Skydiving at age 80
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She fought fires; now she seeks work in prison By Lyonel Doherty A Penticton mother who believes in giving people a second chance wants to make a difference in the lives of inmates at the Okanagan Correctional Centre in Oliver. T.J. Buck, 34, cleared the first hurdle (literally) during a recent physical ability test at the Oliver Community Centre. She hardly broke a sweat but agreed the short obstacle course is harder than it looks. Candidates are given two minutes and 50 seconds to navigate a set of stairs, zig-zag hurdles, a push-and-pull station, and vault rail. The final, untimed obstacle is carrying a 70-pound torso bag 50 feet. Buck is accustomed to carrying heavy stuff as part of her job working for the BC Wildfire Service. This is her fourth season fighting fires; last summer she worked on the Testalinden Creek fire in Oliver. Buck said she always wanted to fight fires, and has a passion for determining their cause and origin. But now another door has opened at the Okanagan Correctional Centre (OCC) where a different opportunity awaits. “I’m a large believer of social justice and I want (to bring about) positive change,” she said. Buck studied criminology at Okanagan College and believes working as a correctional officer would be a good fit for her. Agreed, she wouldn’t be sitting on top of a mountain taking in gorgeous scenery, but she would be helping individuals on the road to rehabilitation. “I won’t be an inspiration to everyone … but rehabilitation is definitely one of the big things that has drawn me to the job.” Buck is looking forward to working one-on-one with the inmates, but she recognizes the risk. “Fear is human nature,” she stated, noting that candidates have been given a lot of information about the job and are aware of the risks. “You have to be here for the right reasons,” she pointed out. Buck hopes to have an opportunity to pass on some of her firefighting skills to inmates who might consider
T.J. Buck pursuing that as a career when they are released. “Any way I can help be part of that change,” she stated. Buck admitted she was initially disgruntled with the justice system when she first started schooling. But her college course opened her mind to how the system works. “It’s not perfect, but it’s not broken. It needs some revamping in certain areas.” Her faith in the system inspires her to help create programs for inmates who deserve more than being locked up with the key thrown away.
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Big ‘tourism de force’ underway in Oliver By Lyonel Doherty Judging by the numbers, the Oliver Tourism Association (OTA) is growing by leaps and bounds. But wait until its new ideas start hatching. The recent annual general meeting at the Oliver Visitor Centre was a “tourism de force.” Vice-chair Beth Garrish started off by saying the centre saw nearly 13,000 visitors in 2015. Twenty-seven per cent of these people were local, while 40 per cent were from BC. “It’s mind boggling who finds us in this little town,” she said. A big thank you was given to all Jill Lawson, Gail Scott, Beth Garrish, Tony Munday, Carol Sheridan and of the knowledgeable volunteers Linda Bolton are OTA’s new board. who make it work, particularly centre Munday said these ambassadors will have iPads to be manager Rhoda Brooks. able to immediately search for and retrieve information Garrish pointed out that a new event is coming in April on tourism operators and services. – the Wine Capital Downtown Art Extravaganza. This Munday also noted that an additional OTA employee event, from 5-7 pm, will showcase local artists, busiwill be hired – a visitor outreach program coordinator. nesses and wine. In other news, Garrish said OTA has taken over orgaAssociation chair Tony Munday reminded the audience nizing the Sister City program with Lake Chelan, WA, about visiting the website at winecapitalofcanada.com and Bandai, Japan. Last August OTA hosted 10 students for event listings and business directory. Last year the and two adults from Bandai. site received more than 22,000 hits, averaging over two Garrish said they are hoping to organize a trip for a minutes in length. local group of tourism operators who want to exchange Munday also noted their WorldHost program trained ideas with a sister city. more than 300 employees in the “fundamentals” of cusThe Lake Chelan relationship has been in existence for tomer service. And starting in April, OTA will teach a new a long time, but the relationship has kind of fallen by the half-day workshop called Service Across Cultures. wayside, Garrish said. Munday encouraged people to use the Wine Capital “We have made contact with the CEO of their tourism branding logos to market and promote their business. He pointed out OTA’s strategic plan, which includes finan- arm (through the Chamber of Commerce) and they have cial independence, a communications plan, cultural tourism, confirmed a desire to re-establish that relationship.” Munday revealed OTA’s new bike and hike trail maps sports adventure tourism, and a salmon interpretive loop. for the South Okanagan, as well as Oliver’s new official It was noted that Wine Capital of Canada has 1,326 visitor guide, in partnership with the Oliver Chronicle. Facebook fans, with an average weekly reach of more Another partnership, this time with the South Okanathan 550 people. It also has more than 2,000 Tweets and gan Chamber of Commerce, will see OTA take over the 2,208 followers. A new Instagram account shows nearly reigns of the Festival of the Grape. 150 followers. Chamber president Corrie Adolph said this would free up The association has hired a team to execute its new a lot of time to focus on helping local businesses succeed. geocaching growth plan; there are now 44 geocaches Munday’s final reveal was a new cultural tourism video placed in and around Oliver. There have been 1,463 to promote Oliver. The unedited version features the geocache visits to the Wine Capital of Canada, and their following: Dawn MacRae and her horses, Chef Chris “travel bugs” have travelled a combined total of 199,581 Van Hooydonk, artist Sally Franks, Okanagan Gleaners, kilometres (over half the distance to the moon). Okanagan Portuguese Club dancers, Dubh Glas DistillWhat’s new? ery and a Kabaddi tournament. As part of its Wine Capital Outreach program, people Once the video was finished, Munday exclaimed, “Exwill see a team of Oliver tourism “ambassadors” roaming cuse my language, but holy crap, this is awesome!” the community to interact with visitors. OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 3
CONTENTS She fought fires; now she seeks work in prison
Page 2 PUBLISHER
ABERDEEN PUBLISHING INC. www.aberdeenpublishing.com
RICHARD MCGUIRE firstname.lastname@example.org
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SKYDIVING AT 80 YEARS OLD
PRESERVING AND TEACHING SYILX LANGUAGE
GUIDE DOG GIVES WOMAN INDEPENDENCE
Photography: GET OUT AND SHOOT
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I talked to my girlfriends and their husbands said I was a blithering idiot and should be committed.” ~ Heather Leslie, 80-year-old skydiver. APRIL 2016
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CONTRIBUT0RS PETER HOVESTAD has been an avid photographer since discovering the darkroom tucked under the stairs of his high school in the 1970s. He is a member of the Osoyoos Photography Club and is vice-president of the Osoyoos and District Arts Council. KELSI BISSONNETTE is a Certified Fitness Trainer and Instructor. She has been working in the fitness industry for 20+ years and has owned her own fitness studio.
Skydiving at age 80
100% locally owned
ON THE COVER
Heather Leslie, an 80-year-old Oliver woman has beaten cancer three times. She decided she wanted to try something new in her life, so she went skydiving. (Photo contributed)
We welcome feedback from our readers. Send comments to email@example.com or mail to Box 359, Osoyoos, BC V0H 1V0, Telephone 250-495-7225. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in whole or part by any means without the written permission of the publisher. While every care has been taken with this publication, the author(s) and publisher cannot be held responsible for any errors it may contain. No liability is accepted for any loss or damage resulting from the use of this publication. © 2016 Aberdeen Publishing. We reserve the right to refuse any submission or advertisement. ISSN 2291-2991.
