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Penticton  

The Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland has a sweet senior cat ready to be a loving companion

Senior cat for a loving home

Casey Richardson

It’s not always easy for cats to find their forever homes, especially when they’re not tiny, cute, rambunctious kittens who catch people’s eye. But the Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland is trying to find a senior feline with a gentle nature her forever home.

“We often get calls for help from owners who either are going into associated living or into situations where they can no longer keep their friends,”Jess Byer, Critteraid animal director said.

“Most of these cats unfortunately are seniors...And with that comes less of a desire with everyone who is looking for kittens.”

Martha is at the age of fourteen and is classified as a senior cat, which is any cat over 10 years of age. Byer points out that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have many wonderful years left to spend with someone.

“She just needs somebody who can give her some support, she’s very stressed.”

Sadly that stress has lead Martha to pull her own fur, leaving a bit of a bare path on her.

“That’s not anything that can’t be managed with the right TLC and the right quiet,” Byer adds. “Martha would do best in a home without dogs and without kids, just somebody who wants a loving companion who wants to sit on their lap and tell them stories all-day.”

If you think you have the right home for this sweet older gal, send Critteraid an email to set up a time to meet with her at [email protected]



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The City of Penticton to decide on a Child Care Action Plan to increase accessibility and affordability

City working on childcare

With a long road ahead, the City of Penticton will be reviewing over a decade-long action plan focusing on addressing the need for child care in the community.

The “Penticton Child Care Action Plan” has 31 specific goals outlined with short, medium and long term time frames.

Council has heard from the community about the shortages in child care spaces in Penticton and now looks to put words into action. At present, staff reported there are projects in the works to increase the number of spaces in the community but no inventory has been undertaken nor a coordinated plan developed to respond to the shortages.

A plan from SPARC BC will be presented on Tuesday, which gives an outline of where the City can use multiple community partners to support their own efforts and investments. As well, communities with child care action plans may have a competitive advantage in receiving provincial capital dollars to build new child care centres.

Staff is recommending that Council endorses and direct staff to collaboratively work with community partners on implementing the Penticton Child Care Action Plan; along with submitting a final Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) grant report to UBCM and the Province of BC in order to meet the UBCM grant program obligations.

There were approximately 500 individuals who participated in the assessment and development of the action plan, which revealed that 83 per cent of families who participated stated they find it hard to find child care in Penticton and 81 per cent of child care centres in Penticton who participated have a waitlist of at least six months (if they have not closed their waitlist because it was too long).

Penticton has an estimated 1,064 child care spaces currently, and the reports suggests the city will require at least 722 net new spaces over the next ten years, to meet demand.

Further, 46 per cent reported waiting for one year or more to secure a space. At present, there are no programs offering extended or non-traditional hours of care.

The City of Penticton Child Care Action Plan is organized around four priorities, which are: Increasing accessibility, improving affordability, focusing on quality and strengthening partnerships.

Some of the suggested actions include: The City to develop a City of Penticton Child Care Policy, providing a consolidated statement of the community’s vision, goals, strategies and commitments.

Work with other public partners (e.g., Interior Health, School District 67, local First Nations, Okanagan College) to create an inventory of prospective opportunities for child care development on public land.

And explore the feasibility of establishing and maintaining a centralized, community child care waitlist to support families looking for child care.

The report outlines that the entire BC province has a child care crisis at present, with a shortage of spaces, and fees have been driven by the market, resulting in costs that are unaffordable for many families, especially for lower-income and more vulnerable populations. Low wages given to care takers have also made it difficult to recruit qualified educators to work in licensed child care programs

Another large issue identified is access for all populations, with some children and families facing additional hardships to care that meets their needs.

According to the report, there are about 460 Indigenous children aged 0 to 12 living in Penticton, making up about 13 per cent of the total child population, which is significantly higher than in other parts of BC.

While the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) runs a child care facility and Aboriginal Head Start preschool programs, with priority given to band members living on or off-reserve, the access to culturally safe and appropriate child care for Indigenous families in Penticton remains limited.

The low accessibility combined with high costs “Is a major barrier for many families who need child care.”

The report adds, “By working in collaboration with Indigenous governments, researchers, the School District, Okanagan College, the University of British Columbia, the provincial government, the federal government, child care providers, Interior Health, community agencies, and others, the City of Penticton can significantly improve accessibility, affordability, and quality of child care available to families.”

Council will be reviewing the report and Penticton Child Care Action Plan on Tuesday.



