Straight From DeHart – Nov. 4, 2020

La Cantinita Authentic Mexican (formerly Viva Mexicana) has opened in Lake Country at #117 – 9685 Hwy 97 in the A&W complex. Owned and operated by partners Carmen Ruiz and Ivan Gracia, the restaurant is only take-out. In time, they are planning to open the restaurant and patio. From Mexico, Chef Andres Sevilla has an authentic Mexican menu of many varieties of tacos, burritos, chimichangas, enchiladas and Quesadillas, along with sopa, rice, fried beans, fresh guacamole, pico de gallo and fresh made tortilla chips. All menu items are handcrafted by Chef Sevilla and all sauces and many other items are made in-house. We sampled the fish tacos, chimichangas de pollo and chicken enchiladas. All were exceptional and the portions were generous. Licensed with Mexican beer available. La Cantinita also has a variety of Mexican food products for sale in the restaurant. Pre-orders welcome. Open 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday. Call 778-480-6800


With a lifetime of service to Central Okanagan Public Schools (School District #23), well-known school board district gal, Brenda-Lee Erickson retired after 47 years (yes, 47) with the organization. Brenda-Lee is believed to have had the longest career of any employee at School District #23. She started working for the district at the age of 18 as a printer, running the printing shop for the entire School District. She then moved on to the receptionist position and worked for Deputy Superintendent Don Marson (since passed). Brenda-Lee transferred to the communications and administration department under the leadership of Dennis Semeniuk and also worked with Dennis in his role as director of middle and secondary school education. Finally, Brenda-Lee retired as the administrative assistant, for the past 12 years, to Dr. Peter Molloy, the director of student support services. Brenda-Lee has a long list of things to do in retirement. Along with two married sons and a daughter as well as six grandchildren, she and husband Ron have an RV in the Shuswap. Brenda-Lee builds doll houses and the furniture for the houses as well as bird houses. She is a long-time cross-stitcher. Looks like she will be as busy as in her last 47 years.

After practicing out of the province for the past 12 years, Dentist, Dr. Jack Gordon has returned to Kelowna. Dr. Gordon is now practicing at Care Dental at 300 – 1575 Banks Road. He is a clinically accomplished dentist who specializes in restorative work, implants, sleep apnea appliances and oral surgery.  Care Dental has completely renovated to meet Canadian Healthcare Facilities Airborne Infection Isolation Room Standards. It is believed to be the first of its kind in a BC dental setting.

Bree Hankins has joined Phil Law Corp. in a shareholder position with the firm. Bree joined the firm in 2015 as a senior litigator and brought a unique blend of experience, leadership and creativity to their team.

Relocating from Toronto and after finishing his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Chiropractor Dr. Dane Carlson has joined the team at Okanagan Health & Performance (OHP) at 104 – 1100 Lawrence Avenue.  Prior to that, he attended the University of Ottawa, studying Human Kinetics. Dane’s practice includes all forms of chiropractic health, including working with athletes and he is proficient in musculoskeletal treatment conditions. To book an appointment visit

Pita Pit at 229 Bernard Avenue is celebrating 20 years in business. Pavneet Singh has owned and operated the restaurant for the past 11 years and has now opened a second Pita Pit location at 1708 Innovation Drive, next to the CANCO Gas Station in the Airport Village. This past September, Pita Pit had a customer appreciation day which generated $800.00 for KGH. Pita Pit has an extensive menu. You can create your own pita by choosing your favorite filling, topping, sauce and spices. They also offer gluten free Pita along with white/wheat pita. Try the frozen yogen fruz probiotic yogurt or non-dairy sorbet in a smoothie or frozen dessert cup. The Very Berry is delicious. Eat in, patio, take-out or delivery. Open seven days a week.

