Kootenay Lake Ferry Back to Normal!

Our Ferry Matters community group “thrilled and relieved”

Dec. 3, 2019, Kootenay Bay, BC: The grassroots Our Ferry Matters group that has advocated for safe, reliable and sustainable ferry service on Kootenay Lake for months is excited that an official agreement has been reached in the labour dispute between Western Pacific Marine and BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU).

“Our members are thrilled and relieved to know that we now have stability for the long-term on this essential transportation route between Balfour and Kootenay Bay,” says Megan Rokeby-Thomas, an initiator of Our Ferry Matters and owner of Ladybug Coffee by the Kootenay Bay ferry terminal. “Thank you to everyone involved!”

“We brought together people from all areas and interests around the lake through our Unity Sailings, website and Facebook communication, media presence and ongoing monitoring and discussions — all encouraging speedy resolution. We thank the community for all its support and efforts to provide a strong neutral voice during this labour dispute!” Megan adds. Our Ferry Matters included support from many members of the East Shore community, the Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce, the Balfour & District Business & Historic Association as well as Chambers in Creston, Kaslo, Nelson, Castlegar, the International Selkirk Loop, Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism and many others.

Disruption of ferry service throughout the summer had significant negative effects on local businesses as well as citizens with concerns about essential access to healthcare and education services. “With this happy news, we can focus our efforts on making sure that everyone knows the ferry is running back on regular schedule. This ferry – the longest free ferry in the world – is a significant attraction for people to the area. We’ll be taking steps to make up for the losses incurred because of the uncertainty of the labour dispute this year,” notes Janet Wallace, treasurer of the KL Chamber of Commerce and owner of Barefoot Handweaving, one of the Artisans of Crawford Bay.

Our Ferry Matters is advocating for the speedy creation of a Kootenay Lake Ferry Advisory Committee as a mechanism for ensuring community input to the ferry operations. The Committee is stipulated in the province’s past contract with Western Pacific Marine but was not active.

Important Crawford Bay Hall and Parks AGM – Nov 26 at 7pm

By Susan Hulland

The Crawford Bay and District Hall and Park Association will hold its Annual General Meeting on November 26, 2019 at 7pm at the hall, and we invite you to attend. At present the board consists of six directors, several of whom have served for many years, and in the case of our recently retired chair John Edwards, for several decades! Members of the 2019 board acknowledge that our hall needs to have work done on it. To find out why the building needs to be renovated, please plan to attend this meeting. You will learn about our initial investigations and some of the required testing that has been completed thus far. You will hear about the progress we have made and the obstacles we face regarding funding. 

The Crawford Bay & District Hall & Park Association needs help and the best way to help us is to join us. We understand that not everyone wants the responsibility of becoming the director of a non-profit society.  But if you are willing to do so, the primary requirement is that you reside within the hall’s property tax levy catchment area which includes all of Crawford Bay and along Highway 3A south to and including 15399 Wilmot Road, Pilot Bay, and Kootenay Bay north to and including 562 Riondel Road. 

You do not have to be a property owner to become a director but you do need to be available to  attend monthly meetings. Basic computer skills would be an asset as we now conduct some of the association’s business via the internet. Above all else we need dedicated directors who can commit their time to helping with the responsibilities of looking after the public assets that belong to all of us.  

You do not have to be a director to contribute to the maintenance and operation of our public assets. In fact, you do not even have to care about the hall itself, as we also administer the Crawford Bay Park and the Kootenay Bay Boat Launch. Perhaps your interests lie there.  Residents from neighbouring communities are welcome to lend a hand by serving on one of our sub-committees, too.  

Three properties are a lot for one association to look after!  Current directors are Helene Carter, Gina Medhurst, David Wells, Rand Kellock, Nicole Schreiber and Susan Hulland.  If you have questions prior to the meeting, you are welcome to contact us.  Anyone can attend this meeting even if you are just curious about what the heck is going on with the Crawford Bay Hall.  And, it will be a great chance to meet up with your neighbours and enjoy refreshments made by our faithful booking agent, Kathy Donnison.  We hope to see you on November 26 at 7pm at the hall. 

Some Background About the Community Hall

The Crawford Bay Women’s Institute organized local residents to tend to the needs of the first community hall and school which was built in 1910 and located on Crawford Creek Road.  

The present-day hall was built in 1938. Despite difficult economic times, area residents raised $500 (close to $9,000 in 2019 dollars!) to construct the building. Dozens of men donated their labour and the Women’s Institute held fundraisers for appliances and furnishings. 

The 4,000 square foot building was located on property owned by the Board of Education, near the second Crawford Bay School which had opened in 1919. That building is now the Kootenay Lake Community Church.

The hall was administered under a cooperative agreement between the government and the board. This mutually beneficial relationship prevailed after the third Crawford Bay School opened in the 1940’s and continued up until the present-day school opened in 2009. By then the school was attached to the community hall by a breezeway. 

When the school was demolished in the mid-1990’s the hall was left standing alone, facing an uncertain future. After almost a decade of negotiations with the Ministry of Education the association purchased the property under and around our community hall in 2017. 

