You could win one year of free living at one of BC's best boutique retirement communities

Win one year of free living

Retirement marks the start of an exciting new chapter for those who are ready and willing to embrace life’s next adventures. During these golden years, seniors have the opportunity to ‘begin again’ and live their lives to the fullest, however that may look like to them.

For some, that means engaging in long-held interests, discovering brand new hobbies and forming valuable friendships. And it’s these very concepts that independent living retirement communities are all about providing for their residents.

Independent living communities are designed for seniors who are fully independent but would like to live in a social environment with avenues for connection and engagement during their retirement years.

Summerland Seniors Village is one example of one of those dynamic living communities.

Located in the quaint town of Summerland, between Penticton and Kelowna, the boutique retirement community offers both independent and assisted living options for residents as well as complex care. Summerland Seniors Village offers its community members plenty of freedom and choice through fulfilling experiences that tap into their passions for knowledge, creativity, fun and camaraderie.

“When a new resident moves in, the comment we always hear is, ‘I wish I had moved in sooner,’” shares Rob Akimow, director of sales and marketing of West Coast Seniors Housing Management. “We see folks who previously may have been feeling isolated or lonely build new friendships in their new community. It’s really quite heartwarming.”

Summerland Seniors Village offers an endless amount of enriching daily programs and activities. Its residents can experience their shared special interests together, including baking, walking, movies, card games, gardening and a weekly happy hour.

These are just some of the ways community members can live their lives to the fullest in one of the most beautiful destinations in Canada. It’s no wonder residents of Summerland Seniors Village proudly call this lively living community their home.

“It’s very clean, and the staff is very friendly,” says Bea Duquette, a current resident of Summerland Seniors Village. “The chef is amazing, and I would recommend this community to anybody.

Retirement Concepts is rewarding one lucky winner with one year of free living at one of their 18 seniors’ housing facilities across B.C. The grand prize includes accommodation fees for a private one-bedroom unit, plus coverage for meals, hydro, and parking, valued at approximately $70,000 total.

West Coast Seniors Housing Management manages the day-to-day operations of Retirement Concepts’ retirement communities throughout the B.C. Interior, including:
• Summerland Seniors Village
• Kamloops Seniors Village
• Williams Lake Seniors Village

Go to contest.gmdpages.com/west-coast-seniors-housing-management to enter for your chance to win your way into a year of free living at your new home.

The contest ends on December 15, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. PST and is open to legal residents of Canada, excluding Quebec, who are the age of majority in the province or territory of residence at the time of entry.

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

Five tips to increase your windows and doors security in your home

Boost your windows security

Make your home burglar-proof through these home security solutions.

Burglary by breaking in occurs quite frequently in Canada. Most break-ins are done through doors or windows as they are the most high-risk entry points of a house. In fact, around 25% of break-ins occur through windows while 22% through sliding doors.

Securing these entry points from unwanted intruders is very important. Fortunately, there are multiple modern security options to prevent burglars from entering your home.

We talked to Kamloops window replacement professionals and gathered the top 5 solutions to make your home burglar-proof.

1. Reassess your current locking system

If you have recently updated to a new locking system, you want to believe that it should work properly and last for a while in your home.

Locking systems need regular upgrading. Therefore, it is important to examine your existing locking system frequently. The next time you walk by your bay window, check the locking mechanism and ensure the latch or lock is sturdy enough for your house's security.

Consider installing additional windows locks if you aren't confident that the current latching system will keep the windows secure.

2. Use a multi-point locking system and heavy-duty hardware

Experts from Ecoline Windows Kamloops say that if you have windows that open either by sliding or swinging outwards, installing a multi-point locking system will prove to be quite handy. Multi-point locks firmly bolt windows and doors into the frame at many points with only a single turn of a key.

They are most frequently found in contemporary uPVC windows, doors, and composite doors and have at least three and a maximum of five locking points.

A variety of locks are available in the market, which include:

• Pin locks

• Keyed locks

• Hinged wedge locks

• Sash locks

Regardless of the style, your windows should come with heavy-duty hardware that is made from steel. Many window companies sell windows that are equipped with plastic hooks or pins in the locking mechanism, making it a lot easier to break or open the window from the outside.

3. Install security bars

One way to make your windows and doors burglar-resistant is to equip them with security bars. This option provides additional safety and prevents burglars from breaking the glass or forcing your windows or doors open.

These bars are made of solid, sturdy material and are available in various sizes, shapes, and designs to fit any house.

On the downside, bars might mess up the aesthetics of your home. So if you prefer style over safety, they may not be the ideal option.

4. Get modern window films

Installing a security film on your windows is a good idea if you do not want to disrupt the appearance of your home.

Security film strengthens the windows and enhances your safety. It is made of numerous layers of polyester film adhered together to form a barrier with your desired thickness.

Unlike glass, security films will hold your windows in place despite repeated attempts to break them. An extensive range of such films is available on the market, allowing you to choose the one per your specific needs.

