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Award in McAnerney’s memory
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 26, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: Contributed

Stober Foundation is ensuring Dave McAnerney will never be forgotten through a scholarship that will benefit students at UBCO.

McAnerney was serving as Stober Group chief executive officer when he passed away suddenly last October. He was a Canadian business leader who also served as SunRype president and CEO, and had roles with Labatt’s and Columbia Brewing.

Stober Foundation is honouring McAnerney’s legacy with a new $50,000 scholarship that will be awarded to UBCO management students.

“Dave was absolutely exceptional, someone who took the time to get to know you, showed an interest in you as a person and a human,” Stober Foundation president Ken Stober said in a press release. “Anyone in his orbit benefited from his kindness, strength and deep love of his family and community.”

The Dave McAnerney Memorial Award in Management will go to students in their third or fourth years who perform at a high academic level, are committed to giving back to their community and demonstrate a financial need.

The university matched the $50,000 gift from Stober Foundation, giving the award a healthy base from which to award scholarships.

“As a management faculty, we aim to cultivate opportunities for our students to explore and redefine leadership,” UBCO interim faculty of management dean Sandy Hilton said. “This generous gift—through its transformative effect on students’ university experience in management—will continue Mr. McAnerney’s legacy as a compassionate leader and business innovator.”

Prime Peachland property listed
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 26, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: RLK Commercial

Investors have a chance to scoop up some prime lakeside commercial property in Peachland.

RLK Commercial has listed a strata-titled building across from Peachland Heritage Park and Pier for $2.7 million. The property is located at 5836 Beach Ave.

The building currently consists of five units with month-to-month leases in place, but it could be redeveloped into ground-level commercial or retail space with up to two storeys of multi-family residential above.

More information about the listing can be found here.

Designer set for first show
Tracey Prediger - May 26, 2023 - Biz Releases

After the 16-year marriage to her business partner fell apart, Melissa Schmidt got out of the hair salon business and moved back home to Vernon.

That’s when her mother and grandmother gave her a sewing machine.

“I could not stop sewing,” says Schmidt, sitting on a pink velvet loveseat in her home-based studio for Simple Clothing.

Schmidt considers herself an “intuitive clothing artist” because she’s self taught and doesn’t know much about using a pattern for her designs.

Before finding sewing, she thought she loved her career as a makeup artist and educator, “but it wasn’t until I actually felt how this (sewing) feels.”

She likens her connection to designing to falling in love for the first time, thinking: “Oh, this is how it’s supposed to feel.”

That first sewing machine was a Singer “Simple.”

The name brand that was eye level as Schmidt sewed through her tears became more than the catalyst for her company name and designs; it became a way of life.

“My life prior to Simple was pure chaos,” she said. “I worked 60 to 80 hours, my phone was constantly ringing. I had 15 to 20 staff at all times … it was just crazy.”

Schmidt is hoping Simple Clothing Company will allow people to collectively exhale while enjoying her athleisure fashions.

“I love to make clothes that are inclusive for people, that are comfortable, but still very unique and high fashion,” she said.

Tonight’s Polson Artisan Night Market will be Simple Clothing’s big reveal, with its first ever fashion show. Schmidt will be among local designers showcasing their fashions at the bandshell, starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Polson Night market runs every Friday from 4-8 p.m. until the middle of September.

Rental project ready to roll
Wayne Moore - May 26, 2023 - Biz Releases

Image: Contributed

Construction is expected to begin soon on a new three-storey apartment building on Wardlaw Avenue.

The developer received the go ahead to begin construction after being awarded a building permit valued at $2.7 million.

City council approved the 10-unit apartment at 602 Wardlaw Ave. in November 2021.

The apartment sits on property that previously housed a single-family home.

It will include one unit within a main floor structured parkade and nine units above.

All 10 will be purpose-built rental units.

This is the first of three developments planned in the neighbourhood.

Council has recently approved development permits for a three-storey, nine-unit condo project at 640 Wardlaw and a three-storey, four-unit townhouse at 727 Wardlaw.

Top 40: Denise Martell
Contributed - May 25, 2023 - People in Business

Photo: Contributed

Okanagan Edge and Kelowna Chamber of Commerce are partnering to showcase some of the region’s most exciting entrepreneurs through the “Top 40 Over 40” program.

Sponsored by BDO, the “Top 40 Over 40” recognizes high-achieving professionals in our community and showcases their accomplishments. This marks the ninth year the chamber has conducted a “Top 40” showcase. Honourees will be featured throughout the year on Okanagan Edge.


