Annual migratory bird observatory open house returns this October at Vaseux Lake


Inside look at bird banding

The always-popular bird migration open house at the Vaseux Lake Bird Observatory is back after a year’s hiatus due to COVID-19.

Each October, the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance opens the doors of the observatory tucked off the highway next to the lake to allow the public a peek at the work they do banding migratory birds, and explore the area on a guided nature walk.

Participants will also learn about bird adaptation to migration, and bird conservation issues and threats.

“Our public and school programs have become very popular and we are very fortunate to have the continued support of Nature Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada who provide funding to run these programs. This is the first time we have been able to have this open house since covid and so it is a very meaningful event,” says Janet Willson, OSCA Chair.

The observatory is one of just nine migration monitoring stations in British Columbia and the only one in the Southern Interior.

It sees more than sixty species of birds come through each year, which are given harmless bands on their feed and then released to allow biologists to track species numbers long-term. Data collected at VLBO is added to a world-wide database that monitors bird population trends and supports efforts by scientists and conservationists to overcome threats to bird populations.

The open house will take place Sunday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to noon at the observatory, located three kilometres south of Okanagan Falls along Highway 97.

Attendees are asked to park on the west side of the highway at the parking pullout, and note that it is a 500-meter walk down a path to the lake to the observatory site. Anyone with mobility issues who wishes to attend can contact the observatory ahead of time to arrange specific parking.

Masks are mandatory and a maximum of 100 attendees will be participated. The event goes forward rain or shine.

For more information contact Rachel Bland at 779-386-9436.

Need for more volunteers as the Penticton breakfast club expands to a fourth school


Breakfast club needs helpers

The Penticton Speedway Foundation is looking for volunteers and helping hands with their breakfast programs, expanding to supply daily meals to four schools within the community.

Programs run at Queens Park, Westbench and Columbia Elementary schools, with the newly added school, ConnectED. The foundation also provides some funding to all other schools in the SD67 district to help with their programs.

“We, of course, are very happy to be involved with the breakfast programs in the three elementary schools that we’re dealing with. And with the ConnectED having slightly older students, the breakfast program being there is very beneficial for sure,” Johnny Aantjes, director for the Speedway Foundation said.

“We think it’s a school where we can have a good impact.”

So far, ConnectED has about 12 to 15 kids signed up, but expects that to grow to 30 kids a day, five days a week.

“We have a really great group of volunteers, but if people want to be involved and come and help, we definitely could use a few more people to help put breakfast out in the morning.”

Their goal is to ensure all kids are fed a healthy breakfast every morning before school and can interact with their peers in a positive environment.

With the elementary schools shifts run from around 7:45 a.m. until around 9 a.m. The ConnectED program will run from 8:15 a.m. to around 9:30 a.m. Volunteer duties may include prepping food, serving breakfast, and helping to clean up.

“Some people do one day a week, some people do two, some people do three,” Aantjes added.

For those who don’t have time to volunteer, but still want to help out, donations go towards serving a nutritious breakfast, prepared by volunteers, five days a week, free of charge, to any student at these schools who wished to participate. All funds raised stay in the community, with the Speedway board being operated entirely by volunteers that don’t take any administration fees.

Interest volunteer can reach out to Joni Cutler at 250-490-7957or by email at

Donate can be made online here.

Buy or rent a home: Which is better financially?


Young couple sitting on the couch, reviewing their finances with an advisor

For generations, Canadians have been asking themselves this important question: ‘Is it better to buy a home or rent?’ On the one hand, owning comes with more responsibility and higher monthly expenses, but offers more stability and a long-term investment. On the other hand, the money spent on renting will never be recuperated, however, it can offer some flexibility if you’re not sure how long you will live in one place.

According to a recent Royal LePage-sponsored study by economist Will Dunning, it is more financially beneficial to purchase a home than to rent in Canada, more than nine times out of ten. The study uses price data for 278 scenarios (broken out by city and housing type) across the country and assumes the owner is able to provide a 20% down payment. In 91% of scenarios, the monthly cost of owning a home is less than renting an equivalent dwelling, when considering the net ownership costs (total cost of ownership minus the portion of mortgage payment that goes toward principal). This is called the ‘ownership advantage’. 

