Monthly Archives: June 2012

Focus Friday: Vineyard

So begins another summer in the valley, a time when the beauty and bounty of the Okanagan is discovered and appreciated by another wave of boaters, beachers, wine lovers, and vacationers from around the world. Despite the clouds, it’s looking like a great long weekend — could be perfect for exploring vineyards like the one David captured so well in West Kelowna this week.

Vineyard by David Emond

The Washboard Union to Play in Waterfront Park in Kelowna on Canada Day!

The Waterfront Park in Kelowna is going to be the #1 place to be in the Okanagan for the Canada Day celebrations this year, with huge anticipation of seeing The Washboard Union, an outlaw bluegrass band from Vancouver! The band is comprised of 7 players and 10 instruments including banjo, dojo, guitar, harmonica, fiddle, mando, drums, bass, electric guitar, and YUP!

You guessed it! WASHBOARD!

While on a telephone call to Chris “Dunner” Duncombe, we talked about the debut self titled album that dropped this passed Tuesday (June 26th) with much anticipation. It ain’t evr’day a band gets the opportunity to record their debut album with producers like Garth Richardson and Bob Ezrin. GGGarth is the son of famed producer Jack Richardson (Alice Cooper, The Guess Who) who was highly influential  in the music industry in the 60’s & 70’s. GGGarth himself has produced records by famed musicians like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Motley Crue, Rage Against The Machine, The Melvins, and Mudvayne. When I asked Dunner what the experience was like recording at Richardson’s “Farm” in Gibson BC there was no hesitation in him saying, “It was like Disneyland for musicians. It is a 14 acre property out in the country, down a long dirt road. It was great to be away from the pressures of the city or being on the road. To lock yourself in a room, as a band, and just make music. It was magic.”

This album was a long time coming for The Washboard Union, although performing together for upwards of 5 years, this was the first opportunity for them to record their work.  Each of them are enthralled with  storytelling which is incredibly evident in this album, listening to this kind of music makes just me feel like it’s time to hit the road myself.

When the boys met GGGarth Richardson, he was floored by the sound and quality of music they were making and ended up gettin’ in touch with his old pal Bob Ezrin to produce the tune “Half Cree”. You might have heard some of Ezrin’s productions in works by Alice Cooper, KISS, Pink Floyd, Loud Reed, Hanoi Rocks, Roberta Flack, Peter Gabriel, Rod Stewart, Julian Lennon, Jane’s Addiction… the list goes on…

If you are in Kelowna for the Canada Day celebrations in Waterfront Park, keep your eyes on these guys. If you are given the opportunity, be sure shake their hands and wish ’em the best!

Watch “Midnight Train”

Watch “Lost & Found”

Photo Series: Mission Creek – Spring

A photo series in three parts, posted every Thursday until early July entitled Mission Creek. This is 3 of 4 and is focused on Spring. Catch up on Part 1 – Fall and Part 2 – Winter.

A-OK Giveaway: 2 Weekend Passes to Keloha

We’re back with another A-OK Giveaway and we’re very excited! We’ve got two full weekend passes for Keloha Music & Art Festival in Kelowna July 6th—8th and we desperately want to send you! Haven’t heard about Keloha? Well we announced their line-up awhile back and couldn’t help but get excited—these are some of our favorite bands! We couldn’t miss out on the action and we don’t want you to either. So how do you win?

It’s time to whip out that smartphone and write our summer story! We’ve challenged you to tweet #aokendlesssummer with your best summer adventure photos and we’re upping the ante. Share your summer memories, share with us your ideal summer in the Awesome Okanagan. But don’t tell us with words, show us. Show us the heat, the beach, the food, the friends, the music, the magic. Snap it! Some of our contributors and local photographers will select the one we feel exemplifies Summer Festival Season in the A-OK and send you and a friend to this incredible event. Tweets must be posted by noon Wednesday July 4th.

Get snapping!

Hot Dam! Revelstoke’s Spillway Wide Open

You may have caught the photo we shared on our Facebook page, well, we also spotted local YouTube user SurfTheWhite0001‘s HD video capture of the awesome power of water in motion…

Fashionate: The Power of Fabric

Combining different fabrics and textures is the perfect way to modernize your wardrobe for summer 2012. We all know the Okanagan is AWESOME, so we need to have wardrobes to fit the profile. Fabrics and fabric textures will modernize any wardrobe, even if you are going for a vintage feel.  Combining different textures of fabrics in your outfit will create a new look with some other wise classic clothing choices.

