Kelowna International Airport's winter travel show returns

Winter travel show is back

You know winter is right around the corner when it's time for the Winter Travel Show.

Kelowna International Airport’s annual Winter Travel Show will take place this Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“This event is a great way to learn about the many travel destinations from YLW, and win some great prizes,” says airport director Sam Samaddar. “Thanks to our travel partners, we are giving away over $15,000 in prizes, including all-inclusive trips to Mexico, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.”

You'll also have the opportunity to win prize packages including:

  • A vacation package for two to Cancun, Mexico, courtesy of Sunwing Vacations
  • Flights for two from Kelowna to San Francisco, compliments of Edmonton International Airport
  • A vacation package for two to Phoenix, Arizona, courtesy of WestJet Vacations
  • Three round trip airfare prizes, courtesy of Central Mountain Air, Flair Airlines, and Swoop
  • Wine tour package, courtesy of Kelowna Concierge
  • Accommodation prizes, courtesy of Argus Properties at Four Points by Sheraton and Hampton Inn and Suites Kelowna Airport

Tickets for the prize draw can be purchased for a nominal fee, and all funds raised will be donated to United Way Southern Interior BC.

There will be food, drinks and live entertainment. Parking is free if you bring your voucher in for validation.


Chefs in the Classroom is in high demand around the Okanagan

Edible education on the rise

Chefs in the Classroom is growing, thanks to a $10,000 donation from Mission Hill Estate Winery.

The non-profit program launched in 2016 by the Okanagan Chefs Association provides edible education to Grade 3 school children in the valley.

The curriculum provides hands-on, Okanagan and Aboriginal inspired practices that show children how to grow, cook and eat local.

The classes consist of six 90-minute lessons which are taught each spring, in which Okanagan chefs visit classrooms in Kelowna, West Kelowna, Summerland and Naramata.

“Chefs in the Classroom is entirely volunteer-run and sponsor funded, and that is something that we are tremendously proud of," said spokesperson Debbie MacMillan.

MacMillan expects 2020 will be its biggest year yet.

The program consists of volunteers ranging from chefs to cooks, farmers, gardeners, nutritionists, and educators visiting classrooms with support from organizations including Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, Kiwanis Club of Kelowna - Summit, Harmony Honda, Start Fresh Kitchen, Bylands Garden Centre, the Okanagan Table Cookbook, Farm Credit Canada and more.

Darryl Brooker, president of Mission Hill, has supported the growth of the program since the launch and provided 50 children with an outdoor lesson in 2016, when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited.

“Mission Hill chefs have actively participated as part of the volunteer teams, teaching children in the classroom," said Brooker. "We were pleased to host a field trip last year for 75 Grade 3 children."

The students were provided with a tour of the vineyard and culinary garden, where they learned how grapes are grown.

To volunteer for the 2020 program, find more information, here.

Salvation Army has new shed stolen, says God bless the thief

Blessings for Sally Ann thief

"It was never used, it was brand new."

A new shed donated to the Salvation Army in Kelowna was stolen Wednesday; the only thing left some nuts and bolts in the grass.

The theft was noticed when staff went to install a missing piece in the structure, says Pastor Darryl Burry.

"We actually just received that piece on Tuesday, and so my maintenance supervisor went out Wednesday morning to finalize putting the shed together, to discover the entire shed was missing.”

The shed was located behind the church, behind gates.

Burry isn't looking to blame anyone, rather open up his doors to those who need it most.

"We are saddened that this happened, but the reality is we know we live in a community with a lot of hurting people, and if by taking this shed this is going to do something to help that individual out in some way, then we say God bless them."

"We want them or anyone else to know that if there’s individuals in need, we are here to help. We will do whatever we can do to come alongside and support someone. We will give them what they need, rather than it having to be stolen ... unfortunately, theft is something that happens all the time in our thrift stores and the reality is that all they have to do is ask, and we’d be happy to provide as best as we can.”

Luckily, the church held onto an old smaller shed since the new one was still being built. 

