Straight From DeHart - May 5, 2021

After 29 years, family-owned Baths by Design at 451 Banks Road, owned and operated by Mary Ann and Ron Gill has been sold. Mary Ann started the company and Ron, who was formerly a real estate agent, joined his wife in 1994. The new owners are a well-known Canadian company, EMCO Corporation with its head office in London, Ontario. Mary Ann will stay on with EMCO as their showroom manager and all the staff are remaining on as well. Bath By Design a plumbing showroom business, that sells wholesale directly to both contractors and consumers in the valley. The company will also continue under the Baths By Design name. The showroom will be largely expanded, with a special centre for builders and designers to meet their client’s on the Bath by Design premises. They will also be adding more new Canadian, North American, and global lines and designs, such as Moen and Brizo along with a new Kohler showroom.    

The Kelowna Hotel Motel Association (KHMA) celebrated their virtual Annual Heart of Hospitality Awards. The awards recognized three categories; Heart & Soul, nominated through peer and co-worker stories; Service Superstar nominated through guest stories and Spirit of Kelowna in partnership with Tourism Kelowna. The 2020 award recipients are Sergio Cunial, Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre and Ginnette Parenteau, Best Western Plus (Tourism Kelowna - Spirit of Kelowna); Jane Goldring, Sandman Hotels (Heart & Soul) and Jill Breer, Eldorado Resort (Service Superstar). Natalie Corbett is the President of the KHMA.    

The United Way is saying good-bye to two long-time employees and welcoming two new employees. Marianne Dahl, the resident marketing and communications branding queen since 2015 has retired. Jude Brunt, who has supported United Way in both fundraising and community development, is going to concentrate on her restaurant and other positions. With years of industry experience in marketing, communications, and logistics, Renata Lima is the new communications coordinator. After being involved with United Way for months as a volunteer, Emily Beatty joins their team as the communication, investment, and events associate. Jeanne Legua is the executive assistant, events, and special project coordinator. Kahir Lalji is the executive director.

MNP LLP, Kelowna office has welcomed Jonathan Mitchell, MBA, SCMP to their team. Jonathon has over eight years of experience with Indigenous finance, governance, administration, and project management. As a senior manager in Indigenous Services, he will deliver organizational management, policy development, strategic planning, financial administration, monthly reporting, budgeting, and business deployment while encouraging sustainable initiatives.

In Kelowna since 2014, and back for the second time, well-known Captains Darryl and Kim Burry of The Salvation Army have received new appointments in Alberta leaving the city on July 2nd. Darryl and Kim will take on roles as Area Commanders, providing leadership and coaching to Salvation Army Pastors/Leaders for the Alberta and Northern Territories Division. Majors Mark and Isobel Wagner have been appointed to Kelowna and will be relocating from Toronto where Mark is the Pastor at North Toronto Community Church and Isobel is the Leadership Development Consultant at the Salvation Army Territorial Headquarters.  

In celebration of its 35th Anniversary, Project Literacy Central Okanagan Society has honoured their longest-serving volunteer, retired school teacher Jean Lee. Jean volunteered as a tutor for 27 years, tutoring adults until she was 92. Jean retired from tutoring a few months before the start of the pandemic. She is now 94. Jean has tutored people from all walks of life, including an air traffic controller, a priest and even a boat manufacturing executive who was fired because he could not read. Later he joined the Project Literacy Board. Jean always wanted to tutor her learners in Lesson Room 3. This room is dedicated to Jean, with an added few décor touches, including new chairs, wall art, and a heater/fireplace. Now the room feels special, just like Jean. Outside are a plaque and a photo of Jean, who attended the room ceremony with her grandson Nathan. Paul Zuurbier is the executive director of Project Literacy.    

West Cabs is reaching out to help everyone in our community get vaccinated. They would like to make sure that anyone wanting a vaccination has transportation to get to their respective vaccination center. For the month of May, on a first come first serve basis, West Cabs is offering anyone over 65+ that has not received their vaccination, a free ride to and from the vaccination clinic in both West Kelowna and Kelowna. Those aged 45 to 65 will receive a 60% discount on the transportation to get their vaccination. The vouchers are strictly for transportation to the registered clinics with no additional stops on the way. Clients must provide a vaccine confirmation number. Pawen Aulakh is the CEO of West Cabs. 

Congratulations to the final three winners of the 46th Annual Civic and Community Awards. Rolli Cacchioni, who has passed (Anita Tozer Memorial Award – bestowed by Kelowna City Council); Tian Whitehead (Young Citizen of the Year) and Elaine McMurray (Fred Macklin and Sarah Donalda-Treadgold Memorial Award – Citizen of the Year).  

Happy 57th Anniversary Ken and Donna Good (May 9).

Rosebuds Designer Consignment at 150 – 1855 Kirschner Road has a lovely collection of women’s jewellery in their store for Mother’s Day, including a necklace and earrings from Brighton. Open seven days a week. Cathy Wiebe is the owner/operator of Rosebud’s. 

The Get to Know 20th Reunion with the Bateman Foundation, Agents of Discovery, and the USDA Forest Service was held April 23. I was thrilled to be a part of this virtual celebration. It was truly an honour to be joined by Robert Bateman for two hours and it was also amazing to hear from Chief of the Forest Service, Vicki Christiansen about the many ways that the Robert Bateman Get to Know Program has impacted their agency. Dr. Gord Court and Blake Dixon shared the amazing success of the Return of the Peregrine Project. Peregrine nesting sites are continuing to increase throughout the Okanagan and Boundary areas. Confirmation of seven sites so far looks positive for this breeding season. Blake Dixon personally witnessed an increasing number of local birds during the winter months as well. The peregrine release made a positive increase in the local population. Mark Clark is the CEO of the local company Agents of Discovery. It is Robert Bateman’s 91st birthday May 24th.   

Starting Friday, May 7, The Wicked Chef on Wheels owned and operated by Chef Richard Desnoyers can be found at the Westbank Museum & Visitor Centre, 2376 Dobbin Road in West Kelowna. He will be serving the street food version of international fare from Argentinian churrascos to Turkish koftas, with handcrafted marinades and their own house-made dressings, dips, and condiments. You can eat at the picnic table, take a meal to go, or go with Paul’s Delivery who service Kelowna to Peachland. Online menu at  

Cops for Kids Charitable Foundation are hosting a COVID safe fundraiser on Saturday, May 8th in Kelowna/West Kelowna/Lake Country. Nor-Val Rentals is doing the heavy lifting for kids. Cops for Kids riders will be cycling 30 feet in the air at Save On Foods, Orchard Plaza, West Kelowna, and Lake Country from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Drive-Thru and make a donation to the cyclists up in the scissor lift to support children in medical, physical, or traumatic crisis within South Eastern BC.

Okanagan College professor of English and Fine Arts, Corinna Chong has been named the winner of the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize for her piece, Kids in Kindergarten. It explores themes of pregnancy loss and the trials of conception and how women often suffer silently because of the taboo nature of miscarriage. Corinna will receive $6,000.00 from the Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Birthdays of the week – Happy 70th Cindy Hassel (May 5); Sharon Lightfoot (May 5); Tyler Dyck (May 5); Dawn Fiacco (May 5); Charlie Hodge (May 6); Marlies White (May 6);Kim Wallace (May 7); Susan Johal (May 8); Ron Cannan (May 8); Melanie Hall Szyszkiewicz (May 9); Michael Ballingall (May 10); Scott Henderson (May 10); Andrew Bruce (May 10); Clair Jantzen (May 10); Kamlesh Patel (May 10); Rick Essler (May 11); Sandy Deschner (May 11).       
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