It's time to renew dog licenses in the Penticton area

Renewed dog license yet?

The City of Penticton is sending out a reminder for dog owners that it is licence renewal time and all pooches over four months need to have a license no later than Jan. 31, 2021.

Purchases for the license can be made either at City hall located at 171 Main Street or through the City Shelter Facility located at 2330 Dartmouth Drive.

City hall hours of operation are 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Monday through Friday upon reopening from Jan. 4, 2021.

Those who would like to arrange a time outside of those hours are asked to call Penticton Dog Control at 250-492-3801 and they will be happy to arrange a time that works best for you.

Licenses can be purchased online if you already have a licensing account.



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Penticton athlete given the PacificSport Institutes’ 2021 Community Sports Hero Award

Athlete earns hero award

A Penticton swimmer is being recognized by the PacificSport Institutes’ 2021 Community Sports Hero Awards.

Justin Fotherby, of the KISU local Swim Club, will be honoured in Athletic Excellence.

“The obstacles and challenges of COVID-19 have encouraged me, as an athlete, to take more ownership in sport. I have embraced an “ownership mindset” which has compelled me to train, using unconventional methods, in order to meet my goals” Fotherby said in a press release.

The non-profit regional sports hub, PacificSport Okanagan, was created to lead athletes, coaches and community sport services in BC’s Okanagan Valley. The theme for this year’s awards is celebrating excellence, innovation, and leadership.

The Kelowna-based centre is connected to a network of five regional centres and three national campuses (Canadian Sport Institute) across the province.

Fotherby and his coach Tina Hoeben were also selected recipients of Swimming Canada’s 2020-21 Dr. Jeno Tihanyi Bursary award.

All of the categorized nominees will be honoured with a virtual profile during the week of Feb. 22-26, 2021 from PacificSport Okanagan and the City of Kelowna will be honouring. These profiles will highlight their accomplishments and showcase their resilience in the face of adversity.

With those challenges in mind, both Fotherby and Hoeben have shown perseverance, innovation, and dedication to the sport of swimming during the uncertainty of COVID-19.

“Justin has shown great adaptability in this time of uncertainty. His commitment to excellence has been unwavering,” Coach Hoeben said.

This online celebration can be viewed on the PacificSport Okanagan website.



Cannery Brewing fundraisers a success thanks to the community supporting their two initiatives

Cannery fundraising success

Cannery Brewing is extending gratitude to the community for coming to their Santa photos set up and Candy Cane Pavé fundraisers for the South Okanagan Children's Charity during the month of December.

Life-sized replicas of Santa and Mrs. Claus were placed at the Penticton brewery, and thanks to local photographer Chris Stenberg, the jolly two were captured at their best.

“I think it went over really well, we got great feedback from people that we came up with a Covid-safe, family-friendly way to still give kids a way to take their photos with Santa and Mrs. Clause,” Kim Lawton, the Marketing Director for Cannery Brewing said.

“People are really thrilled that we were creative and came up with this solution and they were very generous with their donations in contributing to the charity.”

Cannery will be keeping the cutout, although they’re hopeful that next year the pair will be back in person.

Their head chef Thomas Bridson created the Candy Cane Pavé, which was apparently a huge hit with customers and $2 from every sale also went towards the charity.

“We raised more than we expected,” Lawton said. “Charities are really hard hit through this past year and Covid, not being able to hold fundraisers, silent auctions and various events. We are really thrilled to be able to still contribute to the charity and help with the important work they're doing in our community.”

This year also marks the 20 anniversary of Cannery Brewery in April, to which Lawton added to keep an eye out for exciting things to come in 2021.



Grist Mill pantry share program returning with plenty of preserves for 2021

Pantry share coming back

Bringing jams, jellies, pickles and more, the Grist Mill and Gardens in Keremeos is starting up their pantry share program for 2021.

Participants who sign up for the share help the farm invest in their gardens, contract local farmers for a portion of their crop, buy jars and other ingredients.

Once the local fruit, veggies and flowers come into season, Grist Mill turns them into a variety of delicious creations.

Recipients will get to pick 100 per cent of the items they order and at the end of the season, any outstanding balance in the shares bought is used to support the work preserving and sharing the farm’s local piece of heritage.

Those who buy will also get a 15 per cent discount, as an appreciation for the up-front contributions. This discount is provided as an added value to your share. For example, if you purchase a $200 share, you get $230 in share value.

