Charlie Veaudry

I believe in serving you with passion!

Living in the Okanagan, or as some of us call it, Paradise, is fantastic. So wonderful in fact, that you may find yourself with more visitors over the summer months than you ever thought possible. It's a fabulous place to visit and for those of us who live here, it's not unusual to have back-to-back guests for those sunny summer months. 


If you find this is the case with you, you will want to make sure you have activities to do with them that show off the best of this beautiful piece of earth. In case you are short on ideas, here are 5 suggestions to get you out and enjoying all that the Okanagan has to offer.


1. Why not get out on that turquoise Kalamalka Lake and try something new: Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP is a fantastic way to enjoy the water while getting some exercise. Kalavida Surf Shop is located across from Kal Lake Beach and rents a variety of boards to get you started. 


2. After a long day on the lake, it's nice to sit in the shade and listen to some great music. Vernon offers Civic Sounds, a weekly Thursday night event where local musicians share their talent with the community. You can find out more details on the Hello BC website.


3. If you have friends or family visiting on August 14th, they may like to attend the 8th annual Feast of Fields where you can experience farm to table, local foods in gourmet fashion. It's a great way to impress your foodie visitors. You can find tickets on the Feast of Fields website.


4. If more music is what they're after, the Roots & Blues festival has the best. Held in Salmon Arm from August 19th to 21st, you can see and hear enough music to satisfy the most festive hearts. You can see the full lineup here.


5. Show off Vernon's charm by taking your guests on both the Vernon Mural Walking Tour to see the historical and contemporary art throughout the town and you don't want to miss the Vernon Ghost Tour to get a little spooked out while learning the history of Vernon and its surrounding homes.


Regardless of what your guests are interested in, there is something interesting for each group and I suspect you will find yourself enjoying being a tourist in your own town! And it goes without saying, if your visitors decided that they would like to make Vernon their home, I know someone who might be able to help them out with that...

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  1. Stock up on your summer reading at the 24th annual booksale at the Armstrong Spallumcheen Museum and Art Gallery at 3415 Pleasant Valley Road, Armstrong. On now until April 17th. 9AM to 6PM (4PM on Sunday).
  2. On Saturday, April 16th at 9:00 am, join the North Okanagan Naturalists’ Club for a Nature Walk around Birdie Lake at Predator Ridge. This is a great way to get out and enjoy nature with some fellow enthusiasts. Spring brings all sorts of wonderful flora and fauna to the area. Meet in the first parking lot after turning right off Predator Ridge Drive onto Village Centre Place. Optional coffee stop after.
  3. A true Okanagan highlight is to take the drive to Enderby and Lorenzo's Cafeto enjoy a night out, a great meal and excellent music. Blackberry Wood is travelling with their own live Circus Side Show and the jazz-gypsy-circus music will have your feet stomping and your toes wiggling. (It's said that hte Circus Side Show includes fire breathing!) Friday, April 22, $10 cover.
  4. Have you ever wanted to know more about the stars? Or perhaps how to take better pictures of them? If so, join the Vernon branch of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada for their meeting on Wednesday, April 27th at 6:30pm for a visit from the National President James Edgar and a presentation by Shawn Berglund on AstrophotographyThe meeting will be in the Heritage Hall on the corner next to the Okanagan Science Centre on the east side of Polson Park just off Highway 6. 
  5. On April 30th and May 1st, head on down to the lake for the Annual VYC Boat Show at the Vernon Yacht Club. It's a Free Public Event with fun for the entire family! There will marine demos, boating accessories and hardware, Sailboat trips, face-painting and lots of activities for kids. The fastest boat in Canada, the McLellan F1 will be on display and vsitors have a chance at Raffles and Door Prizes from our many vendors. Please bring a non-perishable Food Item for the Salvation Army Food Bank, your contribution is a huge help to this great organization every year!
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The Okanagan Valley is known for it's long, hot, sunny summers, and the spring is a reminder that these days are coming once again! Spring is also an excellent time to visit the Okanagan. If you have friends and family who like to spend some time here, or if you are thinking of buying a home in the Okanagan sometime in the future, come and check out some of the great activities going on this time of year. 


The end of March offers a few exciting activities, with April bringing all sorts of things exciting events, celebrations and a activites. These are just a sample!


1) Start your garden off with a visit to Vernon Seedy Saturday on March 12th where you can get locally grown heirloom seeds, starter plants and garden supplies. It's also a great way to meet and network with other garden enthusiasts.


2) Celebrate St Patrick's Day on March 17th at the Vernon Craft Distilery with 3 green tipples! More info here.


3) Enjoy your Easter weekend by taking in the amazing Okanagan lake views with a ride on the Kettle Valley Steam Train on March 26th.


4) The outdoor Vernon Farmer's Market starts up again in April, so make sure to check it out and stock up on all the spring produce and local fare of the sunny Okangan.


5) The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents The Four Seasons being performed April 8th, 9th and 10th throughout the Okanagan. 


