Straight From DeHart - June 9, 2021

Café XI has opened at 652 Cook Road, tucked right behind Basil and Mint. The café is owned and operated by Isabelle Wiebe with the help of her two siblings, Carmen and Micael Wiebe. Their family has recently relocated from Surrey and they are excited to be a part of our community. The café offers coffee and specialty coffees from Rosso Coffee Roasters, a well-known roaster based in Calgary. They also have a good variety of in-house baked goods and other local baked items, including cinnamon buns, bagels, muffins, donuts, and tarts, some of which are gluten-free. They also offer sandwiches, salads, and cold drinks. Café XI has inside seating along with a large lovely patio. Open Monday to Saturday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Pastor Patricia Giannelia of Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church at 2091 Gordon Drive is celebrating her 30th anniversary of ordination on Sunday, June 13th. Graduating Waterloo Lutheran Seminary (Master of Divinity) in June 1991, Pastor Giannelia was ordained as a Lutheran Pastor at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Kitchener on June 13th, 1991. Formerly, she has served at Good Shepherd/Bon Pasteur Lutheran Church in St. Lambert, QC, and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Richmond, Ontario. Pastor Giannelia has been serving at Christ Evangelical Lutheran Church since July 1st, 2005.  

Smart Choice Kitchens located at #103B Acland Road is a father and son-based business with more than three decades of millwork experience. Owned and operated by Jeff Sellka and his son Tyler Sellka, the company is committed to delivering custom cabinetry made from quality materials. They also perform renovations that significantly improve the feel and design of any kitchen, bathroom, laundry room, or closet space. Cabinets are customized and made to order and are cut professionally with Smart Choice’s modern and unique CNC Router, a machine from Italy that cuts any size or style of cabinets and doors. The router is designed for precision design and cutting at an affordable price, servicing both commercial and residential properties. If you are looking to remodel your kitchen with new cabinet doors, Smart Choice Kitchens take re-facing to a new level and measure to fit existing cabinetry. Office bathroom vanities built for sinks of any size and style from modern to heritage or apron sinks are also offered. Take a look at their new website that makes it easier for the companies to accept online orders and ship custom doors and cabinetry anywhere in Canada.    

Two long-term, well-known employees are retiring from the Regional District of the Central Okanagan (RDCO).

Director of Finance, Marilyn Rilkoff will retire on July 2nd after over 20 years with the organization. Marilyn started with RDCO in 2001 and became the Director of Finance in 2008. Her portfolio also included Human Resources and Deputy CAO. She was involved in working on the transition as a result of West Kelowna’s incorporation. Marilyn was a board member of the Government Finance Officers Association of BC. She is looking forward to adventurous travel to exotic locations around the world when safe to do so.

Mary Jane Drouin will retire on June 30th after 20 years of service with the RDCO. She started with the RDCO in 2001 and has helped shape their corporate services department since 2001. Mary Jane has been at the helm of major changes and projects in the organization, from introducing the LGMA Records Management Program and overseeing the KLO building projects to managing the dog control service and supporting the last four CAO’s and the various board committees and boards. She is a great source of organizational knowledge. Firsthand knowledge from me is that she also bakes wonderful muffins and breads too. In retirement you will find her working in her garden and knowing her, she will likely find all kinds of other ventures to be involved in.       

Robert Starke of Benson Law LLP has been called to the BC Bar. Robert is an experienced corporate, commercial, and property lawyer with an MBA. He joined their team in 2021 and previously worked as a lawyer in Australia for over a decade. Robert hails from Montreal and is a former college professional hockey player and coach. His expertise is in general commercial, business advisory, in-house counsel and property law, government commercial law, and corporate transactions.    

