Don Gayton and Ron Watkins in a vineyard

Opening Up Wine

By Don Gayton

Wine is very much a consumer product. It is manufactured, priced, delivered, advertised and so on. Wines even have UPC codes, proudly announcing their “product” status. But to me, wine is far more than a simple consumer product; it is a tangible part of local culture. What other product can you name that has as many resonances and connections as wine? Can you envision a culture building up around say, sugar-frosted breakfast cereal? (Don’t answer that.) Read more…


The Art of Wine

Wine is narrative‘ is the slogan for Michael Bartier and David Scholefield’s Bartier Scholefield (BS) wine. The truth of that statement is keenly felt in the Okanagan, where local pub and coffee house conversations often revolve around stories of wine and vines, with banter about the best methods for pruning, dealing with pests, when to pick, when to crush and so on. This lively repartee is usually accompanied by good natured ribbing from one winemaker to the other for the way they do things. Read more…

Vintage and Vogue fashion show from SS Sicamous in Penticton on December 1, 2012

Vintage and Vogue

A short but sweet era

For those lucky enough to have been at the December 1st, Art Deco Bash at the SS Sicamous, it was a last opportunity to experience a production put on by Penticton’s Vintage and Vogue. Read more…

Feature - Accent Chocolates in Penticton, BC

Accent on the Chocolates


Eva and Les are a couple of characters. They are also chocolatiers and the owners of Accent Café and Chocolates in Penticton, where one bite of a truffle will turn you into a hardcore addict.

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True Grain Bread - bakery in Summerland BC

True Grain Bread

True to old world principles

Fresh – Local – Handcrafted – Organic

It is fitting that when the Cake Box Bakery owners decided to sell, a new bakery stepped in to take over.

In any community the world over, the bakery is the heart of the town and if you are in Summerland and are an early riser passing by, you will want to stop for a moment to enjoy the smells of fresh baked goods coming from True Grain Bread. It is an experience that is warm and comforting and appeals to all of us through time eternal.

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Salish apple - new to high-end retailers

The Salish Apple – Born in BC

Raised in the Okanagan

The Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre (PARC) sitting high on the hillside above Summerland’s Trout Creek, is a high-level security facility for research and development of various fruit varieties.

PARC is owned by the federal government and has a long and interesting history with its labs and kitchens having played an instrumental part in the success of a number of fruit-based businesses such as Summerland Sweets and the Kettle Valley Dried Fruit Company.

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Denise and Richard MacDonald - Aurora Golden Gala orchardists

Just Livin’ the Dream


Denise and Richard MacDonald’s property overlooks Giant’s Head Mountain and Paradise Flats.

They are one of about 25 Aurora Golden Gala growers in the Summerland area, and produce 200,000 pounds of apples a year made up of five varieties; Jonagold, Aurora Golden Gala, Gala, Spartan and Ambrosia.

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Summerland Heritage Cider product photo

The Summerland Heritage Cider Company

Fallen Apples and the Seeds of Discontent

It all started with the leftover apples. Summerland farmer Tom Kinvig didn’t like wasting them but they were the lower grade apples from the annual harvest and there wasn’t much use for them. Until one afternoon, when Kinvig came up with the idea of turning them into apple cider.

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Summerland Fall Fair - commemorative quilt celebrating 100 years in 2009

The Summerland Fall Fair

A Community Affair

The annual Summerland Fall Fair, now in its 103rd year, celebrates the harvest, as wreaths of red and gold and straw-stuffed scarecrows welcome fair-goers at the entrance to the Summerland arena.

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Jeremy Guard testing HP2 bike in Summerland BC

Heading out

A motorbike trip around the world

It’s 4:00 a.m. and JG’s watching a video he shot the previous fall of riding through Waterton National Park. The Who’s Eminence Front is playing on his iPhone and he doesn’t hear me come into the room but I can see it’s been another sleepless night.

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