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Win cash for your recipe

Choose a recipe, grab a partner, and film a cooking video for your chance to win

Cooking brings people together; it fosters creativity, teaches patience and helps us better appreciate the food we eat.

Cooking can be incredibly rewarding; it can build communities and inspire passion in people young and old. 

And now, thanks to Better Together BC, cooking can also win you some serious cash.

The group’s highly-anticipated Hands-on Cook-off challenge launches across the province April 18.

The challenge seeks to help families celebrate the joy of cooking and eating together by asking a multi-generational pair, or two young people, to submit a video demonstrating how to prepare their favourite recipe.

Breakfast, BBQ, pizza, salad, dinner, snacks: recipes of any flavour are on the table. Simply share one of your favourites and show everyone why the dish is better made together.

This year’s theme is “celebrating and redefining family,” because here in B.C. family means something different to everyone. 

Cooking together is a grounding and deeply bonding tradition for individuals, families, and for communities, and the Hands-on Cook-off challenge continues to inspire more people to enjoy family meals. 

Cooking and eating together is linked to all kinds of benefits for children, youth and families –  including better grades in school, better physical and mental health, and better overall social adaptability.

To enter the challenge, any B.C. resident can simply submit a video to Better Together BC between April 18 and May 18. Videos must be no longer than three minutes, and can be entered online here.

A bounty of $1,000 and $500 cash prizes are up for grabs in several different categories, with more than $4,000 on the table.

This year, for the first time ever, families of foodies can also enter a video on Instagram. Follow and tag @bettertogetherbc and include the hashtag #handsoncookoff on a one-minute video featuring two generations cooking together and you can win a $250 Amazon gift card.

This year’s panel of judges feature the likes to TV personality and cook, Art Napoleon; the co-founder of Foodie Kids Inc. Michelle Tang; Chef Paul Cecconi of Brodo Kitchen; Rebecca Coleman of Cooking By Laptop; and award-winning cooking instructor, Chef Heidi Fink.

That means if you get chosen, it was by some seriously sensational culinary minds.

To enter, for more information on the challenge or for complete contest rules visit Better Together BC online.

You can also check out Better Together BC on social media through the #handsoncookoff hashtag. They’re on Facebook @bettertogetherbc, Twitter @bettertogether and Instagram @bettertogetherbc.

Best neighbourhood in town

You know the housing market is red-hot when you’re selling so fast you have to downsize a massive ad campaign.

That’s exactly what’s happening to Sandpiper Developments as it continues work on its cutting-edge Cameron Mews development.

After hitting the market in March last year the first five phases of the Gordon Drive townhouse development sold out in a blistering three months.

Peter Brenneman of Sandpiper Developments chalks the staggering sales up to a deep desire in Kelowna for quality homes in well-located communities.

It’s no secret the inventory of homes on Kelowna’s real estate market is pretty slim these days. Developers are rising to the challenge, but most of the new projects in the city are for apartment complexes.

Brenneman thinks there might not be enough townhouses entering the market over the next couple of years to fill the demand. Sandpiper recognized that trend, and decided instead to create a community full of exceptional homes in one of the best locations in the city.

Rather than just plunking down an apartment complex they designed a neighbourhood that was far more suited to the surroundings.

The Cameron Mews townhomes sit across from the Guisachan Village Shopping Centre and next to the Guisachan Heritage Park. They’re surrounded by bike and walking paths, and rest just a stone’s throw from the hospital and tons of top-tier shopping.

With spacious and sleek interiors, double garages, and options for personal elevators, as well as a host of other features, Brenneman believes the final 42 homes in the development will sell even faster than the first wave, as homebuyers search for something other than a crowded unit in an apartment complex.

In fact, interested buyers are already registering for up-to-the-second information on the upcoming fall release and the opening of the new show home.

He encourages anyone else who’s interested to register by visiting the Cameron Mews website.

Win a $5,000 kitchen

Creative Stone Solutions isn’t your run-of-the-mill countertop manufacturer, and their grand opening won’t be your run-of-the-mill open house.

The newly refreshed company is throwing open its showroom doors April 1 and offering up a custom-made quartz kitchen to one lucky visitor.

