Think Local  

Kelowna Cheese and Meat Festival back to please palates for second straight year

Enjoy elite cheese and meat

Prepare your palates for an extraordinary journey at the historic Laurel Packinghouse, as the Kelowna Cheese and Meat Festival makes its grand return.

This boutique culinary event promises an exclusive experience that goes beyond the ordinary, offering a taste of sophistication with its array of artisan cheeses, premium cured meats and exquisite accompaniments.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 25.

Following last year’s sell-out success, the festival has become the most awaited event for gourmet enthusiasts and culinary adventurers alike. Tickets will go on sale tomorrow (Wednesday, Feb. 21) at 10 a.m., and for an added advantage, subscribe to the event’s newsletter at www.cheeseandmeatfestival.com/newsletter for early access to ticket sales and exclusive deals.

“The Kelowna Cheese and Meat Festival is designed to alleviate the challenge of purchasing specialty food products without the ability to taste them,” festival director David Bain says. “By providing a platform for producers to showcase their offerings and interact directly with consumers, we aim to facilitate the creation of demand while introducing attendees to new and exciting culinary experiences.”

This year the festival will host more than 40 local and international vendors, presenting a remarkable opportunity to explore and indulge in the world’s finest gourmet selections. Whether you’re a connoisseur of artisanal cheeses or a lover of finely cured meats, this festival offers the perfect platform to connect with producers and purchase premium products at discounted prices.

Set against the backdrop of Kelowna’s scenic Laurel Packinghouse, the festival spans both indoor and outdoor spaces, creating an ideal setting for discovery and camaraderie. With the vendor lineup announcements on the horizon, attendees can anticipate a diverse and tantalizing selection that caters to every taste preference.

Don’t miss this exceptional opportunity to immerse yourself in the world of gourmet delights and discover new favourites among the finest flavours on offer. More information about Kelowna Cheese and Meat Festival 2024 can be found on its website here.

The festival and Castanet have teamed up on a contest, where the winner will receive two VIP tickets to the event. Click here to enter the contest, which will end on March 19.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Phoenix Stretch Ceilings celebrates 10 years of stunning ceilings, lighting

Make your ceiling gorgeous

Phoenix Stretch Ceilings is celebrating its 10th anniversary of turning ugly, old ceilings into stunning ones, complete with gorgeous LED lighting features.

The dynamic Kelowna company, owned by Axel and Andrea Pasternak, has been installing the European technology in the Okanagan and beyond for a decade. Its lasting presence and success would not have been possible without a long list of local residential and commercial clients who wanted to improve the look of their living areas and businesses, respectively. That is why the company would like to use the occasion of its 10-year anniversary to thank everyone who has turned to Phoenix for their stretch ceilings and LED lighting solutions. It will also be holding events and conducting special offers throughout 2024 to celebrate its decade of existence.

Stretch ceilings were established in Europe more than 30 years ago, and now the product is starting to flourish in B.C. thanks to Phoenix, with showrooms in the Okanagan and Lower Mainland, and its headquarters in Kelowna at THE FACTORY, which is located at 1302 St. Paul St. The product is made of a high-grade matte, satin, glossy, metallic or translucent material that stretches out just beneath the existing ceiling and attaches to a track mounted along the walls. Even better, there is enough room between the old ceiling and the new stretch material to add lighting that might not have existed before.

“The nice thing is we can utilize that space of one and a half inches between the stretch ceiling and the existing ceiling to wire for a complete new lighting layout,” Axel Pasternak says. "It’s an unbeatable solution for adding a complete new lighting layout for highrises with concrete ceilings or for ceilings under subfloors, where adding additional lighting is always a challenge.”

The highly durable stretch ceilings, which are available in more than 100 colours, are always custom-made and up to 800 square feet in size, and they don’t always have to go on the ceilings, either. They can also be used for wall display purposes, complete with LED backlighting and custom prints to add even more flair and beauty to the finished product. For example, one of Phoenix’s recent projects featured a print of the Milky Way with astounding LED lighting behind it in a bedroom ceiling.

The company’s before-and-after images show just how transformative stretch ceiling technology can be. That gallery can be found here.


The materials used are also resistant to moisture and chlorine, effectively preventing the molding of ceilings. This makes it an ideal and attractive solution for environments with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms or pool areas, ensuring durability and maintaining the space’s visual appeal.

Phoenix Stretch Ceilings has a broad spectrum of clients, from those who want to renovate one bedroom to those who build new, multi-family construction or commercial projects with the intention to create a stylish and contemporary ceiling design with distinctive LED lighting solutions. Projects range from budget-friendly solutions to cover outdated ceilings to high-end, custom installations. If the old ceiling contains asbestos, it might be even a big cost saver in comparison to a traditional asbestos remediation process. What everyone appreciates is the quick and clean installation process without furniture removal in comparison to the mess of any traditional ceiling renovation process.

