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Big White Community Summer Camp

Big White Community School Parents advisory Council has established a fun summer camp for all 2014 eligible BWCS kids.

The 7th annual Big White Community Summer Camp is in full swing on the mountain with an average of 17 kids from 5 to 12 years old attending every day from 10am to 4pm for adventures, activities and fun! Kids are enjoying everything from hiking, kite making, painting and slip n’ slide, to learning all about how Ski Patrol works and experiencing bush craft ! The summer camp daily activity program means that Big White kids are kept active throughout the summer without parents having to pay for day care or trek into Kelowna daily to find fun activities! The camp is grateful for the support of Human Resources Development Canada under their summer student program, BWCS PAC, the Globe.  Phillipa runs the camp with the assistance of junior councillors.   A great team of volunteer parents complete the picture, driving the camp kids down to Kelowna or elsewhere for field trip Tuesdays. Last week sailing day at the Yacht Club, this week Energyplex, next week Idabel what a summer these Big White kids are having! Have overheard on a number of occasions already though....”We can’t wait for the snow to start!”....despite the beauty of our summer up here, you’ll never convince these youngsters that there’s anything better than this mountain in winter


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Social Media Specialist (Job Post)

We are looking for a driven Social Media Specialist to attract and interact with targeted virtual communities and networks users.


- Setting up and optimizing company pages within social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc.

- Generating social media presence by creating and sharing company pages daily

- Attract and interact with targeted virtual communities and network users

- Monitor messages using HPBX by Primus

- Coordinate appointments using an open source medical software VistaCan between Whitefoot Clinic and Academy Hill Medical

- Operate and coordinate virtual clinic appointments using Google Hangouts.



  • Proven working experience in social media marketing
  • Excellent consulting, writing, editing (photos, video, text), presentation, and communication skills
  • Demonstrable social networking experience
  • Knowledge of online marketing and good understanding of social media channels
  • Fluency in English
  • Experience with HPBX by Primus and  VistaCan
About the company

M. Figurksi M.D. is the CEO and coordinates the company between offices at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and Big White Ski Resort, near Kelowna British Columbia Canada.

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Software Engineer (JOB POST)

The Senior Software Engineer will design, implement and maintain the architecture, infrastructure and software for a large scale high available Electronic Health Record (EMR) using VistA and open source software. He will maintain, optimize and enhance the current billing platform and satellite Plone/Zope applications. Besides being able to self-manage, he is someone who has experience leading a team.

Figurski Inc. (Kelowna, BC, Canada)

Job description

The Senior Software Engineer will design, implement and maintain the architecture, infrastructure and software for a large scale high available Electronic Health Record (EHR) using VistA and open source software. He will maintain, optimize and enhance the current billing platform and satellite Plone/Zope applications. Besides being able to self-manage, he is someone who has experience leading a team.


  • Masters degree (or Bachelor with 6 years of work experience) in Computer Science,

  • Python experience,

  • Preferred if experience in  MUMPS and VistA

  • Preferred if experience with British Columbia MSP Teleplan API

  • Management/leadership experience

  • Preferred candidate has designed large, high available and scalable financial transactional systems

  • Proven experience using: hg, git, django, wsgi, mysql, pexpect

About the company

M. Figurksi M.D. is the CEO and coordinates the company between offices at the University of BC Okanagan and Big White Ski Resort, near Kelowna British Columbia Canada.


Contact info

Please e-mail your cover letter and resume to



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In 2011 taxpayers in Big White paid $59,000 for "grant in aid" a community based regional tax (see tax summaries at ). Only $5000 of this was returned to Big White. This ratio of 10% return has been typical since Mr. Baird began representing Big White over a decade ago. Coupled with provincial funding, this could have capitalized to millions dollars in worthwhile projects for benefit of Big White residents and tax payers.


"The primary purpose of a grant in aid is to provide one time financial assistance to an organization for a specific project or event that benefits the residents ... Preference will be given to organizations that are locally based."  from here.

Bill Baird is the elected representative of area E charged with distributing grant in aid funding.  Area E and Big White (2011 tax summaries here) show only 10% of Big White's local aid funding is spent locally, while 90% is diverted to other projects.  Bill Baird is the elected representative of area E charged with distributing grant in aid funding.  As line 3 Big White residents contributed $59, 402 of the area E total $104,772 in 2011.  Mr. Baird distributed $5000 dollars back to residents of Big White (to supplies at the Ski Patrol Hut which should not qualify for Grant in Aid), and $113,071 to other communities in area E (which include his home areas of Midway and Rock Creek) during 2011.  It is estimated Mr. Baird has redirected well over $500,000 of Grant in Aid from Big White to the Boundary since taking office.

Many Big White Residents and visitors are surprised to learn there are absolutely no public parks or public recreational facilities despite paying almost $5,000,000  in annual property taxes .  This contrasts sharply with smaller communities in the district E that enjoy parks, programs rinks, and services with public funds as below.  Since these funds could secure matching Provincial (double local funds up to $85,000 per year based on area E population as per section 8.3.a here) or Gaming Grant funding (up to 75% when combined with Provincial), three dollars in grant funding is available for every local dollar raised.