They can be installed both inside and outside of the windows or doors. Moreover, you can also choose whether you want transparent or tinted films.

5. Install smart door locks

Modern smart locks are secure, easy to install, and provide homeowners with round-the-clock control over house front entry. In addition to allowing you to unlock and lock your door quickly, you can monitor who enters and leaves the house when you're away.

These units can simply be connected to your phone to open and close front doors. You can even establish voice commands and allocate special entry privileges to friends, family members, or maintenance staff.

Kamloops door replacement experts say that smart locks are one of the best security options to consider when installing new exterior doors for your house.

If you have old windows and doors, consider upgrading them to modern ones with tried-and-true security options. Installing new burglar-proof windows and doors is a tried-and-tested method of keeping out intruders and a great way to safeguard your home against smash-and-grab robberies or break-ins.

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

Habitat raffle car headed to Mission for BC's largest car show this weekend

Habitat raffle on a Mission

That 1968 Chevy Camaro Super Sport convertible looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

You know what would make it look even better?

You behind the wheel, that’s what.

However, there is absolutely zero chance of that happening unless you buy a ticket for Habitat for Humanity Kamloops’ fourth annual Classic Car Raffle. The draw for the sleek ride will take place on Oct. 15, and this weekend it will show itself off to everyone who attends what could very well be the largest car show in Western Canadian history.

The Camaro will be at the Historic Hot Rod Reunion of BC in Mission this Saturday (Aug. 27). Mission Raceway Park will be lined with some of B.C.’s legendary hot rods, customs, race cars and restored collector vehicles. It is the first event of its kind, bringing together four car clubs that will be celebrating 235 combined years of hot rodding.

The show will also feature the Camaro SS convertible that could ultimately be yours.

“We are so thrilled to be a part of this amazing event,” Habitat for Humanity Kamloops vice-executive director Shelly Ne Ville says.

The Camaro SS has ventured all over the province this summer and will continue its journey after its pitstop in Mission this weekend. Find it next at Nostalgia Winery in Osoyoos on Sunday (Aug. 28) and at the Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong beginning on Aug. 31.

It will also visit the Queen City Cruise in Nelson on Sept. 10, and the Columbia Valley Classics Annual Show & Shine in Radium Hot Springs on Sept. 17.

The car has its original colours—red on red with a white top—its regular old rims and a 350-horsepower engine. The car has been refurbished but not restored, so it is an authentic ride.

And it could be yours for $25, which is the cost of a raffle ticket. As always, money raised from the raffle will go to the non-profit and its mission of putting more people in homes.

“We will be working with families, seniors, veterans and single parents to help them build strength, stability and independence for affordable homeownership,” Ne Ville says.

To purchase a ticket, visit the raffle website here.

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

Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival is back in full swing this month

Langley Jazz Fest returns

One of Metro Vancouver’s biggest celebrations of music and art is back in full swing this summer.

The 2022 Odlum Brown Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival, which runs from July 21 to July 24, marks the long-awaited return of the festival’s in-person events with a mix of ticketed performances and free community shows and events.

The fifth annual festival promises to be the biggest one ever, with more than 60 bands and 300 musicians performing across eight indoor and outdoor stages in this year’s “Art & Soul” themed showcase. The event will also include the most extensive free stage lineup in the history of the festival during the weekend of July 23 and 24.

A free community concert at the Fort Langley Community Hall will serve as the official festival kickoff on Thursday, July 21 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. A big band performance will be led by Rugcutter Dance Orchestra, a 15-piece ensemble specializing in original arrangements in the style of the great dance orchestras of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s.

That evening, the Opening Great Gatsby Gala Event at the historic hall will include an art deco-themed outdoor cocktail reception on the lawn, followed by a show from Rugcutter Dance Orchestra in the ballroom that will be reminiscent of a 1930s prohibition-style speakeasy club.

Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival’s diverse lineup of outstanding, award-winning jazz and blues musicians hail from all across B.C., Canada and the world. Guaranteed, there will be something for every jazz fan, including the sounds of blues, big band, jazz-funk fusion, Afro Dominican latin jazz and much more.

Hosted at the Chief Sepass Theatre from July 21 to 24, the Jazz Concert Series features a stellar roster of some of the Canada’s most talented jazz performers, including:
• Two-time JUNO award-winning jazz vocalist Molly Johnson
• Two-time JUNO nominated soul-gospel singer Warren Dean Flandez
• New York jazz trumpet player Michael Sarian
• Jazz pianist and singer Champian Fulton
• Jazz-funk fusion band the Shuffle Demons
• Afro Dominican latin jazz group Junior Santos.

On July 22, the Friday Night All-Star Blues Show at the Fort Langley National Historic Site will feature Juno and multi-Maple Blues Award-winning blues guitarist and singer Sue Foley, along with Brent Parkin Band, Terminal Station and The Mojo Stars. This outdoor festival-style event will feature food trucks, an outdoor bar and picnic style seating areas.

