In April, Centre 64 held a ground breaking ceremony celebrating the beginning of construction on a platform wheelchair lift. The Arts Council had been working on fundraising for a year through the Give Us A Lift Campaign, with the goal of “inclusivity for all”.
Carbon tax rose 1.2 cents per litre, leaving Kimberley right on the national average of $125.9.
The City of Kimberley released their 2018-2022 Financial Plan Overview, stating that taxes would increase by 2.01 per cent in 2018. The City also announced that sewer user fees would increase five per cent to fund the debt of the proposed Waste Water Treatment Plant. The proposed plant is estimated to cost over $30 million.
After hearing from residents, Council decided to proceed with construction on Norton Avenue, tweaking their original plan for the 200 block. The amendment involved replacing the sidewalk infrastructure with gravel parking on one side, and a one-lane paved walking path on the other. Curbs, gutters, storm, water and sanitary pipes were also in the plan, which the City said was the main reason for the project in the first place.
Council voted at the end of April that East Kootenay-Columbia would be establishing a Community Investment Cooperative (CIC), which is a for-profit cooperative that raises capital from local residents and then invests the capital into area businesses.
The Kimberley Urban Deer Advisory Committee held a meeting in April to discuss the translocation that took place in May, along with the fact that seven deer that were translocated out of Kimberley had ended up in Canal Flats. It was part of the City’s contract with FLNRORD to deal with translocated deer that end up in neighbouring communities.
The union representing engineers and conductors employed with CP Rail voted to authorize strike action in April. A 92 per cent margin in favour saw the strike affecting 3,000 members across Canada.
Later in the month, CP Rail and two unions with members representing engineers, conductors and signal specialists, came to an agreement to postpone job action ahead of a planned strike, which was set to halt rail lines across Canada.
A Tie Lake man was fined $14,000 and sentenced to hunting and firearms bans for five years after illegally shooting a deer and black bear in his yard in separate instances five years prior. Frank Velba, a 73-year-old retired electrician, was also issued a no contact order with a Tie Lake neighbour who confronted him after one shooting.
The Lower Kootenay Band and Retallack announced their plans for a 70,000 hectare multiple use tenure, with the goal of offering guided hiking, horse-back riding, ski touring, heli-skiing, mountaineering trips and more.
At that time, Wildsight and Kimberley locals weighed in on the proposal stating that the tenure could negatively affect both those who recreate in the area, as well as wildlife migration patterns and habitats (specifically Caribou and Grizzly bears).
With ongoing battles between B.C. and Alberta surrounding the pipeline taking place, petroleum analyst Dan McTeague was worried that B.C. consumers would be ‘collateral damage’ in the disputes. The Alberta government passed legislation in April that would allow it to curb the flow of oil and gas to B.C. if the opposition to the pipeline expansion didn’t end. All of Kimberley’s gas is supplied by Trans Mountain, being pumped to the terminal in Kamloops and then trucked to the Kootenays.
The Kimberley Academy announced the start of their very own freestyle ski school, attracting both local and international students for training.
In April the Kimberley Dynamiters won the league championship in Revelstoke, making them the KIJHL champions for the second time since 2015. They downed the Grizzlies 5-3 in game six, sending them to the Cyclone Taylor cup in Richmond.
Kimberley Alpine Resort ended their season with a splash with their annual Spring Splash festivities.
Kimberley junior curler Kaila Buchy returned home in April after a trip to the U18 Junior Nationals in New Brunswick. Although she and team Cotter Rink didn’t win, Buchy said it was an experience she wouldn’t have missed.
Kimberley-Cranbrook Highland Dance held their 40th anniversary ceilidh with a competition in Kimberley. 131 dancers from B.C., Alberta and the U.S. were in town to dance in the 40th anniversary competition.
Selkirk Secondary hosted their annual musical in April, presenting Bring It On the Musical. The play not only showcased the musical talent of students at Selkirk, but also showcased the students’ athleticism through dance and cheerleading.
Lilith, the annual by women for women show at Centre 64, raised $8,730 for the community, the most money that the showcase has ever raised. Although the show took place at the beginning of March, the Lady’s Leg Dancers began distributing their funds in April. Recipients included the Kimberley Aquatic Centre, the Helping Hands Food Bank, the Seniors Helping Seniors Group and their annual scholarship.