Regional District of Kootenay Boundary

2011 Grant in Aid Report
Electoral Area 'E'
For Full Taxes
Report see here.

563-11 Beaverdell Community Club - centre repairs $            750.00
575-11 Beaverdell Community Club - xmas food hamper program 1,000.00
525-11 Beaverdell Fire Dept - equipment 5,000.00
59-11 Beaverdell Fire Dept - structural fire hose 2,640.00
450-11 Beaverdell Historical Society - Autumn Family Fun Days 1,500.00
482-11 Borderline 4H Club 500.00
161-11 Boundary Central School - 2011 Graduation Class 500.00
390-11 Boundary Creek Times - advertising for Healthy Communities 176.40
161-11 Boundary District Curling Club - ice plant emergency repair 2,500.00
107-11 City of Greenwood - infant change table at pool 300.00
161-11 City of Greenwood - Joint TOTA advertisement 1,000.00
59-11 Commuinity Futures Boundary - Chamber of Commerce 1,500.00
248-11 Commuinity Futures Boundary - Visitors Choice ad 2,643.20
248-11 Community Futures Boundary - water sustainablility forum 1,000.00
59-11 Discover Rock Creek - Family night 500.00
59-11 Discover Rock Creek - Mascot 4,000.00
426-11 Discover Rock Creek Committee - equipment/expenses Foodsharing Workshop 3,000.00
426-11 Discover Rock Creek Committee - Farmers' Market 8,000.00
525-11 Discover Rock Creek Committee - goods sharing program 5,000.00
161-11 Discover Rock Creek Committee - poker ride expenses 250.00
161-11 Discover Rock Creek Committee - signage for Kettle River Trails 3,000.00
59-11 G.F. Midget Rep Hockey Team - 2011 provincials 500.00
426-11 Greenwood & Dist. Business Assoc. - 500.00
450-11 Greenwood Board of Trade - Canada Day celebrations, etc. 2,000.00
161-11 Greenwood Demolition Derby - insurance and t-shirts 600.00
59-11 Greenwood Legion - annual insurance premium 1,900.00
525-11 Greenwood Volunteer Fire Dept - public education materials 3,000.00
59-11 Greenwood Winterfest - free weekend of fun for families 800.00
248-11 Greenwood Youth Sports Association - 600.00
482-11 Kettle River Lions Club - annual scholarship/bursary 3,000.00
107-11 Kettle River Lions Club - safety mats/tae kwan do uniforms 3,000.00
248-11 Kettle River Museum 2,000.00
107-11 Kettle River Trail Association - trail maintenance, etc. 4,000.00
525-11 Kettle Valley Golf Club 1,000.00
59-11 Kettle Valley Racing Association - club support 800.00
525-11 Kettle Valley Wildlife Association - Archery Club 3,000.00
525-11 Kettle Valley Wildlife Association - caretakers residence repairs 10,000.00
107-11 Kettle Wildlife - archery equipment 2,500.00
450-11 Kettle Wildlife Association - 2011 Annual Wildlife count 710.00
248-11 Midway Car Show 125.00
563-11 Midway Community Consultative Group 200.00
107-11 Midway Ice Maidens - travel expenses, etc. 600.00
390-11 Midway Public Library - operation costs 3,000.00
390-11 Midway Trail Society - "Kettle Valley Eat for Life Program" 500.00
390-11 Midway Trails Society - trails construction materials 2,000.00
107-11 Mountain Medical Services - medical needs 5,000.00
450-11 Mt. Baldy Alpine Club - safety equipment 2,000.00
426-11 Rock Creek & Boundary Fair - repair of dais 12,564.43
375-10 Rock Creek Boundary Fair - final payment on G.I.A. 112.00
482-11 Selkirk College - recreation programs in West Boundary 800.00
390-11 Sky High Blues Society - 14th annual festival 3,000.00
107-11 Westbridge Recreation - dance lesson program, sound equip. 2,000.00

Woodstove Exchange Top Ups 1,500.00

Total Grants $     118,071.03

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Digital Radiology Unit in Big White Available for Lease

The Whitefoot Clinic is offering for lease of $1 per annum a self contained trailer for medical grade digital x-rays valued at over $100,000.
Digital Radiology Unit in Big White Available for Lease

Whitefoot X-ray SNOW Trailer at Big White

The Spirit of New Orleans Whitefoot (SNOW) Trailer was purchased from New Orleans in 2007.  The trailer had served as the on-site X-ray facility at the New Orleans Superdome following Hurricane Katrina.  Built in 2003 with a construction cost of over $100,000 USD, it is a fully self contained general duty digital x-ray facility with a GE generator, full on-site image acquisition and processing.

Accreditation was withdrawn in March 2014 and operator has been unable to find a radiologist to act as Medical Director, as required by the Provinical Diagnostic Accreditation Committee.



x-rayTrailer.jpgSNOW X-ray trailer at the New Orleans Superdome post Hurricane Katrina.


