This week’s column is dedicated to former Kelowna city councillor, the late Ben Lee. Ben served on council from 1973 to 1996. A teacher by profession, Ben was the chairman of many committees’ and a founder of several organizations. He was humble in nature, touching the entire community with his progressiveness and thoughtfulness. Ben will be missed in our city, but through his many endeavours, including Ben Lee Park, he will remain deep-rooted with us forever. My personal condolences to Joyce, his entire family and many friends.
Memphis Blues Barbeque House has opened a second location at the corner of Rutland Road and Highway 33 in Rutland in the new development called Rutland Crossing. Owned and operated by Andre Thomas, the restaurant is famous for its BBQ smoked pulled park, beef brisket and ribs. The first location on Bernard Avenue is a local hot spot for locals and tourists alike, and Andre would like the Rutland location to continue the tradition of great food and service with locals in mind. It’s a family friendly restaurant which is also licensed. You can enjoy share-platters, order your own individual meal or take-out. It also offers salads, sandwiches, starters and desserts. I love its cornbread, BBQ pit beans and slaw as the sides and the smokehouse chili is a great dish. This past August, the downtown Kelowna location attracted the attention of food writers from Food Network Canada, naming Memphis Blues as one of the 12 great BBQ joints in Canada. Open 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Call 778-753-6329. www.memphisbluesbbq.com.
TWP (The Women’s Place) has been in Kelowna for about 35 years. Cassandra Tompkins, owner of TWP Fitness Group at 1851 Kirschner Road is celebrating the 10th anniversary of owning the company. To celebrate, TWP will host an open house April 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be free group fitness classes and small group training sessions. Visitors can also enjoy free smoothie samples, workshops, chair massages and prizes. It will also offer a super one-day sale at the open house of a three-month membership for $110 (regular $225), three personal training sessions for $110, a $150 gift card for $110 unlimited sauna and day care for $10 and three-punch smoothie cards for $10 (all prices plus tax). Catherine Newton is the manager. Call 250-762-7255 www.twpfitness.com.
Congratulations to Kimberly Owuor (leader of the opposition) and Sarah Nunis (deputy leader of the opposition) who were the winners of the third annual Roger Watts Advocacy Debates. Lina Gomez (prime minister) and Daniel Kandie (deputy prime minister) were the runners-up. This year, the two teams of student debaters from UBCO debated the resolution: Be it resolved that Canada has an obligation to take refugees. Kimberly and Sarah won $1,000 each and Lina and Daniel won $500 each. Richard McCurrach and Alana Firedancer were the alternates for the teams and were awarded gift certificates from the West Coast Grill and Oyster Bar. I was delighted to be a judge along with Jane Cartwright, Don Lewthwaite and Sharron Simpson.
CPA’s Shelley Kvamme-MacDonald and Michelle Duford are Rutland’s newest professional accountants. Their focus is working with small businesses whether you are starting up or have been in business for a while. Their’s is a paperless firm and has embraced cloud technologies. Michelle is certified in QuickBooks Online and Shelley is a Xero partner. They are located at 205-145 Asher Road. Reach Shelley at 250-212-0786 or www.accountantinkelowna.com or Michelle at 250-763-7923 or www.dufordcpa.ca.
BC Food & Wine Trails Magazine has reached a significant milestone in Canadian wine publishing, celebrating its 25th anniversary. It is the longest running publication devoted to the B.C. wine industry and the most thorough and comprehensive wine touring guide, winery source and portal into life inside B.C. wine country. Jennifer Schell, well-known food and wine columnist and author of the popular and award-winning cookbook, The Butcher, The Baker, The Wine and Cheese Make, has been editor-in-chief of the magazine for the past eight years. It only makes sense that, with Jennifer at the helm, this magazine is one of the best in the country, showcasing B.C. Started by Okanagan journalist David Gamble in 1991, Black Press, owners of the Capital News, purchased the magazine in 2005. www.winetrails.ca.
MotoVida Cycle has a new CEO. Brian Milligen has joined the company. With more than 25 years in retail and wholesale, he came from Mustang Survival, where he was director of sales for both Canada and International.Brian is tasked with leading the company’s long-term strategy and building a strong foundation that will withstand the planned growth that is to come. Owned and operated by co-founders Brent and Candace Giesbrecht the company is located at 1254 Ellis Street. Brent will now focus on the creative side of MotoVida as chief creative officer. Motovida builds unique custom handcrafted adventures every day. Whether you have been riding for years or yet to break in your first bike, it can help you tell your story through individuals styled and personalized motorcycles. It also offers full motorcycle service and repair for all makes and models. Call 778-478-2732. www.motovida.com
Pam Somers is the new vice-president, commercial financial services, Okanagan region for RBC Royal Bank, working out of the RBC offices located at 201-1665 Ellis St. in Kelowna. She is responsible for growing RBC’s commercial banking business in the Okanagan and oversees the delivery of financing, investment, cash management and other innovative solutions to commercial businesses by providing specialized advice and council designed to assist clients’ businesses achieve their fullest potential. With RBC for more than 26 years, Somers last role was as regional vice-president of private banking in Alberta. Call 250-868-4187 or email@example.com
From our area, Justin O’Connor of Okanagan Home Magazine and Anthony Deane of Right Lines Contracting Ltd. (Summerland) are now on the 2016-2017 board of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. www.chbabc.org.
