Beach Party “Swim-In” Planned in Support of Preserving Queen’s Bay

Event: Queen’s Bay Beach Party “Swim-in.”

When? 1:00 pm Sunday 21 August 2016; This is a rain or shine event.

Why? To show support for keeping the Kootenay Lake ferry terminal in Balfour and preserving the Queen’s Bay beach.

Where? Bike, hike, boat or drive to Turtle Rock beach approximately 4 kms north of Balfour along Highway 31; please park only on the lakeside of the highway.

What? Beach tours of the precious shoreline proposed for filling and paving if the Balfour ferry terminal is moved to Queen’s Bay. 2:00 pm giant “swim-in”; prizes for kids, short speeches, fun.

Swimmers, sun-tanners, kayakers, pleasure-boaters, paddle boarders, fishers, hikers, wind surfers, bird watchers, canoers, water skiers, and anyone else who appreciates Queen’s Bay is invited to a beach party 21 August in support of preserving this unique stretch of Kootenay Lake shoreline. The event will start at 1:00 pm at turtle rock beach approximately 4 kilometers north of Balfour along highway 31. There will be tours of the popular beach marking out the half-kilometer that our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is considering filling in and paving as parking lot for a proposed new ferry terminal. At 2:00 pm participants will rally for the bay’s first official “swim-in” to recognize its environmental, cultural-historical, and recreational value to the local community and the region as a whole. There will be prizes for the kids, some very short speeches, and a chance for everyone to take some (in)action in support of the bay by enjoying themselves at the beach.

There has been lots of rain and/or shine this summer. So please plan to attend whatever the case as a show of support. Parking along the highway by the beach will be limited so boat, bike or hike if you can. So add this to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you.

Backgrounder: This event is part of an ongoing campaign spearheaded by the Queen’s Bay Residents’ Association and local businesses in Balfour, where the ferry terminal is currently located. It’s in response to last June’s release of a feasibility study by our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure recommending moving the Kootenay Lake ferry terminal to Queen’s Bay.

  • The Balfour businesses and local residents are widely and deeply opposed to this proposed move. Opposition to relocating the terminal to Queen’s Bay also comes from tourists and the larger community outside the region who appreciate keeping Kootenay Lake the special place that it is. More than 3000 signatures so far have been gathered petitioning the government to keep the ferry terminal in Balfour.
  • Closing the Balfour terminal would likely be the end of the ferry landing businesses costing our local economy dozens of jobs and millions in tourist and local dollars. Dredging and filling the north end of Queen’s bay with 6000 truck-loads of fill covered in pavement would irretrievably ruin a precious and popular stretch of warm water beach including rare Kootenay Lake shallow water fish habitat as well as historical and cultural values
  • The Queen’s Bay Residents’ Association and the Balfour Ferry Businesses Coalition have conducted a technical review of the government study recommending moving the terminal and found it grossly deficient as a fair appraisal of the other options besides relocating the terminal to Queen’s Bay. The document has been found by subject matter experts to be incomplete,  biased and unfit to base a decision to move the ferry terminal.

For more information, contact: John Betts 250-229-4380 or Maureen Jansma 250-229-4661 – Queen’s Bay Residents’ Association





ytPerhaps by now you’ve heard about the amazing financial opportunity through Columbia Basin Trust that our region is expectantly facing in the upcoming funding cycle.

Earlier this year, CBT announced $4.65 million ($1.55 million annually) over three years for the development and support of a Basin Youth Network for youth aged 12 to 18. Community Youth Networks are eligible for up to $55,000 per year for up to three years for the hiring of a local youth coordinator and the funding of local activities and events for youth.

As it turns out, the East Shore has done such a good job with creating opportunities for local youth over the past four years with the Community Directed Youth Funds, that CBT is glad to help support the East Shore Youth Council with continued funding for the next three years.

The Youth Networks, supported through a CBT regional coordinator, will engage youth directly in order to increase activities and provide diverse opportunities based on local youth’s priorities.

The current funding cycle (the final of four years of funding – $25,000/year) is finishing up in October of this year, and it is now time to consider our options as to how we might allocate up to $55,000/year.

We would like to invite the community (parents, youth, businesses, school staff, everyone!) to an open meeting on August 11 at the Crawford Bay Hall at 7pm. We need your input!

  • Do you have good ideas about how to spend some of this money?
  • Have you imagined some programming that you think would be beneficial to local youth?
  • What about infrastructure or job creation?
  • Do you see yourself offering something?
  • Do you just have an idea and want to submit it for consideration?

We have to create something of a template of activities/programs with approximate costs in order to receive the funding, so we need the communities help! We have opportunities and endless options. We can pay local teachers/mentors/coordinators to host workshops or events on a sliding scale of $20-$30/hour.

We hope to create some important community partnerships and invest in creating valuable volunteer/community service programming for youth, where they reap benefits from helping others within the community.

