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.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Value in the Arts

With much talk of the Arts and Culture scene in Cranbrook and the great need for a permanent home for the Arts Council it is interesting to read this editorial from the Calgary Herald.

Editorial: There's value in the arts

Culture is an economic driver, not just a frill
Calgary Herald November 21, 2011

With snow removal, seniors' bus passes and police services all facing the chopping block, the case for arts funding might not seem like a priority during the city's budget deliberations. In tough economic times, the so-called frills are often the first to go.

City council should resist any temptation to seriously cut arts funding. Reducing its investment in the arts, even in times of economic difficulty, is bad business.

Calgary's arts sector contributes more than $100 million to the local economy, with an attendance of three million at 8,400 event nights per year in cultural activities.

These are just the things that can be quantified. As Terry Rock of the not-for-profit Calgary Arts Development Authority recently told the Herald's editorial board, it is much more difficult to put a price on intangible benefits such as downtown public safety, which happens when a vibrant arts scene puts people on the street at night.

Rock and representatives of Calgary major arts organizations made a forceful case for a vibrant arts scene as an economic engine and a quality-of-life draw for attracting businesses to Calgary. They note that arts groups also make valuable anchor tenants for developers, spawning the coffee shops and restaurants that keep streets lively.

The Calgary Arts Development Authority, which provides funding to about 180 arts group, last year received $5.01 million in city funding. The city also contributed millions in investments into artistic spaces, including the construction of Canada's National Music Centre and initiatives to transform old or derelict buildings into new arts centres, performance venues or artist studios.

Despite this, Calgary has the lowest for-arts funding among big cities in Canada, investing $5.45 per capita toward non-profit arts and culture organizations, according to a meeting of local arts groups last spring.

Calgary has no contemporary arts gallery. This continues to be a major disappointment. Big, iconic artistic spaces are economic drivers. As Jeff Melanson, executive director of Canada's National Ballet School, told local arts organizations last spring, cities reap huge benefits when they invest in the arts. While Calgary has a strong history of philanthropic support for the arts, the public side cannot be ignored.

"Study after study shows (the benefits) to the hospitality industry, restaurants, hotels, tourism," said Melanson. "Government investment in the arts actually produces profound economic returns."

Mayor Naheed Nenshi is one of the biggest arts boosters on council, but even he knows that lean budgetary times demand efficiencies from which nobody is exempt.

"Will we be able to massively grow our spending in the arts over the next little while? Probably not," he told the CBC on his most recent trip to Toronto.

In September, the Calgary Arts Development Authority initiated an Arts Champions Congress - a gathering of Calgary artists, arts sector managers, volunteers and board members - to collectively advocate for the arts sector.

All Calgarians would be wise to listen to their message.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Canada Cup of Curling

Since last Friday, Chief Ice Makers Jamie Bourassa and BJ Gagnon have been perfecting the ice as well as preparing
"everything that is blue", as they described it. The Rec Plex has been transformed into a classy looking Curling Rink complete with press gallery.

Curlers begin arriving today and the action begins Wednesday.  Tickets are still available and price for a final game is $35.  Tickets can be purchased at the Rec Plex or by phone to the Rec Plex ticket office.

Ice Makers Jamie Bourassa from Calgary and BJ Gagnon from Abbotsford
Center Sheet

Press Gallery

rocks almost ready

Jack Kershaw, Vice Chair of Facilities, Gordon Judzentis and Mike Guido enjoying being part of the preparation

What People Want

The "fringe" suburbs are dying, at least in the United States.  Their massive expansion has come to a screeching halt. McMansions were build too far away from amenities using an economic model that was unsustainable. The cost to cities to support these suburbs has become  an economic burden that most can't afford. Instead, urban areas are thriving.  Many baby boomers are downsizing and moving to cities with walkable neighbourhoods and a real sense of community. Gen Y or Millennials are naturally drawn to urban  locations.  They want amentities, restaurants, hip stores, and access to entertainment. Boomers and Millennials make up over half the American population meaning they are a huge indicator of future trends. These demographics are a reality here in Canada as well. We should be looking at building within Cranbrook, revitalizing our downtown, and providing more housing options.
 In Cranbrook, maybe instead of selling people what we have, we should provide them with what they want. We have an amazing community that can be made better by recognizing an opportunity and acting on it.
To read more about the information provided in this article please go here:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Airing the Laundry

