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Feasibility Study Urged for Bill Baird and RDKB

Big White is currently a Village within area E of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary. Despite a tax base larger than most of the 6 municipalities in the entire District (and paying 60% of taxes for area E), we have had little effective representation on the RDKB Board. We have no public facilities, playgrounds, or parks. While responsive to development of shared natural resources, the taxes and profits generated have not been directed towards improving public amenities or improving the local standard of living. There are two other communities in area E which have a dedicated local representative (Midway and Greenwood), and it is time to consider municipal or Mountain Resort Improvement Area Status for Big White.
Feasibility Study Urged for Bill Baird and RDKB


Our representative, Mr. Bill Baird is a resident of Rock Creek and is elected mainly by the electorate of Midway, Rock Creek, since most owners in Big White are not eligle or available to vote in local elections.  Total taxes for "Area E" in 2006 were $4.25M with $2.6M coming from Big White (see here for a breakdown on property taxes for area E).  There are specific guidelines for elected officials to recommend 3rd party consultation to produce a feasibility study considering the economic impact of various forms of local goverment.  For a breakdown of RDKB Board representation see here.   See here for a similar consultation report generated for Kelowna residents regarding amalgamation of Westbank.

For an overview on the Local Government Act (LGA) click here; for the full details fo the LGA click here.

submitted by Mike Figurski Dec. 13 2007

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skiME; CME at Big White Friday March 20, 2015

The Whitefoot Clinic in Big White (next to Snowshoe Sam's) will host a PAD (Provinicial Academic Detailing) with Pharmacist Cristi Froyman from 5-7PM, Friday March 20.


Cristi provides clinical based evidence for choosing the best treatment for your patients according to current evidence.  She will be presenting on two topics, with a brief break in between.  The topics are

  1. 5pm;  Oral Anticoagulants in Atrial Fibrillation
  2. 6pm;  Proton Pump Inhibitors



For more information or to sign up, contact: Cristi Froyman, B.Sc. (Pharm.), R.Ph. Academic Detailing Pharmacist, IHA 250-212-2724 or



If you have kids, you can sign them up for the Big White Kids After Dark Party 5-8PM at the Kids Center in the Whitefoot Lodge (same building as the Medical Clinic).

Note this requires advance registration and payment by 2PM Friday.  Call 250 765-0544 to confirm registration for the kids night.



Free Continuing Education Sessions for Physicians

The BC Provincial Academic Detailing Service (PAD) The PAD service is funded by the Ministry of Health’s Medical Beneficiary & Pharmaceutical Services Division. This funding is provided to B.C.'s five regional health authorities and the University of B.C. and enables the service to be available free-of-charge to physicians and other health care professionals.   Academic detailing sessions provide objective, balanced, evidence-informed drug information on the best prescribing practices.  Each topic is accredited for up to 1.0 Mainpro-M1 credit.

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community school New Playground

Volunteer efforts were successful in completing a full featured engineered playground at Big White School. Fundraising efforts of Di Ballingal (including the support of Big White Resort and PAC), contstruction supervision and coordination by John Mooney, and great community support all played a big part.
community school New Playground

Georgie and Oceana enjoy their new playground as only illiterate children could

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Resistance Training for Cardiovascular Health

New AHA Statement Touts Benefits of Resistance Training for Cardiovascular Health

New AHA Statement Touts Benefits of Resistance Training for Cardiovascular Health  CME/CE

News Author: Shelley Wood
CME Author: Laurie Barclay, MD


Release Date: July 20, 2007

from Heartwire — a professional news service of WebMD

July 20, 2007 — A new AHA scientific statement summarizing recommendations for resistance training in people with and without cardiovascular disease (CVD) should serve as a reminder to clinicians that there are "singular" benefits to improving muscular strength in addition to regular aerobic exercise, experts say. Dr Mark Williams (Creighton University, Omaha, NE) who led the writing group, told heartwire that there is important new information in the statement, that updates the original resistance training guidelines of 2000.

Despite this being the second set of recommendations on this topic to come from the American Heart Association (AHA), Williams says physicians may still overlook resistance exercise — lifting weights, or exerting force against resistance — as part of cardiovascular (CV) fitness regimen.

"Telling someone to exercise typically does either directly or indirectly suggest that they should be doing more walking," he told heartwire. "I don't think resistance training is frequently thought of as part of an overall exercise program."

The statement was published in a rapid access issue of Circulation, July 16, 2007.

Resistance Training Additive to Aerobic Exercise

The statement reviews the health benefits of resistance training and its impact on the CV function. It also summarizes the role of resistance training in modifying CVD risk factors, its benefit in specific CVD populations, and provides recommendations on evaluating patients prior to starting a resistance training regimen and suggestions for how such a regimen could be prescribed.

