Straight From DeHart – Jan. 8, 2020

Hi all. I will not be writing a column for the next couple of weeks.  See you on January 29.

There’s a new taxi company in town. Kelowna Eco Taxi from Penticton has expanded to Kelowna, with nine vehicles to start running on the road. Owned and operated by Parminder (Parm) Gondara and Raj Gill, the company will soon have cars on the road in Oliver and Osoyoos. That means that they will cover from Kelowna to the U.S. border with 21 vehicles in total.  The vehicles can be identified by their lime green/neon colour. Eco Taxi also has an easy app which allows clients to collect points. Points can be redeemed for rewards of gift vouchers for free rides. There is a 100 bonus point for first time riders. Eco also offers small package delivery, taxi savers, personal and corporate accounts, jump start and airport service. Call 250-860-6666.

Canadian Home Builders’ Association Central Okanagan has a new executive director. Daniel Winer has resided in Kelowna for five years after relocating from Toronto. His recent experience includes several startup companies, including Refresh Financial and Compass Cannabis where he was the Director of Marketing and instrumental in community recognition and growth. Daniel graduated from York University a with a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Marketing. The 28th Annual Okanagan Housing Awards of Excellence Gala is Saturday, January 25th at the Delta Grand Hotel. Tickets at [email protected]

BDO Canada at #400 – 1631 Dickson Avenue has added Quinton Pullen to their team and promoted Sinead Scanlon to partner in the firm. Sinead is an audit partner and has diverse accounting background which enables her to provide valued advice and hands-on professional audit services to many municipalities., Credit Union, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations as well as a range of mid-size and owner-managed businesses. She is the current Board Chair for United Way. Quinton is a tax partner whose primary focus is providing tax planning to owner-managed businesses, particularly with respect to divestiture planning, mergers and acquisitions, corporate reorganizations and cross-border transactions. Quinton is the current board chair for Accelerate Okanagan.

URBA Business After Hours will not host an event in January. Their next Business After Hours will be on Wednesday, February 5th with a location to be announced in mid-January.

Voyager RV in Lake Country owned and operated by Vice President Jason Friesen and whose Founder/President was Jason’s father Rod Friesen has received the Gaylord Maxell Innovation Award sponsored by Lippert Components Inc. during the RVBusiness Top 50 Dealer Awards. Voyager RV was one of the first RV dealerships to have a fully operational website and was the first RV dealership in BC to have their full inventory online as early as 1996. The company continues to embrace innovation through website design, responsive website formats, custom video email responses and more.

I received some wonderful news to start off 2020, with the return of Tamara “Tj” Joel to Kelowna radio. Tj bravely fought a public battle with breast cancer last year and now begins her graduated return to the ever-popular morning show on 101.5 EZ Rock. Tj returns to her partner, on and off the air, Andy the week of January 13th.  Married with Mics celebrates its 17th year on the air in February. The amazing Chanine Carr stepped in over the last year to cover Tj’s absence and did an unbelievable job of keeping Andy in line, which I personally thought was impossible. Welcome back Tj. We missed you and love you.

In 2019 the Kelowna Elks Lodge #52 at 1923 Kent Road made donations totaling $19,075.00 to local charities which were Special Olympics, Royal Purple Fund for Children, BC Children’s Camp Society, Salvation Army, Food Bank, Poppy Fund, Gospel Mission, Be An Angel and Boys & Girl Club. They welcome visitors and new members to join in their fun and good charitable work and have recently changed their licensing to as accept all ages into their Lodge. They host weekly meat draws on Thursdays and Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. Visit

