Black, Indigenous and people of colour who are interested in getting into the wine industry can get a leg up through an upcoming free education program.
Vinica Education Society’s Equity in Wine Leadership program will begin in Kelowna on Feb. 21 and run for two months. The course helps break down barriers for British Columbians from minority ethnic and racial groups to participate and advance in the B.C. wine industry.
The program includes globally recognized Wine & Spirit Education Trust credentials, BC Wine ambassador courses, mentorship from top international BIPOC wine pros, and internships at B.C. wine businesses.
Safana Gangji took the program and is now thriving in the wine industry.
“Thanks to Vinica, I’m working my dream job right now as an on-premise territory manager in Vancouver and Whistler,” Gangji said in a press release. “I get to meet people in the industry, try out some of the best restaurants in Canada and talk about wine all day.”
The hybrid program includes three weeks of classes in Kelowna, online learning and a two-week internship.
Vinica Education Society received $166,800 in funding for delivery of Equity in Wine Leadership through the Community Workforce Response Grant program.
More information about the program can be found here.
Lake Okanagan Resort is going to have to find someone else to throw its beach parties this summer.
Okanagan Beach Club, which had a 10-year lease to operate most of the resort’s amenities, is walking away after just two years.
“We just decided to shut it down,” Okanagan Beach Club co-owner Ryan Hargreaves said Tuesday. “It just wasn’t a good fit anymore.”
Hargreaves and two partners took control of most of the resort’s amenities in 2020, with accommodations the notable exception. Okanagan Beach Club’s main attraction was the Tiki & Taco Bar, which proved to be a popular beach spot for the valley’s summer party crowd. Okanagan Beach Club also hosted weddings, operated a bistro and co-ordinated water rentals for guests.
Hargreaves, however, said too many concerns popped up for his business to continue at the resort, which was once a jewel on the shores of Okanagan Lake and is trying to find its way back to that stature.
Okanagan Beach Club officials were not willing to wait for that to happen. Hargreaves cited insurance issues, liability fears and facility problems as the primary reasons for opting out of the lease.
A three- to five-year lease for the tiki bar is currently being offered for $10,000 a month, from May to September, through a Facebook Marketplace listing.
A new Otter Co-op gas bar and convenience store could be coming to Campbell Creek, with Kamloops council set to review the development permit application on Tuesday.
According to a staff report, the development is proposed for a vacant lot south of Highway 1 at 7750 Dallas Dr., and includes plans for a convenience store, car wash, gas bar and electric vehicle charging stations.
“The property is located at the entrance to the Campbell Creek Industrial Park, a highly visible tract of land that is appropriate for the development of service commercial and light to general industrial uses,” the report said.
Staff has recommended council approve issuing a development permit for the project.
Council will vote on the matter during Tuesday’s council meeting.
A mixed-use development on Anderson Way in Vernon will be the first to bring residential living to the commercial area.
The three-storey project at 5560 Anderson Way will go up beside the Starbucks near Cactus Club. Construction is expected to begin this fall.
Plans for the project show eight commercial units on the ground floor, including a 68-seat restaurant with drive-thru. The second floor will have eight one- and two-bedroom residential units, plus four offices. The third floor will have four two-bedroom units and two patios. There will also be a fourth-floor rooftop patio.
It’s the first development to bring residents to the north end street, which is home to big box stores, strip malls, hotels and a casino.
“Coming soon – spring 2024 – prime commercial retail spaces plus drive-thru unit in Vernon’s fastest-growing business centre,” a for-lease listing by Ken McCluskey of Royal LePage Downtown Realty states.
“Great opportunity to lease from 848 to 1,527 square feet or larger if required. Excellent exposure and ample customer parking. Some second-floor office space available.”
Rutland residents are being asked to bring their ideas for the future of the community to an open house Tuesday night.
Uptown Rutland Business Association is hosting the forum along with Reframe Concepts. Reframe is looking for input on a multi-purpose development opportunity it’s exploring on behalf of a social purpose landowner.
“We understand that this development has the potential to impact our neighbourhood in a positive way,” says a notice about the event that was issued by URBA.
Few other details have been released because the project is still in the conceptual stage.
Castanet spoke to Karen Beaubier, the executive director of URBA, but she did not name the social purpose landowner behind the project.
“They want to hear the community’s ideas rather than having them tell the community what’s coming at them,” Beaubier said.
