The Haunting of Falkland adds two new thrills

Slashers and zombies

If being stalked by one of Hollywood’s famous slashers is your idea of a good time, the Haunting of Falkland has you in mind with their latest addition.

THE HUNT is new this year and welcomes any thrill seeker over the age of16 who can endure 10 long minutes of knowing you are being followed by a creepy guy.

New for the family is the ZOMBIE SHOOT. All ages are dared to follow a woodland path through a zombie apocalypse armed only with a laser gun.

Don’t worry The Haunting of Falkland still has the Haunted Hall which has eight themed rooms like The Nun, Pet Cemetery and Vampire Castle.

Event Co-Founder Dean Trumbley says last year’s Haunting allowed over a dozen Falkland area non-profits to share in more than $10,000 . “We are absolutely astounded for the overwhelming support from people who attended last year’s event. We had people attend from the Lower Mainland, Cariboo, United States and even some exchange students from China,” he says.

More than 3600 people were brave enough to take part in last year’s Haunting and organizers are expecting this year’s crowds to be even bigger.

Curator for The Falkland Museum, Denise Frocklage, has watched the event grow from 450 people to over 3600 in just four years. “So, this year we have added more vendors, more food, more experiences, and more decorations,” she says. “As long as people keep coming, we will continue to grow The Haunting every year”.

More information can be found here and organizers are encouraging anyone wanting to attend to pre-purchase their tickets.

Dates and Times:

  • Friday, October 20, 2023 5-10pm (all activities)(full-scare)
  • Saturday, October 21, 2023 12-4pm (all activities)(no-scare)
  • Saturday, October 21, 2022 5-10pm (all activities)(full-scare)
  • Sunday, October 22, 2023 12-4pm (all activities)(no-scare)
  • Friday, October 27, 2023 5-10pm (all activities)(full-scare)
  • Saturday, October 28, 2023 12-4pm (all activities)(no-scare)

Vernon Winter Carnival bringing new event this year: the Carnival Cocktail Competition

Drink up at carnival

Local restaurants are going to mix it up at the 2024 Vernon Winter Carnival.

The Carnival Cocktail Competition is a new event for carnival and is being presented in partnership with Vernon Nissan and Kelly O’Bryan’s.

People are encouraged to enter at their favourite restaurant or pub for the chance to win the trophy and bragging rights.

“As you may know, the theme for VWC 2024 is Games, and this seemed like a perfect event to add,” says carnival executive director Kris Fuller.

“It’s going to be so much fun. We can’t wait to create a fabulous cocktail ourselves, and see what other places make as well,” says Kelly O’Bryan’s manager Elli Lane.

To enter, $100 in gift certificates, which will be donated to Vernon Winter Carnival Society, are required. The society will use the gift certificates for its online auction in February or as prizes for special events.

The single cocktail must contain two ounces of liquor, cost $10 and be on the menu during carnival, Feb. 2-11.

“Your cocktail will be judged on presentation, taste, the name of the cocktail, with additional points for flair,” Fuller says.

Judges will be driven by Vernon Nissan to ensure safe rides for everyone, and the Kelly O'Bryan's team is planning the route for tastings. Judging will be in January.

Participants will be listed in the Vernon Winter Carnival brochure as a competitor as well as receive two tickets to the VIP breakfast Feb. 3 and two tickets to the carnival awards night on Feb 15.

To enter the competition, click here.

Vernon Ski Swap signals nearing of the winter season

It's time for the ski swap

A sure that ski season is right around the corner is the return of the Vernon Ski Club’s annual Ski Swap.

Parents of ever-growing children might want to mark Oct. 13 and 14 on their calendars.

The much-anticipated event allows anyone interested in 'new to them' gear to trade up and sell their own to make some cash.

The Ski Swap regularly attracts thousands of people to the Vernon Rec Centre and is the ski club’s biggest fundraiser of the year.

Program director Rodger Poole says money raised from the sale helps keep program costs down for the club's young skiers.

The club takes a 20% cut of all items sold and charges a $2 consignment fee.

People can drop off their items at the rec centre on the Friday, between 3:30 and 7 p.m.

Although the doors open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, long lineups are usual and new gear goes fast.

Doors close at 3 p.m.

More information on how you can pick up your money and what happens to unsold gear can be found here.

The sale will include alpine and cross-country skis, snowboards, boots, poles and accessories.


Patsy Cline & Hank Williams tribute coming to Towne Theatre

Tribute to country greats

Lisa Brokop: The Patsy Cline Project

Two country music greats will be honoured on stage at the Towne Theatre this week.

The Patsy Cline Project and Hank Lives tribute will perform on Friday.

Husband and wife team Lisa Brokop and Paul Jefferson form the two elements of the tribute act.

They're no strangers to the country music scene. Both have made names for themselves as performers and songwriters. Jefferson has written songs for both Aaron Tippin and Keith Urban, and the duo has several albums to its credit.