For every $100 purchased, people can expect to receive an average of ten jars of product across all of the different kinds. Last year, Grist Mill made about 15 varieties of pickles, about 30 varieties of jams and jellies plus an assortment of BBQ sauces, salsas, mustards, chutneys and more.

Because of COVID-19, the farm will be offering three delivery options this year: no-contact delivery right to your door (for a small fee), scheduled pick-up opportunities in your community, or pick-up at the Grist Mill.

The goal is to run five deliveries through July until Mid-December, throughout the Similkameen, Okanagan and Lower Mainland.

For more information, visit their website here.



Summerland Dog Owners Association upset with proposed locations for a new dog park

Lack of proper dog park

Casey Richardson

The Summerland Dog Owners Association is frustrated with the time it’s taking the district to get a safe, accessible, fully fenced dog park and isn’t happy with the locations they’re now proposing to use.

Jennifer Stark, along with her furry companions Zoe Binks and Jamie Fraser, are acting as the spokesperson for the association, sharing that after many consultations, open houses, meetings, and surveys, it was devastating when the council recently rejected their favoured location to date.

“The issues are after nine years of working with the council and the mayor they systematically have put it off, again again and again,” Stark said.

Summerland Mayor Toni Boot acknowledged it’s been a long process and Council is trying to work through it while hearing all of the feedback on the locations.

“We did not figure out the dog park and that was due mostly to some real concerns that were voiced by community members,” Boot said. “We had some of the funding left over so the consultant was tasked with doing some more work on the dog park locations.”

The consultant will be bringing forward the pros and cons of the next two areas identified, the Dale Meadows Sports Complex and the Fosbery easement off Highway 97.

“We’ve come to a point where we pretty much have exhausted the options,” Boot said. “We need to make a decision. It’s not like a lot of time has not been spent on this and sometimes there is compromise and we’ll see what happens with that. Certainly, our minds are open to looking at both of the options as they’re presented to us again and we’ll go from there.

“I have a dog myself so I’m looking forward to having a dog park,” she added.

But Stark and the Summerland Dog Owner’s Association feel one of the former spots, the Living Memorial Ball Park Diamond at Snow Avenue was the right choice. However, the District heard other concerns and found other community members were in disagreement about changing the ballpark to an area for dogs, so the council moved on.

So far, there has been no clear consensus from the community in support of one spot.

“We’re not going to except a dangerous place next to the highway or shredded asphalt to run our dogs on that are far too small to accommodate only a few dogs at best. It certainly isn’t going to increase the users in the summer when the tourist come by.”

Another point from the association added that ‘nearly every other community in the Okanagan since at least 2012 has not only implemented a dog park, but many have expanded to provide multiple large off-leash, year-round dog parks,’ pointing to Lake Country, Coldstream and Oliver.

“We take our dogs for a walk on the street but they need to run and play and socialize and the people that own the dogs need to get together and socialize as well.”

The dog park debate among community members, the dog owners association and Council will continue on as Summerland residents wait for the next round of presentations at the District and the location remains undecided.



The new owner of the old Shaugnessy's Cove in Summerland has some big plans up his sleeves

Pub making a comeback

Summerland’s beloved Shaughnessy Cove restaurant will be making a comeback, thanks to Score Pub Group founder Jesse Ritchie.

He made the announcement via Facebook this week, and is now providing insight into what the new pub will be like.

“It will be called Shaughnessy’s Cove again, and it will be in the same location. We’re doing a complete renovation,” Ritchie confirmed. “It was so great for so long, and we’re the group that can bring it back to its glory days.”

Shaughnessy’s Cove operated for over a decade before closing its doors. The same site then housed the Local pub, before that too closed more than a year ago.

Ritchie, who recently purchased the Gunbarrel Saloon at Apex Mountain Resort, is aiming to open his new restaurant during the May long weekend after receiving the former Shaughnessy’s Cove Waterfront Pub and Restaurant owner's family’s blessing.

Ritchie said he spoke to Terry Manders on the phone Thursday evening.

“Him (Manders) and his buddies opened it in the ’80s,” he explained, adding he was good friends with Manders’ child while growing up in the South Okanagan. “I used to have sleepovers there. There’s a lot of history.

(Manders) said, ‘This is great. It’s cool and it feels really good that what we built, you guys want to bring back, the glory of it all.’”

Ritchie said he has some fond memories of his friendship with the Manders and being at the restaurant when he was young.

