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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.



Bannister Chevrolet, Bannister Hyundai jump into Kamloops community with both feet

Bannister all about giving

Bannister Automotive Group has always been about giving back.

So when it purchased Smith Chevrolet Cadillac and Kamloops Hyundai last February, managing partner Arsalan Zuhair made sure to hit the ground running when it came to community involvement.

“We’re new to Kamloops and are eager to positively impact the community,” Zuhair says.

That included being the title sponsor for The Pink Ribbon Ball and Basics for Babies, and contributing $20,000 to the Red Cross and other causes.

Additionally, the dealerships have maintained a scholarship program at TRU for aspiring technicians, a legacy from the previous ownership. In their first year under new management, Bannister Chevrolet and Bannister Hyundai also organized Random Acts of Caffeine at 5Bean Brewbar and Cafe, covering customers’ coffee expenses as a gesture of gratitude to the community.

The Pink Ribbon Ball, a breast cancer research fundraiser, had Bannister Automotive Group take on the title sponsor role after the event’s three-year break due to the pandemic. Another significant event was the Basics for Babies fundraiser at Delta Hotel Kamloops, which Bannister supported both as a title sponsor and through substantial donation.

Zuhair emphasizes the importance of community involvement.

“The Bannister family has always valued community engagement,” he says. “Here in Kamloops, we strive to continue this tradition by supporting local charities and businesses.”

Bannister Automotive Group encourages Kamloops residents to visit Bannister Chevrolet and Bannister Hyundai, and engage with their community-focused approach.

“We’re just getting started,” Zuhair says. “We want to do more. We’re going to do more.”

More information about Bannister Chevrolet and Bannister Hyundai can be found on their websites.

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



Small businesses in BC eligible for workplace accessibility grants

Work accessibility grants

Approximately one in five Canadians identify as having a disability, which equates to around one million people in British Columbia.

This demographic represents a significant pool of potential employees in B.C.’s workforce, which makes it crucial for employers to identify, remove and prevent barriers in the workplace proactively.

The Workplace Accessibility Grant was launched in 2021 by Small Business BC and the Presidents Group, with funding from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. The grant initiative provides direct financial assistance to small business employers to establish inclusive and accessible work environments for those who identify as persons with disabilities and to create a culture of diversity and inclusion at work.

“When you prioritize accessibility in your business, you can tap into a deeper hiring pool of potential staff while also becoming a welcoming and valued community resource,” Small Business BC CEO Tom Conway says.

Project eligibility criteria

Workplace improvements that address obstacles presented by the physical environment, attitudes, information, and communication, practices and policies, and technologies can be considered for the grant. Some common projects and services that are deemed eligible include accessibility ramp installations, accessible washroom renovations, anti-bias training, ASL interpretation and website accessibility audits.

“Accessibility is a broad term, and the eligibility requirements for the Workplace Accessibility Grant reflect this,” Conway says. “The vast majority of modifications or enhancements undertaken to increase accessibility within your business are eligible for consideration. If your proposed improvement contributes to making your business more accessible to those with disabilities, it will be eligible for grant funding.”

Applying for the grant program

Small businesses in B.C. with fewer than 50 employees qualify for the Workplace Accessibility Grant program. Reimbursement grants of up to $5,000 are available for eligible businesses that demonstrate how their project improves accessibility and inclusivity for persons with disabilities in the workplace.

The grant will be administered through to March 31, 2024, on a first-come, first-served basis for businesses and projects that meet the required eligibility criteria.

Eligible businesses with projects that qualify for the grant are required to submit related expenses and proof of purchase of the products and services that were used for the project, which will be reimbursed once all application details have been approved.

Advantages of workplace accessibility

In addition to creating a more inclusive working environment for employees with disabilities, embracing workplace accessibility offers many competitive advantages for small businesses.

Accessible businesses are appreciated by the public, enhancing their positive reputation and sense of social responsibility. With this competitive edge, companies can also tap into the diverse and growing market of persons with disabilities by encouraging their further inclusion and participation in their business.

“Accessibility improvements can support the needs of existing and potential staff and clients, creating a more inclusive and comfortable environment for everyone,” Conway says.

Businesses can apply for the Workplace Accessibility Grant at www.smallbusinessbc.ca/workplace-accessibility-grant. For any grant inquiries, contact Small Business BC at 604-775-5525, call toll free at 1-800-667-2272 or email [email protected].

For more resources on workplace accessibility, visit www.smallbusinessbc.ca/accessibility-business-resources and www.accessibleemployers.ca/resource.

