The North’s coastal charms await mature explorers longing for adventures in wild open spaces on Vancouver Island

See Vancouver Island North

There’s no better place to spend quality vacation time than northern Vancouver Island—especially if you have a deep love of the great outdoors.

With its breathtaking views and remote charm, the north side of the island is the perfect destination for your next B.C. adventure, as it offers many opportunities to immerse yourself in the wilderness and gain a deeper appreciation for nature.

While seen as remote, the island’s northern region is still reachable from Vancouver and Kelowna. You can fly by air with direct one-hour flight connections from Kelowna International Airport to Port Hardy Airport via Pacific Coastal Airlines. If you plan to arrive at Vancouver Island by ferry, Port McNeill—often referred to as the gateway hub to the North Island—is a roughly five-hour drive from Victoria or a three-hour and 45-minute drive from Nanaimo.

For those looking for something a bit more adventurous, the Inside Passage tours from BC Ferries offer a wonderfully West Coast experience, including ferries, accommodation, whale-watching and grizzly bear tours.

Once you reach northern Vancouver Island, it’s time to start exploring. Here are some ideas for how you can have a relaxing retreat in this remarkable region.

Scenic strolls and nature trails

Many of the seaside communities along the North Island are lined with accessible seawalls, boardwalks and paved pathways, allowing for people of all abilities to enjoy daytime and sunset strolls.

The Port Alice Seawalk along the coastline of Neroutsos Inlet runs for three kilometres, and at low tide you can continue onward to Walkout Island and search for starfish. The picturesque boardwalk at Alert Bay, which stretches out from the harbourfront to the village, allows for sightings of wildlife and Indigenous artwork. Over in Port Hardy, you can stroll along an endless stretch of sand at Storey’s Beach.

Located in Hardy Bay off of Highway 19, the Estuary and Quatse River Nature Trails allow for up close encounters with ecolife. Cross over the bridge to get to the estuary viewing pavilion for encounters with marshland plants, sea birds, rabbits, deer and other small animals. Or walk under the bridge to access the Quatse loop, where you may see bears, salmon, steelhead and trout.

First place for fishing

Swarms of salmon migrate down the coast each year, making the northern reaches of Vancouver Island a must-visit fishing destination.

Perched on the edge of the Queen Charlotte Strait, Port Hardy yields some of B.C.’s best angling opportunities, where all species of migrating salmon, including the sought-after mature trophy chinook and coho, can be found and caught. There are a number of fishing charter companies along the coast of this fishing village, such as Codfather Charters, which offers both charter boats and gear for fishing expeditions.

Marble River Park in Port Alice is a popular destination for recreational angling in northern Vancouver Island, and its river is considered to be one of the best spots for steelhead fishing. Fishers can try fly fishing at the Emerald Pools, located at the end of the Marble River Trail, and tidal water fishing in the marine portion of the park.

Best of birding in B.C.

From the songbirds of the rainforest to the seabirds of the coast, northern Vancouver Island’s diverse habitats are a haven for birdlife—along with bird-watchers. The region is home to several unique bird species, including the marbled murrelet, harlequin duck and northern pygmy owl.

On the northwest side of Vancouver Island, San Josef Bay is a prime location for spotting shorebirds, including western sandpipers and whimbrels, along the beach. Over on the northeast coast, Telegraph Cove offers numerous wildlife tours to encounter a variety of seabirds, including rhinoceros auklets and tufted puffins.

Guided wildlife experiences

Through guided wildlife tours, you can get up close and personal with the wild species that call the oceans and forests that surround Vancouver Island home. At the same time, you can also connect with the region's Indigenous culture.

Departing from Port Hardy and sailing into the waters of the Kwakwaka?wakw First Nations, the Indigenous owned-and-operated Coastal Rainforest Safaris offers day trips that take guests out on wildlife viewing boats and into the heart of popular feeding grounds for orcas, humpback whales, sea lions and other sea creatures. These whale watching tours are led by an interpretive guide that can speak to the role every species plays in the ecosystems of northern Vancouver Island, as well as share valuable insights of the land from an Indigenous perspective.

With Sea Wolf Adventures, you can embark on an unforgettable, Indigenous-led grizzly bear viewing experience, where you can observe bears in their natural habitats in the Great Bear Rainforest and Broughton Archipelago while learning more about their important role in First Nations history.

Plan your trip to northern Vancouver Island at www.vancouverislandnorth.ca.

