Betty Selin is back in the radio game.
The Vernon Community Radio Society has announced the longtime Vernon radio personality will be joining the team as honourary chairperson of the society’s fundraising committee.
Last week, the VCRS announced Frank Martina had joined Valley FM and will be hosting a Saturday oldies show.
“We are so proud to have Betty come on board to help us with this fundraising campaign,” VCRS president Gord Leighton said.
“We couldn’t ask for a better representative to help us introduce the benefits of this radio station to the greater Vernon community.”
Selin is well known in Greater Vernon for her broadcasting career and community service, which began in the late ’70s and continued until she left Bell Media in November.
“I was thrilled to be asked to help bring community radio to the North Okanagan,” Selin said. “I’m fortunate to have had an incredible career doing what I loved. Radio allows a connection with community like no other medium. Valley FM will give residents a voice, and I encourage you to contribute to this exciting opportunity for our region.”
Selin is an award-winning journalist, with multiple awards from the Radio-Television News Directors Association of Canada and is only the third woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Electronic Journalists.
She also received the Best News Cast in a Small Market in 2008.
Recipients are nominated by industry peers to recognize accomplishments in the profession of electronic journalism. During her tenure as regional news director for Astral Radio’s 23 B.C. Interior licences, Selin and her team received more than two-dozen provincial and national news awards.
Selin has enjoyed local recognition for her leadership and was named Woman of the Year by Vernon Women in Business in 2005.
In 2013, she was the first woman outside of Ontario to be awarded the Rosalie Award honouring Canadian women in broadcasting who have blazed new trails.
VCRS is embarking on a fundraising campaign, with a target of $200,000 to launch a new community-based FM radio station to serve Greater Vernon.
The society, which is incorporated as a not-for-profit society, received a seven-year licence for the new community station from the CRTC last September.
Donations and contributions can currently be made to 97.9 Valley FM by contacting VCRS at [email protected].
With what business or organization are you involved? Castanet
What is your role with that organization? Reporter
What’s your favourite thing about living in the Okanagan? Being surrounded by mountains, and the active and healthy lifestyle.
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose and why? Oprah, because she overcame odds and adversity to get where she is today.
What’s your go-to happy place? Anywhere with my family. Or simply going for a long, quiet walk.
What are you most proud of? The fact that I am always willing to try new things and my ability to have a conversation with anyone.
What are the top three things on your bucket list? You’ll see 🙂
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? Alligator. It was rubbery and it tasted like chicken. I hate chicken—maybe more than I hate alligator.
Latest movie or book? Book: Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I’m going through a ‘classics’ phase. Movie: Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. I watch it annually.
What’s the best gift you’ve ever received? I just love when people spend time with me (Cheesy, I know).
If today were your last day, how would you spend it? With loved ones, celebrating.
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission’s 10th annual Strides to End Homelessness event raised more than $50,000 over the weekend.
Due to COVID-19, participants were not able to walk together like in years past, but everyone was encouraged to participate with their own bubbles.
“Instead of a big walk where everybody walks together, people simply went in their individual bubbles for their own walk—whatever distance they wanted to and all the money still went to the right place,” Kelowna’s Gospel Mission’s executive director Carmen Rempel said.
“The fact that we not only met our goal but exceeded it has the team pretty pumped.”
All money raised will go towards the shelter’s services including the emergency shelter, Harmony Ministries, women’s transitional homes, meals, outreach, individual wellness plans and more.
Rempel says the Mission wasn’t sure how fundraising would go this year due to the pandemic but was pleased to see the community come together once again for Kelowna’s vulnerable population.
“Our community has really stepped up this year to ensure no one in our valley goes without food or a place to live,” she says.
$50,245 has been raised so far. Click here to make a donation.
Four students are living proof that the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society’s Indigenous Awards are helping to prepare them for their roles in the working world.
Whether the students are matriculating in institutions for trades training, apprenticeships, diplomas, certificates, undergraduate degrees, masters, doctoral and teacher education studies, the awards are helping to make dreams come true.
The Indigenous Awards have awarded more than $2.2 million to students who identify as First Nations (status or non-status), Métis or Inuit, including Okanagan College students Austin MacArthur, Saige Girouard, David Tearoe and Deanna Josephson.
MacArthur moved from Kamloops to Kelowna to pursue his dream of becoming a mechanic, and the Indigenous Awards are a big reason why he was able to do it.
“I cannot explain how grateful I was to find out I was an award recipient,” MacArthur said in a press release. “The support from the Irving K. Barber Indigenous Award has enabled me to purchase a reliable laptop—a necessity for online learning—and most importantly it has taken the stress away of having to work while in school.”
The awards, which are between $1,000 and $5,000 annually, are renewable as well in order to help students finish their education—and not just part of it.
Girouard will be completing her bachelor of business administration degree with honours this year, while Tearoe and Josephson are both in the computer information systems program.
“Receiving this award was incredible and could not have come at a better time,” Tearoe said. “Returning to school to switch careers is financially stressful and this award helped me mentally and financially transition to a sustainable, life-long career in my field of choice.”
Kelowna’s Gospel Mission is hoping to raise $50,000 on Saturday when it conducts its 10th annual Strides to End Homelessness event.
The Mission is inviting the community to do a two- or five-kilometre walk or a 10-kilometre run with members of their bubble on Saturday, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Strides to End Homelessness is a perfect event during COVID,” Gospel Mission executive director Carmen Rempel said in a press release. “People can put on their Strides toque and walk with their family ‘bubble’ while reflecting on how important secure housing is.
