GoByBike Week registration is now open in Penticton

Get psyched for bike week

Planning for Penticton's upcoming GoByBike Week is underway, with plenty of wheels turning and gears spinning in anticipation.

GoByBike Week will be May 30 through June 5, encouraging residents to use bikes instead of cars to do everything from running errands to commuting to work or just exploring the community.

The GoByBike organization is hoping to get more people than ever to participate. Last year, more than 600 people participated and logged in their time on bikes.

Registration is open to individuals or teams.

More information will be coming soon about events, sponsors and prize opportunities, but registration is available now here.

Penticton's signature events are back this summer

Classic events coming back

"Four seasons of fun" is a collaboration between Castanet and Travel Penticton showcasing what Penticton has to offer all year round. Watch for it every Monday morning.

June could be called the ‘comeback’ month thank to several signature early summer events coming back to Penticton.

In fact, the return of the Penticton Elvis Festival June 23 -26 is called the 2022 Comeback Festival, and the festival is poised to increase its attendance thanks to moving to the South Okanagan Events Centre.

The Saturday night headliner show and the Sunday afternoon finals will take place at the SOEC, instead of its prior venue, the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

“We’re looking for almost twice as many fans,” says Dave Martin, president of the festival society. “Cory Rempel has a great Johnny Cash show for Saturday night.”

ElvisFest kicks off on the Wednesday night with the festival’s most recent first place Elvis tribute artist, Bruno Nesci, performing at Slackwater Brewing, which will also host after-party karaoke on Friday night after the first round of competition ends.

The competition rounds, with 15 non-pros and 15 pros, are held in Okanagan Lake Park on Friday and Saturday. Sunday begins with a gospel show and pancake breakfast at the park, with partial proceeds from the $5 gospel event entry fee benefitting Critteraid.

And in keeping with tradition, a special VIP – this year, someone who performed 200 shows with Elvis as a member of the Stamps Quartet – will make an appearance.

Speaking of quartets, the tables for the District 19 Peach City Bridge Tournament June 13-19, are being readied for the return of Canada’s largest tournament of its kind, the second largest in North America.

With multiple games per day, participants simply come in and pay per session. No official registration is required. If you’re not (yet) a bridge player, tournament chair Marv Norden says they’re always looking for volunteers to help out. Not to mention new players; the local club has a great youth program, he notes.

“Penticton is well-known to bridge players for our hospitality, and this is a major event for hotels and restaurants,” he days. “We’re happy to have it back”

A sentiment Wayne Wood echoes for the return of the classic car show, the Peach City Beach Cruise, June 24-26.

While Wayne, president of the Penticton Historic Automobile Society, organizers of the Cruise, says the downtown parade will not happen this year, cruisers will be able to take part in a figure eight or circle cruise, along with a Friday afternoon wine tour.

“This more than a car show, it’s a party!” laughs Wayne. “We’ve got a great lineup of entertainment, and we’re looking forward to seeing everybody again.”

Entertainment takes place in Gyro Park, with live music, vendors, souvenirs, and food trucks and stands, while the ‘Magic Mile’ of cars can be explored along Lakeshore Drive. In 2019, so many people came out to have a look, both sides of the street needed to be closed to traffic.

If watching action on the water is more your speed, mark June 10-11 on the calendar for the 2022 Okanagan Super Sprints dragonboat races on Skaha Lake, offering head-to-head shorter distance racing.

The return of these summer events can pair with a perfect visit to Penticton to take in a performance at the SOEC. Check out the schedule and see if one of your favourites – Dallas Smith? Jann Arden? Shinedown? – will be here when you’re visiting.

Learn more at and on social @visitpenticton

Penticton accounting firm offering bursaries, prizes as part of youth artist contest

Calling all young artists

Kids, get your creative caps on!

Long-Haggerty Roberston LLP in downtown Penticton is hosting an artist competition for young artists in the South Okanagan.

Youth are invited to submit their original art in a Harry Potter theme for a chance to win a prize in one of three categories.

The first is a $500 bursary for a Grade 12 student to go towards post-secondary education.

The second is open to Grade 1-11. The winner will get a $100 gift card for art supplies, and the runners up will get $75 and $50 respectively.

The final category is for kindergarten students, and the winner will take home a backpack filled with art supplies.

Art can be any size, shape or form, meaning paintings, sketches, sculptures and everything in between are acceptable. Submissions can be dropped off in person at Long-Haggerty Roberston in the 200 block of Main Street before Friday, June 24.

The winners will be announced on Monday, June 27, and the artwork will be on display through the end of the summer.

Final chance to support local grads through Penticton Secondary school Dry Grad 50/50

Last chance Dry Grad 50/50

The Penticton Secondary School Dry Grad 50/50 fundraiser is down to its final hours.

Dry Grad is an annual event where graduating seniors can have an incredible time while staying safe. It is a supervised all-night party that allows the kids to end one journey and begin another in style.

The Dry Grad Committee organizes a fundraiser each year, run by parents of the graduating class and other volunteers.

This year it is a 50/50 draw, and the lucky winner will get the thrill of both helping out local students and winning up to $10,000.

