"Escape The Box" - Experience Downtown Kamloops

It’s all about the experience. That’s the way Gay Pooler, the Executive Director of the Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association, sees Christmas downtown. “Shopping downtown is a different shopping experience”, says Pooler. “ A combination of shopping, wandering through the lights and displays, enjoying the fine food downtown, unique gifts you won’t find anywhere else, excellent service”- you get the picture.

 “People downtown care about their customers, and they want to make it everyone’s favourite place to be at this time of year. It embraces what Christmas is meant to be about- time with family and friends in an atmosphere that brings the spirit of the season home to everyone.”

Throughout the month of December you can find downtown businesses showcasing beautiful window displays, holiday lights brightening up the sidewalks and you may even run into jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself browsing his way through the shops.

It really all gets underway  Saturday, November 25th with the Annual Santa Claus Parade at 11am. Marching groups, floats, excitement, fun, everything to get you into the holiday spirt. And for the first time ever, the parade has a presenting sponsor, Thompson Rivers University. Pooler encourages people to head downtown early to take part in the pre-parade entertainment. Kamloops most popular radio announcer, Stan Bailly from 98.3 CIFM, will lead the crowd in Waking Up Santa at Kamloops Square at 10:30. Bailly says “this is a new opportunity for me to have some fun and get everyone in the Christmas spirit.  In addition, Pooler says there will also be entertainment along the parade route for those waiting for the show to start.

If you’re talking to downtown merchants, there’s lots of buzz about a brand new event this year. It’s the first-ever Flannel and Frost-themed Welcome Winter Block Party. Welcome winter Saturday, December 9th, from noon- 6 PM, when the 300 block Victoria Street will only be open to pedestrian traffic. “There’s fun for all ages,” says Pooler, and people who come downtown can find hot food and drink options, ball hockey with Blazers alumni, Brewloops will be there with craft beer, there will be local wine, and many businesses will have events right inside their store. This is the perfect opportunity to gather with friends in a fun atmosphere, and maybe even get some Christmas shopping done!

The Christmas Cash Card is back this winter. Every $20 spent at a participating business gets you one stamp, and every $200 spent fills up a full card, entitling you to enter for a chance to win one of four $150 weekly prizes and the grand prize, which is a complete Downtown Experience package worth $2000! And for those of you who are great with the selfie sticks and the mobile phones, there’s a social media component that can earn you even more money. A number of hand-crafted Christmas elves will be spread around the downtown. If you spot one in a store window, or on a store shelf, take a picture of it, or a selfie of yourself with the elf and post on social media using the hashtag #hiddenelves for a chance to win even more prizes!

“We look after our customers in the downtown,” says Pooler. She says “to provide an even better shopping experience, many merchants extend their hours, and on Saturdays during December, there’s free on-street parking. Come for an hour, come for the day, it’s all free on Saturdays in December. “

Did you know… there are Downtown Gift Certificates that are available to the public for purchase and are redeemable at downtown merchants and service providers? You can spend Downtown Gift Certificates almost anywhere in the Downtown core and you can purchase them at  #4-231 Victoria Street. Perfect for both corporate and personal gift giving!

We would be remiss if we didn’t tell you that there’s an opportunity to rub shoulders with the Jolly man himself. Bring the kids to visit Santa’s Workshop at 340 Victoria Street – every Saturday in December leading up to Christmas, Santa will be in from 12-2pm doing crafts and other fun activities! And local artisans are helping out too. You’ll see a variety of artisan workshops available as the 340 Victoria Street space is being used for a Pop Up Artisan’s Shop Pilot Project to show shoppers the works of some of our talented artists throughout the Kamloops area.  

Pooler says “being downtown is truly a neighbourhood experience. Everywhere you go, you see people you know,  and it’s a great place for family and friends to spend a day experiencing the uniqueness of downtown. Bright lights, great food, the cool Christmas air, friendly merchants willing to serve.” Pooler says once you experience the downtown, especially at Christmas time,  you’ll wind up coming back again and again to enjoy the atmosphere of  downtown all year long.

-              Written by CFJC Today staff with files and information supplied by KCBIA.



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A new campus lifestyle - Creston House

A new campus lifestyle will soon be available at the REACH on Thompson Rivers University. TRU is creating a new way of living that will appeal to people of all ages and all walks of life. Similar to UBC and SFU, Thompson Rivers University is entering a new world, a world that combines an elevated lifestyle in a community full of life and diversity.

Cape Group of Vancouver, an innovative, family-owned business, has been chosen to construct the first project on campus to appeal to this new lifestyle. Creston House will provide 56 upscale units designed to fit into the university landscape with beautiful views of the campus and the Thompson River Valley. It’s a unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of the new master-planned community at TRU.

Cape Group President Reisa Schwartzman is ecstatic about the new development. “Our company is all about building relationships,” she says. “We build projects to last. We want people to associate our company with someone who’s built something of quality, built with great pride, and something which will provide a great quality of living.”

Creston House is designed to create an atmosphere for anyone who enjoys the vibrant campus lifestyle.  “Kamloops is a great place to live,” enthuses Schwartzman, “the campus is in a great location overlooking the valley, and these quality homes will allow people to enjoy the lifestyle, as well as enriching the university.”

The project will feature a mixed plan of one, two and three bedroom units on four floors. Schwartzman says the units, all well-priced, will appeal to empty-nesters, those wanting their first homes, people who want to downsize, university professors who want to be close to their work, and to investors who may want to rent to students. “The campus has a really enticing environment, the location is beautiful, and you don’t have to be an academic to live there.”  Schwartzman adds “this building is well-designed, it has secure underground parking, FOB entry, secure elevators and all the amenities.”