Williams highlighted a table in the AHA statement that compares the effects of aerobic activities and resistance training on different parameters, noting that some clinicians may be unaware of the differential effects. For example, while aerobic exercise can have moderate effects on percent body fat, compared with merely a small effect of resistance training, resistance training has moderate effects on lean body mass, and major effects on muscle strength, while aerobic exercise has no effect, and minimal effects, respectively. By contrast, both aerobic and resistance exercise produce similarly small effects on high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, while aerobic exercise has greater effects than resistance training on triglycerides. Importantly, both forms of exercise can have similar effects on quality of life.

Williams pointed out that the importance of resistance training is now fairly well recognized in cardiac rehabilitation programs, but its benefits are less commonly appreciated in primary prevention. He also highlighted the role of resistance training in groups where it has been used the least: in older women, the elderly, and in patients with heart failure.

"People with heart failure have significantly dysfunctional hearts and as a result of that, their peripheral musculature and their ability to get around and do the things they need to do is significantly and negatively impacted by the fact that they have heart failure," Williams said. "We have been including patients with heart failure in our aerobic cardiac rehabilitation programs, but now there are data to suggest that patients, under appropriate evaluation and supervision, can improve functional capacity, physical strength, endurance, and quality of life by incorporating some resistance training into their exercise programs, too."

Just Do It — Correctly

Proper instruction and technique is essential for anyone beginning resistance training for the first time, but it is especially important for people with existing cardiovascular disease, Williams noted.

"Patients who come into cardiac rehabilitation programs typically get that kind of instruction, but people who are not participating in those formal kinds of programs should get in touch with an exercise specialist, or a physical therapist to provide some input on how to be doing resistance training properly. And the key there is that patients who do have cardiovascular disease need to identify themselves as such, so people don't assume they are healthy and give them instructions that would be inappropriate."

Of note, Williams added, in all of the research to date, there are almost no reports of significant adverse effects of resistance training, although these were all supervised, controlled studies where risk is minimized. "The downsides are there, but the upsides are greater, and the downsides appear mostly to be related to the fact that people do things they shouldn't be doing, or don't seek advice or evaluation prior to starting," he said.

The authors have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Circulation. Published online July 16, 2007.

The complete contents of Heartwire, a professional news service of WebMD, can be found at, a Web site for cardiovascular healthcare professionals.

Clinical Context

In persons with and without CVD, supervised resistance training improves muscular strength and endurance, functional capacity and independence, and quality of life while reducing disability. The AHA published guidelines in 2000 describing the rationale for participation and considerations for prescribing resistance training.

This updated AHA statement describes current evidence concerning the health benefits of resistance training, the effect of resistance training on cardiovascular structure and function, the role of resistance training in modifying CVD risk factors, benefits of resistance training in selected populations, the process of medical evaluation for participation in resistance training, and methods for prescribing resistance training.

Study Highlights

  • Since the AHA first published resistance training guidelines in 2000, resistance training has become even more accepted and used in exercise training programs for individuals with and without CVD.
  • Potential benefits may include enhanced cardiovascular health, weight management, and prevention of disability and falls.
  • Persons at low risk for cardiac events do not require extensive cardiovascular screening before starting resistance training, but a graded approach is recommended.
  • With proper preparation, guidance, and surveillance, persons at moderate to high risk for cardiac events can safely undertake resistance training.
  • Incorporating resistance training in the training regimen can potentially improve maintenance of interest and compliance. Because of the extensive evidence supporting the benefits of aerobic exercise training on modulating cardiovascular risk factors, however, resistance training should be used as a complement to, and not a replacement for, aerobic exercise.
  • Absolute contraindications to resistance training include unstable coronary heart disease; decompensated heart failure; uncontrolled arrhythmias; severe pulmonary hypertension with mean pulmonary arterial pressure greater than 55 mm Hg; severe and symptomatic aortic stenosis; acute myocarditis, endocarditis, or pericarditis; uncontrolled hypertension (> 180/110 mm Hg); aortic dissection; Marfan's syndrome; and high-intensity resistance training, defined as 80% to 100% of 1-repetition maximum, in patients with active proliferative retinopathy or moderate or worse nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.
  • Patients with relative contraindications to resistance training should consult a healthcare provider before participation. These include major risk factors for coronary heart disease, diabetes at any age, uncontrolled hypertension (> 160 / > 100 mm Hg), low functional capacity (< 4 metabolic equivalents), musculoskeletal limitations, and implanted pacemakers or defibrillators.
  • Recommendations for the initial prescription of resistance training are that it should be performed in a rhythmic manner at a moderate to slow controlled speed. It should encompass a full range of motion. Breath-holding and straining (Valsalva maneuver) should be avoided by exhaling during the contraction or exertion phase of the lift and inhaling during the relaxation phase.
  • In addition, resistance training should alternate between upper and lower body work, allowing adequate rest between exercises. The initial weight load should not exceed 8 to 12 repetitions per set for healthy sedentary adults or 10 to 15 repetitions at a low level of resistance (eg, less than 40% of 1-repetition maximum) for older individuals (aged > 50 to 60 years), more frail persons, or cardiac patients.
  • At first, resistance training should not exceed a single set performed 2 days/week. It should involve the major muscle groups of the upper and lower extremities. Suitable exercises include chest press, shoulder press, triceps extension, biceps curl, pull-down (upper back), lower-back extension, abdominal crunch/curl-up, quadriceps extension or leg press, leg curls (hamstrings), and calf raise.

