Okanagan-based program helping women in Burkina Faso, Nepal and Honduras

Aiding others a world away

A small Canadian organization with its roots in the Okanagan is helping female farmers in Burkina Faso.

And Lydia Tapsoba will be in at the Vernon library on Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m. to talk about the project.

Tapsoba, a gender specialist for Burkina Faso non-governmental organization Association d’Appui à la Promotion du Développement durable des Communautés défavorisés (APDC), will present information about an innovative project done by APDC.

The talk is free and open to the public.

World Neighbours Canada (WNC) started in Oliver 25 years ago and supports remote communities in Burkina Faso, Nepal and Honduras.

Gabriel Newman, Vernon resident and WNC board vice-president, says the organization can leverage donations to receive grants that benefit communities.

A recent grant has made it possible for one employee from the Burkina Faso partner, APDC, to come to Canada to share information about their work.

APDC is a small rural development organization in eastern Burkina Faso that WNC has supported in a variety of ways since 2009.

Tapsoba will be presenting information and results of a 15-month experimental project APDC undertook in 2021-22.

The project was funded by a grant WNC obtained from the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT). FIT is a program funded by Global Affairs Canada.

After project completion, FIT provided additional funding to allow WNC to share the results of the project with Canadians, and also with other villages in Burkina Faso.

Tapsoba has worked with APDC since 2007, as their gender consultant.

For the FIT project, she supported APDC and provided the staff with information to lead gender-training workshops for the beneficiary women and their families. She led focus groups and designed surveys during the project to help better understand the gender equality situation in the area.

Tapsoba lives in the capital, Ouagadougou, but has visited the project area many times and has first-hand knowledge of the challenges faced by rural women in the area and throughout Burkina Faso.

Following discussions with women in the rural eastern region of Burkina Faso, APDC implemented activities with 110 women to allow each woman to set up and manage a household sheep-fattening enterprise.

APDC provided training in basic bookkeeping, techniques in the care of the animals, how to choose an animal at the local livestock market, and entrepreneurial training – the traits of a successful business person. A key element of the project was engaging family members, and their embrace of the project was one of the highlights.

Following a short video, Tapsoba will participate in a facilitated discussion about the challenges and potential of economic empowerment of women farmers in a region affected by an increasingly unpredictable climate and frequent attacks by terrorists.

For more information visit the World Neighbours Canada website.


City advises public of road work closes 15th Street

Work closes 15th Street

Vernon drivers are being advised to take a detour next week if travelling along 15th Street.

The street between Pottery Road and Highway 6 will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday. Local and business traffic will be able to access properties in the area.

Crews will be working to upgrade sanitary infrastructure and complete asphalt restoration.

The city says delays are expected in the area, but “every effort will be made to minimize disruptions.”

The street is expected to reopen to traffic by the end of the day on Wednesday.

The public is asked to obey traffic control signage and slow down in the area for the safety of workers.

Fall burning season likely cancelled as fire danger continues

Fall burning likely off

Coldstream is expected to cancel open burning this fall in light of the fire danger amid continued drought conditions.

A report to council recommends the fall open burning season be cancelled entirely.

Typically, the season is used by orchardists and farmers, but also homeowners, to clean up prunings and leaves.

Coldstream's manager of protective services recommends council "cancel the designated 2023 fall open air burning period due to the Level 5 drought conditions in the Okanagan region and the provincially mandated fire bans in the Kamloops Fire Centre."

A campfire ban was issued for the Kamloops Fire Centre in early June, the earliest in recent memory. And a provincial fire ban was implemented in July as wildfires began to rage across B.C.

The entire Okanagan has been at Level 5 drought, the highest rating, since mid-summer.

Hundreds show up in support of Hospice gala fundraiser

Noble night out

Tuxedos, sequins and boa’s filled the grand ballroom at the Prestige Vernon Lodge Saturday night for the North Okanagan Hospice Society’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

The James Bond themed event “From Hospice with Love” featured a live “bucket list” auction where prize packages were named after 007 movie titles.

“The World is Not Enough” offered the highest bidder ($3,250) two tickets anywhere WestJet flies, luggage and robes and slippers.

The winner of “Golden Eye” ($4,100) will board a Monashee Helicopter with nine friends for a birds-eye view and tour of the Valley.

After being treated to a gourmet dinner, Hospice supporters ripped up the dance floor as the 11 piece Legendary Lake Monsters kept the party going, injecting the occasional Bond song into their set list.

