The Year in Review: Part 2 July to December 2020

The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.
The year in review.

JULY

Lisa Longball Lisa “Longball” Vlooswyk, eight-time Canadian long drive champion, keynote speaker and sports journalist, stopped by one of her favourite courses Trickle Creek for a round with her family.

Birthday wishes come true as Kimberley girl reunited with her cat

A Kimberley family welcomed home their lost cat, after it was missing for a month, because the SPCA was able to trace its owners through a microchip.

The cat, Milly, recently went missing from her family home in Kimberley, says Lori Chortyk from the BCSPCA.

Shannon Magee and her family adopted Milly from the BC SPCA five years ago, along with another cat named Shelby. Both cats were microchipped at the time of adoption, Chortyk says.

“When Milly went missing near the end of May this year, the family immediately sprung into action, checking with neighbours and local veterinarian offices and posting details about their missing pet on community Facebook pages. Their seven-year-old daughter, River, also posted Missing Cat signs around their community and Magee notified the BC SPCA in East Kootenay about Milly’s disappearance.”

As weeks went by, Magee told Chortyk that she and River were starting to lose hope that Milly would be found. “We were crying and looking for Milly every day,” she says.

On June 23, nearly a month to the day after Milly disappeared, the family was getting ready to celebrate River’s birthday. “She told me that she didn’t want any presents for her birthday; she only wanted Milly back,” says Magee. “She cried herself to sleep that night.”

The next day the BC SPCA called with the best birthday gift ever and the answer to River’s wish — they had found Milly. “She told me, ‘See, dreams can come true,’” says Magee.

Tumbleweed Concert

On July 10, the Kimberley Golf Club hosted a Mexican-themed dinner with live music provided by the Tumbleweeds. It was the first live music heard in a very long time, and it was done in a safe and pleasant manner.

Cam Reid receives the 2020 Jerry Bancks Award

Cameron Reid was the recipient of the Jerry Bancks Award for 2020. The award is given to a Selkirk Sports School athlete who “works to achieve excellence in their academic and athletic lives while being a positive influence and presence in their community.”

Local chef hits 50K members in Facebook group

Local chef Rob Davidson first created the Socially Distant Cooking Class Facebook group back in March. A month later the Bulletin interviewed him when it surpassed 20,000 members, but in our July 21 issue we checked in again with him as the group hit the 50,000 member mark.

Kimberley Search and Rescue ‘ecstatic’ over funding stability announcement

Search and Rescue operations across the province rejoiced as a long awaited promise of funding stability finally arrived. Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnsworth announced that his government would provide annual funding of $6 million to support ground search and rescue operations across the province, beginning in 2022-2023.

AUGUST

Townsite elk calf safely transported to rehab centre in Golden

The “Townsite Elk,” an elk calf that was spotted in Townsite, was safely transported to an animal rehabilitation centre in Golden thanks to the BC Conservation Office Service, Kim Balcom, head animal rescuer for the East and West Kootenay, and the neighbourhood and construction crew working there.

Kimberley Chamber of Comerce reports good news while urging continued caution

As Kimberley navigated phase three of the BC Restart Plan back in July, Chamber president Brian Sondergaard reported that “things are slowly returning to normal,” and that while there’s lots of positives to celebrate, people need to remain diligent to ensure it keeps trending in that direction.

Gray Creek pass turns 30

BC Wildfire Service combats fire near Marysville

The BC Wildfire Service reported a new fire start near Marysville, dubbing it the Luke Creek Fire, located 450 metres off Stirton Road. Aircraft were photographed as they dropped water they skimmed from St. Mary Lake to battle the blaze.

Centre 64 gallery reopens with Kaleidoscope exhibit

After a long shutdown due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Kimberley Arts Council – Centre 64 Visual Arts Committee was excited to re-open the Gallery at Centre 64 with one of its most popular annual exhibitions, the Kaleidoscope regional adjudicated exhibition.

SEPTEMBER

Kimberley has had just one confirmed COVID-19 case since the pandemic began

In our September 1 issue we reported that newly released city-level data showed that there had been four COVID-19 cases positively tested in Cranbrook up until the end of July, and only one in Kimberley.

