Posts in Food and Drink

Keloha Music and Arts Festival 2013

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Kealoha is a Hawaiian word which translates to “The Love”. The Keloha Music and Arts Festival is beautiful people coming together and creating magical moments under the hot Okanagan sun. This 3-day, all-ages festival is an all-weekend extravaganza of love, art, and good vibes. Over 30 talented musical acts share two stages in Waterfront Park, serenading and making dreams come true. The grassy knolls of the Island Stage provides a natural amphitheatre complete with shady trees to sit under when the heat starts to take its toll on you and The Sandbar Stage, located on the beach, is perfect for rolling out a towel and digging your feet in the hot sand. Or, you can cool off in the refreshing waters of the Okanagan Lake.

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Yukon Blonde

Between the stages there was plenty else for you to see and do. Lakeside Lounge and Paradise Beach provided a tropical get away for adults wanting to indulge themselves with an intoxicating tonic. VIP pass holders could skip the line-up and enter Paradise, an exclusive area complete with tables and private port-a-potties. Sponsors Big Surf and Palm Bay provided the perfect tropical summer brews for the sun drenched fiesta.

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The Trews

If you were a Hungry Patron you could make a trip to the Food Plaza where an assortment of vendors sold mini-donuts, hamburgers, tacos, pizza-by-the-slice, and more. Everyone’s favorite neighbourhood restaurant Kelly O’Bryan’s was even on hand to sell their famed Pachos. My favorite lunchtime item was the Bronco Burger from the Good Stuff Foods vendor with their reasonable prices.

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Those with a creative side could visit Art Avenue, a stretch of space between the Sandbar Stage and Food Plaza, which hosted drop-in yoga, paddle boarding, sandcastle building, gymnastic performances, and interactive art installations. The sidewalk was even transformed into a giant chalk canvas for the public to express themselves on. Installations included pyramids in the sand, and a volcano frothing bubbles.

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Dear Rouge

Sunset Way, the path between the Food Plaza and Island Stage, became home to a small village of vendor tents where small businesses sold clothing, accessories, and more. The tent I spent most of my time at was the Merchandise Tent where you could buy CD’s and T-Shirts from your favorite bands at the festival.

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The Wild Oak: Nourish, Connect, Inspire


A Mother, a Wife, a Creative Entrepreneur, a witch in the kitchen: Heidi Jordan is a woman stepping into her power, and the results are visible magic.

A simple memory fueled Jordan’s confidence. As an adult woman she felt disconnected from her passion, highly capable and full of enthusiasm, but her intuition continued to nudge her forwards. A flash to a memory long since stashed away reminded Jordan that she has always known what to do, and that she is now a grown-up, fueled to execute what her subconscious has been preparing her for. Let me introduce to you to Heidi Jordan, a Modern Career Woman & the brain behind your new favourite place to nourish, connect & inspire: The Wild Oak Café & Community Market in Armstrong.


Design has played a large role in how you’ve approached your business, from your branding on your handmade business cards to the logo in the window, your eclectic furniture has been curated with a deliberate hand—what was your design process in this space?
When we started the space had low ceilings, florescent lighting, dark walls—it was a hairdresser’s shop. I kind of came into it with ideas of what to create, and a feeling to create, but didn’t know how to go about doing that. I am blessed to have a dad, a brother and a husband who are all carpenters. I was like okay, this is what I need to do, and they came in and did it. I would come along and embellish. I like to have the last word on design, but the collaborative nature of this project meant that the final outcome was something that I would have never come up with on my own, the Wild Oak is a true community effort!

Environment seems to be very important to you. What are some aspects which you keep in mind while creating a space?
I design a space based on the five senses. I recently worked at a Pilates studio, and noticed how atmosphere creates environment. This always rings true, and visually I need to be able to breath. White walls, high ceilings, keeping the space uncluttered—relaxed. Music is key for me, it’s always on, and if there’s silence in the air my staff is on it. They change the music, turn up the volume, a good vibe comes from good music. Gaz, my husband, is a musician. The soundtrack of our lives is very important.