MNP’s Thompson-Okanagan Region has welcomed five new team members to the partnership in 2021. The Kelowna partners and team members congratulate Camie Haggerty, Kyla Stewart, Ken Harvey, Jeromy Space, and Jessy Sra from their Kamloops office on their commitment to leadership and exceptional client service. Trina Warren is the Regional Managing Partners at

Kudos to Dodie Young who is celebrating five years of volunteer service this month with Kelowna Hostess. Kelowna Hostess is waiting for more restrictions to open, so that they may get active again in the community.

The popular Great Spring Closet Cleanout is coming back in the same form that was used for the Great Fall Closet Cleanout. This ladies' fashion market is Sunday, June 13th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, 2170 Harvey Avenue in their back parking lot under the covered parking area. This is an open-air market, but will be totally covered by the hotel’s tower, so rain or shine; the vendor market will be proceeding undercover. All COVID protocols will be in place, including extra space between vendors, sanitizing stations, social distancing enforcement, masks are welcome and one-way travel around the market. It will be a great market with an entry fee of only $5.00 with a portion of the proceeds going to The Bridge Youth Recovery House. Swag bags for the first 100 people and a chance to win a selection of door prizes. Come refresh your wardrobe with new-to-you ladies' fashions. I’m even selling some of my own wares, so please come and buy. More details at

The Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) has a new board for 2021/22. They are Yarden Gershony, Rush Ihas Hardwick, LLP (President); Brian Stephenson, Pushor Mitchell LLP (Vice-president); Rob Collins, Grant Thornton LLP (Treasurer); Renata Mills, Festival Kelowna (Secretary); Shane Austin, Okanagan coLab; Caroline Bye, Kelowna Yacht Club; Steve Harvey, Business Finders; Oktawian Kobryn, Cactus Club; Brent Lobson, Impark/Reef Parking; Luke Turri, Mission Group and Charlie Hodge, City of Kelowna. Six new members are Kenneth Chau, Happipad Technologies/Boston Pizza; Tanvir Gill, FH&P LLP; Chad Hiller, Kelowna Concierge; Travis Pye, Lakehouse Homestore; Scott Stranger, Optimize Fitness; and Emma Whanstall, Hotel Zed. Mark Burley is the Executive Director of DKA.               

Blueberries are coming for the 14th consecutive year in mid-July. CanWest Fruit Sales will again be delivering group orders. The best blueberries are grown in BC and delivered fresh right to Kelowna. The refrigerated truck picks them up at the Richmond farm and they get delivered in the next 24 to 48 hours. That means that you get one of nature’s superfoods from farm to table in an incredibly short time. A ten-pound box is $35.00. Get on the notification list by emailing and CanWest will be in touch with you later in June on how to order and when delivery will take place. Group orders can now be delivered to your home and CanWest will continue group order delivery as usual to workplaces and organizations. You can start your own group and get rewarded or they will arrange a pick-up location for smaller orders.

It’s official. Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs has become BGC Okanagan. The association opens its doors to all children, youth, and families of all ages, backgrounds, and identities and they believe their name should reflect that. BGC is now a member Club within BGC Canada, the largest child and youth-serving charitable and community services organization in the country. They provide life-changing programs and services thanks to their supporters. Richelle Leckey is the Community Engagement Coordinator at 

Congratulations to the #LandmarkLove Mother’s Day Gift Tote Fundraiser hosted by Details Design Inc. and sponsored by Landmark District, Crowe MacKay, and the Stober Group. The initiative raised $15,000.00 and was matched by the Stober Foundation, bringing the total donation to $30,000.00 for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter.   

Birthdays of the week – Happy belated 80th Ron Sulz (June 4); Gilles Dufort (June 9); Mary Sundquist (June 7); Laura Doncom (June 9); Jan McArthur (June 9); Dirk Rosendaal (June 11); Sudha Pendharker (June 11); Al Horning (June 11); Don Makela (June 11); Joan Casorso (June 11); Pat Moore (June 12); Yarden Gershony (June 12); Wayne Judiesch (June 12); Clarissa Pruden (June 13); Paula Quinn (June 13); Brian Schjodt (June 14); Leanne Basran (June 14).  
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