How to buy bitcoin in Canada? An easy guide for beginners

Best ways to buy bitcoin

Way back in 2011, a leading tech magazine said bitcoin was over—a fad whose time had passed. Yet almost 13 years after it was first introduced, it’s more popular than ever before.

Today, everyone from billionaire investors to huge corporations and even governments are buying bitcoin totalling billions of dollars.

Bitcoin is by far the most popular form of cryptocurrency (or digital currency). Being a digital currency, bitcoin exists only virtually and is uniquely limited to 21 million coins—unlike traditional money that can be printed at an unlimited rate.

This scarcity is why bitcoin’s value has endured (even thrived) during tough economic times. Financial analysts point out that bitcoin has been the best-performing asset of the decade, with a 200% compounding annual growth rate.

It’s for these reasons corporations like Tesla made headlines earlier this year, when it purchased USD$1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, why Visa Inc. began accepting it as a form of payment, and why El Salvador became the first country to make bitcoin legal tender last August.

As bitcoin continues to be widely adopted and grow in value, how can Canadians buy bitcoin?

Ayelen Osorio, content and community manager at Netcoins, a Canadian crypto trading platform, shares what it’s like to buy bitcoin in Canada with Netcoins.

What is Netcoins?

Netcoins is a Canada-based trading platform that makes it easy for Canadians to buy bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies (including Ether, Litecoin and more) anywhere, anytime, in as little as two minutes.

Beyond making it easy to buy bitcoin, Netcoins focuses on helping Canadians understand crypto. From a Crypto Academy for Beginners, to a blog post on 6 Things to Consider When Vetting a Crypto Investment and podcasts including why bitcoin matters to your financial future—their mission is to educate Canadians about crypto in an entertaining and informative way.

How can I buy bitcoin?

“It’s super easy,” says Osorio. “You go to the Netcoins website or download our app, create an account and get verified.

“After verification, your first step is to send Canadian dollars into the Netcoins platform via an e-transfer or one of our other funding methods. Once those dollars are in your Netcoins account, you can use them to buy bitcoin or any of the other cryptocurrencies we offer. For example, if you select ‘BUY BITCOIN,’ you’ll be asked how much you’d like to spend and shown how much bitcoin you’ll get in return. Click ‘CONFIRM’ and that’s it. Congratulations–you’ve just bought bitcoin in a couple of minutes!”

Plus, with 0% funding fees, it’s fast and affordable to get started.

How can I sell bitcoin on Netcoins?

Once you’ve purchased bitcoin with Netcoins, you can also sell at any time.

“Selling is just as easy as buying bitcoin,” says Osorio.

“You go to the trade page on the Netcoins platform and click ‘SELL’ to convert your bitcoin back into Canadian dollars.”

The same as with funding, cash withdrawals cost you nothing. You can send the funds straight to your bank account in a couple of minutes at no cost from the Netcoins side.

In addition to selling, users can also choose to hold their bitcoin for as long as they like, either within Netcoins or by transferring it into their own external bitcoin wallet. Whether to sell or hold is entirely up to users.

Is Netcoins safe to use?

Asked why they’re reluctant to buy bitcoin, Canadians often say it’s a question of trust—they don’t know who is behind the trading platforms. Understandably, Canadians want the peace of mind that comes from knowing their investments are secure and being held by a reputable institution.

This is where Netcoins comes in. Netcoins is a fully transparent, safe and compliant crypto trading platform in Canada. (It’s a registered money services business with FINTRAC, an entity of the Federal Government of Canada.)

In addition, Netcoins became the first publicly-owned, fully regulated crypto trading platform in Canada in September of this year. Learn more about what this means for consumer protection, the crypto industry and Canada.

“Another big reason why Canadians like trading with us is because we’re the only Canadian crypto exchange in Canada that’s public,” explains Osorio, adding that Netcoins is publicly traded on the Canadian Stock Exchange (under their parent company BIGG).

“Private exchanges don’t offer Canadians any insight into their operations or how they manage their finances. But because we’re a public company, we publish all our financials every quarter.”

Netcoins has fast become a favourite way to buy bitcoin in Canada because “it allows people to have complete power over their finances,” says Osorio. “Our open-loop system means your dollars and cryptocurrency flow in and out of your Netcoins account anytime you want, no matter where you are. It’s really an easy way to buy bitcoin in Canada.”