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

TELUS STORYHIVE kicks off new Scripted Edition with $20K grants

Local filmmakers wanted

Calling all new and emerging filmmakers in B.C. and Alberta. Are you looking to pursue filmmaking and bring your dream scripted project to life? Well, this could be your chance.

TELUS STORYHIVE is elated to embark on a cinematic journey with its brand new STORYHIVE Scripted Edition, a program tailored exclusively to support fully scripted, locally reflective content.

Unleash your creativity by submitting a scripted short to mid-length fiction film or community TV pilot, from uproarious comedies to intense dramas and everything in between.

Selected filmmakers will receive $20,000 in production funding, training, professional mentorship in partnership with the National Screen Institute and distribution on TELUS Optik TV, Stream+ and STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel.

Bring your creative vision to life

“We are thrilled to present this opportunity to our communities and eagerly anticipate the creative ideas and stories that will be brought to life through this program,” STORYHIVE Interior B.C. territory manager Audrey Kiss says.

“Whether it’s a gripping drama, a laugh-out-loud comedy or any genre in between, we’re seeking new and emerging filmmakers to reflect the rich diversity of the Okanagan.”

Applicants can submit scripted pitches in any genre, from drama to comedy and beyond. Most importantly, the script needs to take place within the community in which you are applying. So if you’re planning to submit a romantic comedy exploring the ups and downs of the modern love triangle, your script needs to be based in your community.

Similar to how a screenplay allows readers to follow a character’s development, STORYHIVE keeps in touch with its content creators’ growth by maintaining communications with alumni eager to share their successful experiences.

Meet Vesta Giles, a filmmaker from Kamloops, who received funding through a STORYHIVE Edition for her scripted short film When I'm Dead, a project rooted in deep personal loss inspired by the death of one of her best friends.

Giles credits this passion project for kick-starting her filmmaking career.

“What When I’m Dead did for me really locked in the elements of story,” she recalls. “And whether in a documentary or anything creative, story is key.”

Giles describes how script and story serve as the crucial fundamentals of filmmaking.

“My scripted project, followed by the music video, Take Down These Walls, taught me about putting a story and a production together,” she reveals. “Working in Scripted has really guided what I’m currently doing in documentaries.”

A community of creatives

The professional mentorship provided through the STORYHIVE Edition program is instrumental in giving guidance that helps filmmakers like Giles in subsequent projects.

"My mentor gave me the best advice that I now give to my crews: Be the aspirin, not the headache,” she says. “I look for crew members who are positive and always eager to jump in and help, even if it’s not their responsibility. It’s made my crews really close.

“STORYHIVE has done a really good job of creating a community of confidence.”

This sentiment is at the heart of what STORYHIVE represents.

“We’re here to help support creatives to bring their unique, locally relevant stories to life and to ensure these narratives reach a wider audience,” Kiss says. “It’s more than just entertainment; it’s about fostering a sense of community and shared experiences through compelling storytelling.”

Giles agrees. “They're basically saying, 'Do your art, and do it where you live; you don’t have to go to Vancouver to do it successfully.’ My film was the first STORYHIVE project that was produced in Kamloops, and after that there’s been several.”

She also gained the confidence to dispense her own advice to others, encouraging filmmakers in rural communities and smaller Okanagan towns to consider applying for the Scripted Edition.

“TELUS STORYHIVE is the most user-friendly film program for new and emerging filmmakers,” she says. “Plus, it gives you a foundation and a boost in credibility. It opened, and continues to open, doors for me.”

Don’t miss this opportunity to showcase your storytelling abilities. STORYHIVE alumni are also encouraged to apply.

“Your local stories are the heartbeat of our communities,” Kiss says. “Let’s bring your dream scripted film project to life.”

Apply at STORYHIVE.com/apply by May 21, 2024.


Discover waterfront stays and outdoor adventures in this unique city on Vancouver Island

Adventure in Alberni Valley

Looking to make a spring getaway to Vancouver Island at a destination that’s a little on the undiscovered side? Head straight to the heart of Vancouver Island in the Alberni Valley with a trip to Port Alberni.

Located one hour inland from Nanaimo along the Alberni Inlet, the mid-Island city is the best starting point for island adventures, as it is within easy reach to hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls and more outside experiences at every turn, making the Alberni Valley a perfect vacation spot for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

Plus, the region is full of many unique accommodation options to help you find the prime base for your explorations.

Stay like a seafarer

Get swept away at Swept Away Inn and book a floating stay aboard the MV Songhee. Once a U.S. Navy minesweeper, the restored vintage 1944 tugboat that has been converted into a fully licensed floating bed and breakfast, with a restaurant that serves the finest Moroccan-French cuisine in Port Alberni.

