South Shuswap: What made the news in 2013

Aidan Lindblad, Mik Tyssen and Aidan Laug dress their parts for Sorrento Elementary’s Christmas concert.  - Photo contributed
Aidan Lindblad, Mik Tyssen and Aidan Laug dress their parts for Sorrento Elementary’s Christmas concert.
— image credit: Photo contributed


After being charged with production and possession of 800 marijuana plants, Darren Farrel, from Sorrento, walked free.  The judge ruled that police made too many errors on a search warrant request. An officer with just two years’ experience submitted the search warrant that the judge found to be “negligent to a degree the court should not condone.”

Friends of the Notch Hill Church Society began reconstruction of the Roman Catholic Holy Cross Church.

Abandoned in the 1970s, the church had suffered significant weather damage and was near collapse.

Volunteers are using photographs from past decades donated by the community to help restore the church to what is used to be.

The Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap encouraged students and families to reduce their time spent in front of the TV and computer, and instead pick up a book and read during their week long Unplug and Play Family Literacy Week.

The Sorrento Elementary School choir was invited to sing the national anthem at the Salmon Arm SilverBacks hockey game held at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.


Steve Corrie spoke to the Probus Club about Voice of the Shuswap, the new local radio station based in Salmon Arm.

The club recently became on of the more than 200 Probus Clubs in Canada, and has opened its membership to residents from the North Shuswap, Chase, Sorrento, Blind Bay, White Lake, Eagle Bay and Wild Rose Bay areas.

Salmon Arm RCMP discovered an underground marijuana grow-op on an 80-acre rural property on Wells Bank Road near Sorrento. Approximately 7,000 plants were seized and one man was arrested and faces charges of production of a controlled substance.

Northern Lights Chamber Choir performed Rejuvenation to the public at St. Mary’s Anglican Church in Sorrento. The choir chose this theme as they believe it elicits thoughts of health, renewed energy and joy, which people could use in the cold winter months.

The Sorrento 100 Committee gave a huge thanks to the local community, who helped make the centennial year in 2012 a whopping success. Sponsors contributed more than $40,000, in addition to $15,000 worth of donations in kind.

Principal of Sorrento Elementary School, Ian Lindy, speaks of the new learning tools the school has adopted. Lindy introduced iPads, iPad mini’s and tablets to the Grade 4-5 split class which have proved invaluable. The students now have the ability to learn on multiple platforms and in different ways.

The devices are used to enhance the current curriculum as teachers use the devices to teach through play; this especially helps students who have difficulty learning in the traditional pen and paper format.


More than 20 dance numbers were performed in front of more than 300 Shuswap residents at the FACES Studio first annual Spring Recital.

Barry Stokes and Jean-Luc Desgroseilliers were selected as the community representatives for the CSRD Community Sewer System Task Group. Community sewer is very much needed in the South Shuswap, as groundwater monitoring in both Sorrento and Blind Bay shows that run off from residential septic systems is getting into Shuswap Lake and contributes to the degradation of water quality. During the 2012 freshet, high waters resulted in many septic systems being flooded and leaked effluent into the lake.  Other members in the group include representatives from Interior Health, Ministry of Environment, CSRD Environment and Engineering Services and Development Services, First Nations, in addition to the community representatives selected.

A 24-year-old Sorrento resident, Allen Edward Power, was the confirmed identity of a man who died in a vehicle accident near Cache Creek on March 1.

Power drove his vehicle into the path on an oncoming charter bus carrying 22 Special Olympic athletes.

Sorrento Memorial Hall held a spring art sale displaying the work of more than 34 local craftspeople and artisans. Art for sale included pottery, glassware, woodwork and handmade leather goods.

Residents were encouraged to Carlin Hall for Card Night, which was organized for every Friday night in March.

John Reischman and the Jaybirds performed for a local audience at Carlin Hall March 25.