Alexa-Jae Gillis, age 2, of Oliver, explores a colourful fabric tunnel at the Communities for Kids Family Fair at the Oliver Community Centre recently. (Richard McGuire photo)
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Heather Leslie, 80, experiences the most exciting time of her life with Bret Chalmers of Okanagan Skydive during her 10,000-foot tandem jump in Vernon. (Photo contributed)
Skydiving at 80 years old By Lyonel Doherty Heather Leslie was never a selfish person, but last fall the 80 year old finally did something for herself. The Oliver woman jumped out of a plane at 10,000 feet. Regardless of what her neighbours thought, Leslie wasn’t crazy. She just wanted to do something different in life before it was all over. In fact, she beat cancer three times and proved that it’s never too late to be daring. The spry woman, well known for establishing Heather’s Kitchen in Rock Creek and later in Oliver, lived an unadventurous life. But you could argue that raising six children was adventurous enough. “My life has not been exciting,” she stated, relaxing in her home in Deer Park Estates. Born and raised in Vancouver, Leslie was your typical “tomboy.” But in her teen years she had a desire to be a concert pianist, and played in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at the age of 17. However, a year later she contracted polio, which ended her musical aspirations. 6 www.oksun.ca
(For her, playing in the symphony at that age was “absolutely terrifying” compared to jumping out of a plane from nearly two miles above ground.) Leslie’s first job in Vancouver was at the Royal Bank in 1954, when tellers were not allowed to use adding machines; everything was printed out by hand. “If you were short one dollar, it came off your paycheque,” she recalled. In those days, families could easily survive on one salary. Leslie had her first child in 1957 and her last one in 1966. While pregnant with her sixth, her doctor said either the child would die because of her cancer (uterine and lymphoma), or she would not survive to bring the baby to term. “I said I’m not leaving five kids behind.” And she didn’t, proving her doctor wrong on both counts. Four years later she began working at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver as an usher and payroll clerk five nights a week. She did that for 12 years. During one point in her life, Leslie worked in Hawaii
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It took only 10 minutes to climb to 10,000 feet. She felt no fear, and bravery had nothing to do with it. “I was finally doing something for me.” Whoosh! They left the plane and entered a different world, proceeding to free-fall for 5,000 feet before activating the guide chute that slowed their descent. For Leslie, Kalamalka Lake was a sight to behold, a colossal emerald that beckoned with its beauty. Being above the clouds in total control gave Leslie such an ecstatic feeling. “I’ve never been so close to clouds (before). They were like wisps of an angel’s wings.” There was so much euphoria that if something bad happened, she wouldn’t have cared. Meanwhile, Norm was pacing the fence line anxious to see his wife. Leslie said the landing was so subtle that she could not have sat down any softer in a chair. “I would do it again in a minute, but I don’t know if Norm could take it,” she joked. When she got home that night, a bubble bath was the perfect end to all of that excitement. By then Norm had called 14 family members to deliver the news (no one knew about the jump until that evening). Now her oldest daughter is planning to dive out of a plane. Only the sky is the limit.
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making costumes for a modeling agency. She had plans to take hang-gliding lessons, but never got around to it. Leslie moved to Rock Creek in 1983, and a year later established Heather’s Kitchen, which was renowned for its jams and jellies. She worked 16 hours a day, with those lovely jams and jellies paying the mortgage. Leslie admitted she’s a terrible sales person, but luckily her jams sold themselves. Now retired with lots of grandchildren, Leslie is frank by saying she could die tomorrow and be happy because she finally, and literally, took the plunge. She had mentioned skydiving one day, but the response was less than supportive. “I talked to my girlfriends and their husbands said I was a blithering idiot and should be committed.” Little did she know that her hubby Norm was secretly coordinating the whole event through Okanagan Skydive out of Vernon. And he didn’t tell her until 10 days before the big jump. “All the neighbours thought I was absolutely nuts,” Leslie chuckled. The big day came on November 18, which boasted beautiful blue skies and scattered clouds. After a 30-minute tutorial, she was all set to tandem jump with dropzone owner Bret Chalmers. A total of six people participated in getting Leslie ready for the jump. “I was like a little kid being dressed for school,” she laughed.
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Local First Nations are working to preserve and teach the Syilx language. (Photo supplied)
Local First Nations working to preserve and teach traditional Syilx language By Keith Lacey Three First Nations bands from the Okanagan are working together to ensure that the critically endangered Syilx language will be around for hundreds of years to come. A total of 13 students and five “co-leaders and instructors” have accepted the challenge to spend the next four years learning the Syilx language in a program called the Sylix Language House, said Michele Johnson, program co-ordinator and the lead teacher in the group. The Osoyoos Indian Band, Penticton Indian Band and Westbank Indian Band all provided significant funding to ensure this program would take place, said Johnson. “Our language is deeply connected to who we are and to the health and well-being of our communities,” said Johnson, who is a member of the Okanagan Indian Band near Vernon. “ The students and five teachers started training the last week in September and continue to meet twice a week in a meeting room donated by the Penticton Indian Band in Penticton, said Johnson. “The PIB gave us access to this beautiful log building, 8 www.oksun.ca
which creates the perfect setting for our classroom,” she said. “Without the assistance of the PIB, Osoyoos Indian Band and Westbank First Nation, this project would never have come together as it has.” Like most Okanagan languages, the Sylix (pronounced Seemlaw) language is in danger of disappearing and that’s why the commitment to restoring and preserving the language is so important, said Johnson. The Syilx language has been spoken amongst First Nations people across the Okanagan Valley, ranging as far northeast Revelstoke, north to Merritt, across the South Okanagan and into northern Washington, said Johnson. All 15 students celebrated the completion of the second textbook called, Captíkwł 1. Captíkwł in February. The textbook featured traditional Syilx stories that teach about the land, people and history. Students presented five-minute stories to supporters, Elders, and family. Students and co-teachers received recognition of achievement, followed by praise from Elders and community members and feedback about the program. Fifteen adult students have now successfully com-
pleted the second book of Paul Creek curriculum, 200 hours of study in only four months. Students will complete 2,000 hours over the four years and will emerge as mid-intermediate speakers. In the community feedback portion of the day, the students expressed that they are excited about the speed of learning, the curriculum, the supportive environment, creating connections, positivity, finding themselves, a sense of spiritual connection through language, and sense of purpose. Elders were amazed at the learning that has been accomplished in just four short months. This is particularly impressive when you stop to consider that their language, Nsyilxcn, has not created a new fluent speaker in over 60 years, and is currently critically endangered. Johnson is proud of how far the program has come in a short period of time “It’s hard work, and it’s working. I hold my hands up in the air to my co-teachers and students for their courage and achievement,” said Johnson. The Syilx Language House also holds regular Elder recording sessions. They have recorded and edited numerous language recordings that will be shared freely as advanced learning material. “There are fewer than 100 fluent Elders remaining and no new speakers have been created in Canada in over 60 years,” she said. “This is a language that has been with my people for thousands of years. There have been attempts at trying to restore the language in the past, but they have proven unsuccessful. “But with this program and the commitment of the three First Nations bands and a firm commitment to provide 2,000 hours of instruction and intense learning over the next four years for the 18 students and five teacher leaders, we truly believe we can be successful.” The Syilx Language House Association was formed to reverse this trend, a vision Johnson has been working towards for six years. She began by completing her PhD in language revitalization at UBC-Okanagan. “I decided to take on the challenge of creating 10 new speakers,” she said. “I wanted to learn how to do that.” She found her answers with the Paul Creek curriculum, cleverly designed so beginners can learn while teaching. “We are so lucky to have this; it gives us the opportunity to raise each other up,” she says of the six cuttingedge textbooks co-written in Keremeos by Chris Parkin, LaRae Wiley and Sarah Peterson. When asked if young people really want to learn, Johnson answers, “there are several young people in each community that are passionate about learning language – that are taking it on as a role and responsibility to their communities.” Although most Indigenous languages are critically endangered, people want them back, she said. The other teachers assisting Johnson at the Syilx Language House are Hailey Causton, Monika Alexis, Dawn Machin and Jolene Michel.
