The Ashcroft Library has reopened to the public, with a few changes in place. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Local News Briefs: Ashcroft, Cache Creek, Clinton libraries now open

Plus licensed child care in Cache Creek, free water conservation kits, and more

Clinton Community Forest correction

The Board of the Clinton and District Community Forest would like to make a correction to the list of community organizations that shared in more than $87,000-worth of disbursements earlier this month. The grant of $6,000 for a new sea-can was not for the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Department, but for the Loon Lake Community Recreational and Agricultural Society. The sea-can will be used outside the community hall.

The Board apologizes for the error.

Libraries reopen

The library branches in Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and Clinton have reopened, and are once again welcoming people back into the branches to browse for books, pick up holds, return items, use the computers, sign up for the summer reading clubs and pick up reading club material, and more.

Please note that the branch hours at the libraries have changed slightly, and they will be closed each day for a short period to allow for cleaning. Physical distancing protocols are in place, meaning that each branch can only accommodate a limited number of patrons at one time. Visits are limited to one hour or less, and computer use is limited to a maximum of 45 minutes at a time, with fewer computer terminals than usual available at one time, to facilitate physical distancing. Washroom facilities are not available in-branch at this time.

For more information about opening hours and services, contact your local branch. For more information about the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library system, including special online events for children, youth, teens, and adults, visit the Thompson-Nicola Regional Library Facebook page or the website at

Learning Tree Child Care

Learning Tree Child Care in Cache Creek, which is licensed and run by a B.C.-certified teacher, is now accepting registrations for September 2020. Registrations do not guarantee a spot, but will place your child(ren) in the queue to be reviewed. As Learning Tree must follow licensing guidelines, there will be age and capacity restrictions on enrolment. Families will be notified about registration approval as soon as possible.

Due to COVID-19, extra measures are in place for obtaining a licence, so a soft opening (where parents can tour) will be postponed until sometime in August.

Anyone who would like to register their child(ren) can do so by visiting For more information, email Crista Ross at

Free water conservation kits

Free water conservation kits (one per household for Ashcroft residents) are now available from the Ashcroft Village office. Each kit contains a number of items that will help improve at-home water efficiency, including a seven-setting garden hose nozzle, a toilet tank bank that will reduce water usage when a toilet is flushed, two faucet aerators to reduce water flow, and a low-flow showerhead. Installation is simple, and instructions are included, as is information about water conservation.

From May 1 to Sept. 30 the Village of Ashcroft is on Stage 1 water restrictions unless residents are otherwise notified. This means that odd-numbered addresses can water on odd-numbered days of the month and even-numbered addresses on even-numbered days. The water conservation kits contain a handy fridge magnet specifying the days and times when residents can water.

Twin Rivers Drive-in

Tickets for every weekend of showings at the Twin Rivers Drive-in in Kamloops through the end of August are on sale now, and only available through the website at

Starting on the weekend of Aug. 1, the first movie will start promptly at 9:15 p.m., with doors opening at 8:45 p.m. The drive-in runs every Saturday and Sunday until the end of September at McArthur Island Sports Centre in the south-facing parking lot. Occupancy will be limited to 50 vehicles per evening, with a maximum of six people per vehicle as outlined in the Mass Gatherings Order published on May 22, 2020.

Camera Obscura artwork in Kamloops

Plans are underway for weekly tours of a new artwork by Donald Lawrence: “Paramount Camera Obscura”. Located on the canopy of the Paramount Theatre on the corner of Victoria and 5th Avenue in downtown Kamloops, this artwork will provide visitors with the opportunity to experience a camera obscura from this unique vantage point.

The camera obscura (from the Latin meaning “darkened room”) dates back to the 16th century. It is the natural optical phenomenon that occurs when an image of a scene at the other side of a screen or wall is projected through a small hole in that screen as a reversed and inverted image (left to right and upside down) on a surface opposite to the opening.

Lawrence has created a new camera obscura tent structure that is installed on the canopy of the Paramount Theatre. Visitors are invited to enter the tent structure and sit on vintage theatre seats to experience a new view of the intersection at Victoria and 5th Street as an upside down projected image.

Guided tours for two people at a time (or family groups of three) are offered from 3 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Sept. 22. There is no charge for the tour, but visitors must wear masks.

StudentAid BC applications now open

Applications for StudentAid BC, along with the new non-repayable B.C. Access Grant, are now open. This up-front grant will open doors for students to return to school and earn the college or university credential of their choice.

“Whether you’re a high school grad, a current student or are returning for new skills and training, these new government supports mean the doors are wide open for you to get a post-secondary credential and pursue your dreams,” says Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. “Our government is absolutely committed to making life more affordable for all British Columbians. Our investments in post-secondary education empower students and help communities get back on their feet and be part of B.C.’s economic recovery.”

Every student who applies for StudentAid BC will now be automatically assessed for the new B.C. Access Grant. Announced in Budget 2020, the B.C. Access Grant will break down barriers and enable over 40,000 low- and middle-income students, or about twice as many students as supported under previous grants, to access more affordable public post-secondary education. These students will receive up to $4,000 a year to help with the up-front cost of programs leading to a certificate, diploma, or degree.

For more information on the BC Student Access Grant, visit

Protection measures for inland ferries

With increased travel a part of British Columbia’s transition to Phase 3 of B.C.’s Restart Plan, passengers on the Province’s inland ferry system are reminded to adhere to Transport Canada’s COVID-19 safety protocols. Most importantly, all inland ferry passengers travelling by vehicle must remain in their vehicles for the duration of the trip to help protect the safety of passengers and crew. Passengers crossing Kootenay Lake who are not prepared to stay in the vehicle for the full duration of the 35-minute sailing should consider driving the Kootenay Pass instead of taking the ferry.

All passenger amenities aboard the ferries are closed until further notice to limit interaction amongst passengers. Walk-on passengers, cyclists, and motorcyclists are encouraged to wear cloth masks or face coverings and maintain physical distance in designated zones. Walk-on passengers, cyclists, and motorcyclists with symptoms of COVID-19 are not permitted aboard the inland ferries.

These safety measures are in effect until further notice. Check before you travel, as busy sailings may experience higher wait times due to reduced passenger limits.

New BC Parks program

July 18 marked the launch of the Discover Parks Ambassador Pilot Program, a new partnership between the BC Parks Foundation and BC Parks. The nine ambassadors are post-secondary students and volunteers from the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Canadian Conservation Corps, who will be out in parks engaging visitors with activities, education, citizen science, and more. Visitors will find the ambassadors circulating between parks in the Kamloops, Rock Creek, Parksville, and Fort St. John areas.

As part of their ongoing campsite expansion program, BC Parks has started construction of a new campground in Manning Park that will provide more than 90 recreational-vehicle sites, targeted for completion in fall 2020. The project is the first of its kind for BC Parks since it will be fully serviced, offering water, sewer, electrical sites, and a heated shower building.

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