Summer heat generally makes my decisions on the clothing I wear during the sweltering days and light airy fabrics generally take precedence over any other fashion decision. Lace maxi skirts paired with a cotton crop top will keep you cool and looking fabulous. A maxi skirt will be your best friend for the next 4 months whether it is cotton, silk, lace, or linen.  Pair it with a loose tank or textured bodysuit depending on your summer soiree choice.  Blonde on Bernard is the perfect place for you to indulge in a new summer wardrobe

Something as little as a fringed bag, or neon sequined clutch can pull an outfit together because of the new and different textures added to a simple summer dress with floral retro pumps.

If you are looking for that fabulous new bikini to grace your body for a day on your paddle board; surf culture clothing is your bathing suit head quarters for the Mrs. And the Mr’s they have everything from one piece cut outs to sports tops and bottoms. Complete your suit with an over-sized Men’s button up and a vintage belt. Frock is of course the go-to vintage shop in downtown Kelowna!

If combining clothing fabrics is not your thing, add your texture a little farther south: Your shoes! A fashion favourite of mine the suede pump, one really cannot go wrong adding a little suede or roped cork in their lives. Wedges are the go to sandal for summer brighten them up with a new texture you have never purchased before.







Whether it is a little or a lot experiment with different textures, fabrics, shapes and sizes this summer it is all about originality so don’t be afraid to look different. Try on a dress with a snakeskin belt, have fun and don’t forget to shop local and wear your sunscreen!

Focus Friday: Moonshine

It feels like the valley is waking up in June; gathering energy, and preparing itself for the main event. Hotels and restaurants ramp up for the influx of tourists while the beaches are raked and boats hit the lake. Vineyards and orchards soak up alternating rain and sun. Parks are mowed and prepped, with events all scheduled. In these quiet moments of anticipation, we hold our breath for the plunge.

Moonshine  by  David E Morrison

Meet the English Channel Lake Monsters

Photo by Angelique Duffield

My name is Leora Dahl. And next July I’m going to attempt to swim the English Channel as part of a relay team. That’s a 35km swim (in a straight line, which the currents generally don’t allow for), in 15—18°C water. We are not allowed to wear wetsuits. Our 6 person team must each swim for an hour at a time, cycling through until we either reach France, get pulled out because of hypothermia, or get pulled out because the weather is too bad. Fewer people have successfully swum the channel than climbed Mount Everest. Over the next year I’ll be writing about my experiences (the good, bad, and ugly) training for this with my fellow “OMSC Lake Monsters.”

Today I’d like to introduce you to myself and my teammates and why each of us has decided to take on the challenge.

Denise, Tracey, Leora, Phred, and Paul celebrate our first training swim in April in 6C water. Photo by Angelique Duffield


“I have had a very long love affair with all things swimming. Please do not think for one second that I am elite athlete and winner of tons of medals, oh no, just a regular person who loves to swim. Jimmy Buffet sings a favourite song of mine called “First Look” it is what happens to a person when they see the ocean for the first time. I did not just love the sea I adored it! I moved to the Cayman Islands where I taught Scuba Diving. Hours on a rocking boat, heavy seas, cold, yes, cold water, jelly fish and dragging someone back who is too exhausted to swim, that kind of experience tends to toughen you up a bit! What possessed me to take up this challenge to swim the English Channel? I remember reading as a teenager about people who swam the English Channel. Flash forward 40 years or so… Hubby and I have moved to Kelowna and I decided to do a very Kelowna thing, sign up for the Across the Lake Swim. Because swimmers are just a friendly bunch of people in bathing suits, before I knew it, I was asked would I be interested in training as part of a relay to swim the Channel and I was nodding my head and saying YES! My opportunity to realize a childhood dream! You just never know, when you get to live your dream, just grab it and go for it.”


“Growing up in the boating community in Vancouver and working as a lifeguard for many years, I am no stranger to the water. I’ve always had a love/fear relationship with it. I love the water, but fear the things in it. Fortunately, swimming with the Okanagan Masters Swim Club, the only things I have to fear are tight speedos and jamming my fingers into the lane rope, but open water swimming presents a whole new world of scary creatures lurking beneath the surface. I currently work as a counsellor at UBCO and am forever spouting the health benefits of exercise and facing one’s fears to my students. Training in the lake for the channel has provided plenty of opportunity to follow my own advice as I encounter endless debris in the brown turbid water. There have been many moments when I was certain Ogopogo was reaching for me only to discover a tree branch sticking out from the lake bottom. The lure of the channel is both exciting and terrifying: a challenge I knew I could never do alone but actually seems possible as a part of my relay team. Swimming the English Channel is an opportunity to travel abroad and achieve a unique challenge that tests both my physical and mental limits.”
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