As efforts to find a suitable Medical Director have been unsuccessful, and in order to secure needed medical services for the coming ski season; this self contained facilty can be yours for $1 per season.  If you use the trailer to take medical x-rays on Big White, you can have it for $1 until May 2016 and available for extended lease.  This offer has been made, and remains open, to the Interior Health Authority (IHA) and any BC qualified radiologist.   The Whitefoot Clinic has made this offer as we feel diagnostic x-rays are an essential service in a remote adventure sport area favored by families with children.  An option to relocate the Trailer to the Ski Patrol Hut is available.


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Ice Rink Proposal

The RDKB has commissioned a feasibility study to consider economic and social implications for a mixed use recreation facility at Big White. This is a brief outline of discussions during an informal meeting with Joe (MMM consultants) and Brian (Operations Manager RDKB) on June 21, 2011. Also present were Jeremy Hopkinson (VP Outdoor Operations Big White), John Mooney and Mike Figurski.
The purpose of the meeting was to review Resort and percieved community atitudes towards a possible new indoor recreational facility at Big White.  Discussion including service delivery, physical location, and funding.  Some highlitghts include;


·         Core indoor services considered were an ice surface with change rooms, concession area, and stadium seating.  Highly desirable services included non-ice (conversion) event hosting, and fitness facilities (particarly for altitude aerobic training).  Consideration of a swimming pool was discouraged as expensive and labor intensive.  This is borne out in a review of a comparable multi-use (rink and pool) facility currently operating in Grand Forks1.


The catchment area was established as the Big White region of Area E.  The stakeholders include property owners, the Resort, and the RDKB.  Given distances, it was felt that the facility would provide little benefit to other area E communities.  The facility was considered to be a positive economic opportunity for all property owners in Big White regardless of their residential status.  Full time residents would appreciate the recreation and employment opportunities, particularly out of ski season.  Part time residents would benefit from increased personal use, and improved potential for 4 season rentals.


It was generally agreed that strong consideration be given to establishing the site at or near Happy Valley Parking lot, and within walking distance of Lara's Gondola.  This area is described in the Big White zoning map at , and as pictured below.


Rink size could be one full size rink surface (large format), or two small rink format. 

1.       Large format (NHL size of 85 × 200 ft = 26 × 61 m; Intl. size 30 × 61 m = 98 × 200 ft).  I doubt the latter is popular in this area and could be a selling feature as a preseason or training camp for international teams.  2

2.       Small format (2 smaller sheets).3 

Parking; per current RDKB zoning should require One space per 30 m2 of gross floor area or one space for every four potential players or participants (at capacity), whichever is greater.  Assuming the facility footage is twice the area of an NHL rink, this would require 85 parking spots.  Higher rates for mixed commercial use would likely raise this to 100.  Happy Valley currently has over one thousand spots.  Real requirements would likely be considerably less because seasonal clients can be served by the Gondola at hundreds per hour.  There is ample free parking in Happy Valley during the off season.

FUNDING     It was felt that most taxpayers would prefer a model based on early ROI (debt financing with an early build) rather than deferred  (accumulating a capital fund reserve before build).  For comparable facility funding analysis, the Grand Forks Arena (excluding pool) costs local taxpayers about $250,000 annually.  This would represent a 5% tax increase after capital investments.


This was explained as likely to be a two step process.  Step one would be an Alternative Approval Process (see where taxpayers could vote on the facility and be given an opportunity to be heard.  If 10% of the electoral constituency (Big White propterty owners) vote "NO" to the idea, the propsal is defeated.  It was concensus that the proposal should be well developed before formal this vote.   Unless 10% of registered owners actively voted against the proposal (often done by mail), it could be brought to referendum by the area Rep (Bill Baird) with limited further consultation.  The referendum itself would be a two step process, initially approval in priniciple to confirm support for the increased tax costs by voters involved.  This is needed to secure goverment funds for any specific proposal, and would not need to be repeated with proposal revisions.  The second step would be another refendum to consider a specific proposal to include financial projections.  Both petition questions could be on the same ballot.  For a list of qualificaitons for eligible voters see

SUBLET POTENTIAL    It was felt that the new rec site could provide a logical home for related public services, notably firefighting, and medical (transport and acute treatment).

Firefighting;  Given the high previous volunteer support the Big White Fire Department has provided for the residents and community, and given the benefit of highly trained emergency personel in house, consideration for joint occupancy will be discussed with Chief Weddell (BWFD ).

Medical;    On site medical service and transport at the rec location would offer substantial improvement to the first aid center currently staffed by Canadian Ski Patrol Association (CSPS ) currently operates from the "Ski Patrol" hut.  The BC Ambualance Service ( operates a service during the ski season during the same period (under direction of the Armstrong Station).  More information on longstanding requests for the West Kootenay Regional Hospital Board for better facilities (given our $200,000 annual tax burden for hospitals out of our referral area), are found at


Comparable facilities in the area include Grand Forks Rec Complex (see ) and the Castlegar Rec Center ( see  This public facility is funded by From a review of the respective service budgets (see aquatic budget at ; rink budget at ).  Currently each component (aquatic and arena) have an annual budget of approximately $400,000.  Local municipal taxes pay about 60% of these costs (with a substantially lower real tax base than Big White).  The balance of costs is recovered from user fees and community contribution.  It was recognized that the demographic of Big White would likely have high demand for recreation services during the ski season.  Given the infrastructure asset mix of the Resort, potential for destination sports during the off season is also high.  This includes team training, high altitude conditioning, curling bonspiels, and summer hockey camps.  This was recognized as an attractive financial argument for financial benefits to property owners interested in rentals during the 7 month off ski season.