“It’s been wonderful to see the outpouring of support from the community, we always know we have a fantastic community and we’re just thankful for the words and the kindness that’s been shown since this has happened.”


2,000 pot plants seized in Joe Rich drug raid

Six arrested in drug raid

Six people were arrested in a rural Kelowna drug raid, Wednesday.

RCMP executed a search warrant at a home on the 7500 block of Falcon Road in Joe Rich and seized $1,400 in cash, 95 pounds of dried marijuana bud and nearly 2,000 plants.

During the raid, four women and two men were arrested. They have since been released from custody and will appear in court at a later date. 

“These types of investigations are laborious and our investigators worked tirelessly to secure the evidence,” says Cpl. Meghan Foster.  

Policing jurisdiction for Joe Rich is run out of the West Kelowna RCMP detachment.

FortisBC was at the scene to cut power to the home so police could safely seize the evidence.

Kelowna RCMP warn residents of Service Canada scam

Cops warn of latest scam

Kelowna RCMP are warning of a new scam in which callers pretend to be from Service Canada.

Over the past few days, police have received several reports of the scam, which targets recent immigrants and preys on their fear of being deported.

RCMP urge residents to take precautions to protect their personal and financial information.

“This recent scam is concerning, as the caller ID number shown is the phone number to the Kelowna RCMP detachment," says Const. Lesley Smith.

“We are asking the public that should they receive a call from someone identifying themselves as a Service Canada employee, and they demand money, to hang up the phone. Service Canada will not call you and demand money and will not arrest you or have the powers of deportation.”

The scam begins with a cold-call with the scammer fraudulently claiming to be from Service Canada. The scammer advises that your social insurance number has been compromised and you must pay thousands of dollars in the form of Bitcoin, or they threaten to have you arrested and deported.

Police remind the public not to send anyone money or Bitcoin.

“You do not need to call your local police if you have only received a scam phone call," says Smith. "We ask that you call your local police only if you have been victimized by the scam."

For further information on scams, visit the RCMP scams and fraud tip link or www.rcmp.bc.ca

Fundraiser to help family of four after Kelowna house fire

Bottle drive for fire family

Neighbours of a Kelowna family devastated by a recent house fire are hosting a bottle drive Oct. 26, to help the residents with unexpected costs.

The fire took place at the Rosewood Estates townhomes in Rutland just before 6:30 p.m., on Sept.19.

"My husband, myself and my son were home, and I started hearing weird noises upstairs. When I went upstairs, I saw about a foot of smoke hanging off the ceiling, so I yelled fire," recalls Josette Genest.

Her husband attempted to put out the flames using a home extinguisher, but was unsuccessful.

"I think we actually had four fire engines there to help with the blaze, and they were able to contain it just to our bedroom, but there was severe smoke and water damage throughout the rest of the house," says Genest.

The family successfully made it to safety, but Genest's son suffered a small burn.

After the fire was put out, crews discovered asbestos throughout the unit, which led to thousands of dollars in extra costs not covered by insurance.

"Those costs take my 'OK insurance policy' and make it impossible to refurbish my house for a family of four," said Genest.

The family successfully found a temporary placement while efforts to fix their home are underway.

"My son has autism, so he had a really hard time understanding the gravity of the situation and understanding why we couldn't go home," says Genest.

"After the fire department cleared the house, I took him back so he could see what fire does to a home and that seemed to really help him understand."

Since the fire, neighbours have stepped up to help.

"I looked out my window, and I saw smoke pouring out of their window and my husband and I left our unit and we saw their whole family sitting on the grass, watching their house burn," says neighbour Holly Johnson.

"I just felt so horrible, she (Josette) had to sit there and watch her entire life go up in flames.

"I just thought I wish I could help her in some shape or form, so I figured we'd help out with extra costs."

The bottle drive will be held at the Dease Road Columbia Bottle Depot from noon to 3 p.m.

"We are hoping this endeavour will bring relief to the family and will knit the people of Kelowna's hearts together in selfless service," said Johnson.

