Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Notes from the Conserving Working Landscapes Forum of May 29th

Part 1 of 4

A very informative forum attended by over fifty people on the topic of Conserving Working Landscapes was held at the College of the Rockies on Saturday May 28th.

Richard Bullock from the Agricultural Land Commission discusses the mandate of the Commission
The Agricultural Land Reserve was a common and much discussed theme throughout the morning’s presentations. Richard Bullock from the Agricultural Land Reserve Commission spoke about their main issue of boundary review. As maps become digitised and as aerial photography takes the place of old over-used and somewhat inaccurate paper maps, it is hoped more enforcement and regulation for areas of agricultural value will be possible. Illegal dumping and abuse of agricultural reserve lands are just two of the many reasons why clear and enforceable boundaries are important.

Gerry Wilkie, Director RDEK, David Wilks MP Kootenay Columbia, Bill Bennett MLA East Kootenay, Norm MacDonald MLA Columbia River Revelstoke and Wayne Stetski moderating a panel discussion and questions from the floor during the public forum on Conserving Working Landscapes

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of May 30th

The meeting was chaired by Angus Davis in Mayor Manjak's absence.

Delegations – Colin Campbell Canada Cup Committee (Curling)

- 200 of the 275 signed-up volunteers from Cranbrook, Fernie, Kimberley, Creston and other communities have already had their photographs taken and have received their jackets for this major event to be held November 30, 2011 in Cranbrook

- sponsorship response has been excellent

- there will be 15 hours of TV coverage from TSN who were in town recently to survey the venues

- 17,000 of the 45,000 total tickets have sold

- admission to evenings' entertainment including The Chevelles at ‘The Patch’ will only be possible with an event ticket

- the event can be followed on Season of Champions facebook site at

Administration Update

The full report can be read at:

Administrator Pearce asked for direction for the terms of reference, as to whether there was interest from any council member to be included in the Athletic Commission. Councillor Scott indicated she might be interested.

Council Inquiries
Councillor Whetham gave notice of motion for the June 27th meeting that clarification be drawn up around the maintenance of city boulevards including ministry of Highways property on the strip. There is no current clear direction for either property owners or public works as to whose responsibility such maintenance belongs to.


The full list of correspondence can be found at:

Item 9.2 Councillor Whetham asked for follow up on the request of May 9th that both Kimberley and Cranbrook Councils have a joint meeting to discuss some  urgent issues concerning Rails to Trails. Mr Pearce responded that as Mayor Manjak has been away the request has not been sent, as it would apparently  go from Mayor to Mayor.

Items 9.1 and 9.2 were received for information

Remaining recommendations regarding correspondence were all carried.

Committee Recommendations

All recommendations carried including the late addition of 12.4

12.4 concerned the application for mobile trailer lit advertising to be placed on city property to promote the Cranbrook Air Show. As the current sign bylaw has no guidelines for this type of advertising, concern was expressed as to how this might affect motorists and future applications for such advertising. The addition of trades to the advertising also gave concern. This one time application will be monitored and some guidelines drawn up.

Round Table Comments

- included recognition of the addition of 32 trees to Gyro Park thanks to a Hydro grant

- The city float will be dismantled after Sam Steele days and prepared for next year’s theme of Mountains of Opportunity

- The Transit system is undergoing improvement review

- Integra Air now has 3 flights a week to Edmonton

Monday, May 30, 2011

Celebrating the NorthStar Trail

Just as few of the riders from Kimberley and Cranbrook who met at the bridge on Sunday May29th to celebrate the Rails 2 Trails Advisory Committee's choice of name for the trail - the NorthStar Trail.

Riders from Kimberley and Cranbrook meeting on the bridge.

Advance City Council Meeting Notes - May 30

The City Council Meeting will commence at 6pm at City Hall or can be watched on the local Shaw Channel.

Colin Campbell will be providing an update on preparations for the Canada Cup curling event that is being held in Cranbrook

Administration Updates
Cranbrook's water conservation program is in full swing with its' official launch on May 2. A comprehensive program has been initiated including radio and print ads, Rosie the Fire hydrant, the hiring of a Water Conservation Public Liason, and a web page with water conservation information has been created.

The Low Flow Toilet $50 rebate program is underway and as of May 24,  41 of 200 rebates have been issued.

Community Tree Planting Rebate - As of May 24, 28 of 100 rebates have been issued. If you are planning on planting a tree this year in a size 10 pot or larger the City rebate is $50 per tree.

Follow up responses from the RCMP to questions Council had regarding the GREAT program, retrofitting at the local cells, and the traffic enforcement campaign.


9.2 A letter from the City of Kimberley regarding the Rails 2 Trails supporting the recommendations of Cranbrook CAO Will Pearce regarding the recommendation of the R2T Public Advisory Committee.
9.3 Letter from Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library requesting the use of City tables for their annual book sale. The sale runs from Sept. 28 to Oct 1.
9.4 Letter from Anne Hoodicoff regarding the number of Green Home employees parking on the road, frequently blocking her driveway and making it difficult for friends and family to find places to park.
9.6 Letter from the Strata Council of the Bakerview Villas located on 3rd Street South. The strata is concerned over the Hydro sub station which emits a constant noise and is a visual eyesore. They are requesting that the sub station be moved or a noise suppression fence be erected.

Committee Recommendations

Cranbrook in Motion recommends that snow removal requirements remain the same, with a voluntary compliance system. The City encourages people to remove snow from their sidewalks and encourages people to participate in the Snow Angel Program.