Recently the publisher for the Cranbrook Townsman wrote an editorial about how The Townsman and its reporters post and prior to the election had received some correspondence and communication that was not in good taste. Now the Advertiser has done the same and Black Press has decided not to publish any more anonymous comments. The Townsman is not alone. In the last week The Cranbrook Guardian has received comments, which are, the editors consider, in poor taste. Maybe these comments sent to the Advertiser, the Townsman and The Cranbrook Guardian originate from the same people.

Negative and sometimes abusive comments force any publication into a corner. We want to represent a cross section of opinion and we want all viewpoints to be heard. However there is a difference between attacking a personality and challenging an opinion. Over the last few years Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook have been accused of negativity and spreading misinformation even though we have yet to hear from any source about what that misinformation is. Too often it seems there are some who are willing to discredit or disapprove on nothing more than innuendo and hearsay. Too often accusations have been levelled at Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook about actions we know nothing about carried out by people we do not know or have never heard of. This kind of unsubstantiated tittle tattle does a disservice to the both the senders and receivers.

We, CLCS have questioned City Council on issues we felt needed more debate or explanation. We have quoted what people have said and questioned the accuracy of some statements. We do not view that as negativity but the result of healthy enquiring minds. Often we have been proven right. We accept the same in return if what is said can be substantiated with fact and not fiction. Debating ideas is a healthy way to arrive at common ground. Indeed, it is the foundation of democracy. We are proud of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society.

In the last week, since the election, we have received several unsavoury comments that we chose not to publish. They were not backed up by substantiated fact and they attacked personalities some of whom are not members of this society. We will at the Cranbrook Guardian continue to accept anonymous comments for moderation because there are many who have valid and varying opinions whose ideas need to be heard without fear of repercussion from those who judge all too quickly.

In conclusion we wish this new council all the best and have every confidence that with a diversity of opinion around the table, keen onlookers and active involved members of the community, this city will continue to grow and mature into the best it can be. We look forward to the continued debating of issues relevant to Cranbrook.

Vandalism in the Cranbrook Community Forest

This is the scene that met people using the Cranbrook Community Forest on Sunday morning near the 2nd Steet entrance.  Sometime Saturday night a vandal(s) felled a tree directly behind the CCF Kiosk which caused the damage you see here. The Cranbrook Community Forest Society, only 4 weeks ago, replaced the signage using monies from a Columbia Basin Trust grant. While disappointed, the directors of the CCFS are already planning to rebuild the kiosk. The Cranbrook Community Forest Society's mandate to protect and enhance the forest will continue despite such thoughtless behaviour. If you have any information about the perpetrators of this crime please contact the RCMP. If you want to learn more about the Cranbrook Community Forest Society go to their website here

Sunday, November 27, 2011

New Radio Station Comes to Cranbrook

There is a new radio station in town and it can be found at

Rick Edwards station manager loves radio and hopes this online radio will become a new community voice for Cranbrook.  His goal is to eventually see it become an fm station but in the meantime if you would like to have your voice heard call them and leave a message at 778-520-2020.
This week at approx 13mins past 12noon everyday you will be able to hear an interview with Don Davidson from the Cranbrook Hospice Society talking about their event coming up at Tamarack Mall.

Christmas Parade 2011

The Aspire School of Dance (above) led the community in a Flash Mob Dance in Rotary Park just before the official Light Up.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Makings of the Market

There was a transformation yesterday of the interior of the 'old Supervalu' building into the venue for the Winter Market.  From five o'clock on when the doors opened it was a buzz with shoppers.  No wonder as there was a fabulous array of local goods to choose from - the regular summer vendors with beautiful handcrafted gift ideas as well as apples and fresh pressed apple juice, Christmas greenery and a huge variety of baking.  The market is on again today from 10:00am 'til 3:00pm.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Mining now Banned in the Flathead - Global Insight

Around Town and Looking Good

Thank You to Stewart Wilson for these lovely photos of our historical buildings which were built with bricks that at one time were made in Cranbrook at the CBC - Cranbrook Brick Company.  Sometimes old bricks can still be found around town with those letters imprinted on them.