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



Vancouver International Boat Show will feature all the latest bells and whistles in maritime fun

61st Vancouver Boat Show

Prepare for a maritime extravaganza as the Vancouver International Boat Show, Western Canada's premier boat showcase and sale sets sail from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, transforming Vancouver into the nautical hub of the northwest.

As the largest exhibition and sale of boats, accessories and marine products in Western Canada, the 61st edition of the event will provide attendees with unparalleled savings from hundreds of exhibitors.

Whether exploring the latest in motorboats, deck boats, catamarans, inflatables, fishing boats or luxury yachts, attendees will find a treasure trove of options to fulfil their nautical dreams. Boasting the latest technological innovations, the Vancouver International Boat Show is the go-to source for gearing up for the upcoming boating season.

Renowned boating retailers from all around the world will grace two venues: BC Place and The Floating Show at Granville Island. This year's edition promises an immersive experience, offering attendees the chance to discover the latest in new boats and premier brokerage boats. From selecting the ideal outboard motor for fishing expeditions to exploring the recreational boating lifestyle, attendees can witness exclusive product reveals before they hit the market, coupled with great savings.

Moreover, the event serves as an educational opportunity with industry experts leading an informative series of free seminars, providing valuable insights for both seasoned boaters and those new to the maritime world.

“For more than six decades, the Vancouver International Boat Show has become the largest sale for anyone who is part of the boating community or those considering dipping their toes in the water," Vancouver International Boat Show manager Amanda Henschell says. "Join us for an extraordinary showcase of vessels, equipment and everything to help get you on the water and enjoy the best pricing and selection.”

To enhance the attendee experience, the Vancouver International Boat Show introduces the VIBS boat finder, allowing enthusiasts to do advance scouting. Attendees can search by boat brand and pricing, and even pre-schedule appointments with dealers during the show, ensuring they don't miss the opportunity to set sail on their dream vessel.

To ensure effortless transitions between BC Place and the Floating Show at Granville Island, complimentary shuttle buses and water ferries will be in operation, providing a seamless and enjoyable experience for all attendees.

Stay tuned for Vancouver International Boat Show details here. Ticket details are available here. Follow the Vancouver Boat Show on Facebook and Instagram.

Show hours for Jan. 31-Feb. 4, 2024:

BC Place
Wednesday through Saturday: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Granville Island Floating Show
Wednesday through Saturday: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

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



There’s snowplace like Kamloops, the city that offers boundless space

Winter fun close to home

The best travel memories can come from where you least expect, such as an enlightening art gallery you stumbled upon to escape the elements outside or the stunning lake you found while wandering off the hiking trail path.

Kamloops is one of those places filled with treasures that are just waiting to be discovered. Dig deeper (and stay awhile), and you’ll uncover more of what the second-largest city in B.C.’s Southern Interior has in store.

Conveniently accessible by road, being a little over a two-hour drive from Kelowna, a trip to Kamloops is the easiest way to enjoy some thrills amidst the chill of winter. Plus, most activities are within a close drive from one another, allowing you to make the most of your time around the area.

Whether you want to go out into nature or stay in to explore the local community, there’s plenty to see and do in Kamloops at this time of year.

Seek comfort from the cold with arts and culture

Keep warm indoors with a visit to one of Kamloops’ galleries, museums or performance venues, including the Kamloops Symphony, for an unforgettable cultural experience.

To experience the local art scene up close, see the permanent collections and travelling exhibitions at the Kamloops Art Gallery.

Sit back and prepare to be entertained with a live show at the Western Canada Theatre. Some performances to look forward to on the winter 2024 schedule include Ken Ludwig’s Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Rick Miller’s one-man show Boom YZ, and BLAK: Iconic Canadian Women in Music, starring Vancouver-based musician Krystle Dos Santos.

For art enthusiasts seeking an outdoor adventure, embark on a self-guided tour of the free Back Alley Art Gallery. Explore more than 30 vibrant art murals adorning back alleys and buildings throughout downtown Kamloops.

Chasing chills and thrills in the great outdoors

Winter wanderers can revel in the variety of snow sports and activities available around Kamloops.

Sun Peaks Resort, Canada’s second largest ski area at 4,720 acres of skiable terrain, is located 45 minutes north of central Kamloops. In addition to downhill skiing and snowboarding, Sun Peaks offers many other excursions in the snow, such as dog-sledding and guided ice-fishing. Sun Peaks Village is also worth visiting for the ski-in, ski-out apres-ski delights.

Full of rustic charm and all-ages fun, Harper Mountain is also a 20-minute drive from downtown Kamloops. The family-owned and operated ski resort, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, offers everything from tubing at Snow Town Tube Park to night skiing along lit trails in the evenings.

