Straight From DeHart - May 26, 2021

This week’s column is dedicated to long-time, well-known local Lloyd Callahan who passed away on May 20. Fondly called “Chief” the DeHart’s have been long-time friends of Lloyd and the Callahan family for many years. Lloyd was a pioneer in the development and growth of Kelowna and his legacy will live on for many years. Personal condolences to Nancy MacKellar, the entire Callahan family, and Lloyds many friends.

The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada has confirmed the dates for the 2021 GolfBC Championship. September 20th to 25th will see a field of 144 professionals tee up at Gallagher’s Canyon for the fifth year playing of the event in our city. The first-class tournament will host a number of the top Canadian players and provide them an opportunity to play at one of the best golf courses in the country. This will certainly bode well for the future of the game in Canada. The Mackenzie Tour has worked with local and provincial health authorities and will continue to do so leading up to the tournament. This year’s event will once again offer individuals the opportunity to experience playing in the Pro-Am which has become the highlight of the week for many local businesses and avid golfers. The tournament’s last champion was Jake Knapp winning in 2019. Numerous Mackenzie Tour alumni have gone on play on the PGA TOUR including two-time PGA TOUR winner and B.C. native Nick Taylor, B.C. native Adam Hadwin as well as Mackenzie Hughes and Corey Connors. To play in the Pro-Am or for more information contact Hugh Vassos, Tournament Director at 306-222-5392 or     

After 30 years in the industry and nine years in Kelowna, Donna Markin, General Manager of Orchard Park Shopping Center (Primaris Management Inc.) is retiring. Donna has seen a lot of change in her industry, demonstrating the resilience of shopping centers and how they have adapted to the business industry. Originally, Donna relocated to Kelowna from Cadillac Fairview in Kamloops. Orchard Park has attracted countless major new stores in Kelowna, including Leon’s, Old Navy, Mark’s, and Aritzia, along with many other small to medium-sized businesses. Primaris has raised over $500,000 for mental health through their golf tournament. Donna was proud of how they kept their retailers and customers safe and in business during the pandemic. 

Paula Verholen and Steve Canonica have started a new translation services agency, Converge Translations Ltd. The couple immigrated to Kelowna in 2016 and in 2017 Paula started her business studies at Okanagan College. The company is a translation agency that provides certified translation services from all languages to English and vice-versa at a very reasonable rate. Converge helps companies expand into the French Canadian and International markets while assisting international students, immigrants, and newcomers, making them feel comfortable in our country. The name of the company originated from the idea of how languages help people communicate, come together and converge in one place. They offer a full range of translation services including, general correspondence, tax forms, legal documents for immigration and other purposes, import and export marketing materials, labeling, business proposals, bidding, technical manuals, financial statements, and localization. To receive a free quote on their services, visit 

Ogopogo Giftland at 278B Bernard Avenue, across from BMO, is a go-to store for locals and visitors who are looking for all sorts of souvenirs, including T-shirts, mugs, chains, and hoodies that feature local landmarks and attractions. Owned and operated by Dan Park and his wife Ai Ikeda, and in order to combat fewer tourists this year, Dan has launched a new website making his merchandise available online. They are hoping to attract more tourists who might not get a chance to visit the store and now will be able to have merchandise shipped directly to their homes, without having to carry them on an airplane or pack them into a vehicle. Everyone loves bringing some sort of image of Ogopogo back to their friends or family and this new website at will make that easier.

The Bamboo Project, led by Nicholas Troll, a Rotarian in Vernon, is a non-profit initiative that aims to switch households from using single-use tree tissue (toilet) paper to sustainable bamboo tissue paper. To help save our forests and the life they provide, for every 24 bamboo rolls sold, they plant a tree. 27,000 trees are cut down every day for tissue paper. Bamboo tissue paper is a much more sustainable option than tree tissue paper as bamboo is fast-growing, renewable, absorbs large amounts of C02, and produces more oxygen than other plants. Bamboo requires no pesticides or fertilizers and is ready to harvest as quickly as every three to four months. Like a weed, the more you cut it the more it grows. The product is made from bamboo pulp content, hypo-allergenic, no chlorine bleaching, no added dyes or fragrances and septic tank safe. You can help save the forests by subscribing and receiving luxurious bamboo tissue paper on a monthly basis. The product is locally delivered by Jim Belshaw of Parrot Couriers. To order and for more information visit 

Three local friends had some exciting news to tell. Kudos to Dale Beaudry and Dave Rothenbusch who found the fallen hiker on the Knox Mountain Trail network a couple of weeks ago. Don Holzer’s grandson, Jake Burt became eligible for the CFL draft as a Canadian where he was selected #1 draft pick by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. His football career began at St. John Prep, then he went on to Boston College and then to the New England Patriots (at tight end). Don and Kathinka Makela’s granddaughter, Mia won a Mother’s Day essay she wrote about her mother Saskia Makela.         

As the Community Recreational Initiatives Society’s (CRIS) Adaptive Ventures paddling season kicks into high gear, they would greatly appreciate donations of gently used wetsuits from individuals and organizations to support their training efforts. With the water still being cold, they are hoping to increase the value of their comprehensive training for their volunteers and team members by having wet suits available. CRIS trains their team on everything from basic skills to rescue and adaptive techniques. All of this takes place in the water. If you can help, contact Shelley Buchanan Gilmore at or 250-979-3941.  

Business and property owners are invited to the AGM of the Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) on Wednesday, June 2nd from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. online. It will be a great opportunity for DKA members to meet the new Board of Directors and a motion to pass the amended bylaws will be voted on at the meeting. Registration is required. Contact Mark Burley, Executive Director at  

Imagine being 17 or 18 and having gone through 12 years of school with no grad party. The parents and guardians of 630 graduates of KSS are stepping up to put on KSS’s Class of 2021 Dry Grad week from May 31 to June 4. This will include surprise video guest announcements, decorated hallways, daily prizes for dressing in theme, daily prize giveaways, and a goodie bag of items. One special big prize will be drawn on June 4th for one lucky grad courtesy of August Mazda. To donate or for more information contact Elaine Langhout at 250-470-9970. 

On May 28th, Paris Jewellers in Orchard Park, and in their other stores across Canada, will launch Eternal, a new luxury engagement ring and wedding band bridal collection. The collection celebrates a couple’s past, present, and future. Paris Jewellers recently has risen in notoriety as the jeweler who was selected to design and create fan-favorites Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe’s exquisite 5.09-carat engagement ring. Paris Jewellers is a Canadian-Vietnamese women-owned and operated jewellery company focused on community partnerships, customer experience, and supporting women. 

The safe in-person Regional Parks interpretive programs are once again being offered with limited numbers of pre-registered participants. Programs available for the rest of May and June are Pond Study, Let’s Talk Trees, and Four Food Chiefs. For information and to register visit To plan your next park outing visit to visit more than 2,100 hectares of parkland including 74 kilometers of formal trails in 30 regional parks.

I will not be writing a column next week. See you on June 9th. - M

Birthdays of the week – Happy 25th Madison Francis (May 24); Dena Barabash (May 27); Irene Thomas (May 27); Lucas Griffin (May 27); Luigi Trozzo (May 28); Richard Prowse (May 28); Carmen Lobsinger (May 28); Cindy Atkinson (May 29); Nan Pellatt (May 29); Ron Manoin (May 30); Bob Stewart (May 30); Craig Prystay (May 30); Doug Dooley (May 31); Ray Wynsouw (May 31); Darryl Burry (May 31); Ross DeHart (June 1); Dan (Dirtman) McFarlane (June 1);  Barbie Ross (June 2); Bruce Telford (June 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