity would falter if we allowed people to work from home. Instead, we see many organizations offering flexible solutions for employees as they plan for a post-COVID world. Co-working spaces will play an essential role in this shift as a gathering place for entrepreneurs from all industries to collaborate and learn from each other as they build their

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businesses. With enviable scenery, a charming culinary scene and affordable housing options, Kamloops is ready to embrace this shift and welcome these workers looking for nature right outside their front door paired with urban amenities. Finally, as we rebuild our city and our economy, we must put an emphasis on and support diversity, equity and inclusion in all industries from the top down. Kamloops is home to a multifaceted, multicultural business community and all voices need to be heard for us to succeed. What would pass as progress only one generation ago may not be progressive today. In times of uncertainty, the future can seem scary and ambiguous, especially when you are operating a business. However, it is during these difficult times that you are able to look internally at your organizational operation, shake off the excess dust

and prepare for the future. If you are not a member of the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, I encourage you to reach out to our team to set up a virtual coffee (no strings attached). I want to learn about your goals and the roadblocks you have faced. We work with the entire business community and all levels of government, a chamber network that stretches from coast to coast to coast and includes community partners to overcome the hurdles you face so you can get back to what’s important — your business. We are always looking for fresh ideas and new voices to join committees and task forces that will prepare our community for the Kamloops of tomorrow. Again, I ask, what do you want Kamloops to be like in 50 years? Let’s start the conversation about how we can get there together.

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2021 2021


The Stutters DKI team at the company’s seventh B.C. location — at 103-1410 Pearson Pl. in Aberdeen.

Stutters stepping into Kamloops Name of business: Stutters DKI Name of owner(s): Keith Stutters Contact: 103-1410 Pearson Pl., stutters.com

Q: When did you open your business and from where did the idea come? A: Stutters was founded in Kelowna in 1982 and we have offices in Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Osoyoos, Castlegar, West Kelowna and now Kamloops. With the closure of Thompson Valley Restorations in Kamloops, we felt now was the right time to bring our proven services to the area. We are also thrilled to announce that many of the great staff from Thompson Valley Restorations you are accustomed to working with will be moving over to our new location. We opened on Jan. 4 of this year. Q: What has been the cumulative effect of the pandemic on your business thus far? A: Like most businesses, we are not immune to the effects of the pandemic. In the restoration industry, we have definitely seen a negative impact on our normal claims counts, especially waterrelated claims. People are not travelling. They are working from home and catching water losses before the water causes excessive damage to their homes and contents. Weather-related claims are a bit of a different story. You can’t stop a tree from falling onto your garage in 70-mile-an-hour wind storms.   Q: How have you pivoted in your business strategy during the pandemic to keep the doors open? A: We did several things, including looking at new revenue streams, like doing deep cleaning for businesses that had high touchpoints and many 46 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021


Checking in with businesses that opened just before or amid the pandemic people in their facilities. In our business, we are used to working with infectious diseases, drug cleanups like fentanyl and grow operations. We use different technologies to do some of the work for us, streamlining the amount of people we have out in the field. We moved people out of our offices and into their homes, we have less vehicles on the road and we limit the number of people in and out of our customer’s homes. We have recognized savings from creating efficiencies and eliminating redundancies. We also started Stutters Property Services, a new property division. We realized that our skillset, expertise and network of trades would be highly valuable in the property maintenance sector. Q: Looking back one year, is there anything you would have done differently, hindsight being 20/20? A: Honestly, I don’t think so. It has been a tough year on everyone — businesses and the people who keep the businesses up and running. We laid off a limited amount of staff and have since called everyone back. This has been a good year to clean up our own house, look for efficiencies, look at

technologies and breathe a little. Q: How would you rate pandemic-related assistance from all three levels of government? A: I think, overall, the federal plans for business loans, CERB, etc. were helpful to make it through the initial challenges of COVID-19. The government has been in a difficult position of trying to assist and support businesses across the spectrum. Like our customers, vendors and employees, we strive to be the best we can. From our perspective, some of the programs in place have been welcome, especially to help our commitment to keep everybody fully employed at this unprecedented time. We applaud the local mayors who have to led the charge and follow the directives handed down to them by the province.   Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for your business? A: I think we have a stronger business today, one with better protocols and efficiencies. We have engaged employees who are able to work from home, spend less money and possibly save. Technologies continue to strengthen this company, so I see us positioned well in the market place and ready and able to take on more business and look for new business revenues that fit within our business model. Like all businesses, you just don’t know, but I think we are stronger, more organized and have been able to spend more time on our culture because, let’s face it, your people are your brand and we have a strong brand. Finally, we see how our leadership team has rallied together in a very difficult time. Like many business before us and many to come, we’ve overcome this obstacle and are looking for positive days ahead.



An innovative Tourism Kamloops A Progress Q&A with the agency that promotes the city Q: Tourism has been among the sectors most impacted by the pandemic. What has been the pandemic’s effect on tourism in Kamloops in relation to visitor numbers and revenue lost? A: COVID-19 has hit the tourism sector harder than any other economic sector in B.C., by far. Virtually the entire sector has endured closures and extensive employee layoffs from March 7, 2020, until travel restrictions were lifted on June 24, 2020, and British Columbians were once again permitted to travel within the province. Non-essential travel restrictions were imposed a second time in early December 2020 and continue today. Many businesses have already closed due to lack of cash flow and most have only partially reopened with eviscerated source markets and are desperately

trying to maintain solvency. The Kamloops tourism industry is no exception. Coming off a peak tourism year in 2019, welcoming twomillion visitors and contributing $500 million to the local economy, 2020 results saw deep dives. Weathering the storm better than many other B.C. destinations, Kamloops experienced a 45 per cent drop in revenues in 2020, whereas reports of revenue decreases up to 75 per cent across the province have been normal. When given the green light to welcome visitors last summer, our team was prepared and launched inspiring marketing campaigns to ensure Kamloops was a priority destination. Golf and wine were huge attractors, along with our industry’s swift implementation of health and safety protocols and procedures to ensure exceptional and safe guest experiences.