2     Conversations with area hockey camps confirm one sheet should service about 100 skaters when combined with dryland training in a “summer hockey camp” scenario.  Most come with parents as singles.  Aside from ice, you’d need a large flat dryland area, and a fitness training area indoors.  Programs cost around $100 per day, and economic benefit to local commercial interests (accomodations and food) should double this.  That is an potential local economic of $100,000 per week.

3    Two half sheets with mixed or various use.   A comparable self funded facility is Excellent Ice (see ).  This facility runs 14 hours per day with 10 kids per side.  This means a program with 100 kids could expect 20% ice time (about 3 hours per day).






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Bigger, Better Globe Cafe and Tapas

The Globe Cafe and Tapas has expanded. Come enjoy superb coffee, delectable tapas and the warming atmosphere in the newly renovated Globe at Big White! With a fortnightly trivia comp, weekly drinks specials and Guinness on tap on St Paddy's Day, why would you go anywhere else? Book now (250) 765-1501

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How To Write a Press Release

"When done correctly, a good press release will grab a reporter's attention and force their curiosity to want to learn more about your announcement ... "

Marketing & Advertising
How to Write a Press Release

September 03 2010

Take it from those of us who know: An easy way to ruin your relationship with the news media is to send a bad press release.

Newsroom fax machines and reporters' inboxes are flooded on a daily basis with press releases from companies, government agencies, non-profit groups, and even average citizens trying to get their neighborhood plight noticed. If you send in a press release that's riddled with grammatical errors, buried in a convoluted e-mail, or completely irrelevant to the reporter's coverage area, you might as well be tossing your press release down a sewer drain. If you deluge a news organization with unprofessional or uninteresting releases, your chances of ever getting favorable news coverage are zero-to-slim.

But when done correctly, a good press release will grab a reporter's attention and force their curiosity to want to learn more about your announcement.

"I want to be a trusted resource for that media so I'm trying to give the journalist all the information when they need it so they don't have to go anywhere else," says Gillian Pommerehn, director of public relations for Crosby Marketing, which is based in Annapolis, Maryland, and whose clients include the U.S. Department of Agriculture and DuPont.

The trick, professionals say, is knowing how to format a good release, where to send it, and what information to include. The release is the face of your company that you're sending out into the world, so it's not a task to be taken lightly. Don't forget: With most press releases now available online through wire services or your company's website, customers or clients may also be reading them, not just reporters.

"Really good, clean, crisp, grammatically correct writing is so important in creating a positive impression of your company," says Lauren Selikoff, chief marketing officer for Allison & Partners, which works with Samsung and Michelin and is based in San Francisco. "This is not a task to turn over to the intern."

Here's some tips to help you craft your message.

Writing a Press Release: Mind the Message

One thing comes to the mind of any good journalist when they receive a press release: Why would I care? The "news" in your news release has to be obvious, or else your notice will be on a fast route to the recycle bin. The first step is figuring out exactly what message you are trying to get across, and how it qualifies as news.

"The hardest thing for people who are new to PR to grasp is you really have to take your ego out of it when it comes to finding something the press is going to write about," Selikoff says. "What's newsworthy to a publication's readers is often completely different than what you are trying to get across."

That means your release needs a good headline. That can be something saying how your new product is going to make life easier, or how it relates to a news event. Your headline should be an attention-grabber, so reporters can see right away how the announcement affects their audience.

Writing a Press Release: Seek out Examples

If you've never written a press release before, you're in luck: The Internet is chock-loaded with examples and models you can use. More than likely, someone has already composed a press release on the same topic that you can use for inspiration. Don't copy - but do soak up their style and manner of ordering the content.

PR professionals recommend checking out press release distribution services such as PRWeb and PR Newswire to find a model on which to base your release. Searching Google for announcements related to your business - promotions, new product launches, new branch openings, etc. - is also likely to produce an example you can copy.

Writing a Press Release: Mastering the Structure

Experts say press releases should be no longer than one page. Every press release has a basic structure:

Put the words "For immediate release| at the very top of the page. The headline - the key to grabbing attention - should be centered on the page, and usually written in bold or capital letters. Under that, put a subhead, often in italics, that elaborates on the headline.

The headline and subhead are the prime places to work in keywords that will help search engine optimization and draw traffic to your release once it's online, says Leyl Master Black, managing director at San Francisco's SparkPR, whose clients include Bing and Barclays. For instance, she says, if you're launching an e-commerce platform, you want the words e-commerce, platform, and software to appear in your headline and opening paragraphs several times.