How does it feel to own your own business?
I don’t even know yet. It feels (grabs face) sometimes unbelievable. Almost as if I’m playing house. I say to myself, “So how are you enjoying playing café?” (laughs). I Have to remind myself on a daily basis that I’m doing this. We dreamt of this for years. Often tried to do it, but it wasn’t the right time or the right place. This space came up for lease and they were on it. It’s a production. Start from square one, make your way through, finish one part of it, realize that you have jump into another. The business is ever growing, always expanding.


Have you always seen yourself as a businesswoman?
Certainly wouldn’t say that I’ve always seen myself as a professional. Inside I feel like a little girl. When I’m walking around in my womanly body I feel like a little girl with loads of hopes and loads of dreams. I love to give myself a challenge and see it through to the end the best I possibly can. I see myself as a businesswoman for sure.

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Value Vs. Price: A Sort-of Love Story Involving Pizza

Mitch and Katy are a married couple. They are very close to our circle of friends. Theirs was the first wedding I attended where most of our closest friends were the wedding party, and if I remember correctly I was somehow convinced to be Katy’s bridesmaid (Mitch claimed Ryan as a groomsman, so looks like I got the short straw).

I remember specifically the first time they met, and how they fell in love, and also one time in January 2008 when Katy and I somehow locked ourselves in a small room for 10 minutes. We were in Kelowna in a room with four doors that were all locked from the outside for whatever reason. Mitch was in Vancouver (this part’s kind of important). We were both a little intoxicated and she called him of all people to rescue us. “Mitch, I need your beefcake arms to break us out of this room we’re locked in.” “I’d love to but I’m in Vancouver, Katy…” (I told you that part was important!) “Shut up! I love you!”

It was the first time she said the ‘L’ word in their relationship and I knew then they were total suckers for each other and we’d be stuck with them forever.

And ever and ever and ever...

And ever and ever and ever…

It wasn’t long after they moved in together that they found it hard to make enough money to live in Kelowna so they made the move to Van. This was 2009/10 and the blue-sky was that all of our friends would have moved to Vancouver and retired by now at the ripe old age of our mid-to-late twenties. It was sad to see them go, but they were building a life together and Vancouver’s really not that far away. There were more than a few times we would head down to visit them and could be there by brunch. Plus at our age we’re really in the ‘say so long for now’ phase; friends went to school or traveled across the country and abroad, moved away, came back and visited, we were all pretty scattered.

But I don't care where you are in the world: when Florence Welch performs, you show up.

But I don’t care where you are in the world: when Florence Welch performs, you show up.

We had built the trust and friendship that didn’t require proximity. We learned that even if we couldn’t see or speak to each other for months or years at a time, the next time we saw each other it was like no time had passed at all. This has become a pretty common theme lately as we’ve supported our friends on ambitious efforts or projects; the kind of choices that meant we’d see them less but would bring them joy and success and everything else they wanted out of life.

"Everything else," of course, meaning Butter Chicken pizza.

“Everything else,” of course, meaning Butter Chicken pizza.

They were making better money, they had a mortgage and two dogs, lived in a pretty great location about 35 minutes from our friend Ryan’s Beach House Haus in Pt. Roberts, life was ‘good.’ But really, life was starting to get a little lonely.

Our lives are pretty well documented. Our friends are all comfortable with Instagram and I have a tendency to make summer videos. 2012 was one of the best summers of all of our lives, we made a bunch of new friends who we spent a lot of time with and Katy and Mitch could see that all from the outside. They didn’t tell us too much at first, but we could sense it. Every time we’d head to Vancouver or they’d come here you’d start to hear the inflection in their voices, “We never have fun like this anymore!” “We miss you guys!” But they were paying bills and had responsibilities.

Pictured: "Responsibilities"

Pictured: “Responsibilities”

Over the winter at Katy’s place of work a mature woman lost her husband. Katy is a very loving person and was consoling the woman, but found in the end that the woman consoled her nearly as much. There is so much to learn from fully-lived lives. After 70, 80 or 90 years there’s a level of wisdom, and in some cases regret, that we can learn from to avoid some of the bigger pitfalls in life. These are the experiences that teach us the value of life rather than the cost or price. The woman explained to Katy, “You know dear, you will spend the rest of your life trying to make money, but in the end what really matters is the time you spend with the people you love.”