Shuswap Food Action Co-op is helping to link local landowners and growers into a national program called Landshare Canada. The co-op recognizes there is a huge inventory of local land that is under-utilized, and there are growers who don’t have the land they need to grow. This program helps connect the two groups.


The Cedar Heights Senior’s Theatre performed a murder mystery that raised more than $2,000 at the Log and hearth Restaurant; the proceeds go to the Blind Bay Bunch Team that participates in the Relay for Life.

Local Balmoral Road residents Larry and Kathy Pilcher made an application to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to be included into the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Normally the board sees requests to exclude land, and was surprised to see this inclusion request. The  application was forwarded to the Agricultural Land Commission, which makes has the final decision on this request.

Vic Hargitt, a black-belt karate instructor, performed a demonstration for residents and Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes during the official ceremony for the Cedar Heights Community Centre expansion.

With much help from volunteers, the Notch Hill Heritage Cemetery enjoyed a thorough clean up. Volunteers helped weed, rake and generally clean up the area as part of an effort to keep these historically significant areas of Notch Hill alive.

Volunteers also helped with the planting of some of the planters located in downtown Sorrento.

Vance and Keri Tierney, owners of White Post Auto Museum, hosted their first swap meet at the museum.

The event included a display of old vehicles in addition to the selling and trading of antique parts. It included a lunch served by the Sorrento Lions club.

White Lake Fire Department held their 32nd annual Mother’s Day pancake breakfast and craft sale at the White Lake Community Hall.


Community members enjoyed a taste of the coast at the annual Lobsterfest held at Cedar Heights Community Hall.

The local Lions Club held a pancake breakfast for Father’s Day, which included an appraiser’s booth setup. Artifacts and items of interest were brought to the booth to be appraised, in the hopes they were of significant value.

The Carlin Country Market took place at the Carlin Elementary and Middle Schools near the end of May. The market is Carlin School’s main fundraising activity of the year and has events for all ages, to help raise money for the many activities at Carlin School.

Fashions with a Flair fashion show was put on by Sorrento Memorial Hall as a fundraiser which displayed the styles of three local clothing stores: Touch A’ Texas, Chum N’ Luba and Suzanne’s.

People of Blind Bay affected by Multiple Sclerosis were invited to attend an event hosted by MS Society, Kamloops and Area Chapter.

The event included an overview of services offered by the MS Society, how to access their services and a discussion on the developments in the management of MS.

The day was open to people who have MS, as well as those who have a connection to MS by someone they know.

Tappen Fire Department volunteer Marc Zinchowsky won second place in the challenging obstacle course during the B.C. Volunteer Firefighters Spring Seminar, held in Salmon Arm this year. Tappen-sunnybrae members, Chris Brochert, Travis Porteous, and Zinchowsky worked together in the Rapid Intervention challenge and won second place in that event.


The Okanagan Regional Library kicked off its 2013 Summer Reading Club for kids. The program included contests, activities and guest speakers as a way to encourage children to read during the summer. Babies and toddlers were welcome to join the program in addition to children in kindergarten to age 12.

The library enjoyed a 16 percent increase in registration last year.

A new yoga studio, Breathe Yoga Studio, opened at the Sorrento Centre.

Jessica Wysouzil and Reanna Costa opened the studio after realizing that Shuswap residents had to go to other communities to take yoga classes.

A new online website, Shuswap Artists Exposed, was recently created to display the art of several Shuswap artists. Local businesses can go onto the website and pick out pieces they would like to display in their shops. The artists’ art gets exposure to the public and the businesses will have original works of art at a discounted price.

About 20 artists are part of the program, but the number of participants is expected to increase.

The South Shuswap Children’s Theatre Foundation, made up of children ages five to twelve, performed their first production, Treasure Island at the Shuswap Lake Estates Concert Hall on June 15.

The Blind Bay Bunch and Keep Fit worked together to prepare and host a pancake breakfast at the Cedar Heights Community Hall to raise money towards finding a cure for breast cancer.


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Community Events, April 2014

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