Wednesday, January 28th0.7°C
Whats On

Unplug and Play

Interior Savings presents one of the most appropriately themed week of activities for any parent: Unplug and Play. 
We have all allowed our child to watch screens more than the recommended two hours max per day. Amanda Turner, Success by 6 Coordinator, has worked with a number of different community partners to come up with dozens of activities that don't require a screen. 
I asked her why she thinks it's important to have this conversation and option for activities in the community. 
"At a time when technology is always within reach, it is important for families to make time for children to use their imaginations, play actively,  be creative, engage in nature, and connect with friends in family.  A healthy balance of unplugging and playing helps kids grow to be healthy, happy, and successful for life."
You can find their full event listing on their link here, but here are a few highlight events coming up. 
Top 10 Picks for Unplug and Play Week
Sunday, January 25 
Families in the Parks – Frosty Fun
MISSION CREEK REGIONAL PARK – 2363A Springfield Rd. Kelowna   10-11:30AM
Explore snow through play! Outdoor games followed by warm cocoa and activities inside the EECO. Free. Register Host Central Okanagan Regional District
Monday, January 26 
Pajama Pancake Party
LAKE COUNTRY BOYS & GIRLS CLUB – 3130 Berry Rd. Lake Country   10—11:30AM
Ages 0-5. Free. Host: Okanagan Boys & Girls Club
Tuesday, January 27 
Family Snow Day
PEACHLAND BOYS & GIRLS CLUB – 4684 Beach Ave. Peachland  4:30-6PM
Snowman building contest followed by hot chocolate and cookies. Board games and snow-themed crafts. For all ages. Free. Host: Okanagan Boys & Girls Club
Internet and Social Media Safety
ROTARY CENTRE OF THE ARTS – 721 Cawston Ave. Kelowna  7-9PM
Darren Laur will empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge and information to keep children and youth safe online.  Increase your digital literacy and become savvy about using technology as a tool. Free. Register:  Host: CATCH
Wednesday, January 28 
Duct Tape Craft
WESTBANK LIBRARY – 2484 Main St. West Kelowna  3:30-4:30PM 
Ages 8-12. Free. Register (250) 768-4369. Host: Okanagan Regional Library
Thursday, January 29 
Family Story & Craft Time
OYAMA COMMUNITY CENTRE – 15710 Oyama Rd. Lake Country  7:15-8:00PM
For children ages 3-6. Free. Host: Okanagan Regional Library
Friday, January 30 
Family Scavenger Hunt
KELOWNA DOWNTOWN LIBRARY – 1380 Ellis St. Kelowna  10:30AM-4PM
Suited for ages 3-6. Free. Host: Okanagan Regional Library
Lego Time
PEACHLAND LIBRARY – 5500 Clements Cres. Peachland 3-4PM
All ages of children accompanied by parents welcome. Host: Okanagan Regional Library
Saturday, January 31 
ECCO CENTRE – 2363 A Springfield Rd. Kelowna 11AM-12PM
Bring your imagination and join in the fun creating art works with recycled and natural materials. All ages are welcome. Drop-in. children ages 3-6 and parents. Host: Central Okanagan Regional District
Free Family Fun Night
PARKINSON RECREATION CENTRE – 1800 Parkinson Way Kelowna  6-8:30PM
Swimming, gym games, and active fun for all ages. Free. Host: City of Kelowna
Family Board Games
DOWNTOWN LIBRARY – 1380 Ellis St. Kelowna
MISSION LIBRARY – 4105 Gordon Dr. Kelowna
See branches for times and locations
Unplug and Play Your Way
Bonus: TEDtalk "Media and Children"



How much is that road?

Ok so I’ll start with an obvious confession. “What’s on?” this week is all about the City of Kelowna budget. It’s not every day that someone (after countless hours of work, research, and consultation) hands you a binder and asks you to vote over 100 times on various line items that make up a City budget. For those who told me council was part time they forgot to mention that it is more than full time during budget season :)
Did you know that the City of Kelowna budget reaches over $400,000,000 considering all of the various departments, airport, etc. 
So here is my behind the scenes perspective. At the core though there is a clear truth that needs to be emphasized; get involved in the process. The best cities have a engaged citizens, who are actively involved in their neighbourhood, and considering their impact on the world beyond their front door.  A number of the projects that are in front of council are there because the community clearly communicated to council about what was going on in their community. This short video gives a snapshot of the budget and also focuses on two of our biggest line items
  1. John Hindle Drive 
  2. The upgrades in front of Anne McClemont School 
As you saw in the video over 500 community members got involved and clearly communicated with council that the upgrades in front of Anne McClemont were a growing priority. It took a few years but it is now on the council agenda. 
Then there is the partnership. John Hindle Drive, although a $11+ million project is a partnership with other levels of government that allows us to leverage tax money to make it happen. 
Another small item that received a lot of attention in my city email ([email protected]) was the Pickleball Court upgrade request at PRC. I think I got over 40 emails about that one line item. To be honest I had never heard of pickle ball before that but it is growing at an incredible pace in our community.  
We just concluded one of the biggest snow systems to land on our community in many years. My kids loved thoroughly enjoyed  first snow day in over 35 years. I was amazed by how much the community worked together to help folks get to where they were going. I live in a cul-de-sac that is cleared by a contractor and when I arrived home there were no less than a dozen of my neighbours with shovels in hand helping clear out those who had gotten stuck in our street. 
Lastly I wanted to share a video that I shot about a Community Futures funding program that was extended. It offers up to $5000 and support for youths (18-29) who are unemployed ineligible for E.I. and have a business idea.
I’ll be back to talking about events next week but in the mean time check out the event page on Castanet:

2015 TV & Movies

I know I know, we are just wrapping up the biggest TV/Netflix watching season to hit our community in years. Between the timing of Christmas and Snowmageddon I’m pretty sure we have all watched more TV than normal these past few weeks. But if you’re planning on continuing the trend here are some highlights from the upcoming 2015 TV/Movie season. 
TV (Winter focus)
Last night was the series premiere for the 6 part mini series adaptation of The Book of Negroes (CBC) and from all the buzz it may end up becoming the a huge hit for CBC: 
Empire (Fox) also premiered last night and between the music and the most prominent prime time tv focus on ALS it promises to be provocative:
Togetherness (HBO) for those who want to watch folks who don’t have it all figured out:
Supernatural and The Flash relaunch on January 20th while Suits (USA) reboots on January 28th.
Allegiance debuts Feb 5th, NBC
Mind you forget all the shows previously listed because most importantly season 3 of House of Cards debuts on Netflix on Feb 27th
Jan - Paddington arrives in Canada this month now I could show you a trailer of the movie but honestly the better video is the promo interview that Nicole Kidman just did with Jimmy Kimmel.
The two of them are so out of their usual characters that its pure gold:
Feb - 50 Shades of Grey: no introduction needed here
May - Tomorrowland (filmed in the area)
June - Jurassic World
Dec - Star Wars Episode VII - The Force Awakens
Of course the new 007 movie and the last Hunger Games movie is out towards the end of 2015 but they haven’t released trailers for those yet.
Happy viewing.


New York New Years

The third annual Valley First New York New Years event happens once again at
Jim Stuart Park (across from City Hall), Dec 31st, from 6-9:00pm and it's totally free.
I know some folks ask why it's called “New York New Years” and the name comes for the timing of the event. We launch the free fireworks show at 9pm (same time as New York). This year there will be free hot chocolate, public skating, and live entertainment by "DJ Invizible" (6-7pm), Ben Klick (7-7:45pm) and the Hip replacements (8-9pm).
The Club Penguin Kids Zone full of children’s activities, Club Penguin characters, snow, over 2000 free glow sticks and glow wands, etc.
The fireworks show starts at 9pm and can be clear seen downtown and along the waterfront promenade.
The event site will be live streamed by Castanet starting around 8pm.
Sponsors for this event include: City of Kelowna, Valley First, Club Penguin, Chances, Kiwanis, Okanagan Strata Management, SPL Sound, Castanet, Sun FM, AM 1150, EZ Rock 101.5, MetroCommunity
Bring a non-perishable food item to help “Feed the Valley” and enjoy this free event brought to you by Festivals Kelowna and the City of Kelowna!
If Santa was nice and you have some Christmas money to spend here are some other great New Years Eve events in Kelowna/Vernon for NYE:
"A Wild New Years 2014 with Cod Gone Wild"
Featuring: The Trips and The Shawn Lightfoot Band
Three of the hottest bands in the Valley, Vernon Recreation Complex on December 31st.
Ticket prices include champagne and party favours as well as incredible live music from 9 pm until 2 am!! Tickets for this event are sure to go fast, so get them while you can at the ticketseller box office at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre, and 250-549-SHOW.
Red/Black New Years Eve Event
Train Wreck Comedy has teamed up with Freddy's Brew Pub to help you ring in the New Year with style. The evening will be a Red/Black semi-formal theme that will include an incredible dinner buffet, professional stand-up comedy show, DJ & Dancing and a balloon drop with champagne at midnight.
Limited tickets available from Freddy's Brew Pub - $65 - (250)765-8956
Comedy Show Headliner Matt Billon. For the last 12 years Matt Billon has been making a name for himself on the Canadian Comedy circuit.
Ring in the New Year with the Journeymen!
Okanagan Mission Community Hall
Tickets are $25 and include Hat, Munchies, Music, and a Champagne toast at midnight.There will be a safe ride home available.
This event is held at the Okanagan Mission Community Hall
For a full listing of New Years Eve events in the valley check out the Castanet event listing:

Read more What's On articles


About the Author


Ryan Donn
(singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, Councillor at the City of Kelowna). 

I love creating and connecting. For years I spent most of my time in Kelowna creating songs. Those songs have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, etc. 

I use this column to connect some of our local creatives, events, unique local projects/non-profits, or perhaps the random column about our city. 

Originally from Scotland I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years.  My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities). In 2014 I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

Connect with Ryan:

email: [email protected]
google +



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories

RSS this page.
(Click for RSS instructions.)