Charlie Veaudry

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Thanks to the Vernon Morning Star, you have a chance to win a night up at Silver Star. A great way to enjoy the spring skiing season! Details below:

With spring skiing just around the corner, why not enter to win a night’s accommodation (2 people) and a pair of MY1PASS lift tickets to SilverStar Mountain Resort. Must be used between March 15th and April 9, 2017.
How to enter:
1. Like our Facebook page
2. Like this post
3. For a bonus entry, like Silver Star's Facebook page
4 Share this post for a bonus entry
A random draw will take place on Feb. 22, 2016

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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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Silver Star Mountain gets a lot of attention in the winter as one of the top ski destinations in the world. People come from many countries to enjoy the downhill skiing and snowboarding, the Sovereign Lakes Nordic Centre, as well as Silver Star Village itself. And of course, it is a popular place for locals to enjoy the snow and sun as they can get up above the valley cloud cover in the winter. 


However, this summer my family made a trip up to the mountain and we discovered how much there is to enjoy up there all year around. It’s a fantastic place to do some hiking, mountain biking, animal & bird watching, enjoy a drink or a meal in the village, and you would be amazed at the variety of wildflowers scattered around the mountain top.


Silver Star provides a map of the mountain trails available to the public. There are some trails shared between biking and hiking, but the majority of them are designated. The map provides information about the length of the trails, and we found that they were clearly marked and easy to follow. The only thing I would recommend is that you bring your hiking poles as some of them provided quite the climb!


If you would like to enjoy the spectacular views, but don’t fancy the hike, the SkyChair is available to get you to the top!  And if you are really adventurous, Silver Star hosts Geocaching, a real world, outdoor treasure hunting game. 


Silver Star Mountain offers prime areas for nature watching. Birds and small animals find their homes there, and we even had a few deer sightings! The amount and variety of wildflowers are 



In the summer, the Village offers a choice of 3 restaurants, and the Town Hall is open for breakfast all summer long! A meal and a cold drink is a great way to end an outing to Silver Star in the summer. 


So, if you happen to be visiting Vernon and area in the summer, I would highly suggest taking time to visit the mountain, or if you already live in Vernon, take the time to enjoy what is at your finger tips! If you would like to know more about owning a condo or home in the Silver Star Village, please contact me and I would be happy to answer all your questions!

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I wanted to take a moment this week to give a nod to a little spot just east of Vernon and Coldstream: Lumby. This lovely little town often gets overlooked, but in the last few years has become a wonderful spot for first home buyers or people looking to get away from the hustle and bustle. It's also a great community for people living in the outskirts of Coldstream or halfway between Vernon and Lumby.


With a population of less than 2,000 people, Lumby brings the true small-town feel, but offers many wonderful outdoor activities, artisan wares and agricultural aspects.


First off, Lumby is very famous for it’s paragliding and hang gliding. So if you are interested in seeing the beautiful valley from a bird’s eye view, then feel free to visit the Freedom Flight School or Raven Aviation for details.


Lumby is also located close to many parks and lakes, so weekends in the outdoors are easy to come by. Some popular spots include Monashee Provincial Park, great for backpacking or hiking. Mable Lake and Sugar Lake are both close and are tranquil spots for enjoying your canoe or a night or two in a tent. Echo Lake Provincial Park is also a popular family camping spot. And if you decide to live in this area, you can cross country ski right out your back door, or take the few minutes to drive up to Silver Star Mountain for some downhill skiing.


Lumby and area are very popular for artists, and some retreat centers are available such as Bear Vally High Lands. The local farmers markets and galleries are the best ways to access and enjoy local art. 


Because of the beautiful farmland nestled in the Lumby Valley, many people use it for livestock and crops. Other artisan agriculturists also choose this area as it is close to amenities yet a beautiful rural area. Bella Stella Cheese, a family run business headed up by Igor Ruffa, offers locally made cheese. If you happen to drive through Lumby or if you decide to live in the area, make sure to stop and sample some of their traditional recipes.