The building, located at 12817 Lakeshore Dr. S, was recently put up for sale after the former Local on Lakeshore restaurant shuttered its doors. Ritchie said the owners of the building have agreed to keep the location and lease it to Ritchie.

While Ritchie will be renovating the inside of the restaurant to give it a West Coast feel to match the menu, he did say he will be incorporating some former Shaughnessy’s Cove heirlooms. The restaurant will be designed and built to abide by COVID-19 social distancing protocols.

But unlike the original Shaughnessy’s Cove, said Ritchie, the restaurant will not be fine dining, nor pub food like the Gunbarrel.

“It’s going to be fresh, West Coast, California beach bar restaurant-inspired food,” he explained. “It’s not stuffy. There’ll be a little bit of everything for everybody, with fresh seafood and mussels, and we’re going to do an oyster bar right out in front. We’re going to bring back and revamp some of the old menu items, some of those ones that were the favourites.”

There will be access and parking for those who arrive by boat in the summer months, and take-out options as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ritchie has put out a call out for employment opportunities, and says opening a second restaurant will help his new and current talented employees who are working at the Gunbarrel Saloon during the pandemic.

As for the Gunbarrel Saloon, Ritchie said running the restaurant has been “nothing but support from the local community, and it’s going as well as we had hoped and better than we had expected in a few different ways.”

“We’re not going to go anywhere,” he added.

And with that in mind, Ritchie added the opening of Shaughnessy’s Cove will not be the end for his newly established company, Mackenzie Hospitality Group, which will be taking over the Gunbarrel Saloon from Score Pub Group and running Shaugnessy’s Cove.

“We’re not just stopping at the Gunbarrel and Shaugnessy’s Cove,” he said. “We have some pretty big plans in the future in the Okanagan. I’d love to talk to people who would love to talk about expansion in the coming years and how we can help them out, and bring what we’ve done to the Gunbarrel and our other restaurants … around the Okanagan.”



Penticton group showcasing Scottish culture throughout the Okanagan with a new seven part video series

Series spotlights the Scottish

The Penticton Scottish Festival Society is finding a way to showcase and celebrate Scottish culture throughout the Okanagan, premiering a new television and digital video series.

Experience The Arts – Exploring Scottish Culture in the Okanagan, will start broadcasting on the Shaw Spotlight Community Television on Jan. 18 through March 2021 with weekly episodes.

Wayne McDougall, vice-president for the Penticton Scottish Festival Society said their organization came up with the idea after finding themselves with grant money to use.

“As you can imagine, pretty much everything shut down for 2020 and we thought, ‘Well we have grant money available should we return it? What should we do, what are our options? And they said ‘Well can you make some sort of program video?’”

So the group put their heads together and decided to try to partner with Shaw Spotlight, the local community access channel.

Thanks to McDougall’s 40 years of video production experience as a local television producer at Shaw, he was able to pitch and get the new video series running.

“When it first started we thought it might be one show, an hour, maybe half an hour and then boom! We started exploring and meeting all these people who are passionate about these stories they want to share,” McDougall added.

“You get to meet the people that are participating instead of just seeing their art, meeting the people who are behind their art, why they're doing what they're doing.”

And since the Penticton Scottish Festival Society received a $6,000 grant from the Government of British Columbia Community Gaming Branch, the money will be used to support the performing arts groups who participate.

“The money actually, because there's no cost to utilizing the services of the community channel and I’m a volunteer, we can utilize the grants money to give an honorarium to the local groups that are all participating,” McDougall added.

“They would normally do dance concerts and all these kinds of things to raise money and of course, they can't do that so they can dance in front of the camera, why not.”

The series is also co-produced by Kim Smith-Jones, an accomplished bagpiper, Band Manager and instructor of the Okanagan Youth Pipe Band and Treasurer of the Penticton Scottish Festival Society.

Each episode will be showcasing a number of stories and segments reflecting the culture that people experience at the Penticton Scottish Festival including: Highland, Scottish Country and Irish dancing, youth and adult pipe bands, Scottish food demonstrations, Scotch tasting workshop, how bagpipes and tartan kilts are made, how and why Scots celebrate the poetry of Robert Burns and more.

“I think when people ask around, people will say 'Oh yeah my grandfather was Scottish,' or there's a Celtic background connected to many people...I mean most people these days have a diverse ethnicity and should be proud of whatever their ethnicity is so this is a chance to look inside what is Scottish culture.”

