Mentorship Opportunities

Be A Mentor!

by Matthew Winger, Mentorships Coordina­tor, CBESS

For six years the in­novative Crawford Bay School Mentorship Program has been mat­ching secondary stud­ents with community members to provide personalized learning experiences.  We have been very fortunate to be able to coor­dinate the myriad ac­tivities and to witn­ess the wonderful in­teractions between the students and their mentors.  Students have summed up their experiences with statements as profound as “I have a new best friend” and many mentors have found a “renewed interest and inspiration” sha­ring their interests and expertise with students.  It’s said that “it takes a vi­llage to raise a chi­ld”.  The mentorship program contributes to a stronger commu­nity through these shared experiences and connections.
We will again be see­king mentors for this year’s program sch­eduled to begin in early May through to early June.  Please feel free to contact me if your talents and skills align with the following list of student interests and to refer commu­nity members to the program at 250-227-9218  or cbessmentorships@gma­
Student Interest Top Picks:
  • computer repair
  • rock climbing
  • video game coding
  • vet assistant
  • photography
  • sewing
  • creative writing
  • automotive repair
  • trail building
  • piano
  • ESIS
  • sound mixing
  • massage Therapy
  • archery
  • welding
  • tanning
  • sailing
  • candy making
I thank you once aga­in for your enthusiastic support of this pro­gram.  Other schools in our district and the province are ea­ger to replicate our results so we may be proud of what we have accomplished tog­ether.  For those of you who have been mentors, thank you for caring and sharing your time, effort and sometimes patience to support a stude­nt’s learning.  For those of you who have not yet had the re­warding opportunity to be a mentor, I ho­pe you will soon.

Ooops! So Sorry…


The back page of the March Mainstreet listed the MV Osprey as being out of service in March, when in fact it isn’t until April that the servicing occurs. We are sincerely sorry for any confusion this mis-print may have caused.


Columbia Basin Trust to fund Avalanche Canada with $450,000 over three years

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(Columbia Basin) – Winter backcountry users in Canada often rely on Avalanche Canada to help keep safe. To support the important work it does—including notifying backcountry users of avalanche conditions and risks—Columbia Basin Trust is funding the non-profit organization with $450,000 over three years.

“We’re blessed with beautiful mountains here in the Basin, which means we have to be smart when we play out there in the winter,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “The efforts of Avalanche Canada not only help protect residents, but help our region continue to attract winter tourists. This boosts our economy, as does the fact Avalanche Canada and its employees are based right here in the Basin.”

“We are extremely grateful for this support from Columbia Basin Trust,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director, Avalanche Canada. “Predictable multi-year funding is critical for our operations and allows us to maintain our services for the backcountry community.”

To increase public avalanche safety, Avalanche Canada issues daily avalanche forecasts throughout the winter for many of the mountainous regions of western Canada, providing this free information via their website and mobile app. It also coordinates and delivers avalanche awareness and education programs, acts as a central point of contact for avalanche information and performs avalanche research projects. In winter it employs over 30 people through its head office in Revelstoke and its field team in Fernie.

Virtually the entire Basin is served by its programs and services. Of its 12 forecast regions, eight are in the Basin, making up over half of the area it covers. The Basin is also where most avalanche fatalities occur in Canada: 52 per cent between 2000 and 2014. That’s why the work of this organization is so vital to this region.

The Trust also funded Avalanche Canada in 2015, with $370,000 over two and a half years. In addition to continuing its ongoing activities, the organization used this for items like developing a new website, upgrading its technology and introducing the Mountain Information Network, which allows backcountry users to share real-time data and observations from the field.

The Trust has also committed $50,000 over two years to help Avalanche Canada deliver a program specific to youth. In 2015/16, the organization delivered the program to 36 schools in 26 Basin communities, raising avalanche awareness and reducing risks amongst nearly 4,000 students of all ages.

To learn more about Avalanche Canada, visit

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit or call 1.800.505.8998.



The province is releasing $50 million to school districts across the province to hire more teachers as part of the agreement reached with the BC Teachers’ Federation following a Supreme Court ruling that bargaining legislation imposed in 2002 was unconstitutional.

B.C. students will soon benefit from an agreement reached with the BCTF to provide school districts with $50 million to immediately begin hiring teachers and improve student supports, Education Minister Mike Bernier announced today.

The funding is for the 2016-17 school year and is equivalent to compensation for approximately 1,100 teachers. The actual number of teachers hired will be determined by districts, local unions, and the hiring process.

The priority measures, outlined in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed this week by the Province, the BC Public School Employers’ Association and the BCTF, are the first step in responding to the decision from the Supreme Court of Canada as negotiations continue on the restored collective agreement provisions.

