Revellers at the 151st Clinton Annual Ball in 2018. The ball was cancelled this year, along with Clinton’s other Heritage Week events, but a new Facebook page allows people to share their memories of Heritage Events past and create new ones. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Local News Briefs: Clinton’s Heritage Week events cancelled, so celebrate online

Plus Health Care thrift store hopes to reopen soon, extras needed near Lytton, and more

Clinton Heritage Week

The Clinton Annual Ball, Rodeo and Parade, and other Heritage Week events — which should be taking place now —have been cancelled for 2020, but you can still participate virtually by going to the Clinton Heritage Week 2020 Facebook page, where you can post your photos and memories of Heritage Week events past and reminisce with others. And just because the official events have been postponed doesn’t mean you can’t still dress up and decorate; take pictures and post them to the page if you do!

Health Care thrift store news

In conjunction with its governing body, the provincial government, and its volunteer members, the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store is hoping to reopen in June.

Many things have to happen before the store can come close to opening, and the volunteers who run it are working hard behind the scenes to make sure that when it does, the store is as safe as possible for customers and the people who work there. Reduced store hours, limits on shopping time, fewer customers in the store at one time, and the installation of a hand sanitizer station are just a few items on the reopening plan.

People are asked to please continue holding on to donations. They will definitely be needed, but not yet. Anyone who has used their COVID-19 reflection time to decide that they want to get more involved with the store can be in touch via the Facebook page (Ashcroft & District Health Care Auxiliary).

Dementia doesn’t stop

While the world and daily life as we know it have shifted, people living with dementia still need to access support and education. To help fund these services locally, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is joining Alzheimer Societies across Canada to bring the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s online. More than 70,000 British Columbians live with dementia, and this number is expected to grow.

“Dementia doesn’t stop and neither do we,” says Alzheimer Society of B.C. CEO Maria Howard. “Even though the ways we are delivering our programs and services have needed to change, we are still committed to helping British Columbians affected by dementia. I invite all of you to help us do this by registering and fundraising for the IG Wealth Management Walk for Alzheimer’s online.”

Taking place on Sunday, May 31, the online event will start at 9 a.m. and can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection. Participants will hear from people across Canada who are affected by dementia, and will be encouraged to move in a way that works for them. This could be laps around the yard, a living room dance party, or jumping jacks on the balcony.

It’s easy to get involved. Visit to register to represent your community and get updates about the online Walk experience. You can do your fitness challenge before, during, or after the event and create a fundraising page to share with your friends and family. Proceeds will help fund programs and services to support people living with dementia in our community. They will also help enable research into the causes of and cure for dementia.

Show that no matter what the world looks like, you still support people affected by dementia by fundraising and registering today.

Film extras needed near Lytton

The Province has designated June 1 as the day when the film industry may resume work in B.C. within the safety and protocol standards set by WorkSafe BC, the provincial and federal health authorities, and the B.C. film industry coalition.

The short film Unicorn Code is working to resume its plans to film in the sawmill south of Lytton, and is looking for background talent (extras). The production is specifically seeking males between the ages of 22 and 50 (no experience needed) for filming near the end of June.

If you are interested, send an email (with headshot) to

Funding for COVID helpline

Funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo has announced that thirteen agencies throughout the region — including the Ashcroft HUB — are receiving a total of $65K to support vulnerable seniors impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) provides grants and contributions for projects that help improve the well-being of seniors and foster their social inclusion. The funding will facilitate responses to immediate, urgent local needs by supplementing food, cleaning, and hygiene products (including delivery) to seniors. These funds will also contribute to reduced social isolation through virtual programming, telephone check-ins, and mental health supports, and support community service organizations in maintaining or enhancing services such as volunteer and staff retention.

HUB executive director Vicky Trill says that the funding will go to help the activities of the local COVID-19 helpline. A number of local organizations, governments, and volunteers have come together to offer the helpline for Ashcroft and Cache Creek. Residents can call (250) 457-3422 to arrange for local pick-up and delivery of items, find an organization that can help them with what they need, or find someone to talk to.

The phone number is active every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is staffed by volunteers who have contact information available for a wide variety of local services and supports.

Stay at Home Scavenger Hunt

As it prepares to reopen, the Kamloops Art Gallery is continuing to offer online activities, including a Stay at Home Scavenger Hunt taking place from 10 a.m. on May 23 to 8 p.m. on May 24.

The event is an opportunity to have fun while raising money for a good cause: the Kamloops chapter of the Mustard Seed, which provides food, shelter, and hygiene for vulnerable people who are in particular need during the pandemic.

