Straight From DeHart - February 24, 2021

Italian-trained gelato Maestro; Giulio Roncoroni is the new owner of Fortuna Gelato in the Orchard Park Mall. The shop is bright and inviting, with tables and chairs in the mall to enjoy your treat. Using local products, Fortuna has a large selection of both gelato and sorbets, which you can enjoy with an on-site, homemade waffle cone, in a cup or a pint take-out container. Some of the gelato flavours are strawberry, lemon meringue, Ferrero Rocher, salted caramel, cotton candy, coconut, stracciatella, pistachio, or coffee. The fruit sorbets have no added sugar and you can enjoy flavours of hazelnut, wild berries, peach, tropical dream. Fortuna also offers a variety of custom gelato cakes and traditional treats like Tiramisu, Cannoli, biscotti, and gelato bars. Giobean coffee and Karat chocolate are also served. The fresh in-store cakes and treats are available online or can be pre-ordered for special occasions. Drop-in and say Ciao to welcome Giulio and his wife Elisa.      

Ron Skok is a local, second-generation denturist, practicing under the business name Mission Denture Centre at #4 - 616 KLO Road, at the corner of KLO and Tutt Street. Ron's father, Zvonimir Skok was one of the first denturists, working under the name Dental Mechanics in the lower mainland in the early '60s. It does not stop there. Ron’s mother, Luise Skok worked as a denturist assistant for many years and his brother Gord was also a denturist before retiring. Now, Ron’s son Cameron Skok has recently earned his license and is practicing with Ronald. Ron's wife, Bonnie Skok is running the front desk at Mission Denture Centre, after working for many years as a Certified Dental Assistant. That's three generations that have worked in the dental health field in our community. Mission Denture Centre provides denture service mostly and directly to the public for all denture work. They provide free consultations and accept all insurance plans. Open 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.  

Grizzly Bear Bistro + Bar at #103 - 1750 Pier Mac Way in the Airport Village complex has a new menu. Owned and operated by Sundersh Iyer, the restaurant can be described as casual with North American cuisine and mixed with some global fusion flavours. Chef Ben Lachance uses locally sourced and inspired homegrown local products. Some of the new menu items are a variety of Grizzly bowls, new appies, several new burgers with double patties, lamb burger, shepherd's pie, BBQ chicken and prawns creole. Grizzly offers Brunch from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and a Happy Hour daily from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 to close (Friday and Saturday). All protocols in place, including large Plexiglas barriers between tables. Open seven days a week. Skip the Dishes and NinjNow.  

The final numbers for the Branch 26, Royal Canadian Legion 2020 Poppy Campaign was a fantastic $165,598.46. John Cashin, Branch President, and all the Legion members would like to thank everyone who participated in the campaign and all the people who donated. 

The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce has two new staff members. Shane Osborne, Business Development manager was formerly with the Better Business Bureau where he was Business Development Manager of the Okanagan Valley. Shane also held regional and national roles with Starbucks and Landmark Cinemas of Canada. shane@kelownachamber.orgMichelle Ratcliffe, Stakeholder Relations Manager was formerly the general manager of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. Michelle will focus on delivering value to the business community taking a collaborative approach to working with institutions and businesses.

The nominations are in for the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s 2021 Board of Directors. Thirteen positions are open that will be filled in the election period that closes March 1st, 2021. Jeffrey Robinson has been re-elected as President by acclamation, as has Vice-President Dan Price and Pamela Pearson who returns as secretary. Nikki Csek will remain on the board as Past President.   

Uptown Rutland Business Association (URBA) will hold their AGM on Wednesday, March 3rd from 5:00 to 5:30 p.m. via Zoom. Register at or call 250-451-9861.   