A Kelowna comedy show will raise money for Halloween costumes

Comedy for costumes

You ever hear that one about the tree that got scared on Halloween?

It was petrified!

That joke likely won't make the cut, but you can get your laugh on this Friday night while helping Mamas for Mamas outfit deserving kids with Halloween costumes this year.

It's Comedy for a Cause, hosted by Kelowna Comedy.

The event is being sponsored by Kelowna Chrysler, with 100 per cent of ticket sales going to Mamas for Mamas.

The evening will feature 11 of Kelowna's top comedians.

It takes place Friday night at Dakoda's Comedy Lounge.

Tickets are $20 at the door.

Local bartender Jared Schmidt wins multiple mixology events

Carefully coveted cocktails

Sarita Patel

Meet Orchard Room's Bar and Restaurant Manager Jared Schmidt, who is raking in the accolades for his carefully coveted cocktails.

Mixology is the art of taking old and classic drink recipes or creating new ones in order to tailor fit the restaurant or city that you are in.

Jared has been bartending for five years and has participated in many mixology events which run throughout the year. He was fortunate enough to compete and win multiple regional competitions.

“My first big one was in February of this year at the Woodford Reserve Manhattan Experience 2019. Won the regional competition for Woodford and then was sent to the semi-final in Louisville, Kentucky. Out of there I placed top-6 in 40 and was fortunate enough to go to New York City for the Final.”

Jared also won the regional event for Patron Perfectionist and will be heading to Toronto to compete in the National Final on Nov. 4. Just before heading out for that competition he'll be heading to Vancouver to compete in the Regional final for Bacardi Legacy on Thursday.

The Orchard Room will have the cocktail that he will be presenting and many more from his past competitions on their new menu which will be rolling out in November.

Asking Jared what he thinks are steps for future cocktail creators and his answer is simple, “get a job with one of us we’ll train them,” laughed Jared.

“Ideally, it’s this cycle of learning of we learn from one another from our mentors and then hopefully are able to pass that down in that same kind of way.”

“There isn’t an exclusivity of knowledge, we’re not trying to be pretentious or we’re not try got keep these close guarded industry secrets. In fact, we would really see more people get involved, we’d rather see more people learn about it and become educated.”

Jared also recommends some reading, such as cocktail books or magazines. He says that he’s gained one-third of his knowledge from investing some time reading and learning about past drinks and new trends.

Voyager RV general manager lost mom to disease two years ago

ALS donation hits home

Voyager RV Centre had a record-setting sales month in September, which means it is hurtling towards its goal of donating $100,000 to charity this year.

The Lake Country business presented its latest cheque to the ALS Society of BC in early October for $16,000 as part of its Voyager Cares drive. It’s a donation that hit close to home for Voyager RV general manager Ward Fraser.

“The ALS Society is near and dear to my heart specifically because this is what my mother passed away from two years ago,” Fraser said in a press release. “It’s amazing what the ALS Society does for patients living with this devastating disease, and I want to thank the Voyager team for all their individual hearts and minds that they used to choose the charities this year, especially the ALS Society, because this one really gets me.”

For more on this story, visit Okanagan Edge.

Candidate forum gets lively when discussing economy

Fuhr comes out swinging

Stephen Fuhr was in attack mode when it came to the Canadian economy during a candidates forum Wednesday morning hosted by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

Fuhr, the incumbent Liberal in Kelowna-Lake Country, got more aggressive than he has been throughout the campaign when it came to a question about the mortgage stress test.

When Fuhr stated the Liberals have no intention of eliminating the stress test, which some have complained is keeping them from buying a home, Conservative Dan Albas retorted potential homeowners and real estate professionals are frustrated with the test. He said a Conservative government would rework it.

"Further to that, we also have the Liberals now saying they are going to add a speculation tax on top of the provincial speculation tax we already have," said Albas.