New Business

12.1 To consider approval of a building permit for a detached garage on 13th Avenue South
12.2 The City does not wish to provide comment to the Liquor Control and Licensing Board regarding the application for a structural change to Durangos Lounge
12.3 Public Works organization chart. That the City approve the chart.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good - despite the rain

Bike the NorthStar Trail Today

On this first day without rain why not get out and join us at 1:30 for a bike ride on the Rail 2 Trails starting at the trail head in Cranbrook (behind Aaslands). We will be riding to the bridge meeting riders from Kimberley where we will be celebrating the trail's new name which was chosen in a competition by the Rails 2 Trails Committee and  has great historical significance to the area. Let's celebrate the NorthStar Trail.  Join us today.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Growing Veggies All Winter Long

Wouldn't it be amazing if we could grow or have access to locally grown vegetables in the winter?  In Creston, the Winter Harvest Project has been developing methods to identify which vegetables can be sustainably grown n the winter in unheated greenhouses.  The project was organized by Karen Powis and Anita Sawyer from College of the Rockies. The project has been funded by Columbia Basin Trust and Investment Agriculture Foundation of BC. Some of the vegetables grown included spinach, kale, corn, radishes, carrots, beets, lettuces, and endives. Some of the vegetables produced until December while others like the kale and spinach made it through the winter with crops being harvested in February. This opens up real opportunities for commercial growers to have a much longer growing season and for the consumer who can purchase locally grown veg. To read more about this interesting project and its' results go here

Friday, May 27, 2011

Rails to Trails and the NorthStar

Now that our beautiful Rails to Trails is free of snow and debris and is being very well used once more, many are also asking about the competition launched in November of 2010 to name the trail.

We have learned the committee unanimously supported the name ‘NorthStar Trail’.

This would make sense considering the first mine opened at Kimberley was the North Star. North Star was also the name given to the junction where the C.P.R. branch line built to haul the ore left the main line close to Cranbrook. We owe the existence of the railway to the mine. The name shares historical meaning for both Cranbrook and Kimberley and rolls off the tongue as well as the wheels that rotate between the two communities.

So from the NorthStar Trail come these beautiful scenes captured on Sunday May 22nd

Yellow Balsam Root and purple Larkspur in the foreground

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Conserving Working Landscapes

There is still time to register for this forum to be held at the College of the Rockies on Saturday May 28th. 

Joseph Cross Painting “Mt. Assiniboine Reflection” Receives International Recognition

Cranbrook artist, Joseph Cross, received some good news regarding his second painting in the series on Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park. “Mt. Assiniboine Reflection” was submitted to International Artist Magazine Challenge #63 ‘Seascapes, Rivers & Lakes’ Competition. He received an e-mail from the publisher of the magazine saying “Congratulations!” The magazine issue #79 June/July features this painting and a write-up on Joseph.

International Artist magazine is the premier magazine for artists, galleries and agents around the world. Joseph has been featured in International Artist magazine several times:

- April 2001 “Treasures at Turquoise Bay” placed 2nd in their Seascape competition;

- April/May 2002 as one of four artists in “Master Painters of the World: Canada Showcase”;

- 2002 Pastel Artist International Magazine issue #13 featured a seven-page article on his work; and

- April/May 2005 issue of International Artist Magazine featured an eight-page article on Joseph’s work

This award has sparked a lot of interest in the limited edition giclees that are available for sale in support of BC Parks through the Park Enhancement Fund. Each sale of the limited edition giclees helps to support this cause. The giclees are available for purchase at the following locations:

- Joseph Cross Art Studio, Cranbrook, BC – 250-489-4412, e-mail:, or website

- Fisher Peak Art Gallery, Cranbrook, BC – 250-489-4702,

- Village Arts Artisan Co-op, Invermere, BC – 250-342-6151,

BC Parks is a proud partner on this very worthwhile fundraising initiative and is working with the Crosses to share information about and promote this project, and to announce the completion of each painting. The information is posted on the BC Parks website here:

Help us to help BC Parks.

What's Happening......

Friday May 27th and Saturday May 28th
Mount Baker Bright Lites presents
Urban Jungle Book
Key City Theatre
Adults $15 Students and Seniors $7
Tickets at Key City Theatre Box Office

Saturday May 28th
Conserving Working Landscapes
The future of agriculture in the East Kootenay

Saturday May 28th
Relay for Life
College of the Rockies
10:00am - 10:00pm

Saturday May 28th
Watching for Warblers
with Rocky Mountain Naturalists
Elizabeth lake

Saturday May 28th
East Kootenay Outdoor Club
hike to Kiako Lake and Lumberton historic area
Lorne 250--426-8864

Sunday May 29th
East Kootenay Outdoor Club
hike to Mary Ann Falls above St. Mary's Lake
Tom 250-480-3543

Monday May 30th
The Art of Giving Birth
Prenatal Classes
with doula Maria Christina Warembol
6 Mondays
at Arts Council 11th Av. S.

Tuesday May 31st
Early Morning Birding
with Rocky Mountain Naturalists
Elizabeth Lake
Daryl 250-489-1601

Cake Art Display 
Cranbrook Public Library

The Art of Jim Robertson
Key City Gallery

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Care of Joseph Creek - Comment Continues

It was shocking this winter to see an area of Joseph Creek’s realigned course bordered by industrial machinery, which perched precariously close to the sensitive creek bed. Trees had been bulldozed to the creek’s edge along with pipes and pieces of metal. The view from Joseph Creek Village was and is still not pretty. No attempt appears to have been made to clean it up. Adjacent to this eyesore is an area of land, which the city paid to have carefully restored with native planting. Regulations suggest a six metre riparian zone along all creek edges in order to protect the flora, fauna and water quality necessary for all important water sources.

An enquiry to council was made about this situation and subsequently a written email was sent to administration on March 8th to enquire whether any action had been taken to remedy this situation. To date no reply has been received and the mess beside the creek remains. With the opening of a new pet store in the vicinity and a well-known furniture store also in the area one would think it would be important to set an example to tourists and shoppers of how we manage our water sources. The example present for all visitors to see is an embarrassment.

It is interesting to note we received this comment from Alberta in response to our original post....

Gord Ball has left a new comment on your post "How much should we care about Joseph Creek?"

