Discover Nelson for Canada Day Photo Contest

This year in celebration of Canada Day 2011 the Nelson District Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre is holding a photo contest for visitors to Nelson.

This contest is designed to encourage visitors to the Nelson area to explore our historic town, natural surroundings, attractions, and events and to share their experiences through their photograph submissions.

This contest is open to all visitors to Nelson and residents re-discovering Nelson. Photo submissions will be accepted between June 24th and July 8th.

There are three ways to submit photo entries:
Drop off a printed photo at the Visitor Centre/Chamber, 225 Hall Street
Email photos to

The winner of the Discover Nelson for Canada Day Photo Contest will receive a copy of the Nelson photograph book by Anne DeGrace & Steve Thornton.

All of the submitted entries will be posted on the Discover Nelson website.

2011 Market Fest Fridays

The West Kootenay EcoSociety protects the natural environment while building a just and sustainable post-carbon world. Our markets and festivals help develop a sense of community while supporting the growth of our local economy. EcoSociety’s markets and festivals are developed with these goals in mind:

  • Give farmers and craftspeople opportunities to sell fruits, vegetables, and other products directly to consumers
  • Help farmers and craftspeople earn a sustainable livelihood
  • Build relationships between producers and consumers
  • Provide community members an opportunity to obtain fresh, nutritious, and local produce, ideally within walking distance of their homes
  • Bring energy and commerce to existing local businesses
  • Create fond memories of community celebration and appreciation

We hope you will join us for another season of fun and community!

Eamon McGrath Peace Maker Tour

Rock and roll comes to town. With the first chord, the room starts to sweat with the fists of a thousand weekends beating against its chest. The floor becomes a stomping ground for true love’s angry soldiers. The night is taken back in a declaration of war against the daytime, like a bomb that flattens a city in a roar only to leave it calm and still and shattered come the morning. Devastating and life-altering. A Peace Maker.

Bridging gaps between McGrath’s Albertan, prairie roots, and the spirit of punk rock that fills both his lungs and his words, “Peace Maker” is rock and roll and country music that’s punctuated with an adolescent howl served straight, no ice; with its roots in an urban centre that stands tall like a tower in the emptiness of Canada’s heartland.

“There’s an openness and honesty to the lyrics that belies his tender age and he can carry a song with the slenderest of help…he sounds around double his age and he sounds like someone who will still be worth listening to when he is forty two.”

- Americana UK

“The teenage kick in his raw Saturday night energy is even more authentically prodigious…his rasping Waitsian voice suggests an unlived lifetime spent in low company in smoke-filled bars. (4 stars)”

- Uncut Magazine

Healing Anaya Fundraising Wine & Cheese

Anaya is a beautiful 20 month old girl with a a rare disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy- which is usually fatal by age two. She has lost most of her motor function, eyesight, and is fed through a Gtube. Anaya’s mother is unable to work, & needs help with all of the expenses related to caring for her terminally ill child. You can help by attending the Healing Anaya Fundraiser at our spa on June 5th from 1-4pm. We will have by donation wine and cheese, draw prizes from local businesses, and we’ll announce the winner of our $1,000 giveaway – which was also to benefit Anaya. Everyone is welcome! :)

Contact:  Monica


SelfDesign High – Spring Open House

You are invited! Come learn about our exciting new offerings for the summer and upcoming academic year at our spring Open House! 

Come get informed and share in the spirit of learning that opens endless possibilities. There will be brief presentations about our diverse programs and initiatives like our Summer Arts Intensives, our Integrated Program EOS (full time grades 10 and 11) and our Gateways (grade 9). Mentors will be there to answer your questions and share their experiences and interests.

Join the conversation, we want to hear from you.

To ENROLL & REGISTER with SelfDesign High
visit us at

Skateboarding Lessons at NDYC

This summer learn how to skateboard at the Nelson District Youth Centre; Sean Cameron is teaching beginner and intermediate skateboard lessons to youths, so sign up this week at 608 Lake Street Nelson, BC, and join in on the fun.

Starting Thursday, June 2 and ends Thursday, June 30. Beginners @ 3:30 pm until 4:30 pm, and Intermediate go from 5:00pm to 6:00 pm. $45 for 5 sessions. 12 students for each level.

Skateboarding at NDYC





Cody Caves example of poor park management: Mungall

This man is one of many who enjoyed exploring Cody Caves until the operator went out of business earlier this summer. The shut-down of Cody Caves Provincial Park is an example of the provincial government's poor management of the province's parks system, says Nelson-Creston Michelle Mungall. Photo courtesy of Kevin Stanway.

