More Legion awards

Poppy Day Awards presented by Oliver Legion President Chris Yerburgh

 Katherine Schur

Intermediate Black/White poster

1st place plus

1st place at zone level

Intermediate essay

1st place plus

1st place at zone level

Intermediate poem

2nd place

Andrew Schur

Junior Black and White poster

2nd place

Photo and information: Tara Hovanes

Concert Review by Bob Park

The solo guitar performance by Daniel Bolshoy was billed by South Okanagan Concert Society’s executive as an event “not to be missed.” And were they ever right about that! It had been 25 years since the concert society last had a classical guitarist on stage. Last Friday night they made up for that “oversight” by bringing us the brightest and best.  There are always potential challenges inherent in planning any concert. For this one, consider this: 200 people in a “substitute concert hall”, a whole program of music by composers that 99 percent of the audience had never heard of, and a single, quiet, unamplified, acoustic guitar.  How would it go over? The short answer: extremely well! Daniel Bolshoy had us spell-bound throughout the evening. He worked magic on his newly acquired high-tech German-made guitar, of which even the slightest whisper of a strum could be heard at the back of the hall. The audience listened, as with bated breath, not wanting to miss a single phrase, a single note. Rare are performers who perfect the vibrato, slides and changes of tone on the guitar so as to create and maintain a singing quality . Daniel Bolshoy is such a performer. He drew us into to the lyrical world of Sainz de la Maza, Karmon, and Barrios and, after two hours of pure delight, left us on our feet, asking for more.  Daniel’s program began with a musical tribute by the composer, Eduardo Sainz de la Maza, to a series of poems by the Spanish poet Juan Ramon Jimenez, “Platero y Yo”. A man and his donkey: the simple joys of life and memories. Daniel’s gift to us, we were soon to discover, was not just his beautiful playing. He also has the ability to set us up for the music by telling us lively little stories about the composers at the time that  each piece came into being.  We were fascinated. And we listened. The first half continued with five more compositions by Sainz de la Maza, including a  variety of evocative titles.  When Daniel introduced “Homage to Toulouse-Lautrec” by referencing the recent hit movie, “Midnight in Paris,” the audience nodded and smiled. The first half concluded  with Sainz de la Maza’s best known piece: Campanas del Alba, “Bells at Dawn”.  The rapid fire guitar-playing technique called “tremolo”, which allows a guitarist to imitate a singing vocal line, came off  so smoothly that the audience sat hushed for a moment, not wanting to break the lyrical spell. The second half of the program began with “Next Year”, a series of 5 short pieces written for Daniel by the American composer Michael Karmon.  Each depicts a different aspect of life in Jerusalem, combining a sense of history, awe and modern realities of the 3,000 year-old city. Unusual, fascinating music, creating a taste for more. The program concluded with works by arguably the greatest guitarist of the 20th century, the Paraguayan-Guarani Indian composer Augustin Barrios Mangore.  Daniel explained how this composer’s music, so popular among guitarists today, languished in obscurity due to the overarching influence of Andres Segovia—the dominant classical guitar recitalist of the time. Out of jealousy, Segovia bad-mouthed Barrios at every opportunity. Barrios, a poverty-stricken, homeless, musical genius spent a life-time travelling all over Latin America, giving concerts and composing, but never getting the financial backing or promotional support he needed to achieve the success he was due.  A full, but in many ways also a tragic, life. Now, just as every pianist knows and admires Chopin, so does every guitarist know and admire Barrios.  It feels like a vindication when someone like Daniel shares the music by this genius with audiences far and wide. The last piece in the program, “La Catedral”, presents enormous challenges to any performer. Daniel, with the exceptional powers of concentration and outstanding technical skills needed for the long and difficult stretches in the piece, did full justice to Barrios. A triumphant end to the program. We were treated to two encores, before the enthusiastic audience finally let Daniel leave the stage.  Barrios’ last composition, “An Alm for the Love of God”, was followed by Sainz de la Maza’s arrangement of Steven Foster’s well-known “Swanee River”, which combined shades of Ravel, Django Reinhardt, and Debussy. For me, it was a perfect ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Judging by the strength of the standing ovation and by the record-setting CD sales in the foyer, Oliver concert-goers agreed! South Okanagan Concert Society has one more concert lined up for this season.  Music lovers, mark your calendars! The Penderecki String Quartet will be playing on Friday, Feb.24th at 7:30. Again, the venue will be the Alliance Church, whose support to the temporarily “homeless” SOCS has been tremendous, and is much appreciated by one and all. Early Bird ticket sales for next year will again be available.

