From the President | by Mark Thompson
Contents Regular features
OMRA Directors List Mayor’s message In the Works The Simpson Files
united we stand
Become an active member of our residents’ association for a quality community and a quality Kelowna.
5 7 12 13
Special features Summerhill Pyramid Winery 9 Sparkling enterprise’s organic development.
Think World Class. Eat Local. We believe in food and wine that radiates goodness, from the way it tastes to the way it makes you feel. We feature the best ingredients in the world, sourced from dedicated organic BC farmers, including an onsite raised-bed chef’s garden. Chef Jesse Croy invents with the season, using the exceptional ingredients and organic wines as inspiration. Enjoy this singular culinary experience with stunning views of vineyard, lake, and mountains from the Sunset Organic Bistro’s dining room and terrace.
Open every day 11:00 am to 9:00 pm Sunday Brunch from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm 4870 Chute Lake Road 250 764 8000 ext. 3
www.summerhill.bc.ca 2 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
When people ask where I live, I often say, “Paradise.” Without question, Kelowna is a unique and wonderful place to live in most respects. On the other hand, many say Kelowna is a “Diamond in the Rough” and could use some improvement. The Okanagan Mission Residents Association wants to be a part of making Kelowna a better place to live. One of the key ingredients to this end is to effectively engage the community in determining priorities. I believe that we need to improve our ability to set community priorities by learning more about individual views on issues, needs, wants and desires. To improve the Okanagan Mission Residents Association’s ability to represent our community, we are embarking on a few new initiatives. We will do this through surveys, town hall meetings, guest articles, community events and by providing encouragement for community members to attend our board meetings, including hosting an open forum for presentations as part of our regular agenda.
a great deal to the quality of life within the city and the Okanagan Mission Residents Association is considered a strong association. However, a strong player only counts if the whole team is collectively strong. I will be meeting with other Kelowna residents’ associations to see how we can work together to make a positive difference. Collectively, we can have a stronger impact on all levels of government, which could result in more positive policy decisions within our communities. For example, recently your association made a presentation to city council during the hearing on the bylaw change for secondary suites. Strong feelings were expressed by some of our members that the issue of blanket rezoning to approve secondary suites in single-family dwellings was unreasonable. Our presentation urged strong caution on moving too rapidly with the apparent irreversible change and urged council to get better information from a meaningful cross-section of the community before proceeding. Since we were the only residents’ association submitting a presentation, it must have ap-
Associations Should Work Together
Community associations can contribute
Continued on page 4
The articles contained within this newsmagazine are the expressed opinion of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the OMRA Board of Directors. They are for information purposes only and, while they cannot be guaranteed, they were obtained from sources believed to be reliable.
Free Fall Fun
The family behind Kelowna Mountain. Autumn activities for your guests.
Okanagan Mission Review Publisher Len McFarlane firstname.lastname@example.org Editor Dona Sturmanis email@example.com Contributing Writers Deana Merrick Sharron Simpson Rand Zacharias
Extra Copies Extra copies of this publication are available at the Mission Library while supplies last. This and archived editions are also available for download at: www.omra.ca Please direct all advertising inquiries to Rand Zacharias at 250-212-0062 firstname.lastname@example.org Winter newsmagazine deadline October 21 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 3
President’s Report continued
From the editor | Dona Sturmanis
We’ve Made Changes
Help our community to get to know itself.
Residents’ Association Continued from page 3
We hope you enjoy our new look.
peared that our concern was not universal. Let’s Make a Positive Difference
In general, I believe that elected officials mean well, but we have allowed the governance systems to become so complex that it often denies common sense. Many of my friends are simply so disgusted, they no longer even vote. I predict that if we continue down this path, less than 10 percent of the population will dictate to the rest. It will not be what’s good for the broader community, but
instead it will become what’s good for the minority. To tackle important issues takes both human and capital resources. Being armed with solid facts and backed by qualified survey information will help us represent you better. Do you have an expertise that you could volunteer to help the Okanagan Mission Residents Association? Would you consider contributing by advertising in the Review? To help the association become more efficient and effective, we will be review-
ing our constitution, developing comprehensive e-mail and regular mail contact lists, increasing our membership, raising funds and generally becoming a catalyst to help our community get to know itself. You can expect us to be asking tough questions to gain a valid sense of reality. In an effort to improve our communications, look for a new column, “Did You Know?” in our next edition of the Review. Respectfully, Mark Thompson President
I Love Autumn... Growing up in South East Kelowna, this time of year brings back many fond memories of our family’s orchards and vineyards.
These rich and fruitful lands have been nurtured by the Wards Turtons since the initial plantings by my Great-grandfather George Ward in the early 1920’s. The View from Block “12” Riesling is my favourite. A warm harvest welcome awaits you...just look for the Red Shoe. Come and see why we love it up here.
