Straight From DeHart - November 24, 2021

Jeremy Ferguson is a Kelowna-born author and publisher and is my nephew. With a Bachelor of Commerce, he was in the software industry for 15 years and a college instructor for six years. Now, for three years, he has been a full-time book author and publisher. Jeremy is a lifetime trivia fanatic of Canada, hockey, football, baseball, golf, history, and any fun facts. He publishes Designer Ink Books which are themed Puzzle Crossword Books which are family-friendly for all ages. Each crossword puzzle book consists of 1000+ hours of research, writing, editing with 100% original content. His newest release, Canada Crossword Puzzles for Canadians, Eh! was the Amazon #1 Best Seller since the first week of release. The entire book is of Canadian content with illustrations by Canadian cartoonist Ron Leishman who is famous for his newspaper editorial cartoons,, and Captain Canuck superhero comic book series. The book is chock-full of fun and all Canadian content that we can all relate to, including Okanagan and Kelowna. Unbelievably, I am in two of the crossword puzzles #10 and #11. Boy, do I feel famous or should I say infamous! I will give you a hint. One of the clues is “Kelowna Column Straight from “D” author” or would you know the following “Drink first mixed in Calgary in 1969”. Jeremy’s other themed crossword books in the series, Hockey, Canada, Football, Golf, America, and Baseball have all reached the #1 Hot New Releases on Amazon. These books would make excellent Christmas gifts or just fun gifts for kids, adults, or a family fun night. They are great for anyone who likes themed or fun trivia. The link to the book on is     

One of the founders of The Society of Hope, Ken Zeitner is the recipient of the prestigious 2021 Denise Leblond Lifetime Achievement Award. This is the highest honour that the BC Non-Profit Housing Association can bestow on an individual. The award is given to an individual whose dedication and vision have furthered the cause of affordable housing in B.C. Ken has worked tirelessly for the past 31 years to bring affordable housing to the Central Okanagan. His special gift is his financial oversight and administrative management. Ken has also been the go-to person in the non-profit housing sector, helping many other housing societies develop their information systems and administration policies.

The Kelowna RONA store on Springfield Road has been awarded Best Large Surface Retailer at the Annual Hardlines Industry Conference. The Outstanding Retailer Awards (ORA) are Canada’s only national awards program dedicated to celebrating the achievements of hardware, home improvement, and building supply dealers and their staff. This was not a RONA or Lowe’s company award. It encompassed all retailers of all brands across Canada in the home improvement industry. RONA also won this prestigious award in 2016. The Kelowna RONA opened 30 years ago as one of the city’s first big box stores and employs more than 230 people. Matt Wachter is the store manager. 

Earlier this spring I wrote about Jan and Gary Johnston’s beautiful magnolia tree at 1950 Ethel Street. The tree is believed to be the largest in the city and has also been deemed a heritage tree with papers signed by former Mayor Jim Stuart. This week, the installation of the first sign for a Saucer Magnolia (Magnolia Soulangeana) was erected at the tree sight on the Johnston’s property. The sign describes the tree and its origin. It was planted by Bea Bullock in 1952 as a Mother’s Day gift for her mother-in-law and was grown in Ernie Burnett’s Nursery on Ethel Street. The sign was sponsored by the Kelowna South-Central Association of Neighborhoods (KSAN) and Kelowna Tree Protectors.

Local company Hyper Hippo Entertainment has been named the winner of Canada’s Best Places to Work Award 2021 by They were also recognized as the winner of the prestigious Health & Wellbeing Award. The company is the maker of hit mobile games, AdVenture Capitalist, AdVenture Communist, and AdVenture Ages. It was the winner in the category of mid-sized companies with 50 - 200 employees. Megan Richardson is the Director of People and Culture, and Jennifer Kilback is the Chief Business Officer at Hyper Hippo. The company is actively hiring across Canada. or connect with them on LinkedIn.

