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What's Up

Castanet celebrates 14 years

In 2000, local focused internet sites like Castanet were few and far between and the ones that existed made little impact. Back then, not many internet start-ups celebrated a first birthday much less a second or third.

Nov. 1, 2014, marks Castanet's 14th year serving the Okanagan as its home page.

The site continues to grow and evolve as more and more readers come to Castanet for news, entertainment and sports.

"Every week we are attracting about 350,000 different people to our website. The second best metric is our page impressions which are over 8.8 million per week typically," says Castanet General Manager/Sales Manager, Chris Kearney.

"That makes us number two in the province for general news, beating The Province newspaper, The Sun, Global News and CTV in both time spent on the site and the amount of pages people consume."

You can add to that more than 48,000 ads in one of the largest classified sections in the province.

The company, started by then SILK-FM owner Nick Frost on Nov. 1, 2000, has gone through many iterations in 13 years and passed numerous milestones.

Over 125,000 stories have been published on the site since Nov. 2000. A number that is likely a little low as our story count numbering system didn't start tracking until 2004.

Last year the Castanet team posted 16,175 stories.

"It seems significant to me. It's just a reflection of how hard our news team works" says Kearney.

While other traditional news media struggle, Kearney says he sees nothing like that on the horizon for Castanet, that continues to grow and gain new loyal readers every day.

"When I got here in 2001 we had five staff. We're up to 27 staff working in an office of about 4,000 square feet," says Kearney.

"I see no real signs of flattening out. We see consistent growth of visitor traffic and revenues year over year."

The team at Castanet wants to thank you for your loyalty and support.

What's your favourite section? News, Weather, Sports, Letters, Classifieds, Polls, Photo GalleriesForums  or Classifieds, send us your thoughts and let us know what you would like to see more of on your homepage - send to [email protected]

Thank you for making Castanet your homepage.


Drone: clearing the air

Some media are reporting we put aircraft at risk by flying a drone over a forest fire in Peachland. That is not the case, they are not reporting the facts. 

I was at the forest fire, I flew the drone, this is what I know:

  • The helicopter was finished for the day - I confirmed with the team leader of the forestry crew working the fire that there would be no more flights over the area
  • There were no fixed wing craft on the fire
  • The fire was in mop-up stage, no need for any more flights when the fire is out
  • It was only a .25 hectare fire
  • I informed a forest firefighter that I would be taking the drone up and he said he looked forward to seeing the video
  • I shot the helicopter, from the ground, making its drops. Then it was called off and the forestry crew moved in
  • I was beside the forest firefighters shooting them as they put out hot spots 
  • It was an hour after the helicopter left when I brought out the drone
  • The drone was in a black case that I was carrying with me while I talked to the ground crew. I walked down a road, in clear sight of the firefighters, to unpack and launch the drone
  • I had the drone up for about a minute, hovering just above the treetops. When I was told they still had a 'no fly zone' over the fire, I landed the drone immediately
  • We do not fly directly over anyone with the drone. If it were to crash we don't ever want to hit anyone. We shoot off to the side of a situation or in front or behind it to avoid human contact
  • Castanet was the only media company at the fire

After I brought the drone down, the forestry worker thanked me and then he asked me a number of questions about the drone. He said he could see how having one might help them to locate hot spots and dangerous trees while they attack a fire.

It was a good lesson. Now we know that even if planes and helicopters are called off, there is still a no fly zone over forest fires and we will not be sending the drone up.

We will never put lives at risk for a shot from the air.

Trevor Rockliffe, Castanet News Editor.

Happy Birthday!

Yes, Castanet viewers, we value your feedback and requests! 

We have now added Birthdays to our Celebrations page

Check it out under the main Community tab and send us your special announcement!

And, it is that time again - time to clean out the clutter and hold your Garage Sale

Simply click on the link under the Community or Classifieds tab and post your sale! 

Our Garage Sales page features a full size map, garage sale list, route planner and is printer friendly  for your convenience!


Happy Spring!


Welcome Kamloops

Have you noticed something new on Castanet? We've added a Kamloops page.

"We've been ramping up our Kamloops coverage for sometime and now we have a news page for the City," says Castanet News Editor, and former Kamloops' resident,Trevor Rockliffe.

Castanet editorial staff have been getting requests from readers in Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola Region for more news coverage and we are answering the need states the News Editor.

"From City Hall to the fire department, RCMP and the Regional District we have reached out to many key organizations and government offices in the area so we will be on top of local news as it happens when it happens, and we will update the Kamloops page as news happens."

Rockliffe is also asking for help from people in Kamloops.

"Our readers in the Okanagan send us news tips, photos and video all of the time. They make us who we are and it gives us more eyes on the streets. If people see news send us a tip or better yet shoot a photo or a video and send it to [email protected], we pay for news and we'll post it on the Kamloops page."

Castanet also has a great reader photo gallery and people are encouraged to send in outdoor photos of sunsets and animals. If you have a topic you'd like to bring up you can also send in letters to the editor.

Do you have a news story? Send it to [email protected]


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