Celebrating Summerland Volunteers

February 4, 2015

Thank you to the community of Summerland for participating so fully in the nomination process for this year’s Business and Community Excellence Awards.  Nearly 40 different businesses were nominated, some in multiple categories.  Please take the opportunity to congratulate these individuals and check out their websites to learn more about them.

2015 award nominees

The 2015 Business and Community Award Nominees were honoured at a reception held January 30, sponsored by Nesters Market.

Two finalists in each of the 11 award categories will be announced Friday. Chamber members will be asked to vote on the finalists starting February 10. In addition, this year Summerland residents will have the opportunity to vote in the Citizen/Volunteer of the Year category. A separate online survey will be available for residents to vote in this category, along with the option to vote in person at the Chamber Office.

There is a group of very special individuals who it may be more difficult to look up on-line.  For this reason, we wanted to share a little more about the volunteers who the community has recognized with a nomination in the category of Citizen/Volunteer of the Year Award, sponsored by Nesters Market.  Formerly known as the Good Citizen Cup, this award has been given out in Summerland since 1938.  Here are this year’s nominees:

Billy Boerboom

A member of the Summerland Fire Department for 25 years, and a regular volunteer for the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association, Billy is best known as the co-owner of the Apple Barn, and an award winning grower. The Apple Barn’s ongoing commitment to the community includes the donation of hundreds of pounds of apples each year, with much of the donations going to local school programs. In 2012, Billy was one of 4 local firefighters who participated in the “Dragons Den” television program, representing Summerland on a national stage with their invention of a new rescue device for emergency services.

Dave and Alison Carleton

To say that Dave and Alison are dedicated to the success of the Summerland Sportsmen’s Association would be an understatement. As the association’s President (Dave) and Treasurer (Alison), they are instrumental in organizing key events such as the annual fishing derby, game banquet and the association’s participation in Action Festival. The couple is heavily involved with the British Columbia Wildlife Federation, which aims to protect, enhance and promote the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. Last but not least, Dave and Alison are members of Summerland Citizens on Patrol, a volunteer program run through the RCMP.

Darlene Forsdick

As the Summerland Sister City Coordinator, Darlene developed a Sister City plan that has strengthened the ties between Summerland and the community of Toyokoro, Japan. She has led important initiatives such as coordinating an annual teaching placement of a Summerland teacher in Toyokoro, and organizing student visits to Summerland as well as government delegates. The Sister City plan places a strong focus on highlighting Summerland’s economic opportunities and tourism experiences to our friends in Japan.

Carleen Murray

Carleen is the co-owner of AlCar Storage with her husband Al. While running her business, she makes time to support a number of organizations, both with her time and her creativity.  Whether she is volunteering at the Seniors’ Center or for a local school breakfast club, or supporting local literacy by making wallets for children to store their very first library cards, Carleen is always finding small ways to brighten someone’s day. Children receiving treatment at Penticton Hospital’s pediatric ward receive bright, handmade pillow cases made by Carleen.

Carla Omenzetter

Carla has a long history of volunteerism and giving back to the community. Carla has served as a city councilor, as a volunteer director and Secretary on the Community Futures-Okanagan Similkameen Board of Directors, and is the past president of Agur Lake Camp, and worked to increase the profile of the Agur Lake Camp Society and attract more volunteers. Carla is an unstoppable cheerleader for Summerland, giving her time to important local groups and events such as the Summerland Rodeo Grounds Equine Development Committee, and the annual Action Festival.

Barbara Thorburn

Barbara’s commitment to community is expressed in a variety of rich and rewarding forums. From her key role in the “Philosopher’s Cafe”, the Arts community and down to her role in grassroots political activism Barbara gives so much back to her community. Barbara works tirelessly both as a point person and again, from behind the curtain, planning, organizing and ensuring so many initiatives reach their respective potential.

Terry Sedawie

Terry regularly goes above and beyond her work as a senior account manager with RBC in Summerland. She was instrumental in the coordination and opening of the Artisans of the Okanagan, and regularly promotes cross promotion and advocates ways that local businesses can work together for greater success. While her expertise has helped many in the business community, Terry also gives her time to youth organizations, making herself available as a mentor or just a ear to listen.

