Straight From DeHart – July 24, 2019

Forbidden Spirits Distilling Co. has opened at 4400 Wallace Hill Road. Owned and operated by Blair Wilson and managed by general manager Marisa Vardabasso, Forbidden Spirits distills two different types of vodka. Rebel Vodka is their flagship brand which is 25 times distilled and their Forbidden Spirits Vodka is 50 times distilled and run in small batches only. The vodka is crafted from their own harvested apples on the 20 acre orchard property with six acres of Spartan and Ambrosia apples. The name Forbidden Spirits was derived from the term Forbidden Fruit. Next to come at the distillery will be Adams Apple Brandy already produced in barrels and in the future look for Eve’s Original Gin. The distillery and tasting room have a beautiful patio looking onto on the acreage and is open seven days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Jeff Cruickshank is the new general manager for TELUS for the BC Interior South Region, after spending the past five years as chief operating officer for Tom Harris. In this role, he led the integration of 12 acquired businesses over the past eight years, helping Tom Harris grow from 14 to 50 locations and become the largest TELUS dealership in Canada. In addition, he created and implemented the Tom Harris Community Support program, which engages employees to support the charitable organizations within the communities in which they operate. Jeff also spent 25 years as a player, coach and volunteer in the sport of Ultimate Frisbee and continues to support Ultimate Canada. [email protected]

Randi Peters is the new V.P. and Head Chaperone of the Lake of the Lake Society. Congratulations to 2019 Lady of the Lake Priyaali Kanti and Princess Gracie Huber. Priyaali and Gracie will be travelling with float ambassador Clarence Johnson and the Kelowna float, which will make their next appearance on August 10th at the Penticton Peach Festival.

Ambience Café has opened in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Kelowna at 274 Bernard Avenue. Owned and operated by Linda Fazan and her son Sam Smith, the 108 year old historic building was originally the site of Kelowna’s first post office, previous to the new post office being built down the street and at one time was the home of Ambience Antiques. The premises were also the first Bean Scene location in Kelowna. Ambience Café offers coffee and specialty coffee with their roasted beans from coffee company OSO Negro (which means Black Bear) from Nelson, B.C.  They also offer fresh local baked goods, including gluten free baking, breakfast wraps, vegan organic smoothies, and a small food menu Ambience has a lovely patio and is open 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily. Call 250-864-3046

Speaking of Okanagan College, a fresh addition to Okanagan College’s inventory of summer camps is cultivating wood-be girl carpenters aged nine to 12. The camp offers a chance to be creative in the woodworking shop and gives them an introduction to trades. It is led by Red Seal endorsed trades instructors and Women in Trades Training mentors have been stopping into lend a hand. This past week the girls have been building bird-shaped doorstops and planters and will work on building oversized outdoor games such as Jenga, dice and corn hole.

Kudos to the 2019 IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s which raised $27,356.75. Guy Bird was the Committee Chair.

Apple soda is new to the valley. Karma Farming Fruit Co., a value added fruit company has opened an apple soda operation at 1160 McKenzie Road. Owned and operated by Karma and Balvir Gilland with CEO Anthony Lewis (Vibrant Vine Winery), the company has now been joined by sons Sumeet Gill and Avi Gill and by daughter-in-law Binny Boparai. The fruit company produces the most delicious unique Apple Soda. Along with enjoying apple soda in the unique building, you can also take a tour through the operation. Karma Farming also offers gelato, Karma Cider Kits, apple fries and a good selection of accessories. There is a picnic area, RV park, dog park and disc golf. It’s a wonderful place to visit. Open 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. daily.


Succeeding Sharron Simpson, Gladys Fraser now takes on the role of Chair with the Okanagan College Foundation Board of Directors. Gladys joined the board four years ago. In the 1990’s Gladys began hiring Okanagan College graduates in her role as branch manager of Scotiabank in Kelowna.  She takes over the leadership positon during the early stages of a new fundraising campaign for a Health Sciences Centre, which is a part of the renewal of the College that is so critical to their current health building which is more than 50 years old. Current board directors Kimberly Gilhooly (Vernon) and Alan Sanderson (Kelowna) were elected vice-chairs.     Congratulations to Gary Eisenhut on his 6th hole-in-one at Tobiano, 7th hole, 157 yards. The Okanagan Heritage Museum is offering Walking Through Time, an outdoor walking tour exploring the people, the stories and a few surprises in downtown Kelowna. Dates of the 1.5 hour tour are August 6, 13, 20 and 27 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. $5.00 per person. For more information call Jen at 250-868-4836 or [email protected]

Well-known sports guy and long-time radio voice of the Kelowna Rockets for 20 years, Regan Bartel has been awarded the prestigious Bernie Pascall Media Award. The award is presented annually to a media person that demonstrates commitment and dedication to the promotion of hockey in B.C. Regan has called over 1,700 WHL regular season games and more than 300 playoff games in his broadcasting career. [email protected]


Join local historian Bob Hayes and Kelowna Museums for a walk through the past. Meet people and hear stories from early Kelowna. Each tour will focus on a different area of the cemetery at the Kelowna Memorial Park Cemetery on August 10th and 21, from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. $5.00 per person and free for members.

Did you know that the Okanagan has the greatest biodiversity in Canada? Snowy Owls, Turkey Vultures, Ospreys and Peregrine Falcons are just a few of the featured species. You can visit Birds of Prey at the Okanagan Heritage Museum Monday to Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. until August 5th.  With specimens displayed in natural poses and surrounded by elements suggestive to their habitats, Birds of Prey illustrate their might and majesty in a lifelike setting. By donation.

Birthdays of the week –Happy 80th Tom Light (July 27); Rick Webber (July 22); Bob Rosco (July 24); Robert Letvinchuk (July 24); Kevin Rothwell (July 26); Jennifer Schell (July 26); Vince Voyer (July 27); Doug Murray (July 27); Larry Gray (July 28); Iris Bodnar (July 28); Dennis Derer (July 28); Betty Cleland (July 28); Gerry Geen (July 29); Stuart Klassen (July 30); Shauna Burnell (July 30).

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