Every Sunday we'll recap local lifestyle and culture news that you may have missed over the last seven days. This week we take a look at Winecrush who are headed to Toronto to seek some Dragon's Den investment, the new Okanagan winery dog coffee table book, and the search for the Towne Centre Mall sculpture's new home.
Bring on the Dragons
Earlier this month, CBC’s Dragon’s Den stopped into Kelowna to conduct auditions for their upcoming 13th season, and local business Winecrush came out of it with an invitation to pitch to the gang of investors in Toronto in April. In case you haven't watched the show lately, the investors have changed a bit. At present the Dragons are Jim Treliving (venture capitalist), Arlene Dickinson (CEO of Venture Communications), Michael Wekerle (Wahlburgers partner, owner of Toronto’s El Mocambo), Joe Mimran (launched Club Monaco and Joe Fresh brands), Manjit Minhas (founder of Minhas Micro Brewery in Calgary) and Michele Romanow (co-founded SnapSaves, acquired by Groupon).
Winecrush is an innovative artisanal food company based in the Okanagan that was started after lifelong cooking enthusiast, Bill Broddy began experimenting with sourdough. While bicycling along the backroads in Summerland a few years ago, he came across wild grapes growing along the side of the road. He used the grapes as a yeast in a sourdough starter, and found that the crushed grapes gave the resulting bread a unique and flavourful texture.
While working at a local winery with their grape pressing Bill realized that the pomace (or marc, as any of you Peter Mayle fan will deduce is the stuff of that rough Provençal brandy) designated for compost was the same texture as the grapes he had used in the bread. Bill (along with partner, Tyson Still) started developing a bread packed with the resveratrol-rich skins and antioxidant seeds, and after many attempts at developing the product, their healthy, gluten free, and tasty bread recipe was born.
To add to this tasty sourdough, Winecrush has expanded into offering their own cheeses and meats which are infused with the same rich flavours from the wine grapes. Paired with wine from the same terroir, these are a natural choice for a local gastronomical experience, not to mention full of antioxidants.
Winecrush products can be found at Urban Fare and Save-On-Foods throughout the Okanagan. We wish Bill and his team much success has he goes up against the Dragons next month, although we won’t get to see the episode until the fall.
Vancouver-based photographer Aliki Salmas has created a new coffee table book called Vineyard Dogs of the Okanagan, and features photos of local pups at vineyards throughout Penticton, Summerland and Kelowna. She was inspired to create the book after a visit to Napa Valley revealed how much character all their winery dogs brought to the experience. She began shooting around the Okanagan a number of years ago.
The process took four years and multiple visits to 25 separate wineries to complete, shooting only dogs who actually live on vineyards as the one strict rule. Her favourite dog? – it’s a dachshund named Buddy, who hangs out at the Painted Rock winery in Penticton.
The book can be purchased here
Iconic Sculpture is Looking for a New Home
Back on Aug. 6, 1997, a massive windstorm tore through Kelowna, forever changing the landscape of City Park as it uprooted a majority of the trees located there. Renowned artist Clifford Pettman ended up carting away the largest tree that was knocked down, a 120-year-old cottonwood, and sculpted it into the impressive five metre tall piece that we see in the Towne Centre Mall today.
The mall was recently sold to a new developer and plans were unveiled earlier this year to transform and rebrand it as “The District”. Apparently the developer’s redesign of its interior no longer has room for the massive sculpture, and Pettman and Perry Freeman (co-owner of the sculpture) are trying find a new home for it.
So far they've reached out to the City of Kelowna, Kelowna International Airport, and the Westbank First Nation, and they don’t have any space for it. At this point they are open to selling it privately, and anyone interested can email Perry to discuss pricing.
Appe-Thai-zing New Option Downtown
The former Kelowna Wings franchise, located at the corner of Abbott Street and Lawrence Avenue across from City Park closed last summer after a two year run, and the space has sat empty since. We recently spoke to the crew hard at work there, and they informed us that their new place, Thai Terrace is set to open up in the space some time in May. A Google search on the name has come up empty, nonetheless we look forward to having a new Thai option in the core.
The City to Discuss the Speculation (and Foreign and Transfer) Tax Monday
Johannes Saufferer, the Real Estate Services Manager for the City of Kelowna recently submitted a report on the provincial taxes (speculation, foreign buyer and property transfer) unveiled earlier this month, and what their impact could be on the city. City Council is set to discuss this report during their meeting tomorrow.
The report discussion should be an interesting one for a council working towards providing a healthy mix of available and affordable housing for our community. Issues related to the UBCM Housing Strategy Report which they support, such as stabilizing housing prices with tax policy, addressing rental housing through new rental stock as well as addressing short and long term rentals are all in the mix. As is the City of Kelowna's Healthy Housing Strategy that states "delivering on the full spectrum of the Wheelhouse [full spectrum of housing from safety net to supported to market] requires challenging decisions that will impact various stakeholders both positively or negatively. The actions recommended in this report position the City into a leadership role to make real change on Kelowna’s housing market that is facing unprecedented housing challenges. The goal for the Healthy Housing Strategy is to accomplish a set of actions that seek to have real, measurable and positive impacts on our housing challenges." If you're as curious about this housingscape as we are, you might want to check back tomorrow for our piece on the spec tax and our city's healthy housing strategy.
Instagram of the Week
New brewery Vice & Virtue located in the city's north end on Richter Street is opening soon.