Swept Away Inn is located in the Centennial Pier next to the Alberni Harbour Quay, making it an ultra convenient base for your exploration of the nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

Go on hiking trails with unforgettable viewpoints

No matter which direction you’re heading along the Alberni Highway, or Highway 4, you’re guaranteed to find a hiking trail that will take you to incredible viewpoints and literal heights.

When heading east on Highway 4, you will immediately spot some trailheads to choose your own hiking adventure. First things first; park your vehicle in the parking lot across from Coombs Country Candy, where you can pick up some sweet and savoury treats, such as artisan chocolates and gourmet popcorn, for sustenance during your hike.

At just under four kilometres, the Alberni Valley Lookout Trail is an out and back hiking trail that takes approximately one to two hours to complete. After an elevation gain of 130 metres, you will reach a stunning viewpoint that opens you up to sweeping panoramic views of the inlet, Port Alberni and the surrounding mountains.

The Stokes Creek Falls Trail is an easy waterfall hike that can be completed in 30 minutes to an hour, with a trail that meanders through the woods and culminates in a climb up a steep hill to get to the wooden bridge in front of the gushing waterfalls.

If you’re craving more adventure, continue onwards along Highway 4 for camping at Loon Lake and more challenging trailheads toward Mount Arrowsmith. Even further along, you will find Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park, where you can hike to see some of the oldest and tallest trees in Canada.

Enjoy a lakeside retreat at Sproat Lake

Located west of Highway 4, towards the Pacific Rim, is Sproat Lake, one of Vancouver Island’s best spots for fishing, swimming, windsurfing and many other activities on its clear and warm freshwater lake.

For those planning to stay at Sproat Lake, the picturesque Sproat Lake Landing Resort and Lodge offers luxury accommodations that offer cottage country charm along the shore. The resort has an adventure centre for lake activities, and lake tours aboard the Drinkwater IV Tugboat are available for guests.

Spending quality time with your special someone? Rent this cute and charming cabin for two, located right on Sproat Lake, through VRBO. This quaint and fully equipped cottage features a private deck with beautiful views overlooking the water. After a day of kayaking or relaxing, end your day with a dip in the soaker tub under the starlit sky.

Plan your trip to Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley at www.albernivalleytourism.com.

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

Community Futures North Okanagan ready to help startups flourish

Startup loans now available

Aspiring entrepreneurs in the North Okanagan have a reason to be optimistic, thanks to the innovative loan program offered by Community Futures North Okanagan.

The initiative seeks to fill the gap left by traditional financing options, providing alternative sources of funding for individuals looking to bring their business dreams to life.

“They think bank or credit union, and that’s it,” CFNO business analyst Scot McNair says. “But there is the availability of alternative financing out there for sure.”

And that is where Community Futures North Okanagan enters the picture. It plays a pivotal role in determining the strength of an idea and offers plenty of support just to get to the application process.

After an entrepreneur reaches out, McNair and the CFNO team get together with them to have a meeting and discuss what their vision is for their business. CFNO’s business services division will then help to create a business plan and financial projections. This process essentially creates a business case to get a loan.

"That’s really an integral part of the whole loan process," McNair says, "going through that business planning and the financial projections just to try to create or give the idea that there is some sustainability to the business before we launch into a loan.

“I always tell clients that what we’re trying to do is we’re trying to put you in the best possible position to be successful.”

Once the business plan and financial projections have been created, it becomes time to officially apply. Part of the application process, which can be done online, is uploading the business plan and financial projections that have already been discussed with CFNO's business services team.

To be eligible for a loan, you must have a startup or an existing business, be in the North Okanagan and have the ability to repay the loan.

The timeline from application to potential approval spans approximately six to eight weeks, varying with the size and complexity of the proposal. For those seeking micro loans, up to $25,000, the process may be expedited.

If you are in the North Okanagan and have a business idea that you believe can thrive in the region, visit the Community Futures North Okanagan website here to get your dream started.

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

Exciting changes at Pinnacles FC

Soccer program expands

With the weather turning to spring, many young people are turning their attention to outdoor activities and sports.

One of the most popular sports for kids in Canada, and in our region, is soccer and the Pinnacles Football Club’s program attracts over 2,500 kids a year throughout the Southern Okanagan to play the sport.