While I don't live in this area, I've spent quite a bit of time in the East Kootenays on business travel, and would certainly like to settle in this area, coming up to my "slower" years. As an avid fly-fisher of over 45 years, I've learnt a fair bit about fisheries habitat and their ecosystems, plus I worked at Trout Unlimited's National office for a number of years during the '90's. I can tell you that Joseph Creek is probably one of the most important tributaries to the St Mary's/Kootenay basin. As we know, mature spawning fish are migratory by nature. After the spawn has hatched, the fry need to be in a protected environment for up to a year. The natural riparian cover that Joseph offers is "perfect" as a spawning/incubating stream. Joseph, however has a bitter/sweet problem and that would be the choke/spill-way reservoir above Cranbrook. It supplies a constant supply of crystalline water to the city, as well as supplying Joseph with the same quality supply of relatively constant temperate water (cool in summer, warm in winter). This regulated flow, however, is a problem in itself in that the natural flushing that should happen year-in/year-out from spring run-off is non-existent during low run-off years (I hope this year is different?). Consequently, our "national rodent" has been able to become well established in the lower reaches of Joseph. The St Mary's/Kootenay drainage is highly regarded by recreational users and naturalists due to its’ prolific "the fish" are there. They just can't get upstream into Joseph anymore, until the rodent barriers are removed!!! Again, along with the likes of Cherry (Mather), Gold, Little/Big Bull, and say, the Skook, Joseph Creek, due to it's natural riparian protection from fish predators, is a perfect stream to repair, protect, and maintain NOW!!!...And subsequently for generations to come! If any of you reading this have similar observations or interest, I'd like very much to hear from you. "" Thanks for listening...

Original posts can be read at:

Go Ice Go!

Kevin King goal against St. Johns
Photo: Andrew Wallace/Toronto Star
After two crushing defeats, the Kootenay Ice won last nights game in an exciting 5-4 overtime victory over the undefeated St. John's Sea Dogs.  In a game that the Ice desperately needed to win the team found their offensive game and were able to score 4 goals in regulation. The Ice had out shot the Sea Dogs 45-23. With 14 seconds left in the game and down by one the Sea Dogs were able to score forcing the game into overtime. In overtime, Max Reinhart was able to score the needed goal to stave off elimination in the tournament. Next game for the Ice is Thursday night. They will play the loser of tonight's game, the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors vs Owen Sound Attack. Good Luck to our boys!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Victoria Day at Fort Steele

As the ground was being disced and prepared for planting, boys and girls from Gordon Terrace entertained the people enjoying a picnic lunch or those just visiting, with their Maypole Dancing.  Maypole Dancing is a form of folk dance that was introduced to Cranbrook schools by the late Roy Barnett.  Judy Johnson who teaches at Gordon Terrace has carried on the tradition and the setting on this Victoria Day at Fort Steele could not have been more perfect.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cranbrook Representation in London to watch Royal Wedding

The Event is Over but the Feelings Remain:

Whatever you think of the monarchy, you cannot knock the uplifting experience, unification of spirit and just plain joy experienced by the people who watched or attended the Royal Wedding. Such dignity, beauty and pageantry for us out shines any other form of glitz and glamour. It gives hope, continuity of tradition and on a day such as this was, just plain happiness.

We, a group of Cranbrook friends on their way to a hiking holiday had not planned to attend this event but coincidentally our flights took us through London at the time. Knowing this was an opportunity not to be missed we arranged for a longer stop-over and we were not disappointed. Soaking up the atmosphere in London that day was uplifting and fun.  Eight Grannies waving Canadian flags were befriended by Bobbies, the Canadian Press, British Press and strangers. We loved every minute. A taste:

Found by Canadian Press

more press

who knows!

Within the crowd that surged around the Victoria Monument

St James's Park

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Now Showing in and around the Forests near Cranbrook

All these fabulous spring flowers have been spotted this last week.  Hope you get to see them on this long weekend.
Balsam Root, Sunflowers

Blue Violets

Glacier Lilies

Fairy bells
Yellow Violets

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Guess which BC city is one of the greatest users of solar power......


If Cranbrook is one of, if not the sunniest city in BC, why is Campbell River one of the province's greatest users of solar power?

From the Campbell River Mirror
By Kristen Douglas

Published: April 07, 2011 11:00 AM
Updated: April 07, 2011 12:02 PM

In just its first year as a solar community, Campbell River has been recognized as one of the province’s greatest users of solar power.

The city was named the 2010 Solar Power Community of the Year, an honour Campbell River will share with Fort Saint John and North Vancouver.

“It was a really good piece of recognition for the city and it says a lot about what we’re doing to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Peter Woods, chair of the Environmental Advisory Committee, which made the recommendation to council to become a solar community last year.

In March 2010, Campbell River became one of 32 solar communities across B.C. and was awarded $50,000 in grants from both the provincial and federal governments to assist with solar panel installations.

Since then, solar panels have gone up on the Fire Hall downtown, RCMP station, the Sportsplex and the new lift station on Highway 19A. All those buildings are using solar energy to heat their water supplies.

The city also partnered with school district 72 to help fundraise for the installation of a solar hot water system at Timberline Secondary School.

The city was named Solar Power Community of the Year in recognition of its leadership in using solar technology in those five municipal buildings. The award was presented to the city last Wednesday at a ceremony held in the T’sou-ke First Nation community in Sooke.

“Being named a solar community of the year is a great honour for Campbell River,” said Mayor Charlie Cornfield. “Our goal is to be an inspiration for other B.C. communities and to demonstrate that solar power is a viable renewable energy source – even in our coastal, often rainy, climate.”

Because the energy comes from the sun’s light, not its heat, it’s possible to use the solar panels even on a cloudy day.

Amber Zirnheldt, the city’s sustainability manager, said to promote solar power generation to homeowners, displays will be put up at the city facilities already using solar panels to illustrate how the system works. During Solar Days (likely to be held in May) people can tour one of the city facilities to check out the solar panel.

Zirnheldt said the city’s aim in becoming a solar community is to reduce greenhouse emissions for its part in the Climate Action Charter, a provincial initiative by which nearly 200 municipal governments, including Campbell River, are committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2012. It also falls in line with the city’s green strategy to reduce greenhouse emissions.

“We want to look at green power options in order to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Zirnheldt. “Solar power is an alternative to using gas for heating and is a great way to reduce emissions.”