There’s also a plan for Brandi Baptiste from the Osoyoos Indian Band to join the program as she is completing language house studies in Washington State, said Johnson. A quick Google search shows that First Nations language programs across Canada are springing up to reverse language decline. In fact, Syilx community members and Elders stress that language and culture are of paramount importance. “In our Comprehensive Community Plan, language and healing were our top priorities,” says Chief Jonathan Kruger of the Penticton Indian Band. “Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band challenged all the Chiefs to do more language. Our council heard Paul Creek was the best model and language houses were having success. We wanted to bring it here. The Chiefs were all talking about it and I said, ‘I’m going to invest in it and build a language house.’” The PIB was the first to invest core funding and to provide a classroom location, followed by support from Osoyoos Indian Band and Westbank First Nation. Each Band sponsored employees to attend two days a week for four years and provided core funding. The program has 13 beginners, five co-teachers (also students), and four Elders from across the Syilx territory, which includes Penticton, Osoyoos, Keremeos, Westbank, Vernon, and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. After four years, Johnson promises intermediate speakers will have a strong grasp of the language and be able to pass on their knowledge to others. “It really is the first time we have attempted to create new Nsyilxcn speakers—research shows that it takes 2,000 hours of study to create a high-intermediate speaker.” Over the course of the program, Johnson and her staff will also record Elders, publish language books and CDs, and host open-house community events. Johnson said she’s honoured and proud to be part of this unique project. “I’ve found getting heavily involved with my ancestral language to be a transformative personal experience,” she said. “I think all of the students and my fellow teachers feel the same way. Reconnecting with our language has touched our individual communities in a deep and personal way and all of us involved in this training are really looking forward to the challenge over the next four years.” The Syilx Language House Association is fundraising for next year’s operating budget and welcomes community visits, donations, and volunteers from community. For more information, you can visit the association’s website at www.thelanguagehouse.ca. You can also contact Johnson my email at firstname.lastname@example.org The Syilx Language House Association was formed. You can learn more at www.thelanguagehouse.ca OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 9
Sue Terada walks with her new guide dog, Button, while Jenny Meyer, a guide dog mobility instructor, looks on. Button will give Terada a degree of independence she hasn’t had since she had her previous dog, Pinta. (Richard McGuire photo)
New guide dog gives independence back to blind Osoyoos woman By Richard McGuire With her new guide dog Button, Sue Terada says she’s regained her lost independence. Terada and Button “graduated” recently after completing a 50-hour, one-on-one training program with Jenny Meyer, a guide dog mobility instructor with BC & Alberta Guide Dogs. “She is the most wonderful constant companion,” Terada said of the 22-month-old yellow Labrador. “She is a loving dog, always there for you no matter what your mood is.” Terada’s eyesight has been deteriorating throughout her life with glaucoma. Even over the past year, it’s become worse, she said. She is legally blind. “I love to go for walks on my own,” said Terada. “I can do that again.” Terada previously graduated with guide dog Pinta in 2004. Pinta officially retired at age 10, but Terada kept 10 www.oksun.ca
her on as a pet. A year ago, in March of 2015, Pinta died. Terada said she needed time to grieve the loss of Pinta, but after about three months she realized she wanted another dog. She applied again to BC & Alberta Guide Dogs, a registered charity based in Delta, B.C. BC & Alberta Guide Dogs breeds, raises and professionally trains guide dogs for the blind and visually impaired, as well as support dogs for children with autism. It takes two years and more than $35,000 to produce one certified dog, provided free to the recipient. They offered Terada a dog last summer, but it coincided with the outbreak of major wildfires. “It was smoky and we felt it wasn’t appropriate to do training at that time, so we let that doggie go,” she said. “And then the option of Button and Jen (Meyer) came up. And it’s marvelous.” Meyer had just arrived from Switzerland when they
connected in January and Terada was her first Canadian She and her husband can go off in different directions client. Meyer did an apprenticeship in guide dog training and meet up later. in Switzerland and spent about 11 years working with “I’m independent again,” she said. “I can say to my dogs there. friends, I’ll meet you at JoJo’s. If they need to go home, “Everybody said, ‘Oh, that’s a dream job, working with I’m fine. I can walk somewhere else. That ability was dogs,’” Meyer said. “I say yes it is, but you also have to lost.” like people because that’s the important part.” And while friends were always willing to help her beWorking with the clients, she said, can be more chalfore she got Button, Terada said she sometimes hesitatlenging than working with dogs. ed to ask for help, not wanting to abuse their goodwill. Terada jokes that Button knew the routine very well “I know they want to help me, but it’s hard to keep when they started training. It was she who had to unreceiving,” she said. “Now I can still meet them and walk dergo the training. with them, but on my own terms.” Button had already undergone training for five months Button is trained to do such things as sit down at stairs at the school and also lived with a foster family prior to as a warning and she’s trained not to interact with other that. dogs when she’s in her harness. “It’s been awhile since I trained with Pinta and I’d forBut there are some challenges because members of gotten some of the language,” Terada said. “You get into the public sometimes don’t know how to behave around your own language with the dogs and I had to go back to guide dogs. her language so that she understands exactly.” “It’s a hard one, because people love dogs and she The training began with just getting to know Button, looks so beautiful,” said Terada. “So they go right down then moved on to some walking on a leash, recall and to the dog before talking to me. Then I’m wondering why obedience drills. she is swinging around.” “We have fun time,” she said. “We play with sticks and As Meyer points out, distracting a working guide dog toys and retrieve them so she feels comfy with me.” can be dangerous. From there, they moved on to working with a harness “The dog is not paying attention, so Sue is maybe and Meyers got Terada to go with Button to places that walking into a post or off a curb or something,” she said. are part of her normal routine. “It’s not a machine. It’s a dog.” Terada would walk with Button, who wore the harness, Even worse, some people let their dogs run loose and and Meyer would walk beside her, tapping her on the the dogs run up to sniff or play with the guide dog. shoulder if she was going to hit an obstacle. “The owner says, ‘Oh, my dog is friendly,’” said Terada. “As we progressed, she walked a little farther away “That’s not the point. I don’t need your dog to be coming from me,” she said. “Then we’d stop to discuss what I’d up to mine and sniffing her when I might be approaching done, what were the good things and what had to be some steps.” improved upon or safety issues.” Some people go to the other extreme. The final challenge was working several days in traffic “Sometimes people will flatten themselves against a and with traffic lights in Penticton. wall and they won’t say a word,” said Terada. “I can hear ...positive, upbeat stories from the South Okanagan Because Terada and her husband Naga live on Anarthem breathing. Why don’t you speak to me? I know chist Mountain, she still needs a ride to get into Osoyoos, people just want to do the right thing, so the right thing is but she’ll no longer need to rely on her husband or to say, ‘Hi Sue, this is so-and-so.’ And we’ll take it from Box 177 · Okanagan friends to get around town. there.” Falls, BC · V0H 1R0
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OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 11
Exciting summer concert lineup at Tinhorn Creek Tinhorn Creek Vineyards is pleased to announce the return of their Canadian Concert Series for 2016 with an outstanding lineup of musical artists throughout the summer, all ramping up to the highly anticipated grand finale concert with Canadian rockers 54-40. This summer, enjoy some of Canada’s top musical talent while sipping award-winning wines and taking in the spectacular views of the southern Okanagan Valley. Kicking off on May 28, the 2016 Canadian Concert Series will bring to the stage Pernell Reichert ($30) for some foot-stomping folk-country tunes. On June 25, listen to the unique sounds of Freeflow ($35) and on July 23, Daniel Wesley ($40) will serenade the crowd with his groove-based acoustic music. Vancouver-based blues duo, The Harpoonist & the Axe Murderer ($45), take the stage on Aug. 27. On Sept. 10, dance the night away with post-punk icons 54-40 ($75). Neil Osborne, Brad Merritt, Matt Johnson and Dave Genn first performed together as 54-40 in 1981 and after 30 years, 16 releases and more than 2,000 performances, the band continues to redefine and reinvent itself, taking longtime fans on a thrill ride, and continually picking up new young fans along the way. 54-40 has an incredible catalogue of hit songs such as Ocean Pearl, I Go Blind and One Day In Your Life.
