Revealing Our Area’s Best Tourist Attractions – Free Campaign Launching Soon!

CVKL Communities Team Up to Reveal Area’s Best Tourist Attractions

Businesses and Community Groups sought for Tourism Campaign Launching in summer of 2018

 The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Tourism Advisory Committee (CVKL TAC), a partnership of tourism stakeholders representing communities from Yahk to Riondel, is pleased to announce the launch of a one-year regional tourism campaign. The Free campaign, which launches in the summer of 2018 is now inviting applications by interested businesses and community organizations to participate.

Photo 1 – A truck & camper cruising Kootenay Lake in the summer

(Photo Credit: Andrew Bibby)

Similar to the International Selkirk Loop and the Creston Valley & East Shore Art Walk, the campaign will showcase participating local businesses, organizations, and attractions as part of four self-guided tours: Arts & Culture, Local Food & Wine, Nature & Recreation, and Health & Wellness.

By using  the campaign’s mobile-friendly website, social media pages, or just grabbing a print guide, visitors will be able to tour at their own time and pace while discovering the many unique businesses and attractions along the way. Ultimately by working together, the campaign will provide the inspiration visitors need to stay in the area longer and make more trips during the Spring and Fall shoulder seasons as well.

“I’m really excited to be part of the many businesses and groups working together from our local communities with the common goal of promoting tourism,” said  Baillie-Grohman Estate Winery co-owner and committee member Bob Johnson. “This regional campaign is a big step in the right direction that will not only benefit the tourism sector directly, but will also provide benefit for all our local businesses.”

With a launch date for early summer 2018, the CVKL TAC is now accepting applications from interested  businesses and community organizations until April 23rd.  Interested businesses and organizations can learn more about the campaign and apply at For further information or inquiries please feel free to contact project coordinator, Jesse Willicome at




YOU Are An Asset! Opportunities for Action March 16/18

You are an Asset!

by Laverne Booth

We finally got it right, just as we wind up the Asset Based Rural Development project on March 16 at the Opportunities for Action Forum at the school in Crawford Bay.   It is the people- the individuals, each with  skills and experience, who are the real assets of Area A.

Who looks after the community halls?  Who keeps the Lions Club going cooking hamburgers at events and counting our cans to raise money for good local and international causes?  Who keeps the youth engaged, and the seniors busy?  Who organizes and trains the First Responders and runs the health society? Who runs the fitness centre?  Who meets as the early childhood council EASEY ? Who sits on the Economic Development Commission, Rec 9 and the Area Planning Council?  Who keeps our internet service going?  Who organizes Starbelly Jam and Tipi Camp?  Who is making the music?  Who is doing community theatre?   YOU ARE!

You are individuals giving of your time, attention and caring to look after the social infrastructure of our communities.  Your creativity and energy makes our communities healthy and beautiful.   Volunteers are the people who are engaged, usually enjoying themselves,  helping to preserve what we have here on the East Shore/Wynndel area of Kootenay Lake, and working together to shape our bright future.

You are the people who are invited to attend the day long event on March 16 where we dive deep into what we already have (our assets), and where we want to go as a large Area A community- who we want to have as neighbours and what actions can we take together.  This is a time and place to express yourself.

The event starts at 9:30 am with writer Luanne Armstrong spinning some turbulent, topsy turvy East Shore communities stories from her upcoming book Shorelines.  You are invited to tell your newcomer story, and share your issues and dreams for your home community.  Meet some of the service providers and funders for the area, ponder together how we can improve what we already do well.

Resident citizens will hear about new initiatives, display any project ideas you have,  and choose an action to get behind even if it is only 30/30.  30 minutes a month.  Perhaps you are interested in a study group. There is no pressure to get involved- just wanting to empower residents to create the  future we want for ourselves, our families, the children, our world.

We are planning to feed 100 people.  REGISTER NOW!

Email  or text/call 250-551-6020 to get a form, set up child care or access ride sharing.





Aging Well Workshops in Riondel Mar 9/10

BC Healthy Communities will be facilitating an Aging Well Workshop at the Riondel Community Centre on March 9th and 10th.  