Fresh off a move and bubbling with excitement at the prospect of showing off his new showroom, Creative Stone Solutions Owner Dave Plummer says he wants to show his appreciation to the community that has always supported the business.

“What we’re basically doing is trying to give back to the community that was so good to us through our early stages,” Plummer says.

A massive giveaway at the grand opening seems like the perfect way to do that.

Simply drop by the new showroom at 656 Willow Park Rd. between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m., and you can enter a draw for a custom-built, white quartz kitchen courtesy of Creative Stone Solutions.

Plummer says his team will come to the winner’s house, take all the necessary measurements, custom build gleaming new countertops and come back and install them.

Depending on your kitchen, that’s as much as $5,000 worth of work, all completely on the house.

“We’ll go right from start to finish for you,” Plummer says.

But even if you don’t win, Plummer says stopping by the showroom will still be worth your while. Along with custom-built countertops Plummer also reuses castoff pieces from Creative Stone Solutions’ projects to create stunning works of art.

The beautifully crafted, sandblasted signs are scattered throughout the showroom, and are well worth stopping by to oogle.

“We’ve probably got the most creative showroom in the Okanagan at this point,” Plummer said. “It’s worth coming to see our diversification.”

To see the showroom, enter the draw, or simply take in the festive atmosphere of the Creative Stone Solutions grand opening drop by 656 Willow Park Rd. between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. April 1.


The future of backyard pools

With the sun finally starting to once again beam down, pool season in the Okanagan is achingly close.

This year, many homeowners will finally take the plunge and get the pool they’ve been dreaming of for years. If you’re one of them, Sean Colluney’s got one piece of advice: fiberglass.

Colluney works at Valley Pool a Spa, a family-run business that’s been operating in Kelowna since 1972. He’s been in the pool business for a long time, and he says potential pool owners should take a look at the future of pools.

He says the benefits of fiberglass are nearly limitless, but he’s got four main ones he thinks can convince just about anyone.


Fiberglass pools are made with a non-porous finish that makes it much harder for algae to latch on with their grubby little tendrils. That means a fiberglass pool needs fewer chemicals for treatment, and you’ll spend less time cleaning, saving additional energy (not to mention time) costs.

Colluney points out that fiberglass also acts as a natural insulator, meaning filters and heaters will run way less, saving even more energy. Those energy savings could potentially save you as much as $225 a month.

Fiberglass pools are also installed without steel walls and footings, meaning there’s no potential to leach chemicals and rust back into the groundwater, like there can be with more traditional steel-wall, vinyl lined pools.


Fiberglass pools feature a complex formula of layered gel coats, colored flakes, sparkles and colored resins that Colluney says both looks great and is incredibly strong (You can also tile the waterline to give a fiberglass pool a high-end custom look).

Unlike other pools, fiberglass can also flex and bend as the temperature heats and cools, preventing cracking in freeze-thaw climates like we have in the Okanagan.

Built-in features

It’s also really easy, and fairly inexpensive, to trick out a fiberglass pool with a slew of built-in features.

Colluney says Valley Pool and Spa often installs water features like cascades and streams, fibre optic and LED lighting, vanishing edges and fire features.


That’s right, affordable. While fiberglass might feel like an option only reserved for the well-to-do, Colluney points out fiberglass pools can be accessible to just about anyone.

Much of what we’ve discussed already funnels into this: with the reduced heating and chemical costs adding up to some serious savings. Tack on the stellar durability fiberglass provides, and you’re looking at a very cool deal.

Not only that, the stunning features that can be added to your fiberglass pool project “can transform the average backyard into a million-dollar looking resort,” Colluney says.

Colluney remembers helping a couple who were initially looking for a traditional, steel wall vinyl-lined pool with some added features. After comparing the cost of their dream vinyl pool with a fiberglass pool, the difference in price was pretty slim.

“Once we were close on price the choice became a no brainer, as they would never have to replace the liner, and by choosing a fiberglass pool they would end up with lower heating costs, better water chemistry and got the features they wanted without additional construction costs,” he says.

For more information on Fiberglass pools, or to talk to an expert about how to make one work for you, email Colluney at [email protected], or visit Valley Pool and Spa’s website.

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