“While Canadians do want their homes to appreciate, potential homebuyers will find it reassuring that significant price appreciation is not necessary for ownership to be financially worthwhile,” said Karen Yolevski, chief operating officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “Historically, home ownership has been very profitable for Canadians, many of whom have factored their real estate investments into their retirement planning. Owning a home is widely viewed as a means to save money and build equity.” 

While home prices are expected to continue rising, the study found that even with a 10% decline in home prices, approximately half of the homeowners studied would still see a positive rate of return on investment, while the other half would break even or see a modest loss as an investment.

“For many people, buying a home – especially the first – is a landmark event and one of the most challenging decisions we’ll make in our lives,” said Will Dunning, president, Will Dunning Inc. “It is a decision that  is usually based on a lot of hard work. This research tests a belief that is held by a lot of Canadians, that owning is better financially than renting. And, it finds that this belief is very often correct.” 

Penticton Museum and Archives hosting an upcoming exhibit of ‘favourite heritage sites’ from local experts


Local favourite heritage sites

The Penticton Museum & Archives will be showcasing a range of ‘favourite heritage sites’ throughout the community in an upcoming exhibit.

Members from the Heritage & Museum Advisory Committee were asked to contribute to the Heritage Awareness Project by identifying local heritage sites that have special appeal to them by the Museum Manager, Dennis Oomen

“I’m asking committee members if they would like to participate, go through the properties and pick a particular favourite about why this particular heritage property means something to you. I think that will personalize the exhibit and make things more relevant for the people of Penticton,” he told the committee.

“Book stores have ‘staff picks’ and it’s the same kind of idea, to personalize the heritage properties and bring home the meaning for people,” he added.

In the City’s announcement, it was noted that Coun. Judy Sentes, who acts as the Council liaison for this committee, expressed her support for the project.

The Heritage Awareness Project exhibit will open in October and hopes to raise awareness of the Penticton Heritage Registry, which currently includes about 50 sites throughout the city. Residential homes, commercial and industrial buildings, churches or other structures of historical significance, such as the S.S. Sicamous steamship, are are the registry.

New signage and pamphlets related to local heritage are planned to be released in 2022, thanks to $2000 grant received from Heritage BC earlier this year.

Indigenous perspectives and representation are planned to be featured in the exhibit.

Enforce Your Rights, or Lose Them #542

Anyone who has been involved in a transaction for a property under construction is likely familiar with the potential for delays of completion. While developers don’t often fail to deliver, it can happen. What happens when significant delays do occur? Can a developer be in default under the contract? What about the innocent party in a transaction: can they fail to deliver on their obligations after the other party has already defaulted? While the answer isn’t always simple, it comes down to enforcing your rights, or losing them.

recent decision out of the Ontario Court of Appeal has confirmed that an innocent party to a real estate transaction must enforce their rights when the defaulting party repudiates a real estate contract, otherwise they can lose their right to terminate the contract or seek other remedies.

Repudiation of a contract occurs when a party defaults on their obligation(s) under a contract and demonstrates “an intimation of an intention to abandon and altogether refuse performance of a contract”[i]. Some examples of repudiation in real estate contracts are as follows:

  • failure of the buyer to pay the deposit when due and payable;
  • failure of a buyer to complete a purchase on the completion date;
  • failure of a seller to transfer a property to a buyer on the completion date; or
  • the buyer (or its representative) communicating to the seller that they cannot, or will not, complete the purchase of the property.

Once a contract has been repudiated, the innocent party has two options:

  1. accept the repudiation, and seek remedies against the defaulting party; or
  2. elect not to terminate, and the contract remains in force.

Under the second option both parties are obligated to continue performing their obligations under the contract.