Pinnacles FC, which is part of the Central Okanagan Youth Soccer Association (COYSA), is sanctioned provincially by B.C. Soccer and nationally by Canada Soccer. It recently elected a new president, Garry Brogan.

A resident of Penticton and a fully qualified soccer referee, Brogan is relishing his role and excited at the opportunity to build on past successes.

“Soccer has been the central sporting activity within the Okanagan for decades," he said. " Many people don’t realize that the first soccer club was formed in Penticton over 100yrs ago and since then has been an integral part of the community and region, branching out to become the single largest participatory sport in the Southern Okanagan”.

Pinnacles Football Club was licensed as a “Quality Soccer Provider” under the Canada Soccer Club licensing requirements in 2023. Its coaches, staff and volunteers are sanctioned by B.C. Soccer and Canada Soccer and its qualified soccer trainers all adhere to the various courses and certifications required to help improve the soccer skills of young players.

Darla Roy, league coordinator, said interest in the Pinnacles program has grown since the pandemic, with numbers now comparable to pre-pandemic. Registration is now open for the Pinnacles FC programs, with a deadline to sign up of April 5. If registration is made before the deadline, the program will accept all applicants. Applications received after the deadline will be placed on a waiting list to determine if there is room. For registration and more information go to pinnaclesfc.ca

The Pinnacles program is currently working with community members on an adaptive program to help children of diverse abilities enjoy playing the game. It is also working on an Indigenous program with local First Nations.

This year, Pinnacles FC has expanded its Excelsior program — a competitive district program—that has, up to now, included U11 to U18 players. This season, Pinnacles FC is offering a U10 boys program in the COYSA League. The move will mean more opportunities for younger players to move through the competitive divisions, bring more kids to the sport and help retain players as they get older.

With the majority of the youth recreation players in the U9/10 division, a new U10 Kickstart league offers U9/10 players advanced game play by moving to eight-on-eight play from the four-on-four format currently used in that age group. That allows players at a younger age to prepare for the transition to the larger field game format and enjoy increased training.

The Pinnacles FC program has also added two new Excelsior teams in Summerland. A U11 boys team and a U15 girls team, which gives players the opportunity to play at the district level while training in their hometown. As well, Peachland has joined the Pinnacles family and will now play under the Pinnacles FC Club.

“Our organization has seen many changes over the years and I am committed to building on its rich history and traditions in order to provide quality sports programming for youth throughout the region, saysBrogan. "With our new clubhouse facility on the way, and the FIFA World Cup arriving in North America in 2026, we expect exciting growth and increased interest in soccer in the coming years. This will have a positive impact on the community (particularly the service industry) as we look to expand our reach with tournaments that draw in teams from across the Pacific Northwest (and beyond)”.

For more information about Pinnacles FC, go to pinnaclesfc.ca.

Wealthy Roots Financial offers these tips to ensure you pick the perfect financial advisor

Pick financial advisor wisely

When choosing a financial advisor, it’s common to prioritize considerations such as fee structures, the advisor’s range of professional designations or anticipated returns on investment.

While these factors undeniably merit attention, a comprehensive evaluation should extend beyond these initial considerations to include a series of critical, albeit less quantifiable, questions aimed at establishing a deeper sense of compatibility and trust with a potential advisor.

If you are getting ready to get serious about your long-term financial plan, Wealthy Roots Financial in Kamloops wants you to think about these six factors as part of your determination process:

• Gauge your instinctual trust in the advisor. Research suggests an individual can discern trustworthiness within the first 11 seconds of interaction. Trust is foundational, as it underpins the entire advisor-client relationship.

• Consider the advisor’s capability to serve as a guide through the inevitable ups and downs of market dynamics. It’s essential they not only possess a deep understanding of market trends but also have the communicative skills to explain these fluctuations and their implications for your portfolio in a way that resonates with you.

• Assess whether the advisor demonstrates a genuine commitment to your financial success and accountability towards your financial plan. This commitment indicates a readiness to go beyond mere transactional interactions, fostering a relationship where your goals are most important.

• Inquire about the advisor’s proactive approach to portfolio management, particularly their responsiveness to shifting economic conditions. An advisor’s willingness to make timely adjustments to your portfolio is crucial for navigating the complex landscape of financial markets effectively.

• Consider the long-term availability of the advisor, especially through critical life stages such as retirement. This consideration involves evaluating the advisor’s age and potential career longevity to ensure a lasting partnership.

• Explore the advisor’s tenure and dedication to their role as a financial advisor. A track record of sustained commitment to the profession can be a good indicator of their dedication to clients.