The city also uses solar-powered crosswalks at 12 different locations across the city, including on Dogwood and Alder streets as well as on Highway 19A. Two radar recorders, used to track traffic volume on Dogwood, are also solar-powered.

Zirnheldt said solar panels are also being considered for the Community Centre, Centennial Pool and possibly City Hall.

Friday, May 20, 2011

A Life Ascending

Ruedi Beglinger
Over 200 people attended the showing of Pat Morrow's new film, 'A Life Ascending' last night in Kimberley at the McKim Theatre. Pat Morrow was present to introduce the film which was used as a fundraiser for WildSight.  'A Life Ascending' follows the life of Ruedi Beglinger, an acclaimed mountain guide who lives in the Selkirk Mountain Range in a remote chalet with his wife and two daughters. In 2003, seven of Ruedi's clients were killed in an avalanche and the film goes through the Beglingers grieving process and recovery as they realize that , for them, the life they have chosen is the right one,  despite the ongoing risks associated with guiding and mountaineering. The cinematography was stunning and the story emotionally touching.The film won the Banff Mountain Film Festivals Best Film on Mountain Culture.  If you"re interested in skiing, hiking, or mountaineering in the Selkirks then check our the Beglingers website

Thursday, May 19, 2011

What's Happening......

Thursday May 19th
'Life Ascending'
McKim Theatre Kimberley

Thursday May 19th - June 10th
Artists of the Senior's Hall
Artrageous Gallery
Reception Thursday May 19th
7 - 9:00pm

Friday May 20th
Cranbrook United Church
Grad Wear at Great Prices
10:00am - 3:00pm

Saturday May 21st
Dance, 7:00pm
Senior's Hall
426-2655 or 426-3844

Monday May 23rd
Victoria Day Picnic
Maypole Dancing (1-2:00pm)
Fort Steele

Tuesday May 24th
Cranbrook Schools Sexual Health Committee
Dr. Brandy Wiebe
'Sex Talk, No Sweat'
Key City Theatre

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cleaning up Hospital Beds of the Planted Kind

Anyone who has entered the front doors of our Cranbrook Regional Hospital in the last couple of years will have noticed the ever increasing population of weeds in the planting beds.  What looked lovely after the initial planting was looking rather woebegone after a few years of neglect.   However, thanks to a group of dedicated volunteers, the planting beds are once again looking spruced up and ready to give a cheery welcome to those entering the hospital.  There is still some major work to do digging out invasive weeds in other plantings so if you would like to help out with this project please let us(we will pass on the message) or any one of these volunteers know.  Your help would be welcome.

Many Thanks to: 

Linda Normandeau
Gwenda Farrell
Esther Johnson
Joyce Keeling-Otto
Pat Bailey
Marlene Kasner
Rick Metheral
Dotty Crowe
Anna Sandberg
Jan McKenzie

Cranbrook Community Forest Society AGM and Donation

Daryl Calder of the Big Foot Running Club makes a donation to the
CCF. Accepting the donation were Pres. Roy Catherall and
Treasurer/Secretary Elaine Ridgley.
The Cranbrook Community Forest Society held its annual AGM at the College of the Rockies. The AGM was well attended with a review of the past year including ecosystem restoration projects, grant applications, presentations before the Regional District of East Kootenay, tables at the Farmers Market and Tamarack Mall, work on a new map and so much more. The first EcoSystem Restoration Project will be held on June 25. Eveyone is invited. If you use and love the Forest please  support it by becoming a member.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Funding to Help Keep Communities Safe from Wildfires

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Funding to help keep communities safe from wildfires

WEST KELOWNA – The Province is committing $25 million over two years to further protect B.C. families and communities from the threat of wildfires, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

The new funding supports the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative, used by local governments and First Nations to reduce the risk of interface wildfires where forests and grasslands meet cities and towns. Since 2004, more than 230 community wildfire protection plans have either been initiated or completed by local governments and First Nations.

Community wildfire protection plans identify areas at risk and identify fuel management projects to address them. Fuel management activities, such as spacing live trees and removing dead ones, or cleaning up low branches, needles and woody debris that could potentially fuel a fire, are also funded under the initiative.

The new funding adds to $37 million provided by the government of British Columbia and the Government of Canada since the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative was introduced. Funding for the program will continue to be administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities on behalf of the Province. Funding to local governments will be based on a cost-sharing formula.


Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson –

“In 2009, we saw firsthand how fuel management helped reduce the intensity of the Glenrosa fire in West Kelowna. I hope that local governments recognize the benefits of community wildfire protection plans and take advantage of this funding to make fuel management a priority in community planning.”

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong –

“Communities are key partners in wildfire prevention. In addition to creating community wildfire protection plans, local governments can help create safer cities and towns by encouraging fire-safe development. Examples include adopting building standards that support FireSmart principles, such as using appropriate and fire-resistant materials in forested areas.”

Union of BC Municipalities president Barbara Steele –

“B.C. communities at risk from wildfire appreciate the benefits of this program. With the high cost of fuel treatment projects, the Province is to be commended for increasing the funding available to communities.”

First Nations Emergency Services Society Pernell Marchand –

“Many First Nations communities are located in rural forested areas with access issues. Managing forest fuels is vital. The current funding announcement is greatly appreciated. This will allow for further successes to those communities at-risk to wildfires, and from the impacts of fire suppression, emergency responses and evacuations.”

Quick Facts:

Since 2004, 238 community wildfire protection plans have been initiated or completed by local governments and First Nations. These plans cover more than 43,000 hectares of land around communities that are most at risk for interface fires. In addition to the Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative, more than $14 million from the Job Opportunities Program has helped reduce the wildfire risk around 40 communities. B.C.’s Bioenergy Strategy also encourages the removal of dead trees and harvesting debris in and around communities for energy production.

Learn More:

First Nations Emergency Services Society fuel management department:

What is fuel management?

Are you FireSmart?

