Supporting Chris George – Paying Back and Forward

I don’t really know Chris personally but I do know that as a candidate in recent federal and provincial elections he has offered up his time and efforts (considerable) for the betterment of this riding. He has raised the bar for political discourse.

As a campaigner, he has been thoughtful, articulate and passionate about supporting what is best for this community.

Right now, because of a serious illness, Chris and his family could use our support too. Please consider doing so.

More info at

“Building Bridges through understanding the village” by Dan MacQuarrie

June 2, 2015 : Justice Murray Sinclair of the Truth and Reconciliation commission, tables 94 recommendations for the government of Canada; which when implemented, will encourage ALL Canadians to participate in building the Canada of our Dreams.

October 19, 2015:  Justin Trudeau is given a majority government.   In his acceptance speech he reiterated his campaign promise to implement all 94 recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The province of British Columbia has also accepted responsibility to follow suit .

November 17: The Ministries responsible for health and education have invited Kathi Camillari , who works with aboriginal mental health, to do an experiential workshop for social workers here in Salmon Arm.   The school district is also invited to participate.

They will be exploring in depth, the affects of Residential Schools regarding Canada’s policy of assimilation and colonization,

Having participated in one of Kathi’s experiential workshops, and been informed of her coming, I quickly phoned to see if she would come a day early, to conduct a workshop for the Shuswap Community.   She agreed.    The MacQuarrie Institute, in partnership with The Aboriginal Department of S D # 83, and First United Church;  are pleased to invite everyone to a workshop titled, “Building Bridges Through Understanding the Village.”

What an opportunity to be in the forefront of a spirit which is sweeping the country.   Even sweeping the world.    Americans and Cubans trying diplomacy instead of punishment.   Similarly with Iran and nuclear disarmament.   Now it is our turn to learn the truth about how Canada came into being, apologize for the injustices that were perpetrated upon the Indigenous people, and be reconciled to getting along with each other.

We can take a 1st step November 16, by participating in the workshop at First United Church 8:30 to 4:30 PM

MacQuarrie Institute

Peace, Dan MacQuarrie

1:1 Interviews with the North Okanagan – Shuswap Candidates

CKVS, Voice of the Shuswap FM 93.7,  has podcasts of interviews with the four candidates (Mel Arnold – Conservative Party , Cindy Derkaz – Liberal party, Chris George – Green Party and Jacqui Gingras – New Democratic Party) vying to represent our riding.

Check it out – another great initiative in extending the political discourse.

Thanks Voice!

Key UBCM Resolutions

There are over 166 resolutions before us (plus a few late additions). Most of them will be dealt with in batches but the principal ones are debated individually. The overall list is here.

The key ones are interesting and I want to focus on one in particular. It’s A5 ENVIRONMENTAL BILL OF RIGHTS

WHEREAS municipalities and regional districts are the government nearest to people and the natural environment, and therefore share a deep concern for the welfare of the natural environment and understand that a healthy environment is inextricably linked to the health of individuals, families, future generations and communities;

AND WHEREAS fostering the environmental well being of the community is a municipal purpose under section 7(d) of the Community Charter and regional district purpose under section 2(d) of the Local Government Act:

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM request that the Province of British Columbia enact a provincial environmental bill of rights that:

  • • recognizes the right of every resident to live in a healthy environment, including the right to clean air, clean water, clean food and vibrant ecosystems;
  • • provides for public participation in decision-making respecting the environment and access to environmental information;
  • • provides access to justice when environmental rights are infringed; and
  • • has whistle-blower protection

This resolution is very similar to the bluedot campaign and I’ll be supporting A5 at the policy session.

If it passes, it’s solely a position of the UBCM and not officially a position of individual local governments. That’ll be a topic of discussion for another day. I’ll update as to the outcome of Wednesday’s vote.

$35,000 raised to kick start 2015 Shuswap Trail projects

STA logo with blaze (horizontal) 72dpiNews Release

February 10, 2015

The Shuswap, British Columbia – The Shuswap showed up full force last Friday to raise $35,000 in support of Shuswap Trails at the 10th Annual Auction and Dance. “It was an overwhelming success,” said Winston Pain, chair of the Shuswap Trail Alliance. “The region has once again spoken loud and clear to continue working with partners to building, maintaining, and planning greenways and trails on the ground.”

A sold out crowd of 475 people joined volunteers and partners to celebrate working together in support of trail projects throughout the Shuswap. “There was an amazing array of auction items, and Scarecrow once again showed why they are such a sought after band in our area,” said Winston noting the dance floor stayed packed right to closing. “We are all incredibly grateful to everyone who helped make this such a successful fundraiser. You’ve set us up to meet our goals in 2015.”

