Starbelly Jam This Weekend! July 20-22 (Friday Night Free For Locals)

Don’t miss the fantastic opportunity to see Friday night’s lineup for free!

Starbelly Jam offers locals (who carry photo id with a residence between Boswell and Riondel) a FREE PASS to the jam for Friday night! 

The show starts at 6pm, with gates opening at 5pm.

Performing on Friday are:

  • The Duvets (A Cover Band). A dozen of your local community members taking turns to crank out tunes to the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, supported by the ever-patient and talented band of Todd Lester, Kenji Fukushima and Zyan Fukushima-Rael, along with some guest musicians… Morgan Rael, Gabo Gonzalez and Donny Clark. Singers are: Paul Hindson, Julia Kinder, Sarah Loeppky, Farley Cursons, Lea Belourt, Ben Johnson, Ali George, Zoe Zaiss-Baetzel, Ryan Davis, Ingrid Baetzel, Kevin McBride and Galadriel Rael. Come out and support your friends and neighbours!
  • Velle and Kootenay Soul: Velle & Kootenay Soul has a powerful and unique sound that is bold and imaginative with influences that span the last 75 years of contemporary popular music. Her music has been described as retro, roots and soul. A bold songstress from the Central Kootenay in British Columbia (Creston, BC), Velle has toured internationally with previous acts. She captivates the audience with her unique voice – silky and velvety, raspy and sultry. With unbridled energy, she commands and transports the audience to the jazz clubs of New York and the back alleys of New Orleans.
  • Heavy Airship: With a thunderous sound, Heavy Airship descends on the Kootenay region of British Columbia like a storm coming in from the Misty Mountain. In just a short time the Nelson-based Led Zeppelin tribute has gained a faithful following in the area and has shared the stage with the likes of Dr. Hook and the legendary BC/DC. Recreating the classic sound of Led Zeppelin, Heavy Airship consists of Craig Thiessen on vocals, Gus Dixon on guitar, Quillan Hanley on bass guitar and Eddie Thomas on drums.

Deadline for Feedback on Retallack Proposal Days Away

Letter to the Community by Carolyn Vanr for the Citizens Information Ad-Hoc Group (

Every passing day brings us nearer to July 15 which is the true deadline for public input concerning the Retallack Proposal for the 45 year tenure of 70,992 hectares in the Purcell mountain range for year round helicopter adventure tourism.

The more information I gather, the more stressed I become.  This isn’t the only adventure tourism proposal using helicopters sitting in the hands of the government for review and we can bet that there will be more in the future.

What has become obvious to me is that this proposal is vague and the government’s management of these large and long tenures is inadequate.  There are no impact studies that we can refer to, and there is no requirement for impact studies after these tenures are in operation. There are approximately 52,020 tenures in operation within B.C. at present. How possibly can the government manage that huge scope of work of follow-up accountability of these commercial businesses?  Unaccountability leads to irresponsibility, which is dangerous.

Once approved, these adventure tourism tenures can be sold immediately as they do become a valuable commodity.  They also can be amended and extended.

Why should our community, back country and wildlife have to be subject to corporate businesses using helicopters to make profits for themselves? Even some trickle down money in our community economy is not worth it.

Is the sound of helicopters amplifying our valleys something that will enhance our lives or negatively affect it? The answer lies in using common sense.

If we ask ourselves why we live here and what we value, I am positive that the majority would say it is because of the peace and quiet, majestic mountains and forests, opportunity to see wildlife, pristine lakes and caring communities.

Please give some input to this important issue. Links to view the proposal and further information can be found at and

Feedback on these proposals can be sent to, FLNR Minister Doug Donaldson ( and MLA Michelle Mungall ( 

Please copy when you send your letters!

Water Conservation Measures in Effect for Riondel



July 9, 2018

For immediate release

Stage 3 Water Conservation Measures in effect for Riondel Water System

View on the RDCK website:

Nelson, BC: Effective immediately, mandatory Stage 3 Water Conservation Measures are being implemented in the Riondel Water System. High water demand has resulted in low reservoir levels, which requires Riondel Water Users to conserve water.

Stage 3 Water Conservation Measures include:

  • Watering of lawns is prohibited.
  • Watering ofnew lawns, gardens, trees and shrubs is ONLY permitted between 6:00am-10:00am and 8:00pm-10:00pm.
  • Watering of gardens, trees and shrubs by watering can or hand-held hose is still permitted anytime.