David Currie
Public Affairs Officer
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
250 356-5261

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Art Celebration 2011, May 12 & 13 at Gordon Terrace Elementary School

Councillor Bob Whetham at Art Celebration 2011
It was a real treat to enter Gordon Terrace School during its Celebration of the Arts. The hallways were all decorated and colourful, leading into the auditorium, which was full with artwork. Students and teachers have infused the arts into their curriculum for two very good reasons: research backs up the effectiveness of arts-based learning and they have personally discovered that student learning is enhanced with this methodology.

Studies have confirmed that students involved in arts based learning are strong in their abilities to express thoughts and ideas, exercise their imaginations and take risks in learning. These competencies also emerged in other non-arts subject areas such as science, math and language. Studies show that students involved in arts-based learning develop their ability to think creatively and flexibly, imagine ideas and problems from different perspectives and layer on thought upon another as part of a process of problem solving. This year many classes were fortunate to have artists come on board and team teach arts-based lessons. Other teachers have utilized their own expertise and passion to bring arts-based learning to life in their classrooms. This is a journey the school has embarked on because many of the staff see the positive feedback we receive from our students. This is learning made fun!

Vice-Principal Michelle Sartorel said that every student in the school has at least one piece of art in the exhibit. The creative dance video was produced with the help of a choreographer (Trina Rasmussen of Vert Dans).

Joseph Cross was very impressed by the abstract art. He indicated that it “has all the elements of a professionally produced piece of art.” Sharon Cross felt that “there is a real creative force in this school.”
Councillor Bob Whetham (also a good artist) was very inspired to see the creative work that is being done by the entire school. “There is a really exciting and supportive environment being created here” he said.

Well done Gordon Terrace!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cranbrook’s Mural Makers

This article was first published in the summer of 2010 - it has been adapted for this spring.

It was wonderful last summer to see to see Kirsten Taylor back at it - painting a beautiful new mural on Sakura’s entrance. Many will remember her beautiful butterfly mural, which briefly adorned a wall on Cranbrook St. Many could not get over the fact that despite the bylaws in place the mural was destroyed. There is a process to be followed for major changes to buildings in many commercial areas of most cities including Cranbrook. When a business or property owner in certain parts of the city wishes to upgrade its’ building in any substantial way applications must be made, permission sort and frequently council’s stamp of approval is required. These protocols are important for maintaining the integrity and style of any city and especially those of significance. Rome would not be Rome, London or Paris would not be the same without such regulations ensuring the integrity of those cities. Special architecture, ancient frescos, pictographs are all protected and preserved in this way regardless of who owns the building. Heritage designation or preservation orders are frequently put in place.

Too often the same protocols in this part of the world do not seem to apply when a property owner wishes to dismantle something held in high esteem by the public. Cranbrook may be a long way from Rome but if it is to become a beautiful city of significance some consistencies need to be adhered to. Even when property is privately owned the exterior becomes part of something larger, the public space. If the public values that space, protection of it whether mural, sculpture, park or special architecture, it is important bylaws are strong enough to keep it intact whenever possible. Public art is currently adding quality to several areas of our town. Let’s hope the trend continues and let’s hope it is valued enough to be protected if necessary. If an old advertisement is still intact on the side of the Armond Theatre and pictographs in this valley have survived for hundreds of years on rock walls open to the elements, these murals have every chance of doing the same. Art and culture help to sustain the health and vibrancy of a community. The final responsibility for preservation of public art rests with those who administer the city.

We thank those businesses and artists who contribute to the culture of Cranbrook.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Winter Air Quality Testing Volunteer Appreciation Dinner

Kneeling in front from the left is: Erna Jensen-Shill, Bob Whetham, Myrriah Sherriff (and daughter Angelyn), Todd McCoy, Joseph Cross.

In the back row: Andy Cagle, Dave Dick, Jack Loeppky, Robyn Rader, Paul Willis, Deb Willis, Wendy Bjordahl, Tara Gillanders, Maurice Hansen, Sharon Cross, Daryl Calder.

Several other volunteers were unable to make it that evening.
A thank you dinner catered by Allegra was held for all the volunteers who took part in the Winter Air Quality Testing Project held in February. For 18 consecutive nights volunteers drove a 100km route between Kimberley and Cranbrook testing the air quality for particulate matter from wood smoke and other pollutants. It is hoped that the data collected will enable municipalities to formulate policy that would encourage people to use high efficiency wood burning stoves .  Thanks to all the volunteers who took part in the project!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Arts: Anything But A Frill

by Sioux Browning

When times are difficult, jobs are tight and the economy moves like the worst roller coaster ever built, volunteer organizations become hard-up for funding. It's understandable; people and governments are reluctant to part with their rationed dollars for charities, festivals and fundraisers. Usually (and currently) one of the sectors hardest hit by funding cutbacks is the one that governs arts and cultural organizations. As a working artist -- a writer -- I am often engaged in conversations about the state of the arts. Many times I have heard the argument (paraphrased): "Well, the arts are great but they aren't as high on the priority list as other things. They're kind of a frill."

A frill. This makes me laugh and laugh and laugh. Then I spend some quality time with my therapist. Then I laugh some more. Not because I am an artist trying to make my way and not because I volunteer with organizations in support of the arts; no. I laugh because there are precious few elements of our culture that are not touched or defined by the arts.

If you think of an artistic endeavour as one that is concerned with theme, proportion, shape, mood, expression, possibly colour, and utility, then you will see how every moment of your day is touched by art. Let's examine a day. I get out of bed: sheets and bed and light fixture – no matter how inexpensive -- all designed by a designer. Same with the bath towel. I'm greeted by the canine, who sports a lovely purple polka-dotted collar, designed by a... designer. The spoon that holds my cereal was first sketched by an artist, then carved into foam, then carved into wood and finally cast into metal and mass-produced. The box holding my cereal -- the anthropomorphic critters, the colours, the lettering -- is courtesy of an artist. The car I get into was initially drawn and possibly carved by an industrial artist, who worked with engineers to find the best form and aerodynamic flow. The dashboard and seats are artist designed. As I drive through town, the work of artists surrounds me: graphic designers who created signs and banners, landscape designers who create lovely plantings, public sculpture, uniforms, buildings created by architects to be both functional and appealing. If I'm shopping, virtually everything I can buy (from flooring tile to footwear, teapots to men’s' ties) was conceived of or influenced by one or more artists. The magazine at the checkout is full of layouts and ads created by artists and writers. The fonts on the pages, the fonts on every computer, were designed by artists who considered the function, the shape, the weight of every letter.