Henry Sielmann

There are few Okanagan trail lovers –whether they be hikers or bikers – who haven’t heard of Henry Sielmann. As the current President of the Summerland Trans Canada Trail Society, Henry has been instrumental in promoting the trail, including the development of a dedicated website for the society. Henry is now also lending his expertise to the new Trail of the Okanagan’s Lakeshore Pathway project. He volunteers as a board member on the District of Summerland’s Climate Action Committee, and has also served as a volunteer director for the Summerland Fall Fair.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence continues to be an important acknowledgement of community leadership.  This award will be given at the Mayor’s discretion at the Gala to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to Summerland.

Awards will be given out to the winners at the 77th Annual Awards Gala on February 28th.  The Gala will be held at The Summerland Waterfront Resort.  Tickets are available from the Chamber office.

Thank you for taking the time to nominate a business or volunteer who has made a difference in our community.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com .




Congratulations to the Nominees! 77th Business & Community Excellence Awards

January 27, 2015

The Summerland Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all of this year’s nominees for the 77th Business and Community Excellence Awards. Thank you to all those who submitted nominations. Some businesses have been nominated in more than one category.

Nominees Reception

Nominees’ Reception: This year Nesters Market is hosting a nominees’ reception on Friday, January 30th from 5-7 pm at the Arena Banquet Hall. Join us to celebrate our wonderful local businesses and volunteers who have been nominated, while enjoying hors d’oeuvres provided by Nesters Market and wine samples by members of Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive.

The nominations committee will meet to decide on two finalists in each category. Summerland Chamber members will be asked to vote on the finalists, and the award recipients will be announced at the Gala Dinner on February 28th, at The Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa. Gala tickets ($65 + gst) can be purchased by calling the Chamber office at 250-494-2686.

For award descriptions, visit the Chamber’s website. All nominees in each category are listed in alphabetical order:

Business of the Year, sponsored by Summerland Credit Union

  • Bad Robot Computers & Electronics
  • Bead Trails
  • ET2media
  • Nesters Market Summerland
  • Ripley Stainless
  • True Grain Bread
  • Summerland Rental Centre
  • Summerland Seniors Village
  • Zias Stonehouse Restaurant

Citizen/Volunteer of the Yearsponsored by Nesters Market

  • Billy Boerboom
  • Dave and Alison Carleton
  • Darlene Forsdick
  • Carleen Murray
  • Carla Omenzetter
  • Barbara Thorburn
  • Terry Sedawie
  • Henry Sielmann

Rising Star/New Business Award, sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

  • Artisans of the Okanagan
  • Coco’s Fashions
  • Main St. Fitness & Yoga Studio
  • My Chocolate Crush
  • Peanuts and Pumpkins Kids Shop
  • Rock Star District
  • South Okanagan Shop n’ Save
  • Signwave Signs
  • Tammy’s Brush to Canvas

Young Entrepreneur Awardsponsored by Bottleneck Drive Winery Association

  • Dallas Bradner Jr. – Summerland Rental Centre
  • Corinne Inman – Morpheus Graphics & Printing Solutions
  • Luke Johnson – Open Skies Media

Tourism/Hospitality Excellence Awardsponsored by Sumac Ridge Estate Winery

  • Bead Trails
  • Kettle Valley Steam Railway
  • Zia’s Stonehouse Restaurant

Trade Services Excellence Award, sponsored by Alder Street Autobody

  • Canyonview Construction
  • Don’s Werkshop
  • Red Willow Forge
  • SIS Construction

Professional Services Excellence Awardsponsored by Brown Benefits

  • Avery Law Office
  • Beauty and the Brit
  • ET2media
  • Morpheus Graphics & Printing Solutions
  • RBC Summerland-Terry Sedawie

Retail Excellence Award (goods or services), sponsored by The Summerland Review

  • IGA Summerland
  • Pharmasave Summerland
  • True Grain Bread
  • Your Dollar Store With More

