Stage production needs stage
Okanagan Edge Staff - 11:03 am - Get Involved

Photo: Loraine Taylor

Crossing Creek Community Theatre is looking for a location as it prepares for its next production in February.

The West Kelowna theatre troupe will perform its version of The Carol Burnett Show from Feb. 12-15, and it has already planned its COVID-19 protocols. It will perform the play to audiences of no more than 50 people, with social bubbles of six patrons or fewer allowed to sit together.

“We hope to bring as much interest, promotion and customers to you as you will bring to us,” Crossing Creek artistic director Leanne Reimer said in a press release. “We would like a venue where our audience bubbles could be safely seated two metres apart and have the opportunity to enjoy a glass of local wine or beer at intermission.”

Anyone with a location is invited to reach out to Crossing Creek Community Theatre at [email protected].

Gift benefits students, elderly
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 17, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

The BC Care Providers Association has helped people earn rewarding careers without having to dig too deep into debt.

When the organization donated $25,000 to Okanagan College’s Our Students, Your Health campaign for the new Health Sciences Centre, the gift went towards funding eight students in the health care aide program. Those students are now caring for people in the community.

“When you get them a glass of water and take the time to hold their hand, especially when they can’t have many visitors, their entire mood changes,” graduate Shoshanna Fremont, who works with seniors in a long-term care home, said in a press release. “When I go home I take comfort that I took care of people today, I made them smile, or helped in whatever way I could.”

The bursary paid nearly the full tuition for selected individuals who were training to become health care assistants, which is an occupation the provincial government has cited as a priority. According to government officials, there are going to be 19,000 job openings in the field over the next decade.

“We’re pleased to help students who have the passion to care for the elderly but may not be able to afford the costs of education or have other family obligations,” incoming BC Care Providers Association CEO Terry Lake said.

Sun Life donates to Foundry
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 17, 2020 - Get Involved

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Sun Life has donated $10,000 to Foundry Kelowna’s mobile health and wellness unit after learning COVID-19 has negatively impacted the mental health of young people in Canada.

A Sun Life survey from the summer found that 68% of young Canadians, between the ages of 18 and 34, say their mental health has been negatively affected by COVID-19. The number was higher in B.C., registering at 71%.

“We are excited to be working with the Canadian Mental Health Association Kelowna, a very important United Way partner and operator of Foundry Kelowna, a wellness centre where young people can find hope, help and support when and where they need it,” Sun Life’s Kelowna district director Craig Pelletier said in a press release. “Working closely with advisors every day, I see first-hand the impact that the pandemic is having on young Canadians.

“By working together, we’re helping to remove barriers and accessibility gaps for youth and their families so they can access the mental health supports they need.”

Foundry Kelowna’s mobile health and wellness unit provides primary care, mental health counselling, and youth navigation and peer support services to young people and their families in West Kelowna, Westbank First Nation and Lake Country. Every dollar helps the unit succeed in its mission.

“Working together with Sun Life will ensure that we have the financial resources we need to provide a sustainable and reliable opportunity for youth to have safe, non-judgmental care and support,” CMHA Kelowna executive director Shelagh Turner said. “Providing mobile mental health and health care services to youth where they are—in their space—is a significant undertaking, and Sun Life is helping us make it possible.”

First donation by Dahl Foundation
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 14, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Katie Dahl, right, presents a cheque to Kelli Rose of The Compassionate Friends Of Canada.

The Emily Dahl Foundation donated $500 to The Compassionate Friends of Canada Inc. during a recent luncheon in Lumby.

Emily Dahl committed suicide in January 2019 at the age of 18, and her parents, Vernon entrepreneurs Sherman and Katie Dahl, created the Emily Dahl Foundation in her memory.

Sherman Dahl gave a presentation and donated the cheque to the The Compassionate Friends of Canada Inc., which was created decades ago to help parents who lose children.

“This was not only our first official grant of $500 from the Emily Dahl Foundation, but it was the first time I have spoken to a group of parents that have also experienced the loss of child,” Sherman Dahl said in a press release. “I was truly happy to be there and feel the entire afternoon created a huge amount of positive energy for us all.