A Mardi Gras parade will open the free festival day on Saturday, July 23, and feature the RazzMaJazz Ensemble and Noxious Obs Society Band. Attendees are encouraged to get dressed up in Mardi Gras attire and join the traditional New Orleans strolling parade that will make its way from the Fort Langley Village Farmers’ Market to the Fort Langley Community Hall.

Opening the free festival day on Sunday, July 24, will be a special Jazz Vespers event at St. Andrew’s United Churches of Langley, with two sets of jazz performances by Bill Sample, Darlene Cooper (also known as Wild Blue Herons), and Marcus Mosely.

The festival will feature six outdoor community stages of free entertainment on Saturday, July 23, and Sunday, July 24, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Community Hall Stage, Youth and Emerging Artist Stage, Art Zone Stage, Kwantlen Art & Cultural Exhibition Stage, River Stage and the Kidz Zone Stage.

The Kidz Zone will feature a number of family-friendly festival experiences, such as interactive and hands-on music and art activities, entertainment for children, an Afro Brazilian drum circle, a build your own musical instrument area, and a paint by sound experience. The Kidz Zone Stage will feature free shows from popular children’s entertainers including:
• Penny Pom Pom
• The SuperFun StiltWalking Family
• Norman Foote
• Peter G-G.

Youth and emerging talents will be featured at the Artist Stage set in the picturesque gardens of the historic CN Station.

The 2022 festival will also feature a Kwantlen Art & Cultural Exhibition to showcase the rich talents of Kwantlen First Nation. Hosted at Bedford Plaza on July 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the free exhibition will be open for the public to learn about Indigenous art, culture and history, all while enjoying Indigenous music and food, such as traditional salmon barbecue, bannock and Indian ice cream.

Kwantlen First Nation artist exhibitions and demonstrations will be featured, including Indigenous art, cultural exhibits, cedar weaving, carving and beading demonstrations, and powwow demonstrations. Festival-goers can even participate in a collaborative art mural project led by Kwantlen First Nation youth artists in the Art Zone, which also features other activities such as Opus outdoor painting challenge, art workshops and an art market.

There will be lots of food options to choose from during the free festival, including local bistros and cafes, food trucks located at the community stages, and a Lions Club barbecue at the community hall.

To make the festival as accessible as possible, there will be a bike valet and free shuttle buses that will connect the six outdoor stages and two parking areas located throughout the village, allowing visitors to experience all the fun and festivities on July 23 and 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Go to fortlangleyjazzfest.com for tickets and more festival information.

Glacier Media has partnered with Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival to give one lucky winner and their guest a festival package that includes show tickets, accommodation and more. The Fort Langley Jazz & Arts Festival grand prize, which is valued at $1,150, includes:
• A two-night stay for two at the Sandman Signature Hotel, Langley (valued at $850)
• Two tickets to the All Stars Blues Show on July 22 (valued at $300)
• Two tickets to the jazz show of your choice on July 23 or July 24 (valued at $100)
• A $50 Moxies gift card

To enter, visit vancouverisawesome.com/contests.

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 raffling off red 1968 Camaro convertible

Best classic car giveaway yet

Sun’s up, top’s down.

That is the mantra by which Habitat for Humanity Kamloops will be living this summer, as it takes its iconic, sleek and sexy 1968 red Camaro SS convertible around B.C. and shows it off under the beautiful, warm sun.

The stunning ride will be given away this fall as the grand prize of the organization’s fourth annual Classic Car Raffle. Rex Landis, who is Habitat for Humanity Kamloops’ procurement and raffle co-ordinator, says this is by far the most popular car in the raffle’s four-year history.

“Everybody likes it,” Landis says. “We’ve had people following us from the beginning who buy tickets on every car. They like this car better than any of the ones that we've done.

“A lot of it is actually the colour.”

Is there anything better than a red classic car? Toss in the fact that it’s a convertible, and it’s no wonder ticket sales are surging this year.

“For me, that was the car I grew up with, the one I learned how to drive on,” Landis says. “It's like going back to high school, remembering the high school days, the drive-in days.

“In supporting this, you could own a piece of North American history. It is history, because of the age, if I’m not mistaken, they classify them as antiques now—not collectors.”

All proceeds will go to the non-profit organization and its mission of putting more people in homes.

“We are working with families, seniors, veterans and single parents to help them build strength, stability and independence for attainable homeownership,” Habitat for Humanity Kamloops executive administrator Shelly Ne Ville says.