Review by Bob Park

Good news hidden in a closing

Last day for Sherilee at Eastside Grocery. Drop in and say goodbye.

Look for a new name and a new time and a new lineup of products in May.

Eastside Grocery is now more – but EASTSIDE – home of the best slushies will open in May and operate for the summer months – under new management.

No papers,  no tobacco products,  no lottery tickets,  no magazines. It will be designed as a summer store with products for tourists and kids during the hot summer months. Check it out in May.

Just how big is that gym

About six hundred students, teachers, district staff and guests showed Monday just how full the new SOSS gym can get for a big game or a featured attraction.

  (Press this link for large picture)

Because of the fire last fall – no assembly had been held – Both principal Cate Turner and Vice-Principal Tracy Harrington used the opportunity to instill pride in the new school and thanked the students for getting through the many months of confusion and stress. New teachers were introduced, awards given out, lockers assigned, sports teams came to the floor, music students played jazzy tunes and the visitors seemed very impressed.

A day of great school pride.

Eby photograph to grace the halls of SOSS

A photograph taken by Paul Eby was presented by Osoyoos Senior High School students to SOSS Monday at the first assembly of all students this year in the brand new gymnasium. The picture shows the school prior to the fire. The framed colour photograph is accompanied by a picture of the Canadian flag that survived September’s blaze. This  smaller photo by retired teacher John Chapman.

SOSS teacher honoured for 25 years of service

Miles Kereliuk has retired. He has served about 2500 students in the last quarter century and its time to move on. Kereliuk was a shop teacher for all grades and taught math to students in junior high.

Kereliuk came to the job as a carpenter with many other skills – math and stage sets for drama to name just a few. Well liked by students, Kereliuk was honoured Monday at the first SOSS assembly of the current school year.

“Miles will be greatly missed.  He always has a smile and a kind word.  He has a great sense of humour and clearly enjoyed being a teacher.” Cate Turner, SOSS Principal.

SOSS student winners

Mayor Ron Hovanes, Brian Lobb – Zone Chair of the Legion Remembrance Day poppy poster and literary contest – student winners and Oliver Legion President Chris Yerburgh at SOSS Assembly Monday.

Zone winners (from 10 communities)

Lautaro Ferrai 2nd place senior colour poster

Loveneet Brar 1st place senior essay

Dalenay Minor 1st place senior poem

Hailey Svdenningsen 1st place intermediate poem

Katherine Schur 1st place intermediate essay

Katherine Schur 1st place intermediate black/white poster

Branch #97 winners

Black/white poster seniors 1st place Brady Houle

2nd place Anmol Dhaliwal

3rd place Jashan Knela

Colour Poster seniors 1st place Lautaro Ferrari

2nd place Karisa Seidler

3rd place Andrew Fallon

Essay Seniors 1st place Loveneet Brar

2nd place Sarah Joy Coucill

3rd place Jessa Kriesel

Poem Seniors 1st place Dalenay Minor 2nd place Emily Nunes

3rd place Katlin McNab

Intermediate Black/white posters 1st place Katherine Schur (not in photo)

3rd place Elizabeth Harkness

Intermediate Colour posters 3rd place Olivia Ruddiman

Intermediate Poems 1st place Hailey Svenningsen

3rd place Simranpreet Mand

Intermediate Essay 1st place Katherine Schur (Not in Photo)

Elvis is set to drop in

Hello all of the friends and supporters of the Oliver Curling Centre

Just a quick note to once again invite you to come to the Oliver Curling Centre in February for a couple of entertaining events.  On Valentine’s Day, Tuesday February 14, Elvis will be in the building.  Adam Fitzpatrick is an Elvis impersonator from Penticton and has performed for us in the past.  His show is classy, professional and very ‘Elvis’.  He looks a bit like the King and definitely sounds like him.  We are almost already sold out of tickets, so if you want some let me know in the next couple of days. Tickets are $25 each, for dinner and the show.