A new report from B.C.’s auditor general gives a scathing criticism of the province’s handling of the parks system and Nelson-Creston NDP MLA, Michelle Mungall says that’s exemplified in the recent closing of Cody Caves Provincial Park.

The report says the provincial Ministry of Environment is not meeting its stated goal of conserving the ecological integrity of the BC Parks system and has created a poorly-managed, fragmented network of parks that do little to protect plant and animal species in the province.

Key findings in the report include incomplete or dated plans for meeting the stated goal, conservation policies that are inconsistently upheld, little action taken to ensure conservation, and a failure to publicly report on its progress or lack thereof.

In late June, Kevin Stanway, the former operator of Cody Caves Provincial Park near Ainsworth publicly announced that he could no longer afford to manage the park and offer tours of the caves because the business model imposed upon him by BC Parks was unsustainable  due to unreasonably high fees and a poorly-maintained access road.

The ecologically sensitive park is now left without an operator, and Mungall says that’s a prime example of how badly the BC Liberal government manages the provincial park system.

“What’s important here is that the report was specific about the Class A parks,” Mungall noted.  “What we experienced around Cody Caves this summer, which is a Class A park, is an example of what the auditor general found.

“The way Cody Caves was treated and the fee structure put upon it shows the lack of priority that Class A parks have in the Ministry of Environment.”

The report states that Class A parks are  “dedicated to the preservation of their natural environments for the inspiration, use and enjoyment of the public,” but the province doesn’t have enough information about the parks to determine the status of their ecological integrity.

After Kevin Stanway stopped managing Cody Caves Provincial Park earlier this year, the park was left without a caretaker, and the slightest damage to the caves could take thousands of years to restore.

At the time, Mungall wrote a letter to Minister of Environment, Barry Penner to advocate for Stanway and Cody Caves.

She recently got a letter back from Penner which she said “told me nothing and repeated everything I said.”

But included in the letter was some information about the present and future care of Cody Caves.

“At the local level, they’re putting out an expression (of interest) for a new operator,” she said. “The local Ministry of Environment staff have insured that Cody Caves is regularly patrolled. They’ve put in extra security and patrol it regularly so that vandalism doesn’t happen and the caves are maintained.

“But nothing is better than a regular operator who is an expert in caving, which they had and they ran him out of business.”

Mungall also noted that park fees have doubled for parks like Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, but none of that money is being put back into the maintenance.

“You’re paying more, but you’re getting less,” she said. “That’s the MO for this provincial Liberal government, and that’s what this report shows.”

Mungall said the parks budget has dropped by nearly $7 million from 2008 to 2010. That included the layoffs of 64 full-time equivalent and 10 full-time park rangers in April of 2009.

Environment minister says meeting recommendations costly

In response to the auditor general’s report, Minister of Environment, Barry Penner said implementing all the recommendations would cost $355 million dollars over 10 years, the burden of which would have to be shouldered by the taxpayer.

“That’s a significant amount of money, especially up against other competing demands,” Penner told the Vancouver Sun. “It’s a challenge with a limit on how much taxpayers are willing to spend.

“B.C. has done more than any other province in Canada to protect habitat” – actions that contribute directly to ecological protection.”

The auditor general’s report also notes that the amount of land designated for a parks in the province has grown significantly in recent years, from 9.6 million hectares in 1999, to 13 million hectares in 2010.

A map of the Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park, as proposed by the Valhalla Wilderness Society.

Valhalla Society says parks too small, isolated

“When I read the auditor general’s report and the government’s response, so many issues flew at me that it took me two days to write about it,” said Anne Sherrod of the Valhalla Wilderness Society.

And while Sherrod conceded that the expansion of land base for the parks is significant, she said it seems to be done without rhyme or reason because, as the auditor general pointed out in his report, the parks are too small and fragmented.

“There are too few parks and they’re too far apart,” Sherrod said. “There are all these little specks all over the province . . . The government boasts about all these parks, but the public isn’t getting environmental protection out of these parks because they are too fragmented. It creates an impressive facade.”

Sherrod said that in order to effectively protect wildlife and preserve ecosystems, like the inland temperate rainforest in the West Kootenay, parks need to be significantly larger and encompass connected wildlife corridors and the few remaining stands of old-growth forest in the region.

The Valhalla Wilderness Society is currently pushing a proposal to create a Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park that would do just that.

“It represents exactly what’s missing in the parks in our area,” Sherrod noted. “The parks in our area are woefully lacking in low elevation habitat.”