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Vernon seeks top citizens
Okanagan Edge Staff - 11:17 am - Biz Releases

File photos
The Vernon chamber is looking for its top 20 over 40 after honouring those under 40 last year.

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce and sponsor KPMG are looking for Vernon’s top mentors, role models and community builders.

The chamber has switched up its vision for its Top 20 awards, as this year it is looking for those who shine and are over the age of 40. It is currently accepting nominations for those who are making their mark through business success and community involvement.

“There are numerous experienced leaders in the North Okanagan, and the primary focus of these awards is to highlight the accomplishments of these individuals and their contributions to the community and the economy,” KPMG Vernon partner Murray Smith said in a press release.

The honourees will start being announced March 10, and they will be honoured at a special event on April 2.

Uber, Lyft up and running
Glacier Media - 10:28 am - Okanagan Biz

Photo: Glacier Media

Ride-hailing services officially went live in Vancouver Friday morning, but commuters looking to get from point A to point B will find some distinct differences between the only two competitors allowed to operate.

Lyft Canada Inc. revealed early in the day it’s initially offering services only within a “core area.”

That includes Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, the Pacific National Exhibition grounds near Burnaby and what it describes as the “core” of the City of Vancouver.

Lyft B.C. general manager Peter Lukomskyj says the core is bounded by Dunbar Street in the west, Victoria Drive in the east and 41st Avenue in the south.

“Really what we’re doing today is matching our operating region with the number of drivers that we have on the platform,” he said before hopping behind the wheel to offer Lyft’s inaugural ride in Vancouver just after 8 a.m.

“What we want to do is expand that region as quickly as possible as soon as we have enough drivers on the platform.”

Uber Canada Inc., meanwhile, announced a day earlier that it would initially be offering services throughout the entirety of the City of Vancouver without any exclusions.

Unlike Lyft, it will not be offering rides from YVR at the outset.

Instead, Michael van Hemmen, Uber’s head of Western Canada, said his company has worked to secure a business licence from the City of Vancouver and would be awaiting local mayors to finish developing a regional business licence that would allow pick-ups in other municipalities across the region.

Lyft, which revealed its pricing scheme in December, charges a $2.50 base and a $2.50 service fee as well as additional charges of $0.65 per kilometre and 33 cents per minute.

Uber unveiled its pricing scheme the same day it launched services. Costs include a $2.50 base fare and a $2 booking fee as well as additional charges of 70 cents per kilometre and 33 cents per minute.

So while Uber’s booking fee is 50 cents less than Lyft’s comparable service fee, the latter charges five cents less per kilometre travelled.

The two apps offered comparable estimates when asked to provide rides from Canada Place to BIV’s newsroom in Mount Pleasant at about 8 a.m.

Uber’s quote came in at $11.98, while Lyft quoted $11.74.

It should also be noted that the City of Vancouver requires the companies to collect a 30-cent pick-up and drop-off fee between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for what it describes as its metro core.

That includes most of downtown out to Commercial Drive and north of 16th Avenue.

Costs won’t be static, however, as the provincial regulator will permit surge pricing, allowing Uber and Lyft to boost rates as demand swells.

Taxis based in Vancouver, meanwhile, have a different pricing structure where they must charge standard rates.

That includes a $3.25 flag rate, a $1.88 charge per kilometre and a $33.55 charge per hour, or what would amount to about 56 cents per minute.

A 22-minute ride from Mount Pleasant to Metrotown that would cost $18.44 with Uber would cost an estimated $36.25 with a Vancouver taxi.

Cull to lead Indigenous affairs
Okanagan Edge Staff - 9:42 am - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Ian Cull is the first Indigenous affairs senior advisor at UBC Okanagan.

The university committed to the position last September as part of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s call to action.

“Our campus has the unique distinction of being founded in partnership with local Indigenous peoples—the Syilx Okanagan Nation,” UBC Okanagan deputy vice-chancellor and principal Deborah Buszard said in a press release.

“Ian will play a pivotal role in building consistent, open channels of communication between the university and Indigenous communities.”

Cull was a founding member of the campus leadership team, has served as an associate vice-president at the university since 2005 and is a member of Ontario’s Dokis First Nation.

UBCO is committed to developing an Indigenous culture orientation program for all faculty and staff, supporting the revitalization of Indigenous language fluency, advancing Indigenous teaching and research, and expanding health and wellness services to better support Indigenous students.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve already done, but my job now is to make sure our campus meets the obligations and responsibilities we have created for Indigenous communities, students, faculty and staff,” Cull said.

Kelowna barkeep snags silver
Nicholas Johansen - 8:35 am - People in Business

Photo: Facebook
Jared Schmidt celebrates his silver at the 2020 Patron Perfectionists competition Thursday.

