Westbank Museum inviting the community to get involved as it renovates its exterior


Facade to step back in time

The Westbank Museum is renovating the front of its building and is inviting the community to get involved.

“Being a museum and a heritage society that promotes pioneer heritage, we needed something that was more appealing and more interesting and in a way that represents the historical downtown Westbank,” says Jeremiah Ryder, executive director at The Westbank Museum.

It will be transformed into an old-time streetscape, complete with a blacksmith’s shop, fruit packing house, and general store.

It’s an opportunity for artists, volunteers and the community to be a part of Westbank’s history. Artists are invited to showcase their talents by contributing to the murals or painting the building.

“The window on the packing house will have a look into of what an old packing house looked like,” Ryder continues.

Eventually, the Westbank Museum hopes to spruce up the sides of the building. It will add murals and hopefully a public garden and picnic space for visitors to take a break and enjoy the space.

“This is a project that we want to share with the community, as we feel it will beautify the area by adding some fresh colour and a new point of interest to see,” he adds.

“Though we have secured funding, we are looking for additional donations in kind and monetarily from any group or persons who may be interested in assisting us.”

People interested in donating their time, artistic skills are welcome to help out – email here to get involved.

If you simply want to make a monetary donation, click here.

West Kelowna restarting major road work in Glenrosa

Glenrosa road work is back

The City of West Kelowna says it is about to restart road, sidewalk and infrastructure upgrade work on Glenrosa and McIver Roads.

Phase two of the project starts March 8 and will require road closures and detours for up to 12 weeks.

Crews will close Glenrosa Road from Morningside to Webber and McIver Road from Glenrosa to McTaggart. Glenrosa Road traffic will detour via Yorkton Road and Morningside Drive. The city suggests that McIver Road residents detour via McTaggart, Gorman and Webber Roads.

Motorists are asked to follow the 30km/h speed limits along all detour routes and in and around work zones in respect of crews and their neighbours.

In an effort to mitigate other traffic concerns during construction, the City of West Kelowna says it will re-open both lanes most weekends.

It also will open the southbound lane of Glenrosa (between Morningside and Webber) after-hours weekdays, but require northbound traffic to continue to use the detour at all times from Monday to Friday.

Other steps to mitigate traffic issues during construction include:

  • Close Yorkton north of Morningside will be closed to thru traffic and block off Larsen at Yorkton
  • Install a temporary three-way stop at Glenrosa/Morningside/Glen Abbey
  • The bus stop on Glenrosa at Morningside will temporarily be removed north of the intersection.

Okanagan Community Food Bank receives a $3,500 donation

Foodbank gets big donation

The Gary Bennett Family Fund and its supporters donated $3,500 in support of infants in the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank’s No Hungry Children Campaign and Tiny Bundles Program.

In addition to monthly food hampers, the program provides pregnant mothers and families with children under the age of one with weekly nutritional supplements including fruit and vegetables, milk, eggs, meat and baked goods, along with diapers, baby food and formula.

“Baby products are incredibly expensive to buy and we couldn’t be more grateful for the many years of support from the Gary Bennett Family Fund,” says Trevor Moss CEO of the Okanagan Food Bank.

“Last year we had 1,356 visits to our Tiny Bundle’s program which has a budget of over $183,000 per year to run. The addition of these products will go a long way to ensure local families have the support they need to provide a healthy life for their children.”

To learn more, click here.

Dine Around Thompson-Okanagan is back and bigger than ever

Dine Around the city

Do you love delicious food at a discounted price? Who doesn’t?

It’s that time of year again! Dine Around Thompson-Okanagan is back, and this year the event is bigger and better than ever.

Over 60 restaurants from Kamloops all the way down to Osoyoos are participating. The program runs for a full month from Feb. 5 – March 7. To accommodate the COVID-19 rules set in place by the government, the majority of the restaurants are also offering takeaway.

“It’s a great time for you to go out and enjoy eating at restaurants that you might have not tried before, or go to those favourites that you don’t typically go,” says Christina Ferreira, co-ordinator for Dine Around Thompson-Okanagan.

Local restaurants say Dine Around is an important event for them, especially during the pandemic.

“It’s crucial for us, especially being local, too,” says Spencer Fraipoint, general manager at Skinny Dukes.

“I do feel that right now people are really going to those local spots and they acknowledge that we need the help if we want to stick around, so that’s been really awesome to see,” he adds.

There are dishes for food lovers, picky eaters, and diners on a dime.

“There’s lots of gluten free options, lots of vegetarian options, as Skinny Dukes mentions, they are one of the vegetarian options,” adds Ferreira. “So really, we’ve got something for everybody.”