Pearls for Practice

  • Absolute contraindications to resistance training include unstable coronary heart disease; decompensated heart failure; uncontrolled arrhythmias; severe pulmonary hypertension; severe and symptomatic aortic stenosis; acute myocarditis, endocarditis, or pericarditis; uncontrolled hypertension; aortic dissection; Marfan's syndrome; and high-intensity resistance training in patients with active proliferative retinopathy or moderate or worse nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy.
  • Recommendations for the initial prescription of resistance training include performing it in a rhythmic manner at a moderate to slow controlled speed through a full range of motion without breath-holding or straining, alternating between upper and lower body work, and involving the major muscle groups of the upper and lower extremities.

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Uranium Mine Proposed near Big White

Sparton Mining plans to devolop BC's largest known source of Uranium now that prices are high and Bennett's Uranium Mining Moratorium has expired.
Uranium Mine Proposed near Big White

Proposed site just south of Big White

By PAUL WILLCOCKS Special to The Daily Courier

June 14, 2005

A new uranium mining project in the Okanagan is set to revive a fierce environmental battle in B.C. Sparton Resources and Santoy Resources have bought the Blizzard uranium claims near Beaverdell, about 50 kilometres southeast of Kelowna, and plan to extract some 4,500 tonnes of the fuel, a spokesman said Tuesday

Uranium mining in B.C. has been dead since 1980, when Bill Bennett's Socred government imposed a seven-year moratorium, citing health risks. Although the moratorium lapsed more almost 20 years ago, no companies have attempted to go ahead

But rising prices, fuelled in part by demand in China, have sparked new interest in B.C. deposits

Nick Sayce, a spokesman for Sparton, said he doesn't know how quickly the project could go ahead. Sayce said the mining process would actually reduce uranium contamination at the site

"The parties concerned are very hopeful that it can get a fair hearing," Sayce said from Toronto

The Blizzard deposit is by far the largest in the province. A consortium including Norcen Energy and Ontario Hydro had announced plans for a mine when the moratorium was imposed. Sparton and Santoy plan to employ "low environmental impact, in-situ solution mining," the companies said in a release. The method is the most widely used system in uranium mines today. A liquid is pumped through the deposits, leaching out uranium, which is then extracted

The companies are paying $450,000 in cash, plus shares, to acquire the claim. They are also committing to a $1.5-million development program

But they face some tough hurdles. Karen Wristen of the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation says a ban on uranium mining should be reinstated

Mining carries risks for people who do the work and to the environment, she said. "It's not speculative," Wristen said. "It's a very real danger." Green party Leader Adriane Carr also supports a ban. "British Columbians, justifiably worried about the deadly effects of uranium on their health and the health of their environment, fought hard in the past to stop uranium mining," she said. "They'll mobilize to fight again." Government officials weren't available to comment. Uranium mining is booming around the world, fuelled by prices that have almost tripled in the last three years

Australia and Canada are the leading producers, with Saskatchewan home to the world's largest mine.




Katrine Conroy, MLA
West Kootenay Boundary
Ph: 1-888-755-0556 (250) 304-2783
Fx:  (250) 304-2655


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Big White Starlight

The RDKB Board has received notice that the Royal Astronomical Society has applied for 12 hectares of Crown Land in Area E. The Integrated Land Management Bureau has asked the RDKB if there are any zoning regulations that would prevent the RAS from developing a parcel of land three kilometers up the Big White Road from Highway 33. The RDKB has no objections.
Big White Starlight

Proposed Observatory; Drawing courtesy of Heather Maxwell

FROM THE  RASC Oganagan Website.

The members of the RASC Okanagan are committed to a "no-compromise" dark site, suitable for public access as well as providing totally dark skies ideal for research exploration. Such a location was found on the Big White road and application for a nominal lease on the Crown Land proceeds apace.



The climate, limited light pollution and terrain of the Okanagan combine to provide an excellent location for an observatory. Terry Dickinson's article which says on page 13, Mar/Apr '06 SkyNews that "the south end of British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, has the driest, most astronomy-friendly climate in southern Canada." Further testimony about the Okanagan's suitability for astronomy by Alan Dyer on page 14. In the 1960’s the government of Canada QEII site survey chose the south Okanagan Mount Kobau as the location to build a new National Observatory based on the large proportion of clear nights, transparent skies, and fine seeing. Mount Kobau is the apex of astronomical locations in our area, but there are a multitude of other excellent locations that will offer great promise to our observatory planning, building and ultimate use.

