The Bonaparte Watershed Stewardship Committee will be holding its AGM on Thursday, February 22 at Chum’s Restaurant in Cache Creek. The event starts with a no host lunch at 11:30 a.m. Photo: Barbara Roden.

Local news briefs: Free Wi-Fi coming to more B.C. rest areas.

Plus free business webinars, Family Day on the move, a concert at UniTea, and more.

Lion Bear Fox in concert

UniTea Tea Room and Cafe is thrilled to bring to Ashcroft a dynamic songwriter trio from Vancouver/Ladysmith: Lion Bear Fox, who will be performing on Wednesday, February 21.

The lion, the bear, and the fox took more than 30 years to find each other, but it only took one month for Christopher Arruda (the lion), Cory Woodward (the bear), and Ryan McMahon (the fox) to realize they were meant to join their voices as one. The passionate, honest songwriting of these three powerhouse touring vets spans the music genres of alt rock, folk, and soul.

By uniting three distinct, equally powerful voices and songwriting approaches, Arruda, Woodward, and McMahon have stumbled onto a magic much greater than the sum of its parts. With more than three decades of combined experience, the lion, the bear, and the fox bring their heartfelt songs and larger than life sound to the rugged Canadian terrain that continues to inspire them.

Space is limited, and the show is sure to sell out, so book your tickets ($22 each) by calling (250) 457-1145, or dropping by UniTea on Railway Avenue in Ashcroft. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. on February 21, and the show starts at 7:30.

Bonaparte Watershed Stewardship Society AGM

The Bonaparte Watershed Stewardship Committee will be holding its AGM on Thursday, February 22 at Chum’s Restaurant in Cache Creek. The event starts with a no host lunch at 11:30 a.m., and will be followed by the AGM. For more information contact Allen Midgley at 1-778-207-7468.

Free small business webinars

Community Futures, in partnership with Small Business BC and the Northern Development Initiative Trust, is sponsoring the cost of webinars offered by Small Business BC. The webinars cover a wide range of subjects of relevance to small businesses, and normally cost between $29 and $69 each, but participants can view them for free.

Go to for a list of upcoming webinars, then call 1-800-567-9911 or email to get a unique code that allows free access. Once you have the code, go to and register for the webinar of choice (enter your unique code at check out). You then have seven days to view the webinar you have registered for.

If you would like support to register, please call the toll-free number above.

More free Wi-Fi to be added to B.C. rest areas

Eight rest areas—including the newly-opened one at the Loon Lake Interchange between Merritt and Kelowna on Highway 97C—will be wired for free Wi-Fi this year, to make the travelling experience better for British Columbians and visitors to the province.

The other rest stops designated to receive free Wi-Fi this year are Hunter Creek on Highway 1 (11 km west of Hope); Bradner on Highway 1 (53 km east of Vancouver); Cole Road on Highway 1 (73 km east of Vancouver); The Last Spike on Highway 1 (24 km east of Sicamous); Slim Creek on Highway 16 (120 km east of Prince George); Mount Terry Fox on Highway 16 (six kilometres east of Tête Jaune Cache); and Boulder Creek on Highway 16 (53 km west of Hazelton).

An interactive map, which features all provincial rest area locations along with webcams and current road and weather conditions, can be found using the map tab at

Family Day on the move

Starting in 2019, B.C.’s Family Day will be moved to the third week in February, so that the holiday will be in line with other provinces and with the United States.

Family Day was established in the province in 2013, and the government of the day decided on the second week of February, even though it was inconsistent with other jurisdictions. In announcing the change, Premier John Horgan said that Family Day will now be better aligned for families and businesses.

Don’t depend o a barking dog to keep your home safe

RCMP are encouraging residents to ensure that household doors and windows are secure before retiring for the night.

The reminder comes after a call was made to police on January 26 at approximately 2:45 a.m. from a resident of Agassiz who reported a break and enter. Officers were told that a resident had startled an intruder inside their home. The suspect ran away once he was discovered.

A barking pet woke the family, but not before a wallet and key fob were stolen from inside the home. While an alert pet can be an effective warning, police advise residents to take other precautions to safeguard their home. These include installing an alarm system; ensuring all windows and doors are closed and locked before retiring for the night; and using motion sensing lights around the perimeter of your house.

Oscar oddities

Nominees for the 90th annual Academy Awards were announced on January 23, with the awards being handed out on March 4. In the run-up to the ceremony, here is an Oscar oddity.

Fifteen actors (two men and 13 women) have won Academy Awards for their very first film appearance. Many of them were already accomplished stage actors, or just starting their acting careers.

The two men who won Oscars for their first film appearance are notable for not being actors, and for the backstory they brought to their roles. Canadian-born Harold Russell was an American WW II vet who lost both hands in the war, and the non-actor was cast as a returning vet in William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), after Wyler saw Russell in an Army training film. Russell plays Homer Parrish, a former football quarterback who is engaged to Wilma, his next-door neighbour; but when he returns home, Homer and his parents have difficulty adjusting to his disability, and Homer begins to push Wilma away, fearing that she shares this attitude.

In the 1984 film The Killing Fields, Cambodian gynecologist and obstetrician Dr. Haing S. Ngor was cast as Dith Pran, a Cambodian photojournalist and refugee who refused to leave Phnom Penh after it was captured by the Khmer Rouge. Foreign journalists were eventually allowed out, but Pran had to stay, and endured four years of starvation and torture.

Ngor himself survived three terms in Cambodian prison camps, using his medical knowledge to keep himself alive, only to be murdered outside his Los Angeles home in 1996 in a robbery attempt. Dith Pran said of Ngor’s death, “He is like a twin with me. He is like a co-messenger and right now I am alone.”

Russell and Ngor both won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for their efforts, and are the only two non-professional actors to win an Academy Award in the acting category.

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