And the other major event is our annual Curling Bonspiel.  We will have 32 teams coming this year, from around the valley and from as far away as Gibson’s.  There is always lots of good curling to watch, lots of socializing to do, and lots of people to meet.  Feel free to drop in any time from Friday evening, February 17 until Sunday afternoon, February 19.  Admission is free.

A smaller event, but always good fun, is the Junior Bonspiel, on February 11.  Our junior teams will be participating along with teams from Osoyoos and Penticton.  Our teams will be sporting their new sponsors vests that some of you sponsors helped to purchase this year.  Again, drop in anytime and check out some entertaining curling.

Hope to see you there,

Dale Dodge

Adapt to living in a new world

Ranjit Sidhu sits with instructor

Okanagan College has a motto “transforming lives and communities” and here in Osoyoos the college offers a program which transforms lives. It’s called the English as a Second Language Settlement Assistance Program (ESLSAP). ESLSAP has two objectives which help immigrants adapt to their lives in Canada: the first, to assist eligible newcomers in improving their English language skills; and the second, to assist those learners in acquiring increased knowledge of life in Canada and Canadian civil society. ESLSAP is also offered in Keremeos, Oliver and Vernon, where all the programs are overseen by the college. In total there are forty-five ESLSAP programs in the province of British Columbia, where funding comes from Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

ESLSAP is a free program intended for adult immigrants who wish to improve their English language skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking. It’s a difficult time adapting to a new country and even more difficult when for a newcomer who can’t speak the language. The adult learners in Osoyoos mostly come from India, Portugal China, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Some learners have been here for almost forty years and others have been here just a few days before they start the program. Some are beginners and others are more advanced. Some can listen to and speak English well; all they need is help reading and writing English. Some are stay at home mothers and others have their own businesses. In order to be eligible for ESLSAP a learner must be 19 or older, a Canadian citizen, a permanent resident or have applied for citizenship or permanent residency.

ESLSAP recruit volunteer tutors who receive 12 hours of face-to-face and online training in how to teach English to adult learners. Each tutor is provided with English language resources and matched to an adult English learner. In order to be a tutor, you don’t have to have a university degree, nor do you have to have been a teacher. All you need are good English skills and a caring and patient manner. The tutors enjoy the interaction with our adult students and learning about their culture.

ESLSAP Osoyoos has a number of program partners which make the program possible: Destination Osoyoos, School District 53, Work Zone, Osoyoos Library, and the Town of Osoyoos (Sonora Center) which provides a space for learners and tutors to meet.

Last year British Columbia’s English as a Second Language Settlement Assistance Programs won the prestigious Grundtvig Award for Adult Learning, which was awarded in Sweden.

Should the readers have in interest in participating in this program either as a tutor or as a learner, please contact the Osoyoos ESLSAP Coordinator, Carollyne Sinclaire, at 250 495-0787.

Final concert of the season – February 24th


Mark your calendar for Friday, February 24th, when the Penderecki String Quartet performs in the final concert of the South Okanagan Concert Society winter season.  In the second decade of an extraordinary career, this celebrated chamber ensemble’s performing schedule takes them annually to the great concert stages of North and South America, Europe and the Far East.   Making up the prestigious quartet are Jeremy Bell, violin, Jerzy Kaplanek, violin, Christine Vlajk, viola, and Paul Pulford, cello.   The quartet has collaborated with many eminent ensembles as well as with artists such as James Campbell and Janina Fialkowska who have thrilled audiences here in past years.