Concert-goers can also enjoy barbecue food options prepared by the talented team at the award-winning Miradoro Restaurant, perched on the scenic Tinhorn Creek Vineyards estate. Tinhorn Creek wines will be available by the glass or bottle. Regular tickets went on sale March 1 and season passes are available for $125—see the first four concerts in the series for the price of three. All concerts start at 7:30 p.m. (gates open at 7 p.m.) and shuttle buses will be available from Penticton and Osoyoos to and from Tinhorn Creek Vineyards on concert nights for $20, bookable at www.tinhorn.com/concerts. Tickets can be purchased via Tinhorn Creek’s online store or by phone: 250-498-3743 or 888-484-6467.
FREE Double Movie Pass Giveaway Enter for your chance to win at www.oksun.ca under the Contests tab.
Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre By Derek Bryson 10 years already? Marketing Manager NDCC
Wey’ Xast Sxelxalt! Hello, it is a great day.
10 years old. Ladies and gentlemen, please mark the upcoming date into your calendars: June 6, 2016. The Cultural Centre will be celebrating 10 years in the state-of-the-art facility and there will be ‘something’ most definitely scheduled for that day. As the date draws closer we will let the public know what that ‘something’ is, but for now the mystery shall remain unnamed.
What is going on at the NDCC? The ospreys are back and the trails are surrounded by blooming plants and desert vegetation. Our village was visited by some white-tailed deer and one lonely calf (who has since found his/her family). In mid-March our rocky talus slopes in the back of our
facility had two beautiful waterfalls, which made for great pictures, from a safe distance of course. What a great time to see the desert spring to life.
Is the Centre open? The Cultural Centre is open as well as the gift shop. Our hours are: Tuesday to Saturdays – 10am to 5pm
What does it cost? Spring pricing is in effect until otherwise stated on our website and it currently is: Adults: $10.00 Seniors (65+)/Students: $9.00 Children (5-17yrs): $6.00 Families (2 adults + children): $30.00 Derek Bryson, Marketing Manager Lim Limt (Thank you).
OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 13
Only way to improve your photos is get out and shoot Osoyoos Photography Club members show off their work By Peter Hovestad Regardless of how many photography classes and seminars one might take; how many camera magazines one subscribes to, how many photographer’s blogs one might follow or how many Facebook photography related pages one might like, the only real way to improve one’s photography is by getting out and taking pictures. There’s simply no substitute for spending time with the camera and in the digital darkroom practicing the skills that you’ve learned until they become second nature. You’re probably carrying a camera around with you all the time anyway, built into your phone, so start using it more often. Instead of thinking of your camera phone as a tool for snapshots, start thinking of it as a real camera that can take real pictures and put the creative thought that you reserve for your “real” photography into every shot that you take. Amazing images are being created every day by creative people with nothing more than that. So this month I encourage you to commit to taking more pictures. To provide a little inspiration for the upcoming spring and summer, here’s a collection of images by members of the Osoyoos Photography Club. If you’re interested in finding out more about the club, check their page on the Osoyoos and District Arts Council at www.osoyoosphotoclub.com Join fellow photographers for a photo safari at the Osoyoos Desert Centre, Saturday, April 23. Meet at 2 p.m. or come early for the 1 p.m. guided tour.
You can’t fence us in - Merv Graf “The California Big Horn sheep can often be found at Vaseux Lake (road to east off north end of lake). I have almost enough images of these sheep, so I wasn’t really looking for more. But three of them looked kind of nervous and I suspected they would want to jump the fence and get further away. I caught these two together.”
Eye See You Wayne Kelley
Morning Glories - Lisa Young “This is one of my favourite photos from 2015 captured at a friend’s home here in Osoyoos. I never leave home without my camera, and spotting this cluster of beautiful Morning Glories absorbing the warm rays of sunshine that day in September, I asked for permission from Donna and Al to take some photos.”
Lightning Strike Greg Reely “A short storm with high winds and heavy rain rolled through Osoyoos around 10:45 p.m. on the evening of May 16, 2015. This is the closest I’ve ever seen lightening come to our town. This was only a threesecond exposure.”
OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 15
AUCTION DINNER & FUNDRAISER Silent Auction Live Auction Super Silent Auction
SATURDAY APRIL 23, 2016 5:45 - 1 1
OLIVER COMMUNITY CENTRE F E A T U R I N G
6 Chef Stations
6 Local Wineries
Jeff Van Geest - Miradoro Restaurant Paired with Tinhorn Creek Winery Jenna Pillon - Terraď€ na Restaurant Paired with Hester Creek Winery Damian Mischkinis - Sonora Room Paired with Burrowing Owl Winery Joy Road Catering Paired with Fairview Cellars Jordan Ash - Flambe Catering Paired with Gehringer Winery Jose - Azorean Catering Paired with Stoneboat Winery
Bringing back the ’60s By Lyonel Doherty Get out your drainpipe jeans, your turtlenecks and gogo boots . . . we’re going to a ’60s party. That’s the theme of this year’s auction dinner and fundraiser hosted by the Rotary Club of Oliver on Saturday, April 23. The “60s Revival” at the Oliver Community Centre will feature a silent auction, live auction and “super silent” auction, along with a fabulous dinner presented by six chefs and six local wineries. “We tried to think of something different this year. It’s been a while since we had a party in Oliver,” said Rotary member Ann Hayes. She said costumes are highly encouraged in order to make the event more fun. “We hope people will dress up,” she stated, recalling the days of tie-dye, big hair and big glasses. (One of her favourite pants she wore in the 1960s had people faces on them.) Hayes recalled when the club first began its annual fundraiser – it was a two-day television auction where volunteers canvassed businesses for donations by phone. Then one year the club decided to try a live auction, and members never looked back. Last year the club
celebrated its 70th anniversary. The organization is known for its many charitable projects, both locally and internationally. For example, it raises money for Honduras agricultural developments, World Neighbours, polio eradication, and shelter boxes for victims of natural disasters. Locally, the group fundraises for Rotary Beach cleanup, hike and bike trail paving, adventure programs for youth, scholarships, victims of crime and the DARE (drug abuse resistance education) program. It also supports Desert Valley Hospice Society. Hayes joined the club in 1996 because she liked what it was doing to help people in the community and abroad. Members meet every Tuesday at 5 pm at the cadet hangar on Cessna Street. Many local businesses have donated some great prizes for the “60s Revival” event that begins at 5:45 pm. Some of the auction items include a New York Rangers jersey (#61), a 30-minute ride in a warbird, BC Lions tickets, jewelry and numerous gift certificates. “The businesses are really generous and have been just fabulous,” Hayes said. Auctioneer Tony Acland will liven up the event with his expertise in encouraging bids. Tickets are $75 per person and are available at Royal LePage South Country, Beyond Bliss and from any Rotary member.
