Schell: Innovation for positive change

BC Ambrosia apples is hosting a recipe contest. Go to for information.

Ambrosia apple grown in the Okanagan Valley.

Ambrosia apple grown in the Okanagan Valley.

I have recently been introduced to an amazing new organization: Okanagan Changemakers.

The concept is based just on that—like-minded people coming together to support social change by supporting community-focused projects.

They have an event on Nov. 21 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Rotary Centre for the Arts called Change UP: Innovating for Social Change. There will be food, wine and live music to enjoy before entering the theatre where a number of local entrepreneurs will be presenting their innovative ideas to the audience. Kind of like the Dragon’s Den without the dragons and the negative drama—this event is all about positive re-enforcement.

The website explains: “Organizations and individuals from across the Okanagan Valley will be pitching their creative ideas for making positive social change in our local communities. This audience interactive event gives attendees the chance to vote live for what ideas they think should win top prizes in the four competing categories: For-Profit, Non-Profit, Established Registered Charity or Youth Led Initiative. Over $20,000 in prize money and services in-kind is up for grabs. Event tickets include access to the networking hour, a social enterprise showcase, food, live music, and lots of inspiring stories. Proceeds from the event will go to support the Okanagan Changemakers’ non-profit society in launching year round programming and mentorship for social cause organizations.”

I love the concept and am looking forward to being a part of it. Go to to read more about it and buy tickets.


On another positively delicious note: Have you always dreamed of participating in the office Christmas cookie exchange but didn’t know how?

Local and delicious dream baker-team Baker Monika Walker (Okanagan Grocery—Artisan Breads) and pastry chef Deanna Hodge have teamed up to offer all of you wannabe cookie makers a crash course on making holiday baking. The workshop is being held on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Okanagan Grocery’s bake shop HQ at 1979 Windsor Rd.

For only $60 you will learn some traditional holiday baking recipes and cookie decorating skills to impress your friends and family.  You even get to take home treats from the class!

Drop by the shop or call 250-868-4929. Spots won’t last so sign up fast.


Speaking of baking and local, do you have a favourite apple recipe hidden away that you want to submit into a great local contest?

BC Ambrosia apples (my favourite of all time) is hosting a recipe contest featuring, of course, Ambrosia apples. I am thrilled to be one of the judges and the winners are up for some amazing prices.

As an advocate for tree fruit growers—with apple growers being very close to my heart—I am so happy to see this promotional event happening. Go to for information about the contest and how to submit a recipe.

If you don’t want to submit a recipe but still want to participate, go to the Vote Here section of the website and have the chance to view contest submissions and vote for the People’s Choice award.

Did you know that Ambrosia apples were discovered in the Similkameen Valley?  One of the contest judges, Sally Mennell is a certified organic orchardist in Cawston, and co-discoverer of the Ambrosia variety which she and her husband Wilfrid found growing as a chance seedling in a newly transplanted section of her orchard. They developed the variety that Wilfrid named Ambrosia.

Oh, and please remember to always check the label when you are buying apples at the grocery store to ensure that you are buying a local product and are supporting our B.C. apple industry. Yeah for Ambrosia apples and apple farmers.

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