Local ranchers Karen and Doug Barraclough were named the 2018 Agriculturalists of the Year through the Kootenay Livestock Association. Karen and Doug ranch at Skookumchuk on the B-E Ranch where Sheep Creek meets the Kootenay River. They raise Angus cross beef on the ranch, which was started by Karen’s parents, Agnes and Baron Bradford, over 70 years ago.
Local volunteer Jean Minifie was named Lady of the Year through the Beta Sigma Phi chapter, which celebrates a vital member in Kimberley’s community every year.
With the spring freshet in full effect, residents of Morrison Subdivision were preparing for imminent flooding. Water in Kimberley Creek peaked at the beginning of May, with residents and City workers filling and distributing sand bags to ensure the safety of the subdivision’s homes.
The first water quality advisory of the year took place in early May as well, with creeks running high from snow melt. Later on in the month a boil water notice was issued, with turbidity levels rising to 6.74 ntu. Just 72 hours later, the boil water notice was lifted, downgrading it to a Water Quality Advisory.
New affordable housing for the region was announced, with the provincial government and Columbia Basin Trust funding 167 new affordable housing units in the Kootenays, including four units in Kimberley which are operated by the Kimberley Seniors Project Society.
The East Kootenay Wildlife Association (EKWA) released the preliminary results of an aerial survey of Rocky Mountain Elk in the Southern East Kootenay Trench, from Canal Flats to the U.S. border, which showed numbers rapidly declining. Elk numbers dropped from 14,115 in 2008 to around 6900 in 2018, which EKWA described as a ‘population crash’.
Kimberley’s real estate inventory remained low in May, with local realtor Marilyn Jolie stating that only 26 single family homes were on the market at the time.
A video of a Cranbrook local went viral, gaining attention across the nation. The video depicts a racially charged altercation between Kelly Pocha and at least three other men at a Denny’s in Lethbridge, AB.
Prosecution and defence sparred over sentencing for polygamist leaders Winston Blackmore and James Oler, with special prosecutor James Wilson recommending 90 days to six months in jail for Blackmore, and one month to 9 days in jail for co-accused Oler. Both were found guilty of practicing polygamy in the summer of 2017, but Justice Sheri Donogan held off on sentencing the pair until a constitutional challenge had been argued.
Three Indigenous First Nations in the southern B.C. Interior were ’shocked’ to be excluded from renegotiations over a water storage agreement between Canada and the U.S. in May. The Ktunaxa Nation Council, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the Shuswap Nation Council issued a joint press released expressing their disappointment after being excluded from Columbia River Treaty talks.
A special UN/NATO Veteran Ceremony took place at the Kimberley Veteran Memorial Park, co-hosted by Kimberley’s Military Ames and the UN/NATO Veterans Support Group from Calgary and Red Deer. The ceremony included an Act of Remembrance to honour Veterans, their families and the fallen.
Just hours after members of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference began to strike, they reached a tentative agreement with CP rail to end the strike, with full operations resuming across Canada.
After the federal government announced their plan to buy a controversial pipeline and related assets for $4.5 billion, Kootenay Columbia MP Wayne Stetski stated that local and national reactions of disappointment and betrayal were generated.
Kimberley Native and former gold medal Paralympian Josh Dueck was inducted into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame on May 31. Dueck said that he compares the achievement to a Master’s Degree in sport.
The British Columbia Golf Association cancelled and re-scheduled some of their planned junior tournaments in May due to a lack of participation. John Ough, BCGA Zone – 1 East Kootenay Chair said that in his four years in that position, it was the lowest turnout for junior golf tournaments he had seen.
Despite some rainy weather, Bob McWhinnie day went off without a hitch. Bob McWhinnie Day is held every year at the Kimberley Skate Park to honour Kimberley City Councillor Bob McWhinnie who passed away after a long battle with cancer. It was Bob’s enthusiasm and hard work that built the skatepark for Kimberley’s youth.
The BC Lions in the House program was at McKim in May, a program where football players on the B.C. Lions team talk about the power of choice to students grades six through nine.
Kimberley’s Health Care Auxiliary celebrated its 65th anniversary, highlighting the 110 volunteers that make the thrift shops and loan cupboard a success.
The Kimberley Special Care Home (The Pines) held a special Mother’s Day party in May with a roaring 20’s themed party. Residents enjoyed a day inspired by The Great Gatsby, with dancing, music, ‘mocktails’ and more.
Following on the heels of the successful Give Us A Lift Campaign, the Kimberley Arts Council launched their Take A Seat Campaign to raise funds for the purchase of new seats in the theatre at Centre 64.
