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Kwseltkten Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market returns to Powwow Arbour for the season – Kamloops News

Kwseltkten Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market returns to Powwow Arbour for the season – Kamloops News

18 minutes, 30 seconds Read

The Kwseltkten Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market is returning for its fifth season.

The market is held on Sundays at the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Powwow Arbour through the summer and early fall months.

The first market day of the season will be held on Sunday from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

“Bring your family and friends,” said a statement from market organizers.

“Let’s celebrate community, culture and local goodness at the Kwseltkten Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market.”

The market features vendors selling traditional foods, medicines and handmade artisan products, as well as fresh meats, eggs and produce.

Attendees can also expect to find fresh baking, preserves and prepared foods, as well as food trucks and live performances.

Organizers said local musician Jeremy Kneeshaw will be performing Sunday, June 23, from 10 a.m. until noon.

The market will run until Sept. 29, but there will be no market days on the long weekends (June 30, Aug. 4 and Sept. 1). Attendees are encouraged to check the market’s Facebook page for updates.

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It was the heaviest thing Candace Newton ever deadlifted — doing so without breaking a sweat and with a determined look in her eye.

“This is my first event, so I’m just here for fun,” Newton said.

The Armstrong woman who grew up on a farm was among several competitors who took in this year’s Twin Rivers Strengthfest — a two-day event where athletes converge to push their limits and showcase their prowess in powerlifting and strongman competitions.

The rookie competitor deadlifted 245 pounds during her first event of the competition.

Newton has been working out since she was 15 and currently trains with A24 Fitness in her home town. While this was her first ever competition, she told Castanet Kamloops she plans to attend another in Williams Lake next month.

Newton said her coach convinced her to start talking part in powerlifting competitions.

“I love lifting heavy,” she said. “Anyone can do it. I didn’t think I could lift that much, but once you get the adrenaline rolling, and (experience the) big crowd, it helps a lot.”

Participants from around the region were at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops for the Strengthfest on June 15 and 16, competing in series of electrifying events, from bench pressing to log lifting, yoke carries to axle bar clean and press.

A pair of rowdy bear cubs were seen duking in out in Peterson Creek last week before taking their raucous behaviour to new heights.

Christina Wright said she was hiking through Peterson Creek around 1 p.m. on June 10 when she came across the cubs.

“Two cubs, they were wrestling — I thought it was a really weird dog and then I looked closer and they were blending together,” Wright laughed.

“I peeked over a little bit more and I saw Mom poke her head up.”

Wright said the cubs’ mother had much lighter fur and blended into the vegetation. She said she then decided to make her exit.

“(The cubs) climbed the tree super fast and we’re still wrestling when they got up there. It was just so cute,” Wright said.

She said it was the first time she had seen bears in the Peterson Creek area before, but noted bears have been seen rummaging through trash cans in Aberdeen.

The City of Kamloops’ Bear Smart program recommends keeping containers inside, removing bird feeders from May to November, keeping barbecues clean, picking ripe fruit from trees and properly managing backyard composers to keep the community safe from bears.

The city asks that all bear sightings and human-wildlife interactions be reported to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

More information of the city’s bear smart program is available online.

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The Ministry of Health says it will spend a year evaluating two submissions it received after issuing a request for proposals for the $359-million cancer centre project at Royal Inland Hospital, with the goal of starting construction next year.

In a news release, the ministry said it will be evaluating submissions from EllisDon Corporation and PCL Constructors Westcoast Inc.

Interior Health and BC Cancer are expected to choose the project’s design-build team by May 2025, with construction beginning in the summer of 2025.

“I’m pleased that the procurement phase for this project is proceeding to the next stage, and people in Kamloops and Thompson Cariboo area will be one step closer to having cutting edge, comprehensive cancer care and treatment that’s close to home,” said Adrian Dix, minister of health.

Dix told reporters Monday afternoon the centre is still slated to open for patients by 2028.

The cost of the centre will be split between the province and the Thompson Regional Hospital District. Dix said the inflation seen in private sector and public sector construction has been taken into consideration and is reflected in the project’s budget.

“We believe we’re on the right track in this project,” Dix said.

“The cost is significant, but also the priority is significant as well and I think what it does is, in Kamloops, it increases our ability to recruit as well.”

According to the ministry, the new cancer centre will be a five-storey facility built on the Westlands site of Royal Inland Hospital.