Finding a financial planner with whom you can build a long-term working relationship is key. They will be your ally through retirement, offering guidance through market fluctuations and life changes.

The mother-daughter duo of Sandy Vollo and Shelby Seath at Wealthy Roots Financial have the experience, knowledge and compassion to guide you on your retirement path. To set up a meeting with the dynamic financial tandem, visit the Wealthy Roots website here.

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

Vancouver artist Joe Average collaborates with California Closets for grand penthouse makeover

California Closets art collab

Joe Average O.B.C. M.C.G. is a beloved Vancouver-based artist who has earned recognition across the globe for both his art and his activism. Many Canadians would recall his artwork which appeared on the 2019 Equality coin, a special edition “loonie” marking the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada.

“Everyone has heard of California Closets,” says Average, describing how the brand came up in conversation with a good friend when he disclosed his need for a new wardrobe in his home office.

“We spent a bit of time together going through the website and then called them to explain what I was looking for. It quickly snowballed into more than just a single wardrobe! They helped me revamp seven spaces in my home and created bespoke housing solutions to organize a lot of my artwork.”

Fostering creative collaborations

The joy of the collaboration was mutually shared, says Matthew Jolly, a designer from California Closets.

“It was an honour when Joe reached out to us and a privilege to work with him,” Jolly beams. “He is an incredibly talented artist and a very kind person, who has given much to the LQBTQ+ community. It was a special project because Joe had a sense of what he was looking for, and through a visit to our South Granville showroom, the direction became clear.”

Average was seeking two custom closets in his office but also wanted a linen closet, a number of storage solutions, two new pantries and a place to house his artwork.

“Most people don’t know that we do more than closets,” Jolly explains. “We offer custom solutions for almost every space, and this project really showcased all of our expertise.”

Checking every box

Average provided Jolly with seven words of inspiration to guide the process: opulent, over-the-top, grand, masculine, dark, elegant and sophisticated.

“He delivered on every single one,” Average explains. “Working with Matthew and the team at California Closets was a wonderful experience. They asked a lot of questions in the beginning so that they could get a grasp on exactly what I wanted. They were also patient, polite and most importantly, they were really good listeners. I felt comfortable with them straight off the bat and trusted that they would deliver.”

One of the custom closets designed for Average’s office included a special compartment for his 20-pair John Fluevog shoe collection, complete with integrated lighting.

“Joe and I bonded over his shoe collection - the shoes themselves are a work of art, and I knew we needed to make them stand out, while at the same time making sure they were easily accessible for him,” describes Jolly. “Form and function.”

Another element of Average’s office was a hidden ironing board.

“The ironing board is my favourite part of the whole project, but I could not be happier with the entire project as a whole,” says Average. “My penthouse actually looks like a fancy penthouse now, and that’s all thanks to California Closets.”

The majority of manufacturing and production at California Closets BC happens right in the province, which speeds up production and delivery times for clients. In addition to custom closets, California Closets BC designs entertainment centres, garage storage systems, Murphy beds, mudrooms and entryways, libraries, bookshelves and more.

If you are looking for a custom design to fit your space, personal style and budget, contact California Closets at www.californiaclosets.ca.

Delivery, installation and limited lifetime warranty are available for Metro Vancouver, between Whistler and Chilliwack, and throughout the Okanagan, from Vernon to Penticton.

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

How to recognize six signs of hearing loss to ensure you keep active and engaged

Six signs of hearing loss

Many locals in the Okanagan see one of the first signs of spring in mid-February, when the sagebrush buttercup begins to bloom. But as temperatures warm, the soundscape also comes alive, reconnecting you with the outdoors after a long winter.

You might be looking forward to the birdsongs of the Western Meadowlark and Black-capped chickadees returning to the Okanagan Valley, or the high-frequency click when your golf club hits the ball’s sweet spot.

Perhaps you can't wait for the warmer lakeside strolls and conversations with your beloved, or a catchup with friends over coffee on a bustling sidewalk patio, among many other springtime happenings.

However, if you haven't been mindful of your hearing health, which is crucial to your daily activities and the everyday enjoyment of life, you may be missing out on these gratifying sounds, and more.

As reported by Speech and Hearing BC, more than 10 per cent of British Columbians experience some form of hearing loss. Additionally, they estimate over 12 per cent of B.C. adults have hearing loss that affects their ability to hear conversational speech.

If your untreated hearing loss has you feeling excluded from the things you love, don't worry, there's help in your Okanagan community; HearingLife is at the intersection of great hearing technology and professional hearing care.