Divas & Diamonds Ladies Night Out is Saturday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at the Westbank Lions Hall, 2466 Main Street, hosted by Peachland Lions Club. This will be a fun-filled evening for women, that will include a delicious dinner form the Beach Avenue Café and Tapas Bar and a grand prize of a $3,000 diamond ring donated by J.K. Schmidt Jewellers. There will be also be a reverse draw featuring beautiful pieces of jewelry, with every 10th ticket being a winner. All proceeds will go to benefit the KGH Foundation. I am delighted to be the MC for the evening. Other sponsors are Interior Savings, Summerland Heritage Cider Company and the Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre. For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.peachlandlions.com/events or call Shelley Sweeney at 250-212-2025 or Lynne Herrin at 250-767-6225.
Kudos to Big White snowboarders Austin White and Brett Berndsen who will compete in the World Junior SBX event in Rogia, Slovenia March 30 to April 7.
URBA’s Uptown After Hours goes Wednesday, April 6 at the Rutland Centennial Hall from 5 to 7 p.m. The Rutland Community market will be back outside on Roxby Square will go April 3. Visit the regulars and check out all the new vendors. If you would want to rent a table, call 250-575-1064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Royal Canadian Air Force Association, 883 (Kelowna) RCAF Wing will hold its 32nd annual aviation and awards dinner Friday, April 8 at 6 p.m. at the Capri Hotel. The guest speak will be Harjit Singh Sajjan, National Defence Minister. A limited number of tickets are available at $50 each.They must be bought in advance. Call Bill at 250-764-8664 or Hugh at 250-712-0022.
Have you ever heard of SIDIT, the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust? It was a partner investor providing funds to Immersive Ventures Inc. that enabled sustainability and a successful lucrative acquisition for the company. Myles McGovern, Immersive Ventures CEO was introduced to SIDIT in 2012 and realized the benefit in engaging SIDIT as a partner investor as they shared his company’s vision. Grace McGregor, SIDIT’s board chairwoman enjoys discussing SIDIT’s partner success stories like the sale of Immersive Ventures. “With Immersive and other Southern Interior businesses we work with, we have helped take a company from the early stage of business to the success it has realized today,” she said. This is exactly the type of partnerships SIDIT engages in. It assists businesses from early stage to maturity as there are gaps in access to capital on many levels. SIDIT partners with collaborative funders and professionals to realize business’s growth potential, creating a sustainable business that will create ongoing employment in the Southern Interior. Luanne Chore is the CEO of SIDIT.Call her at 250-938-0767 or visit www.sidit-bc.ca.
Tickets are now available, (in advance only) at the Legion Office Branch 26 at 1380 Bertram St. for the Red Skelton Supper Show on Saturday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m. The office is open Tuesday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
If you are a people person and a regular visitor to regional parks, their VIP Trail Patroller program might be for you. The Volunteers in Parks program is great for people who like being outdoors and like to learn and share interesting information about regional parks as a park ambassador. The VIP Trail Patrollers will be additional eyes and ears in the parks, providing parks staff with information to help them maintain trails and facilities so everyone has the best experience possible every time they visit a regional park. Training, identification and other materials will be provided for applicants, who must be 19 years of age and willing to commit to visit a regional park a least once a week. Visit www.regionaldistrict.com/parks/VIP or call 250-469-6140.
Thanks to everyone who gave me the contacts of their Tupperware representatives.
Birthdays of the week Happy 55th Don Jeffries, Ramada Hotel (March 29); Mike Rout (Today, March 30); Sean Connor (March 31); Donna Basran (March 31); Gordie Abougoush (March 31); Karen Hill, Kelowna Capital News (April 1); David Craig (April 1); Phil Culbert (April 1); Carson Chan (April 1); Ron Jacobsen (April 1); Karmjit Gill (April 1); Cynthia Waldek-Peters (April 2); Amber Firkins (April 3); Rick Methot, Kelowna Capital News (April 3); Ken Bessason (April 3); Diane Essler (April 4); Lyle Shoemaker (April 4); Steve Stecko (April 4); JC Rathwell (April 5).