This article is from the August 2017 Issue of Forever Young

 2017 august feature image

 

By Glenna Turnbull

Coming up August 30 to September 3, it’s the 116th annual Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong. Better known as the IPE, each year’s fair has a theme and this year, it’s Field to Plate – something that makes perfect sense given the agricultural roots of the fair and its notoriety for good food!

It’s unofficial theme however, could easily be the reverse – Plate to Field, thanks to Spa Hills Composting and a huge group of enthusiastic kids.

Keli Westgate of Spa Hills Composting first had the idea to start collecting compostable items from the fair two years ago and, working on her own, was able to divert approximately 1000 pounds of waste that would have otherwise ended up in the landfill. Then last year, she decided to amp it up and with the help of 52 volunteers from the Silver Star Elementary school, they diverted a whopping 7000 pounds of waste from the trash and turned it into compost.

“The kids were great,” noted Keli, adding, “The ‘ick’ factor only lasted about five minutes, then it became a game to see just how much we could collect. They worked through rainstorms, blazing heat and dust.”

The Canadian Association of Fairs and Exhibitions was so impressed, it awarded the 2016 CAFE Innovation Award to the IPE – a massive honour given the hundreds upon hundreds of annual fairs and exhibitions in Canada.

“This year, we’re aiming for 10,000 pounds,” said Keli. But in order to do so, they’re not only relying on fair-goers to cooperate but the 50 plus volunteers out there collecting material.

This article is from the July 2017 Issue of Forever Young

 2017 July Feature

 

Canada at 150 is in its youth when compared with the City of Montreal that is 375 years old

Joining the party this summer will make a visit to Canada’s second largest city even more memorable. Like a giant anniversary cake glowing with candles the 2.5 kilometre expanse of the Jacques Cartier Bridge is illuminated with 2,800 lights. The “Living Connection” display can turn 365 shades of colour to showcase the historic gateway into the city throughout the anniversary year.

The experience of exploring Canada’s second largest city and its diverse attractions should begin with a bird’s eye view from the 46th floor of Au Sommet Place Ville Marie Observation Deck. The 360-degree view is fantastic, revealing virtually every Montreal icon, from the Olympic Stadium to the Mount Royal Cross. Informative displays, curated by Heritage Montreal, highlight notable landmarks and help visitors choose and locate destinations. An interactive bracelet lets visitors pick favourites and receive further information via text or email about how to experience their “missions”.

Visitors will want to be down at street level to experience some of the special events that are happening throughout the year and if you’re considering a visit this summer Les art de la rue, the largest street theatre event in North America is a great way to join the celebration. It brings more than 800 of the world’s performers to the city that becomes an open-air theatre throughout July.

Expo ’67, the crowning achievement of Canada’s centennial is revisited 50 years later. Check out Echo 67, at the iconic Biosphere and explore Expo’s legacy through history, photos and audiovisual production. Explore Expo’s environmental legacy through history, photos and audio-visual production, until December 3.

At the McCord Museum, Mode Expo 67 presents its magnificent collection of clothes and accessories as well as its Expo archives. Visitors can see more than 60 costumes, flight attendant outfits from different countries and provinces and designer clothes as well as photos and testimonials by people who were there. The exhibit runs until October 1.

The Notre-Dame Basilica is a must-see landmark that is even more impressive when experienced during a series of sound and light shows. The Aura show guides visitors to the heart of the church, where “light, orchestral music and grandiose architecture (will) combine to create a unique, three-act multimedia spectacle”. The 60-minute presentation showcases the188-year-old Gothic Revival-style church’s architecture, sculptures, paintings and stained glass. It runs until the end of the year.

La Grande Roue ferris wheel will start operating in the Old Port in mid-July. Putting a new spin on site-seeing, the ride provides panoramic views of the river, Old Montreal, downtown and the mountain. The ferris wheel will operate year-round from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. with its air conditioned cabins that will be heated in the winter. There is also a bar, bistro and coffee shop on site.

There’s more excitement on the water at Montreal’s Old Port during Montreal Avudo, a multimedia extravaganza that unfolds during a series of free shows this summer to commemorate the 375th. Presented until September 2, Avudo pays tribute to the St. Lawrence River and its impact on the city. Viewers time travel through a moving show that features archived images, illustrations and 3D animation projected on to massive water screens.

Life-sized wax human figures reflect history and popular culture at the Musée Grévin Montreal at Eaton Centre in Ville-Marie. Meet representations of personalities that range from Pierre Trudeu to Ghandi and from John and Yoko in their bed to Hollywood stars enjoying a party that visitors can join in the large ballroom at the end of the tour. It makes for great photos.

For a self-guided experience above ground in Old Montréal check out Cité Mémoire, a free mobile app (montrealenhistoires.com/home). Loosely inspired by the history of Montreal, the app introduces a number of characters who’ve witnessed the city’s evolution first-hand. Projected throughout Old Montreal, the work appears on walls, the ground and even the trees.

For more about Montreal’s 375th go to www.375mtl.com.

This article is from the June 2017 Issue of Forever Young

 2017 June Feature

This spectacular waterfall is one of the gems of
New Brunswick’s Fundy National Park.

Ever bedded down in a yurt, tried camping in an oTENTik, or slept in a teepee?