Activities — all of which can be completed at home, with items you already have on hand — include drawing a sign in support of essential workers, baking a favourite treat, and more. On the morning of May 23, all registrants will be emailed the list of activities, with participants deciding which ones they want to take part in. Once complete, “proof” of scavenger hunt success is emailed back, and prizes will be distributed. The more activities you complete, the more chance you have of winning a prize.

Registration is $25, with all proceeds going to the Mustard Seed. To register, or for more information, go to

Young artists can share their work

Artists aged five and older are invited to join Finn Modder, School Program Coordinator for the Kamloops Art Gallery, and fellow young artists to share their art and talk about what they’ve been working on lately, ask for feedback, share what they’ve learned, and see what artwork other kids are making.

The free, live event takes place on Tuesday, May 26 from 10 to 10:30 a.m. via Zoom, and participants can engage in whatever way is comfortable for them, either with or without cameras and microphones. For more information, or to register, go to

Grant helps build connections

The Vancouver Foundation is currently running a Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants program across the province to support small scale and individual-led community projects within a $500 budget to build social connections while complying with the social/physical distancing public health guidelines.

To learn about the Responsive Neighbourhood Small Grants and to apply online for one, visit

The Vancouver Foundation is also looking for volunteers to review and approve grant applications. Volunteers will need to have their own computers/laptops and internet connections and be available for two to three hours a week; training and support will be provided. To learn more, contact Meseret Taye at

Have your say on rural internet access

Brad Vis, Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, has joined his Conservative colleagues in launching a consultation process on the issue of inadequate rural internet access.

“I hear regularly from residents who know all too well the struggle with accessing suitable internet in rural communities,” Vis says. “It is an issue that has been compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, as more and more kids are completing schoolwork online and adults are working remotely.”

Five years ago, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) designated broadband internet an essential service. Despite this, many Canadians in rural and remote regions still do not have consistent internet access. The urban/rural divide on this issue is going to grow even wider with the installation of 5G networks in urban areas, because many rural communities still do not even meet the CRTC speed benchmark of a 50 megabytes per second (MBPS) download and 10 MBPS upload speed.

It is for these reasons that Conservatives are calling on the Liberal government to outline a concrete plan to fix the issue of rural internet access, a plan that must connect all Canadians by 2021 at the speed benchmark that has been set by the CRTC.

“I urge residents and businesses to get in touch with my office regarding our rural internet access consultations,” says Vis. “This is a chance for those of you who have been living with this issue to have your voices heard.” Email Vis’s office at

Make a difference for animals

The BC SPCA is inviting animal lovers across British Columbia to join its Lock-In for Love: Home Edition, taking place from May 13 to June 13, to raise urgently need funds for abused, injured, and homeless animals throughout the province.

“While the world has slowed down during COVID-19, unfortunately animal cruelty has not,” says Tess Repenning, senior manager of digital giving for the BC SPCA. “During times of crisis, whether it be COVID-19, wildfires, floods, or rescuing animals from violent or neglectful situations, the animals need your help more than ever.”

She notes that while the BC SPCA normally holds Lock-In events at its shelters, these annual events have had to be cancelled due to social distancing. “Instead, we are inviting people to take part in a home edition of our Lock-In for Love by registering online and reaching out to friends and family to support their fundraising efforts.”

Registration is free and open now. Participants have a full month to raise funds, leading up to an online celebration on June 13. To register, or for more information, visit

Be motorcycle aware

The Government of British Columbia has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and asks all drivers to pay special attention when sharing the road with motorcyclists.

As the weather turns warmer and drier, motorcycle riders are tuning engines, shining chrome, and heading out on scenic rides. It is important for all drivers to be aware of more motorcyclists on the road and to watch carefully, especially at night or in bad weather conditions.

To safely share the road with motorcyclists, drivers are asked to allow at least three to four seconds of following distance when behind a motorcycle and give plenty of lane space when passing.Motorcycles are often closer than they seem. Since it can be difficult to tell how fast they are moving, be prepared to yield.

The majority of crashes involving motorcycles happen at intersections. Drivers should scan intersections carefully, especially when turning left. Riders should adjust their lane position and reduce speed when approaching an intersection, so there is time to stop if needed.

Motorcyclists can take steps to better protect themselves. Motorcycle riders and their passengers should wear “all the gear, all the time” in all weather conditions. This includes a helmet with a full-face visor, leather or heavy fabric jacket and heavy, over-the-ankle boots. Wearing proper motorcycle safety gear is key to preventing severe injuries if a crash occurs.

Spring weather can mean more wildlife wandering on or near highways and roads. All drivers and riders are reminded to watch carefully for wildlife, especially when animals are most active (from dusk to dawn).

Loud motorcycle exhausts can be disruptive to others, in both urban and rural areas. The Province asks all motorcyclists to enjoy their rides, while respecting regulations around excessive exhaust noise.

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