A complete listing of Water Conservation Measures can be found at Stage 3 Water Conservation Measures will remain in effect until further notice. If appropriate reservoir levels are restored, then Water Conservation Measures can be relaxed.

Riondel water users can sign up free for the RDCK’s water notification service to receive notices about the water system’s water quality, system maintenance activities, and water conservation by telephone call and/or text message, by calling 1-833-223-2662.

The RDCK appreciates Riondel water users’ cooperation in adhering to the water conservation efforts. For more information, please contact:

RDCK Water Services

(250) 352-8171


Category 2 Open Burns Prohibited

from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development BC Wildfire Service


Category 2 open burns to be prohibited in Southeast

CASTLEGAR – Effective at noon (Pacific time) on Friday, July 6, 2018, Category 2 open burning will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre’s jurisdiction.

This is in addition to the Category 3 open burning prohibition that was put in place on June 8, 2018. Both prohibitions will remain in place until further notice.

A Category 2 open burning prohibition does not allow:

* the burning of any material (piled or unpiled) larger than a campfire (i.e. no larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high)

* the burning of stubble or grass over an area smaller than 0.2 hectares

* the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description

* the use of air curtain burners

* the use of sky lanterns

* the use of fireworks including firecrackers

* the use of binary exploding targets

The BC Wildfire Service is implementing this prohibition to help prevent wildfires and protect public safety. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at:

Anyone conducting a Category 2 open burn anywhere within the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by the deadline. A map indicating the areas affected by this prohibition is available online at:

This prohibition applies to all public and private land unless specified otherwise, for example in a local government bylaw. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

This prohibition does not apply to campfires that are smaller than a half-metre wide by a half-metre wide or to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Campfires should not be lit or kept burning during windy conditions. Anyone who lights a campfire must ensure that sufficient water, tools and people are on hand to contain it. Make sure that the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east.

Report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to:

You can also follow the latest wildfire news:

* On Twitter:

* On Facebook:

Back Country Tenure Proposal Action Plan Meeting – Friday June 29/18

submitted by the Citizens Information Ad-Hoc Group (Retallack Proposal)


At the community meeting on June 22, 2018, nearly 70 people were in attendance and the clear majority of those attendees were vocally opposed to the tenure proposal as it stands today. They have decided to begin a letter-writing campaign and have a follow up meeting to create sub-committees of research groups to look into issues with the proposal and get feedback in to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources by the July 13 deadline. What follows is what was created out of that meeting in regards to “talking points” for letter-writers.

For those writing letters, please send them to the following addresses:

Christine Lohr (FLNR Land Authorizations, Kootenay Boundary): 1.250.365.8627

Doug Donaldson (Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations) 1.250.387.6240

Rob McCrory (FLNR Tenures Officer) 1.250.825.1106

Michelle Mungall, MLA Nelson/Creston – 250.354.5944 –

Applicant (Retallack) ID: 1155768 BC Ltd)

Letter Writing Points Regarding Retallack Backcountry Proposal

  1. Impact on wildlife ( for comprehensive points)
  2. Helicopter traffic – sound pollution – disruption.
  3. Lack of positive economic impact for East Shore businesses (pushing out visitors to the region, locals moving away as well). There is currently no known partnering with East Shore businesses, nor anything indicating that guests will do anything other than fly right over us into the tenure. If ground transportation is provided by Retallack from airports to helicopter sites, where is there any indication of local businesses profiting? The ripple effect, economically, of loss of tourists and locals moving out due to the impact is potentially very big.
  4. Risk of fire/environmental hazards (helicopters, fuel caches, traffic). With the understanding that they would be required to carry a minimum 5 million dollar liability on the property, who is responsible for expenses above and beyond that? What are the tax payers beholden to?
  5. Impact on flora and fauna, watersheds, drainages
  6. Back country conflicts (although tenure doesn’t mean exclusive rights, crossing paths with downhill mountain bikers, etc, can lead to problems/accidents)
  7. What kind of employment – management plan says 125+ jobs but who will be hired? What percentage locally? What kind of guarantee? How will they be licensed/certified/trained? What kind of jobs? How long? Local builders, developers? Is there any guarantee of jobs created staying local if the tenure sells or is transferred?
  8. Lack of clarity in proposal – non-defined terms.
    1. Is it really 36 people max per day at full capacity, or potentially over 200/day in summer between South and West zones as the management plan currently indicates in its wording?
    2. What kind of follow-up, assessment process will be implemented?
    3. What kind of flight paths/elevations will helicopters be flying at? What will be the lengths of these flights? What kind of helicopters will you use? Will those change as the capacity builds? What is your emergency response procedure for spills, contaminations, fires? Staging areas versus heliports and the legal licensing for each…
  9. Transfer of tenure – since the tenure can, at any time, be sold, transferred or purchased, how do we guarantee not having a major conglomerate/corporation come in and expand upon the existing business or do something even more damaging?
  10. Length of time and scope of project – 70,992 hectares and 45 years is huge.
  11. Dissention in partner group – members of the Lower Kootenay Band have publicly said that they are not in favour of this project.
  12. A final point might be the importance of extending the input deadline much further and/or putting a moratorium on the project as outlying communities (Ainsworth/Balfour/Queens Bay/Kaslo) are all impacted communities who have not been consulted with yet.