Even though Hospice has an army of over 80 highly trained volunteers, the not-for-profit society is forced to turn to the community for financial support to run it’s programs and 12 bed end-of-life home.

All money raised will go to cover the more than $50,000 shortfall NOHS experiences every month.

Final tallies for the evening’s gala are still being calculated and organizers are hopeful they’ll reach their fundraising goal of $200,000.

Vernon and Coldstream will be expanding bus routes in the North Okanagan communities

Bus service to expand

Bus service in Vernon and Coldstream is being expanded.

And so is the cost of adding extra transit hours.

At their regular council meeting Monday, staff will recommend civic leaders confirm its authorization, in principle for the addition of 3,160 conventional transit service hours per year for the new local transit network Route 10 – Middleton Mountain and additional statutory holiday service starting September 2024.

Staff is also recommending council authorize, in principle, the addition of 780 custom transit service hours per year to provide Sunday and statutory holiday service starting September 2024.

The report states the conventional transit expansions (new Route 10 and new statutory holiday service) were originally scheduled to start in September 2022, but were postponed multiple times because the provincial budget did not accommodate any service expansions. BC Transit is proposing the transit service expansions start in September 2024.

The cost of operating the new Middleton Mountain route is $210,684, with the expense being split between Coldstream and Vernon.

Vernon will pay $103,066 while Coldstream will pay slightly more at $107,617.

However, Vernon will pay the lion's share of the additional statutory holiday service for routes one through nine.

Of the $29,803 expense, Vernon will pay $27,529 with Coldstream picking up the remaining $2,273.

Currently, Route 1 has holiday service on Canada Day and Remembrance Day only, while Routes 2 to 9 also have holiday service on Easter Monday, Victoria Day, BC Day and Labour Day.

The additional 560 statutory holiday service hours would ensure Route 1 has the same holiday service as Routes 2 to 9 (and future Route 10) and would introduce new holiday service on all routes to match typical Sunday service on New Year's Day, Family Day, Good Friday, Truth & Reconciliation Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

The full report can be found on the City of Vernon online agenda.

Annual Lumby Butter Tart Festival served up tasty treats

Mmmmm, butter tarts

During his time as a provincial MLA, Eric Foster had to make some tough calls.

And those decision-making skills were put the to test Saturday when the former politician acted as a judge at the ninth annual Lumby Butter Tart Festival Saturday.

“There were four judges and we tested them all,” Foster said. “There was a lot of great butter tarts. It was a lot of fun – a lot of sugar.”

This is not the first time Foster, who was also the mayor of Lumby, acted in an official capacity at the event, acting as a judge for the inaugural festival.

And with 22 entries this year, Foster put that past experience to good use.

“You don't eat the whole butter tart, you just taste them. The first year we did this, we didn't think about that and we ate the whole butter tart. We had 17 or 18 entrants so that is a lot of butter tarts.”

The one-day event was held in conjunction with a show and shine and the Lumby Market.

Organizer Nancy House said there is “all sorts of good stuff going on” at the event the drew hundreds of people despite cloudy skies and the threat of more rain.

“The first year it was a roaring success, so we thought we would keep doing it,” said House. “We had 22 entrants the judges are all very high on sugar right now.”

People also purchase pack of tarts to take home, which House said typically sells out by the end of the day.

The 10th annual event will be held the third weekend of September next year.

The Lumby Market has one more weekend left this year and will wrap up for the season Sept. 30.

Dan Mangan to perform at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre on Monday

Award-winning performer

Two-time JUNO award-winning and three-time Polaris Music Prize nominated musician and songwriter Dan Mangan is coming to town.

Mangan will be at the Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre on Monday at 7:30 p.m. for the first performance of the 2023-24 Spotlight Special Presentations Series.

Best known for melodic hits like 'Robots,' 'Fool for Waiting' and 'Troubled Mind,' the Vancouver-based musician and songwriter is a fixture of the Canadian indie-folk scene.

With a career spanning more than 15 years, he has released six LPs, various EPs and singles, and scored the feature film Hector And The Search For Happiness starring Simon Pegg as well as television shows for Netflix (Hilda) and AMC (Unspeakable).

Mangan has toured extensively in North America, Europe and Australia, sharing stages with indie greats such as Mumford & Sons, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and City & Colour.

He comes to Vernon as part of a Coast-to-Coast 'Going Somewhere' tour celebrating his new album, Being Somewhere.

Released in October 2022, Being Somewhere has earned praise from fans and music reviewers alike. Walleye Magazine hailed this latest album as “what can only be described as beautiful music that somehow lifts the listener’s spirit instead of darkening it.”