To learn more about Netcoins, set up an account, and start buying and selling cryptocurrencies, visit netcoins.ca. The Netcoins app is available for download at the Apple Store and Google Play.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Here is your personal urban explorer itinerary for the West Coast

Fabulous fall getaway awaits

Before you settle into your new seasonal routine, consider a West Coast getaway and experience a fall fling with Vancouver. You’ll not only capture all those glorious autumn feels with various activities and attractions, but endless Instagram-worthy moments, too.

Whether you seek family-friendly experiences or are looking to fulfill your ultimate couples bucket list, the city is buzzing with everything from world-class hotel stays and colourful culture, to an award-winning cosmopolitan culinary scene and outdoor adventures—there’s never been so much to see and do in and around Vancouver.

The city welcomes you to re-connect—safely and responsibly—and rediscover the vibrancy of Vancouver. Getting re-acquainted has never been so much fun.

If you’re wondering what to include in your urban explorer itinerary, Destination Vancouver has unpacked a few of their favourites.

Leisure activities and adventure

Discover some of Vancouver’s most spectacular scenery and exhilarating outings, with vantage points that will take your breath away and take you to great heights.

On Grouse Mountain, the Skyride aerial tram will whisk you 1,130 metres (3,700 feet) above Vancouver. You can also visit grizzly viewing at the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, Kids Tree Canopy Adventure, Peak Chairlift ride, mountain ziplines, and the challenging vertical 2.9-kilometre trail—the Grouse Grind. (Check trail schedule for open/closures).

On Mt Seymour, a leisurely 2-kilometre, hour-long trek along the Goldie Lake Interpretive Trail takes you through temperate rainforest and wildlife viewing opportunities. Ride the Eagle Coaster on Cypress Mountain down a winding track with forested vistas and exciting bends.

Enjoy a sensory delight as you cross the easy sway of the Capilano Suspension Bridge, 70 metres (230 feet) above the Capilano River. At Treetops Adventure, seven suspension bridges in the trees take you high above the forest floor. Raise your adrenaline on the Cliffwalk, a series of narrow suspended stairs, bridges and walkways.

The Sea to Sky Gondola provides an awe-inspiring adventure. Ride to the summit for sweeping views of Howe Sound, Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief, the world’s second-largest granite monolith and climbing mecca.

Attractions, arts and culture

Continue your adventure from great heights, but here, from a virtual perch. Fly Over Canada transforms Sept. 27 to Oct. 31 to HowlOver Canada. Feel the sensation of soaring over the nation’s most iconic sites with a band of spooky sidekicks.

Hockey action returns! See the puck drop live and be one of the first fans back to Rogers Arena to cheer on the Vancouver Canucks. Regular season starts Oct. 26 for their home opener against Minnesota. Visit BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum and bring any Canucks, Whitecaps, Lions, or concert/event ticket from BC Place or Rogers Arena to receive 50% off admission.

In Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium’s 65,000 amazing animals have been waiting to see you. There’re more than 30 unique exhibits, including a new Marine Mammal Rescue exhibit and new 4D experience movie, Octopus: Blue Planet II. You’ll be cheek to fin exploring our planet’s oceans.

Achieve your culture quotient with visits to: Vancouver Art Gallery, tours and family programs; improv comedy at Improv Centre on Granville Island; the Stanley Theatre, Queen Elizabeth Theatre and Arts Club Theatre for plays, musicals and more. East Vans’ The Cultch, for cutting edge professional performances, community arts and educational initiatives.

Dining al fresco and dreamy digs

There’s not a definitive end to patio season in Vancouver, but a chill in the air is no reason to give patios the cold shoulder—most have heaters, otherwise, pair your favourite meal with a cozy sweater. Choose from tranquil or lively views.

Waterfront: award-winning Dockside Restaurant overlooking False Creek in the Granville Island Hotel; marina-side Cardero’s in Coal Harbour; Miku overlooking Burrard Inlet, pioneer of flame-seared sushi (Aburi) in Canada; Sylvia’s Restaurant, beachside English Bay dining at historic Sylvia Hotel. Shop more than 50 independent food purveyors at Granville Island Public Market and head outdoors.

Rooftop: Vancouver Art Gallery’s 1931 Gallery Bistro, overlooking Robson Square. Reflections: Garden Terrace at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia; LIFT in Coal Harbour with two-level terrace; Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, with 50-plus kinds of fresh fish.

Streetscape: Gastown’s Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar, 100% craft beer offerings; Flying Pig, farm/sea-to-table product at Olympic Village; Blue Water Cafe + Raw Bar, Yaletown with caviar menu; Yaletown Brewing Company, Vancouver’s original brewpub.

