Giving Tuesday is the kickoff to this year's 'season of giving' at the Mustard Seed

The 'season of giving'

While bargain hunters were out in strength on Friday—Black Friday—making purchases, tomorrow (Tuesday, Nov. 28) is Giving Tuesday, and it’s an opportunity to help those in need in the community.

The day marks the unofficial start to the “giving” season and in Kamloops, The Mustard Seed, the largest non-profit organization in the city helping shelter and feed those in need, is asking the public to lend a financial hand.

“This Giving Tuesday, your support will help us to continue to meet the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness and poverty in Kamloops,” says Laura Giesbrecht, senior director of food services at The Mustard Seed Kamloops.

“Daily we are seeing an increase in the numbers of those accessing our services. Your donation will allow us to keep serving warm and nutritious meals, as well as provide safe places for those in need this winter. Thank you for helping us to build community and grow hope in Kamloops.”

With its goal to eliminate homelessness and poverty in the community, The Mustard Seed has provided shelter, basic essential needs and meals for those less fortunate since it took over operations from the New Life Mission in 2018.

One of five Mustard Seed operations in B.C. and Alberta—the others being in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer and Medicine Hat—money raised in Kamloops stays in Kamloops to help meet the local need.

“With food budgets being stretched thin for individuals and families, we have seen an increase in demand for all facets of our food services,” says Giesbrecht. “The number of guests being served at our hot meal programs, as well as those in need of additional hampers, has dramatically increased.”

She says those who were just barely getting by, now need the organization’s help to make ends meet. A growing segment of the population turning to the Mustard Seed for help are seniors.

“The continued support of our communities means we do not have to turn anyone away who needs a meal or additional food resources. Providing food helps mitigate a lot of stress for individuals and families as they struggle with food insecurity.”

This year, the Mustard Seed’s Giving Tuesday campaign goal is to raise funds for 185,000 meal across all five cities.

For more information and to make a donation, go to the Mustard Seed’s website at theseed.ca/givingtuesday.

Later in the month, the Mustard Seed will also hold its annual 12 Days of Giving fundraiser, between Dec. 11 and Dcc. 22.

Each day, The Mustard Seed’s website will feature items most in demand by those in need during the cold winter months, such as gloves, jackets and winter boots—more than just financial support.

The Mustard Seed Kamloops provides an array of services, including 22 shelter mats per night, a 12-bed safe and secure shelter for women, a 17-bed recovery program for men, an outreach centre, meal program, health and wellness centre and a thrift store. Each month it distributes 1,200 hygiene and clothing items in Kamloops.

While Christian-centered, The Mustard Seed is open to all and has a zero-tolerance policy for all facilities when it comes to alcohol and drug use.

So, as you settle in for the upcoming holiday season, please remember those in need in the community. If you can help The Mustard Seed make the season a little better for those less fortunate, and help feed and shelter your vulnerable neighbours through the winter months, please do so.

To volunteer, donate or fundraise for The Mustard Seed, or for more information about its services, programs and fundraising efforts, go to its website at theseed.ca.

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

One of Canada's best golf courses ready for fun winter, accepting 2024 memberships

Tee it up at terrific Tobiano

You have likely heard how gorgeous Tobiano Golf Course is.

Once you actually get there, however, it’s even better than you thought it would be.

Few settings in Canada are better than Tobiano’s rugged, lakeside terrain. There are astounding views of Kamloops Lake from every hole, dramatic elevation changes, chasms, natural grasses, welcoming fairways and smooth, undulating greens. Tobiano is one of the finest, most picturesque golf courses anywhere.

You know it’s something special when the man who designed the stunning track, Thomas McBroom, says, “Tobiano is literally as good as it gets.”

The course, located just west of Kamloops, has been open for more than 15 years and in that time has been collecting awards like a PGA professional racks up birdies. Tobiano Golf Course often lands on the “best lists” compiled by Golf Digest and Score Golf, and the World Golf Awards, which are voted on by golfers themselves, has honoured Tobiano as the best golf course in Canada for the last three years.

“Almost every hole gives you a stunning view of not only the golf course, but the lake and the mountains,” head pro Shannon McGeady says. “And then you see those trains go by on the other side of the lake, and they go on forever.

“… The aesthetics of being out here are just unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, and I’ve been fortunate enough to golf all over Canada.”

