South Shuswap 2012: Year in review

Year in review: The first six months of the year are featured. Next week, the remainder.

  • Dec. 28, 2012 8:00 a.m.
Shuswap Lake flooding in June closed portions of Blind Bay road to traffic.

Shuswap Lake flooding in June closed portions of Blind Bay road to traffic.


This January marks the Year of the Water Dragon according to the Chinese calendar.  Chinese New Year is celebrated Jan. 23 to Feb. 9.

Due to a generous donation from Blind Bay Village Grocer owners, Colby and Annette Woodhead, the Dragon Boat Society is newly started in Blind Bay, with a brand new dragon boat.

An Awaken the Doctor Within workshop was held by local Sorrento resident and reiki master/teacher, Elaine Hopkins, at the Sorrento Centre.

The Human Statues, a folk/pop duo from Vancouver Island, entertained students at North Shuswap Elementary School and Carlin Elementary Middle School; the band focuses on teaching “jubilation” to students across Canada.

Burns Night Celebrations were held at Sorrento Memorial Hall as a fundraiser for the Sorrento Drop In Society. The Sorrento Scottish Country Dancers provided entertainment.

Everyone was encouraged to get out and socialize at the games/cards night held at Cedar Heights Centre.

Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper officially acknowledged that Sorrento is the “Heart of the Shuswap.”  Salmon Arm had begun to use the tag, but a campaign by the Sorrento community confirmed they had been using the slogan and wanted to keep it exclusively for Sorrento. Salmon Arm will go back to using “Gem of the Shuswap.”

The North and South Shuswap Community Resources Association encourages students and adults to continue being active throughout the winter by arranging activities at the Sorrento Community Drop-In Centre.

Lisa Rolland, the newly re-elected school board trustee for the Carlin/Sorrento area died recently from an aggressive form of cancer. She had been well respected in her community and had been on the board for six years.



South Shuswap celebrated both Valentine’s Day and National Flag Day, the latter to remember and mark the day the new Canadian  emblem, the red and white maple leaf flag, was first raised over Parliament Hill in Ottawa in 1965.

Carlin Elementary Middle School students and teachers were entertained and educated by traditional          dances performed by members of the Little Hawk band and narrated by Okanagan Indian Band elder Emery Robins. The students were introduced to the Grass Dance, the Women’s Traditional Dance, the Medicine Dance, and the Young Man’s Traditional dance, with all performers dressed in beautiful traditional regalia.

Students in the South Shuswap wore pink shirts on Feb. 29 in recognition of bullying. The day is meant to raise awareness and generate discussion of bullying in schools.

A community forum was held at Carlin Elementary Middle School for parents and other interested community members to discuss better education opportunities and ideas for students attending Carlin and Sorrento Schools in the future.

The third annual Sorrento Wave Short Story Contest kicks off with the $5 entry fees going towards the South Shuswap First Responders. This year all stories had to begin with the line “in that surreal moment when the car skidded off the road, my father’s warning echoed in my ears.”

Cedar Heights Community Association organized winter sleigh rides for all ages at Walters Sleigh Rides on Notch Hill.



The Columbia Shuswap Regional District received $690,000 from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to help with the construction of a parallel paved trail along Blind Bay Road. The trail, currently about 50 per cent complete, has been under construction for the past eight years. This funding is to start constructing the difficult terrain of steep slopes, rock bluffs and poor stability sections of the trail.

The Spring Craft Sale was held at Sorrento Memorial Hall.

The Community of Sorrento enjoyed the Northern Lights Chamber Choir performance held at St. Mary’s Church. The newly formed choir is made up of local talented residents and directed by Steve Guidone.

Four members of shorei-kan karate, who practise at Cedar Heights Community Hall, go to Japan for a tournament.

Both members and non-members of the Cedar Heights Community Association went to Crazy Creek Resort for a ladies’ overnight outing. The association also hosted a social fun games/ card night at the Cedar Heights Centre.

The South Shuswap Chamber of Commerce hosts a St. Patrick’s Day Fun Night Fundraiser at Duffers Den in Shuswap Lake Estates. The chamber brought in Brian “Elvis” Simpson from Vancouver who performed several classic Elvis songs as part of the evening’s entertainment.

Interior Health provided $44,000 to the Secwepemc community to help members take part in the Train the Trainer certificate program. A Neskonlith band member will be trained in youth addictions, while $20,000 will be for IHA Secwepemc Training Sessions for several workers. Another $20,000 grant is for the Shuswap Training & Employment Program.