A local bartender has put Kelowna on the map after taking home the silver at an international cocktail competition in Mexico.

After winning his regional Patron Perfectionists competition in Vancouver last year, followed up by the Canadian nationals in Toronto, Patron flew Kelowna’s Jared Schmidt down to Jalisco, Mexico, on Jan. 17 for the international finals to compete against 20 other bartenders from around the world.

Schmidt has been bartending for about five years, getting his start working at nightclubs and sports bars part time while he was in university. He’s now a full-time bartender, and his dedication has clearly paid off.

He brought a taste of the Okanagan to Mexico, with his cocktail, It Takes a Valley.

“It’s a marriage and harmony of flavours between the valleys and highlands of Jalisco, Mexico and the Okanagan Valley,” Schmidt told Castanet from a hotel room in Mexico City, where he’s vacationing after a week of hard work.

His drink featured Patron Silver, organic verjus—acidic, unripe grape juice—from Kelowna’s Summerhill Winery, Bénédictine infused with B.C. Gala apples, along with dry cider from Summerland’s NOMAD Cidery.

The drink was clearly a hit with the judges. Schmidt made it into the top seven after the first day of competition Wednesday, along with competitors from Germany, America, the U.K., South Korea, Australia and the Philippines. After all was said and done Thursday, Schmidt was handed the silver medal, while the U.K.’s Giulia Cuccurullo took the top spot.

Schmidt says it has been “the craziest week” he’s ever experienced. The competition was held at the Hacienda Patron, where all of Patron’s tequila is distilled, and he was given a behind-the-scenes tour of the whole operation.

“It’s all hand-labelled, hand-bottled, the agave is hand-harvested, so it’s pretty incredible to see,” he said.

Those looking to get a taste of Schmidt’s handiwork in Kelowna can find him at Jack’s Pizza & Liquor downtown and Frankie We Salute You! on Highway 97.

Dilworth child care proposed
Wayne Moore - 7:36 am - Biz Releases

Image: Contributed

The YMCA is proposing to construct a new child care centre in Kelowna on Dilworth Drive property it is leasing from School District 23.

It is now seeking city council approval for a development permit to allow the project to move forward.

The property in question contains the Dilworth Soccer Park on the south of the site. The proposed child care centre would be constructed on the northern portion.

Plans call for construction of a two-storey building on the site.

It has yet to be determined whether the child care centre would occupy both levels or if office space would take up the ground floor.

A 23-stall parking lot would also serve the sports field during off hours.

Weninger lodge best of best
Laura Brookes - 6:34 am - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

For the 27th year, the Okanagan Housing Awards of Excellence Winners honoured the best of the best in home building.

The prestigious Home of the Year award was taken out by Weninger Construction for its stunning design of Snowpeaks Lodge.

The 7,000 square-foot chalet “was designed to be a welcoming, luxurious gathering place, with unique features that create an atmosphere of rustic elegance.”

It includes a floating staircase, custom furniture such as repurposed ski lift chairs and arched wooden trusses.

The awards night was attended by more than 500 people at the Delta Grand Hotel.

The list of 2020 winners from each category:

Excellence in Kitchen Design (New Home) $70K & Under — Bellamy Homes for Piccolo Grande. Project Partners: Magpie Interiors, Norelco Cabinets and Smalls Tile & Flooring

Excellence in Kitchen Design (New Home) $70K & Over — Sunterra Custom Homes for Granite Road. Project Partner: Uprise Design + Drafting Inc.

Excellence in Master Suite Design (New Home) — Sunterra Custom Homes for The View. Project Partner: Uprise Design + Drafting Inc.

Excellence in Master Suite Design (Renovation) — Marvel Pro Contracting Renovation Limited for Luxury Masculin Retreat. Project Partners: Hannah Katey Interior Design, Epic Electric Ltd., Red Giant Mechanical Plumbing & Gas Fitting and Valley Stonescapes

Excellence in Interior Design (New Home) — Linda Trenholm Design for Snowpeaks Lodge. Project Partners: Weninger Construction and Lights on Banks

Excellence in Interior Design (Renovation) — Ian Paine Construction Ltd. for McKinley Residence. Project Partners: IPC and Design, Stirling Woodworks Ltd., Baths by Design and Pro Electric Ltd.

Excellence in Outdoor Living Space (New Home or Renovation) — Sunterra Custom Homes for Granite Road. Project Partners: ModTrend Exteriors and Uprise Design + Drafting Inc

Excellence in Any Room (New Home or Renovation) — Weninger Construction & Design Ltd. for Snowpeaks Lodge Great Room. Project Partners: Linda Trenholm Design, Wall to Wall Kitchen & Bath and Koeda Forest Products Ltd.

