What made the news in South Shuswap in 2013

Marilyn Clark, chair of the health-care committee; Dr. Melanie Dyer; Judy Deringer, nurse practitioner; Norm Martin, member of the Sorrento and Area Community Association and the health-care committee; Barry Stokes, chair of SACA and member of the health care committee and Paul Demenok, Columbia Shuswap Regional District director for the South Shuswap, were just some of those responsible for getting the health centre up and running. - File photo
Marilyn Clark, chair of the health-care committee; Dr. Melanie Dyer; Judy Deringer, nurse practitioner; Norm Martin, member of the Sorrento and Area Community Association and the health-care committee; Barry Stokes, chair of SACA and member of the health care committee and Paul Demenok, Columbia Shuswap Regional District director for the South Shuswap, were just some of those responsible for getting the health centre up and running.
— image credit: File photo


Bruce and Laura and their son Grant Nyeste displayed their handcrafted pottery at the High Country Pottery Sale at Sorrento Memorial Hall. The family has owned their small pottery shop called Mud Sweat and Tears in Blind Bay since moving to Canada from New Zealand in 1981.

Elvis impersonator Adam Fitzpatrick performed at Shuswap Lake Estates in the Louisiana Hayride concert. Other acts included the music of  Loretta Lynne, Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline as the impersonators performed the re-enactment of the hit radio show that ran from 1948 to 1960 in Louisiana.

Families enjoyed the festivities during the Eagle Bay Day event held at Eagle Bay Hall.

Notch Hill hosted its first annual dog show this year. Vernon RCMP spoke about their dog training program. Kelowna’s Bernie Quist gave demonstrations with her service dog, Jackson.

People’s Choice awards were announced after the Blind Bay Painters Art Show held on the Canada Day weekend in Blind Bay. First place was awarded to Fran Lewis for “Lengthening Shadows,” second to Carrie George for “Down on the Farm” and third to Carrie George for “Standing Alone.”

Tappen and Shuswap volunteer fire departments and the South Shuswap First Responders gathered at the Carlin Elementary School parking lot to meet each other and learn how each other operates. The different groups would all likely be called to duty in the event of a large fire, so knowing each other and practising together in mock scenarios allows for better communication and less confusion should such an event happen.


Shuswap Zone 8 was well represented at the BC Seniors Games as they brought home the second highest number of medals – 122 gold, 105 silver and 103 bronze for a total of 330. They were topped only by Fraser Valley Zone 3 who took home 403 medals.

Jean Jenks, representing Sorrento, competed in two cycling events, placing fifth in one and fourth in the 70-74 age group hill climb. Mary Pakka from Sorrento competed in three 80-84 age group cycling events and took home gold in all three. James Roberts, Wolfgang Heinzman, Fred Home, Bill Jackson, Paulette McKinnon, and Linda MacPherson all won several medals in various events at the games.

Judy Coutts and Judy Mackenzie, sisters-in-law and artists, held an art show at recently opened Reedman Gallery. The gallery is located in the lower level of the Blind Bay Hall.

The Nimble Fingers workshop was held for the 24th year as bluegrass lovers from across North America came to Sorrento for the weeklong event.

The South Shuswap Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library asked for the community’s input on what they thought would be the best hours of operation.

The library hours were 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays. People had the option of filling out the survey in person or online.


In co-operation with BC Cancer Foundation, the new non-profit South Shuswap Health Services Society brought a mobile mammogram unit to Blind Bay. The society wanted to ensure that South Shuswap women had the opportunity to get screened for breast cancer.

The Shuswap Scottish Dancers welcomed students as they returned to the dance floor. Classes ran until mid-April.

Popular bluegrass musician and local Sorrento man, Gene Bretecher, was mourned by the community following his death. Seventy-four-year-old Bretecher fell out of his boat about 30 metres from the shore on Shuswap Lake and, despite quick response from help nearby, could not be resuscitated.