Our wide open spaces, easy accessibility and affordability played largely into our appeal and success to drive visitation. Notably, monthly hotel occupancy rates in Kamloops exceeded B.C. averages in every month in 2020 since the lockdown, except for April. Once peak tourism season ended in midOctober, many of our accommodators were seeing overnight stays from construction in and around the city, including the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project and Royal Inland Hospital’s expansion. Q: How long after the pandemic declaration did you and your team decide there was a serious need to pivot and what were the initial reactions/ideas to deal with this new reality? A: It was instant. In the past few years, our team had prioritized

“Always a Great Stay”

innovation and sustainability and it resulted in our ability to immediately pivot to ensure we were in the best possible place to support our tourism industry partners, our city and our residents. We have built a culture of adaptability, agility and collaboration. One might say that previous crises — such as wildfires, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 and SARS — have informed this. We knew we had to lead our stakeholders and community, implementing strategies and initiatives that would provide immediate support. Notable pivot strategies included the YKAStrong campaign, a collaboration of 10 business organizations created at the onset of the pandemic, and stakeholder outreach, which amped up our connectivity to ensure our partners had essential resources, up to date information and knew we were there

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Kamloops hotel with a 4 Keyfor green rating and Biosphere Hall of Fame, Level status for eco-friendly the GreenLeaders program our exemplary practices. Our “Always a great stay” is just one of the green reviews about us on TripAdvisor®.

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to support them in any way possible. We made more than 1,100 calls to stakeholders, sent in excess of 113 pieces of communication and made it our priority to do all we could to support our tourism businesses. Q: What has the pandemic done in terms of realizing the local/regional market, of which you may not have been fully aware pre-COVID-19? A: Interestingly, we had started this work over two years ago, in January 2019, with the launch of Luv’n the Loops. We recognized our Kamloops residents played a significant role in our tourism industry hosting Visiting Friends and Relatives. Our team at Tourism Kamloops can easily share why we choose to live, work and play in our amazing city, but we were not certain all residents could do the same. We are a proud community and launching Luv’n the Loops set out to inspire locals to always have three experiences they can recommend to a visitor, friend or relative.

experiences and attractions have seen tremendous support. We will continue to feature these opportunities until travel restrictions lift. Visit https://www.tourismkamloops. com/plan/travel-deals/ for current offers.

The Tourism Kamloops team in popular Riverside Park. Dave Eagles/KTW We engaged residents by inviting them on monthly mystery bus tours to have first-hand experiences. With COVID-19, we had to shift our 2020 program to a digital passport offering discounts and incentives that residents could engage with independently. Seasonal prize packages encourage

Connecting people to BC’s wildlife and wild spaces, the BC Wildlife Park is a wildlife centre for orphaned and injured wildlife. View some of BC’s most iconic wildlife including Kermode, grizzly, and black bears, badger, cougars, raccoons, birds of prey and more!

participants to visit several participating businesses in a certain period. The prizes include local experiences and showcase seasonal highlights. Staycation campaigns have also been highly successful. While our focus remains on our city and surrounding communities, staycation packages inspiring local hotel stays, restaurant

Q: How would you grade the support given to organizations such as yours from the various levels of government? A: There are two separate sides to this. Tourism Kamloops felt decent support from government and tourismaligned agencies at the provincial and national levels. To keep our organization afloat and allow our team to remain intact, we were and still are heavily dependent on the federal wage subsidy. Once the initial lockdowns had lifted and we were preparing for Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan to welcome back visitors, both Destination BC and Destination Canada came through with more than $400,000 in marketing dollars. CONTINUED ON PAGE 50

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This was a welcome injection as our hotel tax revenues had ceased to flow at the end of March 2020 and did not restart until September 2020. At this point, our peak season had passed and we were heading into very lean months for revenue. For our tourism partners, it has been a very different journey. While the federal wage and rent subsidies provided some relief, the initial lockdown and ongoing broad sweeping travel restrictions brought severe pressures of business insolvency. Not alone, the overwhelming majority of B.C. tourism and hospitality businesses are and have been unable to absorb these massive losses, especially over a prolonged period of time and in view of tourism’s highly seasonal nature. Grants and low interest loans emerged; however, business owners are finding they are operating with little to no support to fulfil these opportunities and simultaneously operate their businesses. As well, issues around limiting criteria due to the spectrum of tourism operations has seen many businesses falling through the cracks.

50 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

The provincial government recently announced funding allocations for destination development, heritage infrastructure and community economic resilience through the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program, from which several of our partners have benefited, including the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre, BC Wildlife Park, Kamloops Heritage Railway, Freshwater Fisheries and Kamloops Motorcycle Association.

Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for Tourism Kamloops and the tourism industry in B.C.? A: For 2021, Tourism Kamloops is ready to hit the gas pedal to inspire visitors and recapture destination travel when given the green light by the provincial health officer. As glimmers of an end to the pandemic lockdown come to light, pent-up demand for travel is stronger than ever. We have spent months on planning and building engaging marketing tactics to ensure we come out stronger and better than before. This has been the top priority. We know when travel restrictions lift, competition will be fierce as 52 B.C. destinations will be vying for

the same travel consumer. We anticipate the reopening of interprovincial travel to come slowly and most likely aligned with vaccination schedules across the country. We eagerly await the reopening of the Canada/U.S. land border and our international markets. This is a very important piece to the recovery of our vibrant visitor economy. Visitors from within B.C. spend less than half the amount spent by visitors from international markets, which are likely to remain closed through 2021. Expenditures by B.C. travellers traditionally account for only about 30 per cent of the province’s total tourism and hospitality revenues and this is essentially the only market available to businesses currently and in the foreseeable future. Visitors from other provinces, particularly Alberta, also spend significantly more than those from B.C. Given the imperative for effective vaccines against COVID-19 before critical source markets and business channels (notably business events and conventions) can be accessed, B.C.’s tourism and hospitality business will be impacted severely for the coming several years. We foresee a complete recovery timeline to span between four and five years.