Tom Buchy wins Curl BC Coach of the Year Award

Kimberley’s Tom Buch was honoured with the 2020 Coach of the Year Award from Curl BC, the provincial sport governing body for the development promotion and organization of curling in the province. Each year, the organization recognizes people who have made outstanding contributions to curling here in B.C.

Kimberley Save-On-Foods manager Stephanie Ames recognized with award

Stephanie Ames, manager of Kimberley’s Save-On-Foods, has been recognized for her dedication to her work and community with a Star Women in Grocery award from Canadian Grocer magazine. Canadian Grocer has been acknowledging women in the grocery industry with these awards since 2012, recognizing qualities such as expertise, innovation and leadership and making an impact and changing the food retail landscape.

KIJHL delays season to Nov. 13; three teams opt out

ON September 8 it was announced that the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League would delay the start of its season to Nov. 13 when it plans to run a 30-game campaign with three teams opting out and no fans in the stands.

The Junior B league announced Thursday it would move forward with just 17 teams competing after the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, 100 Mile House Wranglers and Spokane Braves decided to take the season off.

Kimberley Civic Centre reopens

On September 18, the Kimberley Civic Centre re-opened its doors for ice times and residents were able to start using the walking track again on September 21, due to the COVID-19 Safe Operating Plan approved by City Council.

Kimberley’s Noni Belland raises $1914 to fight children’s cancer Over the month of August, Noni Bel- land set out to cycle 300 kilometres while raising a goal of $500 to fight children’s cancer in the Great Cycle Challenge (GCC). Belland more than surpassed both of her targets, cycling a grand total of 640.4 kilometres on her pedal bike, not eBike, over the course of the month and raising $1,914.38, more than triple her original goal.

Kimberley Public Library re-opens doors to the public

On Sept. 23 the Kimberley Public Library announced the re-opening of their doors for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close back in March.

Local Environmental group Mainstreams conduct planting project along Mark Creek

On Monday, Sept. 28, local environmental group Main- streams conducted a planting project along the banks of Mark Creek.

Last year, Mainstream did some planting on the other side of Wallinger, in the park located in front of what is now the home of Bohemian Spirits Distillery. Monday’s work was a continuation of that project.

OCTOBER

Steelworkers Local 1-405 hosts barbecue for City of Kimberley members

Kimberley Rotary Club planning major rehab of Marysville Falls walkway

On October 13 it was announced that the Kimberley Rotary Club plan to tackle a major rehabilitation project on the Marysville Falls Al Fabro Walkway, built 37 years ago in honour of Al Fabro, the first Rotary District 5080 Governor from Kimberley (1964 to 1965).

Dynamiters return to the rink

Though the stands were empty and the Civic Centre devoid of its usual buzz created by the Dynamiters many fans, there was still plenty of energy on the ice as the Nitros played two at-home exhibition games, their first time returning to the ice since the pandemic cancelled their playoff run.

Clovechok reflects on election

In the end the Columbia River Revelstoke riding did not have to wait for election results until after all mail in ballots were counted, as at about 9 p.m. on election night, October 24, 2020, BC Liberal Doug Clovechok was declared the winner.

On Monday morning with 77 of 77 polls reporting, the results stood at Clovechok (BC Lib) 5,770 votes and 48.62 per cent of the total, Nicole Cherlet (NDP0 wit 4,551 and 38.5 per cent, and Samson Boyer (Green) 1545 votes and 13.03 per cent of the total.

The final count will come in after all absentee ballots, including mail in (of which there were 3,019 sent out in CRR) are counted. Clovechok is confident that won’t alter the results too much, and he is ready to get to work as an opposition MLA.

Kimberley resident honoured with Conservation Leadership Award

The Kootenay Conservation Program has announced the recipients of its annual Conservation Leadership Awards, and this year’s East Kootenay honours go to retired biologist and Kimberley resident Penny Ohanjanian.

Ohanjanian has made significant contributions to the understanding of species at risk in the Kootenays through- out her career, KCP said in a news release.

Kimberley local rescues four kittens, starts fund to help others

Kimberley’s Carmen Hintz found her house to be a little more chaotic after adding four kittens she rescued into the mix along with her two dogs. In the process she realized how expense four rescue cats can be, and started a fund to raise money to cover the costs, donating the extra funds to the SPCA and the Kimberley Food Bank.