And the good news is you won’t have to go far to see the iconic vehicle and purchase a ticket. Habitat for Humanity Kamloops will be displaying the Camaro throughout B.C. this summer, travelling to small towns and hitting all the major car shows, including:
• Williams Lake Stampede, June 30 to July 3
• Salmon Arm Car Show, July 9
• Hot July Nights, 100 Mile House, July 15-17
• Chrome on the Grass, Kamloops, July 23
• Merritt Car Show, July 24
• Salmon Arm Casino, July 29-30
• Historic Hot Rod Reunion of British Columbia, Mission, Aug. 27
• Columbia Valley Classics Annual Show & Shine, Radium Hot Springs, Sept. 17

The Classic Car Raffle could not be possible without a long list of sponsors, which includes Ian Grey of Salmon Arm GM, Prima Construction, LNGroup, Patteson, CFJC Kamloops, Lordco, Canadian Tire in Salmon Arm, Castanet, Cascades Casino, Kamloops, NeVille & Associates International Immigration, Eagle Homes, Cascade Casino in Salmon Arm, Kamloops Insurance, Canco Kamloops, Mr. Mikes, Kamloops Office Systems, Brushstrokes in Salmon Arm, Raceway Barber in Salmon Arm and more to come.

If winning a red Camaro convertible doesn’t get you excited—and we’re not sure why it wouldn’t—Habitat for Humanity could still use your help. You can make a difference by donating, as Habitat is always looking for donations to stock its ReStores in Kamloops and in Salmon Arm.

The draw will take place on Oct. 15 at 4:30 p.m. at Habitat for Humanity’s new home, which is located at 800 Fortune Dr. in Kamloops in the old Penny Pinchers building.

Tickets can be purchased here.

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

Nosh global cuisine simply by travelling to Vancouver

Eat globally in Vancouver

Lineups at Vancouver's passport office continue to be lengthy, but not to worry. You can immerse yourself in adventure and have a global cuisine experience without jetting off to far-flung locales, and instead, enjoy a leisurely getaway to the Coast.

Depending on your mode of transportation, you’ll drive by or fly over many of the farms, vineyards, orchards, and farmers’ markets, where fertile soil and a temperate micro-climate are responsible for the high-quality ingredients in the makings of Metro Vancouver’s internationally rich cuisine.

One of the best things about dining out in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland (beyond great sushi, but they have that too, of course) is the sheer variety of adventurous and international food, prepared by renowned high-calibre chefs.

Fact is, you can eat your way through South and Southeast Asia, East and West Asia, Latin America and Mexico, Italy, and Persian countries, all without leaving the confines of Greater Vancouver.

To help you accomplish just that, Destination Vancouver has stepped in as your maître d' and has rounded up some of the top restaurants in the city with the most diverse and exciting global cuisine.

There’s something for every tastebud, so pack your pants with forgiving waistbands, and check out these international restaurants for a truly worldwide foodie journey. The table is set—we’re expecting you.

Destination: South and Southeast Asia

Chef Angus An’s philosophy behind the authentic Thai dishes served at Kitsilano’s Maenam is a balance of intense fresh flavours with seasonal ingredients and locally-sourced products. The Union features firecracker flavours of Pan-Asian eats, where chef Lisa Henderson serves a Southeast Asian-inspired menu. Spirit-forward cocktails are created with the region’s ingredients sourced from neighbouring Chinatown.

Enjoy a taste of Malaysia at Banana Leaf, for the finest Malaysian flavours, with such stand-outs as crunchy sambal green beans, fluffy roti canai, creamy Rendang beef, spicy satay, and Singapore laksa.

Destination: Latin America and Mexico

The Californian Baja-style focused menu with international influences in Gastown’s Tacofino Taco Bar is the most extensive and Latin-American inspired in their repertoire, an offshoot of their uber-popular beginnings, the OG Tofino food truck. For authentic Mexican fare, La Mezcaleria on The Drive serves approachable and shareable dishes: ceviches, quesos fundido, and meat parrilladas, and inventive homemade ice creams: avocado and orange mezcal. Head to El Camino’s (with lively bar) on Main for Latin American street food; tacos, arepas, sanguches, empanadas, and bocadillos from chef Jeramie Adams; touted best margs in town.

Destination: East Asia

Chinatown’s Torafuku offers simple yet adventurous interpretations of Pan-Asian flavours from chef Steve Kuan. Classics include Korean fried chicken wings and Duck Kick-ass Rice Bowl. Miku delivers gourmet Aburi-style cuisine and a full-service sushi bar at downtown's waterfront. Chef Kazuya Matsuoka sources fresh, regional ingredients and Ocean Wise seafood, showcasing Vancouver’s best offerings. With two locations, Kingsway and Yaletown, plant-based Do Chay serves up modern twists on Vietnamese classics, like cast iron seared coconut rice cakes, black garlic eggplant, and vegan pho.

Destination: West Asia

Cazba Restaurant in Vancouver’s West End serves Persian cuisine (modern-day Iran style of cooking). Most Iranian dishes are prepared with fresh herbs, vegetables and rice, along with meat, lamb, chicken or fish. Since 1974, Afghan Horsemen has been creating the finest Afghan cuisine, noted for their succulent kebabs and vegetarian dishes - winner for Best Middle Eastern Restaurant from The Georgia Straight’s Readers’ Choice Golden Plates Awards, 2008 to 2018.