If you want to see the menus in advance or find out which restaurants are offering takeaway, click here.

Unique duck becomes celebrity at Hall Road Pond in Kelowna

Rare duck takes over pond

A unique bird has been spotted in the Hall Road Pond that has visitors asking questions.

Danielle Crowe and her family took over caregiving for ‘Honeysuckle’ the wild Muscovy duck after their tenants, his original owners, moved out.

The tenants had a wild duck land on their doorstep a while ago and named it Storm.

“They couldn’t find the parents and they knew that ducks could die of loneliness, so they got two baby ducks from a farm. One of them didn’t make it,” explains Crowe.

Honeysuckle was the duck who lived. He grew up with Storm.

“Storm would fly off and come back and fly off and come back. And then eventually she flew, we think maybe she came down here (to the Fishing Pond), met up with her family, hopefully,” Crowe continued.

Three days after Storm left, a feral turkey showed up in the family’s backyard. Honeysuckle was following her around, all day everyday, until she led him to the Hall Road Pond.

Crowe thinks Honeysuckle fell in love with the turkey, because she comes back to visit him and and they stroll around together.

“These types of ducks, they bond really quickly and they love to follow. So, I think what happened is he followed the turkey out of our yard and got open to a whole new world, and then he found the pond and it was history from there,” Crowe adds.

Once the family realized Honeysuckle enjoys spending time at his pond, they decided to let him roam around while keeping a warm space for him at home. Honeysuckle tends to spend most of his time at the pond, and he’s even become the community pet.

“I often walk here with my son and we play a game where the first one to spot him yells, ‘Got it!’ Everyone that comes to the pond, comes here to visit him,” says Honeysuckle fan and community member, Maureen.

Honeysuckle is a Muscovy.  A type of duck that was originally domesticated in Colombia and Peru. The Muscovy duck is one of the oldest domesticated fowl species in the world.

“He loves peas and blueberries. He is friendly, but he has a tendency to bite, so make sure you’re wearing thick clothing, but don’t feed him bread or anything because that will upset his stomach,” says Crowe.

So, if you’re having a bad day and you need something to quack you up, head down to The Fishing Pond on Hall Road and meet Honeysuckle.

PlayNow taking bets on where 1st BC baby of 2021 will be born

Bet on BC’s 1st baby of 2021

Which B.C. hospital will welcome the first baby of 2021?

PlayNow.com is taking your bets.

Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster was home to the first baby of the year in both 2019 and 2020, but will it hold its title in 2021?

According to BCLC, the odds-on favourites are B.C. Women’s Hospital, home to the first B.C. baby born in 2017, and Surrey Memorial Hospital, after holding the title for first B.C. baby of 2018 only nine seconds into the New Year. Both are giving 4/1 odds.

Although the Lower Mainland homes most betting favourites, a hospital elsewhere could swoop in.

PlayNow.com says Fort St. John Hospital (41.00), Penticton Regional Hospital (46.00) and Cowichan District Hospital (51.00) all have big payout potential.

Kelowna General Hospital (21.00), Vernon Jubilee (46.00) and Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops (26.00) are all also available for betting.

Wagering is available on the site until 9 a.m. tomorrow (Dec. 30).

#WEcreateBC aims to share the stories and support women business owners in the province

Supporting women in biz

There are only six days left to join a B.C. wide initiative that celebrates women entrepreneurs and the communities that support them.

#WEcreateBC is an initiative of Women’s Enterprise Centre (WEC) and Forum for Women Entrepreneurs (FWE).

The social media campaign aims to educate people about the contributions of women entrepreneurs and all they create in British Columbia.  It has a major focus on businesses, jobs, connections, communities, social impact, sustainability and more.

“With so many stories of small businesses struggling these days, our vision is to fill social media feeds with images and stories of positivity, community, resilience and impact,” explains Chaunda Honkonen,
senior marketing and communications officer at Women’s Enterprise Centre.

“We want to shine a spotlight on the support ecosystem that lifts up women entrepreneurs, so current and aspiring women business owners can connect with them. We had over 40 community partners showing their support,” she continues.

“We are delighted with how many women have been a part of this campaign and it has exceeded our expectations. We asked women to submit their videos to us to get the real feel of day-to-day women’s entrepreneurship and showcase their businesses,” adds Honkonen.  View the videos here.

WEC released statistics that show British Columbia stands to gain $21.2 billion in incremental GDP by 2026 by closing the gender gap, and increasing the rate of women’s entrepreneurship is a key component of improving women’s economic contributions.

People are invited to shout out their favourite woman-owned business or share their own story on all social platforms, while using the hashtag #WEcreateBC.