Straight From DeHart – Dec. 25, 2019

Well, he’s done it again. Drop into Save-On-Foods Orchard Plaza and check out Eric Falkenberg’s 2019 iconic Coca-Cola Holiday Display. This year it’s all about Frosty, Polar Bear and a huge Coca-Cola bottle. It’s absolutely incredible and will be on display until mid-January. The display took Eric two weeks to build and boasts 2,400 Coca Cola cases with 12 cans in every case which works out to a whopping 28,800 Coca-Cola cans of display. Eric has received two prestigious Canadian Master Merchandiser Awards from the Canadian Federation of Independent Grocers. This year he won for Large Surface Themed Event listed with current store manager Don Gandy and the store team. In 2018 he won for Large Surface Single-Manufacturer listed with store manager Malcolm Robson. It’s worth a special trip into Save-On-Foods to see this master work of art.


Hockey hockey hockey. It is many things. Shinny on a frozen pond, the smell of a locker room, winning wrist shot or a roaring crowd. It is an enduring national passion that brings Canadians together regardless of geography, language, gender or age. The Okanagan Heritage Museum at 470 Queensway is celebrating Canada’s game with a one-of-a-kind travelling exhibition from the Canadian Museum of History until February 29. It looks at how the sport has influenced lives and what that reveals about us as a people. This travelling exhibition was developed by the Canadian Museum of History. It is adapted from the major exhibition of the same name presented in 2017 at the Canadian Museum of History. This would be a super exhibition to take in over the holiday season. Admission is by donation.

Made in India restaurants at #2 – 1790 K.L.O. Road and #112 – 1677 Commerce Avenue have now opened a third location at #105 – 9685 Hwy. 97 in Lake Country in the same plaza as A & W. The new restaurant is owned and operated by India educated chefs, Brijesh Negi and Sheeshpal Singh and partner Pawan Kumar. The new location has 50 seats with eat-in and take-out and a set lunch menu. They do not offer a buffet at this location. Some popular menu items are appetizers of samosas, onion bhaji and fish pakora; rice and several types of naan bread; beef and chicken curry, mango chicken, lamb roagan, laal maas, kadhai, saag paneer, and yellow daal tudka. Sides of raita, Poppadoms and desserts are available.  Open noon to 9:00 p.m. (Closed Tuesdays).


The 32nd Annual North-West Flower and Garden Show with Sun Fun Tours and super hosts Don and Donna Burnett is February 27 to March 1.  It’s a great way to kick-off spring with tons of gardening related and non-gardening related treats. Garden enthusiasts flock to this celebration every year held in Seattle, WA. As the second largest flower and garden show in North America, this year’s Spring Fever theme has more beautiful displays and decorative flora than ever. If you’re looking to jazz up your small space or fill up your whole yard, the show gardens are brimming with ideas that will inspire you and ignite your gardening desires. The trip includes accommodation, deluxe motor coach transportation, passes to the festival, some meals and much more. Check out Feel free to contact Don Burnett at [email protected]

Congratulations to Twirling Umbrellas of Kelowna on being a semi-finalist in the category of Best Company in the 2020 Small Business BC Awards. Twirling Umbrellas specialize in web design, search engine and optimization and digital marketing for brands with ambition. The business will now be invited to submit an extended application form which will be used by the judging panel to determine the Top 5 Finalists who will be invited to pitch why they are BC’s best.

Smitty’s Family Restaurant is coming to town. The new restaurant will be located at The Ramada Hotel & Conference Centre, in the former Perkins Restaurant location. Wolverine Industries owned and operated by Wade Thomas is the general contractor of the new Smitty’s renovation and build-out. Stay tuned for more information and opening date.


Valens GroWorks of Kelowna is rebranding to The Valens Company and will trade on the TSXV under the ticker VLNS. At a time when Canadian cannabis companies are struggling to be profitable, Valens announce their revenue guidance for Q4 2019 in the range of $27 million – $30 million, a significant increase over its third quarter 2019 revenue of $16.5 Million. Tyler Robson is the CEO and Everett Knight, EVP, Strategy and Investments of the company.

The 4th Annual Winter Blues Festival is Saturday, January 25th at Creekside Theatre in Lake Country. This event has sold out early every year so get your tickets early. Headlining this year’s show will be the Maple Blues Award winning HarpDog Brown and the Uptown Blues Band from Vancouver. Festival attendees will also have the opportunity to sample various stages at one venue featuring local blues favourites such as Rick Poppa Dawg Halisheff, Brandon Schmor, Kath and the Tom Kats and James Hay Trio. Book at

United Way Southern Interior BC has appointed Kahir Lalji as their new executive director. Kahir has over 10 years non-profit leadership and community development experience including deep roots with United Way. With a fellowship in development and leadership and evaluation and a Masters in Gerontology from Simon Fraser University, Kahir has worked with a diverse set of stakeholders in creating healthy, inclusive communities. In addition to his work as Provincial Director of Population Health for the United Way Lower Mainland, he has facilitated effective, longstanding partnerships with all levels of government, civil society organizations and has supported several non-profits in senior leadership capacities. He is President of the B.C. Original Minds Association. [email protected]

The 2020 Hospitality Blood Drive is January 1 to 31, 2020. This year, Canadian Blood Services has expanded the blood drive to include more hospitality partners so that the competition is even greater. Who wins? Hospital patients in need of blood. In BC, 10,000 blood donations are needed each month to serve hospital patients. One in two people can donate however only one in 60 donate. They need your help. They are asking you to fill their beds and calling on all hospitality industry companies in BC to join individually or as a team. You can book your group at [email protected] or individually at Call 1-888-236-6283. Gayle Voyer is the territory manager of in Kelowna. Call her at 250-979-8053 or [email protected]

Birthdays of the week – Marie Yvonne Cleaver (Dec. 25); Doug Gilchrist (Dec. 25); Raquel Rose (Dec. 25); Candy Hamilton (Dec. 25); Curtis Scriber (Dec. 25); Jim Ramsay (Dec. 25); Chris Cleaver (Dec. 26); Barry Carter (Dec. 26); Kate de Kruif (Dec. 26); Terry Balfour (Dec. 26); Alex Fong (Dec. 27); David Burke (Dec. 27); Jon Roung (Dec. 28); Ute Freitag (Dec. 29); Randy Topham (Dec. 30); Derek Edstrom (Dec. 31).

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