Pamper yourself with a hotel stay and spa retreat. It’s nothing but sweet deals and sweet dreams when you bed down within any of these top spots: the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa (Stay and Get Rewarded); Shangri-La Hotel and CHI, The Spa (Member Exclusive, 20% off stays); Fairmont Hotel Vancouver and Absolute Spa (Take your Time offer); The Sutton Place Hotel and Vita Spa (Fall into Savings, up to 50%); Rosewood Hotel Georgia and Sense, A Rosewood Spa (Suite Sojourn, 25% off select suites).

For more information, visit destinationvancouver.com, email [email protected] or call 604.682.2222.

BC RCMP facing increasing pressures but with fewer resources: NPF

BC RCMP facing pressures

Increasingly, RCMP officers in British Columbia are finding themselves called beyond their usual line of duty.

As just one example, by Sept. 1, more than 1,500 wildfires have torn through 865,291 hectares of B.C., prompting evacuations, road closures and emergency response. In this fire season alone, more than 650 RCMP officers were deployed for wildfire response.

While the firefighters take care of the blazes, the RCMP is helping people evacuate, checking on the ones that refuse to leave their homes, closing and securing roads, and patrolling evacuated communities to deter theft and looting.

During the chaos of an evacuation, there are times when families get separated because they have mere minutes to leave their home. When one partner is at work, one is at home and the kids are at school, the stress is unimaginable. The RCMP also helps reunite families in evacuation.

Additionally, it is often the RCMP who looks after wildlife affected by the blaze, and to care for residents’ livestock before the SPCA or others have access to the area. Yes, your local RCMP officer may be out there feeding and watering horses to protect the wellbeing of everyone in the community.

It is important to remember that when the RCMP is deployed for wildfire response, those members have been taken away from routine duties across the province.

“Our members have shared responsibility over emergency response and management. Having 650 members deployed in emergency response means you are rotating 650 members from across B.C. and deploying them to the emergency areas,” says Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation. “That creates pressure on the municipalities they’ve left behind.”

This situation plays into resource management and allocation, which the NPF keeps top of mind for its about 20,000 members across Canada and the communities these members serve. The NPF is the national bargaining agent for RCMP members below the rank of inspector, and reservists.

“Unfortunately, RCMP funding has been flat for the last few years, and we are seeing how increasing demand is negatively affecting our members,” says Sauvé. “In addition to the wildfire crisis, protests, and crime and gangs enforcement, we have seen an increase in resources needed for mental health and social services. These are timely and necessary conversations to have with government from a societal perspective, but those conversations should also include the demands, pressures, and mental health impacts on our members. When officers are deployed to assist in emergency management, not only are they facing extreme and potentially life-threatening situations, those who remain in the home detachment must pick up the workload and operate with reduced resources.”

But that’s not all.

COVID-19 has created an unprecedented situation in B.C. that puts even more pressure on the local RCMP.

“The premier of B.C. announced that the province would introduce a vaccine passport for non-essential places and services,” Sauvé continues. “Now imagine if you are the hostess at a restaurant—what do you do if someone gets violent or belligerent because they don’t have, or won’t present, a vaccine passport? The premier was asked about that, and he said, ‘Call the police.’ This is yet another example of the province putting more pressure on the police without providing any additional resources to address the situation.”

Sauvé says this situation is not just felt in B.C., but across Canada as each community grapples with unique needs from rural crime to the opioid crisis to COVID enforcement to increasing social justice protests and more—in addition to usual policing duties. More federal and provincial resources are needed for new equipment, training, recruitment, soft and hard body armour and the other resources necessary to protect citizens as they deserve.

Despite the concerns, the province’s RCMP members are committed to serving their communities with pride and professionalism. The latest Canadians’ Views of RCMP Policing Services public opinion survey reveals that 64% of Canadians (by representative sample) agree with the statement “I feel safer because of the RCMP,” and 69% agree that “The RCMP is an organization with integrity.”

The survey is done annually to discover areas where improvements can be made; the RCMP is committed to making the changes necessary just as the NPF is dedicated to each member having the physical and mental health resources needed for the job.

No matter the conditions across the province, be it wildfire emergency response, handling a cultural or social issue with diplomacy, or general duty patrol, RCMP officers are here for you, maximizing the resources they have and continually learning and adapting to a rapidly changing environment.