Light pollution is a major factor in determining the location of an observatory and we are fortunate here in the Okanagan in that once outside of the valley bottom the effects of errant light drop off suddenly. In choosing our observatory location we had to balance the need for public access with a minimum of light exposure from the nearby urban areas and as can be seen by the light pollution maps below a fair compromise was reached. The maps graphically display the amount of light pollution with the brightest areas shown as red and diminishing levels transitioning to orange, yellow, green, blue and finally no colour added for areas that are completely dark for astronomical purposes.

Light Pollution Map General

Centered on the Okanagan valley and including southwest BC and northwest Washington state

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Light Pollution Map Detail

A close up view of Kelowna, the Observatory location and Big White

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The spectacular growth and development of the Okanagan region marks it as a leader in initiative and progress whose development of an astronomical observatory would be a crowning achievement. The sophisticated population of our community is curious and appreciative of the many aspects of astronomical inquiry that explore our universal context. A first class astronomical observatory would be a strong tourist attraction, bringing to our destination even more opportunities of enrichment. RASC Okanagan Centre members have a long track record of community outreach, which has been enthusiastically received. For five years RASC Okanagan Centre members have participated in sidewalk astronomy sessions where each night hundreds of people express their appreciation and wonder of the grand scale and illuminating concepts astronomy brings to the fore.

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For many years members of the RASC Okanagan Centre have visited classrooms and offered night time observing sessions to a growing number of students that are encouraged and supported in exploring the possibilities and opportunities that present in astronomy and science in general. There is an excellent potential for possible partnership with UBC Okanagan and Okanagan College. RASC Okanagan Centre member Richard Christie is a professor at Okanagan College and offers his full-support to our project, and he has suggested that some of the trades classes at the college might be called on to help with design and construction. Our project has received the endorsement of UBC Associate Dean of Research and Strategic Planning, Melanie Jones.

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The Okanagan has one of Canada’s premiere astronomical research facilities at the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory and thus there are many professional astronomers in our region that could find benefit in, and would help support, a large aperture telescope. Our project has the endorsement of DRAO Research Associate Dr Tyler Foster.


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Kelowna International Airport Runway Expansion

March 23, 2007 Kelowna, BC – Air transportation access to the Kelowna International Airport (YLW) will improve dramatically for international skiers and boarders bound for the Okanagan's award-winning family resorts - Big White and Silver Star. The City of Kelowna plans to increase the length of the runway at YLW from 7,500 feet to 9,000 feet.
Kelowna International Airport Runway Expansion

Kelowna Intl. Airport

"What fantastic news for tourism and residence of the Okanagan Valley," commented Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice President of Big White and Silver Star resorts. "With Boeing launching the new 787 aircraft and Air Canada ordering 66, our resorts will be in non-stop range from airports in the UK, Germany and even Sydney, Australia. Won't that be an easy ride to get to our world-famous ski resorts," continued Ballingall.

During the press conference, Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Al Horning announced $1.35 million from the Transportation Partnerships Program was allocated to the airport expansion project at Kelowna International Airport. The total estimated cost of the project is $8 million.

Kelowna is well on its way to seeing a significant increase in tourism and a boost in the economy with the expansion of Kelowna International Airport, said Kelowna MLAs Rick Thorpe and Sindi Hawkins.
“Kelowna offers the best tourist destination options like fantastic ski resorts, world-class golf courses, beautiful waterfront establishments, world-renown wineries, to name a few,” said Thorpe. “Rapid growth in passenger volumes in recent years is a clear indication this expansion is necessary.”

“This is the news we’ve all been waiting for,” commented Jim Loyd, Director of Sales for Big White and Silver Star resorts. “The success that we’ve had in hosting international guests at Big White and Silver Star has obviously created an opportunity for more growth, and expansion of the runway represents a major step forward. We can take advantage of our relationship with the airlines and tourism industry partners to potentially serve even more vacationers from around the world as well as improve service to our current guests, continued Loyd. 

“Kelowna International Airport is an integral part of the national and provincial airport system, and soon enough, the doors will be wide open for the international market,” said Hawkins. “With the Olympics and Paralympics quickly descending upon us, it is critical for us to be prepared for the numbers of visitors who will travel the province.” 

Big White and Silver Star resorts are located an hour’s drive from YLW, which is currently serviced by daily non-stop flights from Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, EdmontonSeattle and VictoriaThe City of Kelowna reports YLW is the 11th busiest airport in Canada in terms of passenger volume and operates 24-7 Canadian Customs services. In 2006, 1,226,442 passengers used the airport. This expansion allows the Boeing 737ER (135 passengers), Boeing 757 (170 passengers) and Airbus A310 (275 passengers) aircraft to have landing and take-off capabilities with full passenger and cargo loads. 

