The District of Sicamous plan to develop a community daycare space is proceeding now that funds from the provincial government for the purchase and renovation of a building have come through. (Contributed)

Eagle Valley News Year In Review 2020: August

The News looks back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2020

  • Jan. 2, 2020 12:00 a.m.

• The District of Sicamous issued a request for expressions of interest from licensed child care operators to lease the its new child care centre at 502 Cedar Street. The facility be able to accommodate up to 25 children. The district hoped to have the centre open by Jan. 1, 2021, or sooner. The district planned to charge $1 per year lease once an operator was selected.

• Historical footage on YouTube shows what a railway journey through the Shuswap was like almost 90 years ago. The 16mm film shot in 1932 shows snippets on a trip on a CP Rail passenger train between Vancouver and Revelstoke. The reel is part of a large collection of vintage films owned by Vernon resident Francois Arsenault.

The footage shows Kamloops and Shuswap lakes before giving viewers a look at the bustling platform at the Sicamous CP Rail Hotel. As the train journey continues, the person with the camera trained their lens on the last spike monument in Craigellachie and then waterfalls and forested mountain slopes. Other landmarks along the way from the Shuswap to Revelstoke such as Griffin and Three Valley Lakes are also shown.

• When Jon Witt, his family and friends were planning their summer vacation in the Shuswap, the coronavirus pandemic was the only danger which weighed on their minds. The seven adults and their 14 children ranging from ages one to 19 picked up their houseboat on Mara Lake on Aug. 4 and tied up on shore near Hyde Mountain Golf Course for the night. About midnight, the houseboat’s generator was started because the group had been using air conditioners and other appliances. After about an hour and a half, the generator started kicking out, he said.

Thinking the loss of power was odd, Witt looked down the hall and noticed a flickering light. He spotted a fire extinguisher and headed back to the area that housed the engine and generator. He opened the door a few inches, saw flames, and was hit with a blast of heat and smoke.

He shouted ‘Fire! Fire!’ and ordered the mostly sleeping crew to get off. Sicamous fire chief Brett Ogino said determining the cause of the fire would be difficult because of the houseboat’s total destruction.

• Work to build the new covered walkway at the Sicamous & District Recreation Centre, and make improvements to counter-tops and plumbing fixtures in change rooms and bathrooms, proved to be more costly than what was budgeted for due to increases in the scope of the projects. The CSRD initially budgeted $110,000 for the project. The lowest bid for the project, with the additions, came in at $173,848.

• Fires left in the wake of a lightning storm which rolled over the Shuswap on Aug. 16 were no longer at risk of spreading by Aug. 22, thanks to favourable weather and the efforts of BC Wildfire Service crews. Fires were started near Hummingbird Creek, the north end of Adams Lake, Seymour Arm and east of Sicamous. Firefighters squashed the Hummingbird Creek fire before it reached a hectare in size and halted the fire near Seymour Arm at 8.7 hectares by Aug. 19.

Eagle Valley News


People watch around 2 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020 as a houseboat on Mara Lake burns to the water line. (Contributed)