Tobiano is now accepting memberships for the 2024 season, and signing up now has its benefits, especially for those who reside in Kamloops area. You can get on a payment plan if you commit before Dec. 15, and you also will receive a $150 to $300 credit at the course’s restaurant, Black Iron Club and Grill.

Memberships range from full to weekday to intermediate, depending on your age. And if you have a common-law living arrangement, you would get 10% off a second membership of equal or lesser value.

Your experience at Tobiano can go beyond the golf course. Its state-of-the-art simulator, which features Trackman technology, is now open for the winter. It offers more than 250 courses from around the world, including Vancouer’s Shaughnessy, Pebble Beach and the Old Course at St. Andrews. Lessons are also available during the winter.

Nothing will beat the real thing come spring, however. Not many people can say they have one of the best golf courses in Canada right in their backyard.

“One hole after another has its own set of challenges, and as similar as they are in terms of their topography and how they’re carved out of the landscape, they are so different,” McGeady says. “You go from hole number four, which has no bunkers on it whatsoever, and then you go to number five, where it’s this chute down the middle surrounded by bunkers.”

McGeady’s favourite hole is the next one, No. 6. The par 4 requires a tee shot over a chasm and some fine shotmaking on the approach. Since it’s all uphill, the “infinity green” almost looks like it’s suspended in the air.

“It’s such a shotmaker’s hole,” McGeady says. “You have to be so precise on that second shot, and then when you get up to the green … OK, great. You’re on, but now what? It breaks way more than you think it should. It’s my favourite.”

And don’t be worried if you can’t hit a high fade into a green. Tobiano has five sets of tees on every hole and eight yardage options overall.

“Regardless of what your skill level is, as long as you pick the right tee box you’re going to be able to experience the golf course and enjoy it at the same time,” she says. “Yes, there might be a hard shot here or there, but there is definitely an opportunity to make birdies and to feel good about your game.

“The best part is you will really enjoy being out here in kind of what feels like the middle of nowhere on a beautiful day.”

Learn more about Tobiano Golf Course on its website here.

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

'Tis the season for extraordinary flavour at Tobiano’s Black Iron Club & Grill

Black Iron Club & Grill

The Black Iron Club and Grill at the Tobiano Golf Course is upping its food game.

The restaurant, under the direction of executive chef and newly-appointed director of food and beverage services Cliff Huck, has not only expanded, it has also added to its menu.

“We are now a full-service restaurant and we want to create a niche for ourselves,” says Huck, a well-travelled and experienced chef who grew up in the Cranbrook area but has worked in restaurants at resorts across B.C. and Alberta.

Huck says with expansions to both the dining room and the patio, as well as the restaurant’s kitchen, they are able to offer service to more diners, including hosting private events in a closed-off space in the restaurant.

He said the restaurant would like to host more destination gatherings going forward and with its private space that can seat as many as 50 people, the opportunity is now there.

Located 20 minutes west of Kamloops on Highway 1, the Black Iron Club & Grill offers a full range of exquisite fare, including menu favourites such as schnitzel, pizzas, burgers and fish and chips, with everything made from scratch.

“We really focus on local when it comes to sourcing our food and items, like our desserts, breads and pizza dough. Even the beer batter for our fish and chips is all made in-house,” says Huck.

The restaurant hosts a weekend brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday featuring dishes such as eggs benedict, a West Coast bowl with sockeye salmon and French Toast with Okanagan apple compote.

It also hosts Italian Sundays, featuring well-priced family meals such as risotto, lasagna bolognese and homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

“We like to put our own little twist on it,” said Huck when talking about the meals the kitchen staff at the Black Iron Club & Grill prepare. “We always want to be re-inventing and getting ahead of the game.”

With Christmas coming up, the restaurant is once again getting into the spirit of the season with a return of its Breakfast with Santa, featuring a buffet breakfast and photos with the Jolly Old Elf himself.

So, if you are looking for good food at a good price, take the short drive out to Tobiano and enjoy what the Black Iron Club & Grill has to offer.

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

Swelaps Market celebrating grand opening with free food samples, giveaways and music

Celebrate at Swelaps Market

The Tkemlups te Secwepemc community is buzzing with excitement about this week’s grand opening of Swelaps Market, a significant addition to the local landscape.