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The tourism industry was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and, as a result, the Kamloops Accommodation Association switched gears from past years. While its focus was previously on growth and promotion of the area as a tourist destination, the association in 2020 focused more on support for hoteliers. Association president Tyson Andrykew said the group relayed important information to hoteliers, such as public health orders, new funding, supports and more. Andrykew said amid health orders restricting travel, low occupancy rates have been a challenge. However, he added, there is optimism with inoculation clinics opening and the potential for restrictions around travel to be loosened in the coming months. Andrykew cited hope for the summer tourism season and the

potential for regional travel to be allowed, providing a way for cashstrapped hotels to cover costs. “I think a lot of our members are optimistic that we’re nearing the end of it all,” he said. As for the focus going forward and lessons learned, Andrykew said he is going to encourage hotels to keep better cash reserves on hand in the future. He said the tendency for hotel owners has been to reinvest profits into existing or new properties. While conceding that reinvestment is “critical,” Andrykew said owners also need to balance availability of cash reserves for crisis situations. Public health orders were beyond the control of hotel owners and dried up revenues. “Cash flow has been the singlebiggest challenge,” Andrykew said. Also looking forward, Andrykew believes new practices around hotel cleanliness will continue, as expected

by guests. He said cleanliness was already a priority for hotels, but noted it will be that much more important moving forward. Guests who once complained about discovering a hair on a hotel bed are taking more microscopic looks around their hotel rooms as a result of the pandemic. “There’s a heightened awareness around it already and I suspect that will continue,” Andrykew said. Meanwhile, some Kamloops hoteliers found themselves wrapped up with the city in 2020 over nuisance property notices. Andrykew said it is an issue that the association has not had to deal with in his time involved in local hotels. He said the association has been there to fight for members, meeting with the city. As this edition of Progress went to press in late March, he said those involved continue to work on resolving the matter.

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What is means to be part of the Community For Chris Chan, being a member of this community is a lot like something he knows a lot about – being on a rugby team. “We all look after each other, we are proud of who we are, and no one gets left behind.” Chris has been a long-time member of the Kamloops Rugby Club and has been a community member for over 35 years selling real estate in Kamloops since 2016. He is dedicated to treating every transaction, whether helping people buy or sell, with the utmost care and trust, helping make it a memorable experience. “With years of experience to help you achieve your goals, I will bring a welcome energy and integrity to your real estate adventure.” Chris’s online and offline marketing programs give him the edge needed to

ensure his clients get their homes sold for top dollar and in a timely manner. “Your satisfaction is my top priority! I will take the time to listen to your needs and desires and help you find your dream home.” Like his beloved sport of rugby, individual success is not enough – it’s important for Chris and his family to support the community, not only through excellent groups such as the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, Kamloops Pride and Kamloops United Way, but also by buying local produce, supporting local eateries and sample our local wineries as much as they can! “I believe in giving back to the community. To help build a stronger community in Kamloops I believe you need to get involved and make an impact!”

Chris Chan, REALTOR® Put Chris to work for you visit: uprealestate.ca email: chris@uprealestate.ca call or text: 250-574-0262

• • •

Casting our minds forward, as with the pandemic of 1918, this, too, shall pass. We have to chart solutions and allocate resources as they did back then, but I know the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding will face these challenges with its characteristic resiliency and perseverance.

• • •

Cathy.McLeod@parl.gc.ca | cathymcleod.ca | 250-851-4991 Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021 | 53



he past year has been a challenging one for Western Canada Theatre, which was forced to cancel the remainder of its season in early 2020 and the entirety of this year’s season due to pandemic-related gathering restrictions. But the tough year has shown artistic director James MacDonald the resiliency of his co-workers and the strength of the organization through how changes have been made and work has continued. During the downtime, WCT was forced to innovate and did so by going online, hosting a series of artist talks and performances available on-demand. MacDonald said the outpouring of support, through messages, donations and public funding, has been tremendous. “Those are the silver linings in an otherwise tough year,” he said.

Western Canada Theatre artistic director James MacDonald. Dave Eagles/ KTW

Potentially making the year even tougher was the fact many arts organizations in town were riding high on the possibility of a new performing-arts centre in Kamloops, only to have the referendum to decide its fate, scheduled for April 2020, cancelled at the 11th hour. “We have space needs and facility needs that pre-date the idea of a new centre and that’s why we were so supportive of Ron Fawcett and

all the work everybody was doing in addressing those,” MacDonald said. Both facilities where WCT operates — Sagebrush and Pavilion theatres — are more than 50 years old. “These needs are getting to a crisis situation for us, so we really need to find that new space, one way or the other,” MacDonald said. But the WCT artistic director also said there is opportunity with the

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crisis when expansion comes, with the organization’s programs, classes and audiences growing along with the city. MacDonald said the conversation and support the referendum prompted has shown the importance of arts and culture activity in Kamloops. “That kind of buoyant energy, I think, will be picked up as soon as possible and, who knows, maybe we’ll get it over the finish line sooner rather than later,” he said. The process of emerging from a tough year will be a gradual one, MacDonald thinks, with a pent-up desire to attend live events once again weighed against people’s caution to do so. “We’re making tentative plans for next year, but we won’t commit to anything until May, when we have a really good idea what’s on the horizon for next year,” he said.

