Block Party antics go viral

A young woman enjoying the Downtown Kelowna Block Party festivities this past weekend has gone viral after a video of her was posted online.

In the video, she can seen walking down Bernard Avenue, giving the camera a smirk and running over to push the button on the dunk tank before taking off.

The person filming laughs along.

The video has been posted to Reddit, Imgur and Facebook, garnering millions of views.

The video was then posted to the Unilad Facebook page, titled Girl Does What She Wants, and has alone captured more than five million views, 19,000 shares, 148,000 likes and more than 10,000 comments.

While some don't appreciate her prankster behaviour, the online world is loving her antics with lots of comments supporting her actions.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.


Shooting at McCurdy

UPDATE: 12:10 p.m.

Police in Kelowna are searching for an SUV they say may have been involved in a shooting Monday morning.

A man was shot in the leg at McCurdy Road and Highway 97 just after 10 a.m.

He was taken to hospital by a witness.

RCMP in marked and unmarked vehicles scoured the area, focusing their presence at Winroc, a construction supply business.

"RCMP are searching for a vehicle, a lowered grey full sized GMC SUV, in which investigators believe may have been involved in this incident," said Const. Jesse O’Donaghey in a news release.

"The investigation is in its early stages. However, the RCMP do not believe that this was a random attack."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Kelowna RCMP at 250-762-3300. Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477, leaving a tip online at crimestoppers.net or texting CRIMES (274637) ktown.


Police are currently scouring an area near McCurdy Corner after a reported shooting in Kelowna this morning.

Police rushed to the scene at Winroc, off McCurdy Road, just after 10 a.m.

A police helicopter could be seen circling overhead, and police are reportedly searching for the alleged gunman.

An RCMP officer on scene confirmed to Castanet that a shooting had taken place. 

Castanet will have more details as soon as they are available.

– with files from David Wylie 

Check your lotto ticket!

Someone in Kelowna is $500,000 richer today.

A lucky Lotto-649 player went four for four in on the Extra portion, matching 4, 7, 16 and 36.

Both the $5 million jackpot and the $1 million guaranteed prize were won in Ontario.

Okanagan lottery players have a had a good streak of luck this year.

Kitchen fire in apartment

Cooking oil left unattended on the stove caused a kitchen fire Sunday evening in Kelowna.

Kelowna firefighters responded to a 911 call from an apartment building on Lake Avenue.

A resident of the unit received first-degree burns to his hand and was taken to Kelowna General Hospital to be examined. The other three residents were unharmed.

The resident and the building manager used extinguishers to knock down the fire, says Platoon Capt. Kelly Stephens with the Kelowna Fire Department.

Damage was kept to the kitchen of the second-floor apartment, with some smoke damage throughout the unit.

Firefighters checked for any fire or heat extension in the kitchen cabinets and wall.

The four residents were in the care of Emergency Support Services until they could be let back into the unit.

Car jumps curb, hits post

A man was taken to Kelowna General Hospital with undetermined injuries after his car jumped the curb and struck a post Sunday evening.

The accident happened just before 8 p.m. at the corner of Lake and Pandosy.

Details are limited, but a witness said the man exited the car and laid down on the grass. Emergency crews arrived soon after.

“We were down on Lake Ave and we heard the impact so we ran down,” said the witness who declined to give her name.

“He's moving his legs, but there is lots of blood on his face. He is communicating with the paramedics,” the witness said adding she overheard ambulance crews say he had a broken nose.

It is not yet known how the man lost control of his car, but the witness said the impact was enough to break a window and set off the driver's side airbag.

Castanet will have more details should they become available.

Martin wins race - again

He's not even old enough to drive yet, but 15-year-old cyclist and Kelowna product Conor Martin has won the L’Alpe de Grand Blanc road bike race for the second year running. 

A total of 136 riders took part in the 60-km race, which started at 9 a.m. Sunday from the East Kelowna Community Hall to finish at the Big White Ski Resort Village. 

Martin, who competes in international, national and provincial cycling circuits, finished the race in two hours and 20 seconds. 

“It was a lot harder to break away at the beginning than last year,” said Margin, “but the weather was much nicer, which made the race easier. Last year, it was so cold I couldn’t shift the gears.” 

Marg Fedyna, 51, was the first female to cross the finish line, with a time of two hours, 14 minutes and 52 seconds.

Fedyna, who has been cycling competitively since 1994, took part in last year’s race, but had to pull out 20 kilometres into the race due to problems with her bike. 

“It feels great to win this year,” said Fedyna. “It was a hard effort with the hill climb, fortunately there were people to work with along the way. The wind was strong, but it was a lovely day – sunshine can’t be beat – and it was great to see such a good turnout.” 

In the spirit of Tour de France tradition, Martin and Fedyna won Polka Dot Jerseys, plaques and cash prizes. 

Cyclists were also able to compete in teams of three, with Chainline Cycle winning the bike shop team category with a total team time of seven hours, 10 minutes and 35 seconds. 

Kids weren’t left out with a separate 10-km youth race set up from the Gem Lake Parking Lot to the finish line in the Village. Erik Rozek was in first place for the boys with a total time of 26 minutes and 22 seconds. Isabella Cotton won first place for the girls, completing the race in 39 minutes and 14 seconds. 

The prize for the oldest competitor went to the co-founder of Big White Ski Resort, 80-year-old Cliff Serwa, who also competed in the race for the second year running. 