The grand opening will take place today (Thursday), and it promises to be a vibrant celebration featuring speeches, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, food sharing, live music, prize draws and free food samples. The activities begin at 11 a.m. and continue until 4 p.m.

The festivities won’t stop there, however, as there will be an entire week with special deals and prize draws. Every day, the first 10 shoppers will receive an in-store gift card and Swelaps swag, and a draw will be made for a $50 in-store gift certificate. A tabletop smoker is up for grabs, too.

Swelaps Market, which is located at 302 Yellowhead Highway in Kamloops, is a manifestation of community goals and an important step in diversifying the economic position of the area.

“Our team has worked tirelessly to bring a wide range of high-quality products and exceptional customer service to this store and our shoppers,” general manager Kara Stokes says. “We have the best customers and will continue to build on our products and services. We can’t wait to welcome you for an unforgettable shopping experience. With our doors now open, we will continue to strive to become the place to work and shop.”

Covering approximately 22,000 square feet, the independent grocery store was delivered on time and within its $15.2 million budget. The store’s name and logo, inspired by a contest entry, pay homage to the local wildlife and landscape, symbolizing the community’s connection to its surroundings.

The market is equipped with a variety of services, including an in-house butcher, bakery, deli and ready-to-eat meals. A commitment to freshness, culture and quality is a cornerstone of Swelaps Market.

“The launch of Swelaps Market marks a huge milestone, offering a highly anticipated amenity to all our neighbours and fulfilling a directive from our T?emlúps membership,” Tkemlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir says. “In a highly visible, convenient location, Swelaps Market is positioned for success and will further grow and diversify our economic position.

“With immense care for every detail, we have developed a welcoming, vibrant and competitive business that celebrates our culture. Swelaps Market will be an integral piece for all future developments within the commercial portion of the Chief Louis Centre, located along Highway 5 and Shuswap Road.”

Swelaps Market’s development aligns with the Comprehensive Community Plan, aimed at enhancing on-reserve amenities. The store has also established a supply relationship with The Grocery People, allowing it to source products from local and Indigenous producers.

In preparation for the opening, two job fairs were held, resulting in the hiring of 65 staff, including many from the local Indigenous community.

The market is open seven days a week, everyone is welcome, and further details are available on its website and Facebook page.

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

California Closets provides Okanagan charity, Mamas for Mamas, with custom designed cabinetry for Karma Market

A match made in heaven

When Stephan and Annie Maingot decided to expand California Closets to the Okanagan, they reached out to local businessman and philanthropist, Brent Marshall, to help them find the best location for their new retail outlet.

Not only did Marshall find them the perfect space at 1217 Water St. in Kelowna, but he also introduced Stephan and Annie to Shannon Christensen, founder and CEO of Mamas for Mamas, a national charitable organization that supports moms, caregivers and their children that are in crisis, by providing a safe, comfortable and compassionate place to go for poverty relief support.

“Brent recently donated a much needed, new 1800 square foot warehouse space for Mamas for Mamas’ Karma Market—a place where struggling families can access groceries, clothes and toiletries that they need, at no cost,” Stephan says. “However, the big, open space needed to be transformed into a beautiful and functional marketplace.”

For over 24 years, the Maingots have developed the California Closet brand in British Columbia, with a focus on providing first-class, innovative custom design products, and doing business for good. All California Closets BC systems are manufactured in Burnaby at a state-of-the-art facility, and 80% of all materials and components that California Closets BC uses are made in Canada.

“We have always supported our local charities and non-profit organizations, and when we opened our new store in Kelowna, we knew that we wanted to immediately start supporting our new community,” Annie says. “Providing the Karma Market with a custom and expert-designed installation to accommodate their diverse needs was the perfect way for California Closets to give back.”

Adds Stephan: “We knew that California Closets would be the perfect partner to work with Mamas for Mamas and design their new Karma Market. We jumped in right away, and it was a match made in heaven.”

The new Karma Market was originally an army surplus warehouse, and it needed to be completely overhauled to accommodate all the store’s products, such as food, clothing, shoes and seasonal wear, as well as formula, diapers and baby furniture.

