Kimberley’s Lloyd Steeves and Donna Briggs have been awarded Volunteers of the Year by Alpine Canada in the 2019 Audi Canadian Ski Racing Awards.Steeves and Briggs have been the driving force behind the Kimberley Alpine Team and Dreadnaught Ski Racing at Kimberley Alpine Resort for many years now. They first took over in 2011.
2019 was a busy year for construction in Kimberley, with the City of Kimberley’s Building Department reporting over $32 million in construction values.241 permits were given out by the City in the year of 2019, 83 of which were dwellings. There were 75 permits for renovations to single family dwellings, 31 new builds, and 28 accessory buildings (garages or carports).
A decades-long dispute over the development of a proposed ski resort in the mountains west of Invermere is over.
The Ktunaxa Nation Council has announced that the area around the Jumbo Valley — known as Qat’muk — will be protected under a conservation framework led and governed by Indigenous Peoples.
Glacier Resorts Ltd has been trying to develop a year-round ski resort in the Jumbo valley for the last 30 years but has faced significant opposition from local conservation groups and First Nations, including a number of legal challenges that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada.
However, development rights in the Jumbo Valley have been fully and permanently extinguished, due to a partnership between the Ktunaxa, the provincial and federal governments, and conservation groups, according to a media release.
Purcell International Education and the Kimberley Golf Club held a special ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the purchase of the golf course from KGC to PIE.
The stakeholder event took place at the Trickle Creek Lodge on January 15, 2020, just two days after PIE assumed control of the course.
Kimberley’s Molly Miller was racing in Mont-Saint-Anne, Quebec, where she won a golf and a bronze medal, and more importantly, once again qualified for the World U23 championships to be held in Oberwiesenthal, Germany.
The Kimberley Dynamiters clinched the Eddie Mountain Division title for the third straight year with a win over Creston at the Kimberley Civic Centre.
The Kimberley Seniors Project Society, BC Housing, the Government of Canada and Columbia Basin Trust were pleased to announce the official grand opening of the Pioneer Lodges affordable homes on Church Avenue in Kimberley.
According to a press release from the Columbia Basin Trust, the new Pioneer Lodge was completed in Nov. 2019 and includes six two-bedroom units and six three-bedroom units. Families started moving into their new homes in December.
On February 12 the Kimberley Youth Action Network hosted a climate change event at Centre 64. The event featured Climate Action Leader Laura Sacks, who presented on climate change solutions.
A video entitled “This is my Home” made the rounds on social media and it just so happens to be narrated by a young Kimberley City Councillor Jason McBain. The video is a captivating time capsule of life in Kimberley as it was in 1984, and while there’s one major difference, there’s a lot of familiar aspects to the video as well.
For the second time in three years, the Kimberley Dynamiters were named Kootenay International Junior Hockey League regular season champions after edging out Revelstoke by one point.
Pink Shirt Day: February 26 marked Pink Shirt Day in Canada and Selkirk students were joined by staff and members of the Kimberley RCMP to discuss bullying issues.
Kimberley lost a giant among volunteers as Shirley Rossi passed away on Monday, March 2, 2020.
And we all lost a friend. Shirley was a warm, friendly woman who never stopped giving to her community.
Over the years in Kimberley, she was involved with Girl Guides, the PTA, United Way, Chamber of Commerce, Women of the Moose, she ran the Miner’s Den at the ski resort, Snow Fiesta Queen Committee, Dynamiter Booster Club, JulyFest, WinterFest, KIOTAC, the Business Improvement Association, she was director of Food Services for the 1980 Winter Games and the Festival of the Arts. Shirley began her work with the Summer Theatre in 1999 and continued to the day it folded.
With the novel coronavirus being announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday, local health officials are urging the community to work together to protect one another from the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. James Heilman is the head of the Emergency Department at the East Kootenay Regional Hospital (EKRH). He’s been involved in the COVID-19 pandemic planning and medical content on Wikipedia regarding the topic.
He says that as an emergency physician and someone involved in writing about and looking at this specific disease, communities need to start changing what we do on a daily basis to minimize risk.
March 17: shutdowns
In our Tuesday, March 17 issue, COVID-related shutdowns start to dominate coverage. Below our front page photo frrom the annual Ski Mo Race — one of the last events to happen in Kimberley — is a message from Mayor Don McCormick and Chamber President Brian Sondergaard urging calm, caution and common sense as the “unprecedented times” that we are all too familiar with now began to sink in. In this issue, two concerts are cancelled, the Health auxiliary thrift stores closed, RCR suspended operations for a week before closing for the season completely not long after. The City introduced measures to encourage social distancing and closed the Civic Centre and the Marysville Arena. The KIJHL cancelled its playoffs, ending what looked to be a surefire run at the championships for the Dynamiters.
The following issue we reported on the closing of City Hall and RDEK facilities to the public. The library closed and pretty much all remaining concerts and events were cancelled. We also welcomed our intern Jesse Heinrichs — truly an interesting time to start a career in this industry to say the least.
The next issue we published an evolving list of businesses impacted by the pandemic, and published stories on RCR closing all their resorts for the remainder of the season and a local and regional task force that formed to tackle economic recovery. Churches switched to virtual worship and the Food Bank faced challenges with operating. The Kimberley Bakery closed its doors forever.
On March 24, we see the first confirmed case in the region in Invermere, and a suspected case in Canal Flats. Kimberley’s Bohemian Spirits provides free ethanol for hand sanitizer. I believe it was around this issue that staff of the Bulletin started to work from home.
On the 25, the City closed all parks and public recreation areas. All Interior Health sites put visitation limitations in place. Kimberley Transit offers its service for free and puts in measures to protect their riders and staff.
