Central Okanagan News
Castanet's Week in Review, with Jen Zielinski.
The Kelowna Salvation Army hopes people in the Central Okanagan are in a giving mood this holiday season.
Salvation Army lead Pastor, Lt. Darryl Burry, says they hope to be able to raise $300,000 through the annual kettle campaign which kicked off Friday morning, and another $400,000 through on-line and mail in donations.
Burry says the Salvation Army set up the on-line and mail in donation option a few years ago when kettle contributions began to slip.
"People are not always carrying as much cash as they have in the past so we have been able to provide the on-line option for people to be able to donate which is an avenue that has really taken off," says Burry during Friday's kick-off at the Kelowna Walmart.
"But there's always those who love the iconic kettles and like to make sure they have that pocket change so they can support through that medium as well."
The kettles will be set up at 19 different retail and mall locations throughout the Central Okanagan between now and Christmas Eve.
Donations raised will help the growing need, not only for the growing Christmas Hamper program but for other Salvation Army programs year round.
In 2013, the Salvation Army assisted nearly 6,000 individuals and 2,000 families through various charitable programs including Christmas hampers for more than 1,600 people and toy hampers for 900 children.
The Salvation Army is in the process of registering families for Christmas hampers.
To date, Burry says 300 families have already registered with the Salvation Army but expects that number to rise to between 450 and 500.
While people can donate cash through one of the various avenues available they can also donate non-perishable food and toys as well.
"Every donation of food and toys will go into supporting our programs and services."
Burry says toys are always welcome this time of year.
"We provide gifts for children 18 and under so generally it's a lot easier to get gifts for children who are younger in age from zero to four," says Burry.
"We generally have a little more of a challenge in getting toys that are appropriate for that eight to 11 year old range. For teenagers, what we try to provide is a gift certificate so they can go and purchase their own items."
Volunteers are also needed to man the kettles across the Central Okanagan.
Hundreds of volunteers are needed to cover approximately 2,500 two-hour shifts through Christmas Eve.
Click here for more information on donations or registering to receive a Christmas hamper.
The summer may over but the wine season is yearlong in the Okanagan, and some of best local wineries are opening their doors this winter and welcoming you in.
With a holiday theme and spirit in plenty, wineries up and down the Okanagan are holding special events Nov, 29 – Dec 7, 2014. They promise a great selection of open houses, events, light ups, tastings, gift ideas and more at the cellar doors of the wineries from five regional winery associations.
Those include Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive, Okanagan Falls Winery Association, Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, the Similkameen Wineries Association and the Westside Wine Trail.
Below are some of the Winter Wine Events everyone is invited to.
Spend a weekend touring your favourite Bottleneck Drive Wineries in Summerland as they "Light Up The Vines" for two special evenings this year. Visit November 29 & 30 from 3pm-7pm and enjoy complimentary wine tastings, special holiday promotions, a weekend passport to win a prize valued at over $500 and of course vines lit up! This year there will once again be both self-guided and guided tour options available as well as weekend accommodation packages.
Join the wineries of Okanagan Falls this holiday season for their open house weekend in the “Heart of Wine Country”. Come visit these 12 wineries for your holiday gifting ideas, food pairings & sample their delicious wines! Join them in their decorated wine shops and vineyards while enjoying delicious holiday treats and exclusive features from each winery. Take part in their photo scavenger hunt for your chance to win a private wine tour for two with Top Cat Tours!
Winter in Wine Country celebrates the ethereal beauty of the winter months in the region with individual events taking place at 27 wineries including food pairings and Christmas carols, special tasting room opportunities and fabulous displays of Christmas lights. Join them to celebrate winter on Saturday and Sunday, November 29th and 30th. Back by popular demand is the Winter in Wine Country Weekend Passport. Collect stamps from participating wineries as you tour over the weekend. Once you have received 6 stamps, you are eligible to win an Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country Case prize! Bonus draws for extra visits. On Saturday night, the Rosé Revolution offers guests the opportunity to taste Rosé’s from 17 different wineries with fabulous food pairing stations, live music and a people’s choice award. Guide yourself through the weekend or make use of some of the local touring options.
Wine tastings, food pairings, decorated wine shops, art, gift ideas and holiday joy and cheer await you in the fourth annual Similkameen Country Christmas Winery Open House Tour which runs Dec. 6th and 7th from 12-4pm daily. In traditional holiday open house style, enjoy a self-guided tour as you meander through the beautiful Similkameen and visit our 7 participating wineries. Pick up a passport at your first stop and get you it stamped at each winery along the way for your chance to win a $200 Similkameen Wineries Association wine lovers package. Rumour has it that even Santa loves to give (and receive!) amazing, award-winning wines from the Similkameen Valley!