“Even though this was a much bigger space than we had before, I didn’t know if we could make it work for us, as we needed an organized and functional space to properly accommodate all of our market’s items,” Christensen says. “The California Closets’ team were incredible to work with. They provided us with a range of design solutions that specifically met our needs. They incorporated cabinets on wall spaces that I didn’t think could be used, and they made it look like the gorgeous custom cabinetry had always been there. They also ensured that the room flowed and fit the architecture of the warehouse and the aesthetic we were hoping for to suit our mamas. We can now accommodate 15 people in the market at once, instead of two. It has been an absolute pleasure working with the California Closets team, and we are so appreciative for all their generous support.”

California Closets’ specialized designers, pre-production specialists, skilled manufacturers and installation technicians collaborated with the Mamas for Mamas team. Together, they created a unique and multifunctional space with a purposeful design that includes a well-appointed front reception and workspace for greeting customers, extensive shelving, and suspended cabinets for displaying food, clothes and products, and creatively placed closets and shelves for optimal storage.

“California Closets is a wonderful addition to our community,” Marshall says. “They provide outstanding customer service and premium, quality products, and they have also proven themselves to be a charitable and caring community partner. When I reached out to Stephan and Annie for their support, they activated immediately and helped to create the beautiful Karma Market for mamas in need to feel safe, secure and respected when collecting necessary items for their families.”

For more information about California Closets, visit www.californiaclosets.ca.

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

Get great discounts on hearing aids this holiday season through HearingLife Black Friday offer

Discounts on hearing aids

Untreated hearing loss can lead to withdrawal and social isolation, impacting our mental health.

With the holidays around the corner, don’t let your hearing struggles keep you from enjoying time with your loved ones to the fullest.

This Black Friday, HearingLife is offering an exclusive opportunity to secure hearing aids at discounts of up to $2,000 on the latest hearing technology.

With an unwavering commitment to delivering the perfect hearing aid tailored to your lifestyle and budget, HearingLife's offer is your gateway to enhanced hearing and improved quality of life.

“We understand that hearing aids are an investment, and want to make hearing healthcare attainable by all,” HearingLife audiology senior manager Katie Koebel says. “By offering a significant discount and offering payment plans, we want to reduce the financial burden of making this important investment in your hearing health care and overall quality of life.”

The hearing care professionals are well-versed in hearing aid coverage programs that are available in each process and can help you with the application process.

Each person’s hearing needs are as individual as a fingerprint. HearingLife offers a network of over 300 locations in Canada staffed by licensed hearing professionals who receive ongoing training to stay up-to-date with the latest advancements. They provide same-day hearing test results, offer the latest hearing aid technology, free hearing tests, personalized care, free hearing aid trials and family-friendly locations to support individuals with varying hearing needs and budgets.

This means that the care you receive at your local HearingLife location is unmatched.

The purchase of hearing aids is a significant investment, both in terms of finances and time, and simply buying top-of-the-line technology doesn’t ensure optimal hearing. Hearing aids need specialized fine-tuning by a professional, involving precise testing, feedback incorporation and regular followups to realize their full potential and adapt to changing needs over time.

“One of the first steps in your journey with us includes a detailed case history. This helps us to establish what your unique hearing needs are, as well as what kinds of noise exposure or other hearing trauma you have experienced,” Koebel says.

“Hearing health care is not one-size-fits-all, and by listening to our clients and asking questions, our hearing health care professionals can recommend the right solution for your unique hearing and financial needs.”

HearingLife also offers a comprehensive regular full-service warranty, which includes free batteries and maintenance.

“To get the most out of your hearing aids, ongoing care is needed. Over time, your hearing or hearing needs may change. By adopting a regular appointment schedule, as well as offering walk-in hours at each clinic for any issues that may arise, we ensure that your hearing aids continue to work optimally for you,” Koebel says.

HearingLife ensures that hearing aids remain effective by accounting for changes in individual hearing over time. These sophisticated devices are exposed to daily wear and environmental elements, potentially causing damage.

To address issues promptly, HearingLife offers daily walk-in hours and a responsive tele-support team reachable via phone or online chat. This proactive care and quick response to concerns guarantee that hearing aids continue to meet users’ evolving hearing needs throughout their lifespan.

HearingLife is in your neighbourhood, with clinics across Penticton, Kelowna, West Kelowna, Vernon, South Kamloops and North Kamloops. Find a clinic near you at www.hearinglife.ca and make an appointment today by contacting 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.