There are some new additions to the Okanagan Mission Review that you are sure to enjoy. There’s our new glossy cover, which marks us as more of a magazine than a newsletter, as people have often referred to us. We are also intoducing the first of many lively regular messages from our new association president Mark Thompson. We are very pleased to launch the first of a series of informative reports by Mayor Walter Gray, which starts this issue and will keep you up to date on what’s happening at City Hall. You’ll find the feature on Summerhill Pyramid Winery to be fascinating. This
iconic business, owned by the Cipes family, draws up to 3000 visitors a day and has received the first Biodynamic Demeter Certification in British Columbia. Kelowna Mountain is a prime topic in this issue of the Review, as it is in Okanagan Mission. Here you’ll find a profile of the Consiglio family, developers of the resort, as well as commentary on the project by Sharron Simpson in her column and an analysis by Len McFarlane in In the Works. On a lighter note, Deanna Merrick provides you with fun fall activities to entertain your guests...and they’re free! - Dona Sturmanis
Okanagan Mission Residents’ Association Membership PO Box 29138, Kelowna BC, V1W 4A7
Anyone living in Okanagan Mission who makes a minimum donation of $10.00 to the Association will become a member as long as the member remains living in Okanagan Mission. Name:
~ Jennifer Turton-Molgat
Wine Shop & Tasting Room Open Year Round April - Oct. Daily 11:30am - 5:30pm Nov. - March Weekdays Daily Noon - 5pm
www.theviewwinery.com The View Winery 1-2287 Ward Rd., Kelowna, BC (p) 250 860.0742 or (c) 250 215.1331
4 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
4624 Lakeshore Drive Open 7 days a week 7 am to 7 pm 778-477-2923 email: email@example.com
Postal Code: Phone: E-mail:
I would consider becoming a director of OMRA
Soccer students from the Soccaskool program enjoy a September morning scrimmage on the Kettle Valley Sports Field. Is the sports field in jeopardy? More details on page 12.
OMRA Directors 2012 - 2013 President Mark Thompson
Past President Kerry Lomax
Vice President Mark Ranger
Secretary Brenda Sbrozzi
Treasurer Peter Pugsley
Directors Ron Erickson Ron Hallick Melissa McCall Wanda McMechan Kelly Roth Robin Tracy Wayne Wolfe
250-764-3217 250-764-8697 778-214-1265 250-450-6595 250-764-2852 250-764-3141 250-764-6430
Current Membership = 520 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 5
The view from City Hall
City Council Contact List
your neighbourhood gym
Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting Residential, Commercial and Development Property Appraisals plus Strata Depreciation Reserve Plans.
Fred J. Lindsay
AACI, P.App., Dipl.T., R.I.
#201 - 1583 Ellis Street, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 2A7 Bus: 250-861-8440 Cell: 250-862-4685 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Free $25 shake card with any pre-authorized monthly membership Gym is open to members 5am - 11pm, 365 days a year Membership sales, gym orientations and shake bar: (250) 764-0476 Monday to Thursday: 9am - 7pm Saturday: 10am - 3pm kettlevalleyfitness.ca
Good communication with people can make a difference in the way you live in your community. Similarly, the following people know that in order to vote on matters in your best interest they must hear from you.
Councillor Colin Basran 250-575-4535 email@example.com
Councillor André Blanleil 250-862-0592 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Maxine DeHart 250-469-8865 email@example.com 250-469-8677 firstname.lastname@example.org
/ fresh results / every time
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Councillor Robert Hobson 250-469-6224 email@example.com
Councillor Mohini Singh 250-469-8949 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councillor Luke Stack
Your neighbourhood. Your friends. Your coffeehouse. 4600 Lakeshore Road
(beside Sunshine Market)
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6 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
Secondary suites, Fortis, Kelowna Community Theatre. Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray
Mayor Walter Gray
Councillor Gail Given
Councillor Gerry Zimmermann
Mayor and Council
This is my first column for the Okanagan Mission Review and I hope these quarterly articles will give you some insight into City of Kelowna projects, programs and initiatives. One significant Council decision that came into effect Sept. 10 is the streamlining and strengthening of the secondary suite process. The secondary suite strategy will permit a secondary suite in single-family dwellings in all residential areas without needing to rezone the property, streamlining the approval process for applications. The streamlining process will see a 1 to 2-week Building Permit and Business Licence approval process, compared with 3 to 4 months under the old process. In addition to improved processes for inspections, the new process provides a better mechanism to monitor business licences attached to legal secondary suites. Based on the experience of other municipalities that permit secondary suites in single-family dwellings city-wide, we do not expect a sudden increase in the creation of these units in Kelowna. The Housing Strategy endorsed by City Council in 2011 notes that more than half of households in Kelowna do not have sufficient income to buy housing. The City is limited in what it can do to influence the availability of housing stock to meet the needs of all residents. What the City can do is improve policy and zoning to support the needs for housing and make
it clearer and easier to support housing proposals suited to families. • The City of Kelowna is also about to embark on a significant public engagement process for the Kelowna Electrical Utility Restructuring Opportunity presented to City Council on July 23. The City has a Memorandum of Understanding with FortisBC to investigate the advantages for Kelowna if FortisBC assumed ownership of the City of Kelowna electric utility. The City has successfully run its electrical utility for decades, today serving one-third of Kelowna’s residents. The Cityowned electric utility serves residents as far north as Poplar Point, south to KLO Road, east to Spall Road/Kelowna Golf & Country Club and west to the shores of Okanagan Lake. In the years ahead, however, long-term infrastructure needs estimated at $70 million, combined with upward pressure on wholesale electricity prices, will make it hard for the utility to maintain current annual earnings of $2 million a year. This process will include an extensive public information program in the fall of 2012. Information notices on the Restructuring Opportunity will also be included in electricity bills sent to the City’s electricity customers, and to FortisBC’s electricity Continued on page 8 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 7
Kelowna Community Theatre
Golden Anniversary Showcase.
