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Guest Columnist

That's a wrap!

The Sir Anthony Hopkins’ film in Enderby has wrapped as of December 9th. The new thriller “Go with Me” set to be out in 2015 also featured Julia Stiles, Alexander Lugwig, Ray Liotta, and a list of celebs from LA and Vancouver.

Local actor, Geoff Millar, who stood in for Hopkins on the last day of shooting said, “That Tony is a super friendly and kind person to talk to, and it was certainly a highlight of my acting career so far to be on the set for several days”.

See the full synopsis of the film “Go With Me” here.



If you’re still unfamiliar with OSIF (the Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking), for the record it’s not a Serbo-Croatian Gatsby character but a non-profit film society that has been around since 2003. They facilitate filmmakers by providing equipment rentals, film screenings, workshops, networking opportunities, and cast and crew listings. And, they have BIG plans for 2015!

Amongst their main events, they also host monthly events called #IndieFilmKL nights that feature guest speakers, networking opportunities, and refreshments. The most recent #IndieFilmKL night was a huge success with local guest speaker Brad Pattison best known for the TV Host of ‘At the End of My Leash’.

Here’s what he had to say about OSIF’s new home, The Film Factory:

They have just released info on their next #IndieFilmKL event with home-grown guest speaker Adam Scorgie. They will be doing a Q&A and screening of Scorgie’s world-renowned documentary ‘The Culture High' starring Richard Branson, Snoop Dog, and many well known celebrities and politicians. The event will take place Tuesday, December 30th at The Film Factory- 1126 Richter Street. Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance at The Film Factory.

Check out their website: or Facebook:


Lisa Bissonnette is a creative soul within film, music, and marketing. She is a classically trained opera singer and has a degree in Marketing from Okanagan College. One of her many desires is to grow the Okanagan Film Industry to create opportunities for local artists. She is the Director of Marketing at the brand new creative media house The Film Factory, she’s the only female on the board of directors of OSIF, and she is a marketing and sales coordinator at Avalon Event Rentals. With all of her endeavours she loves connecting with people from all industries in this wonderful community.


Protect your digital assets

It used to be that you knew what to do with all the memorabilia of your life. You'd put it in a box to give to your kids, or you'd write it into your will. But these days, the most complete record of your life may be online.

The Internet plays a major role in most of our lives and we store immense amount of information from our personal and professional lives online including our email accounts, utility bills, insurance policies, social media pages, digital albums, and online bank accounts. It’s been estimated that this growing personal digital footprint amounts to 88 gigabytes of data per person by the age of 75. These digital assets are valuable to us both emotionally and financially and these digital assets need to be managed like any other asset and protected after we pass away.

The question of what to do with digital assets has recently developed into a serious concern, as loved ones try to deal with scattered and inaccessible online identities of deceased family members. Globally, users and companies are still dealing with a nebulous legal and regulatory framework and lack of protocol when it comes to planning for digital assets after death. In the absence of appropriate planning and protection, your memories can be lost or inaccessible, valuable assets can be lost, and a deceased assets can be at risk for identify theft.

Digital Assets have real financial value associated with them. While items such as e-wallets, Bitcoins and popular domain names may have direct financial worth, a Twitter account with a lot of followers or a popular Facebook account is actually a valuable marketing platform. Last year, McAfee released the results of a global digital assets survey, and estimated that our digital devices hold an estimated $35,000 of value on average.  

These valuable assets can become an easy target for identity thieves. Identities of approximately 2.5 million deceased Americans were stolen last year and this creates a huge financial and emotional burden for people who are left behind to deal with it.

But probably the most important risk of not managing digital assets is that memories are at risk of being lost forever. The McAfee report stated that 55% of respondents expressed that their digital assets are impossible to recreate, download or purchase again.

So where should you start to protect and plan for your digital assets? Follow these three planning tips:

1. Take an inventory of all your digital accounts - these include all of your email accounts, blogs, online backup programs, photo and document-sharing sites, financial accounts, iTunes libraries, home utilities managed online, sound, video and photo files.

2. Keep your digital asset information in a safe place – other than an old fashioned list, Google and iCloud have capabilities for this and there are many other password management software application and apps you can use.

3. Decide how you want your assets to be handled and state your intentions in your will. Decide what you want and then provide your instructions to your executor, or a different family member or friend as your digital estate executor in your will.


Planning ahead for the management of your digital assets will help minimize the emotional and financial loss that your loved ones may experience. Be sure to update your will to include clear instructions about how you want your digital assets to be managed to ensure that your wishes are carried out.



