COLUMN: Chamber celebrates Small Business Month

October is Small Business Month in Canada when every chamber celebrates the hard work of small businesses in their community.

October is Small Business Month in Canada when every chamber celebrates the hard work of small businesses in their community.

Sometimes we take for granted the stores we use every week, expecting that they will always be there for us. The hard truth is that many small businesses close in their first few years and it takes local people supporting these businesses to keep them thriving.

The chamber’s #discoverhome campaign wants to remind you to always check to see if the service or product you need is available in your home town before looking elsewhere.

New businesses in Summerland this fall

This October the Chamber welcomes a variety of new businesses to provide services to our community.

Black Wolf Consulting Inc. is the publisher of neighbourhood magazines.

RMS Consulting, will be providing tool sales as MacTools.

John Walker Master Builder will be offering General Contractor services from their base in West Kelowna.

If you are looking for renovations or property maintenance, Reno-Rite is a new company providing the service.

Drayson Properties Inc. is managing property rentals in Summerland.

Located in Peachland, Nitro Custom Boats and Autoglass provide auto glass and detailing services.

The new concession and catering operators at the Summerland Arena are D’s Concession & Catering.

Summerland business launches new premium brand

This month, Highland Maple, home of Maple Roch, launched their new Saint Q premium brand maple syrup at the farmers’ market section of the Okanagan Fall Wine Festival’s Cropped event.

Saint Q is a new ultra-premium maple syrup brand made from Nordic White Maple trees. The syrup is unique as it is from a single source with no blending, mixing, or adding of outside products, and its pedigree and provenance can be traced back 200 years.

The Saint Q brand was created and designed in Summerland with silk tassels handcrafted by an 80-year-old Summerland resident, and bottles hand-labelled and packaged by members of the Summerland Resource Centre who are on long-term disability.

Saint Q will be available on the new Highland Maple website, as well as at their new downtown location at 13207 Victoria Rd. N.

Consulting company welcomes new team member

In September, Cordillera Consulting brought Qi Liu on-board as a taxonomist, a biologist who specializes in the classification of organisms into groups based on their shared characteristics.

Straight from the University of Alberta, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’), brings years of experience in freshwater monitoring and chironomidae identification.

Originally from Zibo, an interior city in the eastern coastal province of Shandong, China, Qi says that his favourite thing about Summerland so far is the friendly people. “People in small communities are much nicer than in big cities. Whenever I walk on the street, people say hi to me”.

‘Duke of Summerland’ leaves for Vancouver

This month, Mike West, a key member of the hospitality team at Okanagan Crush Pad for the past three years, left the wine shop. He will still be working for the winery, but will become part of the sales team in Vancouver. The Chamber wishes Mike the best of luck in his new position.

Tour company has a busy first year

In their first year of business, Ogopogo Valley Tours has been developing new services and supporting community events. The company is developing sustainable tourism practices, including the Okanagan Valley’s first hybrid tour vehicle. Their sustainable views are reflected in the events they support, as the company volunteered their services to shuttle guests door-to-door to the inaugural Summerland Feast of Farms in September for donations to the expansion of the Summerland Community Garden.

Co-owner, Adonica Sweet, has also been busy, setting up her own coaching business. After working as a coach within a large organization for over two years, Adonica decided to launch her own Certified Executive Coach private practice, Sundial Coaching.

Organization offers free language lessons

South Okanagan Immigrant and Community Services (Penticton and District Multicultural Society) is holding beginner’s language classes in Summerland for all immigrants and refugees. These free sessions run Monday to Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m., and are being held at the 360 Learning Academy in Summerland.

To register, individuals can call their Penticton office at 250-492-6299.

The society offers services to assist immigrants’ integration into Canadian Society.

Summerland Blossom program nurtures buds

The Summerland royalty program is looking for 10 girls Grades 4 and 5 to be Blossom Buds! The girls will be paired with a 2016/2017 candidate as youth ambassadors for Summerland in a new mentoring program.

Application forms to be picked up at the Summerland Chamber Office.

If you have any questions please contact Leanne Sieben at or Pat Gartrell at

Music teacher gains professional recognition

Anita Perry of Perry Music Studio, an award winning composer and a music teacher for almost 30 years, last month received the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers’ Association’s Certificate in Recognition for Professional Achievement.

Perry had to fulfil a number of requirements in order to receive the award from the organization, which represents Canadian music educators, including holding office at branch and provincial level, writing music articles, and presenting seminars.

Summerland Chamber members recognized

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees for this year’s Penticton & Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, including several of our Summerland business members and Corporate members.

Congratulations in particular to Total Restoration Services – South Okanagan winners of the Community Support Excellence award, and ABK Restoration Services winners of the Professional Service Excellence award.

Other nominated members were:

– Cherry Lane Shopping Centre

– Parkers Chrysler Dodge Jeep

– Petkau Information Technology Consulting

– RE/MAX Penticton Realty

National recognition for Okanagan employee benefits expert

Don Brown of Brown Benefits was recognized as a leading representative of the Chambers of Commerce Group Insurance Plan at the program’s national conference in Victoria, in September. Don, who has been in the financial services industry for over 16 years, specializes in Group Benefits and Financial Services.

The Chambers Plan is the largest employee benefits program of its kind in the country, providing tangible benefits to members of participating Chambers and Boards.

Real estate agent gains new expertise

Patrick Murphy of Remax Orchard Country recently completed a sustainable housing course online at UBC’s Sauder School of Business in the real estate division. Patrick says, “By taking the lead on Green Building initiatives communities increase the capacity and resilience of their local economy.”

New products come to Summerland

Country Corner Supplies has long been the go to source for your animals’ needs in Summerland. Responding to customers requests for healthier food for their pets, the store has brought in two brands of frozen raw dog/cat foods, Stella and Chewy’s and Mountain Dog Food. Have your pet visit and ask for a free sample.

Journalist celebrates 22-year anniversary

John Arendt, editor of the Summerland Review, celebrated 22 years with the newspaper in September. John is a long time Summerland resident who, as well as working at the paper as editor, news reporter, and photographer, also writes fiction. Happy anniversary, John.

Vicky Jones is the communications and membership coordinator at the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.