Voted best place to eat and hear live music!
customers within the City of Kelowna. The alternative approval process is expected to be held this autumn and will be well advertised. • Finally, a more entertaining topic: the 50th Anniversary of the Kelowna Community Theatre. Since opening its doors on Sept. 13, 1962, the theatre has grown from a small community theatre to become Kelowna’s professional presenting house in the heart of the Cultural District. A Golden Anniversary Showcase event to celebrate the theatre’s first 50 years was held on Sept. 13 with performances by the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra, Ballet Kelowna, Theatre Kelowna Society, Wentworth Music, Dance City Academy, Robert Fine and many more. If you missed it, there is an exciting line-up of entertainment for the rest of
Ray Bonneville Maria Muldaur & Her Red Hot Bluesiana Band
Oct 11 The David Gogo Acoustic Trio Oct
24 The Strawbs
Nov 8 -9 Jack Semple Dec
Kelly Joe Phelps
250-764-2301 4638 Lakeshore Road www.minstrelcafe.com
The Travelling Steam Show
James Keelaghan Trio (THURS) Oct. 25th - 7:30 PM
(SAT) Oct. 13th - 7:30 PM
Juno award winning Canadian folk singer -songwriter
the theatre’s 50th season, including a mix of local, national and international performers such as Fernando Varela, Michelle Wright, John Pinette and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Investing in – and celebrating – our artistic and cultural sector is particularly gratifying, because the experiences and memories we take away from live performances last a lifetime. • Between this column and the next one, you can always find out what’s happening in our city by visiting kelowna.ca. Check out the City Projects link, or sign up to receive e-subscription bulletins from the City of Kelowna on topics you want to follow. - Mayor Walter Gray
Kind of like Paul Simon in the Rhymin’ Simon days - Stuart McLean
TICKETS: $30/Adult, $10/Student - Rotary Centre for the Arts (250) 717-5304, 421 Cawston Ave. Kelowna, BC or www.SelectYourTickets.com For show details visit www.RotaryCentrefortheArts.com
8 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
summerhill Pyramid Winery This family enterprise has experienced sustainable, organic growth over two decades.
Danny Michel Trio (FRI) Nov. 2nd - 7:30 PM
Celebrating 50 years of live entertainment.
Continued from page 7
Maria Muldaur October 4
Community Business Profile by Rand Zacharias
Photo: Kevin Trowbridge
Mayor Report continued
We invite everyone to visit us,” says C.E.O. of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Ezra Cipes, “and if you live here in the valley—please introduce yourselves.” With the recent approval from the Agriculture Land Commission for a non-farm to obtain a full restaurant license, Summerhill’s Sunset Organic Bistro is hoping to see a good number of neighbours stopping in for lunch or dinner. The iconic pyramid on Lakeshore Drive may be of passing interest for daily commuters; however, Sunset Bistro is soon to be Kelowna’s newest full service restaurant offering an expanded menu and full service bar. The recent award of Family Enterprise of the Year from the Canadian Association of Family Enterprise arrives at a time when the Cipes family is once more taking steps to broaden their service to the community. Food and wine pairing diners have been enjoying the cuisine of Chef Jesse Croy in recent times, but with the full service license...comfort food with a cool, frothy beer or a tall cocktail are on the horizon for the Sunset Organic Bistro... another step in a sparkling direction. It’s been over two decades of steady, sustainable, organic growth. First Steps
Ezra remembers moving from New York to Kelowna at the age of six. “The steps on stairways seemed a half inch taller in this land of northern giants,” he
The Cipes men of Summerhill, (left to right) sons, Gabriel, Ezra, (father) Stephen and, youngest son, Ari.