The next issue we began a weekly check in with Mayor Don McCormick, who at the time said he was “extremely proud of our community for the way they are responding to what is arguably a crisis.”
Local chef Robert Davidson started his Facebook group The Socially Distant Cooking Class. Remember when 800 members seemed huge? It’s currently sitting at 77,000 members.
Garden View residents keeping their spirits up displaying decorated banners telling the community they’ve got things covered.
City Council began announcing ways they were trying to help out residents in our April 1 edition, passing a bylaw to allow for late utility payments for the second quarter.
Shannon Duncan of the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot said they saw a dramatic surge in their work, sorting over 1100 lbs of recovered for an delivering it to 178 homes in one week alone.
On April 7 we announced that our publishing dates for the Kimberley Bulletin would be reduced from three days a week to one, in order to remain viable and to keep as many people employed as possible. We still haven’t bounced back up to three, and we’re not sure what the future holds in that regard, but we remain truly grateful to our numerous supporters, readers and advertisers.
Photographer Chelsea Boyd Gibson launched her Porch Photography Project, capturing heartwarming images of Kimberley’s residents and documenting how their lives had been changed by the lockdown. In addition to providing beautiful photos for everyone to enjoy, the project also raised thousands of dollars for the Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank.
At a virtual meeting held April 14 Kimberley City Council approved a zero per cent municipal property tax increase for the 2020 fiscal year in an effort to help out the people of Kimberley in any way they could.
Kootenay Savings donates $50,000 to area food banks
Kimberley’s Helping Hands Food Bank was one of ten food banks in the Kootenays to receive money from Kootenay Savings, who donated $50,000 to 11 total food banks.
Custom shirts made for 2020 grads who won’t get a ceremony
A group of Kimberley moms got together to create custom shirts with the phrase “The Year Sh#t Got Real” for the graduating class who wouldn’t be getting a ceremony due to COVID-19.
Environmental conservation group Wildsight has said they’ve received calls from concerned conservationists and recreationalists about logging on private land, and resulting impact on wildlife habitat, that took place over this past winter in the St. Mary’s Valley.
According to the group, although the Union of BC Municipalities, environmental groups and private forest land owners have made their concerns known to the provincial government, large-scale logging on private land holdings has continued.
Wildsight also said that the recent logging has degraded a significant recreation trail that is managed as a provincial recreation trail. According to the press release, the Pyramid Creek trail sign was destroyed and the trail rendered impassable due to logging debris and trees blown over onto the trail by the wind.
Kimberley’s Jeff Keiver, a longtime member of the Kimberley Dynamiter peewee rep team and assistant coach of the Junior B Dynamiters, was acknowledged with a 2020 Fred Heslop Minor Hockey Week Award. Kiev was nominated by his assistant coach Dave Murdoch, who in his nomination writeup said that Keiver is “an exceptional head coach who runs great practices and can teach skills to all levels of players.
Bonnie Harvey, of the ?aq’am community, was awarded the 2020 BC Achievement Community Award, for her work on behalf of the Ktunaxa language and culture.
The award recognizes contributions of “extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger, more resilient communities and shine as examples of dedication and service.”
City Council unanimously approves elimination of sidewalk cafe fees
In another effort to help out the business community during the difficult economic times created by COVID-19, City Council, at their meeting on Monday, April 27, unanimously agreed to eliminate sidewalk cafe fees for the 2020 season. All application fees, licence renewal fees and rental fees for any cafe or restaurant will be waived.
“When restaurants are open again, there is no question that the physical distancing is going to cut capacity in those restaurants by at least half, and therefore sales by at least half,” Mayor Don McCormick said during the virtual Council meeting.
Golf courses around the region open, or plan to open, with modified operations
By early May, the many golf courses around the area had either already opened, or had plans in place for their opening dates, all with heavily modified operating protocols in order to ensure the safety of their guests and their staff.
50 years of service to Scouting
Ed Purves, a key volunteer with Scouts Canada in Kimberley for 50 years, was recognized for his service by the organization. Ed has been a steady contributor to the upkeep on Camp Stone, having performed tremendous amounts of work on the 125 acre site. He is resourceful and talented and always willing and able to get the difficult work done.
Homes were evacuated along Fairmont Creek, while other properties in the area remained on evacuation alert following localized flooding due to heavy weekend rainstorms. The Regional District of East KOotenay issued a State of Local Emergency, evacuating residents at 24 properties along Fairmont Creek and Marble Canyon.
Kimberley City Council to broadcast meetings on YouTube channel
The City of Kimberley launched its own YouTube channel allowing residents to watch Council meetings from home. The meetings are broadcasted live and are available for viewing at any time. The channel had its trial run at a May 25, 2020 Council Meeting.
City Hall also reopened its doors to the public on June 1, implementing new safety measures to allow for people to stop by in person safely.
Centre 64 remained closed at this time, but meanwhile the Kimberley Arts Council tried to keep people in touch with the arts online. The Arts Centre unveiled a new exhibition on their website, featuring gorgeous photography by Neal Panton.
On Sunday, June 7, a group of people gathered together in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. The peaceful group came together outside the Kimberley Bulletin office with signs and information available for people to learn about the issues facing Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) and the LGBTQ+ communities in Canada.
The Kimberley and District Community Foundation showed they were there to help non-profits and local charities throughout the year. Typically, twice a year, the Foundation hands out grants. This year, the Foundation is pleased to announce that they have received an emergency grant of $30,000 from the Vancouver Foundation’s Community Response Fund.
Molly Miller named to Canadian National X-country team
Kimberley’s own Molly Miller made the Canadian National Ski Team for the 2020 to 2021 season. Miller, 19, started skiing with the Jack Rabbits learn0to-ski program when she was five, quit and then rejoined at age nine, and then started racing at 12.