First paragraph:
Black and others say you should assume no one is going to read beyond the first paragraph, which makes it the most important. Many releases also take up a journalistic style, beginning with a dateline, or the city and state the news is coming from.

"You need to have the theme and anything that is newsworthy summarized very concisely and neatly," Selikoff says. "The remainder of the press release is kind of fleshing out the story. But the main story has to get across in the first paragraph."

The old standard is that a release should be similar to a story the journalist would write. Reporters often stick to a structure known as the inverted pyramid, which means the most significant parts or the story should be at the top, with everything getting less important as you go farther down the page. This ensures that even someone who just reads the top of the release will get the most important information, and makes it easier to cut text from the bottom for space.

Experts recommend that your release should also include at least one quote in the body. The quote should come from someone knowledgeable about the announcement being made, such as a product manager if you're announcing a new invention, or a top executive if announcing company wide changes. The quote can also be used to explain how your announcement makes you stand out from other competitors, even if you don't mention them by name.

"The quote is where you can add context to your announcement and offer an opinion about it," Black says. "The quote is where you can talk about why this is important to the industry."

Selikoff also warns against using a canned quote talking about how great your company is. Use a quote that provides some insight instead. It's also helpful to know some publications' standards on using quotes from a release. While blogs and very small publications will often use information directly from a release, and re-use quotes you include in the release in their story, major publications most often will not.

Boilerplate information:
The last paragraph is typically a standard set of information about your company, including your mission, when the company was founded, awards it has received or other achievements. This provides basic background information the journalist or the public can use to put the release in context and understand more about who you are.

Contact information:
You don't want to pique a journalist's interest only to have that person scrounging and searching to find who to call for more information. Contact information can either be at the top or bottom of the page and should include the name, e-mail, and title of whomever the media contact for the story is. Usually, it will be your company spokesperson or a dedicated staff person familiar with the topic who can answer reporters' questions.

"There is a certain format for press releases that media are accustomed to getting," Pommerehn says. "It's Important to kind of keep that format."

You'll most likely be sending out releases through e-mail and posting them on your company's website, so experts say you should consider including some digital features, such as video and audio. It's also an opportunity to link back to other company information available online - previous press releases and related matter such as customer testimonials or performance reports - that will give the news media additional context.

Writing a Press Release: Target Your Distribution

The first rule of sending out a press release to know which reporters you're trying to reach.

"Not only is the press release itself important, but who you're communicating with is very important," Pommerehn says. "It's a major pet peeve for journalists when the PR person or the person doing the press release does not do their homework."

If it's a local news event, find out who in the local media covers your neighborhood or issue. Do some research on bigger news organizations to find out which reporters or producers cover your industry. Some media organizations have designated e-mail addresses or fax numbers to which all releases are directed.

Professionals say to be mindful of what kind of organization you're reaching out to as well: a reporter at an environmental magazine, for instance, might be turned off by a flood of paper-consuming messages coming from the fax machine.

Most journalists expect press releases to arrive by e-mail these days. Put your document in the body of the message because most reporters won't open an attachment from someone they don't know.

If you have a public relations budget, you can also send your release to a wire service for broad geographical distribution. Small companies can distribute through for as little as $80, Black says. Other services such as and are pricier but will expose your release to a broader audience.

Don't forget that media organizations run on tight deadlines. Pommerehn says the morning is typically the best time to send a release for most publications while late morning or early afternoon is better for television and radio outlets.

Advance notice helps too. If you have an event you are trying to get covered, waiting to send notice until editors are rushing out of the door on Friday evening could lead to a missed opportunity for media exposure. Editors will have to scramble to fit it into their story budgets for the weekend, leaving a bad taste in their mouth about your company.

This article was written by Tim Donnelly and originally appeared on

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Child Tax Credit Information

The children's fitness tax credit lets parents claim up to $500 per year for eligible fitness expenses paid for each child who is under 16 years of age at the beginning of the year in which the expenses are paid.
Child Tax Credit Information

Kids Fitness Camps

Prescribed programs of physical activity

An eligible fitness expense must be for the cost of registration or membership of an eligible child in a prescribed program of physical activity. Generally, such a program must:

  • be ongoing (either a minimum of eight consecutive weeks long or, for children's camps, five consecutive days long);
  • be supervised;
  • be suitable for children; and
  • include a significant amount of physical activity that contributes to cardio-respiratory endurance, plus one or more of: muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, or balance.


For more information, see Canadian Goverment Fitness Credit Website.

Let's get moving!

Where a program is for a mixed use pass or facility (such as the ski pass), the cost qualifies "

"In circumstances where the participant in the program can select from among various activities, the full cost of a child's registration in a program offered by a club, association, or similar organization will be eligible for the credit if (in addition to being ongoing, supervised, and suitable for children):

  • more than 50% of the activities offered to children include a significant amount of physical activity; or
  • more than 50% of the available program time is devoted to activities that include a significant amount of physical activity."  (see here).

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Information on the Whitefoot Lodge at Big White, BC, Canada.