recalls. His father, Stephen, began to take even bigger steps as the family became acclimated to their new rural home in Canada—from successful New York realtor to Okanagan farmer selling grapes to local grocers. “My father’s first experience with spraying the herbicide Gramoxone wearing a full-bodied white chemical suit and a gas mask in 1987 left him aghast,” says Ezra. “His first concern was for us kids living in the middle of the vineyard, and his second concern was for the lake and the valley—after a year of research into organic alternatives—my parents started on the path of organic farming.” Stephen and Wendy Cipes removed the hybrid and table grapes from their fields, leaving the Riesling planted in the 1970s, and replanted the rest with European vinifera. The early 1990s saw sons, Matthew, Gabriel, Ezra and Ari growing up and helping the family move to become a sparkling wine enterprise with the expertise of winemaker Eric von Krosigk. Von Krosigk’s eight-year winemaking education in Germany proved to be another step in the stairway to Summerhill’s future success. In 1991, Summerhill celebrated its first commercial vintage as the 13th licensed winery in British Columbia, bottling wine in the garage, with blue tarps stretched
out above the driveway of the Cipes family home. In the years leading up to the launch of Summerhill Winery, the family had hosted several meetings with other Okanagan grape growers to discuss the formation of Vintner Quality Alliance (VQA) standards, resulting in today’s BC VQA. Cipes Brut was released in 1992 and received front-page acclaim nationally and internationally—newspaper giants like the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times gave rave reviews with headlines reading, “Sparkling Wine from Canada.” The Okanagan Valley wine industry was coming of age. Growth of an Enterprise
By 1996, building started on the family estate resulting in today’s modern facility. The architectural design for a grand visitor centre with views of the winemaking was a first for the Okanagan industry—including a four-story concrete pyramid wine cellar. Climbing the steps into the middle of the pyramid, visitors can view the spacious cellar with oak barrels surrounding the perimeter walls and a large, natural crystal perched at the peak of the penultimate triangular structure. It’s a serene environContinued on page 10 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 9
Make a positive difference – be involved in your community! Thank you to all the volunteers of OMRA! I’ m honoured to serve our community – please contact me regarding any Federal issues or ideas you may have.
Ron Cannan, MP
Kelowna - Lake Country
114-1835 Gordon Drive, Kelowna, BC, V1Y 3H4 (250)-470-5075 email@example.com www.cannan.ca
205 - 3320 Richter Street
Kelowna Physiotherapy Associates offers a wide variety of services to help keep you moving... for life! Please call our office for details. 250-860-2854
10 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
Continued from page 9 ment accompanied with a cool meditative twilight—perhaps it’s the power of the pyramid—but a glass of Gewurtztraminer may also be the cause for a calming mood. An earlier pyramid was formed of a cardboard and concrete construct. A unique taste test was introduced—90 percent of A rite of spring as walkers carry singing cans of incense about the property contributing to those surveyed agreed that the the organic nature of the vineyards. wine stored beneath the pyramid tested better than the control group stored elsewhere. Stephen had site garden from which Chef Croy gathers experienced a sublime moment in the cel- seasonal herbs and vegetables for the lar caves beneath ancient Roman arches bistro’s fine cuisine. in Champagne, France and noted the By 2008, Ezra joined the management absence of metal and electricity during a team as the chief operating officer for the tour in 1990—the interpreted result was winery (he became the C.E.O. in 2012). Summerhill’s pyramids. A complete overhaul from accounting to As Summerhill grew, sons went out marketing strategy, to the shape of the and pursued other career paths. Matthew wine portfolio occurred as the winery became a professional massage therapist. won the most prestigious awards of its Gabriel and Ezra chased their passion for existence: Canadian Wine Producer of the music across Canada. Ari, the youngYear from the International Wine & Spirit est, finished high school and continued Competition in London, England, and a to work in wine production and in the host of gold medals and trophies from vineyard. around the world. Today’s winery sees up to 3000 visitors in a day. The dream of bringing agritourists to the Okanagan has Middle Steps By 2005, Summerhill was under profes- been realized, but not without obstacles. Stephen desired food to complement sional management, and more steps the first tastings of Summerhill wines. He would soon be climbed. Gabriel, the fought for the introduction of BC’s first present permaculture and biodynamic “J” license. agriculture director, made a call to Ezra. “We couldn’t even serve crackers as “You should come home and be a part of the family business,” was the gist of his pallet cleansers,” he remembers. “The dated laws wouldn’t allow food service phone call. Ezra returned to create the present on- with wine tastings.” This was why the “J”
The Cipes family continues to make strides as the first completely organic winery.
Photo: Rand Zacharias
Photo: Rand Zacharias
As Summerhill grew, sons went out and pursued other career paths.
license was created and allowed licensed estates to serve food with their wine until four o’clock in the afternoon. But food service remained a difficult step to take. Gradually the J license evolved into today’s Winery Lounge Endorsement, which allows Summerhill and other local wineries to serve both lunch and dinner, but only with their own wines. Future Steps
The continued growth of Summerhill’s service to the community and visitors from afar will finally be realized this summer with the full ‘food primary’ status that all non-farm restaurants enjoy. It becomes an ascension of another stairway for the local winery estate. As one of the C.E.O. Ezra’s peers in the restaurant industry succinctly put it, “You get a bar, dude. That’s huge.” As the Cipes family continues to make strides as the first completely organic winery, having received the first Biodynamic
A view of Summerhill’s famed sweat lodge from the Chinese walking bridge which crosses over the small creek running through the estate.