Destination: Italy

The Drive’s Pepino’s Spaghetti House serves spaghetti and more. A sure-fire go-to is their signature Detroit-style pie: soft and airy deep-dish crispy crust, caramelized cheese edge, quattro formaggi blend and marinara. Savio Volpe is styled after the classic osteria–rustic fare in the Italian tradition of freshness and regionality; pasta is handmade fresh daily, and meat, poultry and fish are kissed by smoke over the wood-fired grill and rotisserie. Ask for Luigi is a casual and intimate Italian-inspired restaurant specializing in fresh handmade pasta, where the service is family-style: all dishes are meant for sharing.

Picturesque excursion

Departing from Kelowna, it's an easy four-hour drive from the Okanagan on the Coquihalla (Highway 5) or a convenient 60-minute flight from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) to Vancouver (YVR).

For more information, visit destinationvancouver.com, email [email protected] or call 604-682-2222.

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 raffling off red Camaro convertible this year

Sweet Camaro up for grabs

The grand prize of this year’s Habitat for Humanity Kamloops car raffle keeps getting more attractive every time you add a detail.

It’s a Camaro SS.

It’s a convertible Camaro SS.

It’s a 1968 convertible Camaro SS.

It’s a red 1968 convertible Camaro SS.

The only other word you could add to make it even better would be “your” in front of “red 1968 convertible Camaro SS.” The good news is you have an opportunity to make that happen. All you need to do is buy a ticket to enter the raffle, which will conclude with the lucky winner driving off in the stunning and sleek ride on Oct. 15.

It has its original colours—red on red with a white top—its regular old rims and a 350-horsepower engine. The car has been refurbished but not restored, so it is an authentic ride. It has only 6,400 miles on the odometer.

The raffle officially launched last month at the B.C. Classic & Custom Car Show in Abbotsford. Rex Landis, who is Habitat for Humanity Kamloops' procurement and raffle co-ordinator, said the car received rave reviews from those at the show.

“This one’s quite popular compared to the other cars from past raffles,” Landis says. “It just seems to be the colour and the right car. People really liked it.”

Habitat for Humanity Kamloops will be taking the Camaro SS all over B.C. this summer, travelling to small towns and hitting all the major car shows, including:
• Peach City Beach Cruise, Penticton, June 24-26
• Hot July Nights, 100 Mile House, July 15-17
• Historic Hot Rod Reunion of British Columbia, Mission, Aug. 27
• Queen City Cruise, Nelson, Sept. 10
• Columbia Valley Classics Annual Show & Shine, Radium Hot Springs, Sept. 17

The best way for people to know where the Camaro SS is going to be for the next few months is by following the Habitat for Humanity Kamloops Facebook page, which provides schedule updates.

As always, money raised from the raffle will go to the non-profit and its mission of putting more people in homes.

“We will be working with families, seniors, veterans and single parents to help them build strength, stability and independence for affordable homeownership,” Habitat for Humanity Kamloops executive administrator Shelly Ne Ville says.

The draw will be taking place at Habitat for Humanity’s new home, which is located at 800 Fortune Dr. in Kamloops in the old Penny Pinchers building. The grand opening was held earlier this month.

To purchase a ticket, visit the raffle website here.

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

Your vacation in Vancouver is calling; discover where the ordinary turns extraordinary

Experience joy in Vancouver

Don't kick off your comfortable footwear, boots or sassy heels on Vancouver's welcome mat just yet—you're going to need them. Just come on in.

The city is brimming with many urban experiences and outdoor adventures to explore. Discover lively family-friendly festivals, entertainment, dynamic shopping and the inspiring culinary scene, showcasing the best of fresh local ingredients.

People are eagerly reconnecting with one another, anticipating all the activities and offerings they've been missing, and enjoying together. As the city blooms with a collective buzz, word on the street is—social butterflies are out in full force. Consider this your invitation to join the joyfulness.

Destination Vancouver is certain you're about to make some lasting memories and many feel-good moments with a few of their hand-picked highlights. It's time to enjoy yourselves—again.

Celebrate and connect

Music, most definitely, is a powerful social magnet. It brings everybody together and helps create social bonds with a shared musical experience.

Alegría, a Cirque de Soleil classic, is reimagined but maintains its timeless story of resilience and hope. The score mixes electronic and rock with acoustic and orchestral elements in sync with the show's narrative. You'll be treated to death-defying acrobatics, creative, theatrical stage design and 96 exquisite costumes. Under the Big Top, Concord Pacific Place, March 25 to June 5, 2022.

The multi-cultural musical HAMILTON is the story of America then, told by America now, featuring a score blending hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway. Depicting American founding father Alexander Hamilton and other historical figures, writing constitutions, making war, and more. Presented by Broadway Across Canada, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, May 24 to June 19, 2022.

Coastal Jazz & Blues Society presents the 36th TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Taking place throughout Metro Vancouver, this multi-day festival celebrates the music of jazz, blues, and beyond. June 24 to July 3, 2022.