Excellence in Decorating & Styling (New or Renovation) — Fresh Approach Designs for Luxury Beach House. Project Partners: Truwood Custom Wood Work.

Excellence in Creating a Feature/Innovation in a Home (New Home or Renovation) — Okanagan Dream Builders Ltd. for Raven. Project Partners: Trueline Moulding Group, Starwatch Audio/Video, Shaun Barr Dannburg Flooring and Urban Theory Design

Excellence in Marketing — Macdonald Lakeshore Properties LP

Excellence in Show Home ($500K & Under) — Dilworth Quality Homes for Sunrise Pointe. Project Partners: Norelco Cabinets, Smalls Tile & Flooring and Pine Lighting

Excellence in Show Home ($500K & Over) — Pars Custom Homes for La Galeria. Project Partners: AcuTruss Industries, inArtifex Design Ltd. and Hybrid Elevator Inc.

Excellence in Environmental Initiative (Residential or Commercial) — Bercum Builders for Heirloom Shores

Excellence in Certified Home (Custom) — Bercum Builders for Heirloom Shores

Excellence in Public or Private Partnership — BC Housing for The Rise on Nanaimo

Excellence in Innovative Construction/Architecture/Design (Residential or Commercial) — Kelly Benedet Homes Ltd. for Traders Cove. Project Partner: Landform Architecture

Excellence in Residential Renovations $100K & Under — Creative Touch Interiors Inc. for Renewed for the Next Generation. Project Partners: Okanagan Tile Company Ltd., Norelco Cabinet Solutions, Epic Electric Ltd. and Baths By Design Inc.

Excellence in Residential Renovations ($100K to $250K) — Willow Development Inc. for Nohr Residence

Excellence in Residential Renovations ($250K to 500K) — Ian Paine Construction Ltd. for McKinley Residence. Project Partners: IPC and Design, Stirling Woodworks Ltd., Baths by Design and Pro Electric Ltd.

Excellence in Residential Renovations ($500K & Over) — Edgecombe Builders for Summerland Timberframe. Project Partners: Westwood Cabinetry, Pine Lighting, Kelowna Custom Theatres and Windsor Windows and Doors

Excellence in Kitchen Renovations ($75K & Under) — Ian Paine Construction Ltd. for McKinley Residence. Project Partners: IPC and Design, Stirling Woodworks Ltd., Baths by Design and Pro Electric Ltd.

Excellence in Kitchen Renovations ($75K to $150K) — Norelco Cabinet Solutions for Wesszer Home

Excellence in Kitchen Renovations ($150K & Over) — My House Design/Build Team for Skaha Vista

Excellence in Bathroom Renovations ($40K & Under) — Ian Paine Construction Ltd. for McKinley Residence. Project Partners: IPC and Design, Stirling Woodworks Ltd., Baths by Design and Pro Electric Ltd.

Excellence in Bathroom Renovations ($40K & Over) — Ian Paine Construction Ltd. for Sheerwater Residence. Project Partners: Begrand Fast Design Inc., Stirling Woodworks Ltd., Express Flooring and Kilo-Womp Electric

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($350K to $500K) — Edgehill Developments for Century Heights. Project Partner: Westwood Fine Cabinetry

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($500K to $750K) — Sunterra Custom Homes for Glass Box. Project Partners: ModTrend Exteriors and Uprise Design + Drafting Inc.

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($750K to $1M) — Gibson Contracting for Gibson’s Lakestone Showhome. Project Parnters: Ramco Floor & Tile, R-tistry Home Design and Norelco Cabinets

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($1M to $1.5M) — Gibson Contracting for Lakestone modern

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($1.5M to $2M) — Sunterra Custom Homes for Granite Road. Project Partners: ModTrend Exteriors and Uprise Design + Drafting Inc.

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($2M to $3M) — Gibson Contracting for Black Mountain Modern. Project Partners: ROV Consulting, Uprise Design + Drafting, Begrand Fast Design Inc. and Norelco Cabinets

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($3M to $5M) — Weninger Construction & Design Ltd for Snowpeaks Lodge. Project Partners: Linda Trenholm Design, Wall to Wall Kitchen & Bath and Koeda Forest Products Ltd

Excellence in Single Family Detached Home ($5M & Over) — Okanagan Dream Builders Ltd. for Raven. Project Partners: Urban Theory Design, Kati Knorr Westwood Fine Cabinetry, Shaun Barr Dannburg Flooring and Hybrid Elevator

Excellence in Semi-Detached or Town-Home Development — Harmony Homes for Raymer Renewal

Excellence in Creating a Low-Rise Multi-Family Development — Edgecombe Builders for Sole KLO. Project Partners: Small’s Tile and Flooring, Norelco Cabinetry, Valley Plumbing and Heating and Horizon Electric

Excellence in Urban Infill, Residential (Property Re-Use) — Harmony Homes for Modern Family Farmhouse

Excellence in Home of the Year — Weninger Construction & Design Ltd for Snowpeaks Lodge. Project Partners: Linda Trenholm Design , Wall to Wall Kitchen & Bath and Koeda Forest Products Ltd.