To learn more about how the NPF supports your detachment and how you can help the NPF advocate for needed resources for the RCMP in your community, visit election.npf-fpn.com.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

LaSalle College Vancouver will kickstart your creative industry career

Unleash creativity at LaSalle

In the past year, Vancouver has seen an uptick in demand for talent within B.C. creative industries.

With the high volume of work opportunities in the arts, now is a great time to start your new career journey at one of the city’s top applied arts and design schools.

Offering more than 30 creative programs, LaSalle College Vancouver is among Canada’s leading creative arts degree granting institutions—where students can hone in their skills and graduate primed and ready to begin their careers in game design and VFX, graphic design, interior design, audio and film, fashion and culinary arts.

LCV also offers online courses through the school’s e-learning programs, which cover subjects from video game 3D modelling to fashion styling and interior design. Those students interested in earning credits toward a university degree while exploring a broad range of academic concentrations can explore LCV’s associate of arts degree program.

Students will benefit from a private arts education with quality instruction, a vast industry network, and newly equipped facilities, as well as gain internationally recognized credentials through LCV’s degree, diploma and certificate programs.

Curious about tapping into your creative potential? Check it all out from the comfort of home at LaSalle College Vancouver’s virtual open house on Sept. 11.

From 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., prospective students can explore the world of creativity offered at LaSalle, with the opportunity to learn all about their different schools and programs, creative career pathways, and cutting-edge online and on-campus facilities. Open house attendees will also have a chance to connect and chat with instructors and the rest of the LaSalle College Vancouver team.

To register for the virtual open house event, visit lasallecollegevancouver.com/events/open-house.

Another reason to consider making LaSalle College Vancouver your arts and design school of choice is that you’ll be first in line when its brand new campus opens up.

Opening in summer 2023, LCV’s new creative and applied arts campus will be located in Vancouver’s Renfrew Village—right next door to its current campus. The new building, which stands tall at seven storeys and with more than 108,000 square feet of space, aims to be a purpose-built education centre where architecture, technology and art merge together.

With state-of-the-art culinary kitchens, maker spaces, a gaming lounge and a suspended theatre that also serves as a multi-purpose space, this future-focused learning environment will put active learning and social engagement at the forefront.

Even more, in this health-first certified building, students can expect to have access to outdoor space, rooms for physical activity, healthy food options and a meditation garden for a truly mindful on-campus experience.

Languages Across Borders (LAB) Vancouver and LaSalle College Vancouver High School, a unique creative arts centric independent high school, will also call this new building home.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops raffle car turning heads in Interior

1969 Barracuda turns heads

Rex Landis has been taking a 1969 Barracuda convertible all over the Interior, and there is one trait about the car people talk about the most.

“They absolutely love it, and the first thing they say this year is the colour,” Landis says. “There are a lot of compliments on that. It is actually the original colour of the car. In the car world that is a huge thing.”

Landis is the procurement and donations co-ordinator for Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, which will give the Barracuda away later this year in its 2021 Charity Car Raffle. Landis is making stops all over the Interior to sell tickets and show off the sweet ride, whose official colour is Blue Fire Metallic.

“This year we have people from the car shows and places that I’ve been at asking me where I’m going to be, and they’re actually following me to the next stop,” Landis says. “If it’s anywhere within a couple hour drive from where they are, they show up and they buy another ticket.”

Landis and the Barracuda will likely be making a stop near you over the next several months, leading up to the draw in December. If the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted in time, the charity will draw the winning ticket during a 50s and 60s themed dance in Salmon Arm on Dec. 11.

Rust Bros Restorers still did the refurbishing work on the car, which is valued at $62,000 and has been completely rebuilt. The money raised from tickets sales will go towards helping people in the Habitat Kamloops region find attainable housing.

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops is preparing to build in Blind Bay and in Salmon Arm, where four homes and a 21-unit facility, respectively, will rise once the permits are approved.

The organization also recently opened a ReStore in Salmon Arm, which has proved popular with the public.

“They’re doing really well,” Landis says. “It’s been really well received. We have many people who are there every couple of days to see what we have moved into the store. We move so much inventory. The store changes pretty much daily.

“There’s a lot of community support there. It’s really, really good to see.”