That’s all it took. They called a couple of us in secret at first mentioning they missed our lives together and they missed living in the same city. Katy and Mitch listed their house in April and it sold in a week and a half. They were so excited that they had to call all of us! Naturally, the one week they had this great news, Kayla and Ryan were in LA, I was in Cancun, and Jason was in Saskatoon. No one was available to hear the good news.

Pictured: "Good News"

Pictured: “Good News”

Eventually we got the texts. There were a couple days of them begging us to let them couch-hop for a month or so while they found a new place, but only a couple days later they found an apartment. An apartment that is around the corner from me. No joke, they went from living 380 km away from me, to less than 380 m away. It was an interesting week as another good friend I made over the year, Kris, moved back to Langley and we basically traded him for our dear friend Erik when he came back from UBC for the summer. Three days after Erik arrived, Katy and Mitch moved back. The four us live within the same 2 km zone in the Mission. We practically have our own beach access nearby.

Balance is restored.

Our first order of business was a pizza party last night. We grabbed a ton of veggies and got a lot of awesome suggestions:



So the point is this: Live your life for what makes you happy. Money may always be a problem (though I’m sure I’ll be able to retire at my updated date of 35-ish…), but problems never seem quite as big when the people you love — and who love you — are near.

And Beach Haus, Baby!

And Beach Haus, Baby!

5 Ways to Effectively Screw Up a First Date

I’m single. I have been for just over a year now. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, nor do I think there’s anything wrong with being in a long-term committed relationship, nor do I have anything against friends with benefits. I’m not decisively for any one specific relationship type at the moment. I often find mine defined completely by how much I care for the other party involved, so, for me at least, there’s no one-size-fits-all relationship style.

This can also make things really confusing.

Like, do I have to get my own wine, or will I date someone who can do that for me?

Like, do I have to get my own wine, or will I date someone who can do that for me?

I’m not here to condone or condemn any type of relationship either and I’m definitely not giving any advice, I’m just setting the context of how easy it is to get mixed signals and really fuck up a first date. These are some of the wonderful/terrible/hilarious mistakes I’ve made over the years. Mistakes like…

#5. Not Being Aware You’re On a Date

I like to chock this up to my innocuous lack of awareness in everyday life. I like to read into the signs that aren’t there and miss really obvious, in-your-face signals. When you’re just meeting someone, especially when it’s over the internet or text message, it can be difficult to get a sense of how they joke, or talk, or who they are. Some people are just overly flirty when they chat, I know a lot of my friends are. So keeping that in mind, I’ve stopped looking into every time I’m sent 4 ;)’s in a row. The result? Any subtle message of “I like you, let’s make out!” hidden between the lines of your sly emoticon wink will, inevitably, be lost on me.

Meeting someone for a drink and they’re thinking ‘date’ and you’re thinking ‘nachos’ really kills the mood.

Patio Season

“I like that we met on this patio for a completely platonic celebration with alcohol!”

Unless I’m getting an overly emphatic up and down, I rarely notice if or when I am being flirted with. Which leads me to…

#4. Being Terrible at Flirting

Which I am. Also, I am the awkward. It doesn’t help that multiple job descriptions make a simple question like, “What do you do for work?” take 15 minutes for me to explain. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Luckily, my close friends have learned to read my body language and will help me out once in a while. In fact, my best friend Ryan can usually tell when I’m into dude about 3 seconds before I know.

Me flirting can go one of three ways:

1) I meet you, you are friends with my friends, you are smokin’. The first thing I’m going to do to let you know I like you is never make eye contact, or talk to you, or draw attention to the fact that I’ve acknowledged you in any way. Sexy, right?

2) I haven’t met you, you sit a few tables away in this pub/restaurant/ICBC waiting room, I dig your face. I’ll probably stare at you continuously with one eye, raising my brow and/or nodding at you every time we ‘accidentally’ lock eyes until you ask if I had a stroke 6 months prior. I’ll keep looking at you and holding your gaze far too long and eventually you’ll run to the bathroom to see if there’s some food stuck on your face. Turned on yet?