The Overlander Ski Club at Stake Lake, which is only 30 minutes from the city, offers 60 kilometres of expertly groomed trails for cross-country skiing and more than 20 kilometres of snowshoe trails.

With lots of sunshine, fresh air and moderate temperatures, hiking is an activity that can be done year round in Kamloops. Take in the panoramic views of the snow in the surrounding hills from the Tower Trail in Kenna Cartwright Nature Park or from the silt bluffs in Valleyview Nature Park.

Treat your taste buds to cozy eats

The burgeoning food and drink scene in Kamloops is bursting with flavours from the local restaurants, cafes, pubs and breweries. There is an endless supply of establishments that serve up locally made delicacies spanning a wide variety of food cultures, such as authentic Indigenous cuisine from The Kekuli Cafe or eclectic Indian cuisine from Jadoo Eclectic Modern Indian Cuisine and Craft Cocktails.

Inspired by food halls around the world, Yew Street Food Hall brings together cuisines from 10 local restaurant concepts. There, you can sample a handful of different culinary experiences, from Italian pasta to Asian fusion, all in one location.

From Jan. 17 to Feb. 11, Dine Around returns to Kamloops. Brought to you by Tourism Kamloops, the event encourages visitors and locals alike to sip and savour dishes and drinks featured among its specialty three-course dinner menus available at local restaurants. This year’s participating restaurants include ATLAS Steak + Fish, Bright Eye Brewing, Isagani F2T Cafe Lounge, Romeos Kitchen + Spirits, Stills Co. Tapas & Cocktails, and more. With menus this good, you’ll be eager to start mapping out your next trip to Kamloops before the dessert comes.

Top off your sip and savour experience with a Stay and Dine package at one of Dine Around’s participating hotel partners. During Dine Around, guests at Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre will unlock wine and beer offers at local vineyards and craft breweries, as well as receive a $25 gift certificate to Romeos Kitchen + Spirits. Or enjoy 15% off your stay at Prestige Kamloops Hotels with breakfast for two at Isagani F2T Cafe Lounge.

Experience Kamloops like a local (and with significant savings) with the 'Loops Explorer Pass, which unlocks discounts at the best local restaurants, shops, accommodations and attractions. From 20% off outdoor experiences at Sun Peaks with Mountain Man Adventures to discounts on performance tickets at Western Canada Theatre, the pass covers all of the hot spots in town. Get your digital pass before you arrive, and you’ll be all set for a memorable time in the ’Loops!

Visit www.tourismkamloops.com/snowplace-like-kamloops to plan your Kamloops getaway today.

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



Wealthy Roots Financial offers tips to ensure your retirement goes smoothly

Chart your retirement path

Approaching retirement is an exciting and significant milestone. It marks the transition into a phase of life where you can enjoy the fruits of your years of hard work.

However, it is also a time that requires careful planning and consideration. To ensure a smooth and worry-free retirement, Wealthy Roots Financial in Kamloops has the top five things to review as you get more serious about this new chapter in your life.

1. Pick an advisor: The first step is to choose a financial planner skilled in retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, and creating income projections. An advisor is invaluable not just for growing your wealth, but also for helping you plan for all aspects of retirement. The right advisor can guide you through complex financial decisions and provide personalized advice based on your unique situation.

2. Review your RSPs: As you near retirement, it’s crucial to reassess your portfolio. This is the time to carefully select investment funds that align with your need for income during retirement. Your financial planner should discuss strategies like an income wedge and help you plan for the retirement lifestyle you envision.

3. Understand your pensions: If you have a work pension, it’s essential to fully understand the options available when you start drawing income from it. Your advisor can help you navigate these choices, ensuring you don’t just opt for the plan with the highest monthly payment without considering other important factors.

4. Evaluate CPP and OAS: Government benefits like the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and Old Age Security (OAS) are significant income streams in retirement. The decision of when to take your CPP isn’t one-size-fits-all. Discussing this with your planner is critical to making the right choice for your specific circumstances.

5. Health and dental benefits: Consider if you can convert your existing benefits to a private plan or if they will continue through your pension. An advisor can help you determine which benefit plan is not only most beneficial but also offers the best value from a cost perspective.

It’s also beneficial to meet with your planner and do income projections leading up to retirement. This helps align your vision of retirement with your savings, addressing the crucial question of: Can I retire?

Understanding each aspect of retirement planning can be daunting. Financial planners like Wealthy Roots Financial are available to ensure you don’t have to navigate this journey alone. They can take the stress out of decision-making, providing peace of mind.