The Bank of Canada Building
Original High School, then Central School - now the Tembec Building

City Hall

Manual Training Building originally part of the High School

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Flash Mob Coming to a Place Very Near You

Go on - learn it for Friday evening!  You may need it!

Voter Turnout and Engaging Youth

Kimberley's voter turnout for the municiple election hovered around 50%.  In Cranbrook despite much chatter in the community for the last three years, the turnout was a meagre 33%.  Why? Engaging youth would certainly help but how should that be done?  If parents read, their children usually read.  If parents play hockey their children often play hockey.  The apples don't usually fall far from the tree. 

Taking a child to the voting station demonstrates and models that civic duty.  It is rather ironic that there were many children present at the Remembrance Day Service where we remember the fight for democracy and those who lost their lives in that fight but few children were visible with their parents at the polling station.  If more children were allowed to witness the act of voting, there may well be a better understanding of what democracy translates into.  Those children may not understand all the issues but their curiosity would be stimulated and discussion would engage them in the process.

B.C. Electoral Officer Calls for Reforms to Engage Youth
Election Act
VICTORIA— The Canadian Press

Published Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 9:52PM EST

Elections BC wants to test online voting and register people younger in an effort to make the provincial electoral system more efficient, modern and attractive to voters.

Chief Electoral Officer Keith Archer makes four recommendations to change the B.C. Election Act in a report tabled on Monday in the B.C. legislature.

Attorney General Shirley Bond said she is looking forward to working with Elections BC on the recommendations, especially online voting and getting young people more engaged in politics.

But she said she’s not sure about lowering the voting age below 18 years as suggested during last winter's Liberal leadership race.

“Young people feel disengaged,” said Ms. Bond. “They don’t feel their views matter.”

Elections BC recommends “legislators may wish to consider allowing the provisional registration of individuals when they are 16 years of age.”

The report noted that the lowest voter turnout among B.C. voters is among those between 18 and 24 years old.

“The most effective means of registering youth may be to approach them before they graduate from high school,” said the report, adding that might help engage them enough that they will be more inclined to vote.

The report stated that Australia allows voters to register at 17 and some U.S. states start registering their voters at 16.

Bond said she wants to look at ways to attract more young voters to take an interest in elections, and if that means going into schools to discuss civic issues and conduct registration drives that may be required.

In the 2009 B.C. election, voter turn-out was 50 per cent of eligible voters. It was 58 per cent of total eligible voters in the 2005 B.C. election.

“We need to make sure we are looking at how we get our participation numbers up, especially among young people,” said Bond.

She said she completely supports Elections BC’s call for pilot projects to test online voting.

“I love the idea,” Bond said. “I’m currently working on how we will put in place an expert panel that will look at voting online in B.C. We’re working on putting the process together.”

The report also recommended allowing Elections BC to explore methods to introduce more flexibility to current voter enumeration practices and removing the actual name “Voting Officer” from Election Act and replace it with a term that allows officers to perform various duties connected to the electoral process.

What's Happening...