The concert will be at the temporary venue of the Oliver Alliance Church just north of Oliver at 7:30 pm.   Tickets are on sale at Beyond Bliss  in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door.   This is the time to use up any remaining admissions on your flex pass and to bring your cheque book to catch the Early Bird prices for next season.   Single admissions are $20 and students 17 and under are admitted free.   This is a great opportunity to introduce the young musicians in your family to world class live music.

Sometimes people ask me why I love the concert series music so much.   I decided to ask members of the audience what draws them.   Here is what Brita Park told me:

“I’ve got this image of my recently immigrated parents in the early 50’s.  My Dad had been working two jobs (16 hours a day) and had finally earned a bit more than was required for the daily food to feed a family of eight.  My mother’s immediate thought was “New shoes for the kids!”.  Too late!  To her dismay, my father came home without the extra money.   Instead he carried a beautiful record player and proudly chose one record from a stack of new LPs.  The lively strains of a Strauss waltz filled the house, drifted over the porch and the orchard below.  Father gallantly twirled my mother around the living room and we children joined in.

Later my mother admitted that it was my father who had gauged the family needs correctly, not she.   Our old shoes would have to do.   It was the beautiful shared music of Strauss, Chopin, Mozart, Bach and Mendelssohn that lifted the family up, accompanying, sustaining, and delighting us through all our years of growing up.”

So come and share the beautiful music of the Penderecki String Quartet with others who love music.   Allow yourself to be lifted up, sustained and delighted.  Don’t be afraid of winter roads.   Call Maureen at 250 495 7978 if you want to arrange transportation in the van.   Join us.   Come!

Article submitted by Marion Boyd

Picture from

Grade 8 – Junior Hornets excel

The SOSS Grade 8 Boys continued their winning ways this past weekend. Competing in the KVR Hooper tournament in Penticton,  the boys came home with the championship trophy after winning four consecutive games.

The young Hornets defeated:
Fulton of Vernon,
Skaha Lake and
KVR School Penticton

They won all the games handily, outscoring their opposition by an average of 26 points per game.

The Hornets are undefeated in league play with a 7 and 0 win/loss record and will host the South Zone playoffs later in February.

Next home game is Tuesday Jan 31 at 4pm in the BEAUTIFUL new SOSS gym against McNicoll Park of Penticton.

Submitted by Roger McKay, coach-grade 8 Hornets.


Champs all of them

South Okanagan Bantam Reps win the OMAHA league banner.

They finished with a 16 win 1 loss and 1 tie record. Playoffs start February 10th.

The Bantams secured home ice advantage today with a 10-2 win over Summerland at the Sun Bowl Arena .

Photo submitted by Sean Harris

Curling on the stick

Senior Curlers – On The “Stick”  As time passes, and doesn’t it really zip by for the more “mature” folk among us, the aches and pains come and sometimes just don’t go away. Often the creaks heard are from the time worn, well used, often abused, knees. For some, kneeling down in the hack to deliver a curling rock has become a bit of a sore-chore that could perhaps keep them from returning to the rink for another season. Well folks there is an answer to that little problem. In the past few years the concept of delivering a rock with a “stick” has really caught hold. The broom-length stick is made with an attachment on the business end that allows it to loosely grasp the rock’s handle allowing the curler to stand upright as he/she walks out from the hack to deliver a rock instead of using the traditional crouch-and-slide method. A little mentioned, almost always denied by the stick users, bonus is that many (of course this doesn’t apply to any of the local crowd) are more proficient at the game with the stick than they were in their past curling life. Some say it’s almost a little bit like cheating and all say it’s a heck of a lot of fun.  In addition to regular play there are stick leagues and stick bonspiels governed by, of course, by stick rules. Actually anyone, except those in provincial, national, or professional competition can use the stick method, not just the aforementioned matures. Come out and try it we have the technology.