Additional points drafted by Luanne Armstrong:

Reasons why the proposal by Retallack should not go forward:

Such a long lease opens the possibility of the backcountry Crown Land in BC becoming commodified. Such a long tenure means that if evidence arises of negative impact on the community and on wildlife, there is not a process for the Retallack business to be mitigated, changed, or cancelled.

People have almost no idea of what the the actual plan might look like. There so many unanswered questions. At the community meetings that have been held, people have long lists of unanswered questions. Retallack has not come to the community with concrete information as to the propoosed plan The only information that has been made is on a hard to access government website. Neither Retallack nor anyone from any government agency or from Yaqan Nukiy has come to the community and made themselves open and available with specific informaton of the impact of this propososal on this community. In fact, it is hard to remark on specific issues with this proposal because it is so vague.

The east shore is a small community with a large population of summer visitors and a much smaller population in the winter. A large percentage of the community are retired people but this also means that the community is a close and active one; lots of community dinners, meeting, recreational activities an especially, people here enjoy the outdoors and value their relationships with animals, birds and plants. Such issues as noise, intruson, lack of access to the back country, will be far more likely to hurt the economy and the much valued ambience of the east shore. Many houses will undoubtedly go up for sale and people thinking of moving here will probably change their minds.

The east shore is presently served by small narrow road that tends to be very crowded in the summer. There is also a tendency in both the summer and winter for the ferry to be very overcrowded. The ferry is an issue that is also very presently very divisive and troubling to our community. Crowded roads in summer and poorly serviced roads in winter means that people can often be delayed from doctor’s appointments, or jobs or other necessessities.

There are no studies that have been made available to this community of the impact in othet places of heli-skiing. Studies need to be done of the impact of this development on traffic or on summer visitors who encounter crowded roads, noise from helicopters, over crowded beaches, and lack of access to Kootenay Lake, which is already a big issue, both for locals and for tourists.

Where are the studies that need to be done of the impact of heli-skiing, heli-mountain biking, and numerous other human activities on wildlife, and ecology. Studies need to be done especially on the impact of road building, and trail building on such endangered species as grizzlies, wolverines, cougars, and mountain goats. It is known that the mountain goat population in the South Purcells has declined by forty percent. It is known that wolverines are highly sensitive to noise and will abandon their dens and their kits and leave under the impact of noise. It is known that the high alpine is an area that does not respond well to a lot of traffic. It takes a long time to recover and too much human impact can destroy it.

There has been no information given about the actual footprint of the propoised lodge, of parking, of sewage disposal, of housing for servers, of lights and noise. There is virtually no rental housing on the east shore. The beach where the proposed lodge is perhaps going to be located is a much loved and much used beach by both locals and tourists. There are almost no public beaches on the east shore and the ones that exist are under heavy demand. This proposed development will certainly increase the crowding, noise, litter and partying on the few local beaches left.

The actual nature of the agrreement with the Lower Kootenay Band is a mystery. From what the community has been told by members of the Lower Kootenay Band is that the larger membership of the band either doesn’t know or has had no chance to express any opinion about this proposal. There is no information about what the larger Ktunaxa nation knows about this proposal. However, given the large Ktunaxa resistance against the Jumbo Resort development application, and their expressed belief in the grizzly bear being sacred, it is hard to believe that they would support this proposal. The grizzly population in the entire South Purcells, including the grizzlies in Jumbo, will be highly impacted by this proposal. It is well known that griizzlies hate roads so having 161 kilometres of new trails build within grizzly territory will undoubtedly have a huge impact on grizzlies.
This proposal does not fit, in any way, with the Ktunaxa creed and belief that they are the protectors of the land in the Kootenays, that this was a task that given to them by the creator, Napika, that their elders have told them in particular to protect the grizzly beats, which are the sacred animals of the Ktunaxa spirituality.

