Straight From DeHart - April 20, 2022

Family-owned business Coke Canada Bottling which operates over 55 facilities coast to coast, including a distribution centre in Kelowna, is making an investment of $1 Million to expand its facility on Norris Road South. The 15,000 square foot expansion will enable the company to meet the growing needs of its customers and unlock the capability to grow in the local area. Along with adding 12 new positions, the new facility offers more space and a new design that will lead to improved efficiencies, including a decrease in direct carbon emissions through transportation efficiencies. Kelowna will now be the home to 66 Coke Canada employees who distribute merchandise and sell more than 400 products, including Coca-Cola®, Monster Energy®, A&W® and Canada Dry®. The expanded facility will service 1,100 local customers from Princeton to Revelstoke and Vernon to the Central Okanagan, injecting over $200,000 annually into the local economy through 55 local vendors and partners. Ken McCaffrey is the District Manager, and Wayne Penny is the General Manager – Interior and Coastal for Coke Canada Bottling. 

After 24 years of leading the Seniors Outreach Services Society of Kelowna (SOSS), Vi Sorenson is retiring this summer. During Vi’s tenure and leadership, the society has grown from a small grassroots organization to serving thousands of seniors and their families each year. Vi steered the society through the pandemic, and her tireless efforts have cultivated and grown their impact and reach since 1998. Vi has built a strong team who has positioned the SOSS as a hugely trusted partner and resource for seniors and the community at large. She was instrumental in establishing programs like Better at Home and Seniors Centre without Walls. David McInerney is the Chair of the Board of the society. Christoph Clodius from The Discovery Group will be working with the search committee for a candidate at 

Sheri Pineau joined the Furnish by Isabey team at 464 Adams Road in August 2020 with her passion for gifting carefully created gifts for her clients. With her addition to Furnish, Sheri and the team have built a gifting company called Furnish for You, focused on a bi-annual subscription box of home goods and carefully curated gift baskets. The premise of Furnish for You gift boxes and baskets is gifting items that will make an impression on the person receiving them. Sherri requests details when gifting, such as photos of the person’s home or hobbies, so that she can select gifts that are a true reflection of the receiver’s personality and personal style. Sheri now curates 2,000 boxes and baskets a year. For more details on the curated bi-annual subscription box, visit or contact Sheri at   

Jennifer Horsnell of Tourism Kelowna is moving on April 29th and has accepted a position with Destination Canada as their new Senior Program Manager for Destination Development. Jennifer will be based in Kelowna, so you will see her at industry events. Tourism Kelowna is actively recruiting Jennifer’s replacement so stay tuned. You can reach Jennifer at, and in May, she will share her new email address for Destination Canada. 

Kelowna Hostess are celebrating two anniversaries in April. Layne McCoubre is celebrating ten years and Bonnie Smith five years with the organization. Darleen Hass and Grace Naka are co-chairs of the Kelowna Hostess. They are hoping to be active in the community again soon.

The Okanagan Historical Society, Kelowna Branch has new Directors and Members at Large for 2022-2023. They are Margot Pridham, President; Chris Jennens, Vice President; Lois Marshall, Secretary; Cathy Jennens, Treasurer; Bob Hayes, Past President and Sharron Simpson, Branch Editor. Directors at Large are Paige HohmannDomenic RamponeEvelyn VielvoyeLynne Scott, and Sheri Keller.

Alexandra Mushahwar is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant, licensed BC Wedding Officiant and conducts personalized ceremonies in Kelowna around the life cycle of end of life, retirement, business openings and family welcoming. She is a graduate of the Celebrant Foundation and Institute, ordained metaphysical Minister and registered with the Canadian International Metaphysical Ministry, serving the Okanagan. As an Austrian in Canada, Alexandra found her passion in providing joy and comfort to people at all stages of their lives, marking special milestones with bilingual ceremony offerings in English and German. On Mother’s Day, May 8th, Alexandra is offering a special free community event, Mother’s Day Without Mom, at 11:00 a.m. at Staples Studio for those who have lost their moms. Registration is required at For all of Alexandra’s services, visit  

Congratulations to Zoey, the winner of the Okanagan TELUS Community Ambassadors Cutest Critter Contest. Zoey is a one-year-old Multipoo and Honorary TELUS volunteer. $290.00 was raised, with half of the funds going to the Okanagan TELUS Executive Ambassadors that will be used to support a variety of programs and sponsorships across the Okanagan. The other half (50/50) is for winner Zoey and her mom, Caroline Blais. 