The standard stretch ceiling enhances a room’s acoustics, and Phoenix also offers micro-perforated material in combination with hidden acoustic absorber materials if topnotch acoustical performance is required. Beyond this, anti-static surfaces ensure dust accumulation is significantly minimized and the ceilings can be effortlessly cleaned with a moist microfibre cloth. In other words, no more painting of ceilings is required.

Additionally, the design prioritizes maintaining access to all structures above the stretch ceiling, ensuring that practicality is not sacrificed for aesthetics. You do not need an outdated T-bar ceiling style to maintain accessibility.

Phoenix Stretch Ceilings believes in transparency and value, which is why it offers free consultations. And as long as Phoenix sees the space, it will offer a fixed-price quote without hidden surprises. The company’s commitment to quality service, impeccable workmanship, and adherence to timelines and budgets sets the company apart.

Beyond Phoenix Stretch Ceilings, the company also carries the product lines Supreme German Blinds and Phoenix Exterior Shading, with high quality shading solutions for interior and exterior residential and commercial spaces. All product lines can be explored at the showroom in The Factory, located at 1302 St. Paul St. in Kelowna.

To set up a free consultation today, click here. Latest updates can be found on its Facebook and Instagram pages as well.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Okanagan Clinical Trials seeking those with rhinosinusitis to participate in research study

Calling all sinus sufferers

Okanagan Clinical Trials is inviting individuals 19 years old or older with acute recurrent bacterial rhinosinusitis to participate in an ongoing research study for an investigational product.

OCT, a medical research company located in Kelowna, is currently conducting a study to evaluate the safety and efficacy of an investigational nasal spray product for rhinosinusitis.

“This study offers a two-week treatment period for patients who suffer with recurrent sinusitis,” OCT principal investigator Dr. Colleen Maytham said in a press release.

This study serves as an opportunity to investigate a potential treatment option for those who experience recurrent sinus infections.

“OCT is excited to conduct a trial for a local B.C. company,” OCT president Dr. Kim Christie said. “If you suffer from recurrent rhinosinusitis, please contact our clinic to learn more.”

Investigational treatment will not affect provincial medical coverage, and all study-related costs will be paid for by the sponsor. Participants are free to leave the study at any time.

To learn more about the study or to volunteer, visit www.okanaganclinicaltrials.com or call Okanagan Clinical Trials at 250-862-8141.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan lottery a huge win for affordable housing

Win big with Habitat lottery

There’s a new lottery in town, and your local Habitat for Humanity wants you to be part of it.

In 2023, Habitat for Humanity Okanagan launched the biggest online 50/50 lottery in its history. Last year the You Win! We Build! 50/50 lottery awarded $65,427 in cash prizes to two lucky winners right here in the Okanagan. This very popular lottery is back with even better odds and more chances to win big.

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan’s director of development Danielle Smith is excited there will be more local residents with a chance to win a big cash prize while simultaneously making a significant difference for families in need of affordable housing in the Okanagan.

Not only is Smith herself excited about all the winning possibilities, but for CEO Andrea Manifold it’s one of the best parts of her job; calling winners like Linda Farr of Kelowna only days before Christmas to tell her she had just won $35,550. Farr was the lottery’s biggest winner to date, and she bought her 50/50 tickets at Orchard Park Shopping Centre from the Habitat for Humanity Okanagan community booth at the beginning of December.

Farr was elated to win, and she has shared with Habitat that with her winnings the whole family is now planning a 2024 Christmas trip to Mexico. She also said that a portion of her winnings would be shared with her family and that she was able to splurge on a new bedroom suite. When asked why she bought her tickets, she simply said: “I really believe in the work that Habitat for Humanity does.”

At a time when charities like Habitat for Humanity are a part of a growing number of groups tackling the very real and challenging need for affordable housing—a need that is growing. This lottery is a huge win for affordable housing especially at a time when housing is one of the most critical needs for thousands of British Columbians. The You Win! We Build! 50/50 lottery offers ticket buyers the chance to claim half of the growing jackpot in July and again in December, and each jackpot could grow to a whopping $300,000, making the prize for each draw a $150,000 cash prize for the winner. And the first of two draws has already kicked off and will take place on July 2, 2024.

There are a few ways to get your tickets for the Habitat Okanagan 50/50 lottery. You can buy tickets online at www.rafflebox.ca/raffle/hfh-okanagan or at the Habitat Okanagan booth at the Kelowna Spring Home Show, taking place this coming weekend (Feb. 17-18) at Prospera Place. The 50/50 tickets are five for $25, 20 for $50 or 100 for $100.

Smith says this lottery not only gives ticket buyers the power to change the lives of more local families; they also have really great odds to win big.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

More Think Local articles