Sustainability Leadersponsored by SummerGate Winery

  • Summerland Waterfront Resort & Spa
  • Swiss Solar Tech

Manufacturing/Industrial Excellence Awardsponsored by Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen

  • lone tree coffee
  • Mammoth Trucks BC Ltd.
  • Ripley Stainless

Technology/Innovation Awardsponsored by Accelerate Okanagan

  • Mazza Innovation
  • Okanagan Specialty Fruits

The Mayor’s Award of Excellencesponsored by The District of Summerland

Given at the discretion of the Mayor, the Mayor’s Award of Excellence honors an organization in our community whose overall contribution to the community has been outstanding.

Congratulations once again to all our nominees, and a huge thank you to everyone who submitted nominations. We hope to see you at the nominees reception Friday, January 30th, 5-7 pm at the Summerland Arena Banquet Hall.


Nominees Reception set for January 30

January 16, 2015

Every year the Summerland Chamber of Commerce has the privilege of recognizing and honoring our local businesses as well as those who have made a difference in our community.

In past years our business members have been nominated in a number of categories.  Excellence awards are given for Trades Services, Manufacturing/Industry, Tourism/Hospitality, Retailing, and Professional Services.  In addition awards are given for the best new business, the best young entrepreneur, leadership in sustainability, technology and innovation, and of course, the business of the year award.

Since 1938 an important award has also been given to a worthy Summerland individual.  Formerly known as the Good Citizen Cup, the award is now known as the Citizen of the Year/Volunteer of the Year Award.  This is a person who has demonstrated exemplary dedication the people of Summerland and who inspires others by their volunteer commitment to the community.

This year the Chamber has introduced a new event meant to honor all of the nominees in every category.  This new Nominee’s Reception is sponsored by Nesters Market and will take place in the arena banquet hall on Friday, January 30th from 5 – 7 pm.  This is a free event for all the nominees and those who wish to congratulate them.

Nominations for awards can be made by businesses or the general public.  On-line nomination forms and complete details are available on our website at www.summerlandchamber.com.  Forms are also available at the Visitor Centre, the Summerland Review and Municipal Hall.

Nominations will be open until Friday, January 23th.  Following the nominee’s reception an awards committee will choose two finalists in each category.  Voting will take place in February and the awards will be given out at the Gala on February 28th at the Summerland Waterfront Resort.

The Mayor’s Award of Excellence continues to be an important acknowledgement of community leadership.  This award is given at the Mayor’s discretion to an organization that has made an outstanding contribution to Summerland and will also be presented at the Gala.

Nominations are a wonderful way to thank a local business or volunteer who has impacted you.  Please take the time to nominate those who make a difference in our community.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at president@summerlandchamber.com .

Christine Petkau is the Executive Director of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce. 


This article was published in the Summerland Review January 15, 2015



Nominations are open! 77th Summerland Business & Community Awards

December 19, 2014


The Summerland Business and Community Excellence Awards are a celebration of the contributions small businesses and dedicated volunteers make to our community.

This is your chance to put a spotlight on local business owners who have shown entrepreneurial vision and who provide exceptional service.

Please show your support for small business and volunteerism in Summerland and submit a nomination. If your business has made substantial strides in the past year, we invite you to nominate yourself.

An Awards Gala dinner will be held February 28, 2015 at the Summerland Waterfront Resort and Spa, and catered by Local Lounge • Grille. Tickets will be available from the Chamber Office in early January.

Award Categories:

  • Business of the Year
  • Sustainability Leader
  • Technology and Innovation
  • Rising Star/ New Business
  • Professional Services Excellence
  • Trade Services Excellence
  • Manufacturing/Industrial Excellence
  • Retail Excellence
  • Tourism and Hospitality Excellence
  • Young Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Citizen/Volunteer of the Year

Download a nomination form and email your nomination to events@summerlandchamber.com.

Deadline for nominations: January 23, 2015.


2014 Chamber Highlights

December 18, 2014

The Summerland Chamber Board appreciated the opportunity to host the new Council at the Chamber office last week. We were able to highlight the Chamber’s key areas of work, as well as some of the special projects from the past year.