Thursday Nov. 24, Friday Nov. 25, Saturday Nov. 26, & Sunday Nov 27

Mount Baker Secondary School's presentation of Almost Maine,
A collection of 9 short plays at the Key City Theatre
7:30pm, Sunday Matinee 2pm

Friday, Nov 25 and Sat. Nov 26

Christmas Market
Over 55 Vendors, Artisans, Jewellery, Baked Goods
Preserves, Teas, Dried Vegetables and Fruit and sooo much more
Live entertainment
Friday 5pm-9pm
Saturday 10am-3pm
1114 Baker St. (the old Supervalue store)

Friday November 25th
Cranbrooks 41st Annual Christmas Parade
Hot Chocolate and Cider will be served at the various downtown businesses
Please bring a non perishable food item to donate to the food bank
Starts at 7pm, Downtown

Saturday November 26th

The Salvation Army Tea and Bake Sale
533 Slater Rd. 1:30 to 3:30
Cost $4

Gala Dinner at the Royal Alexandria Hall
Pre-dinner reception starts at 5:45, Dinner at 7pm
Fund raiser for the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel
For more information please call 250-489-3918

Sat. Nov. 26 and Sun. Nov. 27

Joseph Cross at Fisher Peak
Renowned artist Joseph Cross will be demonstrating his painting techniques
at the Fisher Peak Gallery today.
Drop by for a cup of coffee

Monday, Nov. 28

The Friends of the Cranbrook Library
are holding a Travelogue
From Russia with Love
7pm at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre
Admission by donation

Go-Go Grannies
meet tonight and on the last Monday of each month
7pm at the College of the Rockies.
Fundraise for the Stephen Lewis Foundation
You don't have to be a grannie to join
Call Norma at 250-426-6111 or Ingrid at 250-489-3242 for more information

Tuesday, Nov. 29

Jill Barber at the Key City Theatre
Rising BC singer Jill Barber will be performing
song from her latest album, Mischievous Moon
Concert starts at 7:30
Tickets available at the KTC Box Office

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Adrian Dix visits the East Kootenay

Adrian Dix, leader of the BC NDP, recently visited Kimberley and Cranbrook.

A fundraising wine and cheese get together was held at local member Norma Blissett’s house. Norm Macdonald MLA for Columbia River Revelstoke and Michelle Mungall MLA for Nelson-Creston ridings were also present.

Norma introduced Mr. Dix who gave an inspiring talk about what is currently happening in BC politics and how the NDP are challenging the Liberals concerning cuts to the Community Living BC budget and group homes while waiting lists for services grow. He also announced that his party is proposing to dedicate $100 million to support post secondary education through the reinstated needs-based student grant program.

The Kootenay East NDP executive were quite pleased by the turnout and support for the fundraising event and see this as a good sign for things to come in Kootenay East.

Adrian Dix speaking to the large gathering

Adrian Dix and Norma Blissett

Strip Malls

One of our primary concerns on this blog has been the beautification of Cranbrook. We want Cranbrook to be more than a drive through City. Architecturally Cranbrook can be  somewhat lacking with an over abundance of strip malls with little landscaping. No doubt things are improving but interestingly, Edmonton, also awash in strip malls has launched a contest to retrofit strip malls. Calling upon designers and architects the contest is named "Strip Appeal". Generally strip malls have fallen out of favour and have been replaced by the Big Box stores. In Edmonton not only are strip malls struggling to maintain tenants but but they take up a lot of room while being very low density. That said they provide inexpensive retail space for many businesses. Many of the submissions to Strip Appeal are basic such as street scaping, better lighting, or converting them into a hip urban shopping centres. Some of these ideas could be transferred here. There are ways to make our "strip" more appealing and to help our businesses prosper.

To read more about strip malls and "Strip Appeal" go here

and here

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Gift Giving

This little rant was sent to us the other day and it seemed very appropriate.  Some of my children and grandchildren's favourite books were the Laura Ingall Wilder series, 'Little House on the Prairie' and there seemed to be more magic in Laura, Carrie and Mary's simple home-made gifts than any amount of cheap plastic amusement that lasted a day.

The amazing Cranbrook Winter Market returns this weekend and this would be a wonderful place to find those beautiful handmade local presents.  There are many more local gift giving ideas and we would like to hear your suggestions.  Please contribute them to our gmail adress to the right of this post or to the comment box at the bottom of this post.  We will compile them and publish them in a later post.