Sip some wine. See some crafts. Cross some holiday shopping off your list while enjoying an easy afternoon touring the wineries of West Kelowna. Join the wineries of the Westside Wine Trail as they celebrate the holidays with their Sip into the Season event. On Sunday, December 7th each winery will host local artisans and crafters in their tasting rooms and cellars for a wine & craft tour. This unique and one of a kind event will see visitors travel from winery to winery as they enjoy the works of the artisans and crafters at each location as well as award-winning wines, gift packages and holiday cheer. This is a self-guided tour and for added convenience, touring options are available through Distinctly Kelowna Tours. The “Sip into the Season” event takes place from noon to 4 pm at participating wineries of the Westside Wine Trail.
You can also check out some other winter wine events hosted by the Kelowna Fab Five wineries.
The Kelowna Fab Five wineries kick off the holiday season with Winter Wineland Saturday November 22nd, noon -4pm. Each winery will have unique offerings such as complimentary food and wine pairings, specialty tastings,exciting discounts and exclusive offers on wine and merchandise. Please bring a donation for The Foodbank
Three concerts held this weekend will showcase a number of talented musicians from the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra.
The group is made up of 80 musicians who will be performing classical pieces for guests in Penticton, Vernon and Kelowna.
“Our youth musicians are so talented that they will impress every music lover and attendees will truly enjoy this show,” says Carol Colpitts, coordinator Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra.
“These musicians work so hard and love what they do and many will make performing in an orchestra part of their future careers.”
The concert series begins Saturday, Nov. 22 in Penticton before moving to both Vernon (2 p.m.) and Kelowna (7 p.m.) on Sunday.
Andrew Stoney has been named as the featured soloist. The Salmon Arm pianist has competed and performed across the province at music festivals such as the Kelowna Kiwanis Music Festival, Kamloops Festival of the Performing Arts, Burnaby Clef Society Festival, Performing Arts BC Provincial Festival, and his hometown Shuswap Music Festival.
“It brings everyone so much enjoyment to see how these musicians grow during their time with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra,” adds Dennis Colpitts, Music Director with the Okanagan Symphony Youth Orchestra.
“They learn so much from each other and their mentors, their hard work and dedication will show at their performances this weekend.”
The program will include:
- “Barber of Seville Overture,” by Rossini
- “Hatikva,” arranged by J. Williams
- “Piano Concert #2 1st Movement” from composer Rachmaninoff
- “Russian Sailor’s Dance” by Gliere
- “Hungarian Dance No. 5” written by Brahms
- “Carment – First Suite” by Bizet
- “Lord of the Dance” arranged by Moore
General admission tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and youth, while children 12 and under pay $5. Tickets can be purchased from students, the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra office (865 Bernard Ave, Kelowna), the Kelowna, Vernon and Penticton music schools as well as at the doors to the venues.
- Saturday, Nov. 22 – 7 p.m. Cleland Theatre, Penticton
- Sunday, Nov. 23 – 2 p.m. Trinity United Church, Vernon
- Sunday, Nov. 23 – 7 p.m. First Lutheran Church, Kelowna
Despite rumblings there are shortages of the flu vaccine in the Interior Health region, the authority stresses that isn’t the case.
Instead Renee Liddicoat, with the Influenza Immunization Program at Interior Health, says there is a delay in re-supplying some of the regions community vaccine providers, such as pharmacies.
“Because of the high initial demand at the beginning of the influenza immunization program, we experienced some delays in re-supplying our community vaccine providers.”
Liddicoat adds Interior Health receives its vaccine supplies in increments from the BC Centre for Disease Control, which is then distributed by the health authority accordingly.
“We are always doing a vaccine inventory and we really closely monitor it so if we identify a community that is in need of the vaccine, we try and transfer it from an area with a surplus to the area that is in more of a need.”
Interior Health has been assured there is sufficient quantity of vaccine in the province to immunize those who want the shot.
However, Interior Health is responsible for providing the publicly funded vaccine, which is the free vaccine, but do not supply the flu shot that is available for a fee.
“The vaccine available for a fee is a private supply that pharmacists have available on hand, and these two supplies are not interchangeable,” she says.
Liddicoat encourages the public to check with their pharmacy first to ensure the vaccine is in stock before they leave home.
Those attending free flu clinics can be assured there are enough vaccines for those wanting them.
For more information on immunization or vaccine schedules click here.
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