Brokop will pay homage to one of country music’s greatest ladies, with some of Cline’s classic hits, like Sweet Dreams, Walkin After Midnight, and Crazy, as well as some of Lisa’s own material specifically written for the project.

Jefferson views his Hank Lives performance as a true tribute to Hank Williams, one of his heroes.

Promotional material for the show lauds Jefferson’s impersonation of the legend to be “incredibly accurate” and the performance weaves stories of Willimam’s life with his music.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for the all-ages show. A wine bar will be offered for anyone 19-plus, and the performance starts at 7:30.

Tickets are $45 and can be bought online or at the door.

Wills, estates, planning for aging all part of Vernon Seniors Fair

Seniors Fair coming up

One-quarter of Vernon's population is over the age of 65, which should make the upcoming Vernon Seniors Fair of interest to many.

"This is an excellent opportunity to learn about home and community support services available locally, and housing options as you age," says Lee Brinkman, with NexusBC Community Resource Centre.

Representatives from 30-plus non-profits, agencies and housing providers will be on site from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 6 at the Schubert Centre.

But you don't have to be a senior to get something out of the free event.

"We encourage older adults and caregivers of aging parents to attend," says Brinkman. "There comes a point where you have to ask for help, and this is the perfect place to get all your questions answered."

A focus will be wills and estate planning, as the event takes place during Make A Will Week.

NexusBC will hand out free planning kits with information on how to prepare your will and designate a power of attorney, plus information on planning for your future when you are unable to handle your own affairs.

Participating organizations will offer information on digital literacy, medical equipment, hearing aids, emergency preparedness, dementia support, memory assessments, medical response, personal safety, scam prevention, home support, housing and transportation options, and activities to get involved in.

Attendees are also invited to join Schubert Centre's popular happy hour, starting at 1 p.m., with live music by Don Goddard.

Vernon's Leonard Marchand was the first First Nations person to serve as a parliamentarian

Marchand paved the way

The solemn occasion of National Day for Truth and Reconciliation provides an opportunity to revisit the legacy of Leonard Marchand, a Vernon-born politician who was the first First Nations person to serve as a parliamentarian.
Marchand was born on Nov. 16, 1933.

As a child, he attended the Okanagan Day School and the Kamloops Residential School, before graduating from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science. In 1964, he completed a Master's in Range Management at the University of Idaho.

Marchand worked as an agronomist until the mid-60s, when he began working with the North American Indian Brotherhood, a national lobby group founded in 1945. One major factor which motivated Marchand to become an activist was the denial of the Indigenous right to vote.

Although this was granted in 1960, Marchand voted for the first time in 1958, illegally, as a form of protest. His Indigenous activism took him to Ottawa, where he was elected to the House of Commons in 1968.

Throughout his political career, Marchand frequently advanced the goals of reconciliation. As parliamentary secretary to Jean Chrétien, who was then serving as Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, he helped convince Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau to begin land settlement negotiations between the federal government and First Nations.

Marchand later described this as the action of which he was most proud in all his career, alongside forming and chairing the standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples.

In 1976, Marchand was appointed to cabinet as Minister of State for Small Business. A year later, he was promoted to the position of Minister of the Environment, a position he held until 1979. In 1984, Marchand was appointed to the Senate, the second First Nations individual to hold this role. Marchand retired in 1998 at the age of 64 and passed away on June 3, 2016.

Leonard Marchand paved the way for other Indigenous individuals to pursue a career in politics, ensuring that their voices would remain at the forefront of national affairs, and that Reconciliation and its goals would stay in the public spotlight.

Gwyn Evans is the Head of Archives with the Museum and Archives of Vernon.

Black Bears coming to Silver Star for educational art project

Black bears coming to Star

Silver Star’s Brewer’s Pond will be seeing an increased number of black bears this fall.

But it’s no reason for the public to panic, the bears are life-sized artistic displays meant to educate.

A Bear Education Trail is being created to teach Bear Smart practices, bear behaviours and other interesting facts.

The project is coming from the Silver Star Bear Stewardship Group and Silver Star Owners Association. The groups thought the sculptures would be best displayed at the pond to showcase bear awareness in the community.

“Each bear is life-size, or close to it, created by a well-known artist from British Columbia. The bears will be climbing trees, rubbing trees, and hanging out doing what bears do. You will have to see it to believe it, and let’s say it’s not just a bear cutout you put your face in... but you might just see one of those too!”

The stewardship group is a partnership between SilverStar Mountain Resort and Destination Silver Star. It’s shared community information to reduce human-bear conflict since 2021.

The group’s goal is to increase bear awareness in the community alongside promoting respect and tolerance for the animals.

An unveiling took place at Brewer’s Pond on Sept. 16. The “Bear Raising” as the group called it showcased the bears in a home designed for them.

“Although the trail is still in progress, they are excited to take these first steps to create a place where families can become a little more familiar with black bears while enjoying a nice walk.”

The project has received funding from the Regional District of North Okanagan, the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, Destination Silver Star, and the Powdr Play Forever Fund.

