DeHart: New Brazilian shoe designs

DeHart: New Brazilian shoe designs

Maxine DeHart’s weekly column touches on business happenings and local birthdays

This week’s column is dedicated to long-time, well-known businessman, Ken Harding. I met Ken when I was 19-years-old, purchasing my first insurance policy from Whillis Harding when I moved to Kelowna. Ken was an exceptional community leader in both volunteering and in business. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him. Condolences to Gwen, his entire family, many friends and former colleagues.

Galibelle Shoes by Brazilian Designers has opened at 213 Bernard Avenue (below Earl’s). Owned by David and Lisa Broesky, this shoe store is unlike any others, especially in Canada. All shoes are hand-made in Brazil with interchangeable straps. Here’s how it works. You choose your heel and change your top. One heel with unlimited possibilities. Whether narrow or wide, Galibelle carry shoes in sizes 4 to 11 and straps in sizes S to XL. That means that the shoes are customizable whether you have a wide or narrow foot and the straps are also customizable to fit your shoe. You really must visit the shop to see these wonderful shoes. There is a wide variety of colours to choose from for summer. Galibelle are the best shoes for a vacation. Take one pair of shoes and lots of different coloured straps. Kelowna is the second location exclusive in Canada with the first Galibelle in Edmonton. Call 236-361-8008.

Congratulations to Murli Pendharkar who won the prestigious Anita Tozer Memorial Award at the 42nd Annual Civic and Community Awards Gala. This award is bestowed by Kelowna city council and kept a surprise until the end of the evening at the awards gala. Garry Benson was the recipient of the Man of the Year – Fred Macklin Memorial Award and Kelly Taverner was awarded the Women of the Year – Sarah Donalda Treadgold Memorial Award.

The Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) has a new executive director to replace Peggy Athans who is relocating to Alberta. Ninette Ollgaard has eleven years with Destination B.C. in a variety of positions and prior to joining Destination B.C. worked in the private sector, predominately in economic and business development with a focus on entrepreneurship. She starts her new position on July 4. Dan Allen is the Downtown Kelowna Association president.

Sydney Collington has been in the sales and installation of custom window covering business for over five years in Fort St. John, B.C. Sydney has now relocated to Kelowna and started Inspired Window Fashions, servicing the cities of Vernon and Penticton, as well as Kelowna. Inspired carries brands of Graber, Springs Window Fashions, Artisan Drapery and Elite Window Fashions. The manufacturers help him stay very competitive in any style of blind or window fashion. Call 250-801-2722. Visit

The Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers Program received the Program of the Year Award at the B.C. Crime Stoppers Training Conference in recognition for the amount of stolen property recovered ($160,000) and $4.2 million in illegal drugs sized in 2016. Gerry Guiltenane is the program coordinator and Weldon LeBlanc the president of Crime Stoppers.

Sherri Paiement, formerly of the Canadian Home Builders Association for over five years has accepted the position of development manager with TELUS. Sherri’s role is to work with developers and builders to ensure fibre infrastructure is committed to all new projects for the Interior and Northern B.C. Call 250-215-7135 or

Valley First has a new branch manager at their Guisachan Branch located at 101 – 2395 Gordon Drive. For the past 25 years, Sandy Waswich has been working in the banking industry, most recently as a branch manager with HSBC Penticton. During that time, she has not only had the opportunity to work in various financial roles, but also throughout B. C. and Alberta. Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union.

Mekong Restaurant, owned and operated by Dan, Wanda and son chef Henry Truong are celebrating their 30th anniversary. They originally started Mekong upstairs beside what is now Earl’s (across from the Sails) and for the past 18 years have operated out of 1030 Highway 97 next to the Kelowna Inn. Wynn Truong, Dan’s 92 year old mother still comes into the restaurant to make won tons and Kit Truong, Dan’s brother has retired. Mekong now has 16 staff, including six cooks and chef Henry as the kitchen manager. To celebrate, for the remainder of the month of May, Mekong is charging their prices from 30 years ago for their famous chow mein and fried rice which was only $5.99 per dish 30 years ago. Can’t beat that. Call 778-760-0507.