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.



Thompson Rivers University provides non-repayable, BC government financial aid for priority health programs

Health-care student grants

Wading through financial aid forms for university programs can be a challenge for students and families, especially if they are looking to apply for specific grants.

That's not the case for students accessing the Priority Health grants at Thompson Rivers University’s (TRU) Kamloops or Williams Lake campuses, or online with Open Learning; their user-friendly aid offers couldn't be easier to find and fill out.

TRU offers choices for students seeking health-care programs, and provides various funding and financial aid options. With programs eligible for these grants, no assessment is required to receive these recruitment and retention grants, which are available to new and ongoing students.

“With the market being where it's at in terms of career opportunities, combined with the opportunity to get—in most of these cases—$2,000 per year off of your education, it's probably never been a better time to consider these programs," says Gordon Down, TRU's student awards and financial aid director.

Qualifying health programs and grant values

The value of the non-refundable grants for students interested in pursuing the online Medical Lab Assistant program or the on-campus Respiratory Therapy program is $2,000 per program year, per eligible participant, where only program years—not prerequisite years—are eligible.

"All students have to do is be admitted to the program and then enrol, and they'll receive a $2,000 credit against their account," Down says. "As new enrolments come on, we're applying a grant."

The total maximum value of this grant per student over the duration of their program is $2,000 per program year. For the one-year Medical Lab Assistant program, $2,000 would be the total grant available, and for the fast-track Respiratory Therapy program, the grant would be $4,000 over the two years of study.

"Students must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents and be studying in B.C., which is really only relevant to the Medical Lab Assistant program because Respiratory Therapy is only offered on site," Down says. "Also, you can't be specifically tuition-funded from another source."

Indigenous students interested in pursuing the Practical Nursing diploma program at the Williams Lake School of Nursing, or the Master of Nursing-Nurse Practitioner program at the main Kamloops campus can receive $5,000 in non-refundable grants per program year, per eligible participant, with a total maximum of $10,000. Only program years—not prerequisite years—are eligible.

Students who don’t meet program requirements can upgrade; some programs allow students to take upgrading courses while they also study in first-year classes.

Funding is in place to support the cost of these grants in their qualifying programs between Sept. 1, 2023, and Oct. 1, 2025.

At TRU, it’s your move

These grant opportunities launched in September, and TRU has already paid out almost $500,000.

"In talking to students about the grants, they tell us how happy they are to receive the assistance and that it just makes their education goal that much more attainable when there's not the same financial requirement," Down says.

"There's never been a better time to get into the health-care industry and receive funding to upgrade your skills. I encourage anyone interested to jump in and make a move if that's what looks good for your career development."

Applications are now open for fall 2024. Prospective students can easily access everything they need to know, and they can even discover TRU programs from home.

Anyone can attend a virtual info session and get their questions answered. During the session, attendees can talk with TRU faculty and staff about programs, career outcomes, student supports, how to apply and campus life.

For more information, visit tru.ca.

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



Glover's now known as Pure Integrative Pharmacy, but local owner, stellar staff remain

Glover's Pharmacy is Pure

Same location.

Same people.

Same great service.

The only thing different today about Glover’s Medicine Centre Pharmacy is its name.

After a remarkable 18-year journey serving the Kamloops community, Glover’s Medicine Centre Pharmacy will now be known as Pure Integrative Pharmacy, marking a new chapter in comprehensive health-care services.

Founded in 2005 by Aaron Glover, the well-established Glover’s Pharmacy has been a cornerstone of health in Kamloops, renowned for its exceptional service and community involvement. As the pharmacy transitions to Pure Integrative Pharmacy, customers will continue to enjoy the familiar, trusted care from Glover and his dedicated team.

The pharmacy is located directly behind the Nature’s Fare Markets in Columbia Place Shopping Centre, which can be found at 1380 Summit Dr.

The transition to Pure Integrative Pharmacy promises an enhanced pharmacy experience, blending traditional services with a holistic approach to health.

“I look forward to continuing to serve my customers and sharing with them the exciting offering from Pure Integrative Pharmacy,” Glover says. “In addition to traditional pharmacy services, Pure offers extensive access to natural health alternatives and professional grade supplements not available at regular retail outlets.

“The Pure mindset is that each individual experiences health differently, which really does help support the optimum health of an individual.”

A highlight of this integration is the continued focus on custom medication compounding. This specialized service tailors medications to meet individual needs, including treatments for various medical conditions, pet-friendly formulations and more.

The transformation into Pure Integrative Pharmacy will be swift and seamless. The Kamloops store briefly closed its doors over the weekend for makeover and reopened with a fresh look and signage to reflect its new identity.