Gateway to Tourism Hospitality Jobs for newcomers offers fully funded training opportunities and tailored support

Free employment program

As tourism and hospitality sectors across British Columbia face workforce shortages, ISSofBC’s new Gateway to Tourism and Hospitality Jobs initiative is providing a lifeline to both newcomers seeking employment and employers eager for a skilled workforce.

The program offers tailored training and a suite of resources aimed at integrating immigrants into the thriving sectors.

For newcomers in Canada, entering the hospitality and tourism sectors can be a daunting task, owing to the lack of local experience, credentials or connections. Gateway seeks to reduce these challenges by offering fully funded training opportunities, one-on-one support, mentorship from industry experts and direct connections with employers.

The program's dedicated staff develops custom career plans for each participant, focusing on individual needs. Participants also have access to occupation-specific language training to build English communication skills relevant to the industry.

“The program offered a lot of support for me in many ways, especially emotional support from my case manager who spends a lot of time on calls and emails with me,” program participant Pouriya Kariamian says.

“Every day has new challenges that I have to find answers to, but ISSofBC helped me to find answers and resolve those situations. I definitely suggest this program to anyone who is coming to Canada who is passionate about travel and tourism.”

For employers, the program extends fully funded training sessions covering a myriad of topics, including recruiting and retaining newcomers, building intercultural competence, and promoting anti-oppression and intersectionality. This initiative, supported by the Government of Canada, enables businesses to foster a more inclusive and diverse work environment.

Gateway is committed to working closely with local employers and forming partnerships aimed at providing them with prescreened clients equipped with necessary skills. The goal is to improve employee retention rates by proactively addressing potential challenges. Employers also have the opportunity to attend job fairs, post job openings and access a library of online resources to develop skills for their staff.

“ISSofBC is able to support me in connecting me with suitable, qualified candidates that have a passion to work in hospitality,” says Manny Judge, director of talent acquisition at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

Gateway emphasizes the importance of professional networking, offering individualized connections for clients to meet like-minded professionals and seek mentorship. The program also provides insights into employer expectations, preparing clients to access the hidden labour market and gain invaluable Canadian work experience.

“When I came here I didn’t even realize the exact skills I would need. ISSofBC helped me to find the right courses that I need to do this type of job in this country,” program participant Tamara Shautsova says.

While the program has seen initial success, the focus is on attracting more participants and employers, both within and outside of Vancouver. Interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to explore the program's webpage for more information and complete their registrations to avail of this unique opportunity.

The Gateway to Tourism and Hospitality program stands as a testament to British Columbia's commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. By bridging the gap between newcomers and employers in the tourism and hospitality sectors, the program aims to contribute to the individual success stories and the overall growth of the industry in the province.

For more information about the program, which is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Sectoral Initiatives Program, visit www.issbc.org/our-programs-and-services/gateway-to-tourism-hospitality-jobs-for-newcomers.


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

This otherworldly hot springs destination is located just three and a half hours from Kamloops

Fall delights in Arrow Slocan

Experienced travellers know—the best time to travel in B.C. is right now.

With fewer crowds and off-season rates, the fall months offer adventurers, explorers and those simply seeking a quiet getaway the opportunity to go farther for less and maybe even discover something or somewhere entirely new along the way.

Located in the West Kootenays, Arrow Lakes and Slocan Valley are two distinct areas that form a single regional destination: Arrow Slocan. Typically regarded as a hot springs destination, the Arrow Slocan region’s true charm remains a hidden gem for most of the population of B.C., despite offering so much to those seeking natural beauty and authentic experiences while travelling.

Chill vibes in a hot spot

Regarded as one of the most laid-back destinations in the province, Arrow Slocan offers you the opportunity to unplug and immerse yourself in its quiet and peaceful surroundings, particularly when visiting its most well-known and beloved feature: the hot springs.

The region’s two most popular hot springs, Halcyon Hot Springs Resort and Nakusp Hot Springs are each situated in their own natural paradise where you can enjoy scenery and serenity courtesy of the region’s unique natural mineral content that you won’t find anywhere else in the world, let alone B.C.

Of course, you can find serenity outside the hot springs as well.

Arrow Slocan boasts stunning fall foliage, sparkling lakes and unspoiled natural spaces, offering a less crowded and more tranquil alternative to more popular destinations like the Thompson Okanagan region, the Rocky Mountain region, Nelson or Revelstoke. Just a short but stunning fall road trip from Kelowna, clocking in at about three hours and easily accessible via Highway 6, Arrow Slocan offers a rich plethora of experiences for both short- and long-term visitors.