Whitefoot Lodge

Coin operated laundry, elevator, ski wax area, underground parking, grocery store, liquor store, night club, restaurant and shops. There is a deli, internet center, and medical clinic in the complex.
There is a steam room and plunge pool.
Hot Tub for Complex
There is one six person indoor hot tub that is shared with all units in the complex.
The walk to the center of the village takes about two minutes. Located in the village, right across from "Plaza" lift, and right beside Snowshoe Sams pub. The drive to the nearest city (Kelowna), golf courses, and lakes takes about one hour.
Ski In/Out
Ski in/out on the run beside the complex.


Oct. 31, 2008 Update

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Quin's First Picture (age 3).

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2009 Flu Vaccine

All 3 components of the 2008/2009 vaccine have changed from the previous year. It is an inactivated (it does not cause infection) vaccine.

by Mike Figurskilast modified 2008-09-29 08:42
Action Performed by Date and Time Comment
Publish Mike Figurski 2008-09-29 08:42 No comments.

2009 Flu Vaccine

Immunization reduces Risk and Severity of Influenza

The Whitefoot Clinic (250 765-0544) will begin offering the vaccine on Nov. 1st (by appt only).  Cost is $20 unless you are covered by BC Health Insurance (MSP) as below.

In B.C., the following groups are eligible for the free annual vaccination:

  • People 65 and older and their caregivers
  • Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
  • Health care workers
  • Emergency responders
  • Healthy children aged 6-23 months
  • Household contacts and caregivers of infants aged 0 - 23 months
  • Pregnant women who will be in their 3rd trimester during the influenza season
  • Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
  • People who work with live poultry and swine
  • Employees and inmates at BC correctional facilities

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Study shows 85% reduction in ankle sprain recurrence with off season proprioceptive training.

Proprioceptive Training

Proprioceptive training decreases recurrent ankle sprains
Clinical Question
Do male soccer players with previous inversion ankle sprains have fewer sprains if they engage in proprioceptive training, strength training, or if they use an orthotic?
Bottom line
In this small unblinded study, male soccer players with a previous ankle sprain experience fewer sprains in the subsequent season, compared with untreated control patients, if they are treated with proprioceptive exercises. The study didn't have enough power to tell whether proprioceptive exercises are better than orthotics or strength training.
Mohammadi F. Comparison of 3 preventive methods to reduce the recurrence of ankle inversion sprains in male soccer players. Am J Sports Med 2007;35:922-926.
Study design:
Randomized controlled trial (nonblinded)
Unknown/not stated
Outpatient (specialty)
Eighty male soccer players with a prior history of inversion ankle sprain, the most common type of injury in many sports, were randomly assigned to proprioception training, strength training, the use of an orthotic (ankle air brace), or a control group. The main outcome was a recurrence of the sprain during one soccer season after the index sprain. The author doesn't describe using an intention-to-treat approach. The number of practice sessions and games for each group was the same (90 and 30, respectively). Eight of 20 control patients experienced a subsequent sprain compared with 1 of 20 treated with proprioception, 4 of 20 with strength training, and 2 of 20 with orthotics. Compared with the control condition, the only statistically significant difference was seen in the soccer players treated with proprioception. The study was too small to tell whether proprioceptive exercises are better than orthotics or strength training.
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Link to Original Story

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If you are not familiar with Big White’s downhill terrain, the mountain offers a complimentary, stress free way to see the mountain with our friendly Snow Hosts. We offer these group tours based on the different ability or comfort levels that people like to ski in Big White’s conditions.

Come and meet other skiers/snowboarders who can ski at your ability level.   Our knowledgeable Snow Hosts take guests around the mountain and answer your questions about Beautiful Big White.  Having been a Snow Host in prior years, I feel this is an excellent complimentary program that Big White offers.  I continue to have friendships with people from all over the world that I had the opportunity to meet while Snow Hosting.

Tours are offered at 9:30AM and 1:30PM, everyday.   Meet outside the Village Centre Mall at the Snow Host meeting spot.  Children under the age of 16 are not recommended to take these tours.

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Media Statement from Big White Ski Resort – Parachute Bowl Avalanche Incident

Shortly before 11:00 am on Sunday, January 6th, 2008, an avalanche occurred at Big White Ski Resort at an in-bounds area known as the Parachute Bowl, which is serviced by the Cliff double chairlift . . .

For Immediate Release January 8, 2008

Parachute Bowl and other slopes in the Cliff area have been open to the public since December 12th to promote skier compaction on fresh powder snow. During the ensuing period, on-going avalanche control measures were performed which included using hand-charges (small explosives), ski-cutting, as well as daily weather and slope observation.  Big White Ski Patrol checked the upper and lower routes and performed ski-cutting on the morning of January 6th, 2008. The entrance gates to various parts of the Cliff were opened at 9:00 am and the ropes were lowered to open Parachute Bowl at 9:48 Sunday morning.

“There is no avalanche safety team more qualified or passionate about their responsibilities than the Big White Ski Resort team," commented Resort President, Mr. Peter Schumann. "These dedicated young men and women, are lead by Jeremy Hopkinson, our Vice President of Outdoor Operations, and his Head of Ski Patrol, Kris Hawryluik. Together, these two gentlemen have over 49 years of experience at Big White, and their team of 7 avalanche safety certified and blasting personnel have, combined, an impressive 33 years of service.”