She said it is not supportive housing and the City of Kelowna is not involved.
Reframe Concepts wants to give residents the opportunity for open dialogue and to share their hopes, dreams, worries and fears for the neighbourhood.
The forum is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday (Jan. 31) at Haus+Home Interior Design, which is located at 155 Asher Rd.
The Amuse event for social foodies is back.
The eighth annual event will return this March after taking a break for the pandemic, and this year’s night out will take place at an interesting new venue: KF Aerospace Centre for Excellence.
Attendees pay a single admission fee and can eat and drink everything the area’s top chefs and winemakers will create for the event.
“It’s a cocktail party, a fine dinner at the best local restaurant, a night on the town with friends and a bit of dancing all rolled into one,” Amuse event director Holly Dober said in a press release.
Amuse will feature its largest and broadest presenter list so far, with Kelowna’s best chefs, winemakers and mixologists taking part.
“All presenters are leaders in their field and will participate in a friendly competition in the categories of best bite, best sip and best pairing,” Sober said. “Attendees get in the fun by casting their vote for people’s choice in each of the three categories. Everyone is a food and drink connoisseur. People love the opportunity to vote for their favourites.”
Amuse will be held Saturday, March 4.
Ticket and more information can be found on the Amuse website here.
Appaloosa Road is the place to be for industrial development these days.
For the third time in five months, City of Kelowna officials have received an application for an industrial complex on the road in north Kelowna.
Following applications at 3256 and 3196 Appaloosa Rd. submitted to the city last fall, Kelowna’s Watermark Developments has put forth a plan to build a 19,000 square-foot industrial building on the northwest corner of Appaloosa and Academy Way.
The structure would have 12 units of varying sizes, and there would be 35 parking stalls in front of the building.
Hotel Zed is going back in time with the Shaggin’ Wagon.
The hotel chain, which has locations in Kelowna, Tofino and Victoria, is adding a 1978 Chevrolet G20 conversion van as a new twist on its popular Nooner promotion for Valentine’s Day. The Nooner package encourages couples of all kinds to get together at Hotel Zed for a few hours on Valentine’s Day, and the Shaggin’ Wagon is an added feature this year.
The van will be located in the woods near Hotel Zed Tofino, and guests who book a Nooner there will be able to use the van as “a sensual backdrop for boudoir-esque photos and throwback-style dates.” Guests staying at Hotel Zed’s properties in Victoria or Kelowna will have the opportunity for Shaggin’ Wagon-themed photos in the lobbies of those properties.
“Hotel Zed’s Nooner has always been about rebelling against boring Valentine’s Day traditions and having fun,” Hotel Zed and Accent Inns CEO Mandy Farmer said in a press release. “Nothing represents the 70s better than the iconic Shag Wagon, so we thought why not? It was a vehicle that pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable at the time. It rebelled against the ordinary.
“This year’s Nooner Shaggin’ Wagon deal encourages sex positivity, encourages others to start the conversation. We recognize the countless forms of sexuality and expression as a natural and healthy part of being a human being.”
Hotel Zed’s Valentine’s Day Nooner package is offered between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. at all Hotel Zed locations. Packages start at $69 for 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. You can also stay overnight for $79 in Kelowna, $89 in Victoria and $149 in Tofino.
For every guest who snaps a photo with the Shaggin’ Wagon in Tofino or in one of the Hotel Zed lobbies and posts on social media using the hashtag #ZedShagginWagon, Hotel Zed will donate $1 to Good Night Out, a non-profit society focused on sexual violence prevention through education.
“It’s important that as we talk about sex that we also talk about consent,” Farmer said. “We are supporters of Good Night Out year-round, and they are providing information on consent through posters cards and stickers at all of our Shaggin’ Wagons.”
More information about the Nooner promotion, which has made international headlines, can be found here.
An eight-storey, 141-unit residential development could be in the works for a site at First Avenue and Columbia Street in downtown Kamloops, with council set to review the proposal on Tuesday.
According to a report prepared for council, developers have proposed combining several properties at First Avenue and Columbia to accommodate the new build, which would be called Canary Lofts.
The proposed development site currently holds two multi-family buildings. An 11-unit building will be incorporated into the new development, and a 30-unit building will remain on the property, increasing the total number of proposed homes to 171 units.
There are also three houses on the site, one of which is planned to be removed as part of the development.