Alongside this aesthetic refresh, the store will introduce an array of natural health products, aligning with Pure Pharmacy's commitment to a holistic health approach.

Founded in 1999, Pure Pharmacy has steadily grown, with 23 locations across B.C. The Kamloops store marks the brand’s first venture into B.C.’s Interior, bringing with it a unique fusion of traditional pharmacy services and natural health solutions.

“Expanding into Kamloops is a significant milestone,” Pure founder Bob Mehr says. “We’re thrilled to offer our unique blend of pharmacy expertise and wellness guidance to a wider audience in British Columbia.”

The new Pure Integrative Pharmacy in Kamloops stands as a testament to the evolving landscape of health care, where traditional practices merge with natural remedies to offer a comprehensive wellness experience.

More information about Pure Integrative Pharmacy can be found 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.



TELUS STORYHIVE launches new video podcast program for emerging B.C. and Alberta podcasters

Supporting local podcasters

TELUS STORYHIVE has announced the launch of its new video podcast program to support local podcasters in B.C. and Alberta.

The initiative, which provides $12,000 in production funding and training, is designed to nurture and amplify the voices of new and emerging podcasters in these provinces.

Okanagan’s own Greta Reid shares her experience developing her own video podcast through a past STORYHIVE program.

Reid’s forthcoming project, New Ground, is a unique video podcast blending humour with a profound journey of self-discovery and vulnerability, representing a significant leap from a place of challenge to remarkable personal and spiritual growth.

Amplifying artistic voices

“The support from STORYHIVE has been transformative for New Ground,” Reid says. “The funding allowed me to invest in quality equipment and develop a focused vision for my content. It’s a journey into the uncharted territories of self-exploration, capturing what truly ignites my spirit.”

STORYHIVE's initiative extends beyond mere financial support. It enriches the local content ecosystem by fostering a community of content creators and providing comprehensive support, including training and distribution to over a million viewers on TELUS Optik TV and STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel. This holistic approach significantly bolsters the abilities of content creators like Reid, helping them craft compelling stories and reach wider audiences.

“It’s an exciting time at TELUS STORYHIVE,” says Audrey Kiss, STORYHIVE Interior B.C. territory manager. “We are proud to be launching a brand new video podcast program. Video podcasts are proving to be impactful mediums that provide space to share local stories and facilitate meaningful discussions.”

The program strongly emphasizes diversity and original storytelling, encouraging content creators from all walks of life to share their perspectives and stories. New Ground aligns perfectly with this ethos, offering a fresh, Indigenous perspective on self-growth and the journey of an evolving content creator.

“The opportunity to have my podcast distributed to over a million viewers on TELUS Optik TV and STORYHIVE’s YouTube channel is beyond exciting,” Reid says. “The thought of reaching such a vast audience with my story, which intertwines creative visualizations and heartfelt messaging, is both exhilarating and a bit daunting.”

Fostering a new generation of content creators

Since its inception in 2013, STORYHIVE has been a cornerstone in supporting local talent, contributing over $59 million in production funding. This latest initiative continues that legacy, enabling content creators like Reid to produce and distribute impactful, engaging projects.

Reid credits STORYHIVE's community and training in her development as a content creator.

"The training and support have been exceptional. Being part of a community that shares, learns, and connects is incredibly empowering,” she says. “As an emerging content creator, the encouragement and support I’ve received have been invaluable.”

Her journey with STORYHIVE exemplifies the transformative impact of the program. It not only enhances storytelling skills but also fosters connections with a network of talented creators.

“At STORYHIVE, we are continuing to expand our program offerings to support all kinds of content creators,” Kiss says. “We are really looking forward to the projects that come through the video podcast program and to hearing some amazing local stories. We’re looking for new and emerging video podcasters with diverse topics to pitch and encourage the people of the Okanagan to apply.”

STORYHIVE wants content creators from all walks of life to apply. You don’t need to be from a big city to be a content creator. And the best part? No experience is required.

Reid’s advice to new and emerging podcasters in B.C. and Alberta is simple: “Just do it. Embrace your fears, your excitement, and your vision. Your voice matters, and STORYHIVE offers an incredible platform to amplify it.”

Content creators and podcasters in B.C. and Alberta interested in video podcasting have until Jan. 31, 2024, to apply for this program. STORYHIVE seeks to discover and nurture original voices and stories, offering a unique opportunity for storytellers to gain exposure and develop their craft.

For more details on the STORYHIVE Video Podcast program and the application process, visit storyhive.com/apply.

Contributed

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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