Pushor Mitchell LLP has three new associate lawyers. Mark Brade is a solicitor lawyer whose practice areas are estate planning, real estate, and business law. Darcy Whittaker is a litigation lawyer who focuses on commercial, construction, insurance, and real estate claims. Thomas Eaves is a civil litigation lawyer with experience in commercial litigation, real estate disputes and breach of contract and foreclosures. www.pushormitchell,com  

The return of URBA After Hours is May 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at #101 - Valley First, 110 Hwy. 33. Everyone is welcome. Admission is $10.00 with tickets online or cash at the door. URBA is looking for committee members for Governance, Safety/Business Watch and Boundary Expansion. Contact Karen Beaubier, executive director at 

The 39th issue of the Okanagan Sunshine Savings Coupon Book, owned by Judy Levine has now been delivered through Canada Post to homes that accept unaddressed mail from West Kelowna to Oyama. The book is chock-full of offers for restaurants, activities, beauty, health, home improvements, specialty services and auto services. Most offers do not expire until September 2022. If you have not received a book, you can pick one up at Freshco or Lakeview Market. You can also visit Click on-line coupons, and the participants are there. 

Back at the Laurel Packinghouse, The Great Closet Cleanout is Sunday, April 24th, with over 40 tables of ladies' clothing for sale straight from their owner’s closets. Gently used ladies' shoes, clothing and accessories will be available for purchase. This is a chance for ladies to update their spring and summer wardrobes. There are door prizes, and the first 100 ladies through the door will get a reusable gift bag with coupons and treats. The Bridge Youth Recovery House will receive a portion of the proceeds. 

Nominations are being sought for the Grant Thornton LLP Thompson Okanagan Business Excellence Awards, with the deadline for nominations on Friday, April 29th. The best of the best will then be celebrated in 17 different categories at a gala event in Kelowna on June 16th. The awards will cover the past two years, 2020 and 2021. There is no cost to enter, and businesses can self-nominate. For information on sponsorship and nominations for the awards, contact Mark MacDonald at 1-866-768-2684 Ext. 120 or Nomination forms can be downloaded at 

Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery has donated all proceeds from the sale of every bottle of vodka sold from their family distillery through the entire month of March to the Ukraine Emergency Fund through Canada’s branch of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR. The sales were tabulated off all their three vodka lines in all size formats, and the total came to a whopping $25,355.00. Tyler Dyck is the CEO of the company. 

Master Photographer, Steve Austin will be unveiling the latest phase of the Bigger Picture Art Project at the Kelowna Visitor Centre on April 23rd from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with his photo and five paintings to celebrate Spring in the Okanagan. Following the unveiling, the event moves to the Steve Austin Gallery at 1296 Ellis Street to meet the artists and witness a one-hour live paint-off and auction where four artists involved in the project will complete an image in one hour. Paintings will be auctioned to raise funds for environmental causes. 

Kudos to the Rotary Club of Kelowna, who planted hundreds of spring flowers, including daffodils that are now coming up at the Southern Interior Rotary Cancer Lodge. They feel that they must have done something right with all their green thumbs. Thanks to Rotary member Evans Premachuk for sending the photos and information.

Birthdays of the week – Ann Ellis (Apr. 20); Joyce Ritchey (Apr. 21); Pat Kennedy (Apr. 21); Ron Maclaren (Apr. 21);  Margaret Brunsden (Apr. 22); Shelly Vida (Apr. 22); Jill Siebert (Apr. 22); Chris Koutsantonis (Apr. 22); Aldina Loureiro (Apr. 22); Ellen Walker-Matthews (Apr. 23); Marie Gelinas (Apr. 23); Mary Clark (Apr. 23); Chantelle Funk (Apr. 23); Wade Webb (Apr. 23); Norm Felty (Apr. 24); Alana Francis (Apr. 24); Ken Lang (Apr. 24); Hermina Klajnsek (Apr. 25); Alan Dolman (Apr. 25); Aria Yen (Apr. 25); Myrna Telford (Apr. 25); Lynn Kratzer (Apr. 26); Lorna Wilson (Apr. 26).         
Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; E-mail and web-site