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Renovation market exploded last year The Canadian Home Builders Association-Central Interior (CHBACI) saw an explosion in the renovation market last year amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. “The renovation market, or the do-it-yourself market, just went off the roof,” CHBA-CI executive officer Rose Choy said. She attributes the spike to the fact more people were confined to their homes during the initial business shutdowns and stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic. Those early days were a period of adjustment for home builders as construction was allowed to continue with added safety measures. “Everybody had to adapt to that, but the builders, the industry, they were able to adjust,” Choy said. “They had to follow safety rules, which slowed everything down, but they were still able to figure out how to be productive.”

Rose Choy is the glue that holds everyone in the homebuilding industry together. Here, Choy displays her 2018 award, when the The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. named her executive officer of the year.

Initially, the concern was the pandemic would take a huge toll on the homebuilding industry. However, while new construction took some time to bounce back, most tradespeople were instead called to do home renovations. “And then, at the end, everybody got so busy, and even today I have a painter who said, “Rose I’m booked solid until

the end of 2022,’” Choy said. She said the homebuilding and renovation industries remain hot to this day, noting demand led to supply shortages in items such as lumber, insulation and drywall, as well as rising prices for materials. The demand has also exposed a labour shortage in the Kamloops area. “That is our problem right now,”

Choy said. With vaccines now being distributed, Choy said there is optimism more people will be able to get working again in production jobs, thus increasing supply so prices can come down. She said the CHBA-CI strives for affordability, but that has been “thrown out the window” given the current challenges of the industry. Going forward in 2021 and 2022, the association wants to focus on continuing to build highest-quality homes for families. Looking back on lessons from the past year, Choy said she has learned their membership and industry is resilient. “As busy as we were, we were able to overcome a lot of things that came our way and we were able to keep working and figure out creative ways of how to be productive and deliver to the demand of the housing market,” Choy said.





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Local security taking a bite out of crime Peace of Mind has been locally owned and operated in Kamloops for 20 years. In that time, Gary Meyers has seen the security landscape change. Vehicle break ins, commercial property break-ins and vandalism have been on a significant upswing. Instead of using fear tactics, Peace of Mind is getting involved at the community level. Gary is a Board Member for “It’s My Life Kamloops Society,” a local non-profit organization that is dedicated to supporting people with developmental disabilities to enjoy a good life. This is the first step in creating a safer and more cohesive community. Steve Wade, the Technical Sales Representative for the company, is also very engaged in the community. He is the incoming Director for Community Services with the Kamloops West Rotary Club, a position that is tasked with overseeing programs such as the PIT Stop and Kamloops Food Drive. He is also the President of the Kamloops Graffiti Task Force. Those all followed his involvement with the Kamloops RCMP as one of the volunteer Team Leads with the Business Watch Program, an initiative run by the RCMP and the City of Kamloops Crime Prevention Team focused on creating awareness of crime Engaged Minds = Vibrant Community prevention techniques for local businesses. As part of the Business Engaged Minds Vibrant Community Watch training, Steve was introduced to CPTED (Crime Prevention Come=Visit! Through Environmental Design). He is now the only Level II Advanced Come Visit! gallery // studio // store Practitioner to be in the security field in the interior of BC. Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm kag.bc.ca • 465 Victoria St., Kamloops, BC CPTED is about creating a space, by design, that can lead to the gallery // studio // store Free Admission Thursdays Tuesday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm reduction in the incidence and fear of crime and an improvement generously sponsored by BCLC kag.bc.ca • 465 Victoria St., Kamloops, BC Free Admission Thursdays to the quality of life to those who live and interact with it. Anyssa Fortie, artist, and Craig Willms, assistant curator, at the opening of Pleasant Field, July, 2020. Image: Kim Anderson.Security has been typically based on knee jerk reactions. When generously sponsored by BCLC vehicles are broken into most opt to install cameras instead of addressing the reason of WHY the incident happened. Cameras don’t stop the criminality; they create a front row seat to watch it. This is where the environment plays a crucial role. Lighting, foliage, sightlines, accessibility, maintenance, and signage placement of security measures all play an important role to a space’s safety and security. Designing a safer space using the environment and psychological cues in combination with physical security measures makes criminal activity stand out. Placing the right pieces of hardware in place to capture evidence/detect activity reinforces the cues. Security is more than just putting up contacts and cameras. It is about having the know-how of putting the right pieces in the right places having a plan. This comes down to design and factoring in backup plans. That is why every one of our systems goes through a rigorous design process. We believe in giving back to the community that supports us. Back in 2018 we donated a CPTED review to the Kamloops Rugby Club after they were burglarized and lost over $7,000 of equipment. That subsequent report led to changes in the area that reduced criminal behavior. We are literally changing the landscape. We have been so active with the Y Dream Home since 2002 and donated a full security system to the Big Little Science Center. Our latest project had us donating a camera system worth over $7000 to the Westsyde Petting Zoo. Steve and Gary invite those who are looking for security to give them a call. Site visits are free, the analysis is free, and they are confident you will find our way of doing business as refreshing. They go over all the details and explain everything. At Peace of Mind, we protect your Privacy, your Property and your Peace of Mind. Anyssa Fortie, artist, and Craig Willms, assistant curator, at the opening of Pleasant Field, July, 2020. Image: Kim Anderson.