By Liz Campbell

In 1885, Canada was still a teenager but the young government was wise enough to recognize the importance of protecting the land. Canada’s first National Park (and only the third in the world) was created that year – 26 square miles of land around a bubbling spring – Banff National Park.

Today there are 46 National Parks, four national marine conservation areas and one urban park covering more than 300,000 square kilometres of Canada. Also under the National Parks umbrella are 171 of Canada’s National Historic Sites. From urban and rural locales, to wilderness environments, these may be sacred spaces, battlefields, archaeological sites, buildings or streetscapes.

And in 2017, in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, you can explore all these for free!

Parks Canada is waiving entrance fees to all the parks and historic sites in the country. And boat owners won’t have to pay lockage fees on Canada’s historic canals.

“I invite Canadians to experience and learn more about our environment and our history,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna stated in a release. “Whether at a national park or historic site, or along a heritage canal, these treasured sites allow Canadians to experience history and nature in a special way, and they will play a big part in the celebration of our country.”

Special experiences certainly await at Canada’s parks. Have you ever bedded down in a yurt, tried camping in an oTENTik (a cross between a tent and a rustic cabin), or slept in a teepee?

A weekend in a comfortable oTENTik at Thousand Islands National Park could include sea kayaking on the St. Lawrence. At nearby Fort Wellington, built during the War of 1812, you might taste historic treats, try on authentic dress, and fire a cannon. There are even whiskey tastings in June and August.

At Georgian Bay National Park, the whole family can share a cabin at Cedar Springs or two can get cosy at Christian Beach. Head out on the hiking trails or just relax on the beach. Rentals include the boat ride to beautiful Beausoleil Island, part of the cultural landscape of the Anishinaabeg of the southern Georgian Bay region.

This article is from the May 2017 Issue of Forever Young

 2017 may feature

Volunteer extraordinaire Randy Hunt at the West Kelowna Food Bank donated $1500 to help others thanks to the Simple Generosity campaign

By Glenna Turnbull

For the past 21 years, Randy Hunt has been volunteering at his local food bank in West Kelowna. From sorting cans to hamper deliveries, he’s been known to donate between 30 to 40 hours a week of his time helping out.

As such, he seemed an obvious candidate to be nominated for the Simple Generosity program currently underway, courtesy of Valley First.

What is Simple Generosity? As its name suggests, it’s a simple way for someone to become very generous. Let me explain:

The lead up to Canada’s 150th anniversary of confederation has prompted some pretty creative ways to celebrate, including the Simple Generosity program at Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union. People are being asked to nominate volunteers they feel go far and beyond in helping to make their community better and each week throughout 2017, one extraordinary volunteer – someone like Randy – will receive $1500 they can donate to the non-profit cause of their choice.

For Randy, the question of where to donate his $1500 was simple: the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

“We wanted to do something special for Canada 150,” said Susan Byrom, Senior Manager of Community Investment for First West Credit Union.

“Canadians are what make Canada great and one of the things Canadians do well, as do our employees, is give back to our community through volunteer engagement.”

And so, through 2017 there will be $78,000 handed out via the Simple Generosity campaign to chosen volunteers across B.C., $22,500 of which is slated for local non-profits in communities serviced by Valley First. “The only thing we ask is that the charity that is the recipient of that $1500 is in a community being served by one of our divisions,” said Susan, “so it keeps it local and directs recognition to the volunteer as well as the organization that’s benefiting and strengthening our community.”

Gwen Rikkinen of Penticton and Don Penty of Kelowna are two other extraordinary volunteers who have so far been selected from over 170 nominees whose names have been put forward thus far. Gwen, who has volunteered for the past three years making soups, sandwiches and desserts, then dishing them up at the Penticton Soupateria, now has a new story to tell the clients about how volunteering her time has yielded an unexpected bonus of $1500 to the program.

This article is from the April 2017 Issue of Forever Young

 FYng Apr 2017 feature image

By Fyllis Hockman

The land of Peter Rabbit really does exist.

It’s right in England’s Lake District, which was assured perpetuity when his creator, Beatrix Potter, bequeathed 14 properties to the National Trust when she died in 1943.

The fairytale villages of this region also bask in the glow of such literary giants as William Wordsworth and William Yeats whose inspirations sprang from the countryside immortalized in the familiar four-by-five-inch children’s books.

The landscape, so tantalizingly green that the colour needs a more-enchanting name, is quintessentially British -- replete with requisite sheep, rolling hedgerows, low-slung stone walls crisscrossing the landscape, slate-roofed stone houses, and sparkling floral flashes of hot pink, orange-gold and deep purple that blink on and off almost neon-like under the ceaseless breezes.

Meandering footpaths make it a walker’s wonderland where you’ll spot Peter Rabbit’s relatives skittering and scampering off on all directions.

Hill Top, Potter’s home for 38 years and the site of many of her creation’s adventures, transports the visitor to her world as it was until she died.

Pick up “A Tale of Samuel Whiskers” and follow the story as you visit the holes where the mice lived that threatened Tom Kitten. You can accompany Pigland Bland as he wanders through the village and seek to protect Jemima Puddle-Duck’s egg as it lays hidden in the rhubarb patch. You can almost hear the Two Bad Mice discussing the ham and cheese that don’t seem quite edible because they are, of course, from Beatrix’s dollhouse right in front of you in the parlor.