IWG Corporate Services, a division of Insure Wealth Group Inc. at 505 – 1708 Dolphin Avenue (Landmark 2) offers specialized services for new and existing business owners to help reach their full potential. Owners want growth, profitability and to know their employees are working efficiently and achieving their goals as well as the company goals. IWG helps business owners build a business plan, write a strategic plan and implement HR policies and procedures.  First, owners complete an assessment, and then they are asked two questions. What keeps you up at night and do your employees know what their expectations are? IWG encourages owners to think about professionalizing their business. By implementing a set of repeatable processes and systems, it allows them to measure performance and enables a culture of continuous growth. This could include anything from corporate governance assistance to ongoing management advisory. Rich Orzol is a corporate development officer with IWG.  Contact Rich at [email protected]

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) has received an Honourable Mention in the Sustainability Category of the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) 2020 Community Excellence Awards. The recognition comes for the RDCO entry focusing on the first two phases of the collaborative Regional Floodplain Management Plan in partnership with the Okanagan Basin Water Board and valley stakeholders. The RDCO has received a $150,000 grant from the UBCM Community Emergency Response Fund to complete the final phase of the plan.

Kudos to The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament that raised some welcomed funds for two great organizations. The Central Okanagan Community Food Bank received $1,000.00 and volunteer run Okanagan Sun Football Club was given $600.00 through a 50-50 draw.

Congratulations to the following Long Service Award recipients for the City of Kelowna Civic Operations. Mark Torgerson and Kim Johnson (30 years); Mike Rout Laurens Campbell, William Rutley, Stephen Clark, Larry Oakley, Henry Kohout, and Daniel Demers (25 years); Douglas Tomlin and Cameron Moody (20 years); Joe Rodrigues, Perry Yaremchuk, John McGale, Darryl Astofooroff, Thomas Crawford, Dennis Dexel, Kevin Grills and Kevin Vleeming (15 years); Brandon Peet, Michael Humes, Shawn Barrow and Ronald Jackson (10 years).

Congratulations to fifty-two-year-old Jacquie Thom who can feel victorious as she graduates as a Health Care Assistant (HCA) from Okanagan College. Jacquie is legally blind and was born with an eye condition called coloboma. She describes her vision as blurry and like seeing through a tunnel.  Despite this, she was inspired to pursue a career caring for the elderly after taking care of her parents when they were palliative. Having low vision, Jacquie also uses her other senses to aid her in her work. With one in four Canadians developing irreversible vision loss by the age of 75, Jacquie brings experience and empathy. Cathy Farrow, Okanagan College Instructor in the HCA program says her dedication to learning was instrumental to her success.

Nourish Families Initiative was created by Vicky Wallace, a local Play Therapist at the beginning of COVID-19. The program works by providing a free meal to a family in need for every meal that is purchased by a community member. Buy-one-give-one (BOGO). In the beginning, the initiative was a small enterprise, but the model worked so well that in June, 2020, Childhood Connections took on this program with Vicky as program consultant. They now have five meal partners and counting to provide multiple weekly menu options and are providing meals to families in need on a weekly basis. Current partners are Relvas Catering, A Northern Light Catering, CrAsian, Unami Crave the Fifth and DunnEnnzies. To order a BOGO meal for a Thursday delivery visit Orders close on Tuesdays at 4:00 p.m. for Thursday deliveries from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. by volunteers.

After 44 years of service to KGH and patients and families from across the region, the Peachland Auxiliary is folding. Members presented the KGH Foundation with a final gift of $19,000.00. Over the years it is estimated they have raised over $300,000.00 all dedicated to the advancement of patient care at KGH.

Birthdays of the week – Happy 90th Ross Carviel, Veteran (Nov. 3); Terry Hoogewoonink (Nov. 5); Nick Imthorn (Nov. 5); Joachim Nierfeld (Nov.7); Reinhard Foerderer (Nov. 7); Geoffrey Couper (Nov. 7); Sig Ottenbreit (Nov. 8); Rick Worrall (Nov. 8); Lawrence Syrnyk (Nov. 9); Bernice Sebastian (Nov. 9) Michael Loewen (Nov. 10); Guy Auger (Nov. 10); Duane Lockwood (Nov. 10).

Maxine DeHart is a Kelowna City Councillor and local hotelier. Phone her at 250-979-4546 or250-862-7662; E-mail [email protected] and Web-site