Straight from DeHart

New Kelowna winery faces pandemic limitations

Kelowna’s newest winery, Priest Creek Family Estate Winery, was hoping to be open to the public.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the winery has been limited to online and curbside sale service Monday to Friday for its first couple of months in business. Owned and operated by Darren and Jane Sawin, the winery is located on the South East Kelowna Wine Trail, 2555 Saucier Rd. The winery was named after Priest Creek which runs behind the 13-acre property, of which nine acres is planted with wine grapes. The Sawins have teamed up with award winning winemaker Jason Parkes and now offer a suite of premium wines. At this time, the winery is offering a 15 per cent discount on all purchases until May 18 with free delivery on two bottles or more. On the May long weekend, Priest Creek will host drive-thru wine sales from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


BC Sportswear, 1-1925 Kirschner Rd., owned and operated by Kyle and Dawn Douglas, has launched a unique way to celebrate the graduating classes of 2020. As grads are not able to celebrate their graduation traditionally this year, BC Sportswear has designed customizable Class of 2020 lawn signs to help celebrate graduating students in a fun way. It’s a great keepsake for all ages, from preschool to university. The signs are 18”x 24” in size and can be customized with the student’s name, photo and school name.


Innov8 Digital Solutions Inc., a B.C. owned and operated company, has acquired Simbatech, an IT support and consulting business based in the Okanagan. Simbatech provides exceptional and trustworthy professional service. Joining the Innov8 team is Simbatech president Kendall Prieb, who will serve as director of IT. Andre Brosseau is the president of Innov8.


Kelowna RCMP Supt. Brent Mundle is a brave man. He is participating in a fundraising challenge for the new Health Sciences Centre at Okanagan College of which I am the campaign ambassador. Our superintendent is finally getting a haircut, to be given by the RCMP Mascot Sam. Not sure if Sam has had any barber experience, but he seems to be doing a pretty good job. To sponsor Supt. Mundle, visit

The Okanagan College Alumni Association has elected two new board members and reelected Kara Kazimer as the board president for the 12th consecutive year. Kara has served on the board since 2001 and as president since 2008. Joining Kara on the board will be Zach Webster and Doug McFee. Gordon Ficke has been a long-time board member and continues his term along with Nick Moffat, the board treasurer, and Nick Melemenis, vice-president.


BrainTrust Canada has appointed Mia Burgess to the position of co-CEO, sharing the role with current CEO Mona Hennenfent. Mia previously has worked with Community Corrections, The John Howard Society, Central Okanagan Foundation and most recently as director of programs for BrainTrust Canada.


Kim Williams has reopened her downtown Kelowna shop Wild Kingdom, 563 Lawrence Ave. All new protocols are in place such as social distancing and only allowing four people in the shop at one time. Wild Kingdom also offers an online service for curb side pickup or mail out by Canada Post. Open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A donation for each purchase made will be given to the animal food bank.


Interior Savings has stepped up its support for non-profits. Many are finding themselves called upon to fill an increased need for food and basic essentials; spending more on sanitation supplies and personal protective equipment and to invest in new technology to help their clients. Interior Savings is pledging $150,000 to help non-profits adapt their operations to continue providing essential services that will be delivered through a number of measures, the most significant with a $100,000 Community Relief Fund that can be applied for from May 1-30 in the range of $2,000 to $7,000 . They have also introduced a new Community Impact Term Deposit. Members who invest in this one-year term will receive a two per cent return on their investment and Interior Savings will add a matching two per cent to its Community Relief Fund, up to another $50,000. Kathy Conway is the CEO of Interior Savings.


Car Craft Automotive will donate $100,000 in service and repairs to people who need repairs on their vehicles, but do not have the money to get the work done. Owner Tony Diemand and his staff are giving back to the community by making this substantial donation to those who are vulnerable and in need. Applications available on


BUY THE BOLT is a not-for-profit Facebook fundraiser that raises money to purchase materials for Okanagan sewing groups to make critically needed masks for donation to essential, frontline workers in our community. Founded by Cindy Wagner and Laura Gosset, it was brought to their attention there are seamstresses who were ready, willing and able to make the fabric facemasks but have run out of materials. Wearing a non-medical mask, together with other preventive measures, help to flatten the pandemic curve and slow the spread of the virus. To donate visit Facebook fundraiser at BUY THE BOLT.

Advocis is the national association for financial planners and their motto is…. not for ourselves alone. It’s been proven that Canadians who work with a local advisor have been more successful at building wealth and achieving their goals. Advocis has set up a special website for business owners to provide advice and support during this difficult time. Advocis Connect will provide small business owners with a professional financial advisor for a session in which they can go over any questions they may have about various government relief programs and to discuss how they can ensure business continuity during COVID-19 pandemic. Contact local president Mike Mervyn at or Jaide Hatfield at Visit


Vicky Wallace, owner of Springfield Kids Play Therapy, has partnered with Danielle Waller to create Nourish Families Initiative, a non-profit program that teams up with local restaurants. When customers support the initiative’s local restaurant partners by purchasing a family style meal, another meal is provided to a family in need. Nourish Families has currently partnered with Waterfront Restaurant and Wine Bar, Relvas Catering – The Sandwich Company and CrAsian Foods. Orders can be placed at or follow them on Facebook at

Local charity Connect Counselling has launched its $130 for 130 – Men Matter Too Campaign to help 130 local men by the fall. Group drop-in support and counselling geared specifically for men who are experiencing increased financial, relationship or mental health stress during COVID-19 and beyond. Men do not traditionally seek help, but the need is greater than ever and the waitlist is growing. Check out more info online at

Birthdays of the week

Happy 70th Frank Stewart (May 15); Arnie Schneider (May13); Joy Huculak (May 13); Ono Curatolo (May 13); John Schlosser (May 14); John Davina (May 15); John Glennon (May 16); Judi Ronacher (May 16); Stan Martindale (May 16); Brent Lobson (May 17); Jerry Reiber (May 17); Tammie Watson (May 17); Judy Syrnyk (May 17); Graham Bell (May 17); Kathy Conway (May 18); Wendy Soon (May 18); Blair Wilson (May 18); Marg Bernath (May 19); Ken Derer (May 19); Martha Laser (May 19).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna city councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; email; website


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