We are also looking for a new youth coordinator for the program. Steve Sayer has announced that he will be moving on to other things and will be resigning the youth coordinator position. The job is posted in this issue and more information can be obtained through Carol Vanr at 250.505.3760. This job may be a single position or may be shared with an ESYC administrator and be more of a projects and events dedicated person/position, depending on the applicant. The ESYC would like to warmly thanks Steve Sayer for his past year with the group and wish him all the best in his next adventures.

Please join us on August 11 at 7pm at the Crawford Bay Hall for this important feedback/input session regarding youth opportunities on the East Shore.

All are welcome!




The parade doesn’t move… the spectators do!

Saturday, July 30

10-noon on Ainsworth Avenue

Network and socialize. Need some ideas? Play some fun music, set up prize wheels, balloon bursts, fish bowls, duck ponds, face painting and color hairspray, hole-in-one, kissing booth, garden vegetable booth, craft booth, baking booth. Show off your musical or dancing talents…. So many options! Get a group together to split working shifts! Promote your business, your club to increase membership or your non-profit organization to increase volunteers.  

Contact Wendy Miller at 250 225 3516 or email  to register (it’s free!!) or for further information

The Riondel Daze Parade will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 10am – noon. If you wish to participate, you can pick any open spot and set up along Ainsworth Ave between Fowler and Hedley Street anytime between 9am and when the event starts at 10am (you can judge how much time you need for set-up).  The very first spot and the very last spot are reserved for our emergency vehicles in case of a call out.

If you know any children who would like to enter the bike decorating contest, they can pick up a bag of decorations at the pub in Riondel. Bikes will be paraded and judged during the last half of the stand-still parade.

To those of you who have not yet entered, there is still time. And if you don’t have an entry, we hope to see you and your family out at the parade!

Questions? Give Wendy a call at 250.225.3516.

There are lots of other fun events during the day:

  • Children’s bike decorating
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Book Sale
  • Cake Walk
  • Chair painting
  • Pool Tournament
  • Baseball
  • Ice cream social

Come on out and enjoy a fun-filled day.



Crawford Bay Park/Playground Gets $20,000

Five B.C. Communities Win $260,000 For Playground Transformations Surprise Double-Win For Lillooet and Victoria In BCAA Contest

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July 11, 2016, Burnaby, BC: Children in Lillooet and Victoria will soon have a better place to play thanks to a surprise double-win in the first, annual BCAA Play Here initiative.

Two, $100,000 Winners:

BCAA Play Here and its partners will now deliver two, $100,000 play space transformations: at Lillooet Recreation, Education & Cultural Centre (REC) and Victoria’s Torquay Elementary School.

The two winners were among over 500 play space nominations from across BC. The public cast over 300,000 votes to decide which of five finalists should receive the $100,000 play space revitalization.

“Lillooet and Victoria were neck and neck through the voting period, frequently swapping the lead. The two communities have very different stories but both have real need for a new play space,” says Shawn Pettipas, Community Manager, BCAA. “We ultimately decided to declare two winners and found a way to deliver exciting new play spaces to children in both communities. We can’t wait to get to work!”

Three Other Finalists Win $20,000:

To make the first year of BCAA Play Here even more special, the three other finalists will each receive a surprise $20,000 contribution towards making their play space projects a reality: Burnaby, Windsor Elementary; Crawford Bay Community Park and Vancouver, General Brock Elementary.

“We’ve been inspired by the passion of our finalists, and wanted to make a big impact for children in all five communities,” says Shom Sen, President & CEO, BCAA. “Thank you to all British Columbians for voting, and to BCAA and Evo Members for making it possible for us to make such a positive impact for so many children.”

BCAA Play Here is a multi-year, community investment initiative to protect kids in B.C. communities, by rejuvenating play areas to make them safer and more enjoyable. BCAA Play Here builds on a long-time focus on child road safety programs and recognizes the importance of play in healthy childhood development, including problem-solving, critical thinking, socializing and physical development.

Middle Ground on the Ferry Issue? Deadline Extended for Public Input

by Galadriel Rael for Mainstreet Online

Could there be a middle ground for the ferry landing situation? YES!  BUT, we need more time, and it looks like we have it.

The deadline for community feedback and input on the potential Balfour/Queen’s Bay ferry landing move has been extended until Oct 6, 2016. 

As a local, the idea of more frequent and faster ferry crossings has huge appeal, but what is currently being proposed is potentially going to cost substantially more than it may provide in gain.

Officials have already publicly stated that the cost involved in building the Queen’s Bay terminal will (while being lower in operating costs) likely come out to be the same, if not more, than a new boat and renovations for Balfour and don’t factor in the big picture, including economic and environmental impact. There are many options to weigh here, and a lot more information needs to still come in before residents understand the full picture.

If a new boat is built, there is still a possibility for more frequent crossings and better schedules. It may be that petitioning for a more convenient schedule is easier and more beneficial that running the risk of damaging local businesses, community spaces, and causing huge negative environmental impact.