A well-organized volunteer team of community leaders stitched the event together over the past 6 months modelling the Shuswap Trail Alliance penchant for partnerships. There was locally flavoured food skillfully prepared by the Blue Canoe Bakery Café team with contributions from Farmcrest Chicken and Happy Days Dairy. The Barley Station and Larch Hills Winery provided beverages, and the Fire Hall 3 team served it up right in fine style. Front of house, auction support, and drive home was provided by the incredibly versatile Enactus Okanagan College team. Vehicles were provided by Braby’s Motors, Jacobson Ford, Hilltop Toyota, and Salmon Arm GM. Tickets and posters were printed by Lakeside Printing.

The lobby and auditorium included displays from Shuswap Tourism, fabric art from Victoria’s Artist’s House Bed and Breakfast, and live trees from Nico’s Nursery. The dance floor was filled with the good energy of Scarecrow, Brian Coffey of BC Sound fine-tuned the speakers and worked his magic on the dials, and of course, the Shuswap’s own Patrick Ryley with EZ Rock anchored it all as MC and DJ for the evening.

Displays included the latest Nordic trail guide hot off the press from Shuswap Tourism, updates on all the work completed by regional partners in 2014, and updates on the new Build-a-Metre-of-Trail campaign to support local stewardship projects.  “It’s so important to acknowledge everything being accomplished is done by dedicated leaders, agencies, and organizations throughout the region,” said Winston. “The February fundraiser puts the foundation in place to ensure we can keep supporting those individuals and organizations working together on our behalf.”

125 local businesses contributed to the silent auction tables, including Platinum contributions from Waterways Houseboats, Twin Anchors, BDO Canada, Faster Than Light Computing, TransRockies, K3 Cat Ski, Podollan Inn, Dancor Electric, Salmar Grand Theatre, EZ Rock, Ridetech, Skookum Cycle and Ski, Ways2Ride, and Copper Island Diving.

This year, in celebration of the STA’s 10th Anniversary, an all new Build-a-Metre-of-Trail campaign was kicked off at the February event targeting an additional $50,000 in support of regional greenway trail projects. At an average of $15 – $20/metre that equals over 2,500 metres of new trails for walking, cycling, equestrian, and winter Nordic use. Every dollar raised goes toward building new trails and taking care of existing ones. They help to leverage partnership funding, hire seasonal trail crews, and support volunteers.

To support the work of the Shuswap Trail Alliance and regional partners, visit and follow the Build-a-Metre links on the home page. All contributions are charitable and tax deductible. People are also invited to get the full report at this year’s upcoming Shuswap Trail Alliance AGM and Slide Presentation – March 4th, 7 pm, at Okanagan College, Salmon Arm.

Shuswap Trails – Call to Artists

STA logo with blaze (horizontal) 72dpiThe Shuswap District Arts Council and Shuswap Trail Alliance in Salmon Arm, BC are excited to announce a call to artists of 2D and 3D media wishing to participate in an exhibition and experience of Shuswap trails in 2016.

Project Description:

Artists and trail guides will be paired up to travel to and experience a specific trail in the Shuswap region. The artists will use their media to tell a story of the experience, the environment, the ecology, the history or a unique feature of the place. The artists can choose any season in which to experience the trail. The work will become part of an exhibition at Salmon Arm Art Gallery in the summer of 2016. Along with the artists’ written story, the work will be featured in a publication about the Shuswap trails and this project.


Call to Artists: October 2014 to January 2015

Selection of Artists and Trails: February 2015

Guides and Artists Experience: March 2015 to March 2016

Publication materials: January to April 2016

Final images and stories submitted: April 2016

Community Events: May 2016 to August 2016

Publication date: June 2016

Exhibition: July and August 2016


Artists in 2D or 3D media, over the age of 18 and residents of British Columbia are welcome to submit a proposal. Each proposal should include up to six images of recent plein air work, a short biography and CV. Artists can indicate in their proposal a specific trail that is meaningful to them. Jurors will select ten artists to participate. The jury is composed of representatives from the Art Gallery and the Trail Alliance. Deadline for submissions is January 25, 2015. Artists will be notified in early February 2015 and trail teams will be formed at the same time.

Email submissions to Mail-in submissions can be sent to Shuswap District Arts Council, Box 1181, Salmon Arm, BC V1E 4N3. For more information, contact Director/Curator Tracey Kutschker at 250 832-1170 or email