Over the past eighty-one years the hall hosted many events including: fall fairs, fundraisers, political rallies, potlucks, dance classes, games nights, public health meetings, music nights, theatre productions, sports tournaments, weddings, funeral teas, dances, and private parties. The building was a ‘home base’ for groups such as Crawford Bay Cubs, Scouts, Guides and Brownies and for several years Eastshore Soccer League games were played on its grounds. 

Today the building is home to the East Shore Youth Group and the Helping Hands Day program. What would the holiday season be without the Bevy of Angels Christmas Christmas Fair?  And let’s not forget, the roof of our heritage hall is where Santa lands his sleigh during our Community Potluck Christmas Dinner.

Events such as these bring local residents together and help to define the tone of our community.  Improving our hall will only increase options for more good things like these to happen.  

East Shore Food Hamper Fundraisers

Better To Give Than Receive at Newkey’s, Sat Nov 16 & Christmas Greetings in the December Mainstreet!

Don’t miss Newkey’s Better to Give Than Receive event on Saturday, November 16. Help raise money for the East Shore Food Hampers! Meat Draw, Silent Auction, Music, Baked Goods, Entertainment! All money goes directly to the Hampers.

Also, don’t forget that you can send in your Christmas Greeting to The East Shore Mainstreet and make a minimum $10 donation along with it. Your greeting goes out to the community in the December newspaper and your donation goes directly to the Hamper fund. Send your greeting in to mainstreet@eshore.ca and your donation to Box 140, Crawford Bay, BC, V0B 1E0 or e-transfer to mainstreet@eshore.ca. Thank you!

Creston Christmas Art & Craft Market

Submitted by the Creston Valley Arts Council

Travelling down to Creston on Saturday, November 23, then on of the planned stops on your trip should be the Creston and District Community Complex for the 43rd annual Christmas Arts and Craft Market sponsored by the Creston Valley Arts Council.

With the doors open between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm the market is sure to have something for everyone.  The market is one of the most popular sales events of the year with more than 1800 coming through the doors last year. It is one of the ongoing successful accomplishments of the Creston valley arts council. As usual, it is attracting over sixty exhibitors from the Creston Valley and from throughout the Kootenay region.

Christmas markets originated in Germany, the first recorded one being in Munich in 1310. Over the next century the idea spread throughout Germany into Austria and France and then to a wider European market. The largest annual Christmas market today is held in Cologne, Germany and attracts over 4 million visitors annually. In Austria, Vienna’s December Market can be considered a forerunner of Christmas markets and dates back to 1298.

The products at this years Art & Craft Market range from potters from Creston, Canyon and Crawford Bay as well as glass work, jewellery, and woodwork ranging from driftwood art to cutting boards to signs.

There will be repurposed garden art as well as up-cycled clothing, natural dyed and hand painted silks. Also there will be fresh handcrafted wreaths and decorations.

There will be a great selection of foods and edibles from hand-made chocolates and candy to preserves, spices and home baking including gluten-free.  There will also be a selection of wines and spirits grown and crafted in the valley.

Original art works and prints will also be on sale not to mention unique sewing gifts, quilts and knitwear along with wearable art. Local soapers and herbalists have crafted a wide selection of soaps, creams and herbal remedies.

Contributing to the cultural ideals of the market will be the Creston Valley Hospital Tuck Shop with a selection of their products as well as the Creston Valley Museum. Footlighters will be selling tickets to their next show, White Christmas, based on the 1954 movie and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. This show will be staged at the Prince Charles Theatre on Nov 28 thru 30 with a show time of 7:30 pm.

In the Erickson Room will be a special art show – Home Is Where the Art Is. It will feature art from PCSS students, as well as senior Home Links students, intermediate students from the elementary schools in Creston as well as the intermediate class from Wildflower. Artists from the area are working with classes and presenting mini-workshops on watercolour, drawing, collage, and printmaking. The show will run the same hours as the Arts and Craft Market. However, it will have an opening reception on Friday Nov. 22 from 7 thru 9 pm. This show is one of a series of events throughout the last year to help the Creston Valley Arts Council celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of its inauguration.

Across the parking lot at Rotocrest on Saturday will be the Images Art Show and Sale which will be open from 9:00 am until 5:00 pm. This show will also be open Sunday, Nov. 24 from 11:00 am until 4:00 pm.

Admission to the Market is a cash donation to the Creston Food Bank. Vendors will be supplying items for raffle baskets so please enter the free raffle at the front door.

The Creston Valley Arts Council uses the profits from this event to support artists and arts-related groups throughout its mandated area which stretches from Yahk to Riondel. The Council would like to thank Anne Fetterley once again for her year-long dedication to organizing the market. She is assisted by a large group of willing volunteers.

Further information is available on the Arts Council’s website at www.crestonvalleyartscouncil.ca

Immunity for Your Community: get the flu shot today!

This year, Interior Health is calling on you to take action and increase immunity for your community by getting the annual flu shot.