The objective of the workshop is to share information about services and resources available provincially and locally. It is geared not just to seniors, but to older adults to encourage them to start making plans on ‘aging well’

On Friday from 10:45-3, short presentations will be made by a panel representing each of 5 areas of discussion: Health, Finance, Social Connections, Transportation and Housing. Following this, a table talk section will provide time to address specific concerns and discuss other issues relating to senior care. It will give us a chance to summarize concerns and encourage participants to TAKE ACTION.

These workshops have been held in urban areas where it is much easier to end the first day by providing a multitude of options to seniors to address their concerns. However, rural areas have unique challenges to overcome if we want our seniors to age in place. Therefore, on Saturday from 11-2, we are inviting all senior program coordinators, along with BC Healthy Communities, to brainstorm, to connect with other agencies or health officials and to share knowledge. The hope, of course, is to end this day with a solution (or a work plan) for each concern expressed by the participants.

 Your input and participation in the Saturday event would be vital in obtaining a successful outcome. If there is a chance you could also attend the Friday event, you could hear first-hand the obstacles the seniors in our rural community are facing.

Please let us know if you, or a representative from your organization, are able to attend.

Organizing committee:  Peggy Skelton (Better at Home), Wendy Miller (Age-friendly Community), Fran ORourke (Riondel Seniors Association), Christy Gillespie (Ambulance Auxiliary), Laverne Booth (Better at Home)




We heard you! Based on feedback from the 2016 consultation process, the Balfour Ferry Terminal will stay in its current location, and we are taking steps to address challenges and make improvements:

  • Temporary service changes – March 11 to April 21: to ensure ongoing safe and reliable operation of the Kootenay Lake Ferry during annual low spring water levels
  • Round 2 Consultation — February 19 to March 30: to get your feedback on proposed improvements

For more information, please see below and visit

 Temporary Service Changes — March 11 to April 21

The channel near the Balfour Ferry Terminal has some shallow areas which will be addressed through proposed dredging in the coming year. In the meantime, this creates a navigational safety hazard for the normal operation of the MV Osprey during low spring water levels. The following temporary service changes are required:

Dates Service Change
March 11 – March 24
  • Reduced weight load* on the MV Osprey
  • Potential for increased wait times during busy sailings
March 25 – April 7
  • MV Balfour in operation while the MV Osprey is refitted
  • Vehicle capacity reduced to 28 vehicles
  • Potential for increased wait times during busy sailings
April 8 – April 21
  • Reduced weight load* on the MV Osprey
  • Potential for increased wait times during busy sailings

*Depending on the number and weights of commercial vehicles boarding the vessel during this time, the number of vehicles loaded may need to be limited which might in some cases result in a sailing wait for heavier vehicles.

 Plan ahead

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this temporary service change. We suggest ferry users:

  • Go to Drive BC’s updates for the Kootenay Lake Ferry to check for potential sailing waits
  • Check the overhead messaging boards in Nelson and Creston
  • Plan to arrive early for the ferry
  • Allow time for a potential sailing wait
  • Consider off-peak crossing times or an alternate route.
  • Help spread the word to your friends and family about these changes


Round 2 Consultation — February 19 to March 30, 2018

We want to hear from you about improvements to the existing Balfour Ferry terminal and provide an update on the new replacement ferry, proposed dredging near the terminal and other proposed improvements. Topics for feedback will include

  • Improving queueing safety
  • Increasing parking capacity
  • New public washrooms
  • Greenspace options

There will also be an opportunity to provide additional comments and to sign up for construction information updates.

Materials, including the Discussion Guide and Feedback Form, will be available starting on February 19 at You can learn more and provide feedback by:

Attn: Balfour Ferry Improvement Project,

Ministry of Transportation – Marine Branch

PO Box 9850 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, BC V8W 9T5.


Public Open Houses

Drop-in, no RSVP required.

Date Time Location
Tuesday, February 27 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Crawford Bay School – 16150 Walkley Rd., Crawford Bay.
Wednesday, February 28 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM Redfish Elementary School – 265 Bryan Rd., Nelson.