Tickets for the convertible are only $25, and can be purchased online or in person. Here is the schedule of where Landis and the Barracuda will be over the next six weeks:

Aug. 13: Osoyoos, Spirit Ridge Resort
Aug. 14: Oliver, Nostalgia Wines
Aug. 15-16: Penticton, Canadian Tire
Aug. 18-20: Salmon Arm ReStore
Aug. 21: Salmon Arm, Chances Casino
Aug. 22: Salmon Arm, Ian Grey GM
Aug. 24: Williams Lake
Aug. 25: Quesnel
Aug. 26-28: Prince George
Aug. 29: Williams Lake, Canadian Tire
Sept. 1: Salmon Arm ReStore
Sept. 2: Kamloops ReStore
Sept. 3-4: Kamloops, Columbia Diner
Sept. 6: Sun Peaks
Sept. 7: Salmon Arm ReStore
Sept. 10-12: Salmon Arm Fair
Sept. 13: Salmon Arm ReStore
Sept. 15-17: Radium Car Show
Sept. 17: Armstrong Fair
Sept. 20-25: Swan Lake

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Vancouver, Victoria and Richmond have plenty to offer this summer

Explore BC cities

B.C.’s big cities are known for their restaurants, shopping, and urban sights and attractions. But keep exploring, and you’ll discover opportunities for forest bathing, kayaking, bicycling, and birding that will take you just outside the downtown core to replenish and reconnect in nature.

Summer offers ample reasons to get out and try something new, and that’s easy to do in B.C.’s vibrant, outdoorsy cityscapes. And once you venture back downtown, local businesses have implemented safety measures designed to keep you well.

Discover Victoria’s wild edges

B.C.’s “Garden City” is known for manicured spots like the sprawling Butchart Gardens, but for something new and a little more uncultivated, seek out the city’s wild side.

Head into the rainforest and walk among towering cedars, Sitka spruce, and arbutus trees with Elemental Magick Adventures, and be present in the moment, aware of the sights, sounds, and smells of the ancient surroundings. Called “forest bathing,” this practice lowers blood pressure and increases vitality.

To increase adrenaline, get out on the water with Ocean River Sports—kayak excursions depart daily from the Inner Harbour and Oak Bay, offering exhilarating opportunities to spot seals, otters, eagles, and maybe even a whale. Rest after a day’s play at the Inn at Laurel Point, which offers a B.C. residents special.

Pedal, walk, or eat your way to a new side of Vancouver

With more than 450 km of bike lanes, plus multi-use pathways, including the Arbutus Greenway and the Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver is highly accessible on two wheels. Join Cycle City on a small-group tour led by a storyteller guide. Explore trails through Stanley Park or pedal into the history of Chinatown, Gastown, and Granville Island.

Locals may think they know everything about the city, but a walking tour with Forbidden Vancouver will prove otherwise. From the mobsters that ruled Gastown a century ago to the secrets buried in Stanley Park, Vancouver’s history may surprise you.

Other tour options include the murals in Mt. Pleasant with Vancouver DeTours, and upscale picnics in local parks with B.C. Adventure Company. Slumber at Skwachàys Lodge, a boutique hotel with stunning “art installation” rooms jointly designed by an interior designer and an Indigenous artist.

Richmond is a haven for birders and bikers

Richmond is revered for its Asian cuisine, but its location on the Pacific Flyway—a migratory route for birds—is ideal for spotting common yellowthroats, bold rufous hummingbirds, or water birds like the shy green heron. Iona Beach Regional Park is a favourite viewing spot.

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport’s Pacific Flyway Adventure Package includes an overnight stay, plus the use of a birding backpack with binoculars and maps, and a chef-prepared picnic lunch for two. Join a tour with photographer Liron Gertsman for tips on how best to capture these feathered beauties on film.

Richmond’s flat topography also means easy cycling along 80-plus kms of routes. Interesting stops include the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, where fish were turned into edible “gold,” and Britannia Shipyards, a shipbuilding and maritime repair shop.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Cremation offers options and simplicity over traditional burial

Cremation provides options

When you are faced with the loss of a loved one—a wife, husband, parents or a child—one of the last things you want to deal with is making a series of decisions.

Everden Rust Funeral Services & Crematorium has a simple solution that can put many of your worries to rest—cremation.

It’s an option that can remove the complications inherent with other forms of interment, such as selecting a casket, finding a burial location if no previous arrangements have been made and co-ordinating a memorial service, which in these current days filled with restrictions on the size of gatherings can provide added anxiety at the time of significant loss.

Cremation can be a much less complicated process that allows you much greater freedom in how and when you honour the memory of your loved one.

The possibilities are almost endless and can be tailored to reflect their character.

If they embraced the wonders of nature and enjoyed being outdoors, many families opt to provide a natural setting for a final resting place, be it a favourite hiking spot or stretch of water.

Everden Rust Funeral Services & Crematorium can help provide guidance on what is possible when it comes to locations.

