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Angelic record falls short

Guinness World Record attempt at Big White

Here's the aerial footage from our Guinness World Record attempt at Big White this morning. We had hundreds of people making snow angels, all in an effort for our wonderful Canadian Ski Patrollers! #bigwhite #CanadianSkiPatrolDay

Posted by Big White Ski Resort on Saturday, February 6, 2016


Hundreds of people flopped onto the snow and flailed their arms and legs in an attempt to set a world record on the weekend, but at the end of the day it was not to be.

Big White attempted to break the world record the most people making snow angels at the same time, but fell short of their target.

A post on Big White's Facebook page said “Despite having the highest number of people at our record attempt, the record remains unbroken... what a shame! We'll just have to try again next year.”

The attempt, took place on Feb. 6, Canadian Ski Patrol Day, and was a joint effort of thousands of people on 50 ski hills across Canada.

The existing record for most snow angels made simultaneously in multiple locations was set in 2004 by the London District Catholic School Board in Ontario. Their attempt brought together 15,851 people.

“We wanted to do something huge to celebrate Canadian Ski Patrol’s 75th anniversary this year,” said Colin Saravanamuttoo, Canadian Ski Patrol president and chief executive officer. “Canada’s ski patrollers are Canada’s guardians on the snow. Helping to break the record for most snow angels seemed a fitting way for the skiing community to celebrate the people who look over them on the snow.”


Ottawa wins chefs title

Marc Lepine of Ottawa took the Canadian Culinary Championships Saturday night after three days of serious competition. 

Lepine finished the competition with a smoked steelhead and a pork belly dish at the grand finale event at the Delta Grand Hotel.

His performance in the mystery wine pairing on Friday and blackbox competition Saturday morning contributed to his win.

Matt Batey of Calgary took silver in the competition and Alex Chen of Vancouver took bronze.

The competition was fierce as 11 of Canada’s best chefs competed for top honours.
Lepine, of the restaurant Atelier, won gold for the second time, making Canadian Culinary Championships history with his smoked steelhead trout with miso-molasses glaze, cured pork belly, barley and corn porridge, corn cob broth paired with Les Clos Jordanne Vineyard 2012 Chardonnay Twenty Mile Bench from the Niagara Peninsula.

“I am truly speechless, and still in shock. The competition was fierce, and I was only able to do this with my team," he said.
Chen, of Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar, took the bronze with his truffle scented chicken, celeriac fondant, foie gras stuffed celery, “umami” consomme, paired with Foxtrot Vineyards, 2009 Pinot Noir from Naramata. Batey, from The Nash Restaurant & Off Cut Bar in Calgary, earned silver for his alder smoked sablefish, Pacific octopus compression, northern divine caviar, Yukon gold potato, sabayon paired with Road 13, 2011 Sparkling Chenin Blanc from Oliver.   
Lepine won not only the finale, but also the mystery wine pairing and black box competitions.
The finale was attended by 600 wine and food enthusiasts, with music by Barney Bentall, along with John Mann, Geoffrey Kelly and Matthew Harder from Spirit of the West.

The events were also a fundraiser for Canada's Olympic athletes. Those in attendance included: cyclist Curt Harnett, hockey player Gillian Apps, curler Sandra Jenkins, snowboarder Kevin Hill, swimmer Curtis Myden, skeleton slider Jeff Pain, and freestyle skier Kristi Richards.

FN's open for business

Calvin Helin is First Nations and he is also a part of a proposal to build a pipeline in the same place the rejected Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline was proposed.

The son of a Tsimshian Nation Chief, an author and public speaker, Helin is also the president of Eagle Spirit Energy, a First Nation’s backed company.

Helin was in Kelowna on Thursday for a public speaking session at a Chamber of Commerce luncheon alongside a representative from Vancouver’s Aquilini Investment Group Inc., who has financially endorsed Eagle Spirit’s proposed pipeline.

During Helin’s presentation he noted it was the first time he had delivered this speech to an audience that was not primarily First Nations.

He started off the presentation talking about change and First Nation’s people’s history of adaptation to change. He said there is a wide misconception that companies can not do business with First Nation’s people, but Aquilini's partnership with Eagle Spirit proves otherwise. 

He said the economy is changing in Canada and the way big projects were done in the past in Northern B.C. were to push through with the government’s consent, but not to include those living in the area who would be impacted. Helin emphasized several times that when the Eagle Spirit pipeline was proposed, every First Nations community along its route was to be addressed and their concerns considered.

