Seasonal ornaments are just one of several crafty opportunities coming up at The Hutch. Photo: Facebook

Seasonal ornaments are just one of several crafty opportunities coming up at The Hutch. Photo: Facebook

Local News Briefs: Get crafty and creative at The Hutch

Plus free workshops, Lions Bingo, possible changes to BC elections, and more

Grow with Google workshop

Join Destination BC and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association for a free workshop which will let participants learn about the resources and tools available through Google—including Google Analytics, Google my Business, Google Ads, and others—through a series of free workshops that will help you grow your business.

The Grow with Google program is intended to support small businesses and help them grow and succeed online by providing training, resources, and support materials for a variety of Google products.

The workshop includes three sessions (Reach Customers Online with Google; Get Your Business Online; and Using Data to Drive Business Growth) delivered in one 5-hour session. Learn tools and tips that your business can use, and get answers to some of those burning Google questions you may have.

The workshop is free, and will be held on Friday, Nov. 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cache Creek Community Hall on Stage Road. Lunch is included, and pre-registration is necessary; go to

Change Happens workshop

Local businesses and not-for-profits affected by the 2017 wildfires are invited to the “Change Happens” workshop, which will feature an evening with community leadership professional Mo Douglas. The free event will celebrate our resilience through the tough times behind us, and inspire us to face new challenges and opportunities going forward.

Douglas will share her personal stories of resilience from the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and business successes in crisis and natural disasters. She will facilitate a panel of local businesses for honest conversations and stories of challenge, strength, and success within our own region.

The free workshop starts at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Cache Creek Community Hall, and there will be hot appetizers, tea and coffee, and a no-host bar. There is a limit of two free tickets per business/organization. For information or to request tickets, call Community Futures Sun Country at (250) 453-9165, or go to

The workshop is sponsored by the Wildfire Business Transition Program, which is funded by the Red Cross and Western Economic Diversification.

Lions Bingo

Don’t forget about the Ashcroft and District Lions Club’s Bingo on the second Monday of every month at the Cache Creek Community Hall on Stage Road.

The next Lions Bingo is on Monday, Nov. 11, and in addition to a fun night of Bingo you can try your luck with the Toonie Ball. The jackpot is up to $180, plus the evening’s take. Doors open at 6 p.m., and Bingo starts at 6:30 p.m.

Serious Dogs

The next concert at UniTea Café and Lounge in Ashcroft will be the Serious Dogs, a trio who will be delighting the audience with a wide variety of musical styles, including R&B, country, rock, and more.

The concert will be on Saturday, Nov. 16, with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. and the concert starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 each; to purchase or reserve tickets, drop by UniTea at 210 Railway Avenue in Ashcroft, or call (250) 457-1145.

Get crafty and creative at The Hutch

The Hutch at the Ashcroft HUB is holding various workshops that will allow participants to create their own unique crafts, and have fun while they let loose their inner artist.

On Sunday, Nov. 17 there will be an opportunity to create a Christmas glass ball decoration. The session runs from 2 to 4 p.m. and the cost is $40 per person.

On Tuesday, Nov. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. participants can paint and decorate three Mason jar centrepieces. The cost is $30 per person, and pre-registration and payment for both the glass ball and Mason jar workshops must be received by Nov. 12.

On Sunday, Nov. 24 you can create your own seasonal snowman or scarecrow piece to go at your front door. The workshop is from 1 to 3 p.m., and the cost is $65 per person. Please RSVP by Nov. 20.

On Saturday, Nov. 30 from 1 to 4 p.m. you can create your own unique pillow or tote bag. There will be a wide variety of stencil designs to choose from, and a tutorial will guide you from start to finish. The cost is $45 per person.

All materials are supplied for each of the workshops. For more information, or to register, visit The Hutch Facebook page or call (250) 457-0073

Changes might be coming to B.C. elections

Proposed amendments to the Election Act will pave the way for the use of modern technology to make voting in provincial elections faster and easier, encourage young people to vote, and introduce other improvements to the electoral process.

The last time there were significant changes to the province’s voting administration rules was in 1995. Since then, the population of B.C. has increased by 1.2 million and there have been significant advances in technology.