NOVEMBER

Jack Ratcliffe steps down from final volunteer position at 92

Anyone who has lived in Kimberley for any length of time knows the name Jack Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe, a former Kimberley City Council member for 29 years, has sat on more boards, directed more projects, and delivered more volunteer hours than just about anyone. Ratcliffe just recently stepped down from his last volunteer position as a member of the Kimberley Library Board.

“I figured 92 years old was a good retirement age,” Ratcliffe said.

He also says of all his countless volunteer hours, “It’s not work if you enjoy it.” Ratcliffe was elected to Council in 1982 for the first time. It is a point of pride to him that in 11 elections, he topped the polls nine times and came second twice.

Sullivan Mine in Kimberley wins prestigious BC Mining Reclamation Award

There is an award-winning property in the neighbourhood. The Sullivan Mine’s upgraded groundwater collection system near Mark Creek is an Outstanding Achievement in Reclamation, according to the British Columbia Technical and Research Committee (TRCR) on Reclamation.

City receives unexpected $2 million from government COVID-19 restart funding

The province of British Columbia is distributing emergency safe restart funding to municipalities to help with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Kimberley is set to receive $2,087,000.

“The $2,087,000 is the newly-announced, and surprisingly announced last week, COVID-19 Safe Restart Grant for Local Governments,” said Kimberley COO Scott Sommerville. This money is separate from just under $1 million the city recently applied for to fix up and the Platzl parking lot and install public washrooms in the Platzl. Somerville says it’s too early to say what the city will use the money for, but it will form part of the budget process that has just begun.

Save-On-Foods fundraising for Kootenay-based Angel Flights

Save-On-Foods stores across the Kootenays held a fundraiser to raise money for Angel Flight East Kootenay, a local not-for-profit medical transport organization. Stores in Kimberley, Cranbrook, Sparwood, Fernie, Golden and Nelson joined together to raise money for the organization, which flies patients from the Kootenays to treatment centres in Kelowna at no cost.

KIJHL suspend play for two weeks

After dominating the Creston Valley Thundercats with a 7-1 win, the Dynamiters season was once again put on hold as the KIJHL announced a two-week suspension of play.

DECEMBER

KAR announces COVID protocols

Kimberley Alpine Resort announced what measures would be in place to keep everyone safe for the coming ski season.

“Our hope and our goal is to have a successful ski season this winter, while keeping people as safe as we can,” said Ski Area Manager Ted Funston.

The Kimberley Alpine Resort COVID-19 Operational Safety Plan, is a report that KAR has been working on since the summer; a roughly 100-page document that goes through every department of the resort and determines which protocols need to be in place, and how they will run the resort safely.

Measures include online ticket purchases only, no live music, different delivery of food services and more.

Teck notifies residents of potential ground water migration

Teck sent letters to some Kimberley and Marysville property owners informing them that some mine-affected ground water may have escaped Teck collection systems and may be present five metres or more beneath thier properties. Teck hosted a series of online information sessions to further explain the issue to property owners.

More detailed COVID data released

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has released new COVID-19 data for local health areas and will now be providing that data on a weekly basis instead of once a month. Between Nov 29 – Dec. 5, five COVID-19 cases were reported in the local health area that covers Cranbrook and the surrounding rural areas, such as Wycliffe, Moyie, and Fort Steele.

Since the beginning of January, 2020 there have been four cases reported in the Kimberley local health area.

In total, 35 COVID-19 cases reported in the Cranbrook local health area, according to the BC CDC , and 25 cases have been reported in the Fernie local health area.

Symphony on the Mountain returns

It was announced in December that Symphony on the Mountain will return in July 2021 with a gala on Friday, July 9 and a concert on the mountain July 10. Organizers decided that with a COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon, planning for the event would go ahead and ticket sales would begin.

“It’s still a long ways off in the future,” Adams said. “As a society we’ve got a lot to get through between now and then, but there hasn’t been much positive news, particularly for performing arts. They’ve been hit very hard by the pandemic. They were one of the first things to be cancelled and they’re probably going to be one of the last to come back in terms of indoor live shows and performances.”

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