Plant-based diets might be better for the planet but finding fast and convenient meals can be challenging, until now. Local company, Boosh Foods (a play on the word bouche, French for mouth) founded by former Kelowna local Connie Marples has developed eight 100% plant-based, heat and serve entrees.  Many are now available at Nature’s Fare and Choices in Kelowna. Four of the eight feature the popular Beyond Meat plant protein. These are not your old school frozen entrees; their products are a great option for consumers looking for healthy, plant-based meals that can be ready in minutes. These restaurant quality Boosh meals offer gluten-free, plant-based options that are also part of the Buy BC partnership program. Fresh frozen, the single-serve bowl options include Coconut Curry Cauli, Vegetable Bolognese, Mac n’ Cheeze n’ Peas and Mexican Fiesta.  The two-person options feature Penne Alfredo Bolognese, Middle East Feast, Hearty Shepherd’s Pie and Rustic Veg Pot Pie.  I tried the Coconut Curry Cauli and Mac & Cheeze & Peas. Both were delicious and under 320 calories per bowl. Boosh meals are produced in a state-of-the-art facility in Cloverdale, B.C.

Huge congratulations to Brian McCune (BMack on Virgin Radio 99.9) and wife Kelsey McCune on the birth of their first child, a baby girl named Bowie Elizabeth who was also Interior Health’s first 2020 New Year’s baby of the year.

The East Kelowna Hall has for the past 80 years been an integral cornerstone for the East Kelowna community built by the local stewards of the land. With its historic charm, it has been a gathering place providing community connection for people of all ages. Its historical value alone is of key importance for the preservation of the building. On February 8th, 2020, there will be a celebration of years gone by and to look ahead to refurbish and upgrade the hall with a fundraiser. The unique evening will be joined by Chef Scott Nystrom of Edible Wellness for a long table feast with local ingredient. Only 80 tickets available for the dinner portion of the evening. Entertainment by magician Leif David, Flow Art by Kinshira Performance Troupe, live painting by Jaide Fox Bateman to be auctioned, sounds of Kentucky Eileen and hosted by comedian Velina Taskov. Tickets at

It’s a busy time of year for bridal shops and Cande Bridal Boutique at 202 – 1350 St. Paul Street is no exception. Owned and operated by Adriana Garcia since 2018, Cande offers some of the most unique bridal collections from Australia, Belgium, Portugal and the USA. Owning shops in Calgary, and Red Deer, Adriana travels to the top bridal shows in New York, Chicago and Milan for top collections in wedding gowns. This 2020 season is exciting with collections from Marylise Bridal, Rembo, Cizzy Bridal, Made With Love, Zavanna Couture, Hayley Paige, Blush By Hayley and Truvelle Wedding. The collections offer everything from contemporary, smooth lines and high necklines, mermaid silhouettes and full skirts to glittery sequined dresses and everything in-between. Cande offers a concierge service and brides to be can schedule viewings online and relax uninterrupted in the boutiques stylist studio.

The next production of Kelowna Actor Studio is George Orwell’s 1984 from January 15th to 26th. There are only 12 performances and only 80 seats per night with three performances sold out. It boasts a truly stellar cast and a truly immersive piece of theatre. The box office is open January 3rd but you can purchase tickets online at

Kudos to the residents of Candy Cane Lane (Collison Road, Gramiak Road and Mary Court) who arrived at Freedom’s Door with a truck load of donated food. Freedom’s Door is an addiction recovery home for men which have operated in Kelowna for 17 years. The donation was greatly appreciated as they rely on charitable donations in order to ensure that their recovery services are available for those who suffer from addiction.

Birthdays of the week –Happy 70th Bill Sinclair (Jan. 26); Happy 70th Irma Lux (Jan. 11); Tom Budd (Jan. 9); Larry Tuovila (Jan. 9); Jen Zielinski (Jan. 10); Karen Abramsen (Jan. 10); Brigitte Kotler (Jan. 11); Todd Sanderson (Jan. 11); Shawn Wylie (Jan 12); Glen Penner (Jan. 12); Annie Kwong (Jan. 13); Brian Schjodt (Jan. 14); Madeleine Kilcullen (Jan. 14); Pattie Onsorge (Jan. 14); Michael Buffett (Jan. 15); Lynn Pedde (Jan. 15); Bob Thompson (Jan. 15); Derek Wilson (Jan 16); Kevin Edgecombe (Jan. 16); Jim Belshaw (Jan. 17); Tracy Nyboe, my sister RE/MAX Kelowna (Jan. 19).

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