At 10:56 am, the snow pack released and an avalanche occurred in the Parachute Bowl. Ski Patrollers, specially-trained avalanche personnel, School Ski and Board personnel and members of the general public were on the scene almost immediately, and started a controlled probing search of the avalanche debris field. Two people, partially buried, were freed and one transported to the Ski Patrol hut.  This twelve year old guest was then released by medical personnel having sustained no physical injuries. RCMP with trained avalanche dogs arrived on the scene at approximately 12:05 pm.

Two guests were initially reported missing and turned up later elsewhere in the resort. At 3:15 pm, word of another missing guest, resort employee - Leigh Barnier, came in.  While the search continued until dark at the avalanche site, an extensive search of the resort’s facilities commenced and continued until 9:30 pm Sunday night. At first light on Monday morning, the RCMP returned to the debris zone accompanied by avalanche dogs. A helicopter equipped with a thermal imaging device was employed by Big White Ski Resort Ltd. to search the avalanche area and the outside perimeters. At approximately 2:00 pm, a snow cat was employed to push snow out of an area which the avalanche dogs continued to return to.  Mr. Barnier's body was discovered a short time later, approximately 12.5 ft. under the snow. The RCMP immediately contacted the coroner’s office and the recovery of the body was managed by them.

The entire Big White community, management and staff are sending out their condolences to the family of Mr. Barnier, a seasonal employee from Sydney, Australia. Mr. Barnier's family have recently arrived at the resort and have asked for privacy during this difficult time.

Big White Ski Resort Ltd. would like to thank the many resort guests, Search and Rescue teams, volunteers, Canadian Ski Patrol members, RCMP and dog team, and resort employees for their exceptional efforts in conducting a thorough search and recovery operation.

"Avalanches in areas that are controlled and monitored inside resort boundaries are extremely rare," says Michael J Ballingall, Senior Vice President for Big White Ski Resort, "weather conditions and snow pack this winter have been highly unusual and extra precautions have been taken to manage the extremely unpredictable circumstances."


For more information, contact: Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President, Big White Ski Resort, (250) 470-7350,

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Tips to help Survive an avalanche

Being in an avalanche has been compared to standing on a carpet and suddenly having it ripped out from under you. It's an apt metaphor, except in an avalanche the carpet can weigh hundreds of thousands of tons and can travel at well over 100 miles per hour, destroying everything in its path. Around the world, avalanches are responsible for an average of nearly 150 deaths per year. If you're unfortunate enough to be caught in an avalanche, here's what you can do to increase your chances of survival.

Before hitting the slopes where there is any possibility of an avalanche, fasten all your clothing securely to keep out snow. Loosen your pack so that you can slip out of it with ease and remove your ski pole straps. Make sure that your avalanche beacon is on and switched to "transmit" rather than "receive." Cross the slope one at a time to minimize danger.

If you are caught in the avalanche yell and let go of ski poles and get out of your pack to make yourself lighter. Use "swimming" motions, thrusting upward to try to stay near the surface of the snow. When avalanches come to a stop and debris begins to pile up, the snow can set as hard as cement. Unless you are on the surface and your hands are free, it is almost impossible to dig yourself out. If you are fortunate enough to end up near the surface (or at least know which direction it is), try to stick out an arm or a leg so that rescuers can find you quickly.

If you are in over your head (not near the surface), try to maintain an air pocket in front of your face using your hands and arms, punching into the snow. When an avalanche finally stops, you may have only a few seconds before the snow sets up and hardens. Many avalanche deaths are caused by suffocation, so creating an air space is one of the most critical things you can do. Also, take a deep breath to expand your chest and hold it; otherwise, you may not be able to breathe after the snow sets. To preserve air space, yell or make noise only when rescuers are near you. Snow is such a good insulator they probably will not hear you until they are practically on top of you.

Above all, do not panic. Keeping your breathing steady will help preserve your air space and extend your survival chances. If you remain calm, your body will be better able to conserve energy.




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Want Free Internet ?

Whitefoot Clinic is now offering free surfing. All you have to do is become a reporter on the website and start posting news and contributing on a weekly basis. Call 317-0570 for details.

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Dont be left in the snow, your Lease has Power.

Every year Big White Mountain has a massive influx of tourists hoping to enjoy the ski season for the 4-5 months of winter. When the masses arrive to Big White, their first priority is to find short term rental accommodation. Due to this high demand on real estate, apartment and condo owners have a 100% (or close to) success rate of renting out their property for the season.Owners (or landlords on behalf of the owners) and renters will be both asked to sign a lease detailing the significant dates of the lease and specific conditions to renting out the property.
Since the season commenced, I have become aware of many tourists, predominantly teenagers and younger adults, being evicted from their apartment or condo due to the illegal sale of the property to a new owner. In one situation, the buyer was unaware that the property had an outstanding lease until April 2008. As a first-time renter in Big White and after personally being exposed to some of the injustices mentioned above, I advise this: Obtain a copy of your lease, pay your rent on time and abide by the landlords rules. Also, for many Australians reading this, you may be surprised to discover how strict the rental laws are in the British Columbia. Take a read of the PDF Document titled “A Guide for Landlords and Tenants in British Columbia”  Published by the Residential Tenancy Branch. (you can find this at This document will instruct you on what to do in any situation that may arise during your short term stay at Big White.