Excellence in Residential Renovator of the Year — Ian Paine Construction Ltd.

Excellence in Multi-Family Builder of the Year — Harmony Homes

Excellence in Single Family Home Builder of the Year Small Volume (10 homes or fewer) — Pars Custom Homes

RCMP investigates at Baldy
Chelsea Powrie - Jan 26, 2020 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

Baldy Mountain Resort has cancelled a highly anticipated youth ski race and closed one of its chairlifts unexpectedly this weekend.

A statement on social media from the resort Saturday evening says the Sugarlump chairlift is closed, and that they are “dealing with the actions of a former employee.”

A Castanet reader on the hill said he heard from a staff member that a disgruntled ex-employee may have tampered with the lift.

The resort said in their statement that they are working with Technical Safety BC, and are “working with our lift company partners and experts in chairlift mechanics to ensure all lifts are safe and operational.”

They added that “all of our equipment and lifts have been inspected and are operating safely and within code,” and because RCMP are involved, they will not be going into more detail as to the specifics of the employee’s actions.

Baldy has also cancelled its Nancy Greene Zone Race, which had been expecting 126 under-12 racers.

It would have relied on the Sugarlump chairlift to set up the race area and transport competitors.

“We are sorry for families that have travelled to our race,” reads part of a statement published Saturday on the Mount Baldy Alpine Club website.

The resort said on social media they would not be sharing more information due to the active RCMP investigation and told Castanet Sunday morning that “nothing has changed” since Saturday.

COEDC gets new blood
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 24, 2020 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed
Krista Mallory is the COEDC’s new manager.

The Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission has added five new members to its advisory council and a new manager.

Krista Mallory has been added to the staff thanks to the creation of her manager position. She has served as the COEDC’s business development officer since 2016 after a decade of experience in the financial and non-profit sectors supporting entrepreneurs.

“The Moving Forward to 2025 strategic plan laid out some lofty ambitions for the region, and I’m excited to work with the COEDC’s powerhouse advisory council, talented team and community partners to reach them,” Mallory said in a press release. “The spirit of collaboration here is the region’s secret sauce, and we’re fortunate to be a part of the growth that is happening here.”

The five new members of the 45-person advisory council are Nikki Csek, Peter Patterson, Paula Quinn, Brian Wall and Noel Wentworth.

Cannabis course coming soon
Okanagan Edge Staff - Jan 24, 2020 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed
Christopher Simpson knows what cannabis retailers are looking for with new hires.

There are plenty of cannabis stores opening in B.C. these days, and they need employees.

Okanagan College sensed an opportunity, and that is why it will soon be offering a course for those looking to get into the industry. The college is launching an online course called Recreational Cannabis Retail Sales on Feb. 17.

“Legal retail cannabis has been slow to roll out in B.C. but it is gaining momentum,” said Christopher Simpson, a business manager who is opening Shire Green Cannabis in Prince George. “Because the industry is privately funded, it’s important that companies get things right the first time. That translates to skyrocketing opportunities for skilled workers.”

Since cannabis was legalized in Canada in October 2018, it’s tough to tell potential employers you have experience in the cannabis industry. This course will provide the training required.

“This course is designed from the point of view of a manager of a licensed cannabis retail store,” Simpson. “Hiring managers are looking for strong candidates with a demonstrated interest in self-education.

“The training at Okanagan College is intended to provide students with the skills and knowledge that will help them stand out and succeed within cannabis retail sales.”

Massive job fair in March
Colin Dacre - Jan 24, 2020 - Biz Releases

Image: Contributed

Job seekers and employers are being invited to a massive job fair in March at Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

The Start Here Okanagan Job Fair on March 12 is bringing together job seekers and a diverse range of the region’s employers seeking both entry-level and experienced employees.

The trade show-style event is being organized by the City of Penticton’s economic development department and is being billed as the “largest of its kind” throughout the region.

Employers are encouraged to register online as soon as possible on the website to lock in their booth. Entry will be free for job-seekers, and pre-registration is encouraged but not required.

“In today’s tight labour market, local businesses are telling us that recruitment is becoming an increasing challenge. Our forthcoming job fair is a practical solution that will connect employers with individuals seeking employment or new opportunities,” Penticton economic development specialist Andrew Kemp said.

WorkBC, Okanagan College, South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services, Travel Penticton, Penticton Industrial Development Association and many more groups are supporting the event.

More info here.

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