Local news briefs

Canada Day celebrations are occurring in several communities, plus residents are warned about an unsanctioned musical event.

Canada Day celebrations will be held in Cache Creek

Canada Day celebrations will be held in Cache Creek

Canada Day in Cache Creek

There will be a Canada Day celebration at the Cache Creek park on Friday, July 1, with softball starting at 10:30 a.m. There will be free hot dogs and drinks at 11:30 a.m., as well as a bike decorating contest, with prizes for the best-decorated bikes. There will also be prizes for those wearing the most red. From 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. there will be family bingo at the Community Hall, with prizes, and the day concludes with a family dance (with DJ Tom Moe) at 6:00 p.m. at the Community Hall. All events are free.

Concerns about area music festival

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District is concerned about an unsanctioned music event scheduled to take place within the TNRD from July 29 through August 1. The “Electric Love Musical Festival” is planned for the Allie Lake Ranch located near Vidette. The event’s organizers have not obtained the required TNRD approval to host the event, despite being made aware of the legal requirements to host an event of this kind, and the TNRD has concerns relating to the health, safety, and security of anyone planning to attend, as well as concerns relating to protection of the local environment. These concerns include the remote location of the event and distance from medical facilities; on-site sanitation and potable water; lack of a co-ordinated safety and response plan with the RCMP and other emergency services; adequacy of access for emergency vehicles to the event location; the risk of wildfire; and the risk of harm to agricultural lands and sensitive environmental and riparian ecosystems.

The TNRD supports musical performances, the arts, and cultural and entertainment gatherings, but cautions those who may consider attending this event, as it has not been approved by the TNRD, and there may be health and safety risks related to attending it.

Summer camps

More than 640,000 children around the province are looking forward to summer break; but while it’s an exciting time for kids, it can be difficult for working parents and caregivers to fill the long days of summer. Fortunately, many community organizations provide summer camps of varying lengths to suit all tastes. In this area, the Ashcroft HUB is offering a a soccer camp and a science camp to keep young residents busy and active; for information call (250) 453-9177.  The Winding Rivers Arts and Performance Society is offering its annual Kids’ Fine and Dramatic Arts camp, as well as a RAWK camp that will allow participants to learn to play rock instruments and take part in a concert. For more information e-mail windingriversarts@gmail.com.

Parents might be eligible to claim back fees paid for fitness and arts program registration. To find out if you are eligible, go to www.cra-arc.gc.ca/fitness/ or www.cra-arc.gc.ca/artscredit/

Schizophrenia caregiver network expands

The B.C. Schizophrenia Society (BCSS) has received $3 million from the provincial government to expand its province-wide caregiver network. The society supports family and friends who are caring for loved ones with schizophrenia or serious mental illness. The funding will enable the BCSS to expand its current network of educators, who provide a variety of supports to those affected by serious mental illness, including schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, depression, and other severe and persistent mental illnesses.

The BCSS caregiver support network provides knowledge and tools for family members to help them respond to the often complex mental issues their loved ones face, while also providing emotional support. To learn more about the B.C. Schizophrenia Society, visit www.bcss.org.

Bring cultural belongings home

The province of B.C. and the Royal BC Museum are joining Aboriginal people to help bring cultural belongings home. Interested Aboriginal peoples throughout the province will be helped to co-create a plan to assist them in identifying and returning ancestral remains and belongings of cultural significance, which have, over the centuries, found their way into public museums and private collections around the world.

These plans have been successful in other jurisdictions, as well as here in B.C., where some cultural belongings have been returned. These include a ceremonial mask which was returned to the Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation from the British Museum in 2005, and the G’psgolox totem pole, which was returned to the Haisla Nation by the Museum of Ethnography in Stockholm in 2006. To learn more visit the BC Assembly of First Nations website at www/bcafn.ca/.

Be electricity smart

BC Hydro wants to remind British Columbians about the importance of electrical safety. “We rely on electricity every day, but electrical equipment can be dangerous,” says Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. And natural disasters or motor vehicle accidents can make electricity dangerous. Stay away from downed power lines, even if they’re not sparking or emitting buzzing sounds; stay at least 10 metres back, and call 911. You can also stay safe by calling a certified electrician to do any wiring in your house; pulling the plug, not the cord, when disconnecting an electrical device; staying safe when pruning or trimming trees that are near power lines; and turning off all appliances and lights that are on the circuit before changing a fuse.

Changes to B.C.’s education system

The provincial government has announced a number of changes to the education system, including a new curriculum which will teach students the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic in a way that connects them with the collaboration, communication, and critical thinking skills they will need to succeed after high school.

Provincial exams will be reduced from five to two (math and literacy); there will be changes to report cards; and a new Career Education course, which starts in the 2017–2018 school year, will be a graduation requirement. The course will teach students the link between what they learn in the classroom and their opportunities once they graduate. Post-secondary institutions within and outside B.C. have been consulted about the new curriculum, and it is hoped this will improve the path for students headed to university, college, or trades training.

Clean energy funding

Rebates of up to $1,700 are being offered to homeowners who convert from oil heating to an all-electric air source heat pump, which provides, on average, the highest greenhouse gas emission reduction of any single upgrade for single family residential homes. The rebate is offered through the province’s Oil-to-Heat Pump Incentive Program; information is available at www.oiltoheatpump.ca.