He stated the main issue was the environment and what effects the pipeline would have to the region. According to Helin, Eagle Spirit’s proposal has a first class environmental model as well as the support of every First Nation chief along the route of its own proposed oil pipeline through northern B.C.

Helin addressed issues from the port the pipeline would use, to bitumen, to shipping, to the the U.S. use of oil.

First Nations, according to Helin, recognize the importance of alternative oil export markets to the national economy and that northern B.C. is the best place for a pipeline to reach the Asian market.

The pipeline being proposed runs between Fort McMurray, Alta. and Prince Rupert, and has an estimated cost of $14 billion. Helin said he could see the completion date for the project being four years.

He ended his presentation with the statement that First Nations are open for business but companies must take time to talk to people, and not just First Nations but all people who live in northern B.C. who would be impacted by the outcome of a pipeline.

The former lawyer’s presentation was only 30 minutes long, but was well received by those in attendance.


Wear pink to stop bullying

Okanagan residents are being asked to show support for the movement to end bullying by wearing pink on Feb. 24.

A major event will be the second annual Telus Pink Shirt Day breakfast which kicks off the Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs’ anti-bullying campaign.

Mayor Colin Basran will be on hand to proclaim the day as Pink Shirt Day-Kindness Day and the event will feature special guest speaker Leah Goldstein who will share her- "Living a Life with No Limits –Overcoming Bullying" message.

Leah, world champion kick boxer, ultra endurance cyclist and Israeli undercover police officer will share her story full of tragedies and triumphs, crashes and podiums.

The breakfast is being held at the Laurel Packinghouse, prepared by Okanagan College's culinary arts department.

If you are interested in attending the breakfast, check out the event page here.

Laughing at depression

For Kevin Breel, depression is a laughing matter.

But it is also something the 22-year-old comedian takes seriously and the Victoria native will be at Kelowna Community Theatre, 1435 Water St., March 15 to talk about mental illness.

Breel will present Confessions of a Depressed Comic starting at 6:30 p.m. The event is free, but those wanting to attend are asked to RSVP online.

UBCO's student union has partnered with Third Space Foundation, Student Care Insurance, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Class Media to bring the comedian and mental health activist to the Okanagan.

"Kevin's presentation is hands down one of the most influential experiences I have ever been a part of. He tells his story in a way that will make you happy, sad, confused and mad all at the same time. By offering this as a free event, we are able to remove any barriers that may prevent someone from being able to attend, as every single person in our community will eventually play a role in destroying the stigma around mental health,” said Layne Richardson UBCSUO vice-president.

As a writer, Breel has contributed to The Huffington Post and become one of the youngest Canadians ever to sign a book deal with a major publisher.

His debut memoir ‘Boy Meets Depression’ was published by Random House and has achieved critical acclaim. Forbes Magazine called it “a small book well worth reading” and NPR dubbed it “honest and compelling."
As a comedian, Breel began touring as a teenager and has presented at venues including the Colosseum in Vegas, Rogers Arena and the House of Blues.

As an activist for mental health, he’s spoken all over the world at different colleges and charity events. His TED talk, Confessions of a Depressed Comic became one of the most viral videos of all time with more than a million views in a matter of weeks.

Now, with more than three million views, it stands as one of the most watched TED talks ever; alongside the likes of Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Sir Ken Robinson.

He is also one of the national spokespeople for the Bell Let's Talk Campaign; an initiative started by Bell Media which has raised over $70 million for mental health services and has been dubbed “the most influential social media campaign of all time.”

Chefs compete for gold

The best of the best Canadian chefs took to the kitchen of the Okanagan College Culinary Arts Centre Saturday for the second of three competitions at the Canadian Culinary Championships.

Saturday morning’s 'Blackbox Competition' put the eleven chefs to the test, by introducing seven mystery ingredients to them, giving them just ten minutes to come up with a recipe, and an hour to bring the dish to fruition.

Each chef was required to use all of the mystery ingredients in their dish.

The chefs ran around the kitchen, under pressure from the time limit, as the crowd watched and cheered them on.

Food runners then rushed the dishes to the 14 judges, who ranked the meals using a point scale.

The judges, who came from across the country, chose the mystery ingredients, which included seaweed from Nova Scotia, ground elk from Pemberton, red lentils from Saskatchewan, salsify from Kelowna, squid from New Zealand (as it's not in season in Canada), capers from Quebec and Canadian peanuts.

The results of Saturday morning’s competition will not be released until Saturday evening, after the third and final challenge is complete.

The first challenge was held Friday night at the Delta Grand Resort and required chefs to create a dish to pair with a mystery wine, which turned out to be a Gamay Noir from Tawse Winery in the Niagara Peninsula.