3) I have met you or we hang out sometimes, let’s make out in this hallway for a few minutes while everyone else is busy. This is probably the least embarrassing way I’ll hit on you. We’ll be pally all night, and I’ll probably be all up in your grill. While I laugh at half-heard jokes, everyone else will be rolling their eyes at my humiliating attempts to gain your attention, all while you are painfully oblivious. The night won’t be a complete waste and we’ll have had a good time, but I’ll keep thinking “that could have gone better.”

And in the end, I'd rather just go home to him anyway.

In the end, I’d rather just go home to my cat anyway.

#3. Never Making a Move

My third terrible way of flirting could be considered partially analogous with this point, I suppose. Don’t chicken out. I know I said I wasn’t giving relationship advice, but that was obviously bullshit. Take a chance, make the move. You’ll regret more the things you didn’t do over the people you did do (as long as you’re safe & responsible).

How you do this is up to you. I’m for sure not an expert on this part. I’m honestly not even sure what happens between the point I realize I want to kiss someone and when it’s actually happening. It’s usually all a blur and is often impossible to replicate the same way twice. I have no advice here other than lock it down.

Don't let the distance between everyone fool you, the sexual tension was palpable.

Don’t let the distance between everyone fool you, the sexual tension was palpable.

#2. Drinking Too Much

I know this one seems like it shouldn’t be that difficult to avoid, but I’ve had a few doozies in my day. I remember one time going out with a bunch of friends in Victoria. We were staying with a couple close friends, and some of their local crew came out for the night. I had my eye on one person specifically and had a few martinis for a little liquid courage.

"Just this one? Oh ok."

“Just this one? Oh ok.”

I hit a wonderful plateau where we were being social, I was funny and entertaining. The body language was there and I built up the confidence to accuse “I know you want to make out with me right now.” Not the smoothest line maybe, but it worked. And that would have been the perfect way to end the story or stop drinking.

"After that 8th drink, I'm starting to get worried too."

“After that 8th drink, I’m starting to get worried too.”

Naturally we went out to another bar after and a nightclub after that. There was beer and shots and all of a sudden subtle jokes and kisses turned into a sloppy sideshow on the dance floor. Eventually he disappeared (see: begged his friends to take him home) and my friends had to get me out of there because I was dancing in broken glass.

I could go on with more stories here, but you get the point and I don’t want to ruin any chances I may have with any of you in the future. Know your limit, drink within it.

#1. Taking Dating Advice From Me

This last point is almost certainly because the thought of list with only 4 items shakes me to my OCD-addled core, but it really doesn’t change the fact that maybe you shouldn’t always listen to other people’s dating advice.

You're going to take the advice of a guy who's ideal date is 'Rumours' and a pound of bacon? I would too.

You’re going to take the advice of a guy whose ideal date is ‘Rumours’ and a pound of bacon? I would too.

Of course it’s important to have a point of reference — my other best friend Rob is always there to tell me I look like a total creep constantly rubbing my date’s shoulders throughout the night (guilty!) — but at the end of the day they’re not dating that person, you are. You’ll be the one dealing with the 2nd date, and the 3rd, the 1 year or the breakup. It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, so be yourself and be fearless.

I’ll admit my very genuine fear of rejection and that, like everyone, I have my insecurities. It’s important to gain perspective; I remind myself that if I don’t make the move I’m essentially in the same place as if I’m rejected. Taking that chance usually means things either stay the same or end up better (Though this may not be great advice if you’re constantly falling in love with close friends).

If you’re awkward, be awkward. If you’re James Dean cool, rock your matchstick and rolled up sleeves. If you wear sweatpants to a night on the town… please don’t. But don’t feel you have to change key components of yourself to be the ideal mate for someone else. Love yourself, feel comfortable in your own skin. When the right person comes along, and when you’re not thinking about how long it’s taking for your nachos to get to you, things will work out if you really want them to.

The Vernon Winter Carnival

Hot Air Balloons

The Vernon Winter Carnival returns Feb 1st -10th. Its pretty incredible that they have over 100 events throughout Vernon. Many of the events are free or very affordable.