Tickets are $10 each and a maximum of 2,000 will be sold.

Sales end at 5 p.m. on May 23 so don't wait. Click here to buy your tickets.

Kids camp hoping for comeback post-pandemic gets boost from old friends

Old friends help save camp

A Scouts Canada camp near Summerland that struggled financially during the pandemic has gotten a huge boost thanks to a generous donation from some old friends.

The Penticton Kinsmen Disability Resource Centre Society (PKDRCS) read a news item on Castanet in April about the struggles of Camp Boyle, which has played host to a variety of youth camping opportunities through Girl Guides and Scout groups, hosting up to 250 kids at a time in it tenting sites and sleeping cabins over decades.

But the pandemic hit the camp hard, and the Friends of Camp Boyle committee was fundraising to be able to afford to reopen ?— fire protection systems, water well upgrades, septic systems and insurance all need upgrading.

After reading about it, the Kinsmen decided to help.

The club was instrumental in constructing Camp Boyle in the 1960s, and have supported it with donations ever since. They have continued that tradition by presenting a $5,000 cheque to Camp Boyle this week.

"Camp Boyle has served generations of youth and is not only used by local scouting groups, but many other groups from around the province and hopefully will do so for many more," reads a news release from the PKDRCS directors.

The group is just getting started giving back to the community. The PKDRCS decided last fall to gift the Kinsmen CPR Station on Hastings Street in Penticton to another local community group.

A Request for Proposals for the location, which is assessed at close to $2 million, was put out and multiple organizations responded.

"The Kinsmen Society is very pleased with the number and calibre of the proposals and will soon announce the gifting of this historical building and property to continue as a benefit to the community," the society said.

Penticton Police apprehended an 'extremely combative' man under the Mental Health Act Saturday

Man grabs officer's gun

Penticton RCMP officers struggled to apprehend an “extremely combative” man under the Mental Health Act Saturday.

In a press release from the Penticton RCMP Sunday morning, Const. Dayne Lyons said police were asked by a physician to apprehend a man and take him to the hospital for treatment.

Police did not disclose the reason why they were asked to apprehend the man, or where in Penticton the incident took place, but Const. Lyons said the man fought with police.

“During this call for service the individual was extremely combative,” said Const. Lyons. “During the altercation he kept reaching for the officer’s service pistol, and at one point had full grasp of the handle.

“Our officer followed, and relied upon, his training to a ‘T.' At no point did the male un-holster the pistol. The officer was able to keep his pistol secure the entire time.”

Four officers were needed to subdue and apprehend the man, and Const. Lyons says neither the man nor the officers were injured.

“Our officers (as first responders), regardless of where they serve, are called to mental health related incidences with increasing frequency,” Const. Lyons said.

“We recognize that while police are often engaged, the solution to mental-health related issues requires a greater societal response.”

The Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland has a bonded pair of playful kittens to adopt

Home for two playful kitties

Casey Richardson

After a Penticton business took it upon themselves to run a fundraiser for the Critteraid Animal Sanctuary in Summerland, their team got to name a group of rescued kitties, which are now coming up for adoption.

COBS Bread at Riverside Village raised $5,152.00 for the rescue.

Two of the COBS Bread kittens, named Cocoa and Slicer, are a brother and sister pair looking for a home together.

"Cocoa is our little lady and Slicer is a little boy and they are looking for a home together as they are very bonded," Critteraid Animal Director Jess Byer said.

"They will be indoor only kittens, but they could learn how to do leash harnessing and of course they would enjoy their own 'catio.'"

It's been a busy kitten season for the rescue and many more young furry friends will be coming up for adoption in the next couple of months.

If you're interested in this sweet duo or learning about more of the kittens and cats available, send an email to Critteraid at [email protected]

Summerland residents push for upgrades, environmental protection in future of waterfront areas

Next steps for waterfront

The importance of keeping lakeshore areas and beaches well maintained to the Summerland community is expressed well in the feedback for the Waterfront Concept Plan, which will be presented to district council on Tuesday.

The feedback was collected in March ahead of developing a Waterfront Concept Plan by consultants from Lees & Associates, which included input sessions with Council, the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee, environmental resources, youth, service clubs, park user groups, community organizations, neighbours, and local businesses.

This includes Peach Orchard Beach, Rotary Beach Park and Horse Beach.

The plan will follow aims set by council focusing on design and services promoting inclusivity and promotion of physical activity for healthy lifestyles.

It will set the future course of stewardship for park land, beaches, amenities, swimming and water activities and infrastructure in the areas of Peach Orchard Beach to Rotary Beach Park.

Initial feedback from the reports suggest that residents are passionate about maintaining opportunities for horses and dogs to enjoy the beaches and water is important.

Out of the online survey, which included 480 responses the public, residents want to see:

  • Improved swimmer safety, including reduced conflict between water recreation users (boaters, swimmers, etc)
  • Universal accessibility improvements, especially to the water, washrooms, and seating areas
  • Environment and sustainability included, protecting the waterfront environment
  • Parking is a challenge, but keeping park space is more important and improved bike infrastructure is needed.
  • A desire for more canopy trees and native planting

In the overall feedback from the survey, improving amenities and the landscape, improve trails for walking and biking, and enhancing the environment were prominent.