The report indicates developers intend to sell 114 units, while 27 units would go up for rent.
“This proposed development adds an additional 141 residential units in the downtown core near a full range of parks, employment and public as well as commercial services,” the staff report said, while noting the project would bolster housing in part of the city expected to have increasing growth.
“A mix of rental and strata, studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom units are proposed for the Canary Lofts building, providing diverse housing types to support residents of various age groups, family types, lifestyles and income levels.”
City staff said future residents would be in close proximity to public transit, employment and shops, meeting the City of Kamloops’ climate goals of increasing the number of residents who can access daily needs without use of a vehicle.
The development proposes an underground parkade with 178 parking spaces, including eight accessible stalls and 103 long-term storage and bicycle parking spaces.
However, staff noted two concerns with the project: traffic flow and neighbourhood fit.
“All traffic moving to and from the multi-family development will be restricted to access from the lane,” the report said.
Staff noted the standard two-way travel lane is six metres wide, giving enough space for two vehicles to pass each other, but the lane is just under five metres wide.
“The applicant is proposing to set the building so as to provide an additional 1.12 m to achieve a 6 m drive aisle width. However, the remainder of the lane to the east will still be too narrow to accommodate two-way traffic,” the report notes.
“This will potentially result in vehicles having to back up into First Avenue or Second Avenue or waiting on the main streets for vehicles to exit the lane.”
Staff noted no on-street parking is available adjacent to the site, as parking on Columbia and First isn’t allowed.
The report also noted the scale of the proposed development in relation to the surrounding neighbourhood.
“It will appear dramatically taller than anything else in the neighbourhood, which primarily consists of heritage dwellings and low-level townhouses and apartments,” the report said.
However, staff noted the properties are located in an area of downtown that could “undergo a transition to higher density” in the future.
Developers hosted an open house for those living at Westview Village, a residential development located next to the proposed site.
According to developers, residents raised questions about parking impacts and brought forward concerns about construction impacts to the hillside integrity and the foundation of their building.
In the report, staff recommended council move the development proposal to a public hearing in order to gauge opinions from the community.
Council will discuss the proposal at their meeting, scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
A wave of change is about to crash on the shores of family businesses.
Exacerbating the labour shortage as millions of baby boomers retire, Family Enterprise Canada says nearly 60% of family-run businesses are facing transition within the next decade.
Of those, only 47% of owners expect their business to stay within the family.
Darren Schindel in Vernon knows the feeling all too well.
Schindel owns and operates Okanagan Diesel Injection.
It’s a business he took over from his father Norm in 2003. But the next generation isn’t so keen on keeping up the family tradition.
His two grown children have “shown no interest.”
His daughter wants to be a welder, and his son “wants to get into business, but not into the business,” Schindel said. “That might change, I don’t know. But I doubt it.”
Schindel is in his 50s and laughs when he says “I’ve got some good years left in me … I’m thinking at least 10 more. That will get me close to retirement age.”
At that point, if the ‘kids’ don’t feel like taking over, Schindel said he’ll sell.
“It’s going to be my retirement plan in the end,” he said “… unless I win the lottery.”
On top of the what-ifs, Schindel said it is becoming much harder to find and keep good talent.
“I think there’s a lot of kids in this next generation who don’t want to do labour or get their hands dirty. They want to sit behind a desk and push paper,” he said.
It’s a scenario being played out across the trades, with just about any industry you can think of desperate for workers.
“Wages are up substantially because of it, just to keep a good worker,” Schindel said. “And, of course, it all gets pushed down to the consumer.”
Schindel said he was short a mechanic for over a year and was lucky to find one. Even so, he’s running the business with a staff of four, including himself, instead of six.
“It’s such a different labour market now,” he said.
Schindel said he’s luckier than most, as he owns the building as well as the business.
“For someone starting out, it would be much harder.”
Family Enterprise Canada is a resource centre for family-run businesses and entrepreneurs. It offers peer support, networking, advocacy, learning opportunities and more, including tools for the next generation of business owners.
“Working with family members is uniquely rewarding, but it can be difficult to maintain healthy family relationships when making tough decisions for either the family or the business,” the organization says.
“Does the next generation even want to take over? Are they ready? How would transition away from the family affect your family dynamics? How would it affect your legacy? These are just some of the questions members seek to answer.”