Boeing will be opening two new freighter conversion lines at KF Aerospace, to convert 737’s into freighters beginning in 2023. This is as global demand for freighters continues to soar. One other conversion line will open at Boeing’s London Gatwick Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul facility in 2022. KF Aerospace has been working with the Boeing product line for more than 30 years. With their conversion experience, their highly skilled workforce, and all the technical requirements already in place, they are ready to get to work. Boeing forecast 1,720 freighter conversions will be needed over the next 20 years to meet demand. Gregg Evjen is the Chief Operating Officer of KF Aerospace. 

The 2021 Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame inductees have been announced and you can view a video of the induction ceremony at The inductees are Scott Frandsen/Athlete Category; 1993 Kelowna Spartans/Team Category; Dorothy (Schwaiger) Jantzen/Athlete Category; Edward Allan (Al) Horning/Builder Category; Sharon Leveque and Rolli Cacchioni/Bennett Award – Special Recognition. Pat Kennedy is the Manager, Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, Kelowna Museums Society. 

Rosebud’s Designer Consignment Boutique at #150 – 1855 Kirschner Road is hosting a Black Friday Super Sale on November 26th from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. It is so big you will not believe your eyes. They will not be accepting consignments on that day.

Coast Capri Hotel’s 21st Annual Tiny Tim Charity Toy Breakfast to support The Salvation Army is back for 2021, but this year as a toy drop-off location rather than a breakfast event, reducing the COVID transmission risk as there will be no large gathering. Donations can be dropped off between 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. from November 29th to December 17th. Donate new unwrapped toys or cash donations in person at 1171 Harvey Avenue. For more information or questions call 250-860-6060. Dale Sivucha is the general manager of the hotel.

Rutland Winter Light-Up is November 28th at Rutland Centennial Park from noon to 4:30 p.m. sponsored by Valley First, A Division of First West Credit Union. It is a free, family fun community event. There will be local vendors, crafting, live entertainment, caroling, photos with Santa, food trucks and, of course, the large holiday tree.

Residents in communities served by Wilson’s Landing Fire Department are encouraged to watch for the flashing lights indicating the 10th Annual Santa Run Food Collection on Monday, November 29th from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. They will be collecting food and cash donations for the West Kelowna branch of the Food Bank. Residents are asked to turn on their outside lights and leave donations on their doorstep, porch, or at the end of their driveway. For more information visit the Wilson’s Landing Fire Department webpage or email

The Plasma Donor Centre is hosting the “31 Days of Giving” in December. Donors are especially needed during December because of the holidays season’s impact on our routines. They will offer daily raffles, special treats, and festive activities. Each day, they will invite a Partner for Life to Adopt the Centre, where incredible local organizations encourage stakeholders, employees, and community members to donate. So far, Okanagan College, Century 21 Assurance Realty, WorkSafe BC, Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, and the RCMP have adopted days. Any organization interested in participating can contact Janna Pantella at or 250-317-5554 for details. 

The GLOW Candlelight Christmas Concert, presented by Jewel Events is Saturday, December 18th at Soma Cidery. It is a beautiful evening of classic Christmas carols sung by Kelowna’s own soprano, Carmen Harris with baritone, Mark Wells, accompanied by Amici and directed by Alexandra Babbel. Sip hot mulled cider from Soma Cidery surrounded by hundreds of LED candles as you are swept away listening to the sweet sounds of Christmas music. Tickets at 

Birthdays of the week – Happy 80th Barry Brandon (Nov. 24); Happy 91st Fran Francis (Nov. 21); Happy 50th Dwayne Hojnoeki (Nov. 27); A.J. Gill (Nov. 24); Clare Mallow (Nov. 25); Priyaali Kanti (Nov. 25); Pamela Pearson (Nov. 26); David Wikenheiser (Nov. 256); Kenn Dixon (Nov. 26); Krys Rochfort (Nov. 27); Andrew Deans (Nov. 27); Reg Henry (Nov. 27); Mariann Tulloch (Nov. 27); David Kopp (Nov. 28); Ken Black (Nov. 28); Dr. Mike Shepherd (Nov. 29); Bryan Feagan (Nov. 29); Don Henke (Nov. 29);  Meryle Corbett (Nov. 30); Heidi Kirschner (Nov. 30); Lou Goncalves (Nov. 30); Jana Hardy (Nov. 30)
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