In Ching v. Pier 27 Toronto Inc.[ii] the Ontario Court of Appeal denied the buyer’s request for the return of their deposit, even though the seller was in default under the contract. The reason the court denied their request was because the buyers had failed to accept the repudiation by the seller and then the buyer ultimately failed to perform their obligations under the contract. The facts of the case are as follows:

  • The buyers, Mr. and Ms. Ching, entered into a presale contract in 2008 to purchase a condo that was under construction
  • The Ching’s paid deposits totalling $214,238.85
  • The original completion date was set to occur in 2010
  • The developer extended the completion date eight times between 2010 and 2014
  • The presale contract only allowed the developer to extend the completion date by 24 months from the original completion date, meaning the developer was in default.
  • The buyers never actively enforced their rights with respect to the contract every time the developer extended the completion date, meaning they acted is if the contract was still in effect
  • In August of 2014 the buyers finally requested the termination of the contract due to the developer’s numerous unpermitted extensions
  • The developer stated they did not have the right to terminate the contract
  • The buyers did not close the transaction nor take possession of the property at closing because their mortgage approval had expired and they believed they should be entitled to the return of their deposit due to the developer’s ongoing default in extending the completion date.

The trial judge in this case decided that while in fact the developer was in default under the contract, the Ching’s had failed to “‘clearly and unequivocally’ accept the repudiation to terminate the Agreement[iii] when the developer was in default, and they were therefore bound to also perform their obligation under the contract to complete the purchase.

The trial judge treated the presale contract as subsisting because after each event of default by the developer (ie. each unpermitted extension), the buyers acted in a way that affirmed the contract was subsisting, these actions included requesting the ability to assign the contract and doing “nothing for too long”[i]. Based on this, the trial judge denied the return of the buyer’s deposit. The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judge’s decision and refused the Ching’s request for the appeal of the original judgement and to have their deposit returned.


It is important for Realtors to advise clients to seek independent legal advice if one party to a contract is in default. This advice should be sought as soon as they become aware of the default as simple actions may be inferred that the innocent party elected not to terminate the contract or seek other remedies.

[i] Freeth v. Burr, (1874) 9 L.R.C.P 208, from Donald M McRae, Repudiation of Contracts in Canadian Law, 1978 56-2 Canadian Bar Review 233, 1978 CanLIIDocs 22

[ii]Ching v. Pier 27 Toronto Inc., 2021 ONCA 551 (CanLII)

[iii] See paragraph 27 of Ching v. Pier 27 Toronto Inc., 2021 ONCA 551 (CanLII)

[iiii] See paragraph 49 of Ching v. Pier 27 Toronto Inc., 2021 ONCA 551 (CanLII)

To subscribe to receive BCREA publications such as this one, or to update your email address or current subscriptions, click here.

2 Storey For Sale in Penticton Main North, Penticton

Photo Link
Room sizes are generous and the floor plan would suit many.

•  2100 sqft , 4 bath , 3 bdrm 2 storey “Half Duplex” – FOR SALE  CAD529,900 . Centrally located 1/2 duplex MLS® 191470

This centrally located 1/2 duplex potentially 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 2100 sqft, offers more square footage than any other 1/2 duplex on the market in its price range. It is close to schools, shopping, parks, recreational facilities and the South Okanagan Events Center. There are 3 bedrooms, plus den/office, one full bath and two 1/2 baths on the upper floors. Room sizes are generous and the floor plan would suit many. The well laid out kitchen has an adjoining eating area and there is a very spacious living room. The basement is perfect for an in-law or adult child with a small kitchen (no stove), living room, one bedroom and 4pc bath and a separate entrance. Measurements are approximate.

Click here: Property information

Local Okanagan brewery Bad Tattoo earns World Beer Awards


Local beers on world stage

Penticton’s Bad Tattoo Brewing has earned accolades on the world stage for its beers.

The local brewery earned 18 awards at the 2021 World Beer Awards.

They topped the category of “Flavoured Beer: Herb and Spice” for their Moscow Mule, and won gold in the Canadian category for “Flavoured Wild/Sour” with their Whiskey Sour brew, and Canadian silver for “Milkshake/NEIPA” with their Juice Bomb brew.

“All of our cocktail beers received at least one award and we had multiple can design awards,” reads a social media update from Bad Tattoo.

“Very proud of our team and all the hard work everyone has put in.”

Penticton City Council seeing strong support at UBCM conference in their tasting room resolution


Support for off-site wine sale

Penticton city council is pushing for support to remove the red tape for off-site winery and liquor sales.

In a new release from the city, they report seeing strong support from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) annual conference, which members of council are attending this week.