Anyone can get the flu—a sometimes serious and even deadly infection of the upper airway caused by an influenza virus that spreads easily from person to person. Getting your flu shot can protect you from getting the flu, but the flu shot is about more than just protecting yourself. Getting the flu shot plays an important role in protecting your loved ones, especially those whose health is most vulnerable.

“Having the flu shot reduces both your risk of getting the flu and spreading it to our most vulnerable loved ones who are at high risk of flu-related complications,” says Dr. Silvina Mema, Interior Health Medical Health Officer. “We especially recommend those at risk as well as visitors to hospitals, long-term care facilities and other patient care locations get the flu shot.”

Children under five years of age, pregnant women, Aboriginal people, people over the age of 65, and adults and children with underlying health conditions are at an increased risk of serious complications if they get the flu.

Patti Morven, a resident of Kelowna and a member of the Nisga’a First Nation, is a family support worker. She understands the importance of getting the flu shot for her community.

“I work with the very young and with Elders,” says Patti. “Getting the flu shot not only provides safety for my mom but also the families I’m in contact with throughout the flu season.”

The flu shot is available through your pharmacist, health care provider, First Nations community health nurse, or your local health unit. Interior Health (IH) immunization clinics will begin the week of Oct. 28 and will continue in communities throughout November, with flu shots available by appointment throughout the rest of the season.

To find an influenza clinic or provider near you, visit Immunize BC and click on “Find a Clinic,” watch for local announcements, or contact your local public health centre, physician’s office or pharmacy.

The flu shot is free for the following people:

·         People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts;

·         People of any age in long-term care facilities;

·         Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts;

·         Children and adolescents (six months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time with Aspirin (ASA), and their household contacts;

·         Children and adults who are morbidly obese;

·         Aboriginal people;

·         All children six to 59 months of age;

·         Household contacts and caregivers of infants and children from birth to 59 months of age;

·         Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy during the influenza season and their household contacts;

·         Visitors to hospitals, health centres and long-term care facilities;

·         People who work with live poultry;

·         Health-care and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of transmitting influenza disease to those at high risk of influenza complications;

·         People who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings housing high-risk persons (e.g., crews on ships); and

·         People who provide essential community services (first responders, corrections workers).

For more information about flu season and the flu shot visit: 2019-2020 Seasonal Influenza Campaign.

Scary Oke! Halloween Party at the Gray Creek Hall

Once again, Gray Creek Hall Society and DJ Will D’Beats, join together to present:

Scary Oké
Friday, Nov. 1, @ Gray Creek Hall

All are welcome! Come out, dress up, perform for your community, dance
$50 prize for best costume, $50 prize for scariest costume

IMPORTANT INFO: If you wish to perform, either pick a song from our Karaoke list on hand, …or find a Karaoke version of your favourite song on YouTube (thousands to choose from),then send a link of that karaoke video to:graycreekhall@gmail.com …and I’ll have it ready for you to sing to at the event

More info? Call Will (250) 227-9600

Crawford Bay Regional Park – Important Meeting

Please join us on Monday, October 28, 2019 to discuss the future of Crawford Bay Regional Park.

Crawford Bay Regional Park is composed of approximately 70 hectares that were acquired in October 2018. The acquisition involved strategically located properties which are integral to the ongoing public use of the Crawford Bay beach, wetland and trail network.

The purpose of the meeting is for Area A Director, Garry Jackman and Regional District staff to provide a community update which will consider the property acquisition, operation, planning and future opportunities for the park.

  • Date: Monday, October 28, 2019
  • Time: 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm
  • Location: Crawford Bay Hall (Address: 16230 Wadds Road, Crawford Bay)

For further information, please contact: Mark Crowe, Regional Parks Planner. Phone: (250) 352-8172. Email: mcrowe@rdck.bc.ca Web: www.rdck.ca

Starbelly Jam AGM and Diemm Concert!

STARBELLY JAM AGM: Starbelly Jam Music Society invites you to attend our AGM to review 2019, elect directors, and discuss the future of Starbelly. Saturday October 26th. Saturday October 26 at the Gray Creek Hall @ 4 pm. Please attend this important event. Starbelly needs your input and participation.


On October 26, the folk harpist phenom, Diemm, will be in town to play Gray Creek Hall in support of her recent album “Ten Thousand Miracles”.

Created in a tiny tree house in the interior British Columbian forest, her new album is imbued with mysticism, surrender and trust. It consists of fourteen tracks that draw inspiration from her home and of the natural landscape. Produced by Diemm and Adham Shaikh (Buckman Coe / Monkey Dragon) – the album is a magical voyage full of twists and turns. The music she has brought into being is a unique Chamber Folk sound focused on the harp, double bass, and tasty percussion featuring the udu.  Plus, as the ultimate lyricist, her poems have been compared to the likes of Pablo Neruda, Leonard Cohen, and Rumi.

This September finds Diemm hitting the road for an in-depth tour to celebrate the launch of the record. “I’ve chosen beautiful churches and halls with great acoustics, to present this music,” she says, “I’m curious to see where else the songs will take me.”

Golden Cloak Of Bones – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTY6IrKLuUA