The SBSG is creating a Bear Education Trail where the bears will reside to spread the word about Bear Smart practices, bear behaviours and other interesting facts. The group will provide awareness to residents and visitors from all over the province with the new Bear Education Trail.

“Using Art, Wonder and Play, the Silver Star Bear Stewardship Group will provide a special place to learn about bears while enjoying nature.”

For more information about the Silver Star Bear Stewardship Group visit their Facebook page or email [email protected]

Vernon historian unearths footage from the Okanagan in the late 1970s

Life was a beach in 1977

Today's trip down memory lane leads to the Okanagan in the 1970s.

It was an era of rock bands such as KISS, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and others that created sounds parents of teenagers hated.

MASH dominated TV and the Okanagan looked a lot different than it does today.

Vernon-based historian and videographer Francois Arseneault has unearthed colour footage from those bygone days.

“Kelowna’s floating bridge, opened in 1958, was still quite adequate enough to accommodate the daily traffic and the Coquihalla connector was more than a decade away,” Arseneault said. “Kelowna’s population wasn’t quite 50,000 and the skyline was no more than a few stories tall. The long-closed former Tolko mill still occupied a big part of the inner-city, though I’m not sure who operated the mill then. Log booms were a regular sight on the lake.”

On Ellison Lake, people enjoyed a water ski jumping event on a warm sunny day.

“Clearly this was a significant event as Labatts brewing had their promotional event van on location. Somehow, over the years, ski jumping has fallen out of vogue,” Arseneault said.

“Just south of Penticton, more people gather at the speedway for a weekend of hill climbing, both straight up testing the engine-building skills of talented mechanics and a rally like course through mud and dust on a winding, short course.”

Arseneault is always looking for more information on the vintage footage he digs up, and he encourages people to add their input in the comments section on his Youtube page.

Arseneault has an extensive collection of vintage footage, and he is looking for more.

Anyone who may have old 16 mm or 8 mm film footage of the Vernon and Okanagan area is invited to email Arseneault at [email protected].

CMHA Vernon sees increase in demand as mental health needs grow

More mental health needs

The Canadian Mental Health Association is responding to more people in need of help in the North Okanagan.

CMHA Vernon has been experiencing significant growth in demand recently as needs for mental health support evolve.

“Programs and services have expanded greatly, ensuring more individuals have access to mental health supports and services in a timely manner in our community,” says Jodi Cunningham, chair of CMHA Vernon’s board of directors.

Among CMHA's highlights from 2022/23 are:

  • Opening of Albert Place II, a 29-unit, multi-generational housing complex.
  • Expansion of Care2Speak, a free and confidential support to health and community care workers in B.C.
  • Increased participation in the national crisis line network.
  • Establishing a partnership with recovery centres to facilitate employment services.
  • Opening of the Youth Integrated Services Hub, which assists youth and families navigating mental health.

“We are seeing these visions come to fruition because of the hard work of our staff, volunteers and board, and the support of our community,” says CMHA Vernon executive director Julia Payson.

“We embrace these visions because that’s what our clients need and want. We are committed to the people we serve. We also want to acknowledge the North Okanagan community for the support it provides CMHA.”

The organization will continue to challenge stigma and historical attitudes on mental health, says Cunningham.

During the meeting, Taylor Sheardown, a lawyer at Davidson & Co., was elected to the CMHA board as a new director.

Sheardown joins Cunningham, as well as directors Kyle Camalush, Tom Christensen, Richard Finn, Jennifer Guscott, Tom Nolan, David Penner, Dominic Scorah, Marilyn Scott, and David Service.

To learn more about CMHA Vernon, visit their website.

New mothers encouraged to continue breastfeeding after returning to work

Moms OK to pump at work

Mothers who breastfeed are being celebrated this Sunday at Okanagan Regional Library in Vernon.

The event is hosted by Interior Health and will have guest speakers, door prizes and an opportunity for people to share their own stories.

Danielle Violini is a public health and maternity care nurse with IH. She says Canadians are fortunate to have a government that supports a 12-month maternity leave.

“Mothers from other countries are not so lucky,” she says.

Those countries allow working mothers paid time throughout their workday to breastfeed or pump, but in most cases, the moms are back to work within weeks of having a baby and not a year, like Canadians.

Violini says whenever the return to work date is for a mother, it’s good to have a conversation with employers about allowing time to continue nursing.

“Whether that is setting up a designated spot to breastfeed or pump or talking about an extra-long lunch so they can go and feed their baby,” she adds.

Sunday’s celebration will include a 'latch-on' event as part of the Quintessence Challenge, which aims to promote breastfeeding and public support for “Human Milk for Human Babies.”

Quintessance is a B.C. based organization that started the latch-on event back in 2001. By 2016, more than 4,000 moms participated in over six countries.

Sunday’s breastfeeding celebration runs at the Vernon Library from 1 to 3p.m. and Violini says the event is open to anyone who has breastfeeding in their past, present or future.

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