Residents in rural communities are being asked for their input on a new rural strategy being developed by the provincial government. Photo: Wendy Coomber.

Local News Briefs: Public input sought on rural development strategy

Plus a games night, digital mammography coach, online workshops for business, and more.

Games Night at UniTea

There’s another Games Night coming up at UniTea Tea Room on Railway Avenue in Ashcroft on Thursday, February 8 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Drop in for this fun, free event and pit your skills against others in a variety of board and other games for a fun and entertaining evening.

Social media workshops for businesses

There’s still time to sign up for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association’s (CCCTA) free web-based workshops to help businesses use social media to enhance their marketing.

From speaking with business owners over the last year, CCCTA learned that while many of them knew they should be using social media to enhance marketing for their business, many might not know how to do that.

The two remaining workshops—intermediate and advanced—will show how to make social media work for individual businesses.

Any businesses interested in taking part can register directly by going to (intermediate; February 15, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.) or (advanced; March 15, 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.). Participants can take part in one or both workshops.

The workshops are fully interactive, and participants can take part from the comfort of their own business or home. When you click on the link to register, you will receive all the information you need to join the workshops. For questions or support, email

Digital Mammography Coach

The BC Cancer Agency’s digital mammography coach will be providing free breast screening outside Ashcroft I-D-A Pharmacy on Tuesday, February 19. Mammograms are available for women aged 40 and older.

To book your appointment, call 1-800-663-9203.

Help build a rural development strategy for B.C.

The Government of British Columbia is seeking input into a new rural development strategy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson announced last week.

The strategy’s foundation will be based on the principles of community economic development (sustainable, participatory, asset-based, self-reliance, and community-based), which will ensure a broader and more inclusive approach to rural development.

All British Columbians are invited to share their comments and ideas on rural development until 4 p.m. on February 28, 2018.

“Coming from a rural community, I know first-hand the challenges facing rural B.C.,” said Donaldson. “I look forward to people’s ideas and input, as we build a long-term rural development strategy that will work for all rural British Columbians by building resilient Indigenous and rural communities.”

Government will be holding a number of targeted face-to-face sessions with community partners around the province. All feedback gathered will help define the framework for the rural development strategy, which will support ongoing dialogue between rural British Columbians and government. After the public feedback process, government will analyze the results and make a summary report available to the public.

The public can contribute feedback online at

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.

The Oscar ceremony is broadcast live, leaving it open to mishaps, miscues, and just plain mistakes. In the history of Oscar telecasts, no mishap was more glaring or dramatic than at last year’s ceremony, when presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty, tasked with presenting the Best Picture winner, were given the wrong envelope and announced, erroneously, that La La Land had won. It was not until the La La Land team was up on stage giving speeches that the mistake was recognized, and Moonlight was announced as the actual Best Picture winner.

A considerably more light-hearted snafu occurred during the 1974 telecast, when Oscar co-host David Niven was about to introduce Elizabeth Taylor to present the Best Picture Oscar. Before he could do so, however, an artist and photographer named Robert Opel ran across the stage behind Niven. Under ordinary circumstances this would have been nothing major. However, Opel was wearing nothing but a smile as he streaked off stage right.

The debonair Niven took it all in stride. As the audience roared with laughter at the unexpected sight, he didn’t miss a beat, quipping “Isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

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