And while we’re spoiled with our own outdoor playground, Arrow Slocan’s magnificent mountains, remarkable rivers and lovely lakes make for a destination that celebrates the riches of nature while encouraging exploration. From adrenalin-pumping mountain biking to peaceful hiking trails, golf courses, cycling tours and paddling on tranquil lakes, there is no shortage of outdoor activities or venues for adventure. With two valleys to choose from, it’s just a matter of deciding whether you’re seeking serenity, adventure or a mixture of both during the course of your visit.

The environment also plays a key role in the region’s fantastic food scene, particularly during harvest season. The area is rich in local producers and artisans, many of whom source fresh, local ingredients whenever possible, with ample opportunity to sample delicious craft beer, local wine, fresh baking and much more.

Feed your mind, body and soul

While the natural backdrop is enough to take your breath away, it’s the local flair that will keep you coming back to Arrow Slocan well after your first, second (and third) visits. Arrow Slocan prides itself in its local culture, artisans and makers, creating a unique and authentic experience for locals and visitors that’s a far cry from more commercial destinations in the province.

Painters, sculptors and photographers make up a great deal of the thriving art scene in the Slocan Valley, whose work you can view in small independent galleries, cafes and markets throughout the region’s scenic mountain towns. Much like its culinary delights, whatever you find in Arrow Slocan, you can bet that it’s homemade.

From Nakusp to New Denver, to Passmore and Slocan Park, there are plenty of galleries, studios, jewellers, creative boutiques, gift shops and bookstores offering treasures just waiting to be discovered.

So whether you’re seeking epic outdoor experiences, fabulous food, artistic exploration or just want to spend a weekend in a hot spring, Arrow Slocan can help make every moment of your fall journey a masterpiece.

To learn more or start planning your visit today, visit arrowslocan.com/fall-delights.

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

Southern Interior BC university offers flexible learning options and dynamic campus life

Attend free TRU open house

These days, budding scholars from a wide variety of backgrounds and perspectives—at various stages of their learning journey—seek a post-secondary institution with a comprehensive approach, including quality programs, employment prospects for their degrees or diplomas, a quality campus life and a sense of community.

These merits and more make Thompson Rivers University (TRU) a preferred place of study, with easily accessible campuses in Kamloops and Williams Lake. Coveted for its natural settings, the university is well-known for its flexible and supportive learning options, individualized student services, engaging professors and vibrant campus community.

“This institution is unique in that we have a trade school, as well as a law school, and over 140 on-campus programs, and 60-plus open learning programs,” TRU marketing manager Corey Wiwchar says.

Its exceptional programming ranges from the traditional, like a classic liberal arts education, to more off the beaten track, literally, like the adventure guide diploma, where credits can be transferred into a bachelor of tourism management degree. It’s not surprising, especially given its physical locale, that TRU reports it offers the finest and most extensive adventure studies training in the world.

“We have a great deal of campus green space for people to enjoy the outdoor environment, too,” says Amy Watters, TRU future students program and events co-ordinator. “The campus is very walkable, and you can get from one side to the other within ten minutes.”

Student–professor experience, flexible learning

“Our small-sized classes, with an average of 31 students, allow networking possibilities, both with your peers and faculty,” Watters says. “A lot of student-professor interaction occurs because of that.

“There are also many research opportunities with professors. I think it sets you up to have that personalized approach to education.”

Students can access the student life office within the faculty of student development for assistance with the transition to university and to help feel engaged in the TRU community.

Wiwchar gives a nod to online studies and its flexible learning: “We’re drawing students from across British Columbia into open learning. We also have students who take a blend of on-campus and online, which is growing.”

Watters took a blended model during her undergrad and says, “That flexibility really helped me.”

Engage with TRU at its upcoming open house

Prospective students, parents of students and community members can spend the day exploring the campus across 15 buildings, with more than 100 displays and hands-on experiences, to discover what TRU has to offer.

“We’re a big part of the Kamloops community, and we want them to feel comfortable meeting us, getting to know us,” Watters says.

Adds Wiwchar: “It’s important our local community comes on campus to see what we’re doing here and learn a bit more about TRU.”