South Okanagan Concert Series selling early bird tickets for 2016-17 season Music lovers who want to save a few bucks will want to take advantage of the Early Bird prices for the 2016-17 lineup with the South Okanagan Concert Series. It is also your opportunity to get a pass for next season at Early Bird prices of only $65 for four concerts. Contracts have just been signed and the line up is truly magnificent. On Nov. 11, classically trained musicians come together to explore their passion for tango on piano, violin, double bass and bandoneon. Accompanied by two tango dancers, Quartango, has charmed audiences around the world. On Dec. 2, Russian concert pianist Sergei Saratovsky has also won acclaim on the world stage. He became a resident of Canada in 2002 and completed his doctoral studies here. Born into a family of musicians, his awards would fill pages including a recent Best Canadian Artist award at the Montreal International
Musical Competition! Our new grand piano will get a work out with Saratovsky! On Jan. 27, 2017, the Remi Bolduc Jazz Ensemble will perform a tribute to Dave Brubeck. Bolduc is one of Canada’s best jazz saxophonists. Breathtaking precision, magnetic stage presence and dazzling virtuosity, energy and spontaneity are his trademarks. He will tour with guest pianist Francois Bourassa. On Feb. 24, 2017, Duo Concertante features Nancy Dahn on violin and Timothy Steeves on piano. Reviews refer to their “artistry, poetry and impeccable technique” and the excitement of “grace and fire… fury and repose”. From Newfoundland, they are doing a cross Canada tour to follow a tour in Europe. Now is the time to secure your tickets for our next season. Staff at Venables Theatre are working on a system to provide seat choice. Get in early and get what you want! OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 17
Wellness Words By Kelsi Bissonnette Health and Wellness Coordinator Watermark Beach Resort
Welcome to my monthly Wellness Words column. Thank you for taking the time out of your full schedule to sit down and relax. The ﬁrst question that comes to mind when I sit to write is, “What exactly is wellness? Wellness has been deﬁned as, “A conscious self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential” - The National Wellness Institute. Love the Full Potential. That sounds wonderful and very fulﬁlling. Sign me up. Wellness is more than working out, eating green and healthy, or even being free from illness. Wellness is a dynamic process of change and growth. Dynamic means moving people and putting your intentions for wellness into action. Change can be frightening for most of us. We get set in patterns, past conditioning from past generations and stuck in what is known and seen as comfortable. At this moment it may seem comfortable to be in a body that has extra weight to protect us and our wounds and it may appear to be comfortable repeating
habits that are no longer serve us. Change is inevitable and when it is embraced we can beneﬁt from change, all the while stepping into even greater levels of prosperity. Our wellness expands and improves when we balance our entire lives. Do you remember the Wellness Wheel? It came out about 25 years ago and it has pieces of a pie that include ﬁnancial, intellectual, environmental, physical, social, emotional and spiritual. Most of our “Wheel Houses” have been inﬂuenced and focused on the importance of ﬁnancial and intellectual pieces. These are all very important indeed. However, now with this strong inﬂuence and our extremely fast paced lives, we have missed a few of our pieces along the way, hindering our overall wellness. To balance our wellness wheel we can start to focus on our emotional, social, physical and spiritual elements. Spend time with people, speak your truth, get out and enjoy your favourite activity that inspires you, and take time to tune inwards
to connect with your inner self. Wellness is inclusive and should involve the support of the people and community around you. As a community, wellness can be shared and enjoyable. We can look at the entire full circle of wellness and incorporate it into our lives with courage and grace. The key to wellness is to accept personal responsibility for your health and to love yourself enough to live a healthy lifestyle.
YOGA • PILATES • SPINNING • TRX • STEP • SUP • MEDITATION • WORKSHOPS • RETREATS • WELLNESS
15 Park Place Osoyoos BC 250-689-6020
Sign Up Online
www.osoyoospilates.com Email inquiries contact us email@example.com 18 www.oksun.ca
MEETINGS Grandmothers for Africa meetings are the 2nd Wednesday of the month, 1 p.m. at the Osoyoos United Church. O’s Own Writers meet the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 2 p.m. at the Osoyoos Arts Centre. New members welcome. Call Jody 250-495-2170.
at Osoyoos Baptist Church (lower level). We are a support group interested in eating healthy and losing weight. New members welcome. For more info, call 250-495-0410.
Avenue. Call Annette at 250-495-6227 or Ken Thibault at 250-495-3936. AA meetings every Monday 7 p.m. St. Anne’s Catholic Church. Every Friday 7 p.m. St. Christopher’s Anglican Church. Call Louise 250495-1627.
Osoyoos Elks #436, 2nd Wednesday meet at 7 p.m., Elks Hall, 8506 92
OLIVER THEATRE Enjoy your evening out, taking In a movie at the Oliver Theatre!
Osoyoos Photography Club meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday in Room 3 upstairs at the Sonora Community Centre. Informal meet at 6:30 p.m. regular meeting at 6:45 p.m. For more information 250495-4960 firstname.lastname@example.org.
April, 2016 Programme
Regular Showtimes Sun. – Mon. – Tues. – Thurs…7:30 p.m. Fri. – Sat………….……….7:00 & 9:00 p.m. (unless otherwise stated)
Phone 250-498-2277 Oliver, BC
Thurs. - Fri. April 21 – 22 Showtimes on Fri. @ 7:00 & 9:10 p.m.
Visit Our Website
Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues., Thurs. April 2 - 3 - 4 - 5, 7 One Showing Nightly @ 7:30 p.m.
The Multiple Sclerosis group meets the second Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. at the Interior Health office, 4816 89 Street, Osoyoos. Call Ron at 250-498-4372 or Donna 250-495-5001.
Coarse language, sexual content.
Oliver & Osoyoos Search & Rescue. 7 p.m. every Thursday. 100 Cessna St., Oliver (beside the Air Cadet hangar) www.oosar.org.
Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues. April 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 Sat. Sun. Mon. Tues. April 23 24 25 26
Osoyoos Quilters meet on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at the Elks Lodge, 8506 92 Ave. at 9:30 a.m. Call 250-495-2254 or 250-495-4569 for more info. Evening quilting every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month. Patricia at 250-495-7769.
Violence, coarse language, may frighten young children.
Fri. - Sat. - Sun. - Mon. -Tues., Thurs. – Fri. April 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 – 12, 14 - 15
Showtimes on Fri. & Sat. @ 7:00 & 9:10 p.m.
Violence, frightening scenes.
Thurs. - Fri. April 28 - 29 Thurs. Fri. April 28 29
Double O Quilters Guild meets on the 2nd Monday of the month, September through May. 9:30 a.m. at the Oliver Community Hall. Contact Lynda at 250-498-8804. Communities for Kids Osoyoos Table Meeting. 3rd Monday of month 4 p.m. at Sonora Community Centre. 250-498-8433 for info.
There will also be a matinee of this show on the Sat., at 2:00 p.m. All seats $6.00 for the matinee.
Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues. April 16 - 17 - 18 - 19 Frequent violence.
Parkinson’s Support Group meets on Monday from 1 - 3 p.m. at Sunnybank Lodge in Oliver. Call Maureen at 250-495-7978 for more info.
Sat. - Sun. - Mon. - Tues. April 30, May 1 - 2 - 3
Toastmasters... “Where leaders are made”. Drop in any Tuesday 7 p.m. at 5876 Airport St. in Oliver. Contact Shauna 250-485-8465 or email@example.com. T.O.P.S. meets every Thurs. at 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Open 7 days 7:00 am - 4:00 pm www.jojoscafe.ca
Coarse and sexual language.
Programme Subject To Unavoidable change without notice
8316 Main St Osoyoos 250.495.6652 OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 19
South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce celebrates Business Excellence The South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce (SOCC) has kicked off 2016 with a successful Business Excellence Awards (BEA), a few new faces on the board and a new mission statement, which will help guide the organization to “promoting an environment where business can thrive.” Winners from the 2015 BEA were Joanne Muirhead from JoJo’s Café in Osoyoos (Entrepreneur of the Year), Medici’s Gelateria in Oliver (Small Business), Osoyoos Buy Low Foods (Large Business) and Osoyoos Home Hardware (Customer Service Excellence). Eastlink was the major sponsor for our event again this year and it was held at the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver explained Executive Director, Denise Blashko. “With the continued support from Eastlink and the beautiful venue we were able to play up on the gala evening feel by starting with a cocktail reception with lots of mix and mingling with a harpist play in the background. The awards part of the evening was emceed by Brock Jackson and was lots of fun with music and even a spotlight leading the winners up on stage.” There was a great deal of community involvement with this year’s event with 35 nominations coming in from Okanangan Falls, Osoyoos and Oliver. Planning for the 2016 awards is underway and things are lining up for it to be even better. The chamber is gearing up for the Festival of the
Grape’s 20th Anniversary. The festival brings in thousands of people of all ages and helps local businesses as we move into the quieter fall-winter season. The SOCC and the Oliver Tourism Association (OTA) have recently signed a formal agreement which will see the organizations cooperatively plan and operate the Festival of the Grape over the next three years with the goal of the OTA taking over completely by 2019. Corrie Adolph, new President of the Chamber says, “This strategic alliance will free up an incredible amount of time for the chamber to focus on advocacy and the issues that face business in the south Okanagan, and the OTA is perfectly positioned to manage the festival.” Serving the current membership as well as gaining new members will once again be a priority for the chamber. Board and staff will continue hosting regular networking events and training sessions, arrange for opportunities to hear from politicians and other knowledgeable business speakers and by being an advocate for local business at the various levels of government. New members so far this year are Consolidated Fruit Packers, Osoyoos Buy Low Foods, Oliver Archives, Spirit Ridge Owner Association, and Osoyoos Daily News. More information about the Chamber can be found by visiting www.sochamber.ca or by calling Denise at 250498-6321 ext. 201.