Photo credit: Wayne Emde Photography

Brittany Sjoblom, Executive Director, Vernon Winter Carnival has done a quick video summarizing the event. Here she is to tell you all about this years Vernon Winter Carnival.

Highlight events include: (full events list can be found

Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air Balloon Fiesta and Glow which happen Friday and Saturday morning at 9am (Feb 1st and 2nd)
For over two decades the giant balloons have announced the opening weekend of the annual Vernon Winter Carnival, from the Friday evening Balloon Glow, through Sunday morning Flag Grab. The balloons will fly Friday February 1st – Sunday February 3rd at different times throughout the day, weather dependent.

Snow Sculptures

BC Championship Snow Sculpture Competition
The Snow Sculpture Competition is taking place at Silver Star Mountain the first weekend of Carnival. This year’s theme should provide a great starting point for some amazing sculptures. The community can view the progress of these magnificent works of art beginning at 10:00am Fri. Feb.1 until 10:00am Sun. Feb. 3. The awards presentation will be Sun. Feb. 3 at 11:00am. Come up Sunday morning to help us determine the “People’s Choice Award” and take in all the great activities Silver Star Mountain Resort has to offer. The finished sculptures are up for viewing for a week or two after the competition.

Cod Gone Wild

Irish Pub Night with Cod Gone Wild
Join Vernon’s own favorite Celtic band “Cod Gone Wild” for a night of rowdy and energetic Irish tunes that will have you jigging the night away. Get your tickets early and don’t miss this favorite carnival event voted “Best Adult Event” in 2012. Dress in green and participate in Newfoundland “Ugly Stick” competition. Sociable!
Doors open at 8pm. Must be 19+ to attend.

The Pre-historic Cave Dudes
“Post Prehistoric Cave Dudes” is a romantic – mostly – comedy which takes place in a cave… with window shutters to let in some light. The characters language seems modern enough, but their attire and attitudes are definitely prehistoric, until they discover music, mostly funk and jazz. Some characters even know the lyrics to songs they’ve never heard (well, except inside their heads). Amongst comedy, romance and trouble with a rival “tribe”, they still eventually manage to discover the source of the mystery they have labelled music.

And new this year they have also added a Winter Carnival Family day in Polson Park Saturday the 9th from 11-3pm.

For the full event details and information go to their site:

Christmas Market + Art Show, This Weekend!

bottega_xmas_posterBo.ttega Farm Inn is proud to be hosting their second annual Christmas Market & Art Show Saturday, December 15th & Sunday the 16th from 11am – 4pm. Over the two days, the festive market will feature some of the Okanagan’s Finest Artists, Crafters & Musicians all set in the heart of beautiful South East Kelowna. Christmas Carols will be echoing through the halls courtesy of local musicians, and you will find savoury European baking, Glog wine, artisan coffee and stollen bread to warm you up while you explore Bo.ttega.

The two day event will include over 35 vendors; Wineries, Food Crafters, Artists & Crafters. Last year saw more than 1,500 people take part in this family friendly event, so come and enjoy the spirit of the season!

Admission is $2, children are free. All proceeds to the Kelowna Food Bank.

For more info go to

Bo.ttega 4485 Sallows Road. S.E. Kelowna V1W 4C2 Canada GOOGLE MAP LINK

A few shots taken by Darren Hull at the 2011 Bottega Christmas Market



Firehall Brewery Increases Capacity & Develops New Label

Article Submitted by Sid Ruhland / Submit Your Own Article

The Firehall Brewery on Main Street in Oliver, British Columbia has doubled its cold storage capacity this November to keep up with demand. Aging tanks were ordered & picked-up from Interior Stainless, a tank manufacturer in Summerland, BC. Firehall Brewery’s “Stoked Ember Ale” continually sold out during the summer of 2012, triggering the investment into more storage tanks. A new beer label is being developed, utilizing the increased capacity and adding more variety to the microbrewery’s product offerings. The new beer will be a blonde ale called “Backdraft”.