Campus tours will feature attractions like: adventure studies demonstrating rope rappelling and ascending, like belaying down a building; the haunted physics lab; hydrogen rockets in the science building; simulation labs in the nursing building; faculty of arts bingo; the shops in the trades and technology building and more.

New for 2023 is the Fun Zone, with child-friendly activities, perfect for prospective students with kids or siblings. Don’t miss your chance to get a picture with Wolfie, TRU’s mascot, and a possible dance battle.

There will be merch giveaways, a swag bag to collect faculty items and a chance to win an iPad. One lucky prospective student will also receive a grand prize: a tuition award for a full semester.

The TRU open house is happening Saturday, Oct. 21, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is free. However, pre-registration is required. Enjoy four TRU food service outlets, on-site food trucks, and complimentary coffee and doughnuts.

For more information, visit tru.ca/itsyourmove.

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

BLUETTI, a pioneer in eco-friendly energy storage, offers safety guidelines everyone should know

Prepare for natural disaster

People around the world have never been more dependent upon technology that helps ensure and preserve safety, comfort and resilience in the face of a natural disaster or an infrastructure failure that results in a long-term power outage.

BLUETTI, a pioneering leader in innovative energy storage solutions, was founded to create products that address this very need.

And now, BLUETTI has introduced a comprehensive set of safety guidelines that helps individuals and communities manage unexpected power outages effectively.

Here are some of the key guidelines:

Prior to a natural disaster

Keep you and your loved ones well informed. Regularly check trustworthy sources—local news outlets, emergency management agencies and government emergency notification services—for information about potential events that may lead to a power outage.

Also, ensure you know your building or neighbourhood’s designated evacuation pathways and assembly areas.

A comprehensive emergency kit should also contain essential goods for survival, including non-perishable food, potable water, medications, first-aid provisions, illuminative devices, batteries, battery-operated radios and documents such as photo IDs and health-care cards.

For people heavily reliant on electronic devices, a BLUETTI EB3A, EB55 or EB70S portable power station can help ensure sustained connectivity at a critical time.

If you have a family, develop an evacuation plan that includes a selection of routes and a pre-established meet-up location. Rehearse your strategies to ensure each family member knows their responsibilities and how to carry them out.

You should also take steps to ensure an enduring backup-power infrastructure for your home. BLUETTI’s AC300+B300 and AC500+B300S are designed to last through extended periods of power unavailability, whether due to a wildfire, an ice storm or virtually everything in between.

The AC300+B300’s solar-charging capacity is powerful enough to facilitate sustained operation of essential household appliances, lighting, heating and more. Meanwhile, the AC500+B300S is an expandable power system designed to help you go through power outages and stay connected to unlimited energy, ensuring anything you plug in will be running to its full functionality and capacity.

When a natural disaster is in progress

Remain calm and refer to information sources that are reporting real-time developments. Comply with any official instructions, such as when and where to seek shelter. Assemble your family members in a secure area, away from windows and exterior walls.

In the event of a mandated evacuation, use only recommended routes and bring your essential emergency provisions alongside BLUETTI backup-power resources. Don’t return home until official sources confirm it’s safe to do so.

When a natural disaster has ended

Carefully assess any potential safety risks on and around your property and meticulously document any damage. Photos are especially useful if you need to submit an insurance claim. Continue to monitor local news outlets and authorized organizations to remain informed about ongoing recovery efforts, availability of emergency shelters and locations for relief distribution.

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

Harper Mountain Oktoberfest promises be fun for the entire family

Oktoberfest ready to rock

Do you like mountain biking?

Do you like music?

Do you like beverages?

Do you like fun?

If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, you will not want to miss an all-day festival happening early next month in Kamloops.

The inaugural Harper Mountain Oktoberfest, presented by MPRO4 Entertainment, will take place on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Harper Mountain Ski and Snowboard. From an enduro mountain bike race in the morning to a kids’ fun zone in the afternoon to entertaining bands throughout the day, Oktoberfest promises to be a blast for the entire family.

The day will be capped with a performance from headline act Five Alarm Funk, which will bring the musical heat from 7-9 p.m.

“They’re a big funk band, an eight-piece group, and they’re actually on their 20th anniversary tour this year,” MPRO4’s Carlo Sia says. “They were supposed to play Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival, but the day that they were headlining was the big fire day, so unfortunately they weren’t able to perform there. We were fortunate enough to get them to come to our festival.”