In short, requesting more thorough research and information before we decide to go one way or another seems prudent. In a conversation with Michelle Mungall, MLA, we were assured that this is by no means a done deal. We still have the opportunity to voice our concerns and ideas. The deadline for community input has BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 6th, 2016!  

Go to for more information and search the web for other sides of the equation, like and

If you write letters, you can send them to 

Be sure to cc your MLA:




Open Fire Prohibition in Region – Effective TODAY!

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations BC Wildfire Service


Category 2 open fires to be prohibited in the southeast

CASTLEGAR – Effective at noon Pacific Time on Monday, July 4, 2016, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Southeast Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

This prohibition is in addition to the Category 3 open fire prohibition that came into effect in the Southeast Fire Centre on June 3, 2016. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at:

Anyone intending to conduct a Category 2 open fire anywhere in the Southeast Fire Centre must extinguish it by noon on July 4, 2016. This prohibition will remain in place until the public is otherwise notified.

Specifically, this order prohibits:

* The burning of any waste, slash or other materials

* Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area

* The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or description

* The use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for rifle target practice)

* The use of air curtain burners

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller, and it does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

A map of the areas affected by the Category 2 and Category 3 open fire prohibitions is available online at:

The Southeast Fire Centre extends from the U.S. border in the south to Mica Dam in the north, and from the Okanagan Highlands and Monashee Mountains in the west to the B.C.-Alberta border in the east. It includes the Selkirk Natural Resource District and the Rocky Mountain Natural Resource District.

Campfires are currently allowed in the Southeast Fire Centre, but anyone lighting a campfire must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire area and must have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire.

A campfire should not be lit or kept burning in windy conditions. Make sure the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit:

You can also follow the latest wildfire news on:

* Twitter at:

* Facebook at:


Airstrip Decommissioned

Recently, the airstrip owned by Kokanee Springs Golf Resort in CrawfordBay was decommissioned. That means that no more planes or other aircraft will be landing in Crawford Bay, now or in the future.

Mainstreet spoke with Richard Bertram, KSR’s General Manager, and learned some more details about the decommissioning. Unlike with a road, where earth movement take place and water bars or gating will be installed, a decommissioned airstrip means that NAV CAN (a private, non-share capital corporation that owns and operates Canada’s civil air navigation service) will show the landing strip as non-functioning and pilots will have to re-route or make other landing arrangements elsewhere. Aircraft may not land without permission from the manager/owner of an landing strip, and KSR has officially changed the flight designation from (2 years ago) “permission required to land” to non-functioning.

Bertram said that the decision was a financial one and that it no longer made good economic sense to pay the insurance and maintain an airstrip that has become very under-utilized. When asked why it’s so under-utilized now, Bertram replied that it is probably for multiple reasons, including better highway infrastructure than in the old days and a changing age demographic, (fewer baby-boomers with pilot’s licenses and planes today than in the past).  He mentioned that there used to be groups of pilots and users that regularly donated money to help offset the cost of insurance and maintenance, but they are also no longer using the strip. It’s just too costly now.

Bertram says that there are no plans to develop the airstrip land into anything other than hay-growth at this time. KSR continues to work with the Nature Conservancy Trust to help preserve and protect the wetland area and he says that the airstrip will likely just grow over.

Near Fatal Drowning in Gray Creek


Chief Cory Medhurst reports that BC Ambulance Services and local first responders were called to a beach in the Gray Creek area at 5 pm on the evening of June 27th to attend to a reported near drowning.

A local man in his early forties had ventured out into the water, reportedly to meet friends in a boat, and had slipped under the shelf in the water and not resurfaced. He was reportedly under the water for  approximately one full minute before anyone got to him. Another local man (who Medhurst hails as a hero in this incident) went into the water and pulled out the unconscious man who was then attended to with CPR. He was resuscitated to pulse and breath and BC Ambulance got to the scene shortly thereafter.

Because of the seriousness of the incident, BCAS called in a helicopter with ALS paramedics who met the crew at the decommissioned airstrip in Crawford Bay.

Medhurst also issued a warning about cautiousness in driving and awareness of emergency vehicles.  In a separate incident, but at the same time,  a truck and camper attempting to enter the campground where the accident occurred sideswiped the ambulance causing some damage and a significant delay in patient care.

Summer is here… stay safe.

RETRACTION: Some comments printed in an earlier version of this article regarding the patient’s condition were attributed to the responding paramedics on scene. In fact, the paramedics made no such comments and those comments were removed upon learning they were incorrect. We apologize to everyone involved for any inconvenience.

Strawberry Social – June 25 1-4pm

Please join the Yasodhara Ashram as they celebrate the 21st Annual gathering of friends and neighbours!

Join us for strawberry shortcake, used book sale, live music, and community!

All are welcome. No need to RSVP.

For more information, please contact us.strawberry-s-header-2014