The funding will go towards:

  • Hiring additional classroom teachers this school year where it is feasible to do so given current timetable, physical space and labour supply limitations.
  • Hiring additional specialty teachers this school year where it is feasible to do so. This includes, but is not limited to, teachers employed as special education teachers, speech language pathologists, behaviour intervention specialists, school psychologists, Aboriginal support teachers, counsellors including for mental health, ELL teachers, and teacher librarians.
  • Where it is not feasible to add additional teachers during the current school year, the funding may be used to fund district-level capacity building opportunities such as upgrading existing teacher qualifications during the 2016-17 year, teacher recruitment programs and teacher mentoring programs.

The priority measures MOA provides districts with the flexibility to work with their local teachers’ union to determine how best to use the funding to provide additional education services for students by hiring new teachers and specialist teachers.

The parties agreed in the last round of bargaining that they would reopen the agreement and negotiate from the restored contract provisions. The parties continue to meet and jointly review the old contract language as well as current district-level information on classrooms and composition. These negotiations will determine how to modernize the language so it reflects changes to classrooms that have taken place over the past 15 years.

Both sides are working collaboratively to ensure that the final agreement on the restored provisions will have a meaningful impact on student outcomes and working conditions for teachers into the future. In the meantime, the action announced by the B.C. government today is ensuring students benefit from enhanced learning environments now – while negotiations for a final agreement are underway.

The priority measures funding is in addition to the $5.1 billion invested in public education in B.C. which includes $100 million in the learning improvement fund that is already in place to help hire more teachers and education assistants.

The Gift of Gratitude


I ask you to pour yourself a nice glass of something wonderful, pull up  a chair, settle your mind and heart and, in a quiet and willing moment, settle yourselves in to watch this ten-minute video. It will change your day, and maybe even your life.

With warm love and a happy heart, this is my Christmas wish and gift to you. I am grateful beyond belief for this time, this gift of life, and every day with each one of you.


Gratitude | Louie Schwartzberg | TEDxSF




christmas music tomorrow!

Here We Come A-Wassailing: A Celebration of Christmas Music is happening tomorrow, Sunday, Dec.18th.


Two performances: 2:30 pm and 7 pm.  Both the band and the choir have been working hard to wish all you friends and neighbours a Merry Christmas through music.

The concerts are at Harrison Memorial Church on Crawford Creek Rd.  Admission is by donation with the proceeds going to a maintenance fund for the church building.

New Creston & District Co-op is Putting Your Money Where Your Life Is!




By Eden Yesh

In today’s interconnected world, it’s easy to see how your hard earned money can end up going towards projects and businesses all over the world. In 2013, tax filers in the Town of Creston alone contributed $4.4Million into their RRSP’s, much of that money leaving the valley and Canada to be put to work elsewhere in the world. Imagine what an impact we could have by re-directing just 5% of that money back into our communities? The idea of Community Impact Investing aims to do just that.

Community Impact Investing is the process of connecting local investors to local investment opportunities. An investment committee will screen local investment opportunities for risks and rewards, and bring their top choices to a group of local investors. While the demand for investing locally is increasing, the traditional investment options available to investors limit where they can invest. The result is that almost all local investment capital leaves our community and is invested into far off stock markets and corporations. An unintended consequence is that while our investments create significant jobs and wealth elsewhere in the world, the places we live, work and play are overlooked.

Kootenay Employment Services Society (KES) and a group of twenty regional stakeholders have been motivated by stories from around the world about local investment vehicles successfully meeting community needs. In particular, the group has been inspired by examples that have funded rural affordable housing, renewable energy and agri-food infrastructure – projects that can be extremely difficult to finance through traditional methods. Local investments tend to generate not only employment and economic activity, but also civic pride and new attitudes about local ability to drive positive community change.

The Creston & District Business Retention and Expansion Study (2016) revealed that just under half of businesses in our region plan to expand within 3 years, yet availability of financing was identified as a top barrier to business expansion. Over the past year KES staff, guided by the twenty regional stakeholders, completed a robust feasibility study and business plan to establish a local investment tool: The Creston & District Community Investment Co-op (CDCI CO-OP).

“The CDCI CO-OP aims to direct new, or pre-existing, investment capital from local residents into local businesses and projects and will service communities from Yahk to Riondel.” – says Eden Yesh, project coordinator.

The CDCI CO-OP is looking for a maximum of 150 Creston & District residents to become member/investors. An information session for East Shore residents will be held at the Crawford Bay Community Hall on Tuesday December 6th , from 6:00-8:00pm. This presentation will explain the CDCI CO-OP business model and the opportunity for local investors to become involved. Food and drinks will be provided and admission is free.

RSVP to the December 6th session at
or contact Eden Yesh at or 250-428-5655 ext. 401