Straight From DeHart - December 23, 2020

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. Greatly appreciate all your support for me and this column during the past year. 

Well, he’s done it again. Drop into Save-On-Foods Orchard Plaza and check out Eric Falkenberg’s 2020 iconic Coca-Cola Holiday Display. This year, it’s all about the Christmas 1964 Rankin/Bass TV Animated Film, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, also featuring Clarice. It’s absolutely incredible and the display will be up until mid-January. The display took Eric two weeks to construct and boasts 1,800 Coca-Cola cases with 12 cans in each case which works out to a whopping 21,600 cans of various Coca-Cola products. Eric has received two prestigious Canadian Master Merchandiser Awards from the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. It’s worth a trip into the Save-On-Foods to see Rudolph and Clarice and this incredible work of art. 

After 44 years, well-known physician Dr. Mike Shepherd is retiring from medicine as a general practitioner on December 31st, 2020. Dr. Shepherd has practiced, all but several months, in Kelowna, joining Dr. Pat Bobyn. On a personal note, Dr. Shepherd has been the DeHart’s physician for over 30 years and we wish him the best in his retirement. Mike enjoys watching Kelowna Rockets hockey (when it starts again), skiing, cycling, and soccer, along with his grandchildren.

The Local Government Management Association (LGMA) highlights the achievements of local government professionals who have contributed extraordinary accomplishments and dedicated service to the local government profession. Congratulations to three City of Kelowna professionals who were award recipients for 2020. Ryan Smith, Divisional Director of Planning and Development Services (Volunteer Service); Stephen Fleming, City Clerk (Distinguished Member Award) and Genelle Davidson (Long Service Award – 30 Years).         

Looking for a last-minute Christmas gift or stocking stuffer for a foodie or just about anyone? What We Cooked: A Compilation of Recipes During COVID Times Cookbook is now available for purchase. The idea for the book started when a team of college library staff members noticed their online daily conversations constantly reverted to food. To support the community in a time of isolation and invite others to connect on a relatable subject, What We Cooked was born. All proceeds raised go towards the Okanagan College Students’ Union and Vernon Students Association to support food insecurity and on-campus student food banks. Recipes were submitted by people throughout the College’s four regions, from current staff to alumni, community members, and retired faculty. I was asked to submit a recipe and submitted my favorite Pear and Blue Cheese Salad with only five ingredients that make it super-fast and super-delicious. The cookbook is softcover and can be purchased for $20.00 through Mosaic Books on Bernard for in-store pickup or delivery subject to shipping fees. It’s a keeper. 

Lake Country Dairy Queen is celebrating their fifth year in business. Owned and operated by Kelly Leach and Craig Misseldt and located at 8 – 10074 Highway 97, both the restaurant and drive-thru are open seven days a week.  

Brent Carmichael and the artists at Knox Studio have come together to create a Holiday Mashup as their gift to Kelowna. Of course, they would like their songs to be heard by people all over the world, but they wanted to make sure to highlight their own community. In combining their studio talents with audio and video production, the group felt that a project like this is the perfect way to uplift others. The Holiday Mashup consists of eleven songs by various well-known artists that have taken select parts of those songs to create one inspirational track that will make sure everyone’s Christmas spirit is still at an all-time high this year. Holiday Mashup starts with the classic O Holy Night and then continues on to other songs and they hope that listeners will feel a sense of camaraderie, just as the group did in creating this project. Organizing nine different artists to record, while staying distanced was a challenge, but the payoff was that they were able to create the feeling and sound of a full Christmas choir. A must-hear.

Shop Local is the new mantra reminding shoppers to shop local and that local merchants are open for business with dollars that are spent, stay right here in our community. The Kelowna Chamber, along with the DKA and URBA have stepped up to amplify the message and are hoping that all mainstream media also reinforce this message during this holiday season and going forward into 2021. Several videos were shot over the past few weeks, funded by local broker TD Benefits Solutions. Cameo appearances were made from some local councillors (DeHart, Singh, and Sieben), Mayor Basran, media, other locals, and, of course, local merchants. I was delighted to be asked to be in the first video, along with Chamber president Jeffrey Robinson and media personality Phil Johnson at All the videos can be viewed and are available to be shared through the Chamber’s social media channels at       