SOCC handing off Festival of the Grape By Trevor Nichols Corrie Adolph has only been on the job for a few weeks, but she’s already shaking up the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce (SOCC) in a big way, pulling out of the Festival of the Grape and handing it over to the Oliver Tourism Association. Her goal as president, she says, is to “realign” the organization’s objectives so they better match up with its mandate, which she says is promoting an environment where businesses in the communities can thrive. Although she’s been visiting the South Okanagan for years, Adolph is a relative newcomer to the Okanagan Valley. She arrived for good in 2013, after an eclectic career that included working as a strategic advisor for the Conservative Party of Canada and conducting employment training with First Nations communities in Alberta. Her original plan was to retire here, but that plan was decidedly short-lived. “After one summer of doing nothing, I was gouging my eyes out, so I started a bed and breakfast so I would have a little bit of work to do,” she said. She ran Global Village Bed and Breakfast for a couple of years, observing the political dynamic until she felt she had something to contribute to the area. Once she decided to get more involved, she set her sights on the SOCC. “I believed, as I think many other people believed, that the chamber could be doing a better job for business in the South Okanagan,” she said. In her eyes, the chamber has been spending so much time and energy organizing the Festival of the Grape (FOG) that “they really didn’t have time to be an advocate and voice for business.” The FOG is a popular wine tasting festival that attracts thousands of people to Oliver each year. The event takes an incredible amount of time to plan and Adolph said that has meant other aspects of the chamber’s mandate – advocating for local businesses and creating policy to help them thrive – have been “neglected.” To fix that, Adolph plans to hand the event over to the Oliver Tourism Association (OTA). Already, the chamber and OTA are in the process of finalizing a strategic alliance that will see the OTA gradually take over organization of the event in three years. In the interim, the chamber and OTA will plan the FOG together, splitting resources and the revenue the event generates. The FOG is a significant source of income for the chamber, and Adolph admitted that handing it off will mean a financial squeeze. She said she is confident she can replace that money with the fees from the increased membership she is convinced the chamber will see once it has “realigned” its objectives with its mandate. With the FOG off its hands, Adolph said the chamber
Corrie Adolph (Natalie Desilets photo) would have more time to advocate for local businesses, organize speakers and events for its members, and hear directly from its membership. “That’s what chambers were designed to do, and that’s what we’re going to do,” she said. Adolph said she is excited by the potential that Oliver and the South Okanagan have, but would like to see the region aim a little higher. She still remembers talking to an Oliver councillor when she first arrived here, and asking him what kind of businesses the town needed. She said she doesn’t recall which councillor it was, but he told her he didn’t believe Oliver needed anything. “And I thought, OK, that could be a problem,” she said. “When we are afraid of change, when we accept the status quo as the best we can do, then I think that’s a problem. “I think that all organizations, all municipalities, all jurisdictions need to have an attitude that we can always do better, and I think Oliver can do better. I think we are rich in this area with opportunity to create exactly what we want for this area, and it’s about having a commitment to raising the bar for ourselves.” As president of the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce, she said she hopes to help make that happen. “I think the chamber has a great team that has pulled together, recognized some of the mistakes that have been made in the past, and we’re all really committed to moving forward. We’re ready to be leaders: we’re ready in all earnestness to take on the challenges of our businesses,” she said. OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 21
April 16th is National Advan
NATIONAL ADVANCE CARE PLANNING DAY IS APRIL 16 TH FREE PRESENTATION ON ENDOF-LIFE PLANNING AND HEALTHCARE TREATMENT CHOICES
& MY VOICE for Healthcare treatment WHEN AND WHERE: SATURDAY, APRIL 16TH 2016 OLIVER: 11 AM LEGION HALL , OLIVER OSOYOOS: 2 PM, SONORA CENTRE IN OSOYOOS NO PRE-REGISTRATION NECESSARY
PRESENTED BY DESERT VALLEY HOSPICE SOCIETY SUPPORTED BY
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SOUTH OKANAGAN / SIMILKAMEEN
Saturday April 16th 11 am (oliver) and 2 pm (osoyoos) FMI please call Desert Valley Hospice Society 250-495-1590
A unique national fundraising event across Canada that brings together organizations working together in hospice palliative care to raise funds and awareness in their community! To raise much needed funds for hospice palliative care in Canada, but also to raise awareness of the many challenges faced by hospice palliative care and to promote the phenomenal work that all volunteers and professionals in the field perform daily. Funds raised through the Hike can ensure that more Canadians receive the end-oflife care they wish for.
The Desert Valley Hospice Society is holding our annual Hike for Hospice on Sunday, May 1st, 2016. We are pleased to once again host hikes simultaneously in both Oliver and Osoyoos. In Oliver we are celebrating our 10th annual hike, and in Osoyoos we will be celebrating our 2nd hike. In Oliver the hike will again take place from Lion’s Park and walk along the hike & bike trail. In Osoyoos the hike will take place along the canal trail. Both hikes will begin at 12 noon this year with registration starting at 11 a.m. Pledge sheets will be available shortly. All funds raised in Oliver and Osoyoos will stay with Desert Valley Hospice Society to serve both our communities. Plan to participate – either by collecting pledges and hiking or by sponsoring someone else who will be hiking. If you won’t be hiking come out and cheer on the hikers. 22 www.oksun.ca
s dvance Care Planning Day No more excuses – time to start talking Too busy? Too young? Too depressing? Those are just a few of the excuses Canadians have for not making an advance care plan. But what would happen if you were ill and couldn’t make medical decisions for yourself? Who would speak for you? Do they know what to say or do?
Desert Valley Hospice Society is proud to celebrate National Advance Care Planning Day and we hope that you will participate with us by sharing information and having these important conversations with family and friends. You can learn more about Advance Care Planning by attending one of the free presentations being provided by Desert Valley April 16th is National AdHospice Society and Comvance Care Planning Day, a munity Foundation South perfect day for you and those Okanagan/Similkameen on around you to have imporSaturday, April 16th. The tant conversations. Advance Oliver presentation will be at care planning is a process of 11 a.m. at the Legion Hall in communicating your future Oliver. The Osoyoos presenhealth care wishes and decid- tation will be at 2 p.m. at the ing on a Substitute Decision Sonora Community Centre in Maker – someone who could Osoyoos. speak for you if you couldn’t speak for yourself. This April 16th, stop making excuses – come learn more Research has shown that about Advance Care Planadvance care planning signing – and start talking! nificantly reduces stress, depression and anxiety in family members and caregivers who know your wishes and can act with confidence on your behalf.