On the radio, music by artists. On the TV, actors and dancers and set designers and costumers and writers. Even reality shows have set designers, musicians, editors and writers working on them. Watching sports? The fancy design on the goalie's mask, the team's logo, the music pumping up the crowd, the mascot's outfit -- all artwork. The halftime show and the cheerleaders' performances were all created by a choreographer. The clothes I wear, the lottery ticket I buy, even the colours I paint the walls of my house -- all artist generated. The logos on business cards, the special dishes created by chefs (culinary artists), any site on the internet all adhere to the principles guiding artists: theme, proportion, shape, mood, expression, possibly colour, and utility.

When pressed, people will say they would donate money for health care before donating money to the arts. And hey, I'm all for health care. I'm as accident-prone and rapidly aging as anyone. But let's say we all live long and healthy lives in a place where all the arts have tragically expired from neglect. What are we going to do with all that darned health? Not read, nor watch TV nor sculpt nor play board games nor even stare at the artwork on our walls.

The arts sustain our daily lives. Perhaps because they are so enveloping, so critical, they are over-looked. They seem like frills. But if we can't even get out of bed without brushing against the arts, they are not so very frilly.

Sioux Browning, President of Cranbrook & District Arts Council, is a writer and teacher.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Whats Happening...

Thursday, May 12
Gordon Terrace Arts Celebration - Student will showcase their artwork (drawing, painting, dancing, sculpting) and give musical performances. Located in the gym at Gordon Terrace School, Thurs and Fri.

Friday, May 13
Srs. Basic Computer Course starts today at 1:30pm at the Cranbrook Public Library. There will be six session and you can register by calling the library at 250-426-4063 or Katherine at 250-417-2896

Friday, May 13
Performance by the Little Jazz Orchestra and the Notables at the Heritage Inn, 7pm
Tickets available through Lotus Books, $15

Friday, May 13
The Cranbrook Hospice Society hosts its first Evening to Remember, a memorial walk around Idlewild Park.
Registration starts at 6pm. Walk starts at 7pm. Entertainment, awards and refreshments. Entry fee is $10
Pledge forms are available at 250-417-2019

Friday, May 13
Live music at The Casino of the Rockies every Friday and Saturday night from 9pm to midnight.
This weekend Ray "The Hatman" Everton playing.

Saturday, May 14
26th Annual Kootenay Childrens Festival, 10am - 4pm at the Mt. Baker School Field. Live performers including the Cranbrook Girls' Bugle Band. Activities including bouncy tents, climbing wall, art in the part, face painting tent, cookie tent and more. Its all FREE so bring your kids for a fun afternoon

Saturday, May 14
Two day landscape painting workshop will be taught by John de Jong from 9am - 4pm at the Cranbrook & District Arts Council. Limit of 8 people. $125 Call CDAC at 250-426-4223

Sunday, May 15
East Kootenay Outdoor Club hike of the Wycliffe buttes. Contact Wayne for details 250-432-0083

Monday, May 16
East Kootenay Outdoor Club offers Monday night hikes.  Different hike each week.
Call Lorne 250-426-8864

Thursday, May 17
 Pat Morrow, famous mountaineer and Kimberley native  is presenting his new film, A Life Ascending, at the McKim Theatre at 7:30pm. Tickets are $12 and are available through Lotus Book, Black Bear Books, and Sprout Grocery or $14 at the door. The event is a fundraiser for Wildsite.

Council Meeting Notes of May 9, 2011

Administration Update:
- The Aquatic Centre at the Rec Plex will be closed for maintenance from June 12 to 26.
- There seems to be some mix-up with Season Ticket holders with play off tickets arriving late to the Arena and discovering that somebody is in their seats with legitimate tickets.  This will be followed-up on by staff.

Committee Recommendations:
11.1  Report Recommendation from the CAO re:  Cranbrook-Kimberley R2T
A report from the CAO endorsed recommendations from the R2T Joint Management Committee but recommended against a request for a meeting with both Mayors to seek direction on the naming of the trail. The reason given was that it was not considered to be a time sensitive issue. Councillor Whetham disagreed and expressed concern about the disconnect between the advisory and management committee recommendations. He then put forward an amendment to the motion to arrange a joint meeting between the Councils of Cranbrook and Kimberley to discuss issues concerning the naming of the trail, corporate sponsorship, and expectations for the formation of a society. He further requested that an April 21 Advisory Committee Update report and related materials be provided in advance of the meeting. The motion was carried with the amendment.

New Business:
12.2 Recommendation from the Mayor re City Float – The Mayor recommended that $5,000 from the City’s surplus funds be given to the Chamber of Commerce (Sweetheart Committee) to support the float.  This amount is in addition to the $12,000 already budgeted. Kelowna was reported to be spending $75,000 for a professional organization to build their float.  After some discussion and concern from Councillor Whetham about non-budgeted items, that do not meet Council’s recently adopted guidelines, the motion carried unanimously.

12.5 RDEK Referral – Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw 2300 – Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw.
The proposed amendment will allow development of the Gold Creek Ranch, to include 32 strata lots with 37 parcels overall. Councillor Whetham noted that despite the increased number of lots, the proposal offers better protection for the City’s watershed than is currently provided and expressed his appreciation for the efforts of all parties in resolving these issues.  Councillor Pallesen agreed.

Councillor Wavrecan commented that work done by staff to protect the City’s interests through negotiations with the proponents, has taken us some ways to getting us where we would like to be.  The property is actually 13 km. out, and the City’s say into what is occurring is restricted to 10 kms.  He stated that “we have a form of rural sprawl outside our 10 km. window.”  There still seem to be some problems and hopefully they can be addressed.  He was concerned that dust resulting from an increase in traffic along the road might find itself in the reservoir and require the City to provide further screening of its  water supply. He suggested not to look at this with rose coloured glasses as those issues will have to be addressed in the future.

