Straight From DeHart – May 1, 2019

This week’s column is dedicated to Rod Dewhurst who passed away April 18. Rod was my first boss at the Scotiabank at 510 Bernard Avenue. Back in 1971, Rod gave me a chance for an excellent position with the bank. He eventually transferred to the Scotiabank Regional Office in Vancouver. When Chris got transferred to Vancouver with TELUS, Rod, again gave me a really great position on the 34th floor of the tower working with all the regional manager’s in commercial loans. Later, both of us ended up back in Kelowna. I have always been grateful for his friendship. Personal condolences to wife Arlyn, his entire family and many friends.

The Kelowna Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre has completely renovated their conference facility. The nine professionally designed meeting rooms range from 446 square feet to 2,839 square feet and can accommodate any style and size of meeting from a permanent boardroom setting for 15 up to a dinner for 250 attendees. The new contemporary look boasts modern neutral colours with warm wood trim and wide hallways with Okanagan artwork by local artists. The Ramada conference facility offers complimentary parking, free Wi-Fi and full audio visual capabilities. From muffins and coffee, lunches and themed coffee breaks to elaborate dinners, receptions and customized menus, The Ramada is your one-stop meeting, events and conference centre. Well-known conference manager, Sergio Cunial has been employed at the Ramada for 33 years and brings a wealth of conference knowledge and experience to help you plan your perfect event. Banquet manager Cindy Atkinson, who has been with the Ramada for 18 years, and her experienced team work closely with Sergio to make your conference an exceptional experience. Call 250-979-4540 or [email protected]

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Ramada Hotel - Sergio Cunial (L) and Cindy Atkinson

The Okanagan Irish Society is hosting Celtic Fusion 4, an evening of song and dance on Wednesday, May 8th at the Kelowna Community Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Featured will be Ceol na hEireann (Music of Ireland), Blakey Okanagan Irish Cancers, Piper from Kelowna Pipe Band, Diocese of Nelson Clergy Singers and a wonderful silent auction. Tickets available from the performing groups or at the door with proceeds to Seton House of Prayer. ($25.00 Adults, $15.00 Students, Children 6 and under $5.00).

Twenty-seven years ago, global company IPMC Smart Technologies Inc. (Intercom Programming Manufacturing Company) was started in West Africa. Seven countries later and with over 750 employees, IPMC has decided to make their way across the pond. They will be celebrating the grand opening of their North American headquarters on May 8th in Kelowna. Jasbir Dhillon, Director of Canadian Operations and Pierre Piche, Regional Sales Manager will head up the expansion. Why Kelowna? Kelowna provides a research university and some very talented graduates, it is centrally located between Vancouver and Calgary and is close to the US border, has a growing tech sector and a positive economy. IPMC’s Smart Technology software has 30,000 users in 25 countries across multiple industries with over 40 billion USD running through it annually. With their smart technology your company can take control over cash flow, streamline sale order processing, improve customer service, complete projects timely and on budget and improve resource allocation.  Join them on Wednesday, May 8th from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at #520 -1632 Dickson Avenue (Landmark 3) for the grand-opening and to network with fellow business leaders in the community.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>IPMC

URBA Business After Hours is Wednesday, May 8, one week later than usual, hosted by Valley First Credit Union, a division of First West Credit Union at 110 Hwy. 33. $10.00 per person at the door.

BabyQuip (an Independent Quality Provider) is a new baby/children’s equipment rental company. Owned and operated by Brett Ziegler,  BabyQuip is not a franchise; it is individually owned and operated with Brett servicing the entire Okanagan based out of Kelowna. The company rents a wide assortment of equipment/gear you might need for children when travelling including cribs, high chairs, toys and car seats. It helps families pack light and travel without carrying all your home baby gear. BabyQuip delivers and sets up clean, safe, quality baby gear at a family’s hotel, vacation rental or private residence or wherever you might be staying away from home. This takes all the hassle of out carrying the gear with you in airports or packing your entire vehicle with large items that do not fit. They do not rent bicycles, helmets, life jackets, Dockatots or any other co-sleeping gear as these cannot be covered by insurance. or 778-214-2301

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>BabyQuip

The East Kelowna Market is starting their 5th season on May 5th with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta theme in the historical and quaint East Kelowna Hall at 2704 East Kelowna Road. The day festivities will start with traditional Latin music, Mexican dancers and piñatas for children at noon. There will be 55 local and creative art, craft, farm and food vendors. Start your day with a decadent breakfast from Waffle A More Eh or a fish taco lunch from the Crasian Food Truck. The market is open Sundays starting May 5th to November from 10:00 to 2:30 p.m. with a rotating roster of 200 vendors, so you are sure to find something unique and different each week.  Contact Kathy Sawchuk at [email protected].