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New Vertical Descent Record for Big White

On Friday, March 9, 2007 Russel Critchlow set a new record vertical for one day (from 845 to 4PM), with 79,050 feet (31 Gem Lake lifts).

On a sunny Spring day, with 4 inches of fresh powder, Russel Critchlow,  Al Reid, Blue Griffiths and Nick Dale set out to establish a time trial for the 2550 foot Gem Lake run.  Critschlow was clearly the class of the field, with a near straight line down the Sunripe Bowl).  He broke away on the first run,  and the pack didn't see him again until he he "lapped" them after 10 runs.  All was documented by Gemma's mum who supplied coffee, and encouraged Russell through the ordeal.  Josh Foster (Director of Big White's Ski School) heard abou the record, and hoped to see it fall this Spring.

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At 1105PM on Wednesday, March 7th, a bus loaded with passengers jack-knifed on the hair pin turn at the Black Forest Turnoff.

End of the Line

Extremely icy conditions were to blame, as mild temperatures caused black ice at village altitude.  Five vehichles experienced difficulty in a 10 minute period, two sliding into the ditch.  A loaded bus was unable to navigate the 180 degree switchback and spun across both lanes, blocking traffic.  Eventually the bus was cleared with a snow cat tow up to the village. 

In reponse to questions about sanding an Argo representative reported

"We had equipment problems last night. First truck had an electrical fire, second truck radiator split. We sent up another truck, but by then the road had already had gotten bad. So it took some time to catch up. Hope this explains our situation, we are well aware of the importance of big white. And maintain it to the best of our ability."

Chris Freer and the BWMC is currently in consultation with the Department of Highways as part of an Okanagan Chamber coalition for highway improvement.  

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Feathertop Phase 1 Sells Out in 10 Minutes

Big White's newest ski-in/ski-out real estate development, Feathertop, sold out its first phase of the exclusive mountainfront neighborhood today just minutes after it went on sale at the resort. The first phase of the development, consisted of 17 chalet homesites providing spectacular views, easy access to the ski runs plus everything else Big White Ski Resort has become world famous for. Nestled between Sundance and Millie's Mile, phase 1 sales are valued at just over $5 million, with an estimated $7-8 million in additional construction agreements coming into place.
Feathertop Phase 1 Sells Out in 10 Minutes

Blue Heaven

Sold Out ,  Big White's Feathertop Neighborhood Phase 1  

                                                                                 March 3rd, 2007


"What a great Saturday morning" said Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice-President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd.  "These are the highest freehold lots available on any mountain in Canada, plus they are surrounded by beautiful forests and magnificent views of the Monashee mountains.  What a magnificent neighborhood to start your day off at Big White, I can just imagine standing on the balcony overlooking the Christian Valley enjoying a morning cup of coffee" said Ballingall.

Blue A. Griffiths, Feathertop Chalet Co-Developer accredits the success of this project to a great team effort, exceptional custom built plans and the fantastic season Big White is having this year.  "The performance of this first phase is a clear indication that Big White is again evolving and ready to undertake the next phase of the exclusive Feathertop neighborhood where another 50 lots will be released by the end of March." said Mr. Griffiths. 


Ian MacLeod, CEO of Landlaunch Marketing Corporation, whose company manages the Sales & Marketing at Feathertop said that "they are thrilled by today’s’ success  and the sell-out of the first phase of this spectacular development.  All these homesites will provide skiers and snowboarders with the best location of ski-in/ski-out homes that have ever been released at Big White. This development has generated significant interest from international guests looking for a special place at the resort to call their own."   


With the predominance of the buyers for the first phase of the development coming from the UK, which MacLeod attributes this to the close working relationships his team has with several UK based real estate companies.  For example "Martin & Kirsty Roberts from PropertyQC, a property specialist based in the UK and fronted by BBC1’s Homes Under the Hammer, have been instrumental in bringing potential buyers to Big White Ski Resort and Feathertop" said MacLeod. 


Reservations for the next release of Feathertop commenced moments after the sale of Phase 1.  The lots in the next release include 24 chalet sites and 26 custom homesites.  Each Feathertop custom homesite is on average, a third of an acre which grants the owners the freedom to build their dream home in the heart of Big White's outdoor wonderland.   