Denise Martell is a financial professional and entrepreneur who has dedicated over 11 years to helping families achieve their goals and dreams.

She found her passion for helping others while advocating for her son, realizing a strong financial foundation, including access to the Registered Disability Savings Plan, would enable him to lead a full, inclusive life in the community. Her personal experiences, post-secondary teaching and certified education assistant backgrounds have been invaluable in helping with her success.

Martell is committed to promoting safe and secure futures for people with disabilities through financial education, estate planning and implementation of the RDSP program. She is currently a marketing director with World Financial Group.

Her family moved to Kelowna 44 years ago, she enjoyed many outdoor activities including organized sports such as softball and skiing, and then was fortunate to attend and graduate from Kelowna Secondary School before moving on to her post-secondary studies.

When she is not working you will find Martell enjoying time with her family and dogs, walking the trails, and exploring the many comforts of the Okanagan.

YKA looks to add routes
Kristen Holliday - May 25, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: Castanet

With a new, non-stop service between Fulton Field and Edmonton cleared for takeoff in June, the managing director for Kamloops Airport says YKA has also been “actively pursuing” non-stop flights with a few other cities.

Starting on June 18, Flair Airlines will offer service multiple times per week between Kamloops and Edmonton, locations that haven’t been connected by direct flights since 2016.

Ed Ratuski said YKA officials undertook a lot of work to show Flair Airlines the service between Kamloops and Edmonton was a viable route, adding the low-cost flights could help boost post-pandemic recovery for Kamloops Airport.

“The challenge—we know the passenger demand is there; everybody’s heard about the pent-up travel demand—is making sure that the routes from Kamloops meet that demand,” Ratuski said.

“There are some challenges in the market, and this will help alleviate some of that pent-up demand for getting people to the destinations they want to get to.”

He said the airport is actively pursuing other non-stop flights, including service from the Tournament Capital to Victoria and Toronto, a route that was serviced a number of years ago.

“We are actively pursuing non-stop to Toronto again. That was served a number of years ago with Rouge, but, again, the data shows with the right aircraft type and the right service that that route is viable,” he said.

Ratuski noted Kamloops is the only major centre in the Interior that doesn’t currently have a non-stop flight to Victoria.

According to Ratuski, YKA was back up to about 85% to 90% of pre-COVID traffic, noting the Memorial Cup will add to the traveller numbers for what is typically a slower season.

“Then the busy summer travel picks up, and that’s where Flair will enter the market in terms of supporting that leisure travel between here and Alberta,” Ratuski said.

Eric Tanner, vice-president of revenue management and network planning for Flair Airlines, said their data shows the Kamloops market can work well for the company.

“Kamloops really fits in our strategy of taking people to where they want to go without a connection,” Tanner said. “We’ve gone up to multiple flights a day in Edmonton (to) Kelowna, and I think Kamloops has a very similar profile.

“It has unparalleled outdoors. It’s got the skiing, it’s got the golf, it’s got the water sports … it really kind of has it all.”

Tanner said each route needs to earn its way into the airline’s network but noted pre-sales have been “solid.”

“You can never make promises on a route,” he said. “That said, the fundamentals are here. This is a market that we know can work really well.”

When asked if Flair would look at offering other flights to and from YKA, Tanner said the airline is always analyzing new route opportunities across the country, but when it comes to Kamloops their focus is to first build a link to the City of Champions.

“Right now our focus is really just about making sure that we ramp up this Edmonton service, both for the summer, but then also investing depth into the schedule going forward. Can we get this up to a daily service?” Tanner said.

“And then I think we’ll certainly be talking to Ed (Ratuski) and Tourism Kamloops about future opportunities, for sure.”

Child care at The Block
Rob Gibson - May 25, 2023 - Biz Releases

Image: Mission Group

The Block on Bernard Avenue in downtown Kelowna has another tenant.

A locally owned daycare, ProducKIDvity, has signed a 15-year lease with Mission Group and Nicola Wealth to be one of the first to call The Block on Bernard Avenue home.

The Block is expected to open in late 2023, and ProducKIDvity’s Block on Bernard location will provide more than 100 child-care spots, including highly sought after infant child care as well as 3-5 preschool programming.

The new location will occupy the entire sixth floor and include a 3,500 square-foot outdoor patio. ProducKIDvity is also acquiring 4,500 square feet of office space on the seventh floor for co-working and flexible office space to child-care customers and other businesses, freelancers and entrepreneurs seeking office space.