Demeter Certification in British Columbia this year, the inclusion of their new full service bar and restaurant will start another fire in the middle of this ambitious,
Wills & Estate Planning Real Estate & Mortgages Powers of Attorney Representation Agreements
eclectic, entrepreneurial adventure. Rand Zacharias is a Kelowna journalist and book author.
Storytimes until December 13 Bookclubs for all ages
Baby Time Tuesdays Toddler Time Wednesdays Preschool Thursdays
10:15 am 10:15 am 10:15 am
Author tour - John Wilson - October 2 at 10:00 am (No Baby Time on this date.)
Check out the website at orl.bc.ca/branches/mission
MISSION LAW GROUP Joel A. Wiseman
212- 2900 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, BC V1Y 1V9 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 11
In the works | by Len McFarlane
Community Report by Sharron Simpson
in the works Changes in our community.
Kelowna Mountain The Kelowna Mountain development occupies 640 acres of land within the Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) overlooking Okanagan Mission. The land is zoned RU1 (Rural 1 in Regional District Zoning Bylaw No. 871). The purpose of the RU1 zone is, “To accommodate agricultural and rural uses on parcels that are 30 hectares (74 acres) or greater.” There is a list of permitted uses, 12 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
buildings and structures within the RU1 zone which include, The fate of the Kettle Valley Sports field agriculture, one will be determined within the next few weeks. single detached house (per 74 acre parcel) and a limited number of accessory Regional Board, the South Slopes OCP includes a map notation over the 640 acre buildings. Agri-tourism is also a permitted use and Kelowna Mountain lands entitled, “Recreation Resort Study Area”. The resort study is defined as “land, buildings and structures for the purpose of providing tourist area requires completion of a secondary planning process prior to considering facilities and activities directly associated an amendment to the ‘Rural Resource’ with working farms and ranches.” The land use designation that applies to the developer has received a building permit Kelowna Mountain lands. to construct a welcome centre and a The RDCO is currently awaiting a rebusiness license has been issued by the sponse from the developers on how they Regional District for agri-tourism use. intend to proceed with regard to making a Kelowna Mountain is a proposed Golf, Wine and Ski Resort according to develop- development application. The Kelowna 2030 OCP which was ers Mark and Nicola Consiglio. “To date completed in May 2011 has already alwe have built what we could under the lowed for a modest growth of 1980 houscurrent agri-tourism zoning,” says Mark, ing units for the Southwest Okanagan “including vineyards, an irrigation pond and four engineered and certified suspen- Mission area. This will bring our existing transportation corridors closer to capacity. sion bridges.” Another 880 acres of land are still available On June 14, 2012 the RDCO adopted for future urban growth within this same the South Slopes Official Community area beyond the 20 year time period. Plan (OCP). The purpose of an OCP is The Kelowna 2030 OCP did not acto set policies and objectives “respectcount for the Kelowna Mountain project ing the form and character of existing which calls for the construction of apand proposed land use and servicing proximately 1800 residential units in their requirements.” The OCP also includes Development Permit requirements which long range plan. are intended to protect important enviLen McFarlane is an Okanagan ronmental values and to protect against Mission resident and publisher of the hazardous conditions. As recommended and approved by the Okanagan Mission Review.
City Boundaries, Kelowna Mountain, Reader Query, and the Ritz Café .
As we relished the blue skies and heat of what finally became a typical Okanagan summer, Kelowna drifted and complained its way through the season of extra Lakeshore Road traffic, more haphazard cyclists, more weaving skateboarders, and simply, more people. Community issues simmer and await cooler weather and the return of the usual routines of autumn. Revised City Boundaries
There has been much talk about changing Kelowna’s city boundaries to include areas currently under Regional District jurisdiction – parts of Ellison, the area adjacent to Winfield/Lake Country, and the South Slopes – the mountainous area immediately adjacent to Okanagan Mission to the south. Kelowna has had a lengthy and often tempestuous relationship with its boundaries. The early town ended at Gordon Drive and KLO Road where Pandosy Street and Lakeshore Road morph into each other. Residents around Guisachan House once threatened to take the city to court if it dared annex them, and everyone was certain the Capri Hotel would fail because it was built so far out of town. Orchard
Photo: Sharron Simpson
The Kettle Valley Sports Field The land on which the Kettle Valley soccer field is located is part of a larger 14.1 acre parcel, 6 acres of which are dedicated to School District 23, which has the option to purchase the remaining 8.1 acres by November 27th, 2012. Approximately 10 years ago, rather than have the land sit idle, a soccer field was developed under a lease arrangement between Kettle Valley Developments and the City of Kelowna. The soccer field is situated on one of only two properties in Okanagan Mission large enough to accommodate a middle school with the other possible site located at The Ponds at the south end of Gordon Drive. Coincidentally, SD23 is currently in the process of updating its Long Term Facility Plan for accommodating existing and future students in the Okanagan Mission area, including future plans for a middle school. As of this date the choice of a school site has not been determined.
The simpson files
The grass area near the entrance to the downtown library.
