Duffy Baker and his three dogs, including Henry (right), who was lost in Sicamous for over five months. 
(Duffy Baker photo)

Duffy Baker and his three dogs, including Henry (right), who was lost in Sicamous for over five months. (Duffy Baker photo)

Year in Review: The Eagle Valley News looks back at headlines from December 2022

  • Jan. 3, 2023 7:00 p.m.


Sicamous families in need will be helped by Santa and his elves, namely Krista Hyde and her family, for the second year in a row. Hyde launched Project Santa Sicamous in 2021 after noticing the larger hamper drive, Project Elf Okanagan, only operated through the valley up to Salmon Arm and didn’t help many people in communities further north. The first Project Santa Sicamous helped seven families and 22 children. She is continuing the operation from her home and is excited to help even more families this year. “I came from a broken family, so I always had two Christmases, but half of them were not magical,” said Hyde.

• The District of Sicamous and the Sicamous and District Museum and Historical Society are compiling a heritage registry for the town. A heritage registry is a list of sites of historical value to a community, whether it’s associated with an important person or is representative of a specific style of architecture. The goal of the project is to have Sicamous residents share their suggestions so that the end result represents all people in all eras within the district’s boundary.

• The new District of Sicamous chief financial officer (CFO) is not new to the community. Bianca Colonna was born and raised in Sicamous before attending Thompson Rivers University to pursue her Bachelor of Business Administration and becoming a chartered professional accountant. “Coming back and working in Sicamous has been a goal of mine since I moved away for school 12 years ago,” said Colonna. “I truly love Sicamous and I am ready to get to work with the new council.”

• Winter offers time to fine-tune an early warning system for monitoring the risk of a debris flow impacting a Sicamous neighbourhood. Over the spring and early summer, four evacuation alerts were issued for all residences in the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park. The alerts were triggered when forecast rainfall increased the risk of a landslide in the Wiseman Creek watershed. In each instance, no slide or flooding occurred, and each alert was lifted as soon as it was determined the risk had subsided. “The early warning system was fairly successful,” said Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) protective services team leader Derek Sutherland. “We have some dialing in to do to fine-tune it in order to get a more accurate sense of what’s going to trigger a debris flow or a debris flood and what’s not.”

RV camping will be allowed for up to three years at the Paradise Motel. At its Nov. 30 meeting, Sicamous council approved a temporary use permit supporting an RV camping lot on the corner of the property off of Paradise Ave., with a new entry off the same road. A TUP can be issued for up to three years and can be renewed once for a time period no longer than three years.

Monashee Music Festival organizers received a green light to begin planning and applying for permits for the 2023 edition. Founder Andy Bowie addressed Sicamous council virtually Wednesday, Nov. 30, to review the success of the 2022 festival and ask for council’s support in applying for permits for next year’s shows. The main barrier in the festival’s success was the lack of camping available close to the Sicamous Dog Park where the festival was held. Bowie explained many guests had to drive back to Kelowna or Kamloops after the shows and so weren’t able to spend as much money on beverages available at the festival or at local restaurants. This impacted the profits made by the festival.

• After being lost for five months, Henry the dog was back home with his Penticton owners thanks to Sicamous’ K9-1- 1 Animal Rescue. Henry lived with Duffy Baker and Koa Hughes in Penticton for four years before being transitioned to a home in the Ashton Creek area that had acreage for him to run. After about a week, fireworks set off near the property spooked Henry and he bolted, running up the nearby logging road to Hunters Range mountain. When it became obvious Henry was searching for food and shelter, Sicamous’ K9-1-1 Animal Rescue got involved, posting security camera footage from the houses Henry visited on social media lost pet pages. After an unsuccessful attempt at trapping the dog, Debbie Fortin, who runs K9-1-1, came up with a new plan. Fortin knew where Henry napped during the day and had Baker walk along the beach below that area, hoping to lure Henry with Baker’s scent. Baker eventually and was able to lure the dog to his vehicle. When Baker put his hand out the window, Henry circled the car, sniffed his hand, hesitated with his paw on the step into the vehicle, and finally jumped in the car. “I was crying, I was holding him, he was licking my face, it was just really good,” said Baker.

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SicamousYear in Review