Big White Ski Resort is located 52 kilometers southeast of Kelowna, BC and is a comfortable hour’s drive from Kelowna's International Airport.  Big White Ski Resort is the second most popular ski resort in super natural British Columbia and its' sister resort Silver Star, is the third most popular.  Both resorts have been awarded numerous Best of Skiing in Canada Awards by Ski Canada magazine and are known for their exceptional family entertainment and experience.
For further information, contact   Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice-President of Big White Ski Resort Ltd. at or 1-250765-3101


For Sales Information on Feathertop, contact Ian MacLeod at 1-888-765-9253 or visit

For more information on Big White Ski Resort,   log onto to  

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Air Canada Announces Non-stop Service Vancouver to Sydney

Effective 14 December, 2007, Air Canada will introduce a daily NON-STOP service between Sydney and Vancouver using its new 777 aircraft. Air Canada thus becomes the only airline offering a non-stop service between Australia and Canada.
Air Canada Announces Non-stop Service Vancouver to Sydney

Sydney-Vancouver Non-Stop

Air Canada has timed its new Sydney-Vancouver non-stop service to offer
customers a vast array of time saving connections to and from points throughout
North America and Australia.
The carrier’s new non-stop routing will shave more than three hours off the
current one-stop routing via Honolulu, and will also avoid the necessary U.S.
Customs and Security procedures by flying direct to Canada.
Air Canada’s 777-300ER aircraft are configured to provide a choice of 42
Executive first Suites and 307 seats in Economy Class and the new 777-200LR
that will be operated on the Sydney route from 01 February, 2008 will be
configured with 42 Executive First® Suites and 228 seats in Economy Class.
Air Canada’s new in-flight product features lie-flat beds in its international
Executive First® cabin, the only North American airline to offer the comfort and
privacy of lie-flat beds in business class. All customers will enjoy digital quality
personal seatback entertainment systems with 80 hours of video and 50 hours
of audio on demand, as well as standard 110 volt electrical outlets at arms
Issued by Air Canada Marketing.
Reservations: 02 8248 5797 or Toll Free: 1300 655 767

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Great White at Big White

From a Big White Press Release courtesy of Michael J. Ballingall
Great White at Big White

Greg Norman

Proposed  Greg Norman Signature Golf Course for 
Big White Ski Resort 

For Immediate Release                                                                                  February 21st, 2007
Big White Ski Resort is aware that there are conversations in the marketplace regarding the construction of a golf course at the resort. To clarify they would like to make the following statement.
In April of 2000, Big White Ski Resort Ltd. undertook the construction of the Happy Valley Adventure Area including gondola, day lodge, skating rink, tube park, and other specific winter activities. At that time they identified and selected specific golf course lands, cleared three holes and constructed a driving range and irrigation pond.
Today Big White Ski Resort Ltd. is excited to announce the next phase of the golf course development. Big White Ski Resort Ltd. are currently conducting on-going negotiations with a British Columbian developer who is speaking with Greg Norman Golf Course Design regarding the construction of a proposed Greg Norman signature championship golf course to be developed  in Happy Valley at Big White Ski Resort.
"The Great White at Big White" championship golf course is currently subject to a series of planning agreements and proposals before the design process can commence. The developer is excited about this project and has experience in developing golf courses and currently owns a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in northern Alberta.
Big White Ski Resort Ltd. is providing this communication so that the general public can better understand that the resort is committed to meet the British Columbia government's expectations under the all-seasons resort policy. For further information regarding the timeline for the proposed Greg Norman championship golf course please refer to
For more information contact Michael J. Ballingall, Senior Vice-President, Big White and Silver Star resorts. P: (250) 765-3101. C: (250) 470-7350.

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Local skier Josh Foster claims coveted role as spokesperson for "Pontiac's World of Skiing" Ski Tips. Filming to begin in December 2007 at Big White Resort.

Josh Foster; Ski God

Pontiac's "World of Skiing", Canada's premiere Ski Television Show had a talent search to replace outgoing "Ski Tips" host Rob Butler.  The top 10 entries in the PWOS Ski Tips Talent Search were voted on by the Canadian and Josh was one of the two representatives selected.

"Its an honor to make the final 10, and a great opportunity for myself and the Resort to have been chosen" said Josh Foster.

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Local Health Care Fails International Visitors

Ann Ramsey was enjoying her vacation in Big White, with her husband and three daughters. When she injured her knee, then suffered a blood clot in her leg, she thought things couldn't get any worse. She was wrong.
Local Health Care Fails International Visitors

Emergency Wait (Canada's Health Care Oxymoron)

What should have been a fairly routine medical treatment nearly ruined her vacation.  Her treatment required a daily test of her anti-clotting medications, and then some advice from her doctor on the evenings blood thinner.  During the week the blood test was done by a visiting doctor in her family's condo, after a physiotherapy visit.  The vial was sent downtown and reported to the doctor who advised her that afternoon.  Since all labs in Kelowna are closed on weekends, and the doctors at Ski Patrol have a strict policy on not seeing patient unless they are acutely injured on the ski hill, she spent the better part of her weekends waiting in the Emergency Department of Kelowna General Hospital (testing required an Emergency physician order). Perhaps she hadn't seen the Kelowna Courier story earlier that week about KGH overcrowding, because she was suprised and dismayed by the ineffiency of it all.  Unlike most Canadians, she had not gradually come to accept that in a supply-limited public Medical System like Canada's Medicare, demand is limited through inconvenience (there would be a lot more ER visits if people didn't expect to wait for hours). 