“… The Emily Dahl Foundations goal is to make everyone come in touch with the reality that all along there has been something tremendous within you and you did not know it.”

Music to KGH’s ears
Sarita Patel - Sep 14, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed
Neil, Noel and Nori Wentworth hold the grand total cheque from 13 years of proceeds from their student concerts.

Students of Wentworth Music have raised more than $250,000 in the past 13 years through their rock concerts in support of the Kelowna General Hospital.

Wentworth Music, Interior Savings and K96.3 Kelowna’s Classic Rock have donated $258,428.45 to help children and their families in their time of need.

“To know that we’ve made an impact like this through music is the most amazing feeling in the world!” says Noel Wentworth, vice-president of education at Wentworth Music.

“I’m so grateful for the support everyone has shown us over the years.”

Since 2008, proceeds have gone towards projects such as the creation of The Foundry to help youth with mental health and the construction of Joe Anna’s House—a home away from home for families with children undergoing treatment at the KGH.

But the majority of the funds went to KGH’s pediatric ward.

“To see the sacrifice and support parents give their children in a time of need is life-changing,” Wentworth said. “We’ve all done our best to find ways to help.”

Money raised from their most recent production went towards providing new sleeper chairs to be put in patient’s rooms. The chairs provide a solution for parents to be by their child’s side through the night instead of sleeping on a stretcher.

Although the pandemic may prevent a full scale the Wentworth team is working on ideas to keep their tradition alive.

“Streaming live or prerecorded footage of our students performing in groups may be the solution moving forward,” Wentworth added. “Like everything, you just have to find ways to remove the obstacles.”

Do you know a COVID hero?
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 11, 2020 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

If you know of someone who has gone above and beyond during the COVID-19 pandemic, Telus wants to hear about it.

The communications company has launched the Telus Storyhive Local Heroes Documentary Edition, which will provide $800,000 in filmmaking grants to support the telling of stories that reflect the impacts of COVID-19 on local communities and highlight heroes that have emerged.

The project will provide $20,000 each to 40 creators across Western Canada, who have until Oct. 7 to pitch their ideas. The 40 finalists will be announced on Jan. 14, and each successful team will then work with mentors over six months to produce and deliver a short documentary and a behind-the-scenes feature.

The finished projects will be featured on select Telus platforms throughout the rest of 2021.

More information can be found here.

Great Closet Cleanout returns
Laura Brookes - Sep 10, 2020 - Get Involved

Photo: Contributed

Since the spring, Great Closet Cleanouts have been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now, the popular event will return—farmer’s market style—on Sunday, Sept. 27, complying with guidelines for outdoor vendor markets.

“Many people have had a little extra time over the last few months and have been cleaning out their closets,” Great Closet Cleanout producer Rosanne Ting-Mak Brown said.

“We have had many requests for us to run another market. We are happy to be able to provide one in a safe and responsible manner. And would like to thank everyone in advance for helping us keep this market alive. We hope you are excited for this new version of the Great Closet Cleanout and look forward to seeing you there.”

The event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in partnership with the Kelowna Ramada Hotel, held in the back parking lot of the hotel. Extra space between tables and sanitizing stations will be added to the layout, and social distancing will be enforced.

Guests are also encouraged to wear masks and follow a one-way flow of foot traffic as they move around the market.

Attendance will also be regulated, based on capacity and the number of people in the space at any given time and how well social distancing is working.

Entry is $5, and a portion of the proceeds will go to local charities. All clothing still available at the end of the event will go to Mamas for Mamas.

The first 100 people will be given swag bags, and guests have the opportunity to win a variety of door prizes.

KCR conducting volunteer survey
Okanagan Edge Staff - Sep 09, 2020 - Get Involved

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Kelowna Community Resources is seeking more information about volunteerism during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The organization is asking volunteers and organizations to complete a survey that will provide input on how both are dealing with donating their time during the pandemic.