"Our commitment to personalized care ensures that every individual can rediscover the richness of sound, fostering a life filled with communication, confidence, and a renewed sense of engagement with the world around them," says Katie Koebel, Audiologist and senior manager of Audiology HearingLife Canada.

With access to the most advanced hearing aid technology, clinical support, and up-to-date diagnostic equipment, HearingLife clinics are staffed by highly trained and certified hearing health-care professionals, who are ready to give you professional care and on-the-spot results.

You can expect tailored solutions and personalized care plans based on your individual needs, including comprehensive hearing assessments and customized fitting of hearing aids.

Six signs you may be experiencing hearing loss

Age-related hearing loss can go undetected for years and can incite a broad scope of challenges, including health issues and social interaction. It’s hard to live fully and confidently when you’re struggling to hear and process the sounds around you.

The signs and symptoms of hearing loss depend on the type, degree, and cause of hearing loss. If you recognize any of these symptoms, HearingLife recommends taking a free in-clinic hearing test.

1. Difficulty following conversations
You struggle to follow conversations involving more than two people or when there’s background noise.

2. People seem to be mumbling
You often ask people to repeat themselves and sounds seem unclear or people sound like they're mumbling.

3. Difficulty locating sounds
You have trouble figuring out where sounds are coming from.

4. Signs of tinnitus
You experience ringing or buzzing sounds in your ears.

5. Turning up the TV volume
Your friends and family say you turn the television up too loud.

6. Phone conversations are unclear
You think it's difficult to hear phone conversations in both quiet and noisy surroundings.

“Our hearing care services and advanced hearing aids offer a transformative solution for individuals experiencing hearing loss, providing not just enhanced auditory experiences but also restoring the joy of meaningful connections and improved overall well-being," says Koebel.

When you visit a local HearingLife clinic, their hearing care professionals will provide you with support every step of the way in your journey to better hearing.

Early testing and intervention can mean you won't lose your all-important relationships with friends and family. And you’ll never miss the idyllic sounds of birds chirping.

With 13 HearingLife clinics in the Okanagan, personalized hearing care is accessible in your neighborhood. Book an appointment online or call 1-888-514-9515.

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

Emily Carr University of Art + Design opening creative doors for artistic middle school, high school students

Emily Carr teen art programs

Emily Carr University Continuing Studies offers teen art programs year-round, providing hands-on instruction from professional artists, access to state-of-the-art studios, portfolio development and preparation for future careers.

From the moment your child began drawing masterpieces on the walls and furniture of your family home, you knew they had an aptitude for art. Now that they’re growing up, their next step is to broaden their creative horizons and advance their future career as a professional artist.

As a parent, what can you do to help your artsy teens in the pursuit of their creative dreams? Every day counts, which is why encouraging your child to take advantage of their vacation breaks by honing in on their art and design education will make a huge difference.

As the No. 1 university in art and design in Canada, Emily Carr University of Art + Design recognizes that encouraging young talent early makes a difference in enriching their careers in professional art. With that in mind, the university is giving prospective teen students the opportunity to reap the benefits of post-secondary learning with a preview of what studying at art school is like.

During spring break, summer vacation and throughout the school year, ECU Continuing Studies offers a number of teen art programs, created specifically with youth of all levels of art experience in mind. Through hands-on art, media and design courses, teens receive instruction from practicing professional artists, have access to Emily Carr’s state-of-the-art studios and equipment, connect with like-minded peers, develop their portfolio of work for university applications, and become better prepared for post-secondary education and their future careers.

Spring break art camp for teens

Designed for students ages 15 to 18, or enrolled in Grades 9 to 12, the Spring Break Art Camp instills foundational creative skills through the exploration of popular studio practices in art and design. ECU has curated a collection of courses across a wide variety of studies, including drawing, painting, illustration, character illustration, environment concept art, storyboarding, stop motion animation and industrial design.

The art camp is scheduled to run throughout the course of the two weeks of spring break, with the first week running from March 18-22, and the second week running from March 25-28. Offering a mix of in-studio sessions and online studio streams, ECU has made it easy and flexible for all interested students to enroll.

Registration for Spring Break Art Camp at ECU is open until March 11.

Summer Institutes for Teens

This July, middle school and high school students can enrol in the Junior Arts Institute and the Summer Institute for Teens to build on their foundational skills, explore a wide range of art, media and design practices, and be exposed to new mediums, methods and perspectives that will broaden their creative expression.

