The editor and her son working on family literacy in 2003. (Photo credit: Wendy Coomber)

Family Literacy week is coming, with lots of free fun events

Plus a concert, a free grant writing workshop, an armchair traveller event, and more

Firearms course correction

Last week’s Journal said that an upcoming firearms course was being offered by the South Cariboo Sportsmen Association. The course is being offered by Ken Brown, and the Journal regrets the error.

The course is for non-restricted firearms, and will run on Jan. 25–26. If you are interested in taking part, call Ken at (250) 453-9415.

Concert at UniTea

Tanner Dawson will be in Ashcroft for a concert on Saturday, Jan. 25 at UniTea Café and Lounge, in his first performance as part of an acoustic trio. “This group that I’ve put together really pulls a folk country/roots style of playing into a new era, driving it with more of a whiskey rock/outlaw kind of edge,” says Dawson. “This project has been nothing but fun thus far, and we can’t wait to bring that kind of energy and vibe to the stage for all our fans to see.”

The trio will be playing a mix of covers and original music, and Dawson says “One of our goals this year is to play songs that everyone, no matter what genre they prefer, can get into and tap their foot or bob their head.”

Tickets are $20 each, and are available at UniTea; you can reserve tickets by calling (250) 457-1145. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Family Literacy Week

Bridging to Literacy will be holding a series of fun family events between Jan. 27 and Feb. 1, all of them free.

There will be three “Family Story Time and Crafts” sessions: at the Ashcroft HUB on Monday, Jan. 27 (4:30 to 5:30 p.m.); at the Cache Creek Community Hall on Tuesday, Jan. 28 (6 to 7 p.m.); and at the Cook’s Ferry Band Office in Spences Bridge on Thursday, Jan. 30 (4 to 5:30 p.m.).

Two “Building with Bricks” sessions are offered: at the Cache Creek Library on Wednesday, Jan. 29 (4 to 5 p.m.) and at the Ashcroft Library on Saturday, Feb. 1 (11 a.m. to noon). There will also be a “Family Skate” session at the Drylands Arena in Ashcroft on Friday, Jan. 31 from 6:45 to 8:30 p.m. Prizes are available nightly, so bring the family to any of these free events for a fun time and the chance to win a prize.

Grant writing workshop

Do you want to learn how to tell your story, create a budget, know which grants are for you, and learn tips about how to get approved? Then you won’t want to miss the two-day grant writing workshop at the Ashcroft HUB, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 30 and 31.

The workshop includes how-to tips and hands-on learning. If you have a special project in mind, then bring it with you and complete it during the workshop. The cost is $60 per person, and includes lunch and refreshments.

For more information, or to register, call the HUB at (250) 453-9177, or email

BC Achievement Community Award

Do you know an outstanding British Columbian? The 17th annual BC Achievement Community Award celebrates the spirit, imagination, dedication, and outstanding contributions that British Columbians make to their communities.

You can nominate a deserving individual who raises the quality and character of your community. The award recognizes the contributions of extraordinary British Columbians who build better, stronger, more resilient communities and shine as examples of dedication and service.

Nomination forms are available online at, and nominations must be received by Jan. 31, 2020.

The Armchair Traveller

Would you like to visit a Mennonite village without leaving the Ashcroft/Cache Creek area? Then don’t miss the “Armchair Travel to a Mennonite Village” dinner and entertainment at the Ashcroft HUB on Friday, Feb 14 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Do you know how to say hello and thank you in Plautdiestch? Have you tried wareneki or plumi moos? Take a virtual trip to a Mennonite village to learn and experience the Mennonite culture, and enjoy the scrumptious flavours of traditional Mennonite foods.

Tickets are $5 each. To book a ticket, or for more information, contact the HUB at (250) 453-9177, email, or drop by the HUB office.

Screening mammography clinic

The BC Cancer Breast Screening’s digital mobile mammography service will be visiting Ashcroft (IDA Pharmacy) on Feb. 14–15. Free mammograms are available for women aged 40 and over, so make an informed decision to screen for breast cancer.

To book your appointment, call 1-800-663-9203. Visit to learn more.

Cache Creek Seniors drop-in

It’s back! Anyone aged 55+ is invited to drop in at the Cache Creek Community Hall on Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. for coffee, conversation, and cards; you can also bring your own games along.

The drop-in is in the downstairs meeting room at the Hall, and there is no charge for attending. Come by once in a while, or drop-in every week! For more information, call or text Wendy Coomber at (250) 457-0245.

Nominate an excellent educator

Nominations are now open for the third annual Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education, a chance to recognize the British Columbian teachers, administrators, and support workers who are making a positive impact on students and their school communities.

The awards program was created in 2018 to honour the contributions of education professionals who go above and beyond to make life better for students in British Columbia. They are open to public, independent, and First Nations school-system teachers, principals, vice-principals, administrators, and support staff in the K–12 school system.

This year, six awards are open to any B.C. teacher certificate holder, two awards are open to any B.C. teacher certificate holder currently in a district or school leadership role, and two awards are open to any support staff member.

In 2018, School District No. 74 teacher Kim Halayko of Lillooet Secondary School won in the category of “Diversity and Inclusion”, and in 2019 principal Colleen Minnabarriet of Desert Sands Community School in Ashcroft was one of three finalists in the “District Leadership Award” category.

Winners will receive a $3,000 personal bursary for professional learning, a $2,000 contribution to the winner’s school community for professional learning, and a commemorative work of art designed by a B.C. student. Each runner up will receive a $1,000 personal bursary for professional learning and a $1,000 contribution to their school community for professional learning.

Nominations will be accepted until April 30, 2020, and finalists will be announced in May. Winners will be announced at an award ceremony in Victoria, timed with World Teachers’ Day in October. To nominate an education professional for the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Excellence in Education, go to

Oscar fun fact

Nominees for this year’s Oscars have been announced, with the 92nd Oscar Awards taking place on Feb. 9. In the run-up to the event, here’s an Oscar fun fact.

The 1941 film 49th Parallel—a British production that was set in Canada, and featured a good deal of location shooting in this country—was nominated for three Oscars: Outstanding Motion Picture; Writing (screenplay); and Writing (Original Motion Picture Story), with Emeric Pressburger taking home the award in the last category. However, if you search for 49th Parallel in Oscar history, the film doesn’t seem to exist.

That’s because the film was given a new name—The Invaders—for American audiences before the film was released in the US in 1942, and it was under that name that it was nominated for the 1943 Oscars. Not only did the film receive a new name; 19 minutes were cut from its running time. The entire film, under its original title, is available on DVD from the Criterion Collection.

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