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, December 30, 2015

Natural and Not So Natural Decorations

Love the annual Elf visits to the Community Forest
Mistletoe Lane, Community Forest

Jack Frost on nature's windows

Nature's tinsel

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Singing Showcase

Thank you to our Member of Parliament, Wayne Stetski for submitting this report and for recognising this local, up-and-coming talent in the arts world.

An amazing group of Cranbrook and Kimberley youth put on outstanding performances before a sold out Knox Presbyterian Church on December 27.

The songs ranged from opera to show tunes and the quality was exceptional. No need to travel to New York or London or Rome to hear great music - we just need our kids to come home more often! Thank you to Elizabeth Ross for making it happen.

Performers inluded: Courteney Green, Danielle Nicholson, Darren Adams, Justin Swanson, Amanda Weatherall, Jocelyn Molnar, Clara MacLeod, Caitlin McCaughey and Heather Byford. Accompanists were Arne Sahlen and Erica Ortlieb (Ross).

Well done everyone! Be great to see it happen again next year!!

How the shape of the land shapes our lives....

Geography: Calgary's hidden puppet master
How the shape of the land shapes our lives
By Francisco Alaniz Uribe, for CBC News Posted: Dec 05, 2015 6:00 AM MT

This final paragraph of the article listed above also applies to most cities including our own.  When reading the article it is easy to substitute our own Cranbrook geography and to consider the parallel issues our city struggles with.
'Key to our future as a city and how we interact with each other will be a better understanding of how we use our geography to connect rather than divide us.
We can't move the Bow, and Pioneer Hill is here to stay, but we do have a choice of where and how we build our communities, where we create parks and put houses, what roads look like and how "walkable" our streets are.
We can't blame the glaciers for our bad city-building decisions.'

Monday, December 28, 2015

It's time for the provincial government to admit that its LNG project is over, The Tyee

Since the signing of the new climate treaty in Paris earlier this month, there's been plenty of debate as to whether the new global agreement is a turning point or merely more hollow promises.
The answer, as the CCPA's Marc Lee has written, will be revealed in how governments and markets react. In particular, the litmus test will be whether governments, upon their return home, continue with plans to expand fossil fuel production, or instead are prepared to speak an essential truth -- that most of these ancient carbon reserves need to stay safely in the ground.

Post-Paris, many have noted that, given our new international commitment to keep global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees over pre-industrial levels, it makes no sense to invest in new tarsands infrastructure, be it extraction and refining capacity or new pipelines in any direction.

But this same logic is equally true with respect to British Columbia's dirty fossil fuel development, namely, fracked gas and new liquefied natural gas infrastructure (again, both gas pipelines and LNG plants on the coast).

It's time for the provincial government to admit that its LNG project is over, and for the new federal government to clearly state that there is no room in our future for new fossil fuel development of this sort. Notably, thus far, the Trudeau government has indicated it is prepared to extend the same tax credits to the LNG industry that the Harper government had on offer, a curious way to make real a commitment to ending fossil fuel subsidies.

The article continues
So far post-Paris, Premier Christy Clark has publicly remained firmly in LNG booster mode, even as the economics favoring her pipe dream collapse around her. The premier insists a B.C. LNG industry would be doing the world a favour, by helping Asia move off coal. But the claims do not hold, as we have outlined here and here. The simple truth is that natural (fracked) gas no longer has a viable role to play in transitioning us to a zero greenhouse gas emissions economy; that argument may have had some merit if we'd gotten serious about climate change two decades ago, but the moment is lost. Time is now of the essence, and we must leap-frog directly to zero-GHG energy sources.

To read the entire article go to the link above.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

'An under-appreciated city for a reason,' by Gerry Warner

An under-appreciated city for a reason
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Ouch! That hurt. Of course it hurts when one of the world’s biggest and most respected travel guide books disses your home town as Lonely Planet did recently. And it’s not the first time that a travel publication or travel writer has done the same.
But we who live here and know our town much more intimately than any travel   writer know a much different city than you see from a quick cruise down The Strip.