Waist size matters more than weight What is one of the most important indicators of overall health? Your waist size. It says more about your Greg Wheeler, Pharmacist overall health than any other statistic. Why? Because all fat is not created equal, and the fat around your middle may be the worst fat of all. There is a direct correlation between the size of your waist and your risk for developing heart disease, stroke and diabetes and, if you are a man, erectile dysfunction. Women with waists larger than 35 inches and men with waists larger than 40 inches are more likely to die of heart disease. To measure your waist, use a measuring tape. You should do it under your clothing. Keep the tape snug, but don’t pull too tight. To whittle away your waistline, eat healthy, balanced meals, build abdominal muscles with a good range of exercises and ask your Remedy’sRx pharmacist for more information.
105-291 Fairview Rd Oliver
OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 23
For the love of oysters OSOYOOS
Ambrosia Watermark Beach Resort Buy Low Ella’s Greek Restaurant Dairy Queen AG Foods Elks Hall Shell Husky Sun Valley Dental Centre Waterfront Eyecare Mike’s Barber Shop Pharmasave Bonnie Doon Edward Jones Osoyoos Art Gallery Shoppers Drug Mart
T2 Market Buy Low A&W Super Valu Medicis Gelateria Ye Olde Welcome Inn Sabyan Automotive Service & Repair Canadian Tire Century 21 Elite Jewelry Amore Pizza Crucetti’s Shoppers Drug Mart
OKANAGAN FALLS IGA Pharmasave Caitlin’s Bear Bean Coffee Co. Heritage Market Falls Market
By Keith Lacey Oyster lovers from across the South Okanagan – and many other parts of B.C and as far away as Calgary – are once again gearing up for some great food, beer and wine as the annual Osoyoos Oyster Festival is ready to roll once again. The fifth annual Osoyoos Oyster Festival will feature oysters from around the world at one of three gala events and several days of good food and good times at Osoyoos and area restaurants, pubs and wineries, said Darlene Richard, the new marketing manager with Destination Osoyoos, which is again sponsoring and organizing the festival. The Osoyoos Oyster Festival returns to the South Okanagan from April 20-24. The five-day culinary event showcases oysters produced by West Coast fishermen, alongside Canadian wines and craft beers. This year, World Champion Oyster Shucker Patrick McMurray, AKA “Shucker Paddy,” will make a special appearance to shuck fresh oysters for guests. McMurray is also owner of The Ceili Cottage Restaurant in Toronto. Over the course of the festival, guests can sip Canadian wine, craft beer and spirits, paired with delicious oyster creations from local chefs. A number of new events are planned for this year’s festival, including an International Oyster Night, featuring internationally inspired oyster dishes, said Richard. “We will be featuring oysters from literally around the world … with oysters coming in from England, New Zealand, Ireland, Nova Scotia here in Canada and Cape Cod in New England,” said Richard. “This is a first-time event and we believe it’s going to be extremely popular.” The International Oyster Night will take place at the Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort on Friday, April 22. Tickets are $60 apiece and selling fast. Another gala event is the Under the Sea brunch at Watermark Beach Resort. Two pairing competitions will take place during the festival with teams of expert judges determining which Canadian wines and craft beers pair best with oysters. Results of the Canadian Oyster Wine Competition and the Canadian Oyster Craft Beer Competition will be announced during the third gala event - Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort on Saturday, April 23. While the majority of those attending the oyster festival are from the South Okanagan, the event continues to
this intimate event (limited ticket release) which includes a variety of fresh oysters, whiskey pairings and various dishes from the kitchen. With special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) in attendance. Tickets: $50 * International Oyster Night at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, April 22
Featuring internationally inspired oyster dishes from local restaurants and chefs, special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) shucking fresh oysters from several different regions courtesy of Codfathers Seafood Market, and local wineries pouring their best. Tickets: $55 * Deep Sea Garden Party at Walnut Beach Resort, April 23 Oyster Festival features a zillion way to eat oysters - served with wine or beer. Major oyster events are planned for resorts, restaurants, pubs and wineries throughout the Osoyoos area. (File photo) grow in popularity and is now attracting dozens of people from the Lower Mainland and as far away as Calgary, said Richard. “It’s a really good time and a great way to kick off the spring,” she said. “People who attend have a lot of fun and get to enjoy oysters as well as other great food and some fantastic wine and beer. “It’s a lot of fun and many people continue to return year after year.” The complete lineup for the Osoyoos Oyster Festival includes: * Miradoro Long Table Dinner, April 20
Enjoy a special evening at Miradoro Restaurant at Tinhorn Creek Winery, starting with freshly shucked oysters followed by a three-course dinner dedicated to the oyster. Tickets: $39 * Under the Tuscan Sea at Terrafina, April 21
Terrafina at Hester Creek Estate Winery invites guests to sample pizza and oysters paired with spring releases from Hester Creek and tastings from the winery’s ‘bubbly’ neighbours. Tickets: $49 * 2016 Oyster Open at the Greenside Grill, April 21
Mingle, mix, slurp and sip at the Greenside Grill at the Osoyoos Golf Club. The event will feature oysters, along with appetizers for non-oyster eaters, and a tasting station of assorted alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Tickets: $50 * Whiskey & Oysters at SOL Grillroom & Lounge, April 22
SOL Grillroom & Lounge at the Holiday Inn will host
This al fresco afternoon event will feature special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) shucking fresh oysters courtesy of Codfathers Seafood Market, culinary delights from local restaurants and chefs, and wine and beer from local wineries and craft breweries. Tickets: $45 * Amateur Shuck ‘n Suck Competition at The Sage Pub, April 23
Come to compete or come to cheer at the 5th Amateur Shuck ‘n Suck Competition as teams of two compete to win the coveted title of the Best Shuck n’ Suck Team in the Okanagan. Tickets: $10 * Art of the Oyster Pearl Gala at Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, April 23
The signature event of the festival will feature oyster dishes from local restaurants and chefs, served alongside award-winning local wines, with special guest Patrick McMurray (“Shucker Paddy”) shucking fresh oysters courtesy of Codfathers Seafood Market. Results of the Canadian Oyster Wine Competition and the Canadian Oyster Beer Competition will be announced. Cocktails, wine and canapes will be followed by dancing until midnight. Tickets: $60 * Under the Sea Brunch at Watermark Beach Resort, April 24 Watermark Beach Resort’s Chef Adair Scott will prepare a bountiful brunch featuring a selection of raw and hot oysters. Tickets: $39 For out-of-town guests attending the festival, Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort, Walnut Beach Resort, Watermark Beach Resort, and Holiday Inn and Suites Osoyoos, are offering special Oyster Festival room rates. Visit: osoyoosoysterfestival.com/stay-in-osoyoos. For more information and to purchase tickets for festival events, please visit: osoyoosoysterfestival.com. OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 25
Okanagan life detailed in book by former Poet Laureate George Bowering
George Bowering and his wife Jean Baird at a reading in Peachland last fall. (Keith Lacey photo) 26 www.oksun.ca