Sunflowers Will Soon be Here

Wanda deWaard at the beginning of her major mural project on the wall of Cranbrook Veterinary Hospital, Summer 2010

It is almost time for the wild sunflowers to bloom again. Balsam Root or sunflowers as they are commonly called are usually at their best at the end of May and beginning of June. However thanks to Cranbrook Veterinary Clinic and Wanda deWaard, we can now enjoy sunflowers year round. If you haven’t taken a good look at this stunning mural and can’t wait for sunflower season, now might be the time to make the mural an evening walk’s destination. It can be found at 106 5th Ave. S.,

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Value of Green Infrastructure

We are always hearing about the importance of greening our cities and homes to help the environment.
Individually we are recycling, conserving water by using rain barrels, riding our bikes more, purchasing energy smart appliances, etc.  Municipalities are looking at having sustainability plans, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, banning pesticides, allowing backyard chickens, LED streetlights, renewable energy for schools, implementing SmartGrowth strategies, and the list goes on. We have been told that many of these strategies will save us money in the long run. While this might not be the primary motivator for individuals it is very important for municipalities to justify the spending of tax dollars.  The Centre for Neighbourhood Technology (CNT) has put together a guide which quantifies the "economic merits" of going green, The Value of Green Infrastructure: A Guide to Recognizing Its Economic, Environmental and Social Benefits  Some of the Guide can be quite technical but it is good to see this type of economic study which hopefully with assist cities in not only making the greenest choice but also making the best choice for our bottom line. If you want to read the guide please go here

Monday, May 9, 2011

Advance City Council Meeting Notes - May 9

There are two delegations coming before council including Sergeant Laurie Jalbert from the RCMP who will report on Crime Statistical Data. Also presenting will be Corrine Friesen and Bob Bennision from the Cranbrook Archives about the Cranbrook Museum.

A lot of correspondence his week including:
- A copy of a letter sent by the Regional District of Nanaimo to the Ministry of Transport requesting an improved relationship with the Ministry of Transport
- A letter from the Cranbrook Golf Club announcing the Senior Ladies Provincial Golf Championship June 13-18. The Club is requesting a $500 donation from the City of Cranbrook towards a luncheon.
- An invitation from Sparwood asking Cranbrook to participate in Coal Miners Days
- A request for a proclamation for National Missing Children's Month and Day
-an email concerned with the terrible condition of our roads specifically the road between 7th and 5th Ave.

Committee Reports
Acceptance of recommendations regarding the Rails 2 Trails Joint Management Committee. 
Several topics include a plan to have June 4th be a community participation day on the trail, approval of R2T proceeding with a sponsorship program.

New Business
- the Mayor is requesting an additional $5000 be given to the Chamber of Commerce to assist in updating the Cranbrook Float. This is in addition to the $12,000 we already provide on an annual basis.
-Approval of the Annual Operating Agreement for our Transit System. The amount is  $534,861.00
-a rezoning request to enable a 45 lot strata subdivision called Gold Creek Ranch located 13 km SE of downtown Cranbrook
-$4000 from BC Hydro to be spent on expansion of the Rails to Trails system.
-$2000 to Sunrise Rotary towards Canada Day celebrations.
- Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives, $256,227 is being provided to various community groups including the City of Cranbrook
-Council will decide if they should approve the recommendation to proceed with the Airport Industrial Part Master Development Strategy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Is Cranbrook Ready for Water Meters?

The issue of water meters could become a hot issue in this political season as our city is considering holding a referendum on the issue. The City of Kamloops held a  referendum several years ago on water metres in which the citizens of that city rejected their use. However recently the City of Kamloops realized that water meters were the only way to make people reduce their water use despite an intensive water education program.  Kamloops has  very high water usage even compared with Kelowna and Penticton. The City of Kamloops recently decided they would install water meters in all homes over the next 3 years.  We , in Cranbrook, also use a lot of water and while the city has been initiateding a water education program there is no motivator for any of use to reduce our usage since we all pay the same amount for the water. The City of Cranbrook recently signed the Columbia Basin Water Charter pledging to reduce water usage by 20% by 2015.  How do we achieve this goal without water metres?  What do you think? Do we need water meters here in Cranbrook?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Let The Sun Shine In!

by Wayne Stetski

One of the keys to being successful in life is to recognize your strengths and then find ways to capitalize on them. The same principle applies to being a prosperous community, particularly from an economic perspective.

Two of our many assets in Cranbrook relate to our environment. We live in an area that is significant on a world scale for our biodiversity – all of our carnivores are still here as are all of our ungulates. This is truly remarkable! A second important asset is that we are the sunniest city in British Columbia. When you Google “Sunniest City in BC”, you find Cranbrook leads the way with 2205 hours per year!

When you Google our neighbour city Kimberley, who recently announced they were launching a solar energy test program located at the former concentrator site of the Sullivan Mine, you get “located about 30 minutes away from Cranbrook, the sunniest city in British Columbia,” averaging about 2151.6 hours of sunshine annually! The project in Kimberley has the objective of building a one-megawatt solar power plant that demonstrates the feasibility of solar power in BC. A side benefit will hopefully be the use of solar modules and power equipment produced in BC that will support the local economy and create an international showcase for BC clean tech capabilities. Kimberley already carries the distinction of being designated a BC Solar Community and has set a target of installing solar hot water systems on at least six homes in 2011 and were investigating installing a solar hot water system at its Aquatic Centre.

When you look around BC you find many communities, all of which receive less sunshine then we do, capitalizing on solar energy. A few examples are:

Village of Ashcroft – has its own solar ready regulation bylaw that requires when a new house is built it includes pre-installed plumbing and wiring on conduits so that it can be retrofitted for solar hot water in the future.

Village of Alert Bay – they will use solar power to heat the showers in their campground.