Park was also beyond the city boundaries when it was built in the early 70s, and since there were no services, sewage had to be trucked to the Westside for disposal for a couple of years. Okanagan Mission was a separate little community and though there was talk that maybe, someday, it should become a municipality, there was no urgency and nothing was ever done. However, after years of WAC Bennett and Social Credit, the NDP came to power in 1973 and almost immediately passed legislation to amalgamate the areas surrounding Kelowna into a single restructured city. Glenmore, Rutland and Okanagan Mission were summarily swallowed into greater Kelowna – no consultation and no local input – cries of dictatorship ensued though everyone agreed that consensus could never have been achieved. Kelowna Mountain
The city boundary issue has again surfaced, this time likely propelled, in part at least, by the Kelowna Mountain project. It is a mammoth development – 259 hectares (640 acres) – with ski hills
and chair lifts already built and three of four suspension bridges constructed. There will also be a mountain bike park, championship golf course, a commercial centre with nearby residential and a grand resort development, a winery that rivals Mission Hill in appearance, and community theatre. While permits have been issued for some aspects of the work already completed, the proposed development substantially exceeds the permitted land uses as defined by existing zoning bylaws. Busloads of reputed supporters dressed in T-shirts proclaiming “Stop the OCP” and dropping Donald Trump’s name as leverage to their argument, have invaded city hall meetings. Rumours and accusations fly, and a Regional District director defamed the District’s staff and the chair – though she later apologized. Rational, constructive dialogue has become impossible. Kelowna has experienced renegade developers before with their trail still evident in the Mission. Though many who want to do business in Continued on page 14 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 13
Remembering the Ritz.
Photo: Sharron Simpson
More on Nellie.
St. Andrew’s Okanagan Mission
Continued from page 13 the area may complain and rail against the bureaucracy of city hall (or the Regional District in this case), growth for growth’s sake isn’t always in the best interests of the broader community. There is a process. Though we may not always agree with the decisions or recommendations of city council, or the regional board, or staff, communication still needs to be respectful and all sides are still entitled to be heard. The alternative is anarchy and chaos – and our community, our beautiful Valley, and the people who are charged with looking after it, deserve better than the scenario that is playing out around this development. Reader Query
I appreciated the query from a resident in response to my previous column decrying the need to spend substantial dollars to improve city hall security for council members. She was appalled at the deplorable state of the streets and grass around the downtown bus loop and library, and felt the city hall security dollars would be better spent cleaning up those areas. Homelessness, loitering, and the lack of facilities for those congregating there makes these areas seriously unpleasant, smelly, menacing and a deterrent for those legitimately wanting to use these public facilities. However, it isn’t a matter of spending money on council security instead of cleaning up these areas or providing alternatives for those in need – it is an issue of allocating the city’s dollars. Cities, like provincial and federal governments, always have money and they always have the option of raising more – they just increase your taxes. However the issue be14 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
The Ritz Café was only one of many lives of this abandoned structure on Lakeshore Road.
comes one of priorities – theirs or yours. If you don’t like how they have allocated their/your money, let them know. Make an appointment to see the mayor. Take photos of what you are talking about; note time and date. Send each councillor a letter. Or better yet, pay them a visit. Rally the support of other like-minded citizens. Make your priorities council’s priorities. When your voice or voices are heard, your issue will likely be addressed. Nellie Duke Update
I also received more stories about the eccentric Nellie Duke whose tiny house is an Okanagan Mission landmark that is about to be sold – and likely demolished. Nellie was a pioneer do-it-yourselfer – she didn’t drive so carried her scrounged building materials from Kelowna by whatever means were available to her at the time – there wasn’t likely a regular bus service but perhaps a shuttle of sorts and there were times she must have taken up most of the available space with her boards and nails and cement. There are many more stories about Nellie as many still remember her – and usually do so
with a chuckle. The Ritz Café
Okanagan Mission was full of characters. Early residents did what they had to do to survive though many also brought the elegance of their heritage with them. Then there were the opportunists who rose to whatever occasion presented itself. What we now know as Lakeshore Road was, around 1912, one of the main supply routes for the construction of the Kettle Valley Railway. Never intended to be Kelowna’s railroad, the line was built to keep the ore from the mines at Hedley, Princeton, and Greenwood, among others, from bypassing Canadian ports and taxes and being shipped through the US. Lakeshore Road – then a rough dirt track – was the easiest access for materials being dropped off at the Mission wharf at the foot of Collett Road to be taken to the construction site. Many workers arrived in the area and – being the frontier – so did those who provided services. The Ritz Café, at the intersection of Collett and Lakeshore Roads, was one of the most popular. The
old building remains though it is now boarded up, forlorn, and looking profoundly abandoned. The café consisted of the porch and two rooms, and the ladies were a colourful pair known to “cater to all appetites.” There was little respite from the summer dust and heat but these resourceful women saw the flumes carrying water to the nearby hay and tobacco fields, that ran along the road in front of St. Andrew’s Church and past their Ritz Café. The trough dimensions were very accommodating, the water cool, and the ladies were frequently seen blissfully immersed in the fast flowing water. They dammed the flow; water poured over the sides and saturated the surrounding dirt – too bad about the parishioners heading to church and confronted by the resulting puddles and mud – the ladies cooled off and business resumed. The area subsequently evolved to more acceptable uses – but more on that next time.