“We initially thought, because of COVID, that it would be tough to reach our goal this year but to our surprise, this event has already raised over $30,000 and we expect to reach our $50,000 goal by Saturday. Our community has really stepped up this year to ensure no one in our valley goes without food for a place to live.”
The money will go services like meals, shelter, outreach, individual wellness plans and more. This year, most of the fundraising is online, and once funds are raised people can drop by to pick up their toques at 259B Leon Ave.
The City of Kelowna is making a one-time grant available to a select number of non-profit organizations within the cultural, sport and event sectors who have been impacted hard by COVID-19.
Applications are now being accepted for the Recovery and Sustainability Grant program. The application deadline in March 15.
City council earmarked $100,000 for the program during budget deliberations in December.
The money will help those organizations who continue to feel the impact of of lost revenue due to health restrictions put in place by the provincial health office.
Organizations that operate their own facilities will be eligible for $10,000 grant while those who rent facilities will be eligible for $5,000.
“We recognize that ongoing measures and restrictions as a result of COVID-19 continue to impact many of our local non-profit organizations through lost ticket sales, cancelled events, festivals and even full sports seasons,” said Jim Gabriel, divisional director of active living and culture.
“Providing this opportunity to help sustain and reinvigorate the arts, sport and event sectors will only benefit our community in the long run as we work toward economic recovery.”
While the funding will help, Gabriel says he recognizes the need is “bigger than this.”
Since restrictions have been in place, Gabriel says the city has worked hard to stay in touch with non-profit organizations, especially those operating in city-owned facilities.
The non-profit and creative sector is important to the economic fabric of the city, contributing more than $339 million to the economy and employing better than 3,000 people in 2018 alone.
For some, Gabriel says, the reality of closures and cancelled seasons have created excessive strain on their future viability.
“The (grant) program is intended to assist with recovery through guided sustainability planning and assistance in adapting to current circumstances.”
Organizations accepted into the program will engage in a consultant-led process to develop a future recovery and sustainability plan.
Upon completion, they will be awarded funding to support implementation.
Click here for more information.
Boys and Girls Club Okanagan received a $25,000 cheque from Rogers Communication this week.
The company awarded its Ted Rogers Community Grants to organizations across the country, including 10 in B.C. that totalled $150,000. The $25,000 the Boys and Girls Club Okanagan received was the most handed out to a B.C. organization. Victoria Youth Empowerment Society also got $25,000.
“As organizations across B.C. continue to face challenges due to the pandemic, support from Ted Rogers Community Grants are helping them provide critical programs for youth in our communities,” Rogers Communications B.C. president Rick Sellers said in a press release. “This year, that support is more important than ever before, and we are proud to lean in to help the next generation of youth achieve their dreams through the pandemic and beyond.”
The grants are given to organizations that specialize in programs that promote innovation, entrepreneurship, mentorship and community leadership.
Naramata’s Nichol Vineyard and Winery will be donating some of its sales to BC Hospitality Foundation, all in an effort to help those who are having trouble making it through the COVID-19 pandemic.
The winery announced Wednesday that it will be giving $10 from the sale of every case of its 2019 pinot gris to the charity.
“We were looking for a way we could connect with the larger hospitality community, and we love the fact that the BCHF started as a grassroots organization,” Nichol Vineyard’s Matthew Sherlock said in a press release. “It’s a great way for us to support colleagues who are struggling.”
Cases of pinot gris can be purchased online for home delivery; shipping is free within B.C. or across Canada with the purchase of two or more cases.
“We’re so thankful to the folks at Nichol Vineyards for this initiative,” BCHF executive director Dana Harris said. “It’s a great example of how we in the hospitality sector work together to help our own, even during tough times.”
If you know someone who is 40 years or older and has made a significant impact on the Central Okanagan, now is the time to get them the recognition they deserve.
Kelowna Chamber of Commerce, with sponsorship from BDO, is conducting its Top 40 Over 40 feature in 2021 and is seeking nominations.
The feature “celebrates remarkable individuals in our community over the age of 40 as a means to showcase mentors, champions and role models who encourage and foster the future leaders of our community,” according to the chamber.
The chamber partners with media in the region, including Okanagan Edge, to determine the top 40 honourees, who will be highlighted between February and July.
Nominations can be made here.
A local non-profit is kicking off a financial literacy program tonight with members of the public, and early next month it will offer the same lessons to Okanagan College students.
Launch Okanagan is the financial education society that will be offering a five-week program to OC students called Primer for Life. It will give students an opportunity to learn about their relationship with money, consumerism, budgeting, saving and credit.
“It’s important for us as post-secondary students to know how to manage our wealth and educate ourselves on personal finances,” OC accounting student Xiaochen Yang said in a press release. “This is a chance for us to build another skill and give us an idea of how to wisely deal with our incomes.”
Primer for Life will begin on March 2. A new topic is covered each week, and students can choose from two time slots per week to accommodate their academic and work schedules.
“This program was created to provide youth with the financial knowledge and skills they need to feel confident in making financial decisions,” Launch Okanagan executive director Jennifer Robins said. “Workshop sessions are free and there aren’t any financial or income restrictions you need to attend. Everyone is welcome.”
More information about Primer for Life can be found here.