Ironcially, having purchased good travel insurance, she was afforded a level of treatment and diagnostic services most Canadians can never afford.  While typical wait lists for an MRI in the MSP "insurance" plan run several months for a non-WCB injury, she was able to get one the next day ($800).  While paying privately meant that her bills would be very high (Goverment hospitals charge non-Canadians triple what they charge uninsured Canadians), it did not guarentee the level of service would be (the several hour wait for a 5 minute MD consult was $700 each).

Hopefully, the future will bring a much needed improvement to the level of Health Care available at Big White.  Increasingly. MSP indications are that the service will be provided Privately, and if Canadians want it; they are going to have to pay for it.  If locals want a voice in the future of local health care, they are directed towards the Conversations on Health (next forum Feb. 17th in Kelowna at the Grand Okanagan).

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Commonspace, the Web 2.0

"Web 2.0 is the business revolution in the computer industry caused by the move to the internet as platform, and an attempt to understand the rules for success on that new platform. Chief among those rules is this: Build applications that harness network effects to get better the more people use them. (This is what I've elsewhere called 'harnessing collective intelligence.')". [3] "Tim O'Reilly"
 Commonspace, the Web 2.0 community Portal

Traditional media (radio, TV, newspaper) are "broadcast" media; a one-way communcation where the operators of the service control the message.  The internet to this point has remained broadcast, although there are a lot more voices.  Practically anyone can start a blog, homepage, or podcast to publish their information or opinion.  New collaberative web technologies are allowing true two-way communication within members of a community.  Thus is born the "Commonspace" (The real power of the Internet lies in the collective - the vital, thrilling interconnection of people and ideas that happens online. The juice that makes the Internet hum is the direct result of people talking, sharing, collaborating, aggregating, and playing.  Commonspace, beyond virtual community Mark Surman). 

In this spirit, (a community portal operated by the Whitefoot Medical Clinic and Whitefoot Wireless) was established to allow residents, business, visitors, and visitors to exchange ideas and information.   Access to the website (  is free on our village wide wireless network (ssid Whitefoot_Call_317-0570) and kiosks.  You can find local weather, ski reports, news, events, job postings, and information.  Best of all, by joining as a member (takes about one minute and requires no personal information), you can easily publish your own stories, pictures, and ads.  You can upload your files for sharing (with all, or a selected membership), get community maps, participate in a local community forum, or list your event or service.  Best of all, ITS FREE!

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Summertime Blues (editorial)

Filed under: , , ,
Four seasons Resort facilities and two season (summer and winter) activities are the key to building a stable local population base for Big White BC.
Summertime Blues (editorial)

Year round employmer required

While Big White is considered a top destination ski destination, lack of summer activities (except construction) forces locals to find work elsewhere for much of the year.  Statistics for full time residents are lacking (but should be available shortly from last year's census), but most rely on off-mountain jobs to supplement off-season income.  Young singles and couples struggle to find affordable cramped accomodation, then face the choice of seperation or relocation when they start a family.  With appartment style condos starting at $300/square foot, even a modest two bedroom will cost over a quarter million dollars.  While the long term solution is affordable housing for year round residents*, they will need year round employment.  Possible future opportunities include a proposed destination casino, a recreation complex, indoor hockey rink (with summer Hockey camps), and a golf course.

(*Best acheived through an active process of community representation in Regional zoning and development through an agency similar to the Whistler Housing Authority. 

As quoted from their website "Comfortable, affordable living space fosters the well-being of both the community and the individual. Affordable housing attracts skilled and energetic adults as well as young families with children to become part of the community. This in turn helps to ensure a stable workforce and a vibrant and diversified community. The Whistler Housing Authority believes it is essential that the majority of Whistler employees live in the community in which they work, and thus is continually working towards finding solutions to the affordable resident housing issue.and a vibrant and diversified community. The Whistler Housing Authority believes it is essential that the majority of Whistler employees live in the community in which they work, and thus is continually working towards finding solutions to the affordable resident housing issue.")

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Big White Hollywood

Michael J. Ballingall's Press release of Jan. 30, 2007 report a manory motion picture is in the works for Big White, BC.
Big White Hollywood

Coming to a Resort Near You

Big White Resort executives are currently negotiating with a production company to shoot a major motion picture at Big White Ski Resort. As you no doubt are aware publicity like this is worth a lot to our community. Most of the filming will take place in TELUS Park, a few condos and cabins, throughout the village, and in a couple of bars and restaurants.
Resort staff will contact the Owner or Operator of an area we need to film. We won't know this until after we see the shooting script. There will be approximately 50 workers and 20 cast and stars. Work has already begun and there are advanced Producers and Shooting Scouts in the resort at this time. Final contracts have not been signed but things are looking positive. If you have any questions, please direct them to my office at this time.