2014 has been an exceptional year of new projects and exciting opportunities for the Summerland Chamber, and we thought we’d put together a short list of some of those accomplishments:

  • Summerland Investment and Relocation Guide: From climate to labour markets and education, this new guide was launched in February and helps put Summerland on the map for entrepreneurs and individuals looking to relocated to the Okanagan. Go to the Chamber website to read it online or download your copy.
  • Summerland Business and Community Awards Gala: Held the last Saturday of February, the 76th awards Gala celebrated of the best of Summerland. Nomination forms for the 77th Gala are out now –head to the Chamber website or office to download or pick one up.
  • Tourism website: Summerland’s new tourism website was launched in May.  Eye-catching photos promote everything Summerland has to offer, and the site’s responsive design means it is user friendly on all digital platforms, from laptops to handheld devices.
  • Tourism video: Also launched in May, Summerland’s first tourism video is designed to offer viewers a chance to experience Summerland’s unique features and lifestyle. Visit the Tourism Summerland website or the Chamber’s Youtube channel to watch it.
  • Economic Development Videos: In 2014 the Chamber released five economic development videos. The first introductory video promotes Summerland as a great place to do business, and the following four are targeted videos to highlight specific sectors or opportunities: Investing in Summerland, Science and Technology, Agriculture and Wineries, and Manufacturing.
  • Sister City Reception: The Chamber facilitated a meeting of Toyokoro delegates and Chamber members, to explore trade opportunities between the two communities.
  • Regional Networking: More and more, collaboration is becoming a key to economic success, and the Chamber continues to work to ensure Summerland is represented at a regional level in endeavors that range from the creation of valley-wide cycling paths, to important developing sectors such as wine tourism and agriculture technology.
  • Municipal Election Forum: With twice-weekly questions from candidates on the Chamber blog viewed more than 3000 times, and an All Candidates Forum attended by more than 600 people, the Chamber was able to provide our members and the community with extensive information leading up to the election.
  • Festival of Lights: Despite this year’s chilly weather, Light-up continues to grow and attract visitors from around BC. In fact, there were more than 14,000 visits to the Summerland Light-up website in November.

 Please continue to read our articles and follow the Chamber online to find out about more exciting projects in 2015. The Summerland Chamber of Commerce wishes you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at president@summerlandchamber.com or Christine Petkau at manager@summerlandchamber.com.

This article was also published in the Summerland Review, December 18, 2014.

Arlene Fenrich is President of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.  All of the members of The Board of Directors serve as volunteers.


Festival of Lights 2014

November 20, 2014


On Friday, November 28, The Summerland Chamber of Commerce will host the 27th Annual Festival of Lights and expects to welcome 6000 visitors.

Celebrating the theme “Christmas Rocks,” downtown Summerland will once again transform into a holiday wonderland, drawing families from around the Okanagan.

This year Light Up welcomes  Vancouver rock band, Damn Fools.  Following the release of their first album, “Off The Floor” in 2013, Damn Fools followed their first tour by landing in the Peak Performance Project’s Top 12, and are quickly working their way into Canadian hearts. Expect to be swept away by a heady mix of Rock and Roll, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, and Southern Groove.

Classic Light Up activities include dramatic fireworks, Santa’s workshop, photos with Santa, pony rides, ATV rides and bouncy castles, street performers and the annual ‘Season Sparkles’ art show at the Summerland Art Gallery.  Three ice carving stations will be actively wowing the crowds and a host of food and gift vendors will line the streets, adding to the festive atmosphere. The crowd will gather for the mass countdown to the magical moment when all the downtown Christmas lights are switched on.

After the fireworks, the party continues on Main Street with a fire dance display by Kelowna’s  Kinshira Performance Troupe.  Festival goers are invited to join the fun: wear your Santa hats, your favourite Christmas scarf and of course, anything that lights up! Wearable Light Up options will be available for purchase.

The Bottleneck Drive Winery Association is also hosting the 4th annual Light Up the Vines events that weekend on Saturday and Sunday, November 29 & 30.