Immerse yourself in adventure

Raise your adrenaline with a few iconic adventures against the backdrop of some of nature's most awe-inspiring scenery in the Vancouver area.

From a soaring bird's vantage, ride the Sea to Sky Gondola to the summit for sweeping views of Howe Sound, Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief, the world's second-largest granite monolith. Other high-flying fun can be found in North Vancouver with Grouse Mountain’s Mountain Ropes Adventure. Tap into your inner Tarzan and explore the breathtaking forest canopies as you navigate bridges, rock climbing walls, nets and ziplines across the series of platforms.

Test your seafaring legs along the waters of Howe Sound with a two-hour Sea Safari Eco-Tour from Sewell’s Marina, racing beside steep cliffs, exploring sea caves, and watching seals play. For bigger marine mammals, Wild Whales Vancouver guarantees viewings of both Bigg’s/transient Orca and Humpback whales aboard their thrilling 12-passenger zodiac.

Relax and rejuvenate

When you’re ready for wellness, soak up the decadence at Vancouver's many top hotels, where spa treatments will melt—scrub, buff and steam—away an active day.

Find sanctuary at Rosewood Hotel Georgia and Sense, A Rosewood Spa. Escape to the Loden Hotel and indulge in spa services in their private spa suite. Find refuge in the Wedgewood Hotel & Spa's eucalyptus steam room and relaxation lounge. At the sophisticated L’Hermitage Hotel, luxuriate in their steam room or outdoor heated saltwater lap pool.

Cap off your evening with cocktails and carefully crafted dishes in one of the city’s upscale dining rooms. Botanist Restaurant at Fairmont Pacific Rim creates culinary abundance and botany of the Pacific Northwest. Hawksworth Restaurant showcases ingredient-led, contemporary cuisine, and AnnaLena serves West Coast fare and creative cocktails in a stylish, modern space.

Discover new perspectives

Vancouver is steeped in rich cultural diversity with art and museums to stir your soul. Vancouver Art Gallery is hailed for its innovative visual arts and artworks by Canadian, Indigenous and internationally acclaimed artists. Gain greater insight into Vancouver through stories, objects, and the history galleries at the Museum of Vancouver. Visit Bill Reid Gallery, the only public gallery in Canada dedicated to contemporary Indigenous northwest coast art.

Scenic journey

Departing from Kelowna, it's an easy four-hour drive from the Okanagan on the Coquihalla (Highway 5) or a convenient 60-minute flight from Kelowna International Airport (YLW) to Vancouver (YVR).

For more information visit destinationvancouver.com, email [email protected] or call 604-682-2222.

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

AI helps hearing aids learn and improve by isolating important environmental sounds

How AI helps your hearing

Hearing loss can be different for everyone.

One of these reasons hearing loss can be difficult and complicated to address is that the extent of hearing loss can be different from individual to individual, which is why it’s vital to visit a trained hearing professional.

A solution that helps you hear better at home may not work the same way in a noisy restaurant. If you have experience with hearing loss, you may know that just making everything louder isn’t always the best solution.

NexGen Hearing is here to help—with locations throughout B.C., the clinic can help improve your quality of life through professional services that are tailored to your personalized hearing needs.

Hearing aid technology is improving all the time, and there is an exciting new technology that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to help hearing aids learn and improve by isolating important environmental sounds.

AI uses data to recognize patterns, which can then be applied to solve problems. With large amounts of data, AI is able to navigate through complex problems involving many variables.

How has AI been used for hearing loss so far, and what potential does it hold to help with hearing loss? Read on to find out.

How AI is currently being used to help with hearing loss

AI is already integrated into our everyday lives, and you may have already experienced it without realizing it. One common use of AI is in speech recognition, which provides automated closed captioning for videos. The ability to read the words being said on the screen is a valuable service for those with hearing loss.

AI is also being used by some audiologists to assist in fitting hearing aids. Software with AI functions can provide suggestions to tune the hearing aid correctly as the audiologist plays sounds.

AI is now increasingly being used in more sophisticated hearing aids to provide a greater impact on correcting hearing loss. For example, an AI-powered hearing aid could have established modes for different environments, such as being out in a crowded place, at home, or watching a movie. The hearing aid would be able to adjust its frequencies depending on where the wearer was to optimize that person’s ability to hear.

Newer hearing aids that are powered with AI can sense the ambient sound in the environment and automatically make changes as needed. Those hearing aids can automatically lower background noise while boosting speech, increasing the volume to improve hearing.


Future uses of AI in hearing loss

Exciting AI technology is helping to propel advancements in hearing loss, working to mimic how the brain hears sounds. Hearing aids that use AI will automatically adjust to best fit a user’s individual needs.

AI is constantly learning, scanning the sounds in your environment and adapting to what is crucial for hearing. Hearing aids outfitted with AI technology could even start to identify voices that are important to the wearer and emphasize those, while filtering out others.