The changes would give Elections BC the ability to take advantage of new technology, such as vote-counting equipment to tabulate paper ballots, electronic voting books to more quickly record who has cast their ballot, and ballot printers to provide flexibility for people voting outside their electoral district.

Other proposed changes are aimed at increasing voter participation. The chief electoral officer will have the ability to maintain a list of future voters for youth aged 16 and 17 years, so they will be already registered when they reach the voting age of 18.

Elections BC would also be able to extend the campaign period for unexpected elections outside the fixed date election calendar by up to 10 days to allow election officials and candidates to better prepare for a vote. The current 28-day period is one of the shortest in Canada and can lead to higher administrative and campaign costs for elections that were not anticipated by Elections BC.

The proposed amendments would implement most of the recommendations in the chief electoral officer’s report to the legislative assembly in May 2018 for changes to the Election Act, including all four priority recommendations.

Transportation pilot projects

British Columbia is one step closer to rolling out new transportation technology, with the introduction of pilot projects on the horizon.

Changes to the Motor Vehicle Act will soon allow for the launch of pilot projects, giving government the chance to work with communities in researching and testing how new mobility technologies—such as e-scooters, electric unicycles, or e-skateboards—should be used to promote active transportation and ensure the safety of all road users.

Amendments to the act, which were introduced in early October 2019, have been approved and will give government the ability to establish a regulatory framework to support the safe, effective use of increasingly diverse modes of personal transportation. The changes clarify how emerging transportation technology can be used and allow the Province to engage with local governments to test these devices.

Establishing the authority to conduct pilot projects gives government and local communities the ability to effectively address changing public mobility needs and expectations. It will also let government find effective solutions for devices that are not yet permitted to operate on highways or sidewalks.

Government is developing the process for creating pilot projects, and anticipates providing further information and inviting community proposals in January 2020.

Reservations open for two BC parks

Reservations are now open for two popular backcountry adventures in B.C. parks: the world-renowned Berg Lake Trail and the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit.

Hikers wanting to explore the 23-kilometre trail in Mount Robson Provincial Park or paddle the multi-day canoe circuit in Bowron Lake Provincial Park can now reserve sites for the 2020 season on Discover Camping.

The Berg Lake Trail has some of the best scenery in B.C., providing views of waterfalls, turquoise-coloured lakes, and massive glaciers. Seven backcountry campsites are located along the wilderness trail and can be reserved from June 12 to Sept. 30, 2020.

The Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit involves 116 kilometres of paddling across 10 lakes with several portages that are relatively flat. The entire trip takes six to 10 days to complete, depending on the skill level. Those looking for a shorter trip can paddle the west side of the circuit, which takes two to four days.

Campsites for the circuit can be reserved from May 15 to Sept. 23, 2020.

Reservations for long weekends fill up fast for both adventures. Due to the limited facilities in wilderness areas, visitors need to be well prepared and self-sufficient.

To make a reservation for the Berg Lake Trail or the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit, visit For more information about the Berg Lake Trail, visit For more information about the Bowron Lake Canoe Circuit, visit

Personal EV charging stations just got easier

It is now easier for British Columbians to buy and install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at home and at work with more than $4 million in new CleanBC rebates.

To help with the upfront costs that come with EVs, homeowners can get a $350 provincial rebate to install a Level 2 charging station in a single-family home.

A $2,000 rebate is available for the installation of a Level 2 charging station designed for multiple users in condominiums, apartments, and workplaces. Up to five hours of free support services from an EV charging station advisor are also available for condominiums, apartments, and workplaces seeking to address their EV charging needs.

BC Hydro customers can also apply for an additional, limited-time matching rebate of up to $350 to buy and install EV charging equipment in single-family homes.

To qualify for the CleanBC rebates, home and workplace charging stations must be installed, and final documentation submitted, by March 31, 2020.

For single-family homes, the cost of buying and installing a charging station can range from $700 to $2,000. Buying and installing a charging station at a multi-unit residential building can range from $2,000 to $12,000. EV owners can also save on fuel costs: about $1,800 every year for the average B.C. driver.

For more information, go to

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