The ministry said there will be space for radiation treatment, radiation-therapy planning including a CT simulator, an outpatient ambulatory-care unit, 10 exam rooms and two consultation rooms for radiation-therapy services, an additional MRI suite, and patient arrival and check-in areas.

A 470-stall parkade will also be built as part of the project. The centre will have three linear accelerator vaults as well — heavy, concrete structures that contain radiation equipment used for treatment.

In collaboration with Indigenous partners, the centre will also include spaces for patients, caregivers and staff, with features to support traditional ceremonies.

Upgrades to RIH to expand cancer care have also been approved, including updating and expanding the pharmacy and relocating and expanding the community oncology network clinic from the eighth floor to the main floor, allowing for more space and improved access.

The centre will deliver cancer care through oral and intravenous cancer treatment, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted therapy and hormonal therapy.

The ministry said the clinic will also provide initial consultation and treatment planning with a medical oncologist, supportive care, followup care and patient education.

The entire project — which includes the cancer centre and a related RIH renovation — is pegged at $359 million. The Thompson Regional Hospital District has committed $45 million to the project.

RIH offers chemotherapy and cancer surgeries, but the new centre will offer radiation services that presently require a trip to other hospitals such as in Kelowna or the Lower Mainland.

UPDATE: 1:06 p.m.

Mounties in Merritt are trying to track down a dark-coloured pickup truck spotted at the scene of a fire overnight that destroyed two abandoned homes.

According to police, emergency crews were called just after 2 a.m. to a report of a fire in an abandoned home off Midday Valley Road. The fire quickly spread to another abandoned home, but a third abandoned home in the area was spared.

“A witness observed a dark pickup truck pull up to the structure shortly before 2 a.m.,” Merritt RCMP Staff Sgt. Josh Roda said in a news release.

“A few minutes later, the structure was on fire and the pickup truck fled the area at a high rate of speed. We would like to identify and speak with the occupant of the truck to determine what may have occurred.”

Anyone with information about the truck or the fire can call police at 250-378-4262.


UPDATE: 9:23 a.m.

Police are investigating a suspicious fire that tore through two abandoned homes in Merritt overnight, producing a blaze that was highly visible to many in the community.

City officials are praising the quick work of firefighters, who stopped the flames from spreading any further.

Merritt CAO Cynthia White told Castanet no one was injured in the fire.

“It was very visible, and it could have been much worse,” she said.

“It was just the quick reactions of the fire department, LNIB and our public works department. Their work was invaluable in keeping it from being a much worse situation.”

Emergency crews were called to an area off Midday Valley Road near the former Tolko site in southwest Merritt at about midnight, White said.

“Two of the buildings out of three are pretty much destroyed,” she said, noting police are investigating the fire.

White said BC Wildfire Service crews were also on hand to help make sure the flames did not spread into nearby vegetation.

Merritt Mayor Michael Goetz said the homes were condos that had previously been abandoned while under construction.

“Nobody was living in these homes,” he said.

“We’ve had some issues with homeless in them over the years. We had a fire there about a month and a half ago.”

The investigation is ongoing.

Do you have photos or video of the fire? Send it to (email protected).


ORIGINAL STORY: 6:03 a.m.

A large structure fire was burning early this morning near Merritt.

The City of Merritt sent a Voyent Alert at 3:21 a.m. Monday advising residents that it is monitoring a major fire to the southwest of the community, towards Active Mountain. Social media posts showed at least one large building ablaze.

Merritt Fire-Rescue and other emergency agencies were at the scene. The city said the fire did not pose a risk to the community.

An aerial light show will be held in celebration of National Indigenous Peoples Day this Friday, an event organizers say will be a first for the region.

Beginning at 4 p.m. at the TteS Special Events Facility, artisans, vendors, traditional drumming and dancing, performances by Indigenous musicians and a variety of food trucks will be available during the event, according to a news release.

A Kid Zone will be available and will include a magician, face painter and bounce houses.

At 10 p.m., festivities will culminate in the aerial light show, which organizers say will feature animals significant to Indigenous culture.

The event is hosted by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and Tourism Kamloops.

Established in 1996, National Indigenous Peoples Day is held annually on June 21 to “recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures, and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples in Canada,” organizers said.

“We look forward to honouring and recognizing the contributions of our People with you all,” said TteS Kúkpi7 Rosanne Casimir.

The event is open to the public and free to attend.