Complete Festival details are available at the Festival of Lights website:  www.summerlandlightup.com.


Election 2014: Community Partnerships

November 14, 2014

icon 2The Chamber is asking all candidates a series of business related questions so you have the information you need to make an informed voting choice.  Questions and answers will be posted here twice a week.  Check back regularly and follow the Chamber on Facebook for notification of new posts.

Question 10: As an elected leader, how would you propose to build stronger relationships with surrounding communities and who do you see as our key partners?  Be specific. 

Candidates for Mayor


David GregoryDavid-Gregory

WHO: The Penticton Indian Band, West Bank First Nations, the City of Penticton , the Regional District of the Okanagan Similkameen(R.D.O.S.) and the Central Okanagan Regional District (C.O.R.D.)

How: I have proposed a bilingual agreement (English & Okanagan)  between Summerland and both the Penticton Indian Band and the West Bank First Nations. Previously I was involved with drafting bilingual agreements between both Indian Bands and Okanagan Archive Trust Society. Summerland was an important location in Okanagan First Nation history. With respect to improved relationships with First Nations, Summerland has taken important first steps with three bilingual signs and one mural using Okanagan language.

I am currently involved with a heritage inventory, in partnership with the City of Penticton and the R.D.O.S. I  helped to create the partnership between the District and C.O.R.D. with the creation of the Okanagan Fur Brigade trail.

These established relationships can be expanded and improved.


Peter WatermanPeter-Waterman

We are a major part of the South Okanagan, families are linked, business activity is entwined, transit is now linked and our watershed is a key joint resource of supply for the whole South Okanagan. In 2005 I sought a seat at the Regional District Board table in order to ensure Summerland’s continued participation as a key partner in the south end of the valley. As Mayor I would look forward to further advancing Summerland’s position in the South Okanagan.

The Penticton Indian Band is a key partner in our watershed and we must improve our relationship. I see a protocol agreement to assist in dealing with joint problems and potentials as an important part of being a good neighbour.

Forestry companies are important players in our watershed and we must establish a rapport that will be critical to wildfire management that is so important to our water quality.


Orv Robson

Orv-RobsonOur inclusion on the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) Board provides us with direct communication with the Municipalities and Electoral Areas throughout the South Okanagan to Princeton. Having spent the last three years as an alternate on the RDOS Board, I had the opportunity of seeing the value of our relationship.  We work closely to ensure that Summerland interests are protected in the various operational concerns that impact our District such as: Okanagan Basin Water Board, Land Fill Operations, Wild Fire support, Regional Hospital Board, 911 Services, Bear Aware, Sterile Insect Release Program, feral horse concerns.  We are able to define our District’s position, take part in a debate, provide input and have a vote in issues that impact Summerland.  We should have a voice, as last year our tax share to the RDOS was $444,000.  It is imperative that we continue to have a strong voice in the Regional District.


Christopher Boisvert-GilmanChris-Boisvert-Gilman

As Summerland’s Mayor with an extensive provincial and federal corrections background, Oliver is a key neighbour, with a new jail on the horizon. Guards, administration staff and support services, are potential Summerland residents, employers and secondary businesses. A Correction connection to Oliver is a key partnership to be developed. After 30+ years developing programs and hand’s-on experience as a contracted reintegration facilitator and volunteer coordinator, chairing, founding and participating in BC Community Component Working Groups, my career is valuable for dealing with ex-inmate issues as they arise. This provincial jail will house federal local inmates both male and eventually a connecting federal women’s jail. Our Summerland First Program will not impact Oliver and the same for Peachland. Kelowna and Penticton are only too happy to have Summerland’s money, jobs, and business; they do not wish partnership with us – Summerland Unity not annexation to Penticton is to be sought out! Shalom


Roch Fortin


Communication is the key to all relationships.  I believe that our mayor and council play a very important role in establishing a working relationship with other communities in the South Okanagan with a high priority being placed on Penticton.  My goal would be to make Summerland and Penticton a “twin destination” as opposed to visitors seeing us as a bedroom community of Penticton. I believe the two communities have different strengths, Penticton as the urban destination and Summerland a peri-urban destination only minutes from the urban centre. Peri-urban living is one that brings our active agricultural lands, our first class wine makers and our residential neighbourhoods together in a symbiotic relationship.