While the wine pairing results will not be released until Saturday night as well, chef Alex Chen from Vancouver won the people’s choice award.

Saturday night’s challenge will require each chef to prepare a dish for 600 people at the grand finale in the Delta Grand Okanagan Resort ballroom.

The chefs in this weekend’s competition have each won their region’s culinary championships. Chefs are representing everywhere from Halifax to Ottawa to Montreal to Saskatoon.  

This is the sixth year the competition has been held in Kelowna, and is in its tenth year in Canada. The competition has committed to remain in Kelowna until at least 2020.

“I think they chose Kelowna because of the potential, I think they chose Kelowna because of the accessibility,” said Judy Burns, chair of the Canadian Culinary Championships. “There’s not a lot of places in the country that are like this in February.”

The Championships, also called the Gold Medal Plates competition, raises money for Canadian Olympic athletes.

Over the past ten years, the event has raised nearly $11 million, through ticket sales and raffles, for the Canadian Olympic Foundation.

Searching for similarities

What disappoints you and what do you cherish?

These are the questions several UBC Okanagan students set out to answer Saturday as part of a project to find the similarities between people of different backgrounds.

Three boards were set up downtown by the Sails at 11 a.m., with a question posed on each. The first board asked “Where do you consider home?” while the other two asked about what people cherish and what disappoints people.

Many of the responses were similar.

“With ‘cherish,’ you can see ‘family,’ ‘family,’ ‘my children,’ ‘family,’ ‘friends,’ ‘family,’ ‘my husband,’ it’s all so similar,” said Laurence Watt, a third-year political science student and one of the creators of the project. “Then you go to ‘What disappoints you’ and you’ve got ‘racism,’ ‘hate,’ ‘ignorance,’ ‘judgment,’ ‘selfishness,’ you’ve got a lot of similarities here too. So the point is, yes we do all come from different backgrounds … however it’s the stuff we cherish and the stuff we’re disappointed by that proves we’re a lot more similar than one might think.”

The project was created through several discussions set up by the Political Science Student Association around negative current events in the news.

“We thought, it’s great we’re having these discussions, but how do we push the discussion off campus, how do we actually create change, because you can’t do much outside of the university walls,” Watt said. “We were upset that there was so much in the news about racism and xenophobia and Islamophobia and we really wanted to show that it doesn’t matter if you’re a Muslim, it doesn’t matter if you were born in a different country, the point is, our needs are the same.”

Saturday’s event downtown was the second installment of the Canvas Project, with the first being held on the UBC Okanagan campus.

While Watt said they found more geographical diversity in the campus iteration, the response downtown was great.

“I half thought we’d get some people who’d take it as a joke, maybe even draw a couple penises on it, but it’s honestly been a really terrific response,” Watt said. “We’ve had a lot of people come by and say ‘This is really good, it’s made us think about these questions,’ so for me personally, it couldn’t have been more of a success.”

Watt said they plan to take the canvases back to school and compare the campus project with the downtown project and eventually put them together in a large art piece.

“The best part of this whole project was looking at people stop before they actually write and think about what they’re going to say, so it’s interesting to see people take a step back,” said Ryan Kaila, vice president of finance and operations with the UBCO Student Union Okanagan. “They’re engaging.”

Castanet's week in review

Castanet's week in review with Jen Zielinski.


Beware of well-dressed man

A Kelowna woman wants you to beware of a slick-talking, well-dressed man who may try to con you out of a few bucks.

The woman, who lives in Kelowna's North End, said she was conned by a man who entered her apartment building looking for help.

"He goes door to door and gives this whole story about how he broke his key off in the ignition of his car and the tow truck driver will only take cash," she said.

The man told her he was a neighbour and would give her the money back in an hour.

The woman said two of her friends in other parts of town have also had a visit from the same man during the past few weeks.

"He told one of my friends his wife works at the hospital and will get you the money when she gets off in an hour."

She said the man is Caucasian, in his mid 40s. He's well dressed, in jeans and a nice shirt, clean shaven with dark brown hair.

He doesn't ask for much, $20 or $30 at a time.

Ticketed in McCurdy crash

The driver of the BMW from Thursday night’s crash on McCurdy has been issued a violation ticket.

According to Const. Kris Clark, the BMW was traveling south on Friesen Road and slid through the intersection at McCurdy Road, colliding with a GM truck.

The truck then crashed through a neighbour’s fence. The driver of the truck was taken to hospital with a soft tissue injury.

Both vehicles suffered extensive damage in the incident.

It’s unclear if the roads were wet at the time of the crash.

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