Helicopters are high users of fuel and high producers of pollution. British Columbia is supposed to be attempting to conttol fuel emissions. Dr. James Hansen, of NASA, in the US, predicted in 1988 that the world would feel the impact of global warming. According to the New York Times, ( his predictions of global warming then, have been met and even surpassed by what actual warming is happening. To put a high energy consuming industry into a relatively unspoiled environment like the South Purcells is contrary to all the best advice of climatologists and other scientists concerned about the future of the earth.

The commodification of nature is a phenomenon that is being pushed world wise. It is having huge impacts on global wildlife populations. In effect, the east shore and its wildlfe, are being asked to be a sort of sacrifice zone; so a few very wealthy people can recreate in the back country of our home.
Everywhere on the planet, animal and fish populations are declining. Here are just a few statistics: land-dwelling wildlife species have declined by 40% since 1970. Marine animal populations have fallen by 40% overall. Bird populations have been reduced by about 20-25%.Freshwater animal populations have plummeted by 75% since 1970. Insect populations have also declined dramatically.
According the environmental group, Wildsight, the BC government does not take the impact on animals and ecology into its decisions about such proposals as the one Retallack has made. This lack of care has led to the slow extincition of the caribou in both the Purcells and the Selkirk mountain ranges. Shooting wolves from helicopters has obviously done nothing to slow this decline.
Now the BC government has announed that they want to save caribou and caribou habitat. Why then, put a high use, high energy use, high noise pollution use into an area where caribou could possibly have a chance to recover?

Mr. Rob Louie, a lawyer in Vancouver and a member of the Lower Kootenay Band has written a public memorandum on this proposal. He writes:

There has been a failure to adequately consult with the Lower Kootenay Band members as this matter affects the Lower Kootenay Band’s rights, interests and title to the area proposed by this partnership.

The starting point in law is that a duty of consultation is owed to the Lower Kootenay Band members – not the Lower Kootenay Band Council. As you know, the Band Council and the Band membership are two distinct legal entities pursuant to the Indian Act. Moreover, the Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) does is a provincial non-profit society that does not have any authority or standing to speak on behalf of the Lower Kootenay Band members.

Simply put, the Lower Kootenay Band was taken by surprise by the announcement of a “partnership” between Retallack and the Lower Kootenay Band Council.

The Band Council has the capacity to enter into contracts and agreements unrelated to land; however, the Band Council does not have the power to negotiate away the Band members’ rights, interests and title to any area of their traditional territory, such as the area proposed by Retallack and the Band Council. An infringement will take place if Retallack is granted their proposal to the traditional territory of the Lower Kootenay Band.

For greater clarity, the Lower Kootenay Band has not consented to relinquishing, transferring or surrendering any part of their territory that Retallack wishes to claim as its own.

Finally, there is spiritual significance in and around the area that Retallack wishes to claim as its own.

Mr. Louie also asks the following questions:

“(a) Will the proposed tenure be allowed to operate 365 days of the year?

(b) How many lodges will be built?

(c) Within the proposal it is states that it hire over 125 employees. What percentage will be hired locally? The addendum states that priority will be given to First Nations applicants. Will Lower Kootenay Band members take priority over other First Nation applicants?

(d) The proposal states you have a wildlife mitigation strategy in place. Will they report directly to you, to the Lower Kootenay Band Council, neither or both?

(e) Retallack hired registered biologist, Ron J D’eon to do an “Impact Report”. Will his report be made public?

(f) What is the maximum allowance for clients per day for both zones? There is confusion about the actual people per day when reporting it as client days.

(g) What is the waste plan for human refuse including human waste and garbage?

(h) How many helicopters will Retallack buy/rent/lease for this operation? What kind of helicopters will be used? How many flights per day? Will Retallack provide compensation pursuant to the law of nuisance to those residents affected by thehelicopters?

(i) Where are the exact locations of the Heli staging pads?

(k) Why does Retallack want to expand their business?

(l) Why have Retallack and the Lower Kootenay Band partnered in this business venture?

(m) Has there been any money transferred from you or any promises made by you to the Lower Kootenay Band Chief and/or Lower Kootenay Band Council?

(n) Has the Lower Kootenay Band Chief received a “signing bonus” from Retallack for agreeing to the partnership agreement?