Mangan will be supported by Montreal-based singer-songwriter Gabrielle Shonk. Softly strummed acoustic guitar accompany Shonk's dreamy vocals in her sultry, bluesy laments.

Having earned a JUNO nomination for her self-titled debut album in 2019, Shonk has been lauded as a powerful singer-songwriter “with echoes of Adele and Alicia Keys” by the Montreal Gazette.

Tickets are $50 for adults, $47 for seniors, and $45 for students. For tickets, please call 250-549-SHOW (7469) or click here.

City of Vernon is reminding people it is against the law to feed wild animals

Don't feed the wildlife

As the fall season progresses, wildlife will become more visible in and around the community and people are being reminded not to feed wild critters.

Feeding wildlife is prohibited throughout the City of Vernon, including feeding wildlife on private properties and in public, such as along creeks or in parks.

City bylaws prohibit a person from feeding or attempting to feed any wildlife or placing an attractant that could attract wildlife to a property.

Therefore, property owners must ensure:

  • Any fruit or nuts from a tree, bush or shrub is maintained and stored in such a manner so as not to attract wildlife;
  • Any bird feeder containing bird feed, suet or nectar is suspended on a cable or other device in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife; and the area below any bird feeding devices or activity is kept free of accumulations of seeds and similar attractant;
  • Any composting activity is carried out and any composting device or equipment is maintained in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife;
  • Household waste carts are stored properly and maintained in a clean condition that does not attract wildlife and lids remain closed;
  • Barbecue equipment and tools that remain outside must be clean and free of residual food or grease;
  • Any refrigerator, freezer, storage container or similar appliance, device or apparatus that contains attractants of any type, if placed or located outdoors, is located and equipped in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife; and
  • Any grease, antifreeze, paint or petroleum product is stored in such a manner that it is inaccessible to wildlife.

These regulations were developed to reduce unintended negative consequences to wildlife, reduce damage to private property by animals, and reduce the potential for human-wildlife conflict.

According to the BC SPCA wild animals suffer when they get used to eating human food instead of their natural diet. When people feed wildlife, the animals also lose their healthy fear of people. This increases their chances of being injured or killed. Some municipalities have bylaws against feeding wildlife.

Inaugural Sundog Festival of Arts and Culture kicks off in Vernon park today

Dog days at Polson Park

There's a party going on at Vernon's Polson Park and everyone is invited.

The inaugural Sundog Festival of Arts and Culture kicks off in the park today with activities going well into the evening.

Organizer Shawna Patemaude said the festivities are being held in conjunction with BC Culture Days.

“Today, we have live music, we have vendors from the Polson Night Market and organizations from the community,” Patemaude said.

“We have roaming children’s performers. We have a bouncy castle and slides, we have a community canvas where people can do a little bit of painting, we have plein air painters so people can watch them do their thing and lots of food trucks.”

There will also be live music at the bandshell until 9 p.m. this evening.

“This is our big kick off to Culture Days,” Patemaude said. “Last year, we had 22 events for Culture Days and this year we have 38. We were eighth across Canada last year in our category and we are hoping we can move up and be even higher.”

Patemaude said Sundog was created to be the communities own and unique kick off event for Culture Days.

BC Culture Days goes through Oct. 15 with numerous events planned.

Culture Days is a national celebration of arts and culture. At the end of each September, millions of people attend thousands of free arts and culture events across the country both in-person and online. Culture Days programs invite the public to get hands-on and behind-the-scenes to highlight the importance of arts and culture in our communities.

To see what is happening during Culture Days in Vernon, click here.

For more information on Sundog, click here.

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP is giving away 150 free breakfasts Wednesday morning

Breakfast is served

To celebrate the RCMP’s 150th anniversary, the Vernon North Okanagan RCMP will be giving away 150 free breakfasts.

On Wednesday, officers and staff will be cooking and serving up ‘grab-and-go’ pancake and sausage breakfasts from 7 to 9 a.m. to the first 150 community members who stop by the detachment.

“Our community is so amazing, and in the spirit of our 150th anniversary, we wanted to find a way to thank you for all of your support,” said Const. Chris Terleski. “We thought being able to pick up a hot-and-ready breakfast on your way to work or school would be a good way for us to say thanks and a nice way to start your day. We’re only giving away 150 so stop by, say 'Hi,' grab some food to go, and don’t miss out.”

The breakfasts will be served at the Vernon City Hall Plaza in front of the RCMP detachment.

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