“We’re honored to partner with Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to host this event, which provides a unique opportunity for everyone to experience and appreciate the traditions, stories, and unity of Indigenous communities,” said Tourism Kamloops CEO Erik Fisher.

More information is available online.

An agreement with Thompson Rivers University that saw Interior Health staff occupy a clinic space on campus was terminated last year, a decision the department says is a loss for its students.

TRU respiratory therapy assistant teaching professor and clinic supervisor Allison Innes-Wiens told Castanet a clinic space on campus was repurposed into office spaces and academic advising spaces last year — a decision the department felt lacked adequate consultation.

Innes-Wiens said the clinic space had been part of the program for 20 year. It was being used by Interior Health staff four days a week in the afternoon when the space wasn’t being used by students.

The clinic was used to treat members of the community and was intended to allow students to gain hands-on experience.

“We’ve had a variety of different options for students over the years to basically interact with members of the community, develop communication skills, develop some patient assessment skills in a lower stress setting than the hospital,” she said.

She noted the clinic had previously moved locations in the science building due to the program expanding and needing to reclaim the lab space the clinic was being run out of.

After providing data on daily use of the space, Innes-Wiens said the department received word last September the space agreement with Interior Health would be terminated in 90 days.

Innes-Wiens said the department no longer has a permanent clinic space on campus to conduct breathing tests. She said she thought the decision was a loss for students, who now have to attend Royal Inland Hospital to conduct their observations.

“I do feel it’s a loss in terms of just convenience for students, but also we aren’t able to as easily deliver these services for them,” Innes-Wiens said.

“We have had to change the structure of how I’m grading that portion and how we’re offering that portion to students.”

She said the respiratory therapy department felt the decision lacked “meaningful consultation” with their department and didn’t allow any possible solutions to be posed.

“We understand that administration has to make decisions that benefit all students, and we don’t argue at all that there are space issues on campus,” Innes-Wiens said.

“But even if the outcome can’t be changed we would have appreciated the opportunity for discussion as a department with our leadership and our administration.”

Speaking with Castanet, TRU vice-president of administration and finance Matt Milovick said the Ministry of Health has been in talks with the university to provide funding for five years for a fast-track diploma program in the respiratory therapy department.

“We simply do not have the facilities on campus to run that here,” he said.

“Even had that smaller space been allocated for that purpose it would be nowhere near enough space. We need about 7,000 square feet of space to run that fast-track program.”

He said the university is looking into using off campus space for the program.

Innes-Wiens said the department’s pediatric clinic is continuing to run in the nursing and population health building once a week, although she said the number of families that are seen has been “scaled back.”

TRU is in the middle of a $2 million space plan intended to consolidate administrative services and revitalize “Student Street” in Old Main

Recently, TRU’s library department and open learning’s Learning Design and Innovations department have taken issue with the university’s consultation process prior to repurposing space.

Madison Reeve

The coming week is forecast to see both sun and cloud, with chances of light showers and a risk of thunderstorm predicted early in the week, according to Environment Canada.

Monday is expected to be mainly cloudy with some showers beginning near noon. A risk of a thunderstorm and 30 km/h wind becoming west is predicted in the afternoon. Temperatures will reach a high of 19 C. Monday night will see cloudy periods and a low of 9 C.

A mix of sun and cloud is expected Tuesday with a daytime high of 19 C. Periods of overcast skies and an overnight low of 11 C are expected during the night.

Temperatures will climb to 24 C on Wednesday when skies will see a mix of sun and cloud. A low of 12 C is expected in the evening as skies clear.

Thursday will see sunny skies as temperatures peak at 27 C during the day. Clear skies are predicted during the night with a low of 14 C.

Sunny skies are expected to continue into Friday as temperatures reach a high of 31 C – about 6 C above seasonal averages. Cloudy periods are expected during the night as temperatures reach a low of 16 C.

According to Environment Canada, the weekend is forecast to see a mix of sun and cloud and highs around 31 C.

Kamloops council has agreed to send the province’s minister of forests a letter advocating for measures that pulp mill representatives say would increase fibre supply while cleaning up forest fuels and preventing fires.

Thomas Hoffman, fibre manager for Kruger Kamloops Pulp L.P., told council at its Tuesday meeting the mill brought value to nearly 1.4 million cubic metres of fire-affected wood in 2023.

“There’s no other pulp mill in the province that accomplished that,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman said the industry is looking for the province to expedite timber salvaging permits, ensure full access to allowable annual cut for licensees, and develop “an aggressive forest fuel risk reduction program” to mitigate wildfire damage.