The day will get started at 8 a.m. with the Harper Mountain Funduro, a four-hour timed event for groups of one to four people. The goal is to do as many laps as possible in the four-hour window. There is a category for everyone, and those who sign up for the race will also gain entry into the music festival.

The tunes will start filling the air at noon when Anita Hamilton hits the stage, and you will be able to enjoy delicious eats and refreshing beverages while you enjoy the show. Drink vendors include Iron Road Brewing, Red Collar Brewing & Distilling Co., Three Ranges Brewing Co., Main Street Brewing, Stag’s Head and Amplified Cafe, while the featured food trucks are Biggz BBQ, Fryers Express, Fat Frank's Hot Dog Stand and Yogi Berri & Crepes.

The kids, who will be able to enjoy the sweet lemonade from Lemon Heaven, will have plenty to do as well, as the fun zone will offer interactive inflatable games and face painting. The best part is all kids 12 and under get into the event for free.

“The mountain is set up like a natural amphitheatre in relation to the stage, so people can bring their blankets or chairs and find a spot to enjoy the show,” Sia says.

Harper Mountain Oktoberfest will have some personal meaning to Sia and the rest of MPRO4 Entertainment as well. Drew McLean, the well known Kamloops promoter behind Kammerce Promotions who passed away in 2021, had always wanted to conduct an event like Oktoberfest, and MPRO4 is proud to finally get it off the ground.

“We’re just trying to keep that dream alive,” Sia says. “This is the first year that it’s actually happening, because it had to get postponed due to COVID, and then Drew passing away. So it’s a big deal for us, MPRO4, to put on a really great festival in his memory.”

In true community spirit, part of the event’s proceeds will be donated to Royal Inland Hospital Foundation and to local sports leagues like Kamloops Performance Cycling Centre, whose members will be volunteering to help the day run smoothly.

“We’re trying to get as many groups involved and spread some of the love across the community,” Sia says. “It’s very much a community event with a lot of entertainment and fun for the whole family all day.”

MPRO4 has partnered with Thompson Hotel, which is offering a special room rate for the event.

Tickets are now on sale and 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.

Swelaps Market, which will open this fall, holding two job fairs this week

Swelaps Market set to hire

A brand new grocery store, Sweláps Market, is set to open this fall in Kamloops, and it is ready to hire dozens of employees.

One of those employees could be you.

Owned and operated by Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc, the market has been part of the community’s comprehensive plan for a long time and is being greeted with anticipation.

“Watching our new grocery store come to life through construction and now hiring is truly a source of pride for our community and leadership,” Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc Chief Rosanne Casimir says. “Sweláps Market is the first step in the commercial development of the site, which will benefit not only our membership but all our friends who reside on the TteS as well as those who will travel here to shop and support our community’s economic development.

“I strongly encourage anyone looking for employment to come, explore the opportunities and meet our wonderful team.”

Sweláps Market aims to make grocery shopping a convenient and fresh experience in northeast Kamloops, offering an in-store butcher, vibrant produce section and bakery in the 22,000 square-foot facility. The market aims for a strong focus on fresh ingredients and convenience in an area that desperately needs a grocery store.

And it is going to need employees to make that happen. Positions range from cashiers and grocery clerks to drivers and bakers, and the market will be hosting two job fairs later this week to find those employees. Potential workers will have a chance to talk to a real person they would work with or meet the manager under whom they would be supervised.

The first job fair will be for Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc band members only. It will be held on Thursday, Sept. 14, from 2-7 p.m., at Moccasin Square Gardens, which is located at 357 Chief Alex Thomas Way.

The second fair will be open to everyone. It is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Coast Hotel Kamloops, which is located at 1250 Rogers Way.

“Working at Sweláps Market is an opportunity to build a career with room for growth and advancement,” Sweláps Market general manager Kara Stokes says. “This is an excellent chance for those looking to start or continue a career in the grocery industry. Anyone looking for a new job or extra work should plan to attend the job fair.”

Sweláps Market is perfect for those looking to flush out their hours between school or another job or to keep themselves busy, but they must adhere to the grocery store’s principles of an inclusive environment and being a safe place to work.

Interested candidates should bring their resumes and references to one of the two job fairs.

For more information and general inquiries, visit swelapsmarket.ca or email [email protected].

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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