We know what it’s like to see the Alpen glow fading on the Rockies on a warm summer evening, the larch trees flaming like gold every autumn, hillsides covered with yellow sunflowers every spring and the crunch of fresh snow on a winter’s tramp through the community forest. We have one of the best four-seasons climates you could find anywhere on the planet and more hours of sunshine than any city in BC,
But if you never get off the Strip you’re not going to know this, are you?

Along with the bracing climate, we offer a small town life style that’s great for raising a family, starting a business or owning an affordable home. Our children enjoy a great public school system and when they graduate they can attend a community college that’s rated number one in the world – that’s right in the world – for student satisfaction. But you wouldn’t know this if you see nothing but the Strip.

And should you fall ill while visiting our fine town, you have a major regional referral hospital with numerous specialists a six-bed ICU and a fully equipped emergency department that operates 24/7. And if  you feel like entertaining yourself while you’re here, we have one of the best railway museums in all of Canada, a rustic heritage village just a few minutes from town, a 500-seat community theatre that’s hosted the likes of Bob Dylan and Kenny Rogers and a recreation complex that’s home to the Memorial Cup Champions Kootenay Ice. And if the Great Outdoors is your thing, our fair town lies smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountain Trench that’s been called the “Serengeti of North America.”

Not bad for a “dusty crossroads” or a “depressingly work-a-day town,” don’t you think? And what do these effete travel writers have against a town where people can find a job and are proud to work?

But hey, we’re not perfect. There’s a reason for all those negative travel reviews. Let’s be honest.  If there’s one thing that Cranbrook has lacked over the years it’s what can best be described as “the vision thing.” Urban planning has never been our strong suit. Oh sure, we’ve had a City planning department over the years, but when push comes to shove, the planners get over-ruled by the politicians and our urban development has always been along the lines of where the land is the cheapest and the quickest profits could be made. That’s why most of the development has been on the Strip the past 30 years and the downtown has faded.

So when a travel writer comes to town they never get off the Strip and the result is another article panning our city. It’s annoying, but not entirely unfair because this is the kind of town we’ve allowed it to be.

And it continues to this day with the finest heritage building left downtown – the 1929 Fire Hall – currently for sale by the City to the highest bidder despite the efforts of a local activist group who raised thousands to convert it into a gallery and art centre that would have given those nasty travel writers a reason to get off the Strip and go town town along with our local citizens.

That’s the vision thing. Sadly, Cranbrook still doesn’t have it. 

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and former City councillor

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Idlewild Overflows

The rise and fall of water levels at Idlewild continues.  It would appear that the intent to keep the water levels at a low level are proving difficult to maintain.  Let's hope the New Year will see measures taken to secure the dam and bring water to stable levels.

Below the frozen cascade of water overflowing into the spillway.

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Officially Opens at 1013 Baker St.

Cranbrook and District Arts Council officially opened their new gallery on Baker St. on Wednesday December 16th. It took several weeks for board members to update the space, plumb in water for a usable kitchen and workspace, and paint.  Their dedicated efforts have now been rewarded by being able to provide the many artisans in the area a venue suitable to compliment and sell their work.  The historic nature of the building, one of Cranbrook's original's provides a high tin ceiling and good light but is limited in size for larger workshops.

The Arts Council coordinates exhibits at both Key City Theatre and their own gallery at 1013, Baker St.  Their regular hours are Tuesday to Friday from 11:00am to 5:00pm Saturdays 10:00am to 2:00pm.  Hours have been extended however until Christmas and the Gallery will be open for regular hours after Christmas.

From left, board members Susan Walp, Jeanette Lavoie, Colleen Osiowy, MP Wayne Stetski and Presidet Sioban Staplin
KGB perform at the Opening of CDAC's new gallery

Board members, Jeanette Lavoie, Bill McColl, Sioban Staplin, Becky Litz, Colleen Osiowy, Yvonne Vigne and Howie Mason

Friday, December 18, 2015

Parkland Star Wars

What's Happening....