Building relationships with Oliver, Osoyoos and Peachland is also important. I believe it can be advantageous  in sharing some tourism marketing costs with others. I do not believe in one marketing strategy for the entire area. Summerlands needs to develop and deliver our own strategy.


Candidates for Council

Martin (Marty) Van AlphenMartin-(Marty)-Van-Alphen

As a Council we need to build stronger relationships with PIB, RDOS, City of Penticton and SD#67 to develop mutually beneficial joint-use projects. We also need to continue to support and enhance our relationships with multi-community organizations like Trails of the Okanagan and TOTA by meeting more often to promote tourism.


Erin Trainer


I believe it’s important for council to build strong and collaborative relationships with surrounding municipalities, the regional district, the province and valley-wide organizations (e.g. TOTA).

We can do this by participating in regional initiatives with an open and positive attitude. We want to be seen as a community that is ready for new opportunities. By sending our representatives to events, forums and round table discussions, we can ensure our voice is heard. The more we work together, the more we will all benefit.

The Summerland Chamber is already helping to boost Summerland’s profile in the valley and around the province. If elected, I will contribute to these efforts wherever possible.


Ken Rodockerken-rodocker

I would like to see our community work closely with our nearest neighbours – Peachland and Penticton – in solving shared problems.  This could be done by inviting members of their council and chamber to attend our respective meetings when common issues are being dealt with and vice versa.  Open communication would benefit us all as we can all learn from each others successes.


Mark SmedMarkSmed

We need to build stronger ties with all our neighbours. The trail to Penticton should be completed and requires the co-operation with First Nations people in Penticton.  Penticton and Summerland share a transit link that will only benefit both communities if it is expanded.  We need to establish better partnerships with communities and organizations throughout the Okanagan.  When I am elected to council I feel one of my roles as a leader will be to establish accountability for tasks assigned to staff and organizations that are funded by the district.  We need to ensure that all organizations are working together to promote unity and community awareness.


Denise MacDonalddenise-macdonald

There are 175,000 residents to our north, and 60,000 to our south, so Summerland has the potential to build strong relationships with surrounding communities.  There are potential partners that have the capacity, knowledge, credibility, and a history of good financial management as well as emerging potential future partners.  To the south there is potential with Penticton and the economic zoning incentive plans that have been developed; the Penticton Indian Band with a potential newly emerging economy and a shared watershed; and perhaps partnering with Peachland, RDOS or CORD in cost sharing planning staff and future projects.

The Okanagan has engaged in immigrant attraction programs.  It has been identified that immigration will need to occur if the population is to be maintained in Summerland.

Creation and strengthening of partnerships may occur while attending regional events.  Councillors need to make an effort and recognize opportunities to partner in a variety of ways.


Daniel Papadapoulos

Response not available by publication time.


Janet PeakeJanet-Peake

I would foresee where there are overlapping interest and issues Summerland should maintain open channels for communication with Penticton, Peachland and the Penticton Indian Band. In the case with Penticton more recent areas to pursue such interests would be economic development with the recent West Jet flights to Calgary and connecting flights on to the rest of Canada and other markets; the build out of the hospital and reciprocal ridership via public transportation. We also would share the ongoing benefits of Okanagan College. In order to maintain the bussing between our communities it will be necessary to build ridership and having a pick up and drop off at Redwing would be one way to do this, as well as having discussions with Okanagan college to make sure the current bus schedule serves the student population some of whom commute from Summerland.


Robert HackingRobert-Hacking

Council must seek out and take advantage of partnerships with our neighbors, but these relationships do not happen on their own.  Council must actively seek opportunities to engage our neighbors in tourism, long range planning, and other common efforts.  Our partnerships with agencies such as TOTA are now showing results in our tourism efforts, and I know we can co-operate more with the economic and education initiatives in Penticton.