Jody Pihl is a Wills and Estates Lawyer at Pihl Law Corporation. Contact Jody at or visit the website at

For Sale: used election signs

Several months ago I decided to run for office in the District of Summerland. There were a number of factors in my decision. I thought I could do a good job on council, I had a strong sense of wanting to give back to my community and I was unhappy with the current representation. Council receives about $11,000 per year in Summerland, for a 10-20 hour per week commitment which can be an incentive for some people.

I went to see the elections officer at City Hall, which in Summerland is a lady by the name of Maureen Fugeta. She did an amazing job of babysitting all the candidates through our election gaffs and helped us with many aspects of the process (thanks Maureen, you are AWESOME!!). Once you receive a nomination package, you need to have some residents sign your nomination papers. Once I filed, I received additional information from the elections officer, and also from Elections BC. You are officially on the ballot as a candidate.

5 Man Electrical Band released a song;

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind


Sign placement is an art. I ordered 50 signs, double-sided, with wire stakes. There are a lot of options and it all depends on your budget. I spent about $500. Then I needed to order stickers to add to the sign because Elections BC has new requirements for signs that some of us missed.

The next major component was presenting your platform. People wanted to know where I sat on lots of issues, and with the campaign in Summerland, we had a hot topic in the proposed ALR Land swap. Then you start writing, alot. Many organizations ask for responses to questions. Some of the questions were difficult to answer and required some research. I spend about $200 dollars on developing a brochure (black and white, double sided) and quickly ran out.

We had two major ‘forums’ where we responded to public questions, and we also were invited as a group to attend specific organizations. As time went on I was genuinely impressed by the caliber of candidates. I found myself doing strange things like the ‘double handshake’ (omg…I’m so sorry…), and speaking in a strange political talk (“I hear what you are are saying, and first I would like to say I appreciate that question”).

I felt elated by the positive response I received and thought I was a front runner. I was excited and nervous leading up to the election. In my case, with about 4300 voters, I received less than 25% of the vote (874), and failed to get elected. I was depressed, dejected and disappointed. I wish I had been better at reaching out to ask for support as it was a lot of work. Spending more will improve your chances of winning. I have to say my opinion of politicians has changed. It’s a very difficult job and the experience was rewarding.

I lay in bed, head buried in a tear stained pillow and my wife says, “Well, at least next time you won’t have to buy signs…” Next time? There won’t be a next time…well…I don’t know…it’s a bit soon to decide…seems a waste to just throw away the signs…not really an environmentally sound decision…hey...the environment is a hot topic these days…


Article submitted by Mark Smed.

If you have questions or comments, contact Mark at [email protected].


Vertical gardens: dig in!

Recently I watched a news segment on the popularity of vertical gardens in Vancouver and thought this was the perfect solution for the south side of my house. A vertical garden is when you grow plants in some sort of frame, using pots to minimize water usage and space requirements. I have a narrow strip of land between my fence and the house. My green thumb is a particularly unhealthy shade of green thus my gardening skills are pretty limited. I’ve killed raspberry bushes - not proud - just sayin’.

I created a frame using 4x4 posts, approximately 8 ft. apart. I used 1x4 boards to run between the posts. The boards on the front and back are 11” apart, vertically. I did the same along the back, with 2 inches offset so the back row was lower. This creates a slope that a typical 1 gallon plant pot fits perfectly into. The pot is actually locked in place by three points. I used 2x4 metal joist hangers and considered running a 2x4 along the back to support the weight but the 1x4 seems to work fine. I did drill a hole and secure it with a bolt.

Initially I created a trickle irrigation system, with a line into each pot. With limited water pressure, I was forced to install valves so I could isolate each row and water one row at a time. Watering the whole garden takes 15 minutes and when it was hot, I was forced to do it at least twice a day. I created a ‘fertilizer tank’ using 3” black PVC pipe and attached it to one of the end posts. The top opens and I can dump in fertilizer.

Next year I want to build some temporary plastic walls to enclose it to extend the growing season in the spring and fall. I would also like to automate the water system with timers and I want to put a trough along the bottom for larger plants like zucchini, cabbage and cukes. The system drains very well, and the plants in the bottom would likely not require irrigation. If I had filled the top row, I could fit about 100 pots, and with a trough on the bottom, you could easily produce a lot of produce (little pun there)!

I grew cabbages, carrots, tomatoes, lettuce and a whole variety of items. Peppers did very well, but were small. Carrots were sometimes 6 in a pot, with a mixture of long and short. My one pepper plant was 3 ft. long and my eggplant flowered very late, and I only harvested a single, small fruit. Well, would you look at that…my thumb’s changing colour to a healthier green!

If you have questions, feel free to drop me a line at [email protected].

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