Small Group Meetings 

Small group meetings are scheduled for two hours. Please register in advance by emailing as space is limited.

Date Time Location
Tuesday, February 27 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Cabin Restaurant – 16898 Scott Rd., Kootenay Bay.
Wednesday, February 28 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Dock ‘n’ Duck – 7924 Hwy BC-3A, Balfour.


Please visit our website to learn more about the project and provide your feedback.

Thank you,

Balfour Ferry Improvement Project Team


How Input Will Be Used

Your feedback is important to us. Input received through this community consultation will be compiled and considered by the Ministry, along with technical, environmental and financial considerations, in the final plans for the Project.


“Finger Foods”- Hexagon’s 8th Annual Production Coming Up Next Weekend – Feb 23-25

Get your tickets now! On sale at CB Market, Riondel Market and Gray Creek Store…

Don’t miss out on this super fun cultural event – a play in seven bite-sized pieces.

Come for Hexagon Players 8th Production – “Finger Foods” – a compilation of 7 short plays. The compilation is a bit of an odd-ball collection, at times quirky, surreal, melancholy, hilarious. But the pieces seem to be fused together by recurrent themes: changing identities, the past visiting the present, and what we gain/what we lose in life, not to mention baggage.

The first delight of the evening is “Forty to LIfe”. A woman runs into the police station calling out for help. She’s been robbed. I won’t tell you what she has been stripped of, but it’s not her wallet. In a line-up of losers she recognizes where her hope has gone. But sometimes the past returns with new challenges and the possibility of fulfilment.

In “Finger Food” we witness a delightful pas de deux between a model and a photographer. Her hands are as elegant as his feet. Love flourishes. So does deceit.

What happens to the luggage that gets left behind on an airport carousel? In “Emotional Baggage” you’ll meet six forgotten suitcases as they share their experiences while waiting to be reclaimed. It’s a tragedy … if you can identify with your overnight bag.

“No Shoulder” is a powerful piece in which a hitchhiker and a driver challenge one another and both of them grow in awareness before the sudden end to the ride.

After the intermission where finger foods will be offered for sale, you will reenter the theatre which will now be the scene of a restaurant where four waitresses will offer up their individual versions of “Lives of Great Waitresses.” Be ready for surprising versions and re-versions of reality.

Then we’re on the streets of New York near the Majestic Theatre where Phantom of the Opera has been playing for decades. Outside on a lonely bench a street musician plays Coltrane’s “Lush Life” on his sax. A figure from his past recognizes him. A fragile relationship develops, dissolves, diffuses.

And in the end, “Everything Must Go” shows us two women organizing a yard sale in which one of them is getting rid of her past. Customers fawn over or sneer at what she has to offer. In the end we might wonder what are we left with when we strip away everything that shaped us?

With a cast of 14 actors, three directors, and one magical tech guy, it’s a big show, with plenty of finger foods to tease your pallet. Bon appetit!

4th Annual Youth Arts Festival Schedule Announced!

submitted by Oxygen Arts Centre, Nelson – BC

The 4th Annual Youth Arts Festival will take place in Nelson and Trail February 13-20! Please join us for some of this exciting programming. Since 2015 the annual Youth Arts Festivals have garnered inspired responses from participants, provided professional experiences for young artists, and opportunities for everyone to engage in youth arts oriented culture!

This year’s festival features an all ages Dance Cypher, taking place on Wednesday February 14th from 5-6:30pm, hosted by the Nelson District Youth Centre! Come bust some new or old moves in the all ages all styles cypher, with dancers and MC’s present from the Nelson, Trail and Rossland youth dance community, and featuring DJ Ripple! This event is free and open to the public to participate or observe. Connect of the Facebook event page here:

On Thursday evening, February 15th from 7-10pm, come celebrate youth talent at the Backstage Lounge and Open Mic Night. Featuring local musicians Evan Kinsella, Darnell Wolfe, Mike Meaney and more! This is a drop-in open mic night for youth 15-29, so bring your instruments! The night will also include the signature collective drawing tables, the famous pin making machine and tasty eats. This is a free event, taking place at Oxygen Art Centre. Connect of the Facebook event page here:

On Friday, February 16 at 7pm The Ouro Collective Performs Tangent at the Capital Theatre with special guest performances by Dance Fusion youth dancers. Tickets $5 Youth/Student and $10 Adult. Buy tickets online at

Throughout the festival, creative workshops and other activities will be happening around the Kootenay community. Oxygen Art Centre will host an evening of life drawing with music; a guitar workshop preceding the backstage lounge; an artist trading card workshop; as well as a portfolio development workshop for those who are thinking about applying to art school or wanting to start exhibiting their work! These events are all free and open to youth aged 15-29. The Ouro collective will also be teaching a number of hip-hop workshops, hosted at various dance centres in the Kootenays! Please see the full 4th Annual Youth Arts Festival Program Schedule below for details.

The goals of the Annual Youth Arts Festival are to encourage youth to pursue their artistic talents and interests, and those of their peers in a professional and meaningful way that can be celebrated by the community at large though attendance at the all-ages events.  The festival also provides mentorship and workshops that develop skills, educate and inform youth about professional art practices.  Everyone is invited to come out and support this important programming initiative and celebrate youth arts culture in our communities!

Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges festival supporters: British Columbia Arts Council, The Province of British Columbia, Canadian Heritage, Columbia Basin Trust, Thor’s Pizza, Nelson & District Youth Centre, Hall Printing, Hairy Productions, and Kootenay Gateway. The Bailey Theatre in Trail and the Capitol Theatre in Nelson have been partners in organizing the 4th Annual Youth Arts Festival.

Connect and find out event details on the Youth Arts Festival Facebook page:
Or at:



 Tuesday, February 13 5-7pm
Life Drawing at Oxygen Art Centre

Wednesday, February 14th 3:30-5pm
Ages 8+ HipHop Workshop at NDYC
Workshop registration contact: Slava Doval
Email: info@slavadancefusion p. 250-352-0047

Wednesday, February 14 5-6:30pm
Dance Cypher at Nelson and District Youth Centre, featuring DJ Ripple

Thursday, February 15th 7:30-9pm
Ages 12+ HipHop Workshop at Moving Centre
(prior danceexperience required!)
Workshop registration contact: Slava Doval
Email: info@slavadancefusion p. 250-352-0047

Thursday, February 15 5-7pm
Guitar Workshop with Ty Wright at Oxygen Centre

Thursday, February 15 7-9pm
Backstage Lounge and Open Mic, featuring Evan Kinsella, Darnell Wolfe and Mike Meaney At Oxygen Art  Centre

Friday, February 16 7pm
The Capitol Theatre presents OURO Collective – TANGENT
Special guest performance by DanceFusion Youth Dancers

Saturday, February 17 4-6pm
Portfolio Development Workshop at Oxygen Art Centre

Saturday, February 17 11-12:30
Beginner Youth Hip-hop Dance Workshop at Steps Dance Centre

Saturday, Feburary 17 4-5:30
Beginner Youth Hip-hop Dance Workshop at Kootenay Danceworks

Saturday, Feburary 17 7pm
All Ages Dance Battle at Rossland YAN Space

Sunday, February 18 6pm
The Charles Bailey Theatre presents OURO Collective – TANGENT
Special guest performance by Dance Fusion Youth Dancers

Tuesday, February 20 4-6pm
Artist Trading Cards Workshop at Oxygen Art Centre presented by the Youth Arts Hub

Movie Night!

Twice a month on Sundays, movies will be shown at the Crawford Bay School Performance Space. Popcorn, candy and pop will be sold and the tickets are $5 each. Proceeds to Science and Music programming.

First movie is tonight at 7pm – Loving Vincent

Survey Says!…


by Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Partnership

The results are in! The Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Partnership (CV-KL EAP) officially released the outcome from the Economic Action Partnership Strategy Survey to the public.

In October 2017, the communities from Yahk to Yaqan Nukiy to Riondel were invited to participate in surveys on improving the local economy. Overall, about 1000 locals participated – which included approximately 700 individual responses and 300 open-ended questionnaire completions from community groups and associations. The surveys were open to all ages and stages in the community.