Whether you’re a youth sports coach, a member of your child’s parent advisory council or a Big Brother or Big Sister, KCR wants to hear from you in advance of the Okanagan Volunteer Fair, which will be held virtually on Saturday, Sept. 19.

Everyone who completes the survey, which takes about 10 minutes, can enter a contest to win a KCR swag bag.

Volunteers can take the survey here. Organizations can do so here.

Homes for the Holidays returns
Miriam Halpenny - Sep 08, 2020 - Get Involved

Image: Contributed

Central Okanagan Hospice Association’s Homes for the Holidays 2020 will take place virtually.

Homes for the Holidays returns Nov. 28 with five homes and recorded segments of holiday tips and ideas from experts in between tours.

Usually the event would take people through self-guided tours of private homes that are decorated for the holidays, but the event has gone virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year’s homes include a heritage home in the heart of the city that has been lovingly restored, designed and decorated by the home owners; a condo small on size but big on holiday creativity; a home returning from last year with a top-to-bottom decorating refresh; a home where the family has a lust for life and a passion for the community; and a home designer and lifestyle guru’s sanctuary,” reads the press release.

The segments provided will give guests a look into holiday creativity with cocktail making, cookie decorating, wine pairings and cooking secrets from an award-winning chef.

“One of the nice things that we’ll be doing this year because it’s virtual is the homeowners will actually be guiding the tours themselves,” COHA fund development co-ordinator Eva Stoffman said.

The virtual event makes it more personalized, giving the homeowners the ability to talk about their themes, inspirations and traditions while pointing out their favourite things about their homes that people may not normally notice.

“With everything thats going on right now, once the holiday season is here, everyone will be ready for something joyful and uplifting, and I think the community could use something to help put them in the holiday spirit,” Stoffman said.

“We know that it’s a popular event. We know that people look forward to it each year, so we wanted to find a way to be able to bring it back so people could still have something to look forward to year after year.”

Because the event has gone virtual, more guests are welcome to join than ever before. Tours and segments will be recorded and streamed online for guests to watch together. Afterwards, a live question-and-answer period with the home owners will take place to answer questions about their homes, decor and inspirations.

There are a limited number of tickets available, and last year’s event sold out weeks in advance. Guests are encouraged to purchase tickets as soon as possible.

All proceeds raised will benefit Central Okanagan Hospice Association.

Spencer Brown
Contributed - Sep 04, 2020 - Got the Edge

Photo: Contributed

With which business or organization are you involved? Brown Benefits Agency Ltd.

What is your role with that organization? Group Benefits & Financial Services Broker

What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? The proximity to mountains and the lake. On any given day you can go for a walk or hike near either while enjoying tremendous views. The Okanagan doesn’t feel too big but has all you need resource-wise. I enjoy the array of recreational activities available and the diverse range of local businesses.

If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Barack Obama. I would try to avoid asking him about the presidency, though. I’d love to pick his brain on the law, writing books, Hawaii and how he became such an impressive orator.

What’s your go-to happy place? Early morning or evening, air brisk, view of or walking alongside Okanagan Lake, walking our dog while listening to a podcast.

What are you most proud of? I’m proud of the family my spouse and I are building. I’m proud to work in a family business with a positive dynamic. I’m thankful to live in Canada.

What are the top three things on your bucket list?
1. Return to London, England, where my spouse and I lived for a year (not now, of course)
2. Confidently emcee or give a speech at a wedding
3. Write a book

Latest movie or book? Business book: Adam Grant’s Give and Take. Non-fiction: Jeffrey Toobin’s The Run of His Life. Movie: Palm Springs.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? When one of my grandfathers passed away, I was given a sapphire ring of his. It’s a neat memento as well as my birth stone. I’ve probably worn it only a couple of times. On a lighter note, I was given AirPods a couple of Christmases ago. Life changing convenience!

If today were your last day, how would you spend it? I’d spend as much time with my family as I could. I’d try and squeeze in a round of golf with my dad. I’d drink a lot of coffee. I’d have some sort of open house and invite all the important people in my life. Our dog would get endless treats.

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