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Big White Community Health Forum

As part of the BC goverment's "Conversation on Health Care 2007", communities are encouraged to hold public forums to discuss Health Needs and Plan for Health Service delivery. Residents and businesses of Big White are planning to host a local forum in March 2007. Representatives will then present results at our Regional Forum in Castlegar on May 25, 2007.
Big White Community Health Forum

Big White Health Care; Private or Public?

Currently there are no Regionally funded public medical services provided in the Community of Big White.  The Whitefoot Medical Clinic is the only medical services provider to the general public.  Medical Services are available weekdays, and some weekends.  There is also an ambulance which transports directly to Kelowna General Hospital (costing $70-$470 for a one way ride), and a weekend and school holiday "Ski Doc" program that services on-hill injuries at Ski Patrol.  As home to BC's second largest Ski Resort, with a growing adventurous population many residents and visitors have expressed concern and frustration that the BC goverment has failed to support or supply a more appropriate level of service.  It is the stated policy of IHA, Kootenay and Boundary District, that Big White is not being considered for Medical Services improvements.  As part of the Kootenay Boundary Region for Health Care, money is diverted from local taxes to support an aging population and declining economy South and East of Big White from Rock Creek to Castlegar. 

With a booming local economy and relatively affluent (and Privately Insured) patient population, Big White is poised to join the growing list of communities home to Private Health Care Facilities (such as the one recently opened in False Creek, Vanouver).  While this is likely to pose a boon health providers, and a much needed treatment option to non-residents, it will leave residents (with provincial MSP medical insurance) the choice of paying high user fees or travelling to Kelowna.  Since transport and service at the Hospital in Kelowna costs considerably more than local treatment would, MSP is subsidizing inefficient and inconvenient medical service.  For instance, a patient with  possible wrist fracture requiring ambulance and treatment at the hospital in Kelowna costs over $1200 without surgery (Canadian residents with valid health insurance only pay a fraction of this; the balance is covered by MSP).

In preparation for the Big White Forum on Health Care, a public information session will be held at the Whitefoot Medical Clinic from 6-9PM January 18th.  It is held in conjunction with the Clinic's Chamber of Commerce Business mixer.   A full public Forum is planned for March 2006, and discussions will form the basis of a community Medical Services Plan for Big White.  Representatives of Big White's Chamber of Commerce, BC Ambulance, BW Fire Dept., Big White Resort, Mountain Medical Society,  and Big White Ski Patrol are encouraged to attend.  A report of Proceedings will be presented to Ministry of Health Officials for inclusion in their Fall 2007 report.  More information is available at

Interested community members are encouraged to attend the meeting, or subscribe to this online Forum.  They may also apply to attend one of the Regional Forums, in Kelowna or Castlegar.


Meeting Date: February 16, 2007
Registration Deadline: January 11, 2007
Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resort
1310 Water Street

Big White
Meeting Date: Late March 2007 (tba)
No Registration Required
Big White, BC

Meeting Date: May 25, 2007
Registration Deadline: April 13, 2007
Sandman Hotel
1944 Columbia Ave

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BWFD Embarks on "Road of Dreams"

The Big White Fire Department is embarking on a bike trip from the Big White Fire Hall to Toronto’s Sick Kid’s Hospital. Six participants from the BWFD have chosen this as their challenge in hopes of raising $50,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. We plan to start May 1st and finish June 1st.

The Big White Fire Department is embarking on a bike trip from the Big White Fire Hall to Toronto’s Sick Kid’s Hospital.  Six participants from the BWFD have chosen this as their challenge in hopes of raising $50,000 for the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada.  We plan to start May 1st and finish June 1st.  From now to May 1st we are hosting pancake breakfasts and barbeques every Sunday, and getting the community of Big White as well as much of Canada to support our cause with pledge forms or cash/cheque donations.  The other half of our challenge is getting sponsorship to help with our trip, which include bikes, riding clothing, helmets, biking shoes, food, and accommodations.  We were hoping you could help us with this challenge in whatever way possible and in turn we would advertise logos on our bikes/clothing or mention your name on any media coverage we encounter.  Children’s Wish has partnerships with CTV, Global, and Silk FM in which we plan to make this a national event.  We thank you for your support and we hope to hear from you soon.







Doug Jones 1-250-878-1144

Scott Sproston 1-250-863-2916



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RCMP Community Policing Office

Sargents van den Brink and Wylie from the Rural Detail of the Kelowna RCMP visited Big White on Nov. 29th to inspect the Community Policing Office.
RCMP Community Policing Office

Rural Detail RCMP Members Wylie & van den Brink

The Community Policing Office is located in the Whitefoot Lodge and is staffed by volunteers providing support services to law enforcement officials and the general public.

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