The Junior Arts Institute is a two-week immersive exploratory program for middle school students ages 13 to 15, or who have completed Grade 7 by July 1, 2024. The offered courses cover a multitude of art practices, including drawing, painting, illustration, animation, motion graphics, and experience and interaction design.

“I appreciated how welcoming, inclusive and kindly we were treated,” describes a Summer Institute for Teens student about the 2023 program. “We were given the chance to create well, being given helpful critiques and ideas on how to fix things. We had open conversations and incredible help with our art.”

Completion of the Junior Arts Institute is a segue into participation in the Summer Institute for Teens, which is a one-month immersive exploratory program for high school students ages 16 to 18, or who have completed Grade 10 by July 1, 2024. ECU offers a wider breadth of art disciplines for the teen program, with courses that cover drawing, painting, traditional illustration, digital illustration, digital photography, graphic design, animation, game development and industrial design. This rigorous pre-university program also prepares high school students for post-secondary applications, with workshops on developing creative portfolios and preparing for higher education in the arts and their creative careers.

At the end of the programs, students will have the opportunity to showcase their work in a public exhibition in ECU’s Michael O’Brian Exhibition Commons.

Art courses and workshops for teens

In addition to the spring and summer programs, ECU also offers teen art courses and workshops year-round on weeknights and weekends throughout the school year to supplement their current secondary art education.

Designed for high school students ages 15 to 18, or who are currently enrolled in Grades 9 to 12, these courses and workshops give teens even more opportunities to work with other art and design peers and meet potential mentors in the industry who instruct these sessions. Classes highlight a range of art practices, including painting, life drawing, perspective drawing, character illustration, graphic novel production, communication design, surface design and environment concept art.

By equipping your teens with the support they need to kickstart their arts education now, you’ll be ensuring that they have access to endless opportunities in their creative career journeys.

Go to www.ecuad.ca/academics/teen-programs for more information on ECU’s teen art programs.

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

Thompson Rivers University’s new engineering program offers real-life experience to prepare students for workforce

TRU unveils new program

The innovation and digitization of the workforce have undoubtedly directly impacted how post-secondary students view and approach their university education.

Remaining close to home, especially in regions such as the Interior of British Columbia, used to mean limited opportunities. However, with new and unique programs offered at top educational institutions like Thompson Rivers University (TRU), this is no longer the case.

Now, students have the luxury of choice. They can experience the best of both worlds by receiving a world-class education and relevant real-life experience that prepares them for the workforce while staying in a location they love.

Exciting new programs on the horizon for TRU in 2024

To adapt to the ever-changing industrial landscape, TRU is continuously refining existing curriculums while introducing new, unique programs to equip students with comprehensive learning and applicable skills to set them up for success.

The latest addition to its impressive educational arsenal is the bachelor of engineering in computer engineering, which will be available as of September 2024. The five-year bachelor program is a direct response to the increased demand for engineers in the technology industry. It gives students a clear understanding of theory, as well as transferable skills and knowledge involving hardware and software technologies.

But don’t let the technical façade fool you. Since most technologies these days rely on hardware and software to function, computer engineering offers a strategic jumping-off point to a wide realm of careers ranging from the health-care and telecommunication sectors to developing apps and video games.

The program’s structure is also unique in that it balances factual, theory-based materials with direct, real-world applications and experiences so students are more strategically positioned to enter the workforce.

Additionally, TRU’s smaller class sizes allow students to develop more personal connections with their professors.

“In terms of the significance of computer engineering, anyone who has that skill set will have more job opportunities,” interim academic associate vice-president Faheem Ahmed says. “This discipline appeals to students and stands out in a market with emerging technologies.”

The real-world applications come from the hands-on experience students acquire through the mandatory one-year co-operative placement following the third year of study. This component provides students with insights into key industries while getting paid to learn. It also creates networking opportunities for students prior to graduation.

TRU already offers a bachelor of engineering in software engineering, which focuses on establishing expertise in the software engineering field. With the introduction of the bachelor of engineering in computer engineering, TRU is the only post-secondary institution in B.C.’s Interior to offer both programs.

Pursuing academic excellence in Kamloops

For those lucky enough to call the Thompson-Okanagan and B.C. Interior region home, you’re likely already aware of what a privilege it is to live and play in such a beautiful and picturesque place.

On top of the undeniable natural beauty and access to outdoor activities, Kamloops also offers a significantly lower cost of living compared to larger B.C. cities. For those already living in the region, they can still get the education they want while being near friends, family and other support systems.