The Dunbar Studio, a new art studio for kids has opened in Kettle Valley at #103 – 5309 Main Street. Owned and operated by Scott and Melanie Baker, this is the 8th year that the Baker’s have owned an art studio and have been teaching art. They offer weekly classes, summer camps, birthday parties, field trips and events for adults. The first event is Friday, May 19 and is a stop motion Lego social where parents can hang out and chat and make a stop motion movie. No experience is required. The spring classes are open for registration now and it is always a good time to join as classes are pro-rated. The studio is open Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 778-477-6151.

Chad Genereux has joined the team at Talking Tree Spa at 1655 Westgate Road in West Kelowna. Chad has over nine years’ experience in massage, acupressure and trigger point release. Call 778-741-0408.

Congratulations to Corbin Carpenter, a Studio9 student who was chosen to attend the National Youth Conference in Ottawa in June after impressing organizers with his performance at the April conference (Seepage A15). Corbin had his art selected from 11,000 others across the country to get to a Canada 150 & Me Regional Youth Conference in Montreal. His art work entitled “Change to Opportunity” is a positive message that says there is opportunity in all change to make a better world.

The UBCO Golf Team is hosting the Battle of the Valley #2 at Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Course on Sunday, May 28 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This is the UBCO’s Golf Team’s last chance fundraiser. The golf team and the community have raised over $16,000 for the students to play golf for the remainder of this season without any University assistance. They require $40,000 to keep playing. To help them out, join in the fun with a variety of wine tastings from the valley, silent auction items with tons of golf passes, raffle tickets for golf around the province, putting contest, chipping contest into a boat, 50/50 draw and a key lock game. Tickets only $30 at Michaelbrook Ranch or by calling Cheryl Stecko of the Kelowna Golf and Country Club at 250-863-4883 or $40 at the door.

For over 69 years, the Ogopogo Summer Swim Club has been involved in developing lifelong skills in youth around competitive swimming. While the emphasis is on improving ones swimming abilities in the four main stroke categories, there are many positive long term side effects to joining a summer swim club. As well as skill and physical development, competitive swimming encourages personal development and life skills that are applied far beyond the pool. Success in swimming is the product not only of natural talent, but also of determination, discipline and dedication. These skills will be of as much virtue outside the pool as they are in. Register now at or contact Karla Stevens at

Dale Forsyth’s next free Body Signals Workshop is titled Weight Loss –get 15 Pounds Healthier in 15 weeks on Wednesday, May 3 at 6:30 p.m. at 202 – 125 Hwy. 33E. Limited seating. Call 250-765-1486 to reserve.

A call for nominations for the 30th Annual Business Excellence Awards presented by the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is open until Thursday, June 8 at 4 p.m. Visit

The 43rd Annual AGM of the Kelowna Cardiac Exercise Society (K.C.E.S.) is May 24th at 8:00 a.m. at the Kelowna Curling Rink. The society promotes a walking and strength training program. The program runs Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at the Capital News Centre Indoor Track. For more information call John Moxness at 250-762-5446 or

Birthdays of the week – Steve Nicholson (May 17); Margaret Kinney (May 17); Tammie Watson (May 17); Judy Syrnyk (May 17); Jerry Reiber (May 17); Graham Bell (May 17); Wendy Soon (May 18); Ingrid Stewart (May 18); Rae Stewart (May 18); Marg Bernath (May19); Ken Derer (May 19); Echardt Freitag (May 19); Carrie Metzger (May 20); Tim Morton (May 20); Beryl Itani (May 21); Brian Mack (May 22); Cindy Cannan (May 22); Chuck Cey (May 22); Richard Hooper (May 22); Dino Gini (May 22); Ken McLaughlin (May 22); Francis Braam (May 23); Alan Tozer (May 23).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City councilor and hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546, fax 250-860-3173, E-mail


Mekong Restaurant owners (left to right) Dan, Wanda and chef Henry Truong.

Mekong Restaurant owners (left to right) Dan, Wanda and chef Henry Truong.