If you prefer to keep your loved one closer to you, cremation can involve the selection of an appropriate urn that can have a special place in your home.

Those wanting an even closer connection can choose to have a unique piece of cremation jewelry.

These elegant items feature a tiny inner chamber that holds a small amount of remains that you can keep close to your heart.

They are available in sterling silver or gold, in a variety of sizes and style, including rings, bracelets and necklaces.

Cremation also provides portability.

If your future plans place you in another city, province, or even a new country, your loved one can travel with you and remove the distance of a permanent burial place.

With the dwindling supply and high cost of a burial plot, cremation is also an environmentally friendly and far less costly option.

And if you decide to have a direct cremation service that does away with a traditional memorial, cremation can be a much more straightforward process.

Everden Rust Funeral Services & Crematorium, which serves Kelowna, West Kelowna and Penticton, can present all of the cremation options and help you arrive at a decision that is right for you.

For more information, visit their website at everdenrust.com.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet Kamloops.

Follow these four steps to create a budget and get out of debt

Budget to get out of debt

Are you finding yourself struggling to get out of debt?

Building a budget is part of setting yourself up for financial success, especially when tackling debt.

Budgeting forces you to slow down and examine your spending. If you’ve been making mindless purchases and only paying off the minimum monthly amount on your credit card bill, you’re not likely to make much of a dent in your debt. This can impact your credit score with rating agencies.

But setting monthly limits and guidelines forces you to make deliberate spending choices to get your finances on track.

New to budgeting? It doesn’t need to be complicated.

The golden rule: spend less than you make. But without a spending plan, it’s close to impossible to live within your means.

Step 1: Take stock of all your financial obligations

Write down how much you owe and what the interest rates are. Calculating your total amount of debt will give you an idea of what kind of challenge you’re facing.

Step 2: Prioritize your debts

Focus on paying off the debt with the highest costs of borrowing. Credit cards are usually top of the list.

Step 3: Track where you’re currently spending your money

This can help you figure out where your money is going, what is essential and where you can trim back.

Step 4: Set a spending plan for yourself

The 50/30/20 rule is one of the most straightforward and effective budgeting methods. The rule of thumb is that your after-tax income is allocated into three different categories: 50% for essential expenses such as housing, 30% for wants, such as clothing and entertainment, and 20% for savings and paying down debt. To wipe your debt even faster, you can re-allocate more money from your want category to paying off your loans.

Having a budgeting plan will help you plan for the future, cover immediate expenses and save for retirement while you do the things you love today.

Of course, you can modify the 50/30/20 budget to meet your needs by adjusting the amount of money you allocate to each category so that you can meet your current and future financial goals.

To learn more about iCASH and how you can get approved for emergency funding 24/7 with flexible repayment terms, check out their website at https://icash.ca.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Burnaby features lakes, ocean access, delicious dining and more

Summer fun in Burnaby

With summer less than a week away, it’s easy to get into a vacation state of mind. Where to go? What to do? Though those questions may be a little weightier given the last year or so, one way to solve the vacation destination dilemma is to stay a little closer to home.

OK, maybe not in your immediate backyard, but how about a short road trip or ferry ride to somewhere that will have wide appeal for you and your fellow travellers?

If you’re hoping for lakes, ocean access, great dining and incredible shopping options, think Burnaby.

Centrally located with easy access to all points in the Lower Mainland and right next door to Vancouver, Burnaby is an affordable, activity-filled, best-kept holiday secret.

“Burnaby has a lot of major attractions and draws,” says Ravina Sidhu, marketing manager for Tourism Burnaby. “It is a lot less busy than downtown Vancouver. It’s more laid back and a little more casual, and it also works as the hub for Metro Vancouver.”

Sidhu says that shopping is one of the city’s main pillars, with the Metropolis at Metrotown being the largest mall in B.C.

The transformation of Brentwood Town Centre into The Amazing Brentwood offers yet another unique lifestyle destination for vacationers by bringing in new shops like H&M Home, Sporting Life and Urban Outfitters and eateries like the Basil Box Thai restaurant and the delicious bakery/café Small Victory, along with an ongoing rotation of food trucks.

“They’ve taken that neighbourhood mall and made it bigger and better,” Sidhu explains. “There’s a central plaza. It’s a nice mix of indoor/outdoor retail. If you want to do some shopping inside on a rainy day, you’re able to.

It reminds me of The Grove in Los Angeles. It’s a very West Coast mall feel. There’s nothing like it in B.C.”