Zahra Salon and Spa owned by Asmaa Chalmers is inviting its clients to make a holiday or New Year donation to the Okanagan College, Our students Your Health Campaign, along with selling raffle tickets for a gift basket valued at $1,000.00. The salon’s medical spa will also be donating 10% of all laser treatment services to the campaign during these months. The Okanagan College Foundation recently released a third-party fundraising tool kit with the goal of encouraging individuals, service clubs, and businesses to support Okanagan College students in unique ways and Zahra stepped up to the plate. Angie McAllister is the salon manager and senior stylist and Sarah Miller is the manager of Zahra Medical Spa. Holly Routley is the Foundation’s Development Officer. Visit 

The Buche de Noel cake is a French Christmas tradition that dates back to the 18th century. It represents the yule log that families would burn starting on Christmas Eve. This holiday season, Sandrine French Pastry & Chocolate at 102A – 1865 Dilworth Drive is offering four flavours and three sizes of the Yule Log throughout the holiday season. Open Monday to Saturday for pre-order.

QB Gelato owned and operated by Kevin Bojda and Victor Laderoute at 1884 Dayton Street (Landmark District) is offering many fresh, hand-crafted and local treats for the holiday season. There are a variety of options including shortbread tins, holiday towers, and many other cookies and treats, along with their famous house-made gelato.         

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan Finalist list for the Okanagan Housing Awards has been announced. Congratulations to some of the following finalists: Sunterra Homes Ltd., Bercum Builders, Frame Custom Homes (Home of the Year); Marvel Pro Contracting & Renovations Ltd., Sunterra Homes Ltd. (Residential Renovator of the Year); Frame Custom Homes, Bellamy Homes Inc., Tallus Developments ltd. (Single Family Builder of the Year (10 Homes or Less); Dilworth Quality Homes, Harmony Homes, Tallus Development Ltd. (Multi-Family Builder of the Year); Gibson Contracting (Single Family Builder of the Year Large Volume (11 Homes or More); Tallus Developments Ltd., Frame Custom Homes, Bellamy Homes Inc.(Single Family Builder of the Year Large Volume (10 Homes or Less).  

Next time you are in Orchard Park Mall, stop into Paris Jewellers and put your name into the draw for a special giveaway of a gorgeous pair of earrings and necklace at a value of $158.00. No purchase necessary. The draw will be in the first week of January with the winner also announced in this column. Visit

The Regional District Board (RDCO) has approved appointments of directors to represent the RDCO during 2021 on boards and committees. Directors Baker, Basran, and Fortin will serve on the Okanagan Basin Water Board. Directors Sieben and Baker will serve on the Sterile Insect Release Program. Director Carson is appointed to the Okanagan Library Board while Director Bartyik will serve on the EDC Commission Advisory Board. Director Milson will chair a new North Westside Provincial Restructure Planning Grant Committee along with Directors Bartyik, Carson, and a representative of the North Westside Communities Association.

Congratulations to Francis Clement and Jenna Fanjoy on the birth of West Frederick Clement on December 5th.

Through the Okanagan We Got This coalition, Chamber of Commerce from Enderby to Osoyoos hosted the Experience Okanagan contest to promote shop local and profile some amazing small businesses. Hundreds of entries were received. The winners were Faye Craven, Kelowna (Experience Enderby); Gayle Voyer, Westside (Experience Armstrong Spallumcheen); Debbie Ranger, Penticton (Experience Vernon); Jody Gavaris, South Okanagan (Experience Kelowna); Mike Babbott, Armstrong, Spallumcheen (Experience West Kelowna); Diane Hutchinson, Enderby (Experience Penticton); Teresa Sanders, Vernon (Experience Oliver); Jake Gibson, Vernon (Experience Osoyoos). 

Birthdays of the week – Happy 65th Marie Yvonne Cleaver (Dec. 25); Happy 75th Barry Huculak (Dec. 29); Cliff Serwa (Dec. 23); Joe Creron (Dec. 24); Genelle Davidson (Dec. 24); Kate Hopley (Dec. 24); Rick de Jong (Dec. 24); Rob Vincent (Dec. 24); Doug Gilchrist (Dec. 25); Matt Hopley (Dec. 25); Julie Krieg (Dec. 25); Mike McGuire (Dec. 25); Chris Cleaver (Dec. 26); Nick Csek (Dec. 26); Terry Balfour, Revelstoke (Dec. 26); Alex Fong (Dec. 27); David Burke (Dec. 27); Dino Padula (Dec. 27); Jon Roung (Dec. 28); David Pihl (Dec. 28); Carol Large (Dec. 28); Robert Smithson (Dec. 29).
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