Anglican Church of Canada Serving the Mission since 1911
Sunday services 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM 4619 Lakeshore Road www.standrewskelowna.ca
Queries or comments? Sharron can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Okanagan Mission Seniors Society Sarsons Centre, 4398 Hobson Road Regular Weekly Activities 250-764-7642 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
9:00 Quilting 2:15 Gentle Yoga 9:30 Keep Fit 9:00 Painting 9:00 Crafts 1:00 Mixed Bridge 9:30 Keep Fit 1:00 Cribbage
3rd Tuesday every month at 11:00 am Sask. Retired Teachers For information phone the Centre during the time listed for the activity that interests you.
Excellent client expectations for over 28 years Reliable, flexible scheduling Locally owned and operated Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 15
Together for over 12 years, the focus for Mark and Nicola is now more than ever on family.
Community Profile | by Len McFarlane
family first Besides work, this developer couple are kept busy raising six children.
Located on Okanagan Mission’s doorstep the Kelowna Mountain project is raising much concern here due to its large size and its profound change to our previously untouched landscape. (See page 12.) The controversy has brought much attention to the developers Mark and Nicola Consiglio who currently live and work in Okanagan Mission. Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to meet privately with Mark and Nicola to learn more about the personal side of their story which you will find in the following exclusive article. I discovered that they are a hardworking couple with strong family values and, despite the controversy, they will continue to work together to make their project a reality. Mark’s Colourful Upbringing
The first ten years of Mark’s life were spent in Ontario, beginning in Burlington where he was born and later in Toronto where his dad’s business became located. His dad, Bari Consiglio, after graduating from University of Western Ontario, worked for IBM for a year; then in 1968, established his own company called Educational Data Processing which was developing a unique software program to computerize student report cards. His efforts resulted in a patent that proved to be financially rewarding for the company. “It allowed Dad to retire before he was 30,” says Mark today. Mark’s parents divorced when he was 16 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
ten and he moved to Montreal with his dad while his mom remained in Ontario with two of his sisters. At that time in Montreal’s history, their neighbourhood of Westmount was becoming a target for The family is perched on one of the many viewpoints of the Kelowna Mountain project. the FLQ, an extremist separatist organization. “One day, half a dozen other kids and I his first job at McDonald’s at the age of 14. found a strange parcel in the back yard of Toronto Man Meets Okanagan Woman a neighbouring house.” They cautiously opened it to discover 17 sticks of dynaNicola was born in Liverpool, England mite inside. and, at the age of eight, emigrated to This discovery was one of a series of Calgary with her single mom and younger events, including the kidnappings of sister Emma. “My mom met a wonderful two government officials, that led to the man named Ken Ryman, whose family has October Crisis of 1970 and the culminaroots here in the Okanagan,” says Nicola. tion of the only peacetime use of the War Their initial move was to Penticton, Measures Act in Canada. This led to Bari then on to Kelowna where she attended Consiglio’s decision to move to Sydney, Rutland Elementary, Rutland Junior High, Australia. then graduated from Springvalley SecondTwo years later, following a custody ary. “I’m a Kelowna girl now,” she says. battle, Mark happily found himself back Nicola, too, was 14 when she experiin Toronto reunited with his sisters and enced her first job at McDonald’s in Rutintroduced to his mother’s new husband land. “I learned how to mop a floor and and his six children. to this day I know how to do it properly,” He attended grade 8 at Sir John A. she says. “McDonald’s is one of the best Macdonald Collegiate, a private school first time jobs for any teen.” in Scarborough where, over the ensuing At Springvalley she was encouraged to years, he was to meet Mike Meyers and enter the Lady of the Lake competition several other life-long friends who became and won in 1991. “It was an incredible influential in the Canadian music industry. experience,” she says enthusiastically. It was also during this period that he got “I met some wonderful people and had
the opportunity to explore many areas of British Columbia and Washington for the first time.” Nicola is still a strong supporter of the program and tries to remain involved whenever she can. In 1999 Nicola was singing in a band called Blonde Company from Vancouver. They had just completed an extensive show tour throughout Asia and were in Toronto for a performance. “We went out for dinner afterward and my best friend introduced me to Mark.” Mark, who was recently separated from his first wife, recognized a very special quality in Nicola and knew that he would have to do something out of the ordinary to win her attention. Three months later while Nicola was in Vancouver recording an album, Mark phoned her with an offer of a plane ticket to Toronto and a back stage pass to the Much Music Awards. “Being a musician and singer, I couldn’t refuse,” says Nicola. “It turned out to be the date of a lifetime.” That evening Mark introduced her to many of her idols including The Bare Naked Ladies and Lenny Kravitz. Their relationship deepened following this event and they soon began planning their futures together. It was good timing for Nicola as she had grown tired of the exhausting life schedule that a touring musician must endure. Family Life Begins
They soon started a new life together on the coast where Mark was growing his development business with projects in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island.