If you would like to know more about Lumby, Coldstream or Vernon, send me an email or give me a call and I would be happy to help you get to know the area better.

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This time of year makes me want to be outside, enjoying the fresh air and sunshine!

Over the last few weeks, I was reminded of all the fantastic paths and walkways scattered through the Vernon area. It is a great time to be out walking and hiking, whether you are enjoying the beautiful Kalamalka Lake, stopping at BX Falls on your way up to Silver Star, or spending time downtown and enjoying the fauna and fowl in Polson Park.


A great resource for finding your way around the trails and paths in the Vernon area is the Ribbons of Green Trails Society. They list out and describe all the main walking areas in and around Vernon. This group started off as a committee to develop a plan for a system of linear parks, paths and bikeways in the Vernon area. The “Ribbons of Green” plan was adopted into the official Community Plan of the City of Vernon. The committee is now a legal society, and offers great resources for enjoying the Vernon area on foot.

Two trails I would suggest checking out are:

1. Polson Park Walkway. This is a surprisingly lovely little walk. Starting in Polson Park itself, just by the Japanese Gardens. The path is just less than a kilometer and will take you out on Polson Dr. You can also ride bikes along the boardwalks, and it makes a good detour on the way to Kalamalka Lake Park.


2. If you are looking for a more difficult route, try BX Falls. This is a great place to go on a hot summer day to escape the heat in the shade of the cedars along BX Creek. You can enter the trail from the top off of Tilicum Road, or from the lower end, off of Star Rd. The whole hike is about 3.7kms, and if you want a more leisurely stroll, I suggest the south end but if you are up for climbing MANY sets of stairs, the upper end to the falls themselves is a great way to get your heart rate going.

And these should get you started. But if you would like some more personal recommendations or to chat about all the things Vernon has to offer, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

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Having lived in Vernon, British Columbia for over 24 years, I have to say I have a bit of a soft spot for this quaint little town. It's a friendly place with a great community, a good location between Vancouver and Calgary, but often people ask, "What is there to DO in this sleepy little town?". Below is a list of the first 5 I could think of, but there are more. Many!

#1. Downtown Vernon. Downtown Vernon is small, inconspicuous gem. East Hill is one of the best neighbourhoods to live in that allows you to enjoy easy access to some of the best coffee shops, restaurants and botique shops that Downtown has to offer. And don't forget to check out the Sunshine Festival in June.

#2. Kalamalka Lake Park. Only a 10 minute drive from downtown Vernon, Kal Lake Park is a great way to “get out of town” and enjoy hiking, biking, swimming or just enjoying the view.

#3. Silver Star Mountain & Sovereign Lakes. Depending on your preference, a ride up the mountain will take you to Sovereign Lakes (20 minues) where you can enjoy the x kilometers of cross country trails, or continue 15 minutes more and reach Silver Star Mountain Resort where you can enjoy The Village or spend the day on the world class slopes.

#4. North End Hub. In case you thought Vernon was just a small town, the north end of the city still offers all the large shopping options that a bigger city offers. With most of the newer developments happening here, Vernon gives you a nice option of the more fast-paced north end, but leaves you with the option of a small town feel with the downtown core.

#5. Three Lakes. Yes, that’s right. Vernon offers not one, not two, but three lakes. The smallest of the lakes is Swan 

Lake, located to the north end of the city, it is less used for swimming but one of the favorate spots for the Vernon Rowing 

Club. The second largest is Kalamalka Lake. Known for it’s turquoise beauty, it offers great swimming, lakefront 

properties and a plethora of water sports and activities. The biggest lake, Okanagan Lake, starts in Vernon and 

ends 135kms south in Penticton. A great place for swimming, boating and sailing, Okanagan Lake offers coutless things to do all through the Okanagan Valley.

So there a just a few things that make Vernon so fantastic. If you want to pick my brains, or have a specific question about this wonderful little town, please don’t hesitate to give me a shout!

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