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Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021 | 61

2021 2021


It’s time for you to Explore the Shore Jeremy Heighton

Executive director, North Shore Business Improvement Association

The North Shore Business Improvement Association is spearheading the effort for our commercial members to seek out and embrace opportunities and options to create a strong and economically prosperous future. As in past years, we will be asking our community to provide us with their thoughts regarding services they would like to see here, which we bring back to developers and business leaders to spur on interest and growth. In the meantime, we are working hard behind the scenes to create plans to realize the amazing vision of the North Shore Plan design charette, including three exclusive zones along the Tranquille Corridor. We are also working with the city to find options to realize corridor improvements that have been on the books, but unfunded since 2013. Sometimes it can seem daunting to take on these tasks as they are so varied and complex. However, we know our role is to be the cheerleader for our neighbourhood, to lead and facilitate the changes we all want to see. While you don’t always see the work going on, trust me when I say we are advocating and working on your behalf each and every day — and we are well aware our success is defined by yours. If you are looking for a positive, community-focused neighbourhood, if you are seeking an up and coming neighbourhood, where it is affordable to buy and fun to explore, then maybe it’s time to exploreourshore(.ca) and join us on our adventure.

NSBIA executive director Jeremy Heighton enjoys a walk in McDonald Park.

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Resilience and adaptation are crucial Cathy McLeod Kamloops-ThompsonCariboo MP Cathy McLeod speaks in the House of Commons on May 25, 2020.

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Cathy McLeod


MP for Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

s the MP for KamloopsThompson-Cariboo for the past 12 years, my team and I have worked through many challenging times. There have been economic downturns that have impacted entire sectors like forestry, wildfires that have razed both land and home and floods that put entire communities on alert. But I don’t think any of us would have predicted, when talk of the COVID-19 virus began to circulate in early 2020, just how much our lives would change. Be it adapting to new hygiene protocols including mask wearing, the necessity of social distancing or the end of non-essential travel, we’ve all had to change our daily behaviour. Looking back over the year, it seemed we would get one challenge in check and then another would emerge. My office fielded dozens of calls last spring from constituents and their loved ones who were travelling abroad, desperate to return home before international travel dwindled to a halt. We worked hard to put these people in touch with the right federal government contacts to see their safe return. The pandemic next hit businesses as owners were forced to close their doors or reduce services in order to adhere to public safety protocols and lay off staff that could no longer be sustained. This ushered in a period where my staff and I answered non-stop queries from those who had lost jobs, asking how soon they would see financial supports like Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in their bank accounts. Talk of vaccines began to take shape and people hoped they would be rolled out before the end of 2020, and that life might go back to “normal.” But the reality is, we are a ways

off for a return to life as we knew it. A year later and people are weary of the pandemic. In a survey I conducted before Christmas, people said that they worry about getting sick, feel socially isolated and are emotionally and mentally fatigued. We are still waiting for vaccines to become available to the bulk of the population, which will be perhaps the biggest step in the battle against this pandemic. In the same survey, constituents said they are eager to roll up their sleeves, with 83 per cent in favour of getting the vaccine, while only 16 per cent said they wouldn’t. I expect businesses will continue to adapt and innovate to survive, while many people working from home will do so for the foreseeable future. Once we have most of the population vaccinated, the economy will be able to gradually reopen and “buy local” will have new meaning to all. The federal government will need to continue to support individuals, businesses and the hardest-hit sectors. But it will also need to create incentives that provide people a way to regain their financial independence and the pride that comes with being a contributing member of the workforce. It’s been far too long since the Liberals tabled a federal budget, something the people of Canada need and deserve in order to understand how we are going to pay for all this, continue to survive — and then thrive. A March budget was ruled out, with one expected later this spring. Casting our minds forward, as with the influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1920, this, too, shall pass. We have to chart solutions and allocate resources as they did back then, but I know the KamloopsThompson-Cariboo riding will face these challenges with its characteristic resiliency and adaptation.

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espite the pandemic, Kamloops’ real estate market remained hot in 2020. Housing prices continued to climb, with sales matching those in 2019 despite dropping like a rock when the pandemic was first declared. Kamloops and District Real Estate Association president Wendy Runge believes the local market remained hot because of the pandemic, not in spite of it. An influx of people working from home made home ownership more important, she said, noting people could afford to move to more affordable communities. “Home ownership all of a sudden meant a lot more than it did a year ago when you went to work and came home,” Runge said. Continued low interest rates also enabled potential buyers to get into the market and people were saving more, rather than travelling, Runge noted.

However, at the onset of the pandemic, there was uncertainty and concern from realtors as sales numbers dropped off after two strong years. Before the pandemic was declared last March, single-family home sales in Kamloops were about even with 2019 through January and February. But by April, those home sales had fallen 55 per cent from April 2019 statistics, followed by 30 per cent reductions in May and June. A gradual bounce-back arrived, with sales down 17 per cent in July and 18 per cent in August. By September, sales were down 12 per cent from September 2019 and the market caught up from there to end 2020 on even ground with 2019 sales. “It’s been a crazy couple of months,” Runge said. She said there were few listings, but still plenty of buyers who were essentially in a holding pattern when COVID-19 hit.

66 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

“It was like a waiting room. People kept coming into the room, but the doors were closed,” Runge said. “When the doors finally opened and we could safely look at houses again, the demand was so high.” Demand was so high, in fact, that the average price of a single-family home in 2020 ended up being about 11 per cent more than it was in 2019. “I didn’t anticipate that price increase. I think we all thought we were in for a big recession,” Runge said, noting supply still hasn’t been able to keep up with demand. Looking ahead at the rest of 2021 and into 2022, Runge sees more of the same upwards trajectory. “I think we’re going to continue to see these high volumes of sales, upper pressure on pricing, at least until the end of this year and maybe even into next year,” she said, noting single-family homes are the most coveted. The collective focus needs to be on

adding inventory going forward, Runge said. “Somehow, we need to figure out how do we get this inventory issue solved,” she said. While there are many high-density builds occurring in the city, more single-family housing is needed, Runge said. “We’re not seeing the same craziness in condos and apartments,” she said. Looking back on the past year, Runge said KADREA members learned they could make adjustments quickly to continue serving clients. Rather than showing five homes in a day, realtors were focusing on one. Personal protective equipment became a part of the job and virtual tours were more commonplace. “And that shows me that going forward, whatever happens, organized real estate, they’re not such a big entity that they can’t move quickly and adjust,” she said.