Saturday December 19th

Free Family Swim
Cranbrook Aquatic Centre
12 noon to 1:00pm

Sunday December 20th

Father Christmas at Fort Steele
Lambi House
11:00am - 3:00pm
Pets Welcome
Pictures provided on DVD $5
Also Sleigh Rides
Church Service at 2:00pm

and Hot Apple Cider!

Buy your tickets now for
The Best of Banff Film Festival, Jan 2nd
Fisher Peak Winter Ale Concert Series, Key City Theatre

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MP for Kootenay Columbia, Wayne Stetski's First Speech in the House of Commons

December 7th, 2015

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far Far Away

For Star Wars Fans:

Parkland School is revelling in Star Wars Culture this week. In part of the interview with Kaley Wasylowich on CBC daybreak today, Parkland's appetizer ideas were shared including three snowpeas on a toothpick for 3-CPO and a piece of ham, likewise, for Ham Solo.

How many more can you come up with without looking at Pinterest!

Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program

Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program

The Provincial Wood Stove Exchange Program is designed to encourage British Columbians to change out their older, smoky wood stoves for low-emission appliances including newCSA-/EPA-certified clean-burning wood stoves.
The key goals of this program are:
  • Improving community air quality by providing incentives to change out old smoky wood stoves with cleaner burning options.
  • Providing education on clean burning techniques through Burn it Smart workshops, brochures, websites and social media.
Government is supporting individual action to solve a collective problem of poor air quality. Communities benefit from better air quality and participating individuals benefit from increased efficiency – saving money and reducing pollution.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Tyee interview with BC Premier Christy Clark

Christy Clark Fields Tough Questions on LNG Promises
BC's premier unshaken by grim trends for liquefied natural gas. A Tyee interview.

By Andrew MacLeod, Today,

British Columbia Premier Christy Clark won election in 2013 making big promises about the prospects of a liquefied natural gas industry that she said could make the province debt free.
But well into that mandate, with just 17 months until Clark faces voters in 2017, no LNG proponent has made a final investment decision. Reports of a global supply glut and plunging natural gas prices have many observers wondering if any of the 20 plants proposed for B.C. will ever be built.
As Moody's Investors Service Inc., for example, said in April, the "vast majority" of North American LNG proposals will likely be cancelled. "Many sponsors -- including those in the U.S., Canada and Mozambique that have missed that window of opportunity as oil prices have declined -- will face a harder time inking the final contracts, most likely resulting in a delay or a cancellation of their projects," the consulting firm said.

Go to :
for the whole article.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Deadline for Parks Plan Feedback

Monday, December 14th is the deadline for feedback to the City of Cranbrook for its Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
Go to:

The 'Plan' and feedback forms can be found there.

'World leaders hail Paris climate deal as ‘major leap for mankind’', The Guardian

In the final meeting of the Paris talks on climate change on Saturday night, the debating chamber was full and the atmosphere tense. Ministers from 196 countries sat behind their country nameplates, aides flocking them, with observers packed into the overflowing hall.

World leaders hail Paris climate deal as ‘major leap for mankind’
Almost 200 countries sign historic pledge to hold global temperatures to a maximum rise of 1.5C above pre-industrial levels
Read more
John Kerry, the US secretary of state, talked animatedly with his officials, while China’s foreign minister Xie Zhenhua wore a troubled look. They had been waiting in this hall for nearly two hours. The French hosts had trooped in to take their seats on the stage, ready to applaud on schedule at 5.30pm – but it was now after 7pm, and the platform was deserted.
After two weeks of fraught negotiations, was something going badly wrong?
Then at 7.16pm, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, returned abruptly to the stage, flanked by high-ranking UN officials. The last-minute compromises had been resolved, he said. And suddenly they were all on their feet. Fabius brought down the green-topped gavel, a symbol of UN talks, and announced that a Paris agreement had been signed. The delegates were clapping, cheering and whistling wildly, embracing and weeping. Even the normally reserved economist Lord Stern was whooping.
Outside the hall, a “Mexican wave” of standing ovations rippled across the conference centre as news reached participants gathered around screens outside for the translation into their own language. The 50,000 people who attended the summit had been waiting for this moment, through marathon negotiating sessions and sleepless nights.


