Straight From DeHart - July 14, 2021

E-Kruise has opened at #103 – 1195 Richter Street, next door to the new Marmalade Café, across from the Police Services Building. Owned and operated by Ashton Olsen and Georgia McConnell, the new store has a full fleet of electric bike rentals (e-bikes), electric scooters, and incredible lightweight stand-up paddleboards. Their fleet of e-bikes includes well-known name brands of Aventon, VoltBike Kodiak, and RadPower Bikes, with reasonable rates from two hours to 48 hours. It all comes down to convenience. E-Kruise goes where you are and offers delivery and pickup across Kelowna or you can check them out their new storefront that is close to the iconic Rail Trail. There are self-guided e-bike tours that can take you from your front door to many places around the rea. All the e-bikes are fully equipped with rear luggage bags to easily carry your belongings or to bring home wine from your favorite winery. E-Kruise now has a full-service maintenance bike shop on their premises, for all repairs and maintenance. They have also incorporated retail in their shop including Native Shoes and electric sunglasses. Along with all this, graphic designer, Austin Thiemann has created his own brand of Handlebar Collective Clothing. E-Kruise is hosting their grand opening on Saturday, July 17th from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Join them and check out all they have to offer. Reservations for e-bikes can be made on their website at www.ekruise.com           

Andrew Deans has started a new venture, A Taste of Kelowna Food Tours. Formerly with the Kelowna Rockets as their ticket sales, marketing, and community executive for six years, Andrew grew up on his grandfather’s orchard in Lake Country. The local walking tour in the cultural district helps guests learn about the food and culture of Kelowna through a jam-packed two-hour local experience where they tell you the stories you will not find in any brochure, meet people who make this city great, and taste the food that has put Kelowna on the international culinary stage. It includes six to eight tastings/beverage visits at local businesses. You will receive the personal know-how and local insight from someone who really knows the area. The tour starts at the Laurel Packinghouse, winds its way through the cultural district; lasts about 2 to 2.5 hours, and covers about 2 to 2.5 kilometers. The tour starts daily at 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. with lots of opportunities for photos and videos. Stops include Bliss Bakery, Chai Baba Tea, BoxCar Kitchen, BNA, Gather Restaurant, The Curious Café, El Taquero, Okanagan Spirits, and The Gallery. To book visit www.atasteofkelownafoodtours.com      

After four years in business, QB Gelato at 1884 Dayton Street in the Landmark District has rebranded and is now QB Gelato & Bakery, formerly QB Gelato & Café. Co-owned and operated by Kevin Bojda and Victor LaderouteDustin Martin has also joined their team as front-of-house manager and Natasha Ruiz has joined as the senior pastry chef. The new bakery offers bread, baked goods, sweet confections, treats, and desserts, all made from scratch. Of course, they will still offer their fabulous house-made gelato produced with high-quality real ingredients to create their many flavours. Chef Natasha bakes a huge assortment of baked goods and bread, some of which are Sour Cherry & Ricotta Danish, Field Berry Oat Crumble pies, Pistachio & Rose Water Meringues, Orange Polenta Cake (Gluten-Free), Lemon Curd Tarts, Carrot Coconut Mini Cake (Vegan), Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Squares, Snickerdoodle Smartie cookies, Celebration Cakes (by order), an assortment of freshly baked breads, and Mini Gelato Cakes. There is such a huge variety that you must stop in to see the full line-up of all the new products in the bakery and perhaps even take home some frozen treats. www.qbgelato.com