Gifts to Grandmothers’ raise money to assist and empower vulnerable women and children in Africa by making and selling a variety of beautiful designer bags and other items. The profits go directly to help with micro-loans, housing and sponsorship for orphan children, health and education. They are hosting a spring sale and open house on Thursday, May 9th at Trinity Church from 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. You will find more than designer bags at the sale including, children’s items, kitchen items (aprons, micro wave pads, hot pads), tote bags, hippy bags, skirt purses, iPad and mini iPad bags, children’s wallets and infinity scarves. The gals have been creating and sewing for many months for this annual sale. If you would like to see all their items, donate fabric, donate funds or volunteer, check out their website at or for more information contact Wilma Lepin at 250-769-7352.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Gifts to Grandmothers - purses

Owned and operated by entrepreneur Lisa Jeffrey, Homes Maid Better is a new cleaning service that offers full commercial, residential and post construction cleaning services.  Along with being pet friendly, Lisa is WHMIS, CSTS and First Aid Certified. Her rates range from $30.00 per hour (residential) to $40.00 per hour (post construction), along with mileage charges outside of the city. Lisa has an extensive list of cleaning services she offers. Call 778-821-3131 or [email protected].

It is rewarding to be a Master Gardener and an opportunity to deepen your gardening knowledge, but it’s not that easy. The Okanagan Master Gardeners Association of B.C. is hosting an information session in on Saturday, June 15th at 10:00 a.m. at the downtown Kelowna branch of the Library to tell you about the training course being offered in the fall. RSVP is required at [email protected]. The 2019 Basic Training start Saturdays from September 7th to December 7th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Brandon McKayNatasha Di IvoriaMelanie AugerKayla ChangTera Pemberton and Sean Garvey have joined the team at Csek Creative at 1600 – 1631 Dickson Avenue.

Helen Jackman, executive director of the United Way is the new executive director of the Okanagan College Foundation and Director of Advancement at Okanagan College as of June 10. Helen replaces Kathy Butler who retired in late 2018. [email protected]

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed</who>Helen Jackman

The Kelowna Buddhist Temple is celebrating their 3rd Asian Heritage Month – All Things Japanese On May 11th from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at 1089 Borden Avenue. They are inviting the public to join them for a sale of books, gently used kimono and accessories, Japanese dishes, kitchenware and decorative items. There will also be temple tours and a limited amount of take-out style bento lunches for sale, which will comprise of chow mein, gyoza, sweet and sour pork and rice.  Inquiries at [email protected]  or 250-762-2653.

Willowstone Academy and the First Lutheran Church at 4091 Lakeshore Road are hosting the Okanagan Festival Singers on May 4th at 7:30 p.m.  At this concert, they are sharing the stage with the KSS Choir, conducted by Ms. Sheila French. Both choirs will perform individually and then perform together with guest conductor Eric Lichte from Vancouver. Tickets $25.00 (adults) and $12.00 (students) at or at the door.

Birthdays of the week –Samantha Hill (May 1); Rosemarie Gottschlag (May 1); Harry Grossmith (May 1); Dale Adamoski (May 3); Ric Lazare (May 3); Kevin Bojda (May 3); Gloria Jean Seymour (May 3); George Patridge (May 3); Kathy Jennens (May 4); Chris Cowan (May 4); Cathy Baker (May 4); Jock Hildebrand (May 5); Charlie Hodge (May 6); Marlies White (May 6); Phil Taneda (May 6); Danica Seaman (May 7); Brenda Bell (May 7).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or 250-862-7662. E-mail [email protected].