For a neighbourhood vibe, stroll The Heights on Hastings Street where you’ll discover great multi-cultural restaurants, bakeries, and one-of-a-kind boutiques.

A centre for the Italian community, you can dine in at Anton’s Pasta Bar, get take-out from Cioffi’s Italian Deli or get great imported groceries from De Benedetto.

Italian fare is just one example of the range of dining options in the city.

“You can get everything from an African curry to a Malaysian soup to pasta or Thai food. There’s a whole gamut of experiences to have,” Sidhu adds.

She explains that “because Burnaby is made up of 25 per cent parks, it’s really easy to do take-out from a restaurant and do dine al fresco.”

Given the expansive and diverse green space in Burnaby, visitors will likely be tempted to do more than just picnic.

Burnaby Mountain boasts challenging bike trails and a bike skills park for all levels of ability, from beginner to advanced. Head down to sea level for urban biking trails, easily accessible nature walks in and around the Deer and Burnaby Lakes.

Or, rent a kayak, canoe or pedal boat to enjoy the tranquility of Deer Lake with the Metrotown’s vibrant skyline on the horizon.

“There are also many outdoor activities that are easily accessible around the city,” Sidhu states. “You can hike up Burnaby Mountain; it is beautiful and rewarding, but if you want an easier adventure, there are trail walks around Burnaby Lake or Deer Lake Park.

You can even head up to the ocean at Barnett Marine park. There is a beautiful path to walk along there or down by the Fraser River at Fraser Foreshore Park.”

For beer enthusiasts, Burnaby’s extensive transit system—two Skytrain lines and comprehensive bus routes—comes in handy after an evening of beer tasting at one of Burnaby’s three major craft breweries: Steamworks, Dageraad and the recently opened Studio Brewing. All have tasting rooms, patios, and though no restaurants, food trucks are on-site for the weekends.

When seeking accommodation, visitors will find that Burnaby hotels range from luxury at the Delta Hotels Burnaby to stylish boutique-style at Element Vancouver Metrotown to affordable family-friendly suites at the Accent Inns Burnaby—all close to transit for those opting to leave the car behind as they sightsee.

“We have many great options for hotels in Burnaby that work for every price range,” Sidhu confirms.

Sidhu adds that this summer, Burnaby is offering visitors a gift of a $50 gift card for Metropolis at Metrotown or gasoline for staying at specific accommodations.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

There’s a world of experiences waiting for you this summer, right here in BC

Be open to new adventures

Find hidden gems in the city. Uncover little-known treasures in Metro Vancouver and Victoria to experience both cities in a whole new light.

Connect with Indigenous cultures. Visit ancient coastal villages with an Indigenous guide and discover connections to something bigger. Wake up in nature. Let the serenity of nature lull you to sleep in a cabin, lodge, luxury yurt, or tent and wake up in the great outdoors.

Be moved by wildlife. Hire an experienced guide for your best chance to see and learn about BC wildlife in its natural habitat. Stand in awe of the mountains. Make a mountain town your home base and let locals show you how best to explore new terrain.

Discover new roads ahead. Pack up the car, pick your destinations and take the road trip of a lifetime on one of B.C.’s scenic touring routes. Follow an ale trail. Find your new favourite local flavours as you explore urban patios, rural farms, and everything in between on B.C.’s ale trails.

Taste your way to unique places. You’ll have plenty of choices touring, sampling, and snacking at wineries in our nine dynamic wine growing regions. Cast in new waters. Step into a world of wilderness and tranquility as you cast a line in the bountiful waters of B.C.’s oceans, lakes, and rivers. Take your game farther. Hit the links against breathtaking backdrops from the coast to the mountains to the desert on golf courses across B.C.

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops offering up '69 Barracuda in raffle

Habitat car raffle a Classic

If you are going to conduct a car raffle, you cannot go wrong in offering up a 1969 Barracuda convertible.

That’s what the winner of the third annual Habitat for Humanity Kamloops Classic Car Raffle will be driving away in when the winner is announced in December. Ticket sales start today.

The organization’s executive director, Bill Miller, said Habitat for Humanity Kamloops will always put a 1960s convertible up for grabs, because there is no better decade for those kinds of cars.

“I’m of an age where I remember nostalgically the 60s cars, and there’s a lot of people that remember back when, and some of them had the convertibles,” Miller says. “It just stands us out from everybody else.”