It is easy to forget what an extraordinary event these UN talks were. The UNFCCC is one of the last remaining forums in the world where every country, however small, is represented on the same basis and has equal say with the biggest economies. Most modern diplomacy carries on in small, self-selected groups dominated by richer countries – the G7, the G20, the OECD, Opec – but all 196 states have a seat and a say at the UNFCCC. Agreement can only be accepted by consensus.
If this makes for an unwieldy and frustrating process, it is also a fair one. The poorest countries of the world, so often left out of international consideration, are those which have done least to create climate change, but will suffer the most from it. Only at the UN are they heard.

To read the entire article, go to the link above.

Let it Snow

photos Stewart Wilson

Friday, December 11, 2015

Input Sought on Agri-Tourism Bylaw Standard

Input Sought on Agri-Tourism Bylaw Standard
Dec. 9, 2015
The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture has extended the consultation period on its discussion paper for a proposed Minister’s Bylaw Standard for agri-tourism in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The deadline for submissions is January 15, 2016.
The discussion paper outlines a draft Minister's Bylaw Standard intended to assist local government bylaw development regulating agri-tourism, agri-tourism accommodation and farm retail sales in the Agricultural Land Reserve. Agri-tourism operators have also have been afforded the opportunity to provide their feedback.
Based on the input received, staff will prepare any necessary revisions and submit the bylaw standard for the Minister’s approval. If approved, the definitions and bylaw standard criteria in Part 4 of the document will be incorporated in the Guide for Bylaw Development in Farming Areas pursuant to Section 916 of the Local Government Act.
Comments may be submitted by mail, fax or email:
Ministry of Agriculture Strengthening Farming Program
1767 Angus Campbell Road
Abbotsford, B.C.
V3G 2M3

Fax: (250) 356-0358

Please copy UBCM with your submission through Danyta Welch, Program and Policy Officer (250) 356-5193.

A report from the British Broadcasting Corporation

How germs spread on planes

What's Happening.....

Friday December 11th

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Reception
The Art Group 75 Exhibit
1013 Baker St.
Exhibit open until December 24th
Tues to Fri. 11:00am to 5:00pm
Saturday 10:00am to 2:00pm

Key City Theatre Gallery
Affordable Art
to Dec 15th
Weekdays 10:00am - 4:00pm

Saturday December 12th

Christ Church Anglican
46, 13th Ave S.
Minkha Sweater Sale
10;00am - 4:00pm

Key City Theatre
Craft and Art Fair
11:00am - 4:00pm

Sunday December 13th

CP Train visits 9:15
Every year, our Holiday Trains travel through dozens of communities, raising food and cash donations for North American food banks.
Again this year, the Holiday Train program is encouraging people attending events to bring heart healthy donations. Heart health education and awareness is a tenet of CP's community investment program, CP Has Heart, which focuses on improving the heart health of men, women and children in communities across North America. 
The two brightly lit trains kicked off in the Montreal area on November 27 and 28 on their way to visit approximately 150 communities. The "Canadian Train" travels west across Canada finishing its journey in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia. The "US Train" visits communities across the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, and returns back to Canada for shows in Saskatchewan and Alberta. ​
The concerts are always free, but you're encouraged to make a donation to the local food bank -- either a non-perishable food item or a cash donation. All contributions will stay in your community.

CP Holiday Train from Canadian Pacific on Vimeo.

Wednesday December 16th

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery Open House
View and Celebrate the new space for the Arts Council
4:00 - 8:00pm

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Fine Evening, in the Style of 1864

We can only hope for more of the same to take place in the Royal Alexandra Hall.  A splendid evening of fine food and entertainment was the combined effort of the Key City Theatre and The Cranbrook History Centre on Wednesday, December 9th. Political speeches from the likes of Sir John A. Macdonald, a fortune teller, predicting the lives of some well-known political characters of the time, and a performance from one of Canada's finest concert pianists, Michael Kim, made for a magical night.