“To say we are excited about this project would be an understatement,” ProducKIDvity CEO Alex Carnio said in a press release. “We view this as a turning point in our business, as the Block will be truly home to the future of Kelowna. Being able to provide an office tower daycare concept will be the first of its kind in the city and is an exciting opportunity to prove that we are continuing to break the mold of traditional child care.”

The daycare’s Block on Bernard location will be the only child-care facility in Kelowna that will be open six days a week and will offer extended hours from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.. The daycare will offer an in-house food program for students and co-workers, as well as a family take home option.

“What an incredible asset it is to have a professional daycare inside The Block, located right in the heart of downtown,” Mission Group CEO Jonathan Friesen said. “For parents of young children, driving to a single location where they can drop their child off and head up the elevator to work is a ground-breaking concept; it allows for a seamless child-care experience and encourages a balanced lifestyle, not to mention takes cars off the road since parents need only drive to one location to begin their day. We’re grateful to be a part of this first-of-its-kind in Kelowna experience.”

ProducKIDvity is now accepting registrations for child-care spaces and office space. For more information click here.

This hot sauce is Brutal
Brayden Ursel - May 25, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: Brutal Condiments

The heat in Kelowna can be brutal, and so can the hot sauce. But in a good way.

Brutal Condiments is a local company recently kickstarted by Hayden Duval, an avid fermenter with goals to bring a quality over quantity style hot sauce to the Okanagan.

He says he’s been perfecting a number of different sauces for all hot sauce lovers. Whether you’re sensitive to heat or love to load on the spice, Duval has flavours for all heat levels.

His selection of Brutal flavours includes a handful of different and unique styles ranging from mild to hot with a wide range of peppers.

“As far as mild goes, you have the jalapeno and the thai chili. It’s hot, but the heat goes away pretty quick. After that, you’re jumping in with the heavyweights. It gets hot,” Duval said.

“Red Habanero was one of the first sauces I ever made, and it’s my favourite for sure. It’s got this nice smoky flavour. The fermentation process creates this smoky flavour, and it’s hot with some nice fruity flavours in it too.”

Crazy for hot sauce, Duval had been experimenting for years but decided to get into the business after a worldwide sriracha shortage last year.

“I was like, I think I can make hot sauce, so I tried it out … and now I have this whole thing,” Duval added, gesturing at his booth at the Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters Market.

Duval said he loves fermenting, but that the process of creating his hot sauce can be brutal.

“I get the peppers, de-stem them, send them through a food processor, add salt, put them into the fermenters, and then I’ll just let it sit until all the fermenting magic happens,” he said, explaining his sauces are fermented for six months to a year, but he’s pushing for longer.

“I add the vinegar to stop the fermentation, and then blend it up, bottle it up, and boom, it’s done … It takes time to make these complex flavours.”

Brutal Condiments has other hot sauce flavours currently in the works, as well as three soon to be released mustards.

You can find a bottle of Brutal at the Kelowna Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market, the East Kelowna Market, DunnEnzies Pizza and Simps Modern Beverage.

Conference all about the brain
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 24, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: Milad Fakurian, Unsplash

Kelowna-based BrainTrust Canada will be hosting its annual conference about brain injuries next month.

The West Coast Brain Injury Conference will be held on Wednesday, June 14, at Rotary Centre for the Arts. Sponsored by Pushor Mitchell LLP, the event will bring together inspiring change-makers and leading minds in the field of brain injury, public health and politics for a full day of collaboration, dialogue and learning.

The theme of this year’s conference is the brain and behaviour in the context of current social issues, community connection and systems change.

Speech topics will include intersectionality and disability justice, harm reduction and the perspectives of those with lived experience of brain injury. UBC’s Thomas Kerr will discuss drug decriminalization, while University of Toronto’s Robin Green will address misdiagnoses of brain injuries.

Traumatic brain injury survivor and BrainTrust client Corbin Coulter is also on the list of speakers.

More information about the conference can be found on its website here.

U-Haul adds Kelowna dealer
Okanagan Edge Staff - May 24, 2023 - Biz Releases

Photo: U-Haul

There is a new U-Haul dealer in Kelowna that will be based near the airport.

Shri Krishna Holdings will offer U-Haul trucks, towing equipment, moving supplies and boxes that can be picked up in the store, which is located in Unit 1 at 1945 Pier Mac Way.

Akash Agrawal owns Shri Krishna Holdings. His company is not a U-Haul franchise but instead will commit a portion of its lot space for U-Haul equipment.

Those arrangements help more than 21,000 dealers across the U.S. and Canada generate supplemental income through their U-Haul affiliation. When customers rent from a U-Haul dealer, they are directly supporting an independent small business in their community.

Agrawal’s business will be open from 2-9 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

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