More advanced future uses of AI may include enhancing what has traditionally been one of the more challenging situations for people with hearing loss, including focusing on conversation between multiple people in a noisy setting. AI could track the conversation and prioritize the changing primary voice of the conversation by tracking the brain’s neural activity.

Another exciting future possibility for AI technology applied to hearing loss could include augmented reality glasses, which provide information to the wearer. The glasses could provide automated captions of speech for the wearer to help them better understand the speaker.

The future of AI technology is full of bright possibilities and is making steady progress.

To visit a trained practitioner, such as the professionals at NexGen Hearing, and get a hearing aid expertly adjusted to your individual hearing needs visit nexgenhearing.com.

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

Industrial gases used in cooling appliances can harm environment if not properly disposed of

How to recycle your fridge

Do you have an old fridge or freezer that is sitting in storage, and you’re unsure of what to do with it?

“It’s really, really important that people don’t just throw it out back,” executive director of the Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable (MARR) Michael Zarbl says.

Many large appliances used for cooling and refrigeration – such as fridges, freezers, and air conditioners – use chemical refrigerants that as a group are classified as ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

These chemicals can be very harmful to the environment so it’s crucial that the gasses are disposed of correctly by a trained professional, before recycling.

Fortunately, MARR makes it easy for everyone to recycle their old appliances safely with zero cost.

“If you have an old stove, fridge, freezer and more, you can bring it back to any of our 200 recycling sites and drop it off for free,” Zarbl says.

“Prior to MARR existing, a lot of sites would take your old fridges and freezers and charge you for the gas removal. People then faced a dilemma because they didn’t want to pay to have the gas removed. So, they were just releasing it instead, which is terrible.”

MARR was established in 2012 as a stewardship agency for end-of-life major household appliances. The recycling fee consumers pay when purchasing a new appliance is directed toward MARR operations.

While the home appliance industry is transitioning away from very high global warming, potential hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants (AKA greenhouse gasses) in refrigerators and freezers, room air conditioners, portable air conditioners and dehumidifiers, there are still generations of units in use today.

Leaving the units to deteriorate or dismantling them for scrap metal before extracting the gases could release harmful pollutants into the environment. All technicians that extract these gases are licensed professionals, which is why it’s crucial to deliver your old appliances to a MARR site for extraction and destruction.

“Prior to MARR, people were obliged to collect the gases and no one was managing the disposal, so it wasn’t being done properly,” Zarbl adds. “Collection agencies now have to provide proof that they have disposed of the gas in an environmentally sound manner.”

This involves burning the gas off at extremely high and controlled temperatures, so the molecules separate and the gas is no longer harmful to the ozone layer.

Zarbl cautions against dropping off old appliances at facilities that are not associated with MARR.

“Don’t dispose of them in another facility because you don’t know if it’s going to be done properly,” Zarbl says. “There are tons of metal recyclers out there who may not be doing it properly.”

For the rural regions of B.C., or wherever it is challenging to find a certified technician, MARR has created a training process.

Once prospective technicians have completed the federally mandated refrigerant course, MARR's experienced field agent visits the collector and offers practical training for the collector to be fully confident, independent, and compliant with the ODS extraction process.

MARR also provides subsidies for First Nations and remote communities to purchase the correct safety equipment.

“We’re not just training to remove gas, we also pay to haul out old equipment,” Zarbl says.

Often, it is cost-prohibitive to remove old appliances from remote communities, where the selling price of scrap metal doesn’t cover the transport costs.

“In those cases, MARR steps in and goes to small communities and pays to have appliances hauled at no cost to the community,” Zarbl says.

To learn where to drop off your large appliances for safe recycling, visit www.marrbc.ca.

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

Avoid infrastructure damage, personal injury by contacting BC 1 Call to know what’s below before disturbing the ground

Why risk it? Use BC 1 Call

April marks Safe Digging Month, and BC 1 Call is encouraging British Columbians to click or call before they dig.

The start of spring is when homeowners and contractors often begin projects that involve disturbing the ground. But blindly digging without checking what lies below can have dire consequences.

“You need to know what’s in the ground before you can start to dig safely,” president and CEO of BC 1 Call Chris Hyland says. “Otherwise, you could cause severe injury, there could be a major environmental impact, or you might be financially liable.”

Fortunately, getting information about what’s in the ground is a call or click away with respect to 351 infrastructure owners, who are members of BC 1 Call.

One-stop solution

BC 1 Call was formed in 1994 by public and private sector infrastructure owners to make it as easy as possible for anyone planning to break ground to find out how to avoid damaging buried facilities or causing personal injury. BC 1 Call is both a shared damage prevention service and a safe digging service.

“BC 1 Call is your link to safety,” Hyland says.

The free service is easily accessible to homeowners, contractors and member employee field crews. Anyone can request a free locate ticket online 24/7 or via phone during regular business hours, at 1-800-474-6886.