Respondents also want to see the washrooms made to be fully accessible with year round use and a Family wash and change rooms included.

On Rotary Beach, respondents want to see improvements made to:

  • Shelter from the sun (51%)
  • More trees (45%)
  • Fire pits (38%)
  • Amenities for food trucks (36%)
  • Larger open water swim area (30%)

On Peach Orchard Park, respondents want to see improvements made to:

  • Expand/ improve beach (52%)
  • More trees + habitat (39%)
  • Amenities for food trucks (31%)
  • Shelter from the sun (29%)
  • Accessibility at the Dog Beach (28%)

On Horse Beach, respondents want to see:

  • Keep it as it is - keep it natural and quiet, as a local’s beach (58 open ended responses)
  • Ensure horse access (52 responses)
  • Improve parking especially for trailers (27 responses)

Heading forward, the key improvements suggested are to include: A continuous bike path that provides cycling infrastructure, sufficient accessible parking, set up life saving equipment, add riparian planting and use nature-based solutions to protect and restore the shoreline, plant additional trees in the parks and along the Centennial Trail and clarify and communicate animal regulations.

The consultants are planning for an in-person public open House on June 16, 2022, from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 pm, with a presentation at 5:30 pm, at the Arena Banquet Room to display draft concept plans and collect community input.

A second public survey will be issued and available from June 6 – 26, 2022, to gain further input from the public.

The consultants are targeting the beginning of August to have the Waterfront Concept Plan completed and will return to Council on August 22, 2022, to present the final Plan.

Council will review the Waterfront Concept Plan Update on Tuesday.

Fundraising started for Osoyoos Canada Day fireworks display, with a $95K goal

Raising $95K for fireworks

A small team of Osoyoos residents are gearing up to host their most spectacular fireworks event yet this July 1, for the return of the South Okanagan's biggest Canada Day festivals.

Annette Star is the co-ordinator for fundraising the Osoyoos Fireworks and this year is hoping to raise $95,000 — doubling the last celebration's budget — to really wow locals and visitors.

Osoyoos typically draws crowds of 30,000 people for the day-long celebration complete with the Cherry Fiesta, pancake breakfast, beer gardens and parade.

"It was supposed to be our 25th anniversary two years ago. So we're trying to raise double the funds of what we normally that we can have a phenomenal show," Start said. "I'm thinking we're probably going to have 40 to 50,000 people watching the fireworks this year. "

The plan for this year's show is to really pack it with specialty fireworks.

"We have actual fireworks that go into the water and come up out of the water. We're hoping to beat Ottawa this year, but we're not going to tell them," Star added with a laugh.

The show is orchestrated by Frank Zandvliet, who's been working on the show since January for this summer. He's been planning music with one of the local bands, Rebel Luv, to synchronize the fireworks to the beat.

The entirety of funds raised go towards the show.

"It's all product, because Frank and his pyro crew, they don't take anything and our fundraising crew doesn't take anything. Every cent that we earn goes towards those fireworks."

The fireworks are ordered from Big Bang Fireworks in Alberta, which are supplied from Portugal. The crew starts placing orders at the end of May through June as fundraising comes in.

Star said that fundraising has basically just started, with the Town of Osoyoos supplying $8,000, the Elks Club donating $1,000, and a private donation for a $1000.

"We're starting to get out there and hit the businesses and things like that. And I mean, all I've been doing for the past two years is sorting bottles and going to the bottle depot because we couldn't go out to businesses with COVID. Businesses were hurting so you know, they're not likely to donate."

Star had also started a GoFundMe for their fundraising campaign, hoping it will get shared across the Valley and the border.

"It's crazy because people come from Kelowna, from Penticton and they come all the way up the mountain, from Christina Lake and things like that. The other way they come from Keremeos and Hedley, and even people from the states come up."

The long weekend already looks to be fully booked out in the town too.

"If people are going to come down, they better get here early. I think every hotel is booked already for that weekend...The beaches get packed so if they want to watch, they better get there soon."

People will line up their chairs starting around 7 p.m. for the 10 p.m. fireworks show.

Star shared that if you're booked into a hotel on the north end of the lake, they have perfect seats for viewing the show.

"A lot of people go up on Anarchist Mountain to watch, since there's lookouts there," she said.

The show will last for around 30 minutes.

"To stand down there and hear the crowd. It's amazing. I actually cry every time the fireworks go off. You know, you work so hard, but you bring something to so many people. It's absolutely fantastic."

Personal donations are tax-deductible and a receipt will be given if requested, which will be mailed out next January.

For further questions or to directly to arrange a donation, call Star at 250-495-6227.

The Penticton Salvation Army needs more volunteers

A need for more volunteers

The Penticton Salvation Army needs volunteers to come help work in every sector that their organization runs to give to the local community.

On Friday June 10, the Salvation Army will be hosting an information session for participants to learn more about becoming a volunteer.

The organization works through the generous amount of donations that came in from the community to run its food bank, thrift store and emergency disaster service.

The session will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information, visit their website here or contact 250-492-6494.

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