Celebrating 18 years in business, Bonnie Anderson, owner of Potters Addict Ceramic Art Centre says that pottery is an addiction she loves to share, and that clay is the gift of Mother Earth. Bonnie moved to the Okanagan in 1990 with a dream and goal of establishing a Ceramic Arts Centre, with her first studio located over the garage of Kelowna Handy Bus on Leckie Road. She then moved to Sexsmith Road where she taught clay art, sculpture, pottery wheel, hand building, decorating and glaze, and special firing techniques, which include the ancient method of Raku firings, which is her specialty. Bonnie also paints and teaches painting to children, adults, and seniors in the valley. She held many positions in the Okanagan Potters Association. After 13 years on Sexsmith, she moved to the Rotary Centre for the Arts in 2002 where she is now. The studio has four, sometimes five ceramic art instructors and they host a ceramic workshop two or three times per year, also teaching therapeutic, creative, and the educational value of clay. The best sound in the studio is the sound of a kiln shutting off a simple click and a twelve-hour cooling off. www.pottersaddict.com

A local oral surgery group with offices in Kelowna and Vernon has invested in the education of Certified Dental Assistants (CDAs) with a gift to Okanagan College’s Our Students, Your Health Campaign. Dr. Richard Bell, Dr. Russell Naito, and Dr. Tom White of Okanagan Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates have donated $30,000.00 to support a state-of-the-art dental clinic in the College’s new Health Sciences Center. The surgeons feel the gift is a way to recognize and celebrate the work of their current staff, past employees and to show support for the CDAs and the profession. Dr. Naito is from Kelowna and started his post-secondary education at the College. CDAs are in high demand across the Okanagan and B.C. The Foundation is inviting the business sector to support the education of eight in-demand health care professions so that the Centre is ready when students return to face-to-face learning this fall. Visit www.OurSudentsYourHealth.com to learn more or donate. I am honoured to be the Campaign Ambassador for this extraordinary project.   

Okanagan Adventure Park, Kelowna’s newest family fun destination is now open at 5983 Hwy. 33. The aerial adventure park features thrilling adventure courses with treetop obstacles, a Zipline tour around the valley, and a 100 km/hr canyon swing. The course has several difficulty levels, so you can push yourself as much as you want to. There is even a kid’s course for ages five and up. Consisting of over 80 aerial games, the course features cargo nets, tightropes, log bridges, and rope swings all up in the trees. There is a Zipline tour which is a fully guided experience that takes you on eight zip lines around the area, which is less physically demanding and fun. The big one is the canyon swing which is an incredible contraption that hoists you high into the air and then drops you down into a wide swing into the valley at almost 100 km/hr. It is an unforgettable experience if you want to conquer your fear of heights. Great for parties, team building, and dates. Bookings are encouraged and can be made online at www.okanaganadventurepark.com 

Summerhill Pyramid Winery’s longtime organic grape supplier and friend, Hans Buchler has been named Viticulturist of the Year by the BC Grapegrowers’ Association. In his honour, Summerhill has created a package featuring all the wines that come from Hans’ family vineyard, including the previously unreleased 2019 Organic Pinot Noir. The award is meant to recognize the hard work and dedication of their members and is designed to highlight those growers that produce the top-quality grapes that go into making B.C.’s best wines. www.grapegrowers.bc.ca 

Central Okanagan Regional Parks are busy and the RDCO parks visitor services interpreters are running full-out with a wide range of programs this summer for you and your family to get outside and be active. All programs are running with the safety of participants and staff in mind. Along with the dozen or so free programs that require registration such as Forest Therapy, Nature Writing Workshops, and the Syilx Land Tours, there are plenty of drop-in programs for the entire family, including a celebration of Canda Parks Day on Saturday, July 17th at Bertram Creek Regional Park. Visit the online program guide and registration information at rdco.com/parksevents. 

Birthdays of the week – Luanne Chore (July 14); Ken McWilliam (July 14); Stacey Metcalf (July 14); Dawn Hurry (July 14); Robert Jay (July 14); Bo Skapski (July 14); Magda Kapp (July 15); Nancy Curatolo (July 15); Pierre Piche (July 15); Lil Moller (July 16); Marie Mandl (July 16); Audrey Carlson (July 17); Nataley Nagy (July 18); Cheryl Stecko (July 19); Ray Warren (July 19); Al Waters (July 20); Luke Turri (July 20); Heather Robinson (July 20).  
 
Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662; E-mail max@maxinedehart.ca and web-site www.maxinedehart.ca