Retired Kelowna couple, Jim Hodgson and Joy Bianco have donated $30,000.00 to Okanagan College’s Health Science Centre to support the health of the community. Joy was born in Kelowna but spent her formative years in Vancouver and her father taught at RSS. The couple returned to Kelowna five years ago. The new Health Sciences Centre will educate eight health care professions ranging from nurses, and therapist assistants to pharmacy technicians. Each profession will have access to state-of-the-art labs tailored to their profession. The Okanagan College Foundation is now only $1.5M away from reaching its fundraising goal. I am honoured to be the Campaign Ambassador for this project. To learn more or to donate, visit 

Preparing for the up-and-coming summer months, The Eldorado Hotel leadership team has changed in the last year. General Manager, Mark Jeanes has transferred from 4 Points by Sheraton Kelowna Airport and brings extensive knowledge and experience in hospitality, both locally and internationally. Jacqueline Birk is the new director of Sales and Marketing. Jacqueline worked at Sparkling Hill for three years and also spent 18 years with the Lake Louise Ski Resort and the Banff Springs Hotel. New offerings coming to the Marina are the Paddleboard and Kayak Club that includes storage, paddleboard, and kayak rentals, winter guided fishing package with a local guide in a heated private 22’ Thunderjet boat, new rental boats and wave runners, e-bike rentals, and new food and beverage options at the Marina Boat House. The hotel reopened on March 17th, 1990 after the fire, so St. Patrick’s Day is very important to the Hotel Eldorado. They will kick off the summer in May. Watch for other signature events from September to December.  

Everyone has a food story. What is your family’s favourite recipe? Do you enjoy a dish from your ethnic heritage? If you have a unique recipe and a food story to share, visit to share it with the community. Recipes and food stories will be published and highlighted across Global Citizen platforms. Selected submissions will receive a $25.00 gift card to purchase ingredients to make the recipe and it will be included in the Cookbook, World Tastes – From Okanagan Homes. Meanwhile, do not forget to check out the performances of some amazing local ethnic dancers with online performances and new shows uploaded each week until mid-March. Celebrate the diversity that each one of us adds to our community.

The non-profit organization, Kelowna Taiwanese Cultural Society (KTCS), founded in 2016, has established new committees to build and expand a social outlet for the Taiwanese community. The new team is led by Dr. Wayne Lai as the new President and Bob Hsiao as the Vice-President. KTCS continues to promote and showcase the beauty of Taiwanese culture to Kelowna. They work with locals to promote cultural exchanges between Taiwan and Canada and aim to build a peaceful and harmonious community while integrating and contributing to Canada’s cultural diversity. The Taiwanese community reported 155 people in Kelowna in the 2016 census that are of Taiwanese ethnic origin. As with all organizations, COVID-19 has been a hardship for KTCS, and to combat these issues they have begun the development of an online presence, recently launching on Instagram and developing a website. They welcome any and all new members to the society. If you would like more information or to join check-out their website at     

Congratulations to the 2021 Heritage Award Winners. Marguerite Berry (Distinguished Community Service to Heritage); 200 – 300 Block Area of Downtown Bernard Avenue (Preservation or Restoration of a Neighbourhood or Natural Heritage Area); Kincaid House, 924 Laurier Avenue (Conservation Project on a Heritage Building Currently in Residential Use); The View Winery, 2287 Ward Road (Conservation Project on a Heritage Building Currently in Non-Residential Use); McCelvey House, 560 Cawston Avenue and Whelan/Bulman House in Ellison (Two Awards – Continued Conservation of a Heritage Building Currently in Residential Use); BC Tree Fruits Buildings, Water Street and Queensway Avenue (Continued Conservation of a Heritage Building in Non-Residential Use); Digital Museums Canada: Community Stories Project. Advance with Courage: Lord and Lady Aberdeen in the Okanagan Valley (Special Heritage Project). 

Birthdays of the week – Wayne (Kaktus) Farr (Feb. 24); Ed Stang (Feb. 24); Mike Jacobs (Feb. 24); Brenda Mole (Feb. 24); Keisha Clarke (Feb. 25); Sherri Miller (Feb. 25); Ed Wheeler (Feb. 25); Brad Cronquist (Feb. 25); Jeff Hudson (Feb. 26); Bill Kolodychuk (Feb. 26); Kirsten Moxness (Feb. 27); Eva Simon (Feb. 27); Norm LeCavalier (Feb. 27); Ken Laloge (Feb. 28); Ken Salvail (Feb. 29), Arlene Pilgrim (Feb. 29); Brad Sieben (Mar. 1); Karen Harper (Mar. 1);  Faye Willms (Mar. 2); Debbie Shepherd (Mar. 2); Mark Ketler (Mar. 2).
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