"We are thrilled to see so many local cyclists participate in this annual event,” said Trevor Hanna, vice-president of hospitality at Big White Ski Resort. "With double the registrants from our inaugural ride last year, we're excited to add Big White Ski Resort as the next iconic cycling destination in the Okanagan. This is another great event that we will use to build the Big White brand to be as strong in our summer endeavours as we are in winter." 

Block Party a big success

Bernard Avenue seems quiet Sunday morning compared to the buzz of the 27th annual Downtown Kelowna Block Party that took over on Saturday.

More than 17,000 people were expected to attend the block party from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. in the downtown core.

The event saw Bernard Avenue, from Richter Street to the Sails, flooded with family-fun activities, entertainment, an inflatable park, shopping, food and more.

“Our Downtown Kelowna Block Party presented by Interior Savings was a huge success and so much fun,” says DKA communications manager, Ryan Watters

“Mother Nature ordered up some perfect weather and thousands of people of all ages enjoyed the music, food, sales and activities.”

Watters says this year’s event seemed even busier than years past.

“Certainly the weather helped, it was a perfect day to be outside and our team lead Jen Widmer did an amazing job bringing in new elements like the sheet metal challenges, dream vehicles and a hedge maze that the kids absolutely loved.”

With three stages, 135 vendors and tons of activities, there was something for everyone.

“It was a great day and we thank the community for joining Downtown Kelowna,” adds Watters.

Art on Bernard is back

Back for a second year, Arts on the Avenue is returning to Bernard.

The one-day, arts-focused, outdoor event celebrates local vendors, along with art exhibitions, demos, and performance art installations.

This year artists will once again take over the street and sidewalks but the event has expanded to two blocks on Bernard..

Lisa Brown, event assistant with Festivals Kelowna and the festival’s producer, says initially when the new visual arts festival launched last year it was unclear how people would respond.

"To say that we were blown away by the positive feedback, the huge number of artists that wanted to participate and the willingness of local arts groups like the Federation of Canadian Artists, Kelowna Arts Council and Artsco to partner on the event would be an understatement," she said. "This year’s event is shaping up to be even bigger and better than last year.”

New to the festival will be two “3D Chalk Artists”, Emmanuel Areizaga, an emerging visual artist heading to CATO this fall, and Shawn Smith, a professional and well-known local chalk artist whose work can be seen in restaurants all over the Okanagan and who is breaking into new territory with the 3D format.

Brown says those who attend can also expect to see  a large-scale, drop-in community art project headed up by the Okanagan chapter of the Federation of Canadian Artists in celebration of the Group of Seven’s 75th Anniversary.

“Using multiple mini-canvases, patrons of all ages and painting skills will be invited to paint a portion of Tom Thomson’s “The Pool”, forming a single, large painting once assembled," she said. "Returning to the festival is the popular “Spotlight Artist” element where professional artists speak about their process and explain their creative inspiration.”

Local artist Alex Fong will also display his watercolour work for sale.

“People should come prepared to buy art and experience all kinds of visual arts,” said Brown. “This is a great chance to start some early Christmas shopping or to buy a one of a kind gift for a special occasion. We’ll also have live musical performances throughout the night so plan to spend a few hours with us.”

The event is free and takes place from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m., Thursday, July 28.

Live tweet and Instagram the event using the hashtags #ArtsonAveKelowna and #BuyCreateCelebrate.

Rethinking hospital gowns

A local designer is putting smiles on the faces of some Canadian teens who do not have a lot to smile about.

Raegan Hall of Blonde in downtown Kelowna is one of six Canadian designers creating hospital gowns to help teenagers maintain a little bit of self-expression during treatment.

The concept is to take the shapeless pale-blue hospital gown and give it a creative and stylish twist.

The pilot project is created by ad agency Rethink Canada, in partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

“Being a teen is tough, and being a hospitalized teen is even tougher. That’s why we’re working with Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada to redesign hospital gowns to help hospitalized teens feel more like themselves,” writes Rethink.

The Ward + Robes initiative is an innovative partnership between the children’s charity and top Canadian designers seeking to create unique hospital gowns teens actually want to wear.

Featuring designs inspired by streetwear, meditation mandalas, and everything in between, teens were able to choose the gown that best represented their personal sense of style.

In the promotional video the teens describe how they feel they cannot be themselves in the bland hospital gown, while the new stylish ensembles have given them new life.

“This gown let's me be who I am outside of the hospital, and outside of being ill,” says one teen.

“It feels like I am myself, it doesn't feel like I am in the hospital anymore,” says another.

“It just feels like it is more me,” adds 18-year-old Butch who chose Halls' design.

Tattoo show takes over

The Kelowna Curling Club hosted the fourth annual Okanagan Tattoo Show this weekend, with artists coming together from all over the world to show off their skills.

Hundreds of people made their way through the dozens of booths set up, as artists went to work on people looking for new ink.

There were plenty of local tattoo artists on hand, as well as several from the U.S., and some from as far away as Germany.

Two of the featured artists at the show were Dave Kruseman and Duffy Fortner, two contestants on the latest season of Ink Master, a tattoo reality show. Kruseman took the top spot in the latest season of the show.

In addition to bringing in out of town artists for locals to see, the show allows artists from all over to hang out, building a stronger tattoo community.

“The Okanagan tattoo community has come a long way in the last 10 years thanks to some of the older guys we have around,” said artist Nick Matovich.

Tickets for a single day are $20. The show wraps up at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

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