Straight From DeHart - April 7, 2021

Jazzy (Jaskaran) Singh is the new owner of Pacific Poke at 219 Bernard Avenue, across from the Sails. The franchised restaurant has an Asian-inspired Sushi in a bowl varied unique menu. Two popular bowls are The Main (Salmon, spicy tuna, crab, shrimp, ginger jicama, avocado nori, seaweed salad, citrus mayo, and sesame miso dressing) and The Maui (Double ahi tuna, crab, shrimp, mango jalapeno vinaigrette, corn salsa, pesto pineapple, and pickled red onions). There are four delightful house-made cold beverages with their #1 seller of Coco Panda (Coconut milk, pandan leaf, and young coconut juice) or you can try Mango Mint, which is mango, mint, and yuzu lemonade. There are many other beverages to try. Pacific Poke offers a kids menu and dessert of brownies, cookies, and squares. The bowls are delicious and you can choose your other toppings. Open seven days a week for pick-up and take-out. Support local.  

Local author and creative director Jonica van Rikxoort of Teri Tales Productions is a self-published co-author of a children’s book that she created and co-wrote with her late mother, Teri Baker called “What If Bunny Poo Was Square?” Now, Jonica is part of Pursuit: 365 which is a book co-authored by 365 Canadian Women from all walks of life including Jann Arden, Tosca Reno, Kim Appelt, Bif Naked, Krystal Lunardo, Camelia Ray, and Nova Steven, just to mention a few. Pursuit: 365 is in pursuit of inspiration, motivation, passion, and celebration, celebrating Canadian women in the pursuit of happiness, success and fulfillment, every day of the year. It epitomizes the strength that united women can achieve when they come together, share and listen. The book launched on March 8th, 2021 on Independent Women’s Day. Separate from the book, each woman also has their own feature online @ Fresh Magazine, and Jonica’s feature showcased April 1st, 2021. The publisher was Shelly Hughes of Fresh Magazine. The book will be available at INDIGO Kelowna around April 15. For more information on the book and Teri Tales Productions visit  

Thomas Budd of The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation, along with being a Philanthropist and Mental Health Advocate since 2007, has donated over $5 Million to local charities in the Okanagan. He has also opened himself up to the public, offering mental health support to those who are struggling by personally answering over 500 emails, meeting over 300 community members, and reaching over eight million people on Buzz Feed. Now, for the month of April, The Payton and Dillon Budd Memorial Fund is working to reduce stigma, increase awareness and raise funds for positive mental health support for the Okanagan. Tom will match all donations dollar for dollar from his foundation. Every donation counts, whether it be $5, $25, or $100+. Your efforts are appreciated in helping them provide relief for local individuals who are suffering from mental health issues. To donate go to        

Lots of news from Pushor Mitchell LLP. Congratulations to Theresa Arsenault, Q.C. on receiving an Honorary Degree from UBCO. Theresa has made many contributions to the community over the years, including the Chamber of Commerce board, United Way board, KGH Foundation, BC Cancer Agency board, co-chair of the Okanagan Partnership, Board of Governors of UBC, and Journey Home. Associate Patrick Bobyn has been elected to the board of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce. Patrick practices in the area of real estate and business law. Pushor Mitchell LLP also sponsored the United Way PPE Day of Caring which provided equipment to more than 50 charities in Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon. 

Local company, AgriForest Bio-Technologies Ltd. has received a significant grant from the Government of BC for their research project, Lab to Orchard: Integration of Tissue Culture Technology with Environmental Controlled Vertical Growing System for Production of Fruit and Berry Planting Stock. The $150,000.00 grant was gratefully accepted through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation, and the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. The funding will be utilized to develop the technology which will focus on improving the qualities of planting stock and decreasing the cost of projection of new varieties of berry and tree fruit crops to meet the growing demand for superior planting materials by the growers of BC and Canada. Under the direction of General Manager Dr. Kamlesh Patel, and over the past 25 years, AgriForest Biotechnologies Ltd. has grown as the leading supplier of high-quality planting materials derived through tissue culture cloning of elite species of fruit trees, berry crops, and high-value landscaping plants in Canada.      

For the past year, Michelle’s Music Studio has been equipping adults and teens to blow the dust off their piano or keyboard and get playing through the pandemic. They offer a free first lesson to get students playing, whether you are a beginner or have played for years. The student chooses the song they would like to learn and Michelle curates the music and gets them playing the song of their choice in one lesson. The music is selected depending on the individual and their experience. There is no obligation to continue with lessons, although students are welcome to book future drop-in lessons, if and when they are ready. Lessons are offered online or in studio with strict protocols in place.  

GenNext, a division of United Way, is partnering with local florists this spring to bring some community cheer to your front door and bring a smile to any face. Local florists have developed beautiful signature spring bouquets at $70.00 plus tax, which includes a $20.00 donation to GenNext and is eligible for a tax receipt. The bouquets are available for purchase until April 18th and they will be delivered on April 30th. Here is your chance to spoil a loved one, friend, neighbour, or even yourself and also support your local community. Order at 

Paris Jewellers, a Canadian-Vietnamese women-owned company will be releasing their Resilience Collection in support of Canada’s frontline workers. Consisting of 24 pieces, the collection will launch on Friday, April 9th online and in stores (Orchard Park) on April 17. The collection, priced from $99.00 to $579.00 is composed of rings, necklaces, and earrings in fashion and fine jewellery with 20% of the net proceeds being donated to The Frontline Fund, which represents over 165 hospitals across Canada that are continuing to battle COVID-19 on the front lines.

Since 2005, when Jim Hamilton officially began his leadership of Okanagan College, the number of Indigenous students at the institution has grown from fewer than 500 to more than 1,900 in 2018-2019. Now, as he retires, a new award fund has been set up in his family’s name. The Hamilton Recognition Award Fund will provide meaningful awards for Indigenous learners for years to come. The inaugural award is expected to be awarded later this year.  

Okanagan College business students earned three first-place finishes at the Enactus Western Canada Regionals, ensuring their ticket to the National Competition. The award-winning initiative FruitSnaps won in both the Scotiabank Climate Action Challenge and the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge winning $3,000.00. The team was made up of Karsten EnszMaya SamaddarRachel ScukaDanielle WalkerAidan McLane, and Elizabeth Hirschkorn, OC alumna and founder of the project, Abby Lagerquist and coached by professors Andrew KlingelMark Ziebarth, and Dr. Kyleen Myrah. OC has already secured at least one national victory, which was awarded during the Regional Competition for a brand-new challenge category, the Project Idea Pitch Challenge. It was made up of Nicole SapiehaZackery PlaxtonJessica EgyedSunidhi Sobit, and Summer Szeman. This brought home another $1,500.00.  


Birthdays of the week – Kevin Flood (Apr. 7); Brenda Erickson (Apr. 8); Susan Ogilvie (Apr. 9); Catherine Wilson (Apr. 9); Pavel Prygounov (Apr. 10); Stephen Cipes (Apr. 10); Maurice Malin (Apr. 10); Lesia Achtymichuk (Apr. 10); Ken Kardish (Apr. 11); Stuart Dickson (Apr. 12); Joshua Dodgson (Apr. 12); Michelle Novakowski (Apr. 12); Gloria Moore (Apr. 13); Beryle Baldeo (Apr. 13); Dave Langton (Apr. 13).   
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