Fuhr shot back that the biggest single factor that moved the real estate market was the economy. He blamed the former Conservative government under Stephen Harper for failing to grow the economy, which stalled the housing market.

"The party that can grow the economy, that's the biggest single factor. These guys couldn't grow the economy. It was flatter than a pancake from 2008 to 2015, years after the recession was over," stated Fuhr.

"We wanted to do this responsibly, we wanted to get people into housing. We can grow the economy – because we did, and we can. They can't. And now, they are going to pull $53 billion out of the economy.

"Who can grow the economy, who can't? That's the biggest single factor that will affect this problem."

The breakfast event began with a speed dating-type event where candidates had the opportunity to go from table to table making their pitch, before hitting the stage to answer questions.

Here are some highlights from each of the other candidates:

Daniel Joseph (Independent) - Kelowna Lake Country

One of the most important things for me is addressing our homelessness and our drug abuse here in Kelowna-Lake Country. Addressing the environment, and making sure we are taking action on the environment. We shouldn't have Greta Thunberg calling out climate action ... leaders and government should be the ones taking climate action and actually making some changes.

Silverado Socrates (Independent) - Kelowna-Lake Country

I am promoting peace through tourism. I am running as an independent, but I lean green. I hope to use my assets as both a former world-class athlete and a tourism operator-owner for over 30 years to help bring Kelowna and the Okanagan to a different communication strategy where we can see the peace we need to see in the world.

Joan Philip (NDP) - Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

I really believe the New Democratic Party is the one that is going to lift everyone up, except the top one per cent. We need a holistic approach because everything is connected. We need a strong economy. I believe small business is the backbone of the country. We need to tackle homelessness, and we need to convert to renewable energy.

Tracy Gray (Conservative) - Kelowna-Lake Country

It's been mentioned today about all of the tough choices that Premier Doug Ford (Ontario) has been making, and that's what happens when you have a longtime Liberal government. You have to come in and fix the house. You have a very important decision to make during this election. Please consider what has happened over the last four years – have there been policies and tax changes that have been helpful to your business? Are there policy and tax changes that have been helpful to you and your family?

For the last year, I have been out door knocking, meeting with residents, business people and stakeholders, and doing lots of listening. I have a much better pulse of the community than ever before

Mary Ann Murphy (Liberal) - Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

Murphy told a story about one of her experiences while door knocking during the campaign.

"We were out door knocking last week, and a fellow came screaming off his balcony at me. I used all my skills to take the situation down. I lowered my hands, I dropped my voice and started to step backwards. I said: 'Sir, I'm not here to upset you, what can I do?' He said: 'I'm so upset with you Liberals, you've ruined a perfectly good drug dealing business.'"

Travis Ashley (Green) - Kelowna Lake Country

I'm a 26-year-old father of two. I'm a young man just fighting for their rights, and my rights. I could be talking to you about all the crises we face, but that word is being so overused. It's almost like these crises aren't even seen as a crisis anymore, which is what's really bothering me. It's this incremental change and the lack of political will and courage, and the truth that's really destroying me from the inside out. What I need now is strong leadership.

Robert Mellalieu (Green) - Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

I came to the Green Party for the economics. Canada needs better infrastructure. We are currently laggers on the world stage. We don't have a proper electrical grid, we're not taking advantage of 21st century technology. This is not a country that is a leader in the world. Canada used to be a leader. The Green Party wants us to be leaders again.

John Barr (PPC) - Kelowna-Lake Country

If there is a sign that I could hold up it would be "to hesitate," because the direction all of these other parties are going to take us is to more spending and more governance. I feel we need less governance, we need less money spent and less money collected. That's why I'm here, and that's what I'm standing for.

Allan Duncan - (PPC) - Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola

We are pursuing, with the People's Party of Canada, our core principles of freedom, personal responsibility, fairness and respect. We think those are good principles and good values to bring with our growing network in Canada to the established heirarchy in Ottawa. A new voice, a new location politically for people to put their energies into. I hope to bring that voice to Ottawa ... something new, something fresh.

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