Curlers Jack Fontinha (top) Richard Brooks (bottom)

Hornets flying in formation – true winners – congratulations

(l-r) Rav Sandhu, Jessa Kriesel, Sumy Brar, Emily Jentsch,  Ashley McGinnis, Navi Mann, Jazmine Grouette, Rory Lodge, Jasnoor Sidhu

The SOSS Sr. Girls made it 19-4 with a clean sweep at the Princeton Rebels Tournament this past weekend .   The team is playing with a high level of  synchronizity and are ramping up their efforts in time for the exciting playoff season,  starting in a few short weeks.

The highlight was a much wanted rematch against #4 ranked (‘A’) and home team Princeton, and it came as both teams winning their opening two matches were set to collide in the tournament championship.

From the opening buzzer the Hornets played offensively well, and combined with terrific defense , never looked back to a 64-44 victory.    In other games Oliver beat Kelowna Heritage 71-36 and valley rivals Kalamalka 56-52.
Strong game by Oliver in final – led by Ashley McGinnis – 27 points – 9 rebounds with Emily Jentsch 18 points- 13 rebounds.

Game 1 Princeton 71 Princess Margaret 43
Game 2 Rutland 58 Keremeos 65 (OT)
Game 3 Oliver 71 Heritage Christian 36
Game 4 Kalmalka 74 Grand Forks 31
Game 5 Princeton 66 Keremeos 51
Game 6 Grand Forks 58 Heritage Christian 45
Game 7 Princess Margaret 60 Rutland 47
Game 8 Semi Final: Oliver 56 Kalmalka 52
Game 9 7th/8th: Rutland 59 Heritage Christina 53
Game 10 4th/6th: Grand Forks 54 Princess Margaret 50
Game 10 3rd/5th: Kalmalka 74 Keremeos 63
Final 1st/2nd: Oliver 64 Princeton 44

Next weekend is the final tournament of the season at Maggie.  Feb. 15 will be the girls first playoff game.

Go Hornets Go!!

Picture and story by coach Jentsch



New curriculum on Okanagan peoples

On Friday Jan 27th, Grade 4 teachers from school District 53 met to review and learn new curriculum that has been locally developed. Over the past two years, the District Aboriginal Education Advisory Council, as part of recommendations from the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement, sponsored the development of a Grade 4 Social Studies unit on the Okanagan People. This unit is approved as district curriculum and is an exciting addition to our students’ learning. Helen Gallagher and Deidre Simpson, along with assistance from Cindy Gilbert at the SD 53 Board Office, created the curriculum presented the workshop. Each school’s support worker also attended as they have been trained to assist teaching the unit.

The work and dedication to develop this incredible asset for the classroom was appreciated by all participants. We are so fortunate to have leaders such as Helen and Deidre who dedicate time and commitment to bring valuable local knowledge into the classroom for all our students.

Picture and story from Marji Basso

The Radies shoe

Here are captains Greet Gill (SOSS Hornets) and Ryan Sutcliffe (Penticton Lakers) toying for the trophy.

I would like to thank all those that came out to watch the game, the fans make the difference. The Hornets play a crucial league game on Tuesday January 31st at SOSS against Princess Margaret (Maggie), game time is 6:45 PM

story by Mo Basso

photo by Megan Basso

Hot air?

This winter scene was actually taken in winter 2010-2011 in Osoyoos. When I spotted it I thought I could say:

Good place for a lumber yard – but not yet

Good place for car races – yup all last summer

Good place for wind to blow – yup

An airport? Not without millions of dollars of tax payers’ money.

Oliver is a very lucky town for two reasons – forward thinkers developed an airport in 1935 (before Kelowna or Penticton). The airport is on a very very deep pile of gravel (a strong foundation). Oliver has its Fire Hall, OFB firemen training grounds, Air Cadet hanger, private hanger facilities and two modern buildings set to capitalize on Helicopter flight and mainteance – with more to come from its Airport Strategic Plan. Oliver uses its airport as part of its Green Plan – irrigating with effluent. The land is also appreciated by flights of Canadian Geese who land on a regular basis ignoring all flight regulations.

How about a small hotel, rental cars, flight centre, cafe, a block from the highway (between two malls) – close to recreation facilities?