He said within 200 kilometres of Kamloops sit four million cubic metres of fire-affected fibre that hasn’t been scheduled for harvest.

Coun. Margot Middleton said she sees “mountains of slash” that also appear to be left in some areas.

“As we see the fire-affected wood potentially going to waste as they’re not harvesting it in a timely fashion, what about the existing slash and burn piles that are evident all over logged areas? … How much of that waste would still be good for fibre if it were not just put in a burn pile?” Middleton asked.

Hoffman said the mill is working hard with its suppliers to address the issue, adding he’d like to see more incentives for companies to take out the brush.

Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson said he found some time last year to speak with Forests Minister Bruce Ralston about “getting burned wood out of the bush.”

“He assured me that they had a plan,” Hamer-Jackson said. “It wasn’t a real clear plan, but I wonder if it would benefit if we sent another letter to Minister Ralston for you?”

Hoffman said the mill has regular dialogue with a couple of provincial representatives, but told council he would appreciate continued advocacy.

“Every opportunity, I won’t prescribe to council, because you are in audiences that I’m not part of, but, every opportunity is what I’m asking for your consideration,” Hoffman said.

“Whether you find yourself in front of the minister of forests or whether you find yourself in front of the premier, you’ve got the key messages.”

Hamer-Jackson put forward a motion to send a “follow up” letter to Ralston.

“Like I said, he did say they had a plan to get that wood, the burned timber, out of the bush,” he said.

The motion was carried unanimously by council.

Unless something changes in the coming weeks, the closure of The Loop drop-in centre for the homeless in North Kamloops will coincide with the closure The Mustard Seed’s dayroom.

Both facilities are slated to close on July 31.

In April, local real estate agent Brendan Shaw purchased the building at 405 Traquille Rd. and served the tenant drop-in centre with a 20-day eviction notice, but the facility remains open.

The Loop operator Glenn Hilke and Shaw told Castanet Kamloops they agreed to a longer, more accommodating timeline for the move out, which has been pegged for July 31 — the same day The Mustard Seed’s dayroom will no longer allow non-clients to access that space.

The decision means Kamloops will be without a drop-in centre for the homeless, aside from a temporary outdoor facility on West Victoria Street.

Hilke told Castanet Kamloops the July 31 date initially came up before The Mustard Seed’s announcement, and that he later requested a move out date of Aug. 31 to avoid losing both drop-in spaces at the same time, but that was rejected.

“While July 31, 2024, wasn’t my preference, I believe these timelines have been reasonable on all sides,” Shaw told Castanet in an emailed statement. “We will now move forward to file paperwork on next steps to have the tenant vacated by July 31.”

Hilke said he also reached out to the City of Kamloops suggesting the municipality approach Shaw and another social agency about running services out of 405 Tranquille Rd. as a stopgap ahead of the city’s proposed access hub for the homeless coming online, but he’s yet to hear back.

“My hope has always been that with this investment to revitalize 405 Tranquille, and the work of the City and Kamloops with our community’s social agencies to create an access hub, there can still be a win-win solution for those who need social services and the area’s residents and local businesses,” Shaw’s statement read.

In his statement to Castanet, Shaw did not explain directly whether he would consider this idea or why Aug. 31 was rejected as a move out date.

“You close down both drop-in centres and where do people go?” Hilke asked. “Where did they go to get out of the heat, the cold, the rain, the smoke?”

Focused on the day-to-day

Hilke told Castanet he has not sought out a new location for The Loop and is instead focused on continuing to provide their services to the city’s homeless.

He said clients of The Loop continue to ask him about the future of the facility.

“People are very stressed out,” he said.”I mean, every day, we have probably a half a dozen people asking us ‘what’s going on?’ ‘Where am I going to eat?'”

Hilke also said he is no longer considering any legal action to fight the eviction.

In April, Carmin Mazzotta, the city’s assistant community and culture director, said the group of agencies working to establishing the access hub was still trying to secure a site they hope to have operational by the winter.

The Mustard Seed has said the decision to close its day room was based on public access compromising the safety and sobriety of its clients, while Shaw has cited ongoing nuisance issues associated to The Loop and a desire to convert 405 Tranquilly Rd. into commercial property.

Shaw said the sale of the property is expected to close later this month.

The Loop is a volunteer-run facility managed by the Lived Experience Community Life and Peer Skills Program.

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