Volunteers gathered to help with the annual Cedar Heights clean-up.

In addition to showcasing her work, world renowned quilter, Catherine Nicholls, hosted a quilting workshop at the Sorrento Centre. Participants in the workshop experimented with different quilting fabrics and created their own original works. Nicholls spends much of her time teaching and showing her art in Britain and Europe.

The Carlin auction was held at Carlin Hall with locals picking through random consignment items, including antiques, furniture and collectibles. The Burnette family has continued to host the event over the last few years since settling in the Shuswap. The family has seen increased interest in auctions since television shows like Baggage Wars and Storage Wars.


The BC Cancer Foundation provided its mobile mammogram unit to women in the South Shuswap for screenings at the Sorrento Drop-In Society and the Blind Bay Marketplace.

The service was well received with all appointments being filled. The unit returns to the area for two days in the spring of 2014.

A six-week long chronic pain workshop was held in Blind Bay/Sorrento for adults with chronic pain or those who know someone with chronic pain.

Judy Deringer, nurse practitioner, was announced as the new primary health-care services provider for Sorrento and South Shuswap. The position is funded by Interior Health while the Sorrento and Area Community Association is providing an office space above Munro’s Drug Store in Sorrento.

A bake sale was held at the Sorrento Curves location to help raise money towards cancer research.

The Notch Hill Town Hall put on a unique fashion show in the community that showcased vintage and thrift-store clothing.

In addition to old- fashioned trick or treating, children and families also had the opportunity to dress up for the Halloween party held at Sorrento Memorial Hall and the children’s Halloween party hosted by the Lion’s Club.

Canadian children’s icon, Fred Penner, visited Sorrento Elementary School.

The Cedar Centre celebrated its grand re-opening after 173 days of renovations. The centre’s upgrades were made possible by $400,000 in grants and personal donations and more than 5,000 hours of volunteer labour. The centre has long been a key location for hosting community events, and the renovations help in making it even more functional and inviting to all groups.


The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce re-opened after 10 months of being inactive. Local resident and business owner, Karen Brown, worked diligently to gather a diverse group of local businesses who could work together. Last January the chamber was forced to close its doors after quorum could not be met with the existing membership.

The Cedar Heights Community Association held its annual Christmas bazaar and bake sale.

The Sorrento Lions Club annual Seniors Christmas Party was held at Sorrento Memorial Hall. The event was free for seniors and included a silent auction and 50/50 draw.

The 2013 Artistry Show and Sale was held at the Blind Bay Community Hall for two days, with artisans showcasing their unique, handcrafted items.

With the help of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Interior Health and many grants and donations, the Sorrento Health Centre officially opened its doors for appointments. The clinic has two examining rooms, a meeting room, waiting room, and staff room. Nurse practitioner, Judy Deringer, was hired to run the center.

The White Lake Fire Department held their sixth annual door-to-door food drive for the Sorrento Food Bank.

Blind Bay senior’s theatre club organizer Peter Blacklock encouraged local seniors to come and see what the club is about.

The club isn’t so much about public performance as it is a social club and a safe environment to learn new skills, exercise the brain and meet new people. Blacklock also has a similar program in Salmon Arm and Sorrento.


Sorrento Elementary School raised $1,603 from the annual silent auction. The funds were donated to the survivors of the Philippine typhoon.

Notch Hill Town Hall Association president Edith Rizzi was given special thanks for her contributions to the community at the Second Annual Ladies Christmas Social.

The Tappen-Sunnybrae firefighters raised $2,700 and 2,060 pounds of food during their annual food drive. The money and food goes to the Salvation Army Food Bank.

The CP Rail Holiday Train made a stop at the Davies Road-Notch Hill Road crossing and featured performances by Juno award winner Melanie Doan and jazz singer Matt Dusk.

Students from FACES Fine Arts Studio performed a modern day twist of The Nutcracker as their Christmas recital.

More than 80 students participated in the event.


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