The construction of both the Hospital Expansion and Correctional Center will see many different agencies looking for partners, and our community can benefit from our Council having open lines of communication and a can-do attitude in helping these Regional efforts be as successful as they can be!

I would like to personally thank the Chamber for their hard work this election.


Bruce Hallquist Bruce-Hallquist

A good key economic regional partner, would be the City of Penticton for reasons of economies of scale. I am sure if there was purchasing of supplies/equipment done together, other than the ones already in existence, there would savings for both communities. Sharing of specialized pieces of equipment and special employees would also be a great benefit in savings and better service to both communities.

Economic development could and should be shared by all in the South Okanagan regionally, as there are spinoffs to each community when something of any significance happens in the region.

The Chamber does a great job of keeping us in touch with the bigger Okanagan picture through TOTA.


Doug HolmesDoug-Holmes

Summerland already benefits from strong relationships with its Okanagan neighbours and we should continue to nurture mutually beneficial opportunities. Co-operation may come in the form of providing shared services like with the library system and school board, or for infrastructure developments like the proposed lakeside footpath. Council members and District staff need to be involved in inter-community groups and networks, and keep relationships open, positive, and on-going. Relationship-building is the cornerstone of sound management. Like in business, the important thing is to maintain relationships, not just collect names in a contacts list. Our key partners for building relationships are those organizations and people who depend on strong inter-community connections and can provide us a bridge: School Districts 67 and 93, Okanagan College, Okanagan Regional Library, Interior Health, RCMP, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association, BC Transit, Okanagan Basin Water Board, the Chamber and businesses community, service organizations, sports and youth associations, etc.


Joel GreggJoel-Gregg

Our three immediate neighbours are Penticton, the Penticton Indian Band, and Area F of the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen.  Obviously it behooves our council to encourage a friendly and cooperative relationship with the elected representatives from each of these three areas as we share some common interests, benefits, and responsibilities.  Building stronger relationships starts with effective communication, but must progress to face-to-face interactions.  I wish I could be specific, but the forum for these interactions depends on the individuals involved and their mutually desired outcome.

Beyond our immediate neighbours, it is also in our best collective interest to establish and maintain vital relationships with communities well beyond our beloved Okanagan.  Much of our amazing fresh fruit production is shipped to Asia and Alberta.  Products from the Maritimes are imported to our town.  Summerland must have an attitude of attraction and pride so that the rest of the world takes notice.


Marty Fisher

Response not available by publication time.


John DornJohn-Dorn

The Summerland Chamber is well connected with the other Chambers in the Valley. I would encourage the councillor selected to be the liaison with the Summerland Chamber to take an active role in networking with surrounding Chambers.

I believe it is the primarily the role of the future Mayor to connect with his colleagues at the political level.  The future Economic Development Officer would relate to staff of surrounding communities. We should partner with the Thompson-Okanagan Tourist Association to promote the entire valley.

It is also important to include the Penticton Indian Band in all district business, not just those issues that the district might think affect them.

District should consult labour, arts, culture, farm and business associations early on in policy making.


Erin CarlsonErin-Carlson

The only piece of transit missing to connect the entire Valley, is between Summerland and Peachland.

We need to strengthen the Valley wide tourism plans that include stops in Summerland. This should be broadened beyond  summer wine tours and a couple of tour busses per year.

We have a fantastic federal Research Center in Summerland and a world renowned University in Kelowna that can and will bring more agricultural activity and research to the region. We can help facilitate this.

Broader than this, we need to market our town to tourists from cities like Vancouver and Calgary.

Most importantly, we need to look internally at the amazing potential we have and capitalize on our resources, ideas, history and geography.


Toni BootToni-Boot

Response not available at time of publication.




Richard Barkwill

A current key partner is the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS).

Right now we have practically no relationship with the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) and this should be addressed as PIB lands are contiguous to District lands; any long term development plans for those areas need to include discussions with them.

Another area where cooperation with surrounding communities could be pursued is sharing the expense of capital assets.  For example there could be opportunities to jointly purchase expensive equipment and share its use.  This seems most likely with our neighbours Peachland and Penticton, but it is possible with other more distant neighbours as well.


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