The Consiglio clan on one of the suspension bridges; Mark, Carson (6), Nicola, Caleb (18), Damian (20), Ty (10), Tuscany (15) and Mikayla (9).
“I’m very fortunate to have her,” says Mark. “She really understands the importance of maintaining strong family ties and has helped bring that value home to me and all our kids,” Mark has three children with his ex-wife Sandy -- Damian, Caleb and Tuscany. In 2001 the family of five moved to the Okanagan where Mark and Nicola collaborated on three new projects: The Trailside Heights at Big White, The Cottages at Secret Point on the west side of Okanagan Lake and The Avalon in Peachland. Their family has also grown. Ty was born in 2002, Mikayla in 2003 and Carson in 2006. “This has been great for us,” says Nicola. “We now have six incredible kids.” “We’re hands-on parents,” says Mark. “I drive five kids to four different schools in the morning and Nicola picks them all up at the end of the day.” Nicola now refers to herself as a ‘taxi mama’ as she describes her driving schedule. Not only does she work as a certified interior designer and assists when she can with their current Kelowna Mountain project, she also shops for a family of eight, and keeps her children involved in several activities. “I take my kids, including two competitive figure skaters, to 26 different
activities over a five-day period,” she says. In November 2011, Mark’s ex-wife Sandy passed away after a long battle with cancer. “It’s been a very difficult time for the three older ones, but they are doing incredibly,” says Mark. “We’ve become very tight as a family and we know we’ll all pull through this.” Family Comes First
Together for over 12 years, the focus for Mark and Nicola is now more than ever on family. “Our dream is to live within the Kelowna Mountain project and run the summer and winter park,” says Nicola. “We have a beautiful house site picked out and a few others nearby for all the kids.” Mark would like this to be his last project. “I don’t want to do any more, “ he says. “The owning and operating of this and seeing it through to the last … which we never even will, because there will always be another five acres to put in a vineyard, or you know, something, right? Speaking for myself, I can’t imagine doing anything else.” Len McFarlane is an Okanagan Mission resident and publisher of the Okanagan Mission Review. Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 17
Community Activities | by Deana Merrick
Free Fall Fun for Guests Two local activities to treat your guests and your wallet.
Thousands of households in Kelowna and the Okanagan Mission will still be hosting out-of- town family and friends in the fall...and who knows, there might even be some canine visitors. It can become very expensive to tote your guests around the city for five or six days. Here are some great options in or nearby where you can take your guests for free! Doggie destinations
Proud SPonSor of
Canine visitors, kids and families can enjoy the dog-friendly City of Kelowna all year round; there are 85 spots to take Fido for some fun. Right in your neighbourhood you’ll find the only offleash beach area for dogs. At Cedar Creek Park (5200 Lakeshore Road) there are picnic tables, a beach and, of course, your canine buddy can romp in the waters of Okanagan Lake. Perfect park
One of the most delightful parks in the central Okanagan is also found on Lakeshore Road. Bertram Creek Park features a splendid beach, swimming, boating, walking paths, a playground, a partly covered amphitheatre, washrooms and playing fields. You’ll find this 17.9 hectare beach and park just past Cedar Creek Winery. Take advantage of some of the natural and man-made wonders of the Okanagan Mission. Your wallet – and your guests – will thank you for it!
A message from STEVE THOMSON
* Create positive Change * reduce stress
Andrea Brown, A.R.C.T., B.C.R.M.T.A. • Registered Music Teacher of BC • Associate Piano Teacher of Royal Conservatory of Music • Piano Festival Adjudicator • Piano & Theory Instructor
www. 18 Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012
* awaken your spirit
lori pinnell Ma, BMgt., Ba, ryt 200
* discover Clarity and purpose
Limited spaces available for Fall
I would be pleased to meet with you to discuss any issues or concerns you have regarding the Provincial Government. Please call the office for an appointment and I will do my best to accommodate you. Or, feel free to send me an email at the address noted below. Province of British Columbia STEVE THOMSON MLA KELOWNA MISSION
Office: 250-712-3620 E-mail: email@example.com
Okanagan Mission Review | Fall 2012 19
Itâ€™s difficult to put our 25 years of winemaking into words. ~ We can, however, pour them into a glass. ~
JOIN OUR PLATINUM CLUB MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS Get the First Taste of our New Releases & More To find out how you could be a part of our new Platinum Club and get free shipping, 15% discounts on wine & accessories, exclusive access to winery concerts and other inside information including complimentary winery tours and private tastings, visit us at www.cedarcreek.bc.ca or call 250.764.8866 ext 204 WINESHOP AND TASTING ROOM MAY to OCTOBER - 10:00 am to 6:00 pm daily NOVEMBER to APRIL - 11:00 am to 5:00 pm daily
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