A used-book sale was held at Carlin Elementary School to raise funds for the Lisa Rolland Children’s Literacy Fund. The Shuswap Community Foundation renamed the fund after longtime school board trustee, Lisa Rolland, recently passed away.

Cedar Heights Community Association held an open house to showcase the different activities, programs and services the community offers. The day was also a celebration of the association being in operation for 38 years.

Shuswap Lake Estates Community Association sponsored a safe boating course for residents. Pleasure craft operator cards were given to participants at the end of the course.

The North Okanagan-Shuswap School District cancelled the elementary school’s cross-country running series and annual district track meet due to teacher job action uncertainty.

Sorrento Curves collected 1,100 pounds of food for the local food bank. The ladies’ gym donated March membership fees, and new members joined for free by donating a bag of groceries worth $30.

Local Blind Bay resident, eight-year-old Hannah Baskill, was one of 29 Shuswap arresidents who served as medal bearers for the 25th anniversary of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion World Tour.

The Shuswap Volunteer Fire Department dealt with three fires over Easter weekend; all three were brush fires that got out of control.

Local residents and members of the Eagle Bay Community Association held the Eagle Bay Community spring clean-up this month and a Junk in the Trunk event was held at Carlin Hall.



Sorrento Village Farmers’ Market opens for its 13th summer with vendors selling fresh local produce, honey, crafts and more all with live music playing in the background.

Cedar Heights put on a high tea and fashion show enjoyed by 87 ladies and two gentlemen.

Locals enjoy a bit of coastal dining at Lobsterfest held at the Cedar Centre.

The Dreamcycle Motorcycle Museum located on the southeast corner of the intersection at Balmoral Road celebrates its grand opening. There are currently 60 different models and makes of bikes from vintage 1924 to a 2000 racing model in the museum.The plan is to have 100 different items for locals and tourists to stop in and enjoy viewing. The museum also has a small theatre and gift shop. Next door is the Sprockets Café.

Local police discover a grow op in an underground bunker in Sorrento; 448 marijuana plants were seized, the operation seems to have been running for several years.

Police arrest a man for cocaine trafficking in the Blind Bay area. Officers seized crack cocaine, powder cocaine, prescription drugs and cash.

Thirty DriveBC web cameras have been added this year by the provincial government with 11 of the 30 being in the Southern and Central Interior and one of them located in the Silver Sands/Sorrento area. This gives motorists more opportunity to view real-time traffic, road and weather conditions.

More than 200 people showed up for pancake breakfast served by the Blind Bay Brunch and Cedar Heights Fitness people; the breakfast was a fundraiser for Relay for Life.

The Annual Eagle Bay Hamsters Dinner Theatre presented The Red Velvet Cake Way at the Eagle Bay Community Hall.



South Shuswap residents worry as rain continues to fall and Shuswap Lake levels rise.

Shuswap Emergency Program officials remind residents to sandbag their properties and to stay out of the water. Blind Bay Road closes between Centennial Drive and Marine Way, as the road wasn’t passable due to flooding across the road.

The Blind Bay Painters Art Show was cancelled due to flooding in front of the Blind Bay Hall, where the show had been scheduled to be held.

A new board of directors was elected for the Cedar Heights Community Association. Outgoing president Ron Janke handed the gravel off to newly elected president Kathleen Wills.

Twenty-one firefighters responded to a fire on a Notch Hill Road property. Despite their best efforts the shop that caught fire was destroyed.

Despite the bad weather, Blind Bay locals still showed up for the pickleball open house.

More than 30 people attended the Pickleball Canada demonstration at the Shuswap Lake Estates tennis courts to see what this new sport was all about.

The Shuswap Lake Estates Community Association and the Cedar Heights and Blind Bay Community Associations co-sponsored a contest to develop a Blind Bay slogan. The slogan chosen will be displayed on the “Welcome to Blind Bay” signs erected on the Trans-Canada Highway. The winner also gets $250 in prize money.

The Sorrento community celebrated a fun-filled Father’s Day with a picnic, a period costume parade, sack races, tug of war, egg race, cake, music, dancing and a heritage display.

A Community Celebration of Life for the Janzen Family was held at the Sorrento/Blind Bay Ball Park.  People were welcome to write something in the memory box and to join together in celebrating the lives of those Janzen family members lost in the horrific car accident in Saskatchewan. The Sorrento Slo-Pitch League dance was also held to raise funds for the surviving members of the Janzen family at the Shuswap Lake Estates Hall.