Cap News Throwback Thursday: 2003

After 86 years of service, we wanted to utilize our amazing treasure trove of Kelowna history and share it with you.

Over the last 86 years the Kelowna Capital News has served the Central Okanagan – and over the last 86 years it has printed a whole lot of papers.

A conservative estimate puts it at about 8,000 editions.

The new Black Press Okanagan digital team, based right here in Kelowna, wanted to utilize this amazing treasure trove of pieces of our history and share it with you.

Each Thursday we will present Cap News Throwback Thursday for a fun little peak into the past, and a chance for the digital team to climb through the records room.

Today we present the Kelowna Capital News edition— Wednesday April 30, 2003 edition.

Greata Ranch unveiled its new brand of wine, the old Kelowna Secondary School site was being demolished and the SARS outbreak was causing fear.

Senator Ross Fitzpatrick owned the front page in 2003, proudly showing off a bottle of 2001 Greata Ranch Pinot Noir.

After purchasing the property in 1994, Fitzpatrick was opening the winery doors to the public in May 2003. At that time the family also owned Cedar Creek Winery.

The winery has now rebranded to Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards and has changed its focus to more sparkling wine.

Check it out here.

Demolition of the old KSS site had been awarded to Napp Enterprises and work was set to begin, but the community had concerns. The company was responsible “for removing hazardous materials as asbestos, old PCB lighting ballasts and lead paint, all of which is to be bagged and buried in the Glenmore landfill.”

The demolition eventually finished and the site remained empty for many years. It was sold in 2014 to build the Central Green development, in progress now.

Finally, the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS ran from 2002 to 2004. In April 2003, an article noted that fear was high in Toronto where 21 people had died. The fear of SARS was hitting the city hard as hotel occupancy rates were 75 per cent of normal.

Worldwide the outbreak of SARS in southern China caused an eventual 8,098 cases, resulting in 774 deaths in 37 countries, including 44 in Canada.

On the big screen: Anger Management starring Adam Sandler, Jack Nicholson, and Marisa Tomei, Bend it like Beckham starring Parminder Nagra and Keira Knightley and the Pianst starring Adrien Brody. At the 75th Academy Awards, The Pianist won Oscars for Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Actor.

Fun fact: The local chapter of MADD put their money where their mouth was, presenting the Kelowna RCMP with six new roadside breathalyzer units. At that time MADD set a goal to ensure each RCMP officer had a unit in their car. Currently each Kelowna RCMP has as “many as two Approved Screening Devices (ASD’s) with them on shift at any given time”, states the RCMP. Statistics provided in 2016 show Kelowna had the second-highest police-reported impaired driving incidents in Canada.

You can check out our previous throwbacks here: 1936, 1960, 1941, 1985, 1962,1983, 1994, 1971, 1940, 1968, 1992, 1978 and 1985.

The Capital News is now owned by Black Press Community Media. Founded in 1975, Black Press now publishes more than 170 titles in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington state, Hawaii, Ohio and California.

Do you have an important date or piece of history you hope we can find in our historical editions?! Let us know at

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