The process is easy. Just submit a ticket to BC 1 Call with details about the excavation project, including location. BC 1 Call immediately notifies all members who have pipes, cables conduits and other buried facilities that are in or near the excavator’s dig site. The process ends with the contractor or homeowner receiving instructions within three business days from BC 1 Call members on how to proceed safely to avoid hitting underground utilities.

“We strongly encourage people to use the online approach. It’s faster,” Hyland says. “You provide the necessary information including the defined work area, and then follow the instructions received directly from our members. It’s just that simple.”

Avoid damage

In 2020, 49% of 1,249 reported damage incidents to underground infrastructure in BC were a direct result of not contracting BC 1 Call before digging.

Some of the hazards of not first contacting BC 1 Call or following instructions include damaging a gas line, taking out a phone or internet line, disrupting community water supply and causing environmental damage by creating spillage.

It’s estimated that the annual cross-country tally of infrastructure damage and such related consequences is over $1-billion.

Avoid financial liability

“Whether you’re a homeowner working on a small outdoor project, or a professional contractor responsible for a large construction project, it’s always important to think of BC 1 Call before you start disturbing the ground,” Hyland says.

Contractors who damage underground infrastructure could see their job sites put on pause for a few hours or even a few days while they wait for the owner of the damaged utility to arrive to inspect and undertake repairs that are billed to the contractor.

Homeowners could find themselves financially responsible for all infrastructure repair costs related to damage on their property. For those on a tight home improvement project budget, this could be a particularly costly, unwanted and unexpected expense.

Avoid disruption of critical services

Contacting BC 1 Call is a year-round best practice that prevents avoidable damages to infrastructure carrying drinking water, internet, heat, air conditioning, telecommunication and other critical services.

“You could be taking out your elderly neighbour’s ability to call 911. You could end up polluting a stream with chlorinated water. It’s just a risk you don’t want to take,” Hyland says.

Damage incidents and service disruptions can be avoided, and you can help reduce the number of damage incidents by contacting BC 1 Call and following the instructions provided by its members before digging.

Dig safely by first submitting a locate ticket today: visit www.bc1c.ca or call 1-800-474-6886.

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

What to know about declaring crypto when you file your tax return

Your guide to crypto tax

Last year, more and more Canadians started investing in cryptocurrencies than ever before, thanks in part to the ease afforded by online crypto trading platforms, such as Netcoins.

Netcoins offers 22 coins to trade (with more to come), no funding fees and free cash withdrawals. They also offer unique features like price alert notifications and limit orders so that you have more control over how you buy crypto. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to get started.

So, if you were one of the many Canadians who invested in crypto last year, Netcoins has created a quick guide to crypto taxes for your last-minute returns. Let’s dive in.

Capital gains

In Canada, most income you earn is taxable, including money earned from trading.

Most Canadians who dabble in crypto will fall under the trading category because they’re buying and selling crypto for profit. This would then be taxed as a capital gain.

A capital gain is an increase in an asset’s value and the profit you make from selling it. You are only taxed when these gains are realized. For example, when crypto is sold at a higher rate than you bought it for.

Let’s say you sold all your bitcoin for $50,000 but originally bought it for $20,000. Your capital gain is $30,000.

In Canada, 50% of your capital gains are taxable. So, out of the $30,000 profit you made from selling, you would have to report $15,000 as part of your income for taxes.

Capital losses

Capital losses are the opposite of capital gains. It’s when the value of your investment decreases from the original price you bought it for. Capital losses can be used to offset any capital gains and may reduce the overall total tax you have to pay.

Transferring crypto

If you buy crypto from Netcoins and transfer it to a crypto wallet or another discount brokerage, that is not considered a taxable event. It’s similar to transferring money from your chequing account to your savings account. You’re still in possession of it therefore you are not required to pay taxes.

Crypto-to-crypto conversions

If you convert one cryptocurrency to another (example: bitcoin to XRP), a transaction has officially been made and you will be taxed on the capital gains. It is your responsibility to track the price you bought each crypto asset at, your conversions, and any realized capital gains.

Using crypto

If you actively use bitcoin as a means of exchange to buy goods, no evaluation is needed. Using bitcoin as money is similar to using Canadian dollars as money to buy goods, like a car.

Buying and holding crypto

Do you have to report crypto if you buy and never touch it? No.

If your crypto grows in value and you do not sell it, that is considered unrealized gain because you haven’t sold it. You do not have to report these for tax purposes.

However, if as a Canadian you hold over $100,000CAD worth of cryptocurrencies in a foreign crypto exchange (example: Coinbase), there is a special T1135 form you must file to declare investments held outside of Canada during the year.

Hopefully, this quick guide was helpful in understanding the basics of how crypto is taxed in Canada. To dive a little deeper, you can read the full guide here (provided by Netcoins).

Note: If you used Netcoins to buy crypto in Canada, getting access to your account history for tax purposes is easy. Users can download their transaction history by logging onto their Netcoins account, clicking the dashboard and selecting “see all transactions.”

To learn more and to buy bitcoin, ether and more easily with Netcoins, visit netcoins.ca.

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

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