(o) There is a serious and deep division at the Lower Kootenay Band. The Lower Kootenay Band Chief and two Lower Kootenay Band Councillors may be removed from the Band Council imminently for breaching their fiduciary duty to the Band members and for breaching their Oath of Office, as well. If these elected officials are removed, will this terminate the partnership agreement?

(p) Why did Retallack fail to show up to a consultation meeting with the Lower Kootenay Band on June 5, 2018, and did Retallack advise you that they would not show up on June 5, 2018 to this consultation meeting?

(q) Has Retallack directed Lower Kootenay Band consultant Curtis Wullum to discredit me in this approval process? I have witnesses and evidence that Curtis Wullum, while acting in the capacity as a Lower Kootenay Band consultant in this matter, has made several deliberate and calculated defamatory attacks on me as he campaigns for Retallack.”

These are questions I am sure everyone on the East Shore would like to have answers to as well.

This project is huge, overwhelmingly large and thus, totally unsuuitable for the area in which s proposed and the many communities to be affected, on both the west side and the east side of the lake. People in Argenta, Kaslo, Ainsworth, Balfour, Kootenay Bay , Nelson, Crawford Bay, Grey Creek, Boswell and Creston, are deeply concerned and angry about this proposal. What will happen if there is a fuel spill into a local creek and thus inevitably into Kootenay Lake?? We already have an example of the damage a fuel spill can do in one small creek (Lemon Creek.) Who will be responsible? Who will clean it up? What happens if there is a forest fire started by Retallac?. Who has responsibility and liability? Kootenay Lake is already under pressure global warming and other stressors. Fish populations, in particular, Kokanee salmon are dropping. How will noise, fumes, extra boat traffic, and possible fuel spills affect the presently pristine water of Kootenay Lake?

In summary, to allow such a huge project with so many and such a wide range of unknown impacts on the people, the wildlife, the ecology, the economy, of a relatively undamaged and still recovering from previous impact, ecological area is reckless, irresponsible, bad governance, and in bad faith with the people and communities of this area.

Information/Action Plan Meeting Regarding Back-Country Heli-Ski Proposal – TONIGHT!

Friday, June 22 at 7pm at the Crawford Bay Hall, join the Citizens Information Ad-Hoc Group (Retallack Proposal) to learn more about this proposal, ask further questions and discuss next steps.

All major players have been invited to this meeting – should they not be available at this meeting, there is talk about another meeting, hosted by Retallack and the Lower Kootenay Band in the coming days.

Retallack Purcell Range Back Country Proposal Community Meeting June 22nd

The information meeting concerning the Retallack Proposal (#1155768 B.C. Ltd) will occur Friday, June 22 2018 at 7pm at the Crawford Bay Hall.

Everyone Welcome. Please come with information, questions and concerns. Deadline for public input on the proposal is July 13, 2018.

For further info please contact Citizens Information Ad-Hoc Group (Carolyn Vanr at 250.505.3760 or

From Chris McNamara of Retallack,  Attached is our joint press release that provides an update on this project and next steps. Please be advised that presently there is no additional public meeting that is being scheduled by us for Crawford Bay next week. 

Lower Kootenay Band and Retallack Partnership Adventure Tourism Proposal Update

submitted at 11am, Friday, June 22nd – PRESS RELEASE

Creston, British Columbia, Canada – The Lower Kootenay Band (yaqan nuʔkiy) and Retallack wish to thank the public and user groups who have provided feedback thus far regarding their joint 50/50 adventure tourism partnership proposal within the Southern Purcell Mountains.

The proposed tenure area, located in the Ktunaxa Traditional Territory (Ktunaxa ʔamakʔis),encompasses a traditional connectivity corridor and trade route between the indigenous Ktunaxa peoples who have resided in the Kootenays since time immemorial.

The multiple use tenure proposes guided hiking, horseback riding, climbing and mountain biking in summer; and guided ski touring, heliskiing, mountaineering, snowshoeing and dogsledding in winter. The proposed tenure area is non-exclusive and will remain open to the public.

Based on feedback received to date, several amendments have been identified for future consideration to improve the application. To ensure that as much public and user group feedback as possible is considered, the proponents are currently awaiting the end of the provincial government public comment period on July 15, 2018 prior to publicly proposing any new amendments. Public comments may continue to be submitted via the government website at or also directly to the proponents at

After the conclusion of the public and government comment period, the proponents have committed to reviewing all directly received public comments or summary comments that are made available to the proponents by the Province. From there, the proponents are committed to identifying and proposing future project amendments. In particular, the amendments will reflect usage statistics and additional proposals to further reduce potential helicopter impacts to wildlife and local residents in surrounding communities.