Thanks to all who played a part in this Christmas treat. More please.

Barry Coulter playing the part of Sir John A. Macdonald

Barry Coulter, Sioban Staplin, Fortune Teller and Peter Schalk as Thomas, D'Arcy McGee 

Political mutterings in the corner

Michael Kim playing the Broadwood piano. The program consisted of a varied selection of beautiful period music from Bach to Debussy but concluded with a slightly more recent piece, Gershwin's emotional 'Rhapsody in Blue'. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Parliament starts accepting e-petitions this week
By On the Coast, CBC News Posted: Dec 02, 2015 1:19 PM PT Last Updated: Dec 02, 2015 1:25 PM PT

"I think this gives significant new power to citizens," says NDP MP Kennedy Stewart, who fought for the change

Goodbye to door knocking and collecting signatures by hand — starting Friday petitions can be submitted to the federal government online, through Parliament's website.
"I think this gives significant new power to citizens," said Kennedy Stewart, the New Democrat MP for Burnaby South whose motion to create a digital petition process was passed by the House of Commons last year.
"People will simply be able to go onto the website, put their petition online, and after a few simple steps will get an URL and they can send it around," he said.

500 signatures required

Stewart said while paper petitions only need 25 signatures before they can be tabled in the House of Commons, online petitions will require 500 signatures.

Burnaby-South NDP MP Kennedy Stewart has been working on bringing e-petitions to Parliament since 2011. (CBC)
"To cut down on frivolous petitions … there's an initial first step where you have to have five other people support your petition, and also you have to get one MP to really serve as a sponsor, so without that one MP it won't go forward."
Stewart said the government will have to give a response within 45 days to petitions that have reached 500 signatures and have been tabled. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015


Friday, December 4, 2015

Video interview with Nicolas Henin, the man held captive by isis for 10 months

A French journalist who was held hostage by Isis for 10 months has spoken out against air strikes in Syria, saying they represent “a trap” for Britain and other members of the international community.
Speaking in an interview with The Syria Campaign, Nicolas Henin put forward his strategy for combatting the militant group – a no-fly zone in opposition-held areas of Syria.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Vancouver is a leader in confronting climate change

Vancouver is a leader in confronting climate change
“Vancouver’s climate leadership continues to be helpful to cities around the world, with three of our successful green strategies recognized as innovative models,” says Mayor Gregor Robertson.
“The UN Climate Summit is providing important opportunities for cities to learn from each other’s success at confronting climate change while continuing to grow our economy, and cities represented here in Paris are counting on similarly bold leadership from national governments to confront this urgent global challenge.”
We have adopted a comprehensive suite of policies and actions as part of the Greenest City Action Plan, Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, and Neighbourhood Energy Strategy, all of which lay the foundation for extensive greenhouse gas emission reductions at a municipal level.

What is Cities 100?

Cities100 names100 tangible city solutions to climate change that can be scaled and replicated across the world. These solutions come from more than 216 submissions from 94 cities across all regions in the world.
The 100 solutions presented in Cities100 highlight that meaningful action can, and is, taken outside of the national arena. Cities100 was developed by Sustainia in collaboration with C40, a network of the world’s greatest cities taking action on climate change, and the philanthropic association Realdania.

What History Teaches Us about the Islamic State

What History Teaches Us about the Islamic State

The death cult's 13th-century origin story sheds grim light on mounting strikes in Syria.
By Crawford Kilian, December 2nd

It's easy but inaccurate to blame the Americans' wars in Afghanistan and Iraq for the rise of "Islamism" -- a violent, dogmatic and fundamentalist version of Islam that thrives in social chaos, and which has now produced the Islamic State, also known as ISIS and Daesh.
If only it were that simple. Syrian historian and journalist Sami Moubayed argues that the 21st century is paying for the sack of Baghdad by the Mongols in the 13th century -- as well as for a couple of recent centuries of exploitation of the Arab peoples that also induced social chaos.
In the early 1200s, Europe was a dull, smelly backwater and Islam was a high civilization stretching from Moorish Spain to much of India and central Asia. The caliphate ruled from Baghdad over Muslims, Christians, Jews, and other sects. Science, engineering, architecture, poetry and trade all prospered..........