6) Featuring Liala Biali, the BC Interior Jazz Festival is April 14th to 16th. An excellent weekend that you don't want to miss.


7) Take a trip down to Kelowna for the Jekyll & Hyde the Musical at Kelowna's Favourite Theatre Company between April 6th and 23rd. 


This is just a few ideas of how to make the most of the Okanagan at this time of year. But don't forget the best option: get out and enjoy the fresh air and spring flowers at one of your favourite parks! 


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I can't think of a better way to spend a cold February than participating in the 56th annual Vernon Winter Carnival! The first carnival as we know it was in February of 1961, but winter carnival celebrations go back as far as 1893 in the Okanagan when Kal Lake was known as Long Lake. Jopo and Jopette first appeared in 1965, and the carnival buttons have been circulated every year since 1960. Do you know anyone with the whole collection? Check out this great story in last Friday's Vernon Morning Star. 


Hopefully you saw the hot air balloon event and attended the parade, but did you know that you can participate in this historical community event until February 14th? What better way to spend Valentine's Day than at a Argentine Tango dance class with Ruth McGrath, or a Toonie & a Tin Skate?


Leading up to the weekend, Wednesday the 10th, you can participate in a mysterious Theatre Dinner, or a Folk Music Variety Show put on by the Vernon Folk-Roots Music Society where you can hear me in my bluegrass band, Canadian Whitewater.


Thursday, February 11th, has lots going on. From a Fancy Nancy Tea Party for the kids to a Candlelight Dinner at Soverign Lakes, or just for the ladies, meet downtown for food, drink and shopping with Unwined Downtown.


If you missed the Theatre Dinner on Wednesday, it's being offered again on Friday (or if you just had so much fun that you want to go again) or maybe you are feeling like you want to be up on Silver Star for the Over the Hill Downhill race! If being out late with friends is on the adgenda, Try the Mardi Party at Elk's Hall.


The O'Keefe Family Treasurehunt is something for the whole family on Saturday, or you can travel back even further in time to join the Medieval Carneval to taste some mead and have your fortune told! Or if you want to get your toes tapping, check out the 7th Annual Winter Carnival Blues Festival. 


Most of the above links will offer details of the events as well as how to purchase tickets. If you are looking for general information about the carnival, check their website here. Most of all, have fun, but also make sure you aren't caught without a pin and thrown in jail! 

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I love living in Vernon, BC year round, but there is something to be said for heading south to enjoy the warmth and sun in the winter months. Many people buy real estate in the Okanagan because it has one of the best climates in Cananda. But just in case you are craving a little extra sun, and plan to leave your home during the holidays, here are some things to remember to do before you leave. Follow these tips to keep your home safe and save a few bucks on bills while you’re gone.

1. Put mail on hold

An overstuffed mailbox or a pile of newspapers at the bottom of your driveway can be an invitation to thieves. Not only is it a sign that no one’s home, identity thieves can find all sorts of goodies while sorting through unattended mail. Go to to have the Postal Service hold your mail, and also check on your options for holding newspaper delivery.

2. Put lights on a timer
It makes it appear that someone is home. If you can, switch your exterior lights to the “motion-activated” setting.

3. Check batteries
Make sure the batteries are fresh in your smoke alarms and that they function.

4. Remove valuables
Hiding your jewelry is always an option, but when you’re gone for several days, thieves have more time to hunt through the house. If you can, place jewelry and important documents in a safety deposit box or home safe.

5. Grab your spare key
Bring inside any keys that are hidden outside. You can give one to a neighbor along with your contact information where you'll be, just in case there's an emergency.

6. Unplug
Your electronics will still suck energy while you’re gone. Unplug the biggies, like your TV and computer.

7. Don't advertise your trip online
At least until you return, when it’s safe to make your Facebook friends jealous with photos from your holiday beach vacation. Don’t post the dates when you’re leaving your house vacant.

8. Switch your water heater to “vacation” mode
It won’t turn off completely, but it will still save energy.

9. Lower your thermostat
Keep it warm enough to prevent the pipes – and the goldfish – from freezing. Your energy company can recommend a temperature that’s appropriate for your climate.

10. Deodorize the sink
To avoid returning to a kitchen disposal that belches up the stench of your pre-vacation dinner, run it with a half-cup of vinegar, or lemon peels and ice cubes, before you leave. To keep things smelling fresh, it’s also a good idea to throw out any food that will go bad while you’re gone and make sure to take out any trash.

11.  Bleach the bowl
Dump half a cup of chlorine bleach into your toilet bowl to prevent mineral stains from developing. 

12. Think about hiring a house sitter. Sometimes you can convince out-of-town friends to trade homes or to borrow your house while you are gone (many people would love to spend a few weeks close to Silver Star Mountain!). And there are also people who will pay a small fee to live in your home while you are away. If it's for more than a few weeks, it's not a bad idea to have someone in your house.  Regardless, remember to have fun & happy holidays! 
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