The addition of new tanks is very exciting for the town of Oliver because it exemplifies the growth of the community’s first and only brewery. Not only does the brewery compliment the current agritourism in the region (wineries, fruit stands, tomato festival, grape festival, et cetera), but has begun to attract additional visitors seeking craft beer. The beer products have been promoted in town with the Back Alley Concert Series at the brewery’s beverage garden, tying music and community involvement into the core of the Firehall Brewery brand. The Firehall Brewery has attended beer festivals as far as Victoria, BC, and has gained televised exposure for itself and the Town of Oliver across the province. The craft beer industry has begun to boom in British Columbia during the last few years, coming a long way since the market was created only a few decades ago. The “Craft Beer Revolution” is not just growing in BC, but has been sweeping the globe, as beer drinkers are becoming educated about the brewing process and the beverage’s long history.

After 15 months of planning and construction, the Firehall Brewery released its first batch of beer, the “Stoked Ember Ale”, in late March of this year, shortly followed by the release of the “Holy Smoke Stout”. The third beer to be released, the “Backdraft” blonde ale, is scheduled to finish recipe development and cellaring just before the end of 2012. It will be a light session beer with a golden colour and a crisp finish.

The Firehall Brewery is a small family-owned operation, managed by a father-son team, Jim & Sid Ruhland. Sid Ruhland is an Okanagan School of Business alumnus, now applying business theory to his home-brewing skills learned in the college dorms. The brewery is “draught-only”, meaning the beer is packaged solely into kegs for local distribution to restaurants, bars and pubs. There are no current plans to invest into canning or bottling equipment. 1.89L (1/2 US Gallon) refillable jugs called “growlers” can be brought to or bought from the Firehall Brewery tasting room to be filled with draught beer to-go. Tours are available by appointment.

The Kelowna Museums Collection Connection: Sweet and Delicious

The Okanagan has long been synonymous with orchards, fruits and agriculture. Amongst the vast variety of fruits the valley produces, apples are one of the largest fruit industries and were integral to the early development of Kelowna. This Saturday, October 20th, the city will celebrate the Okanagan’s apple industry at the 24th annual Apple Fair at the B.C. Orchard Industry Museum.

The first apple orchard in the region was planted in the 1860’s at the mission of the Oblates of Mary the Immaculate. It isn’t known exactly where Father Pandosy acquired the first apple seedlings. Some say the seeds were sourced from St. Mary’s Mission soon after seedlings were brought to the Lower Mainland by the Hudson’s Bay Company. Another story claims that Father Pandosy planted the orchard from a cutting of an apple tree from John McIntosh’s famous orchard in Ontario.

The first agricultural attempts in Kelowna were focused on cattle and grains, but the success of the apple trees indicated to the early settlers that the Okanagan provided the right lands and climate for viable fruit orchards.

In her 1891 book on early life in the Okanagan, Lady Aberdeen noted the agricultural shift:

Up to now but little attention has been devoted to fruit growing, as this has been principally a stock raising country, but the possibilities shown by the few orchards already planted, point to its being found to possess exceptional advantages for the pursuit of this industry.

Apple Tree at Father Pandosy’s Mission

In 1901, the first straight car of apples was packed, loaded and shipped from the Okanagan Valley. It took two entire weeks just to assemble that first car of apples!  The fruit industry boomed in the early 20th century, and the number of packinghouses in the North End of Kelowna increased to keep up with demand for Okanagan fruit domestically and internationally. By 1928, the Valley was exporting more than four million boxes of apples, compared to only a few hundred thousand in 1910.

These years also marked the success of Okanagan apples as champions on the international fruit show circuit.  One of the earliest recognitions of the calibre of Okanagan apples came when Kelowna Farmer H.C. Mallam, won two first prize diplomas at the 1909 International Apple Show in Spokane, Washington.

Apple Display at Imperial Fruit Show, 1924 (England)

Okanagan apples also won several awards overseas at the British Commonwealth’s Imperial Fruit Shows in the early 20th century. Established in 1920, the Imperial Fruit Show was a contest and exhibition produce from all over the British Empire. Hugely popular, the shows often drew crowds of up to 90,000 people and provided a venue to introduce the variety of foreign produce, cultivation and canning techniques to the British public.

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