Healthy Kimberley’s Live 5-2-1-0 Playbox was successfully installed at Rotary Park. The Mark Creek Lions Club, Healthy Kimberley, and the East Kootenay Division of Family Practice all made financial contributions, while Healthy Kimberley did the coordination.
The City of Kimberley held their annual tour of Mark Creek Dam alongside Public Works Day at the end of May. The day allows Kimberley residents to tour Mark Creek Dam, which is otherwise closed to public access, as well as tour the City Works facilities and learn all about what City workers do on a daily basis.
The City began their mosquito control program in June, with their first treatment directed at mosquitos in the larval stage. Residents were also asked to remove sources of standing water from their properties to help manage mosquito populations.
A sizeable group of East Kootenay residents gathered outside of their MP’s office on June 4 to protest the federal government’s plan to buy the 56-year-old Trans Mountain pipeline and tanker project at a cost of $4.5 billion. Spearheaded locally by Vicky Dalton, the protest was held in conjunction with a nation-wide day of action.
Mayor Don McCormick confirmed in June that he would again be seeking a second term. Not long after, Josh Lockhart was the first to announce that he would be running for Council.
The 63rd annual Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid Competition took place in Kimberley for the third year in a row in, featuring various competitions from first aid to fire extraction and rope rescue.
The City began running their new automated garbage truck in June, rolling out a few minor changes to the overall collection system, including new carts that were delivered to each home.
Kimberley City Council voted to further expand the public transit service for 2019, adding Monday daytime service and the Kimberley/Cranbrook commuter service.
After much discussion with residents, Council voted to move forward with a local area service for the 100 block of Norton Avenue. The agreement saw the City paying for 40 per cent of asphalt paving of the parking lane and concrete roll curb, while residents of the street would pay for the other 60 per cent.
Teck, which is Canada’s largest diversified mining company, donated $1 million to College of the Rockies to improve access to training and enhance opportunity to benefit from the region’s mining industry.
The permanent MRI unit at East Kootenay Regional Hospital officially began running tests for patients in June, negating the need for the mobile MRI unit that had previously been used. This doubled the capacity to 3,000 annual exams, opposed to 1,300 in years past.
West Jet touched down in East Kootenay with the official launch of their agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines. Ridership increased from 89,000 passengers coming through Cranbrook in 2009 to 140,000 in 2018.
The Columbia Basin Trust committed over $2 million to heritage projects in the Basin, including some funds to spruce up the old Marysville School building. Funds went towards a new coat of exterior paint.
Two kayakers were rescued by Kimberley RCMP on St. Mary River after getting stuck in a current that left them stranded on the opposite side of the river.
The ongoing saga of attempts to build a year-round resort at Jumbo Glacier was back in the courts after the developer hoped to squash a decision from the provincial government that ground the project to a halt. In 2015, the provincial government determined that the Jumbo Galicia Mountain Resort was not ‘substantially started’, which led to the expiration of an Environmental Assessment Certificate.
The Kimberley Dynamiters announced they had signed three local prospects in June; Jackson Bohan and Erik Delaire of Cranbrook and Braiden Koran of Kimberley. Shortly thereafter, the Nitros also signed forward Ryan Bennett.
Kimberley’s Jared du Toit returned to the McKenzie Tour (Canada’s professional golf tour) with a start at the Freedom 55 Financial Championship in Vancouver. The previous year in the same tournament, du Toit finished tied for 17th with a score of 10 under.
Despite cold and rainy weather, the Wasa Triathlon took place at Wasa Lake in June with 9,118 athletes, ranging from ages 4 to 74, competing in various distances and challenges.
Kimberley Golf Club and Bootleg Gap co-hosted the East Kootenay Seniors Tournament, with 54 golfers from Kimberley, Cranbrook, Fairmont, Windermere, Balfour and Radium participating.
Kimberley’s eighth annual Round the Mountain race took place at the Kimberley Nordic Club at the end of June, with over 480 racers competing. The event is hosted by the Kimberley Orienteering Club, the Kimberley Trails Society and the Kootenay Freewheelers’ Cycling Club.
Marysville Daze took place at Lions Park with the annual pancake breakfast and a new addition this year – the pet costume and trick contest.
The community celebrated the beginning of the summer season with the first First Saturdays event of the year hosted by the Kimberley Arts Council.
The Kimberley Farmers’ Market kicked off for the fifth consecutive year in June, adding more vendors than ever before.
Selkirk Secondary celebrated their graduating class with the annual Platzl Parade, while also announcing the many scholarship winners that year.