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The Kamloops Art Party on 12th Street on the North Shore hosted a grand opening celebration on Feb. 29, 2020, with art and food for the many visitors, along with music from local band Loops. Two weeks later, the doors were closed due to the pandemic. But the business has survived and owner Carly Schmidt says the team will come out the other side better than ever. Allen Douglas/KTW

The art of surviving the pandemic Name of business: Kamloops Art Party Name of owner(s): Carly Schmidt Contact: 101-1121 12th St., 250-299-4342, kamloopsartparty@gmail.com, kamloopsartparty.com Number of employees: 1F/T, 4P/T Q: When did you open your business and from where did the idea come? A: Apparently, I was born with crayons in my hands and have been colouring, painting, drawing and creating art ever since. The crazy idea that I could make a living teaching and practising art came to fruition in 2017, when I started Kamloops Art Party three years before I even had a studio. I have now created a safe place for first-time creators and practising artists alike to have a fun and creative art experience. Q: What has been the cumulative effect of the pandemic on your business thus far? A: The pandemic hit the art community hard. It put a complete stop to everything we were doing at the time. We had the grand opening of our new space on Feb. 29, 2020, and were shut down two weeks later. Every financial goal and commitment had to be rethought and our entire business model was blown up. Q: How have you pivoted in your business 60 68 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021


Checking in with businesses that opened just before or amid the pandemic strategy during the pandemic to keep the doors open? A: Kamloops Art Party had to completely change the way we worked and provided art as a company. Our business model consisted of hosting large events at local pubs, restaurants and private homes, with an array of classes and art parties inside our studio. When the pandemic hit, every one of our profit centres were effectively shut down. Over the next few months, we made changes to focus on small home-school bubbles, mental-health and art therapy, Zoom art classes and at-home art kits. Q: Looking back one year, is there anything you would have done differently, hindsight being 20/20? A: I would have given myself more of a break and

would have had faith that our doors would open again. The depression hit myself and team quite hard, being so close to our dream before taking the setbacks. Like many others living in fear and limbo, it took its toll on our usually happy and creative energies. Q: How would you rate pandemic-related assistance from all three levels of government? A: The CERB program certainly helped, but being such a new company, we were limited as to which aid programs we qualified for. Our studio landlord, Karri Loadman from Team Approach Property Management, has been an angel from heaven and has been a huge reason we have survived. Q: How do you see the rest of 2021 and 2022 playing out for your business? A: I see nothing but brightness coming in 2021 and 2022. We will continue to evolve with new society norms and we will never stop doing our best to make sure people of every race, gender, sexuality and age can have affordable access to art supplies, skills, team building and creative mentoring. This experience has been tremendously stressful, but we will come out the other side better than ever. Look out, Canada, we are out to make Kamloops the art party capital!

100-529 Seymour Street, Kamloops, BC V2C 0A1 P: 250.434.1700 F: 250.434.1701 info@jhstr.ca johnhowardbc.ca/thompson-region

While we’re facing challenging times, the John Howard Society of the Thompson Region has remained committed to providing essential services to vulnerable individuals within our community. As needs have grown, JHS has focused on growth to support people in crisis and plan for supports that will allow individuals and our community to emerge stronger. Over the past year, the JHS has: • • • •

Served 1000+ people in Kamloops Provided 70+ rent subsidies to people at risk of homelessness Operated 202 affordable housing units Delivered domestic violence, skills training, and employment opportunities and programming • Provided addictions and mental health supports • Enhanced our commitment to culturally relevant services through the guidance of the agencies Elder • Commenced construction on a new 60 unit affordable housing complex

This has all been accomplished through the work and collaboration of 85+ staff, volunteers and Board of Directors with a commitment to the agency’s mission of creating a safe, stronger, and more sustainable community by supporting people to achieve greater independence.


Our organization continues to grow and offers staff purpose-driven work in a vibrant environment We invite you to stay connected with us through our website, www.johnhowardbc.ca/thompson-region to learn more about current and upcoming career opportunities.




GOALS Improve the quality of life of the people we serve through effective programs and services

Expand community partnerships •••

Enhance community awareness of JHSTR and the issues it addresses

Ensure best practice standards for board governance and development •••

Ensure sustainable operations/assets and long-term growth

2021 2021


Firefighters adapting to the new reality Firefighters are “in it for the long haul” of the pandemic after a year of adjustment, but looking forward to a return of normalcy, according to Kamloops Fire Chief Steven Robinson. Robinson said the impact of the past year on the department was wide-ranging. “Lots of challenges, lots of changing protocols as we began to move through the pandemic starting a year ago,” he said. The general mental-health stresses of the pandemic took their toll on firefighters, Robinson said. Operationally, KFR saw a shift in its medical-response protocols. Firefighters had to adapt to new policies for entering residences and administering CPR, while levels of personal protective equipment required varied in the first few months. “It was a challenge initially to make sure that all our PPE was up

Kamloops Fire Rescue Chief Steve Robinson. Dave Eagles/KTW

to stock,” Robinson said, noting they were able to compile decent amounts early, helping to weather moments of decreased availability. At present, Robinson said KFR has become accustomed to its new medical response protocols and is monitoring PPE levels regularly. “We’re in it for the long haul now

70 | Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021

until our friends at Interior Health get this vaccine rolling out,” Robinson said, noting KFR is eager to help out with vaccine distribution in any way. Looking ahead to the rest of 2021 and 2022, Robinson said once KFR members are vaccinated, they’ll be waiting on the provincial health officer for instruction on when the

amount of PPE being worn can be reduced. “We wear masks in stations, we wear masks in trucks, so when can we reduce some of our current protocols around COVID … I think we’re all looking forward to that,” Robinson said. The next challenge will be wildfire season for the B.C. Interior and Robinson is encouraging people to contact KFR for a FireSmart assessment of their properties. While the pandemic has dominated lives the past year, Robinson noted people need to keep in mind other important safety precautions such as managing potential wildfire fuels around their properties and checking their smoke alarms regularly. Looking back on the impacts of the past year, Robinson said it showed the resiliency of the people of Kamloops Fire Rescue.

