Straight From DeHart - March 31, 2021

Sisters, Brooklyn Haddon-Klein and Brittany Haddon have started a vegan food service called Sorella Vegan Eats. With a passion for vegan food and environmental sustainability, the company was named Sorella which means sister. Brittany is an elementary school teacher and Brooklyn is finishing her business degree at Okanagan College. The goal of Sorella is to educate and spread awareness of the plant-based lifestyle and to offer the community convenient plant-based meals at affordable prices. They have veganized their favourite meals, including lasagna, butternut squash soup, a mac and cheese sauce, as well as baked goods of banana bread and lemon loaves. They offer a power bowl filled with fresh Okanagan ingredients, along with one of their best sellers of Cookie Dough Bliss Balls as an energizing treat. Everything is 100% vegan with the option for gluten-free and nut-free. Working towards becoming completely zero-waste, they offer their foods in reusable containers. Sorella’s current meals and baked foods are available for purchase at with home delivery every Monday in Kelowna and West Kelowna. They will be at the East Kelowna Market on April 11th. 

Once again, Eric Falkenberg has created a fabulous Easter display with the Easter Bunny and Chick at Save-On-Foods in Orchard Plaza. The display was assembled with PepsiCo Bubly sparkling water. The Easter Bunny was constructed with the new Bubly peach flavour and the Chick was constructed with the new Bubly pineapple flavor. The structure was erected with about 1,000 cans of sparkling water and will be on display until after Easter. 

After 17 years, well-known, seasoned news anchor for Global Okanagan Doris Maria Bregolisse has decided to leave the broadcast industry. Doris not only read the news, but she produced all shows she has been on, starting with weekend news, the noon news, 5:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 11:00 p.m., and the show on BC1 at 9:25 p.m. She has also been a reporter her entire TV career, writing stories for the shows and website, shoots and edits, and says that editing video is one of her favourite parts of the job. Doris now would like to do something different. It is time to give up staring at four computer screens for seven hours, then reading aloud to yourself in a green room for another hour. As Shrek said, “Change is good, donkey.” Doris says she will miss her great co-workers. She added that she decided to become a journalist because she thought it was one way of helping people find justice and closure. Her classmate, Simon Partington was murdered by Clifford Olson in 1981. Good luck Doris.  

Well-known Red Seal Chef, Jim Armstrong, has been creating premium spice blends and hand-crafted spice rubs over several years of his career as a chef. Now, he is able to offer them to the public. Chef Armstrong has been a culinary arts instructor at Okanagan College for over fifteen years. His new spice line, Smokin’ Flames, includes spice blend flavours of Cajun, Pork, Bratwurst, Beef, Sweet Italian, Poultry, Spicy Italian, Chorizo, Jimmy’s Caesar Rim, and Fish Spice Blend. They are available locally at Peter’s Your Independent Grocer, Codfather’s, Lakeview Market, Chef’s Edge, Johnny’s Meats, Urban Liquor and Metro Liquor. The website has several good recipes.    

The candidates for the Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake have been announced for 2021. Congratulations to Arianna Steinson (Miss Claremar Delivery Services), Cheyenne MacNaughton (Miss Uptown Rutland Business Association), Avery Chalmers (Miss Downtown Rotary), Cameron Simon (Miss Kelowna Gyro Club), Cassie Marshall (Miss Kiwanis), Susan Jaramillo (Miss Sunrise Rotary) and Lily Johannesson-Arndt (Miss Aubin and Associates). Due to COVID, they are holding their events virtually. May 4 is the presentation and public speaking; June 7 is speech and talent and the pageant is July 16th. Charlene Wehrmann is the President of Miss Kelowna Lady of the Lake. 

Congratulations to Mark Tompkins of Buzz Marketing who emerged as a winner in a national competition celebrating hometown business heroes, supporting peers during COVID. Mark and his business won Kelowna’s 2021 Alignable Local Business Person of the Year. One of the largest online referral networks for small businesses, had a month-long North American search for local business leaders who have gone above and beyond to help their peers during the COVID crisis. Alignable amassed an incredible 86,000 votes across 35,000 communities with recommendations about hometown business heroes. This is the third year Alignable has hosted this contest, inviting its 6M+ members to vote for their favourite peers. Participation levels for 2021’s competition topped 2020’s by a monumental 800%.     