Consultants from EcoPlan International (EPI) studied variations between the five areas (Area A, B, C, Lower Kootenay Band, and Town of Creston). Though there were differences in top priorities, every area’s top three rankings were a combination of the overall top five rankings, which included: attraction of more families/young people, improving services, job creation, protection of the region’s character/peacefulness, and attraction of new business and investment.

Similar to area variances, respondents who identified as business owners had slight differences in priorities for improving the local economy.  Both groups identified ‘attraction of families/young people’ as their top priority. However, more importance was given to ‘building a thriving local business sector’ and ‘attracting new business and investment’ by business owners, managers, self-employed, artist, and freelance respondents.

The business support survey asked the business community specifics regarding their identified priorities. The CV-KL EAP feels there are many resources available right now to support these individuals. The goal is to educate and steer the business community in the direction they’ve identified, while preparing key support systems in the future.

In November 2017, EcoPlan and the CV-KL EAP hosted over 40 members from the region; which included businesses, community associations, and other key community organizations. The group reviewed survey feedback, determined the priorities, and identified where they can help implement economic actions.

Similar to the survey results, there were slight differences in priority focuses. When considering goals and feasibility, the top rankings from the steering committee included: workforce development and attraction, training and support for new/existing businesses, agriculture, tourism, and increased business collaboration.

The rank differences are not surprising, as each area and citizen group hold strong and unique identities. However, it appears there is common ground – which is great indication regional collaboration around any economic strategy chosen will be successful.

The CV-KL EAP is currently in their last stages, Phase 4: Implementation. The partner areas, along with Eco Plan and the CV-KL EAP team, are determining the governance model, structure and most promising ‘strategy’ areas to focus on for the region. Their decisions will be based on overall community feedback, Eco Plan research and recommendations, and collective agreeance.

Right now, the objective is to find a model and strategy that works for the entire region. Where there are only winners, and everyone feels supported towards a stronger economy.

To view the survey results and economic snapshot of the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake region, please visit

Support Available Now for Business Community – Deadline Extended for Input!

Support Available Now For Business Community
by Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Partnership

Provide your input, before it’s too late!

The business support survey deadline has been extended to January 31st to allow more time for the business community to communicate their thoughts and concerns to the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Partnership (CV-KL EAP).

Even though the feedback is compiled by the CV-KL EAP, results will be shared with the key government officials (such as RDCK Area Directors, Town of Creston Mayor, and Director of Development Services at Lower Kootenay Band) and other business and economy groups (such as Chamber of Commerce chapters, Area A EDC, Creston Entrepreneurs Network) to review and digest.

“The feedback received so far is very valuable and insightful”, says Heidi Germann, CV-KL EAP Manager. “We feel we can provide business managers, owners, self-employed, artisans, home-based businesses and freelance individuals’ guidance towards supports that are available in the community right now. As well, this is an opportunity to fill in the gaps that are currently vulnerable in the business community.”

Supports available right now include access to funding and investment options (such as the Creston & District Community Investment Co-op), entrepreneur business planning and execution (such as the Local Entrepreneurship Accelerator Program), marketing and advertising support, and identification of new markets and key contacts.

“The CV-KL EAP wants to build a platform to support our business community, which will guide them to the specific people, resources and support they need. Open communication is important to us, as many businesses do not realize certain supports already exists. Many businesses are seeking similar answers.”

So far, businesses feel there is “huge potential” for economic growth in the region. Complete the survey today to receive your individualized support and feedback.

The survey is available at by selecting “Start Survey”.

The Bluebell Manor in Riondel Has a Vacancy

Image result for vacancy

The Bluebell Manor Society is  seeking applications from anyone interested in living there.

  • The Bluebell Manor has five self-contained suites approximately 600 square feet each.
  • Rent is subsidized for those on a low income. 
  • Preference is given to applicants 60 years of age or older.
  • Manor residents must be capable of living independently.

If interested please contact: Marie Spicer at (250) 225-3503 or Brian Philp at (250)227-9140 for more details or to get an application form.