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tarting from humble beginnings, we have grown to become Kamloops’s premier source for local news, sports, entertainment and community events, both in print every week delivered to more than 30,000 homes and businesses across the community and online 24/7 at www. kamloopsthisweek.com, on your computer, your tablet or your phone, with consistently award-winning editorial coverage from our newsroom of talented and experienced journalists. We are also Kamloops’s most powerful advertising medium, with unparalleled print distribution, a full stable of specialty magazines and publications, a full suite of digital marketing services and excellent customer service. We are your one-stop marketing agency, ready to help you reimagine your business in the digital age. We do more than cover the community – we support it, with more than $500,000 per year in in-kind advertising support to more than 100 community organizations and events all over Kamloops. We also directly raise more than $200,000 per year directly for community groups here in Kamloops through our Raise a Reader initiative for community literacy and through the KTW Christmas Cheer Fund (See more below). We’re proud to have served Kamloops for more than 30 years and look forward to many more years of telling the stories of our community!

ADVERTISING PRODUCTS AND SERVICES • Weekly print advertising – from business cards to full paper wraps and everything in between • Flyer insertion (including specialty cards, doorhangers and more) • Specialty publications • Tourism publications • Sponsored Content

• Digital advertising on www.kamloopsthisweek.com – reach of more than 3 million monthly impressions • Digital programmatic advertising – reaching local readers on websites around the globe • Award-winning custom website design and hosting • Social media marketing • Search Engine Optimization • Search Engine Marketing • Digital Promotional Contests



In the past year, Kamloops This Week has been recognized for excellence both in journalism and in marketing. Kamloops This Week reporter Marty Hastings was named the winner of the Jack Webster Award for Community Reporting for his story about the tragic death of 25-year-old Kamloops resident Brady Dalke, while KTW staff won four awards at the BC and Yukon Community NewsMedia Association’s Ma Murray Community NewsMedia Awards for best columnist, environmental writing, investigative journalism and spot news photography. This spring, KTW Digital’s Luv’n the Loops Passport project for Tourism Kamloops was named the winner of the Economic Development Association of BC’s Marketing Innovation Award! The marketing campaign highlights and supports small business and strives to reinvigorate Kamloops’ visitor economy by providing incentives that residents could engage with independently. To date, more than 1,100 Kamloops-area residents have participated in the passport program to receive discounts at over 36 local businesses.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT BUOYS LOCAL JOURNALISM AND NON-PROFITS In the past year, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on local businesses – and their advertising spending, which funds the journalism we do at Kamloops This Week. In the spring of 2020, we put out a call for readers to support KTW directly, and readers responded in spades, with more than 1,200 readers coming forward to make one-time or monthly contributions which continue to come in today. Kamloops This Week has always been a free product and will continue to be free – but those who can afford to support local media are helping to ensure those who can’t afford to can continue to get access to trusted local information. Thanks to those generous supporters, we’ve been able to provide digital advertising packages for every donation of $25 or more to a local charity of the donor’s choice, with more than 3 dozen community groups receiving more than $50,000 worth of advertising support! To join the more than 1,200 donors and support the charity of your choice, go to support.kamloopsthisweek.com.

Ray Joliceour, Sales Manager ray@kamloopsthisweek.com

Chris Wilson, Sales Manager chris@ktwdigital.com



It takes a lot of talented and committed people to bring you community news online and in print. At Kamloops This Week, we employ more than 300 people in total, from reporters and photographers to designers and sales professionals, support staff, drivers and carriers. Staff members of Kamloops This Week volunteer their time as volunteers and on the boards of directors of dozens of community groups, including: • Rotary Club of Kamloops • Kamloops Chamber of Commerce • Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism Foundation • Thompson Rivers University Limitless Campaign Cabinet • Interior Community Services • Oncore Seniors Society • Kamloops Youth Soccer Association

• Scotties Tournament of Hearts • National Womens Curling Championship • Curl BC Mens and Womens Provincials 2021 • Omega Student Newspaper • Kamloops Sports Council • Kamloops Women’s Soccer League • Kamloops Sports Legacy Fund • ICCHA/Wish Fund

A RECORD YEAR FOR CHEER Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the Kamloops This Week Christmas Cheer Fund had a record-setting year, distributing more than $75,000 in net proceeds to four worthy charities, including the Chris Rose Therapy Centre for Autism, the Kamloops Brain Injury Association, the Kamloops Therapeutic Riding Association and the Y Women’s Emergency Shelter. Our comprehensive program of online and print advertising support plus consistent editorial coverage of these worthy charities and the community members that support Cheer helped more than 700 individuals, companies and organizations contribute to the program this year. That’s a triumph of community support – and the power of community media.