TRU offers the ideal compromise by providing top-tier programs that open doors to a wide range of possibilities and opportunities while being close to home.

This combination gives students one ultimate benefit that doesn’t necessarily come from a classroom: choice.

Start your post-secondary journey today. Learn more about the new bachelor of engineering in computer engineering program and others by visiting www.tru.ca.

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

Joint Effort Physiotherapy can help with dizziness and balance issues

Treating dizziness, balance

Feeling the urge to get going but grappling with dizziness and balance issues ? Joint Effort Physiotherapy in Kamloops can help.

According to Shreya Patel, the skilled physiotherapist at Joint Effort, their vestibular rehabilitation therapy offers targeted exercises to manage dizziness and balance problems, leading to an improved quality of life.

“Dizziness may signal underlying medical conditions affecting your balance,” says Patel, who, in addition to being a licensed physiotherapist, has advanced training in vestibular rehabilitation and concussion management, with experience in post-surgical and trauma patient care.

Dizziness can also result from workplace injuries, motor vehicle collisions and concussions. Anyone experiencing dizziness and balance issues should be checked by an expert, such as Patel and members of the team at Joint Effort.

Dizziness and balance issues can affect more than just stability. They can lead to muscle fatigue and headaches. Treatment can benefit individuals with vertigo, Ménière’s disease, post-concussion symptoms, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), labyrinthitis, vestibular neuritis, migraine headaches, as well as those recovering from stroke or traumatic brain injuries and those at risk of falling.

Before beginning vestibular rehabilitation therapy, patients undergo a comprehensive evaluation, including tests to assess the vestibular function of the inner ear. This helps the trained physical therapist tailor the treatment to the patient's needs.

Patel emphasizes that balance and dizziness issues vary from person to person. That's why the healthcare provider customizes rehabilitation with specialized exercises, some of which can be done at home. These exercises may include eye movement control, balance retraining, and stretching and strengthening routines.

The duration of a rehabilitation program depends on each patient’s response to therapy. “Most people typically undergo six to eight weekly sessions,” says Patel, noting that some may require only one or two sessions, while others may need several months of ongoing treatment, including exercises at home.

Studies have demonstrated the benefits of vestibular rehabilitation therapy in reducing the risk of falls, improving balance, reducing dizziness symptoms, stabilizing vision, and enhancing body strength.

Joint Effort provides a comprehensive range of treatments for sports injuries, workplace injuries, post-surgical rehabilitation, and complex musculoskeletal conditions. Their services include physiotherapy, exercise physiology, athletic therapy, and massage therapy.

Their team of highly trained and licensed physiotherapists collaborates with patients to help them resume their lives fully and quickly.

For more information or to book an appointment, contact Joint Effort Physiotherapy at 250-434-5846 or [email protected]. Joint Effort Physiotherapy is located at 113-805 Notre Dame Drive.

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

Start Here Penticton Job Fair perfect for both employers and job seekers

Job fair delivers every year

Start Here Penticton Job Fair is always a huge hit with businesses, because its timing is absolutely perfect.

The fact it happens in the spring aligns superbly with so many companies' hiring schedules.

This year’s Start Here Penticton Job Fair will be held on Wednesday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. The event, which is free for job seekers, offers a unique opportunity for those seeking employment or career changes to connect with potential employers. Featuring an array of businesses, the job fair is a hub for networking and discovering exciting job opportunities.

The fair also provides an invaluable platform for businesses looking to expand their teams, so companies should register now to secure a booth and tap into the pool of talented candidates. Updated regularly, the list of attending businesses is available for viewing, ensuring attendees stay informed about whom they can expect to meet.

WorkBC South Okanagan will be offering sessions in the lobby throughout the day as well as sponsoring once again the sensory quiet room, which serves as a getaway for those who get overwhelmed by the crowd noise and need a few minutes to relax.

Businesses looking to lock up a booth and tap into the pool of talented candidates need to do so by Feb. 23, which is the deadline to register. The registration process is simple and can be done so on the Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce website here.

The Start Here Penticton Job Fair is more than just a job-seeking event; it's a community-building initiative. It plays a pivotal role in shaping the careers of individuals and the growth of businesses. Organizers encourage all interested parties to register and become part of this thriving community event. Whether you're a job seeker looking to elevate your career or a business aiming to find the perfect match for your team, this job fair promises to be an event not to be missed.

To stay up to date on all information related to the job fair, visit the City of Penticton sponsored event page here.

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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