Bombing won't work
A radical variant of Islam that's survived persecution since the 14th century is not going to be bombed out of existence, any more than the Nazis' Blitz defeated Britain. Even exterminating 20,000 Islamists in Hama bought Hafez al-Assad only a few decades of peace.
It's hard to see what the secular nations can do about this. The vast majority of Muslims are clearly appalled by the Islamists (note that Syria's refugees do not seek shelter in Saudi Arabia). They can see how ISIS is manipulating us, encouraging anti-Muslim fear and loathing. If we reject ordinary Muslim refugees, they will find nowhere to run; eventually their choices will be the caliph or the deep blue Aegean.
Treating the Islamic State like North Korea would be problematic. Alienated young people would still try to reach it, or carry out terrorist attacks in its name. Money would still filter in and out, along with oil and weapons. Even the internet would likely still be accessible.

Invasion won't work either
Could a grand alliance of all secular nations, from the U.S. and Canada to Russia and China, overwhelm the Islamic State? Unlikely, as each would demand very different post-ISIS regimes (and borders) across the Middle East.
But we should know by now that ever since Genghis Khan, a military victory over Islam only stores up trouble for centuries to come. We are paying now for the stupidity of the Sykes-Picot agreement a century ago, with its arbitrary borders around artificial states like Syria and Iraq and Jordan (not to mention the very hazy borders around Israel).
A violent extirpation of the Islamic State would only ensure future nightmares. Anything less would keep it sputtering away for decades, like the colonial wars in Indochina and Northern Ireland.
Our best hope may be for a cooling of ISIS's expansionism and its willingness (to paraphrase Joseph Stalin) to settle for "Islamism in one state." That might lead to a negotiated settlement (or at least a cold war), under which ISIS could rule as it pleased over its patch of land in return for leaving its neighbours (and us) alone. 
Like Cuba, ISIS would suffer economically under many embargoes, and would still attract admirers. But the rest of us could get on with thrashing out climate change, which will produce enough refugees without ISIS adding to them. Like the equally noxious Saudis, ISIS may settle for comfortable survival amidst the unbelievers

What's Happening.....

Ongoing through December
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Art Group 75 Exhibit
Dec 1st - Dec 24th
1013 Baker St.

Affordable Art
Key City Theatre Gallery
all pieces under $300

Friday December 4th

Sun Valley Song
Songs for Christmas
Knox Presbyterian Church
$10 and $5
Tickets Lotus Books

The Noteables
Big Band Concert
Cranbrook United Church
Tickets $15 at church office

Saturday December 5th

Symphony of the Kootenays
Key City Theatre

Sunday December 6th

Polar Express in the Wild Horse Theatre

Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Enjoy this favourite Christmas film, The Polar Express, in the Wildhorse Theatre.  Come in your PJ's for a family experience you'll never forget. The concession will be open with hot cocoa and sugar cookies, just like the movie!  
Father Christmas will be in the Lambi House from 11-3 for photo opportunities and we'll have chilli, cookies and hot apple cider ready for you if you're hungry.
Weather permitting, there will be sleigh rides and ice skating too!
Photo price:  $5.00 each(under 2 are free)
Chilli with cookies and cider: $5.00 each

Sun Valley Song
Songs for Christmas
$10 and $5
Tickets at Lotus Books

Wednesday December 9th

Heritage Dinner and Concert
Royal Alexandra Hall

Friday December 11th

Reception for 
Art Group, 75 exhibit
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
1013 Baker St.

CP Holiday Train Schedule with Sunday Dec 13th Cranbrook stop:

JaffrayMainline across from Community Center - *20 minute Stop and Go7:15 PM7:15 PM - 7:35 PM7:35 PMJim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy and Kelly Prescott
Cranbrook25 Van Horne Street in the parking lot beside the CP station9:15 PM9:30 PM - 10:00 PM10:15 PMJim Cuddy, Devin Cuddy and Kelly Prescott