Christmas 2011 -- Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into highgear to provide Canadians with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods --merchandise that has been produced at the expense of Canadian labor.
This year will be different. This year Canadians will give the gift of genuine concern for other Canadians. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by Canadians hands. Yes there is!It's time to think outside the box, people.
Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in wrapping paper produced somewhere else?  Everyone -- yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local Canadian hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It's appropriate for all ages who are thinking about somehealth improvement.
Who wouldn't appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, Canadian owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or abook of gift certificates.
Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants -- all offering giftcertificates. And, if your intended isn't the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.
Remember, folks this isn't about big National chains -- this is about supporting your home town Canadian with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open. How many people couldn't use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the Canadian working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre.  Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand lights (made elsewhere) for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging Canadian small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Canadians, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.THIS is the new Canadian Christmas tradition. This is a revolution of caring about each other,and isn't that what Christmas is about? BUY CANADIAN - BE CANADIAN - The job you save might be your own.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's All Over but the Scrying

Those of us who voted, the mere 33% probably had a little time for some scrying or crystal ball gazing this weekend.  You might prefer tea leaves for looking into the future but either way the future as always, after an election is exciting.  The reality of getting down to the real work will now begin and it will be easier if everyone pulls the load.  Everyone includes all the citizens of this community as well as those newly elected leaders of council.  People say anything can happen in a week of politics but the politics must take more of a back seat now as we embark on another three years of making Cranbrook the best it can be.  The road will be smoother and more fun if those disenfranchised voters can buy in to what we need to accomplish.  If we can all hone up our listening skills and include those who seemingly don’t care, let’s hope there will be more citizen involvement. Like the steel gazing ball this might be a lofty goal but let’s look up and reflect on the bright side.

The Final Count

Will be officially confirmed on Wednesday.


STETSKI. W 2185                                NO 4140
WAVRECAN, J 1704                            YES 722
YORK, J 107


PALLESEN, D  2696                                                  
DAVIS, A 2485                                                       
WHETHAM, B 2217                                               
SCOTT, D 2002                                                         
WARNER, G 1977                                                      
CROSS, S 1935                                                          
STEWART, C  1810                                                    
HALL, D 1655                                                         
SAVAGE, J 1076

JOHNS, 2553
BROWN,G 2346
HALL,D 1992
ELLIS,C 1932
TAIT,T 1107

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Change Comes to Cranbrook

Wayne and Audrey Stetski
The results are in.  Our City will have a fundamentally changed Council over the next 3 years and despite the serious advantage that is exhibited by being an incumbent with four councillors including Denise Pallesen, Diana J. Scott, Bob Whetham, and Angus Davis, two new councillors Sharon Cross, former President of Citizens of a Livable Cranbrook and Gerry Warner made it to the table. Wayne Stetski defeated long time Councillor Jim Wavrecan to become the new Mayor of Cranbrook. Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook have encouraged change for our City out of a deep concern for its future. We look forward to the debate that these new councillors and Mayor will bring to issues. We are grateful that the people of this community also wanted to see that change and we congratulate all those who put their lives on hold to run in this election.
Wayne Stetski and Bob Whetham

Joseph and Sharon Cross

Gretchen and Bob Whetham

Bob Whetham and Gerry Warner

Results of the Cranbrook Municipal Election 1:30am November 20th

Subject to slight change for final count


Mayor -

Wayne Stetski - 2185

Jim Wavrecan - 1704

John York - 107

Pat O'Connell - 863

Council -

Sean Campbell - 1488

Sharon Cross - 1935

Angus Davis - 2485

Jim Fennell - 1264

Dave Hall - 1655

David Humphrey - 1533

Paulette Johnson - 755

Denise Pallesen - 2696

Jay Savage - 1076

Diana J. Scott - 2002

Connor Stewart - 1810

Tasy Strouzas - 875

Gerry Warner - 1977

Bob Whetham - 2217

Trustee -

Trina Ayling - 2485

Olivia Besanger - 2280

Gail Brown - 2346

Chris Ellis - 1932

Dan Hall - 1992

Chris Johns - 2553

Tammy Tait - 1107

Patricia Whalen - 2539

Water Meter Referendum -

YES - 722

NO - 4449