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Posted: January 15, 2016

District Council News

By Chris Conway

The District of Invermere held its first council meeting of the new year last Tuesday (January 12).

Imagine Invermere

Imagine InvermereCouncillor Paul Denchuk reported to council that the Imagine Invermere committee had recently lost three members. Denchuk stated that the loss of members is acceptable. “It’s a living committee and turnover is good. It brings new blood in and gets new ideas going,” he said.

Council resolved to appoint Katie McNamara and Ray Vowels to the committee. Each appointment is for a two-year term. Council also resolved to seek a committee representative from the downtown business operators.

Columbia Valley Arts Council

Council received and accepted a written report from the Columbia Valley Arts Council (CV Arts). The report is a requirement of the 2015 Fee for Service Agreement which enabled $25,000 in funding to CV Arts from the District of Invermere.

Chris Evans
Chris Evans

“We continue to provide an entertaining cross—section of cultural exhibitions and events participate actively in community affairs such as the planning for the new multi—use facility,” stated past-president Chris Evans in the report. “We feel strongly that our cultural presence is an integral element in the identity of  the DOI.”

The report includes a detailed summary of CV Arts activities in 2015, including the operation of the Pynelogs Cultural Centre and events such as Art From The Heart; Wings Over The Rockies; The REACH Exhibition (DTSS student art exhibition); The Sue Wells Art Foundation ART DAY for local children; The Mountain Mosaic Arts Festival on Canada Day; The Invermere MusicFest and the Cinefest Film Series. CV Arts also hosted a total of nine concerts in 2015 and a monthly “open mic” event to support emerging new musicians in the Columbia Valley.

CV Arts has one full-time staff member and attracts over 3,000 hours of volunteer service.  It is also actively involved in the Columbia Valley Cultural Tourism Association (CCTA) and the advisory committee for the new multi-use facility.

“We are most appreciative of this operational funding support from the DOI and continue our other fund-raising activities via grants, sponsorships, ticket sales, gallery sales, facility rentals, donations, memberships and special events in order to meet our budget,” said Evans. “We look forward to a renewal of the DOI Fee for Service and will work with staff and council to put that in place early in the New Year.”

The report included financial statements for the year-ending September 30, 2015.

“It’s a really well done report,” said Councillor Greg Anderson. “Kudos to them for providing it.” Mayor Gerry Taft agreed and complemented CV Arts for providing an accurate up-to-date financial statement.

The full CV Arts report can be found on the DOI website:

Lake Windermere Ambassadors

Council received and accepted a written report from Lake Windermere Ambassadors (LWA). This report was pursuant to a 2015 Fee for Service funding agreement between the LWA and the District.

LWA reported that the Annual Summer Splash was a well-attended community gathering to celebrate Lake Windermere, attracting over 200 participants, 15 active event volunteers and bringing local businesses and community groups together in the spirit of watershed education and recreation.

CSF LWALWA brought 15 volunteers out onto the Lake to conduct water quality monitoring programs this summer, published 12 ‘Pulse Checks’ in The Valley Echo and 16 timely educational articles related to lake health for local newspapers. 
In 2015 the group made a presentation on the BC Water Sustainability Act, provided a tour of the Upper Columbia Watershed, took students from Windermere Elementary on a field trip, conducted the second annual Waterless Carwash with Cleanline Auto and Sobeys and conducted an educational outreach at the Athalmer boat-launch on ‘Clean-Drain-Dry’ methods for preventing the spread of aquatic invasives by boat vessels.

LWA was present at the Whiteway Festival, the Mountain Mosaic Festival, the Farmer’s Institute Summer Fair, the Columbia Lake Stewardship Society Open House and the Columbia Salmon Festival.

“We are grateful to the District of Invermere for providing a great service to the community through the Fee for Service arrangement,” concluded the group’s report. “We look forward to continuing to work with the District in delivering these important services in 2016.”

The full LWA report can be found on the DOI website:

Fire service dispatch changes

Mayor Gerry Taft
Mayor Gerry Taft

Council consented to a Regional District of East Kootenay bylaw regarding changes to the fire dispatch services in the East Kootenay region.

Mayor Gerry Taft explained that the fire dispatch service provided by the City of Cranbrook will be ending. Cranbrook will no longer be providing a fire dispatch service and the RDEK and the City of Cranbrook are combining to request contract proposals for a replacement service provider. Taft told council that it looks like the new contract pricing will not be substantially higher than that charged by Cranbrook, and that existing communications equipment will continue to be used.

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