Castlegar – is exploring solar targets for residential and commercial development and installation of a solar hot water project for their Recreational Complex.
Duncan – has undertaken an assessment of solar hot water potential for their municipal buildings and participated in 2010 Solar Days community event.

Colwood – has proposed training programs for engineering and planning staff on guidelines for solar hot water systems and are exploring the installation of solar hot water systems in their schools.

Esquimalt – has installed a solar hot water system in its municipal hall

Ladysmith – has set a goal of generating 10% of its energy needs from community based, clean energy sources, including solar energy by 2020.

Lasqueti Island – plans to install solar hot water on 80 homes and one school in 2011 and on one community residential care facility by 2015.

T’Sou-ke First Nation – Sooke – in 2009 unveiled a solar power project that was planned to see solar energy power the band office, fisheries building, canoe shed and 25 homes on the reserve.

There is funding available to help communities move into solar power. In November of 2010, $2.8 million dollars was made available through the Public Sector Energy Conservation Agreement for installation of solar panels to reduce natural gas or electricity consumption in 24 schools, 5 hospitals, and 9 colleges and universities throughout British Columbia. The closest school to Cranbrook to receive funding is in Oliver; closest college is Selkirk College in Castlegar; closest hospitals are in Penticton and Summerland.

There are many BC examples of how we can move towards a solar powered future, from communities that receive far less sunshine than we get in Cranbrook, and there is some amazing research being explored in this field. Check out – it’s a short video on research being conducted on the potential of turning highways into thousands of kilometers of solar panels!

The City of Cranbrook’s 2009 Economic Development Strategy includes the statement, “Taking advantage of long hours of sunlight for solar power and the availability of fiber supply for wood-fired co-generation of electricity, Cranbrook will be a model for energy conservation and alternative energy generation”.

We are blessed with sunshine, the most in British Columbia. Can we turn this important asset into a better environmental and economic future for Cranbrook, perhaps as BC’s Centre For Excellence in Solar Power Research and Technology?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Child Development Centre for Cranbrook

Good News. The New Child Development Centre is starting renovations and they are having a party with a BBQ to celebrate.  There will be children's activiities such as face painting, games, etc.
Why not join them on Saturday, May 7th at starting at Noon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Development Doesn't Pay For Development in Calgary

The City of Calgary has negotiated a new deal with the development community that will see more of the economic burden shift from the City to the developers and home buyers. New Calgary Mayor, Naheed Nenshi believes that the City has been encouraging sprawl by not charging enough to developers who build in the suburbs. Part  of the impetus to increase the fee comes from the fact that Calgary is below what other municipalities such as Edmonton or Ottawa charge.  After months of negotiation the increase in fees moves the City of Calgary more in line with these other municipalities.  There will be a gradual multi year increase to give business an opportunity to adjust to the increased fees.There has been a decided shift in the attitude of many Alderman on the council who no longer believe that development pays for development. As Mayor Nemshi points out, he is not interested in telling people where to live but  he wants to fix a system that forces people to live in a certain area because its cheaper only because the City is subsidizing it.
In our own Growth Management Study there is a recommendation of increasing our woefully low development cost charges. Isn't it time to take a serious look at how much we are charging developers and bring us more in line with many other municipalities in BC. The taxpayer of Cranbrook shouldn't be subsidizing developers. We can no longer afford it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Community Sport Hero Awards - May 3, 2011

It was a night of recognition at the St. Eugene Mission last night as Sport BC presented awards to six local sport heroes presented by Encana Natural Gas.  These volunteers are the lifeblood of continued development and delivery of sport programs in British Columbia.

Founded in 2001, these awards play an important role in recognizing the dedication and leadership of British Columbia's sport volunteers.  Each award recipient received a trophy made by the same people who make the Oscars, as well as a $100 gift certificate.

Congratulations to the following outstanding volunteers who have been selected by their peers to receive the 2011 Sport BC Community Sport Hero Award in Cranbrook:

- Debbie Mandryk, Skate Canada BC/YT Section
- Darren Sutton, Lacrosse
- Jim Webster, Orienteering
- Joanna Thom, Special Olympics
- Peter Sweetman, Curling
- Bill Watson, Boxing

Pictured from left to right are:  Peter Sweetman, Joanne Thom, Debbie Mandryk, Bill Watson, Jim Webster, and Darren Sutton.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Slaterville Neighbourhood Plan

Slaterville Neighbourhood Plan

Nearly 40 members of the public turned out for an introductory meeting of the Slaterville Neighbourhood Plan held at the Manual Training Centre on Wednesday, April 27th.  City Planner, Rob Veg described the purpose of a neighbourhood plan, the area to be covered, and a projected time line which should see completion of the plan by early 2112. Multiple opportunities for public participation are to be provided to ensure that the plan reflects the wishes of Slaterville residents.

The City previously adopted a neighbourhood plan for the Wattsville area and a similar approach will be taken for Slaterville. The initiative to introduce the plan came following a meeting between Councillor Bob Whetham and several residents who identified a number long standing issues and concerns of their neighbourhood. The more significant issues were incorporated into a letter signed by twenty residents and property owners and directed to the Mayor and Council in December, 2010. Council subsequently agreed to include the neighbourhood plan into the City’s work plans for 2011.

Slaterville is a tightly knit community with historic roots in the early development of Cranbrook. Development of a neighbourhood plan offers an opportunity to address some of its unique challenges and opportunities and help residents to meet their aspirations for safety and levels of service similar to those enjoyed elsewhere in the City.

Flush Away to Conserve Water

If you are planning on changing your toilet to a low flow model then the City of Cranbrooks $50 rebate will provide extra incentive. The change to low flow toilets offer significant water savings.  There is a lifetime maximum of two $50 rebates per household.  Each application is evaluated and processed on a first come, first serve basis. There will only be 200 rebates available and the program has proved to be very popular.
Old toilets can be dropped off at the Cranbrook Transfer Station at no charge and need to have their disposal verification forms signed. Go here to the City of Cranbrook website to download the form  The low flow toilet rebate is part of the City of Cranbrooks efforts to increase water use awareness in our community.