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Editorial; Does Bill Baird Adequately Represent the Residents of Big White?

"Big White lies within the boundaries of Area E of the RDKB but because of the development's distinctive characteristics many services the Regional District provides to residents are unique to the resort." (from RDKB Website). Many Big White residents agree, and think its time the community had local representation. Bill Baird should agree to community requests for "Community Governance Feasibility Study" (see below).
Editorial;  Does Bill Baird Adequately Represent the Residents of Big White?

Bill Baird; District E RDKB

Regional District Kootenay Boundary(RDKB) Area E representative Bill Baird was conspicuously absent at the Big White Community Association Annual General Meeting in Kelowna on December 3th, 2007.  To my knowlege, he has not made an effort to meet with or adress residents of Big White.   Many residents have expressed frustration that Mr. Baird ignores Big White community interests, preferring to focus on RDKB supplies and services to his own community of Rock Creek and surrounding area.   While Big White represents over 80% of area E's tax base (85% of Big White' taxable real property is privately owned; 15%  owned by Shumann Resorts Inc.); its largely non-resident or seasonal voting population are not able to vote in municipal electionsRDKB Voting Breakdown

A summary of taxes for Big White in 2007 is available;
Big White 2007 Tax Summary
Area E 2007 Tax Summary (includes Big White)
RDKB Tax Summary 2007

A review of the tax rolls reveal some interesting facts;
  • 83% of Area E taxes are from Big White ($4.8M of $5.8M).  Of the $4.8M from Big White, $2.6M goes directly to Victoria, mainly for school funding ($2.1M).
  • $296,548 from Big White went to new equipment for the the Grand Forks and Trail hospitals in 2007.  No patients from Big White are treated at these facilities and no Medical Equipment has ever been funded for Big White by the West Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital District.
  • $63,327 "Grant In Aid" money from Big White was collected in 2007 from Big White.  This money is intended to benefit LOCAL community projects and organizations. 
  • $38,665 for "Economic Development" (Bill Baird is Chair of the Boundary Economic Development Committee).
  • $20,425 for "Recreation Commission"
  • $1,549 for the "Midway Emergency Response".  I was unable to find any such agency, and doubt they could benefit Big White given the 2 hour travel distance.
Mr. Baird sits on the West Kootenay Regional Hospital Board (Board Chair is Margartet Rotvold from Midway)and helps determine where this year's $300,000 for  Big White Care Funding is spent.  A review of the previous 5 year WKRHB funding shows no funds were spent on any services that benefited this community.  It is time this community had a publicly funded health facility, or otherwise benefits from the healtchare funding it contributes. 

As our representative, I would ask Mr. Baird to;
  1. produce minutes of any past WKRHB meetings where he has advocated better health services for Big White
  2. expain how his continued representation serves the interests of the Village of Big White
  3. Discuss the request for local governance options studies including funding, both regional and provincial.  The first stage in this process would be commissioning a feasability study on behalf of the village of Big White, as recommended in the Overview of the LGA.  Information on the Improvement District and Local Government Act is available.
  4. Explain what public notice of the Zoning Meeting of Dec. 5th held at Big White was given to residents, and how we can make ourselves (and our readers) aware of  future meetings.  There is a display board in the Whitefoot Building specifically labelled and reserved for RDKB notices, but never used.  If notices are faxed to 765-0594 I would be happy to ensure they are posted and advertised in the local paper.
Mike Figurski
Editor and Publisher MyBigWhite Newsletter

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IHA Fees To Non-Residents

BC"S Medical Services Plan (MSP) and the Interior Health Authority (IHA) have raised the Basic Emergency Department Visit fee from $400 to $500 effective Dec. 1, 2007. This does not include Ambulance Fees (now $640 from Big White to Kelowna General Hospital), physician fees (now $300-$500 each), basic lab fees (minimum $196), or medications/braces. Now, an uncomplicated injury (i.e. ankle sprain with normal X-rays) will cost over $1500 by ambulance; over $1000 by private vehicle.
IHA Fees To Non-Residents

Don't Leave Home Without It

In an effort to generate revenue from non-Canadians, BC Ministry of Health has again increased medical costs to non-residents at Public Canadian hospitals.  Basic OR fees remain at $2,000, but an additional fee of $1,000 per hour has been added for procedures over 2 hours.  This does not include physician fees.  Ward (overnight bed) rates are $3000 per day.  For a complete list of fees see here.

These fees are about double what Canadians without health care pay, and 4 times what the hospital recieves for treating MSP patients (real costs).   The province has also instituted a system of registering MSP debt with the Canadian Border Agency to identify non-Canadians with balances owing from entering the country

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