When the review has been completed, any resulting new amendments (including new high  resolution maps) will be published alongside the project’s currently proposed management plan and maps located at

Locations and dates of any future public meetings in neighbouring communities will also be announced at that time.

About yaqan nuʔkiy (Lower Kootenay Band)
Historically and since time immemorial, the yaqan nuʔkiy were the original inhabitants of the Lower Kootenay area. The name yaqan nuʔkiy literally means “where the rock stands” and refers to an important place in the Creston Valley.

The yaqan nuʔkiy is one of six bands that make up the Ktunaxa Nation. The Traditional Territory of the Ktunaxa Nation covers approximately 70,000 square kilometres (27,000 square miles) within the Kootenay region of south-eastern British Columbia and historically included parts of Alberta, Montana, Washington and Idaho.

The people of yaqan nuʔkiy speak the Ktunaxa language which is one of the eleven original aboriginal language families in Canada. The language is an isolate and is not related to any other language in the world.

About Retallack
Retallack is a Kootenay-owned business based in Nelson, BC that provides world-class
backcountry catskiing, snowboarding and mountain biking adventures in the Selkirk Mountains of British Columbia, Canada.

In addition to being a significant local employer, Retallack supports local business, suppliers and trades workers and also sponsors local public recreation and volunteer groups. Retallack assists with public trail and road maintenance and provides backcountry emergency response and rescue for members of the public, government, and other operators. Retallack is also the first operator in its industry to receive a prestigious 4-Green Key Eco-Rating for demonstrating “national industry
leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies and practices.”


Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route Tourism Campaign Officially Launches

For Immediate Release: June 11th, 2018

 Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route Tourism Campaign Officially Launches

Year-long tourism campaign showcasing communities from Yahk to Riondel launches this June

The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route, from Yahk-Kingsgate through to the Creston Valley and along the east shore of Kootenay Lake, isn’t just a highway connecting the west coast to the prairies of the east. The Route connects a network of people, businesses, and communities together to the lands we call home.  Between orchards and wineries, glass houses and glassy lakes, many locals have created a life for themselves as artisans and orchardists, restaurateurs and wine-makers, outdoor guides and health practitioners, proudly sharing our love for this land with the visitors who have discovered its charms.

At the newly opened Casey’s Community House on Tuesday, May 29th, The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route tourism campaign officially launched with the unveiling of the campaign brand, website, guide, and social media channels to an audience of 50+ business and community members. The campaign is the results of nearly a year of hard work by the members of the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Tourism Advisory Committee (CVKL TAC) and thanks to the financial support of Destination BC, Columbia Basin Trust, The Regional District of Central Kootenay Electoral Areas A, B, C, and the Town of Creston.

The campaign is an new initiative of the communities from Yahk to Riondel, promoting the route as a prime tourism destination by highlighting our reputation as a hub for:

  • Arts & Culture,
  • Local Food & Wine,
  • Health & Wellness, and
  • Nature & Recreation

Similar to the International Selkirk Loop, the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route campaign showcases businesses, organizations, and attractions from Yahk to Riondel related to these four themes. By using the campaign’s mobile-friendly website, social media pages, or just grabbing a print guide, visitors will then be able to tour artisan’s shops, cafes, trails, vineyards, markets, sights and trails at their own pace and discovering the many attractions that truly make it the magical area it is known for.

And the campaign isn’t just for visitors, but locals alike! Be sure to check out the new website at:  where you can explore the “What to Do” section and digital map for information on all the great activities that can be enjoyed in our area. Or if you’re looking for inspiration for the weekend read the Suggested Itineraries section or Blog to help plan your day trip. Finally, if you have an event coming up, let us help you promote it on the websites’ interactive Events Calendar.

Most importantly help us share the love and local pride for the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake route by using the hashtag #routeconnected to share your pictures, and videos of your experiences on our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest account @ CVKLRoute.

Also, be sure to keep your eyes out for the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route Print Guide-Map, which includes participating business listings, a great map of the area, Q&A interviews with local businesses, and suggested itineraries for Foodies, Outdoor Enthusiasts, and families. It’s sure to be a great resource to help your customers, visiting family members, or friends fall in love with our beautiful home!

Still have questions or want to learn more about this initiative? Contact project coordinator Jesse Willicome at Otherwise, have a great summer enjoying and exploring the many attractions and hidden gems that dot this beautiful route!

Picture: The new Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Route logo