StruXure Okanagan opened its doors in December, providing luxury, automated adjustable, louvered pergolas that keep out the rain, snow, and sun. With Dan Effa, CPA, CA as President, StruXure creates an adjustable roof over an outdoor space, a watertight covering that tilts up to 170 degrees to shield the sun with an app on your smartphone and closes automatically to keep the rain and snow out of your outdoor space. With a 15 year warranty, the product ties well into the architecture of your home, restaurant or winery because of the available design options. StruXure won Best Outdoor Product at the International Builders Show in Las Vegas and Best in Architectural Record’s outdoor product category in December.  

A decades-long connection to Okanagan College and a desire to give back to the community has inspired a $150,000 donation by the Friesen family to the Okanagan College Foundation to support the Our Students, Your Health campaign to complete and equip the new Health Sciences Centre. Diane Friesen worked at Okanagan College in the mid 1970’s. In 1984 her husband Rod started Voyager RV and their son Jason, who is running the business, is grateful to be able to hire graduates from the College’s RV Technician program. Voyager RV also donated $30,000 to the College’s Bold Horizon campaign for a new Trades Training Complex. This gift will support the Therapist Assistant Lab, which educates students to work as an assistant to Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, and Recreational Therapists. I am honoured to be the Campaign Ambassador for the new Health Sciences Centre. 

The Father Pandosy Mission Site Committee, a committee of the Okanagan Historical Society, Kelowna Branch, has received a grant in the amount of $78,178.00 for site rehabilitation at the Father Pandosy Historical Mission site with thanks to Heritage BC. The committee gratefully acknowledges this financial support from the Province of BC through the StrongerBC for Everyone Recovery Plan, a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities, along with the Community Recovery Infrastructure Program. Domenic Ramponi, is a committee member of the Father Pandosy Mission Site Committee. 

Knocking On Freedom’s Door is a local book written to tell very personal stories of street life and addiction from the perspective of a number of people. It tells the history of the development of Freedom’s Door, an addiction recovery home that houses 64 men in a long-term recovery program. The book was developed and written by Tom Smithwick and friends. Authors include Lloyd McClelland and Wanda Agra, two employees of Freedom’s Door. Five residents of Freedom’s Door tell their personal life stories in addiction and their battle to remove themselves from active addiction, the process of healing, and the hope of a new life that comes post addiction. There are chapters written by volunteers, including Sharron Simpson and Ellen Hubert, ending with a chapter from Mary Ann Smithwick, Tom’s wife. The book is available at Mosaic Books, Loaves and Fishes, and Kennedy’s Parable or Freedom’s Door, 1279 Centennial Crescent. All proceeds go to Freedom’s Door. 

The Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) is expanding both the Downtown on Call (DOC) and Clean Teams. They are now hiring for both full and part-time positions. The DOC team is visually present, travel in teams of two, and outfitted in red and black uniforms. They deal with front-line issues related to personal safety, hospitality and help create a positive social environment downtown. A current BST license is required. Clean Team members are responsible for maintaining the cleanliness of sidewalks, walkways, alleys, and parking lots on a year-round basis. A valid BC driver’s license is required. Uniforms and training are provided for both positions, which work outside all year round, with substantial walking and social interaction. Mark Burley is the Executive Director of the DKA. If you are interested, email or call 250-862-3515.

If you are looking for some Easter weekend food ideas, hop into QB Gelato and Cafe at 1884 Dayton Street. Easter offerings include hot cross buns, 9” Tourtieres, decorated Easter egg sugar cookies, sour cream waffles, and Maple Roch Dark Amber maple syrup and tarts of lemon, frangipane, and chocolate ganache and salted caramel. You might want to try their Easter Egg Stracciatella Gelato.

Birthdays of the week – Jolene Grigg (Mar. 31); Donna Basran (Mr. 31); Gordie Abougoush (Mar. 31); Karen Hill (Apr. 1); Elaine Ophus (Apr. 1); Dr. David Craig (Apr. 1); John Mason (Apr. 1); Karmijit Gill (Apr. 1); Carson Chan (Apr. 1); Cynthia Waldek-Peters (Apr. 2); John MacCormack (Apr. 2); Amber Firkins (Apr. 3); Ken Bessason (Apr. 3); Rick Methot (Apr. 3); John Mummery (Apr. 4); Diane Essler (Apr. 4); Lyal Shoemaker (Apr. 4); Leo Robert (Apr. 5); Dan Cloutier (Apr. 5).
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