A resolution was brought forward by Coun. Julius Bloomfield on behalf of council, with 84 per cent of attending members during Thursday’s meeting supporting Penticton’s request that UBCM ask the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General to revise licensing regulations so as to allow wineries and liquor manufacturers the opportunity to establish tasting rooms at non-agricultural locations.

“We were very pleased to see the UBCM membership support this resolution,” Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki said in the news release.

“With wine and liquor manufacturing being such an important industry, not just in the Okanagan, but across BC, and with tasting rooms contributing significantly to local economic development, creating opportunities that improve access to these facilities by removing restrictive regulations directly helps all communities benefiting from the jobs and products this industry produces.”

The current regulations mandate for BC wineries and liquor manufacturers to locate their tasting rooms on the agricultural lands where their products are made.

Council argues that this condition limits visitor access while also increasing demands to develop agricultural land for non-agricultural use.

“As the next step, we hope our passed resolution receives further support once it’s presented to the Province.”

The annual UBCM conference draws elected municipal officials together from across BC to review topics and resolutions of common and emerging interest. This year’s event was held Sept. 14 through Sept. 17 with participating members of Penticton City Council attending virtually.

First-Time Apartment Renter: How to Find a Roommate


If you’re keen to move into your first apartment but can’t quite afford to go it alone, you’ve probably considered sharing your future pad with a roommate. Of course, this can be easier said than done and moving in with the wrong person can make life in your new apartment unbearable.

With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks to help any first-time apartment renter find their ideal roommate.

Think with Your Head, Not Your Heart

The biggest mistake many first-time apartment renters make is to think about their roommate primarily as a friend. This is all very nice, but sometimes, no matter how well you get on with someone, living together just won’t work. In fact, moving in with a friend without thinking things through can severely strain your relationship.

Often, you don’t truly know someone until you’ve lived together. So, when choosing a roommate, you’ve got to approach the task with cold, hard logic. It’s a bit like hiring someone; you need to interview them and make sure they’re responsible enough to trust with your future apartment.

Figure out Who Your Ideal Roommate Is

Before meeting anyone, it’s good to have a clear idea of who your ideal roommate would be. Get this down on paper and also consider what behavior would drive you crazy. Be honest here and draw up a list of things that you couldn’t cope with to help you filter out incompatible roommates.

Meet Potential Roommates to Discuss the Essentials

A good roommate is someone you’re compatible with. So, before you agree to move in with someone, it’s essential to know that you’re on the same page on a whole host of issues. Ideally, it would help if you met with potential roomies in their current abode to get a sneak peek at how they live.

The next step is to sit down and discuss with each candidate their habits. Find out their daily routine: are they a morning lark or a night owl? Do they work from home or spend most of their time out of the house? The closer their habits align with yours, the better. And make sure that they don’t break any of the requirements you drew up in the previous step.

Next, find out about their social habits. Are they a party animal, out until the early hours and frequently having friends over? Or do they prefer smaller, quieter gatherings? In regards to cleaning, are they neat freaks, or are they happy to leave the vacuuming for another day? Again, the more your habits match in these areas, the better.

Be Honest about Your Own Habits

During these interviews, be prepared to discuss your own habits and needs as well. Find out what their pet peeves are, and if you’re guilty of them, own up. At this stage, you’ve nothing much to lose. However, after you’ve moved in with someone, it’s much more difficult, and you could be living in a stressful environment until your lease runs out.

Financial Obligations

So, you’ve found someone who ticks all the right boxes. But your quest for a great roommate isn’t over yet, and it’s essential to talk money. Remember to use your head here and treat this as a business transaction. Often, when you’re sharing an apartment, if one of you misses a rent payment, both parties can suffer.

Discuss the financial obligations of both parties and ensure that your potential roommate can meet these responsibilities. Ideally, they should be financially secure, with a regular income and some savings put aside for emergencies. People don’t often like to talk about money with a stranger, but if you’re going to be sharing the financial responsibility of renting an apartment, it’s important to know where you both stand.