• www.kamloopsthisweek.com • www.ktwdigital.com • support.kamloopsthisweek.com

ROBERT Doull Publisher

TIM Shoults Operations Manager


CHRISTOPHER Foulds, Editor

DAVE Eagles

MARTY Hastings


SEAN Brady

MICHAEL Potestio

LINDA Bolton



RAY Jolicoeur, Manager

LINDA Skelly

JODI Lawrence

LIZ Spivey


CHRIS Wilson, Manager

MAKAYLA Peverill

JACKSON Vander Wal

ALEX Johnson


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common theme emerged from interviews with representatives from several local sports organizations — the pandemic offered opportunity to become more meaningfully acquainted with membership. “What do our members actually desire?” said Ciaran McMahon, technical director for the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association. “What kind of programming best supports their needs and desires as families? What changes might they be open to? What aspects of our community, select or academy programs do they truly value? It allowed us to explore those areas and garner a lot of feedback from our members.” Feedback is leading to change. For example, the KYSA is altering the schedule for its select program. Cam Rubel, chair of the board for the Kamloops Minor Hockey

Association, said days were spent brainstorming. “We were one of the first associations in B.C. to come out with a return-to-play plan,” Rubel said. “That was a substantial achievement for our staff. Ensuring our focus is on our membership is probably the key thing we learned. Everybody has different needs.” Stacey Matkowski took over the presidency of the Kamloops Minor Baseball Association last September, replacing outgoing president Chris Balison. “The main thing is how capable we are of changing and adapting our programming and how understanding the families are in supporting whatever changes we are making,” Matkowski said. “All of our programming, we’ve had to reimagine it. Some of it, we’re restarting.” Most of the feedback heading into the 2021 spring season seems

positive, Matkowski said, even if there are no guarantees that game play can resume. “So far, what we hear back is they are just so glad and appreciative that we are doing everything we can to get the kids on the field at all ages this spring,” Matkowski said. “Some of these kids haven’t thrown a ball for nearly two years.” Government grants and quick thinking have helped the associations survive, with organizers adapting to never-before-seen circumstances by devising programming with modified rules. The 2020 KYSA spring season was cancelled. Increased registration in the fall and winter campaigns helped offset losses. Hopes are growing for the 2021 spring season. “We’re hearing kids should be back to playing games by April,” McMahon said, noting that is the most recent

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messaging from Dr. Henry. But the KYSA is ready to pivot, with back-up plan behind back-up plan on deck. “Even if we don’t have a season as we thought we would, a lot of people want to participate in soccer programming,” McMahon said. “We can deliver that for sure.” Matkowski is taking a cautious approach to the return to normalcy at the ballpark. “I don’t think we’ll be at the oldschool normal for a few years, until youth are vaccinated and we can all safely be at the park and sitting on the bleachers,” she said. “We’re far from normal. Right now, we’re going to get them out there swinging bats and hitting balls. “We’ll see what Dr. Bonnie Henry offers and maybe they will get to play some games. But as for our rep teams, I just don’t know. We just wait and see.”

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KTW asked Kamloops Arts Council members to look back at 2020 and ahead to 2022 via artwork Carmen Teixeira-Derksen created Hope, a 24-inch-by-36-inch acrylic on canvas artwork. Says Teixeira-Derksen: “What inspired me to paint this happy, not too happy blast from the past, an elderly woman remembering better times and, hopefully, happier times? Hope — with a smirk of uncertainty, graffiti-inspired artists, peace and loss. Hope keeps us going and allows us to believe in the impossible. Hopelessness threatens to sink us. I choose Hope. This is how I see it.”

Lily Dalley’s creation is called Emerging Stronger. Says Dalley: “Art, music and nature seem to be, for many people, the very best therapy for easing the anxiety and exhaustion of these pandemic times. The theme for this kinetic sculpture (automata) was inspired by the many families who are coping with new challenges, but finding joy and rejuvenation in simple pastimes.”

76 32 || Kamloops Kamloops This This Week Week PROGRESS PROGRESS 2021 2021

KTW asked Kamloops Arts Council members to look back at 2020 and ahead to 2022 via artwork

Here’s hoping the post-pandemic world is as melodious as a B-flat note.

Awaiting a new note to sounds for us Ryan Noakes

Kamloops Symphony Orchestra

One of the basic principles of all music composition is that of “tension and release.” Chords, notes and melodies interact with each other to create a feeling of conflict and tension. Then, through various means, they resolve to a more relaxed state. It is up to the composer to determine how and when this tension is released and, over history, this has been done in increasingly creative and ingenious ways. Just like the soundtrack for a movie can prolong the tension in a suspenseful scene, 2020 was a period of extended tension for arts organizations across the world, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra being no exception. We saw this conflict in completely new and unfamiliar ways, with the inability of being able to perform for large (or any) physical audiences and the need to deliver digital programming. However, as we move through 2021, just like with the basic concept of composition, we are seeing the release to a more relaxed state, one note at a time. Although we do not know exactly how everything with resolve, we look forward to finishing this composition and starting the next. And like the progression of music over time, we expect to see (and hear) something completely new and creative when it is over.  Join us for the resolution at kamloopssymphony.com.

Marianna Abutalipova created By The River. Says Abutalipova: “In the time of despair, I try to turn to bright colours, abstract brush strokes, just feel the paint and go with the flow. The pandemic gave us one gift that I learned to appreciate — time. It is the silver lining. The show must go on and so does the creativity. This pandemic will make us stronger, better and more creative.”

Above is a painting called Covid Warrior, created by Nancy Kuchta, who says: “When the pandemic first broke out, I took this opportunity to express myself in my artwork, in an empowering manner. I wanted people to feel like these little warriors were part of our immune system fighting this evil virus.” Kamloops This Week PROGRESS 2021 | 77

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Kamloops’ North Shore

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We are excited to start on new projects on Kamloops’ North Shore this year and are always open to discussion on potential partnerships. Thank you to the community of Kamloops for your support. —Joshua Knaak, ARPA Investments ARPA Investments Partners (LtoR): Parmjit Mahal, Jasbir Mahal, Joshua Knaak

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Progress 2021  

Progress 2021 - Emerging Stronger

Progress 2021  

Progress 2021 - Emerging Stronger