The series dives into does Scottish culture mean for dress, for sports, for music and how does that play out in Canada centuries later?

“Sometimes people are doing it to share multi-generations, the dad and grandparents were pipers and the kids are now in the band,” McDougall said.

“There's a lot of positive things going on behind the scenes, these days we can't get together but we can share the story through other media.”

The seven one-hour videos are being produced for broadcast on Shaw Spotlight Okanagan Channel 11, and available online on the Shaw Spotlight YouTube channel beginning Jan. 18.



Oliver pub launching local "Funniest Home Videos"

Local Funniest Home Videos

It’s time for Oliver residents to start scouring phones for their wackiest and silliest moments as a local brewery is launching Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos.

Oliver’s Firehall Brewery is looking to compile some of the community’s silliest moments for some much needed laughs this year.

“The idea came up like so many other survival innovations during this pandemic, during a brainstorming car ride with Marie-Eve, my wife and business partner,” said Sid Ruhland, Brew Chief at Firehall Brewery.

The brewery is looking for funny moments people have captured on their smartphones which an be uploaded through at www.firehallbrewery.com/ofv.

Staff will vet the videos for appropriateness, confirm that everyone in the footage has given consent to the footage being used, and then compile them into an episode.

“When COVID-19 restrictions lift so that we’re allowed to host events, we will screen the episode here at the Beer Shop & Social, probably every day for a week or so. There will be prizes, though it definitely is mostly about having a collective community laugh,” Ruhland said.

The brewery has been actively adapting events and community efforts to ever-changing public health restrictions with an upbeat attitude over the past year.

“What has kept us going through these hard times is the overwhelming support we’ve received from our community. We’ve tried many crazy ideas, some of which worked, some of which didn’t, but the positive feedback we’ve received in general has made us feel our efforts and stress haven’t been in vain, encouraging us to keep trying new crazy ideas,” Ruhland said. “And we’d be lying if we said that, despite the challenges and frustrations, we didn’t have a lot of fun along the way.”

While beer is Ruhland and his team’s passion, the brewery strives to be a hub for public social interaction, a tough goal to accomplish recently.

“With public social interaction currently prohibited by law, we’ve struggled with how to stay true to ourselves while also paying bills. With all public events banned, and virtual events being often cumbersome and unsatisfying, we believe that Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos can be a balanced blend of public and virtual interaction,” Ruhland said. “Without real social interaction, we’re all going to go crazy. Until we can be humans again, and after all we’ve been through as a society … we all need a good laugh.”

It’s time for Oliver residents to start scouring phones for their wackiest and silliest moments as a local brewery is launching Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos.

Oliver’s Firehall Brewery is looking to compile some of the community’s silliest moments for some much needed laughs this year.

“The idea came up like so many other survival innovations during this pandemic, during a brainstorming car ride with Marie-Eve, my wife and business partner,” said Sid Ruhland, Brew Chief at Firehall Brewery.

The brewery is looking for funny moments people have captured on their smartphones which an be uploaded through at www.firehallbrewery.com/ofv.

Staff will vet the videos for appropriateness, confirm that everyone in the footage has given consent to the footage being used, and then compile them into an episode.

“When COVID-19 restrictions lift so that we’re allowed to host events, we will screen the episode here at the Beer Shop & Social, probably every day for a week or so. There will be prizes, though it definitely is mostly about having a collective community laugh,” Ruhland said.

The brewery has been actively adapting events and community efforts to ever-changing public health restrictions with an upbeat attitude over the past year.

“What has kept us going through these hard times is the overwhelming support we’ve received from our community. We’ve tried many crazy ideas, some of which worked, some of which didn’t, but the positive feedback we’ve received in general has made us feel our efforts and stress haven’t been in vain, encouraging us to keep trying new crazy ideas,” Ruhland said. “And we’d be lying if we said that, despite the challenges and frustrations, we didn’t have a lot of fun along the way.”

While beer is Ruhland and his team’s passion, the brewery strives to be a hub for public social interaction, a tough goal to accomplish recently.

“With public social interaction currently prohibited by law, we’ve struggled with how to stay true to ourselves while also paying bills. With all public events banned, and virtual events being often cumbersome and unsatisfying, we believe that Oliver’s Funniest Home Videos can be a balanced blend of public and virtual interaction,” Ruhland said. “Without real social interaction, we’re all going to go crazy. Until we can be humans again, and after all we’ve been through as a society … we all need a good laugh.”



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