By Keith Lacey One of Canada’s most prolific and decorated authors, poets and historians made a pit stop in the South Okanagan recently to discuss his new book he describes as a love letter to his life growing up it in this region and his recovery from a heart attack that almost killed him six months ago. George Harry Bowering, who turned 80 on Dec. 1, was born in Penticton and raised in Oliver, where his father was a high school chemistry teacher and “my hero,” said Bowering, who, along with his wife Jean Baird, paid a visit to discuss his remarkable career at the Peachland Public Library last fall. Bowering is the author of more than 100 books and is Professor Emeritus at Simon Fraser University, where he taught for more than 30 years. In 2002, Bowering was appointed as Canada’s inaugural Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate. The same year, he was awarded the Order of Canada. He was awarded the Order of British Columbia in 2014. Bowering’s impressive bibliography includes books of fiction, short stories, poetry, poetry collections, criticism, memoirs, history and plays. After suffering a massive heart attack outside the Point Grey Library almost a year ago on April 21, Bowering was rushed to hospital and placed in an induced coma for 12 days. He made a remarkable recovery and returned home three weeks later and started writing his latest novel. Bowering is featured on the cover of the latest edition of BC Book World, where four recent writing projects he has completed all receive rave reviews. His latest book Writing the Okanagan features excerpts from 40 books Bowering has published since 1960. Some of the towns Bowering has visited and written about through the decades that are mentioned in his new book include Rock Creek, Peachland, Vernon, Kamloops, Princeton and Osoyoos. A review on BC Books from the Globe and Mail newspaper states, “A lyricism that is spring sweet and without boast or threat … Bowering has poured all his considerable power into one vessel and he must be read.” Other projects to be released this fall include a book of poetry called The World, I Guess, a young adult novel entitled Attack of the Toga Gang and a book of short stories entitled Ten Women. During his presentation at the Peachland library, Bowering said he has nothing but fond memories of growing up in the Okanagan and he wrote Writing the Okanagan after several fans convinced him a book about this region would be a great idea. “It took me three years to put this all together,” he said. “I had been writing about the Okanagan for most of my life … so I decided to take little snippets from various projects and put them together in one book.” The original manuscript for Writing the Okanagan was more than 800 pages and his wife, who works as his
editor and publicist, showed great patience over the past two years whittling it down, he said. There are numerous stories, anecdotes and photos of his parents, who grew up in Peachland, in Writing the Okanagan, said Bowering. His family moved to Oliver after his father became a teacher at South Okanagan Secondary School, he said. “When I was a kid, Oliver wasn’t a town, but a village and I was so upset because I wanted it to be a town,” he said smiling. “My Dad explained to me the village leaders didn’t want to become a town because taxes would go up. Then I understood.” Bowering wrote for the Oliver Chronicle for many years as a young man and once turned down a job to become editor of that newspaper. Many of the excerpts in Writing the Okanagan pay tribute to his father, who was not only a well-educated man and excellent teacher, but also an outstanding athlete and man who built his family home by himself, said Bowering. “At school I called him Sir and he called me Bowering,” he said smiling. Bowering became Canada’s first parliamentary poet laureate out of pure luck. The Canadian Senate had passed a bill at the turn of the millennium stating Canada should have a poet laureate. “I thought I would be a good poet laureate, so I applied … they picked me,” he said. “That’s about all I know.” He and Baird moved to Ottawa and he wrote poetry full-time for two years and thoroughly enjoyed it. “I was there in Ottawa for two years and I loved it,” he said. “Being Canada’s poet laureate was a lot of fun even though you don’t get paid much.” When community leaders in Oliver found out one of their own had attained such a prestigious title, they threw a huge dinner in his honour more than 10 years ago. He and his wife were given a “barrel of wine … very good wine” that amounted to 25 cases, he said. “It was the same wine Jean and I ordered for our wedding,” he said. It’s ironic that he suffered his heart attack outside the Point Grey Library, said his wife. “A young Grade 8 student saw him fall and called 911 before he hit the ground,” she said. “The fire department is across the street from the library and fire crews and ambulance were there within six minutes.” Twenty-one days after his near fatal heart attack, he was released from hospital and continued writing the day he got out, she said proudly. While he’s been prolific his entire life, writing four books in six months since the heart attack is quite remarkable, she said. “He never ceases to amaze me,” she said. Writing the Okanagan is on sale for $24.95 and is available at www.georgebowering.ca and most local bookstores. Copies of most of his written works are available on his website. OKANAGAN SUN • APRIL 2016 • 27
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APRIL The Osoyoos Art Gallery at 89th and Main Streets will be hosting Transitions in Light and Colour: My Journey with artist Colleen J. Dyson starting Saturday, April 2 and running until April 23. Barbecue chicken dinner at the Osoyoos Legion. April 6 starting at 6 p.m. Tickets available at the canteen for $7. All proceeds go toward helping our veterans. On April 6, the CNIB will be at the Osoyoos Seniors Centre with information booths and available products. Please drop in between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to see what’s new. Craft and Collectables Bazaar at the Appleway Emporium. Friday, April 8 from 3 – 7 p.m. and Saturday, April 9 from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. 1300 Main St., Oroville, WA. The Osoyoos Desert Society final winter series event is on April 9 with a movie called “Sagebrush Sea.” Watermark Beach Resort from 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. Admission by donation. For more info call 250-495-2470. The movie will be followed by the AGM with a discussion on upcoming events. Oliver-Osoyoos Naturalists walk on Saturday, April 9 Kilpoola Lake. Birdwatching with Doug Brown. Call 778-437-2006 for more info. Meet at the Osoyoos Lake Plaza at 9 a.m. April 10 - 16 is National Volunteer Week. On April 11 at 7 p.m. the SOS Volunteer Centre will be presenting at Okanagan College the benefits of volunteering. There will be an appreciation day for volunteers in Gyro Park, Penticton on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. 30 www.oksun.ca
There will be a crime forum with the RCMP on Thursday, April 14 at the Sonora Community Centre. This forum will discuss the increase in property and petty crime in the community. Come out at 7 p.m. and ask questions and get answers. A spring hiring job fair will be held in Osoyoos on April 14 at Spirit Ridge from 1 – 6 p.m. Introduction to Pastels with Sharon Leonard on April 14 and 15 from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost is $60 and will be held at 4402 37 St., Osoyoos. This is your opportunity to try pastel painting. Call 250-495-2019 to register. Advance Care Planning presented by Desert Valley Hospice. Free presentation on end of life planning and health care treatment choices. April 16 in Osoyoos at 2 p.m. at Sonora Centre and in Oliver at 11 a.m. at the Legion Hall. For more info call 250495-1590. Saturday, April 16 Soroptimist International of Osoyoos will be hosting a ‘Step Into Spring’ Breakfast Fashion Show at the Watermark Beach Resort, Conference Room. 9 – 11:30 a.m. Tickets $25 and are available at Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos or at Beyond Bliss in Oliver. Sage Valley Voices, a member of Oliver Community Arts Council, presents “100 Years of Broadway” April 16 at 7 p.m. and April 17 at 2:30 p.m. at the Oliver United Church. Admission $10 at the door includes refreshments after the performance. 10th Annual Blossom Spring Bazaar on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. at the Oroville High School. Free, but a food drive donation is appreciated. Door prizes throughout the day! Hand crafted items, health & fitness information, beauty and skin care, jewelry, home interior and much more. Blood donor clinics at the Penticton Seniors Drop-in Centre at 2965
South Main Street. April 18 and 19 from 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. Download the GIVE BLOOD APP, book online at www.blood.ca or call 1-888-236-6283. Check your eligibility to donate. The Oliver Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs is holding their 6th Annual Community Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser! Wednesday, April 20 from 5 -7 p.m. at the Oliver Curling Club, 735 McKinney Rd. Pay what you can (by donation). Please RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-498-8844. The Musaic Vocal Ensemble April Concerts. Roses I Send to You will be in Penticton April 23, Summerland, April 24, Oliver, April 28. Tickets are $15 from Imperial Office or Beyond Bliss. The BC Cancer Society’s Daffodil Dash will be held again this year on April 24 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Gyro Park. Registration is now open at www.cancer.ca/ daffodildash or email Jennifer Dies at email@example.com for more info or to volunteer. Ballet Kelowna at Frank Venables Theatre on May 1. 7 p.m. Tickets available at venablestheatre.ca. Portrait Painting in Pastels with Irene Gray on May 5 and 6 from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Cost is $75 and will be held above the Osoyoos Art Gallery. This class will use photographs and a live model. Call 250-494-2219 to register. The Lonely…A Tribute to Roy Orbison is coming to the Frank Venables Theatre in Oliver on May 14. Tickets are $42 and available online at www. venablestheatre.ca or get them in person at Beyond Bliss in Oliver (cash sales only at this venue). A Tilt and Lance Joust event will be at Desert Park in Osoyoos on May 21, 22 and 23. Jousts are at noon and 4 p.m. Tickets available online at eventbrite.ca or at the gate. $15 and kids under 6 free. Food vendors and a beer garden.
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