Agree on the Logistics

As the search nears its conclusion, the final thing to do is discuss the logistics of living together. There are many small details that can become big problems if they’re not addressed early on, so be sure to cover these in advance. Decide who is responsible for tasks such as:

  • Making sure the utility bills are paid each month
  • Communicating with the landlord
  • Cleaning task — maybe draw up a rota
  • Buying food and groceries — do you buy individually or communally? Think about things like oil, salt, pepper, toilet paper, garbage sacks, and other sundries that you’ll both use.

Also, discuss common spaces. Where are the common areas, and what is allowed there? Is smoking allowed on the balcony? Can friends visit and hang out in the kitchen?

Get It in Writing

After discussing everything, it’s important to get it in writing. A written ‘roommate agreement’ has more weight than an oral one, and you can refer to it in case of disputes.


How to Decorate a Dining Room Table

For many of us, the dining room table serves as a place to drop stuff when we get home or for the kids to do their homework. Occasionally, we’ll clear it off and set it for dinner. Then it sits lonely and forgotten the rest of the time. But you’re missing a prime decorating opportunity if you’re not taking advantage of the large blank canvas that is the dining room table!

Of course, it’s not as easy as it looks to get that picture-perfect table like you see on social media. Unfortunately, decorating a dining room table is an all-too-common design problem. Here are five quick and easy ways to decorate a dining room table, so you’re ready no matter what the occasion.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Table for Everyday

For your everyday table, you don’t want anything too fussy or elaborate. Instead, your everyday look should be clean and simple, something that draws the eye and coordinates with the rest of your dining room decor.

A simple table runner and a bowl of fruit is a classic look that works with any style. A decorative bowl is ideal as an everyday centerpiece since you can easily change the contents to keep things fresh. When choosing a table runner, stick to your current dining room color scheme. This will ensure your table decor complements rather than competes with the room.

How to Decorate a Minimalist Dining Room Table

If you like a clean, clutter-free look, then a timeless single centerpiece is the way to go.  Choose a vase with clean lines in a neutral shade for a simple and elegant design. A quick trip outdoors will offer endless possibilities for vase-fillers. Cut some long-stemmed flowers from the garden or snip some greenery from a pretty bush. Maintain a minimalist aesthetic by using a few tall, slender shoots and avoid over-filling the vase.

If your minimalist look is more boho than modern, opt for a single plant as a centerpiece. Choose a pretty pot that coordinates with your dining room decor and a plant that’s compatible with the light in your dining room. If you don’t want to worry about keeping your centerpiece alive, try a faux plant instead. You can find some incredibly realistic knockoffs that won’t break the bank.

How to Decorate a Large Dining Room Table

When you have a massive table, a single vase in the center can look lost on such a large surface. But that doesn’t mean things have to get complicated. On the contrary, a large dining room table is the perfect opportunity to display a collection. Try an arrangement of candlesticks, vases or glassware for a simple, no-fuss solution. To keep your collection looking curated instead of cluttered, stick to one color or tone and vary the heights and sizes.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Table for the Holiday

Decorating your dining table for holidays is where you get to go all out and really have some fun. Holidays are the time when it’s OK to go a little overboard with your table decorations. But there’s a fine line between festive and tacky, so there are a few rules to follow.

Choose one look and stick to it. There are so many options when it comes to holiday decor, and it’s easy to lose focus. Once you decide on a theme, be sure to carry it through all your table decorations. Start with a base of a tablecloth or a runner and look for coordinating napkins. They don’t have to match, but they should follow the same color scheme. Then finish it off with some holiday-appropriate greenery and a centerpiece that matches the theme.

How to Decorate a Dining Room Table for a Romantic Dinner

When it comes to romantic dinners, it’s all about setting the mood. You don’t need fancy dinnerware or expensive linens to decorate a romantic dining room table. You just have to create a little ambiance with the right lighting.

Candles are a tried-and-true favorite for creating the perfect soft, muted light that makes a romantic dinner feel so dreamy. And this is a case where more is always better, so don’t be afraid to get your glow on. Set out a row of votives down the center of the table or place little clusters of tealights around the table. Add a small vase of fresh-cut flowers to finish off the setting—the less elaborate the table, to more time you’ll have to focus on your date.

No matter what the occasion, you just need a little bit of know-how to decorate a dining room table.