MOSQUITO TEAMS BACK AT IT

The Regional District of Central Okanagan is reminding residents that a second round of curbside mosquito control treatment will be hitting the streets next week.

The catch basin mosquito control will be administered in many neighbourhoods starting August 3 through until August 7.

The regional district mosquito control crews will be wearing high visibility vests as they drive around on scooters or vehicles with signage. The crew will be dropping water soluble pouches into the catch basins which contain environmentally approved mosquito larvicide.

As part of the program approximately 11,000 catch basins will be treated.

Nuisance mosquito control services is provided by the RDCO in the City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, the Sunset Ranch community in the Central Okanagan East Electoral Area and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna.

TOURISM INDUSTRY THRILLED

Phase 3 of British Columbia’s reopening plan is a crucial step towards recovery for the tourism industry.

The tourism industry, among many others, felt the impact of COVID-19 immediately, but now that Canadian visitors are welcome and British Columbians are encouraged to explore the province, Tourism Kelowna is thrilled.

“The important and very valid health restrictions kicked in and so that meant that visitor flow absolutely stopped in our area,” says CEO of Tourism Kelowna Lisanne Ballantyne. “Phase 3 being announced was a watershed moment so it meant that it was now allowable for travel within the province.”

Ballantyne says the tour companies are ready to serve visitors and “it’s business as usual, but usual just looks a little bit different.”

“Everyone in the tourism business felt immediately, a sense of optimism because the phones started ringing, visitors started arriving, people started to book attractions, booking hotel rooms.”

And now that COVID-19 restrictions are easing and people are visiting, staff at Ogopogo Parasail are thrilled to welcome back customers safely.

“I think [COVID-19] made our opening a little bit slower, but once we were getting into the busier season, the restrictions were starting to lift anyways so it actually worked out quite well with the timing,” says Joel Devries with Ogopogo Parasail.

For parasailing, staff are operating two separate boats when it’s busy to ensure people are more distanced than they normally would be. Lifejackets are sanitized after each use and hand sanitizer is provided before and after the services.

ART SUMMER CAMPS ARE BACK

Children’s Art Adventures day camps are back for the summer at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

The summer camps are available in two options. An at-home option for children ages six-to-10, running from July 6 to July 31 and a half-day camp option running at the gallery for children three-to-12, from August 4 to August 28.

In both options, children can look forward to drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media and sculpture activities inspired by current exhibitions at the gallery. At home camps will be provided with self guided activities with extra remote support with a digital show to finish off the week.

Two local university students will be leading the camps including Senam Tsikata, a Bachelor of Arts student at UBC Okanagan and Abigail Wiens, a UBC Okanagan student pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree with a minor in visual art.

“I am very excited to work with the Kelowna Art Gallery this summer and bring the beauty of arts to kids of all ages,” says Tsikata. “I can’t wait to teach them to express themselves with a variety of art techniques.”

Wiens adds, “I am happy to be back for Art Adventures once again this summer, and to bring the wonder of art to the kids in our community. Even though this year looks different from the last, art is what brings people together, and I am thrilled to be able to teach kids about art and creativity.”

Camp class sizes are limited due to COVID-19 however the smaller class sizes will allow for individual instruction for all participants. The in-person camps adhere to all provincial health guidelines with a limit of eight participants to ensure social distancing protocols are followed.

“Our camps provide a fun and engaging opportunity for children to learn about and create art,” says the gallery’s education coordinator Ryan Trafananko, who oversees the camps. “This summer is especially unique and we have worked hard to create exciting programs that continue to encourage creativity and imagination.”

Costs for a week of the stay at home camps is $100 or $80 for members. Costs for a week of the half day in-person camps are $120 or $96 for members.

For more information or to register click here.

Donate don’t dump!

If you’re looking to get rid of your old furniture donate it, don’t dump it!

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan Restores have opened back up after temporarily being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

All four stores in West Kelowna, Kelowna, Penticton and Vernon are accepting donations between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. And all locations are open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for the public to visit and shop.

“The stores were closed for a couple months and the staff were laid off,” says CEO Andrea Manifold. “We are happy to see everyone coming back to work and to see our volunteers once again.”

From the time the COVID-19 pandemic began, there were limited places for people to drop off unwanted items so many of them were brought to the dump. Now that the ReStores have opened again with new COVID-19 safety protocols, unwanted furniture can be reused.

“It is vital for our organization to generate funds through ReStore sales for our affordable housing program. We encourage everyone to shop local and to recycle usable products,” says Manifold.

Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide non-profit organization aimed at creating a world where everyone has a safe place to live. More funds generated means more homes can be built.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity Okanagan or to volunteer, click here.