Posts from Armstrong

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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Okanagan Summer Festival Report

Here in the A-OK we love summer festival season and it’s just getting started! Line ups are being announced, tickets are on sale, and with all that commotion it felt like a great time to let you know about some of our highlight festivals and events that happen in the Okanagan. This list isn’t comprehensive but if your looking for an event worth going to here’s a starter list for you.

Not only that, but there’s a bit of a Giveaway at the end of this article for some lucky winner!

Parks Alive, Music in the Park, Lake Country Open Air Performances, etc:

July and August, Parks throughout the Okanagan! For any of those new to our region you really need to know about our free live music concerts in our various communities. Almost every community in the Okanagan hosts free community concerts in one of our parks.

Every evening throughout the summer there is a free concert somewhere. So get out there and discover some great live local entertainment. Call your local Parks and Recreation office for more information on free concerts in your community.

Funtastic: June 28th-30th, Vernon

Billed as “Canada’s Greatest Slo-Pitch Tournament & Music Festival” this is Vernon’s signature Festival. Headliners this year include: Honeymoon Suite, Sweet, and Aaron Pritchett.

More information after the jump.

Celebrate Canada Day Kelowna 2013: July 1st, Waterfront Park/Jim Stuart Park/Kerry Park, Kelowna

Join over 50,000 attendees celebrating Canada’s Birthday. Over 50+ activities and performances that are multi-generational and family- friendly.

The Hot and Dry Canadian Summer: July 4-6th, Kelowna

We’d be remiss not to post one of our own festivals on here. We’re working with BC brewery Cariboo Brewing the first weekend of July to celebrate our love of local music, too-hot days and festival-ready style. Featuring 10 local, up-and-coming musicians over 3 days we are chomping at the bite to get this party started!

Tickets available with bands or you can get a $30 weekend pass online.
More information here.

Keloha: July 5-7th: Waterfront Park, Kelowna

I recently interviewed the producer of this event. The full story can be read here.

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More Farmer’s Markets!

Some events are so much a part of our communities fabric that we take them for granted. If someone approached you and told you about an event that has over 60 vendors, 5000 attendees each week, and features family activities all summer long you would be flabbergasted.

Our farmers market is a great example of one of those events. It is one of the largest farmers markets in the BC Interior. I dropped by the market earlier this summer and interviewed Bob Callioux. Here’s the interview and a snapshot of one of our most popular local weekly events.

Kelowna Farmers & Crafters Market – Kelowna
April to October
Wednesdays & Saturdays: 8:00 am – 1:00 pm
Dilworth Dr & Springfield Rd

West Kelowna Outdoor Market
Saturdays: 8am-1pm
2466 Main Street

Penticton Farmers Market
May through October
Saturdays: 8:30 am – noon

Peachland Farmers’ & Crafters’ Market
May to September
Sundays: 10 am – 2 pm
Heritage Park, between Okanagan Lake and Beach Avenue

Osoyoos Market on Main – Osoyoos
June through August
Saturdays: 8 am – 1 pm
Town Square, Main St

Oliver Country Market A’Fair – Oliver
June to October
Saturdays: 8:30 am – 12:30 pm
Lions Park – Hwy 97N

Armstrong Farmer’s Market – Armstrong BC
April – November
Saturdays: 8 am – noon
Location: Armstrong IPE Fairgrounds

Lake Country Farmers Market – Lake Country
June to September
Fridays: 3 pm – 7 pm
10090 Bottom Wood Lake Rd

Armstrong Metal Fest 2012 Line Up

You may remember our coverage of AOA from last year (we even got to send a lucky reader to it)… Armstrong Open Air was started in the summer of 2009, inspired by the summer outdoor metalfest circuit in Europe. Just like anything else, AOA started out small, on a rural farm just outside of Armstrong BC. The first year, with no advertising, drew about 300 people out to see 11 Okanagan metal bands rip up the stage (made of a pair of flatdeck trailers).

They’ve come a long way since then and recently announced their Lineup for the their 2012 event on July 20th & 21st:

  • Anthrosoire
  • Archspire
  • Axis Disrupt
  • Cast Into Ashes
  • Deny Your Maker
  • Empyria
  • Fenrirs Thirst
  • JRR Tokin
  • Kriticos
  • Lethal Halo
  • Meat Cutter
  • NinjaSpy
  • Nylithia
  • Odinfist
  • Over the Coals
  • Skatin for Satan
  • Skullhammer
  • SlagDuster
  • The Almighty Excruciating Pain
  • Thor
  • Tonight We Burn The Sky Red
  • Xul

Find our more details at

Armstrong Open Air, A Festival of Metal!

Face melting riffage. Those 3 words really summed up the Armstrong Open Air festival for me. It was 2 days of camping, street food and loud music in the heart of downtown Armstrong! I was able to photograph the bands on the first night of the show!

Cast Into Ashes

A festival go-er regaling me with metal tales!


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Armstrong Open Air Metal Festival 2011

I recently opened my email to receive a tidbit of information I was previously unaware of (which for folks working in the events/music industry is a pretty embarrassing thing to admit). Matt, a fella working on the Armstrong Open Air Metal Festival this year, sent me a quick history on an event I was only hearing about for the first time. Stay tuned, because you have a chance to win two free tickets with our A-OK Giveaway. Just keep re-tweeting “RT2WIN! I need two free tickets to #aoa2011 in Armstrong July 22nd—23rd from @awesomeokanagan!” between now and July 15th and we’ll randomly select you!

Armstrong Open Air was started in the summer of 2009. Not surprisingly, they found inspiration in the summer outdoor Metalfest circuit in Europe (because who isn’t inspired but those crazy Europeans, these people don’t just party all night, they’ll party all week!). Like anything and everything else, AOA started out small, on a rural farm just outside of Armstrong. Their first year, grassroots event drew about 300 people out to see 11 Okanagan Metal Bands rip up the stage — made of a pair of flat deck trailers — and this was with no advertising.

We love the D.I.Y. aesthetic here in the A-OK.

AOA noticed Metal communities spread across B.C., all strong in their own right, but they wanted to bring them all together to form a true community. Not just within B.C. but also Alberta, the rest of Canada, then maybe all of North America and the World! Hoping to let you know not only is metal far from dead, it is to be respected! They hope AOA will one day be the Wacken of North America, bringing people from all over the world, from all walks of life, into one community, one unified society, one family.

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OSRDA’s Skate for the Cure

I was fortunate enough to spend my Saturday evening at the Hassen Arena in Armstrong to photograph the OSRDA’s (Okanagan-Shuswap Roller Derby Association) Skate for the Cure. Now, if you aren’t familiar with Roller Derby, picture bad-ass scantily clad women on roller skates smashing each other around while they try to score points on the track by pushing and shoving their way through a pack of other such bad-ass women. Needless to say, its awesome. This was my first time at a Derby bout (game) and I know I will be attending more. This particular bout was a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society.

First bout of the night was the rookies “White Vs. Black”

Being that it was a fundraiser, there was some head-shaving for cancer going on…

Speedy skaters speeding on skates!

I will definitely be attending many more derby bouts and I suggest that you attend one or two if you haven’t!

Check out the O.S.R.D.A.’s website