The organization normally receives its car from Tappen’s Rust Bros Restorers, which is featured in the reality TV show Rust Valley Restorers, but this year’s ride came from a private donor. Rust Bros Restorers still did the refurbishing work, however, and the Barracuda, whose exterior and interior colour is Blue Fire Metallic, is valued at $62,000.

The Classic Car Raffle is Habitat Kamloops’ biggest annual fundraiser. The organization covers a vast region that stretches from Lumby to Golden to Prince George to just east of Hope, so every dollar is crucial when it comes to helping people get into attainable housing.

“There’s a huge demand out there, so we’re trying to leverage as many resources as we can to build as many houses or townhouses or apartments that we can,” Miller says. “The fundraiser provides us the revenue base to be able to facilitate more housing.”

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops recently opened its second ReStore, in Salmon Arm, on May 1, it will be starting construction on four houses in Blind Bay this summer, and it is in the process of applying for building permits on a 21-unit project in Salmon Arm.

“We’re trying to increase the inventory,” Miller says. “With house prices going the way they are, it’s getting tougher and tougher for a lot of families to get into housing. So hopefully we’re going to be able to bridge that gap. That’s what we’re working towards, and the raffle helps us get there.”

If the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions are lifted in time, the charity will draw the winning ticket during a 50s and 60s themed dance in Salmon Arm on Dec. 11.

Tickets are available online and at the ReStores in Kamloops and Salmon Arm. The car will also be making appearances at a handful of the charity’s retail partners this summer. Tickets will be available for purchase at some of those businesses as well.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

Customer service, family are at heart of plumbing, HVAC business

Milani expands to Kelowna

When Dimitrio Milani arrived in Vancouver alone at age 13 in 1928, it was with the purpose of helping support his family back in Italy. The hardworking, ambitious, enterprising teen successfully fulfilled his duty and went on to create a legacy for future Milani generations with the drainage business he founded in 1956.

Thirty years on, in 1986, his son Vern Milani stepped in to buy the business from his father having worked with him since childhood and went on to expand Milani Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning to more than 100 trucks that provide retrofit installations and repair services all over the Lower Mainland.

“I started working with him at the age of eight every day after school and summer holidays,” Milani says. “I started working full time as soon as I got out of high school. I think from an early age I saw how fulfilling it was for him. My dad was a very good man, and it was fulfilling for him to work with the public, help people out, to work with his hands and just give good service.”

Over the last five years, the third generation, sons Alexander and Christopher, has joined the company after completing their business degrees.

Family and service are at the heart of the Milani approach to business. The commitment to great customer service is steeped in the core values that Milani believes has allowed their company to flourish.

“Our mission statement is to exceed customers’ expectations,” he says. “We have our core values which are PIPE: passion, integrity, professionalism and empathy. We say what we do, and we do what we say. We follow through and do things with integrity.”

Just as important, Milani says, is for people to know that the company has deep roots in B.C. that ensure that it is going be around not just for the now but in the future. He believes there is comfort for customers knowing that they can depend on Milani to not just show up but to do stellar work, be it installing new air conditioning systems or resolving a plumbing issue.

“Plumbing, gas, heating and air conditioning can be disastrous if it’s not done properly,” he says. “So, you want a good, honest company that’s going to do your work for you that you can rely on. And that’s us. We do that, and that’s what we bring to the table.”

With expanding into the Kelowna area this May, Milani hopes that homeowners will come to recognize what the Milani brand represents. Some advance research did reveal that the welcome mat would be rolled out as their reputation had preceded them.

“I had driven up in the past into Kelowna [in a Milani truck] and parked. Within a couple of days, I had a number of people coming up to me saying ‘I didn’t realize Milani was up here. Can you come and take a look at my furnace,’’’ he says.

The expansion seemed like a natural progression for the company. For any planned work, a Milani representative will meet with the homeowner, provide an assessment, a price and make arrangements from there. Milani says their prices are competitive, describing them as mid-range.

“We’re not going to be expensive, but we are going to be great at what we do. This is a substantial investment. People need to realize they don’t want cheap. They want good,” Milani says.

Good means that the technicians, AC or heating units, and materials are dependable, and that the company stands behind its work. No one wants to lose their air conditioning at the height of summer with temperatures in the 40 C range.

Though the Milani Kelowna team is in place, the company is still looking to expand its staff there hiring more heating, AC and plumbing technicians.

“We’re hoping to find people who care, are knowledgeable and have the skills to do the job right,” Milani says. “People who fit the values of the company.”

For more information about Milani’s services, to book a consultation for an installation or to enquire about positions available in Kelowna, visit www.milani.ca.

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