The floor plans are well designed while the architecture is inspired by the work of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Schwartzman says they’ve spent a lot of time on each of the floor plans, trying to maximize the impact of each unit and thinking ahead to the needs of the people who are going to use it. That’s not something that’s done overnight, but Schwartzman says that’s part of what Cape Group considers when designing a project. “It’s not just about selling, it’s about creating something that will give people a wonderful lifestyle.”

There is a choice of colours for those buying early, and there are three levels of appliances so owners can choose what fits into their needs, and their budgets. 40 percent of the units have already been sold, so it’s pretty clear that this is something that appeals to a wide variety of people. The project is being handled by realtor Brendan Shaw, and a Sales Centre has been set up at 109 Victoria Street in downtown Kamloops. For those who need more information contact 250-319-4737 or email [email protected].

The Cape Group is no stranger to unique projects like this one. Ralph Schwartzman, who founded the company in 1956, brought the first Automall to Canada, located in Richmond, BC. They developed tilt-up warehousing, now a standard in the industry built some of the first high-rise buildings in Coquitlam, and have been at the forefront of construction and development since its inception. Schwartzman says “my dad believes it wasn’t only about the money you made, it was about the community and relationships you built.” Schwartzman believes her dad was on the right track, and she continues those ideals, as does her son, who is the third generation of family members involved in the company.

“We’ve developed this project looking at the legacy, and what will be here for people 20 years down the road, “ Schwartzman says. “Every step of the way we’ve had a team looking at what was best for the project, the university, the community and the potential owners. Everything we’ve done is to create something that not only we’ll be proud of, but that the University can point to with pride, as they continue to grow, and the lifestyle vision they hope to create starts right here with Creston House.“

-              Written by CFJC Today staff with files and information supplied by The Cape Group.



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Real Canadian Superstore - Click and Collect

The future of grocery shopping is upon us. It’s called Click and Collect, and it’s available right now at your Real Canadian Superstore in Kamloops on 910 Columbia Street West. What is Click and Collect? It’s the most modern and convenient way to shop for all your groceries without leaving your vehicle. That’s right- you don’t have to leave your vehicle! Now how convenient is that.

Here’s how it works. To take advantage of this first class digital experience, you simply go to Superstore.ca, set up a profile, and you’re in business. There are any number of reasons why you just don’t want to get out of the car and get groceries, but with Click and Collect, that’s a thing of the past. Tina Godard, Click and Collect Department Manager in Kamloops, puts it this way- “people just love this new way of shopping. You can shop for virtually all items in the store. It’s so easy. You can order from home, drive to the store, out we come with your groceries, load them in your vehicle, and you’re good to go. It’s that simple.”  And simple it is. Godard says the program was rolled out in Kamloops August 2nd, and it’s getting more popular by the day, as more and more people understand how easy it is.

Once you get your account profile set up, you simply go online and place your order. You decide when you want to pick up your order, and drive to the store. There are designated parking spots for Click and Collect customers. Simply pull in, call the number on the sign, and staff will bring your order to you, put it in your vehicle and send you on your way.

Godard says “people can’t believe how simple it is. When I tell them we have this great new way of shopping, their face drops and they say ‘ARE YOU SERIOUS?’  And I say yes we are, it’s that easy. “

When you go online and access your account, you can see items individually or by department. You can customize your order to suit your needs. “We encourage our customers to give us as much detail as they want on the order form,” says Godard. “You like your bananas more green than yellow? That’s what you’ll get. Tell us the way you like the meat cut. We’ll accommodate you.”  Expert shoppers are trained to provide you with the best/freshest food and shop with your preferences in mind. This shopping experience is all about great customer service and convenience

Godard says the program is designed for anyone. While some people, like seniors and those with mobility issues, really find it great, moms looking to save time in a busy day, people from outlying areas coming into town to shop- all love the convenience. It doesn’t matter why you want to shop online, this program is for you. “When you can save time”, says Godard, “It means you can have more quality time with your family, and who doesn’t want that in the busy world we live in.” And if you’re one of those shoppers who really doesn’t like the idea of wandering up and down every aisle, let the expert personal  shoppers do the walking for you.  With today’s go-go-go lifestyle, Godard says the program has really taken off.

There are only a couple of rules to the program- there are six two-hour time slots from 9:00am – 9:00pm during the day when windows are open to pick up the groceries, and you need to order at least four hours before you want to pick up. That makes it easy for the Click and Collect expert shoppers to put your order together in a timely fashion to make sure everything is fresh when it gets to your car. You can pay with a card on file, or use the debit machine or cash when the groceries are delivered. When you order, you’ll have access to the same great deals you’d fine in-store.

And you can link to your PC Plus account to see past purchases, shop personalized offers and earn points. “It’s the new face of grocery shopping,” enthuses Godard. “We aim to please-it’s all about customer service. When you’re happy, we’re happy.”

To take the first step toward a whole new shopping experience, go to www.superstore.ca and see what Click and Collect is all about. You won’t be disappointed. 

-              Written by CFJC Today staff with files and information supplied by Real Canadian Superstore.



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Cascades Casino - Kamloops' entertainment destination

Used to be when you saw the word “Casino” there was only one thought in mind. But now, it’s a different story. And Cascades Casino in Kamloops is a perfect example. Located conveniently at 1555 Versatile Drive in Kamloops, it’s a whole lot more than a casino.

Billed as Your Kamloops Entertainment Destination, Cascades Casino provides the whole gamut of entertainment, and General Manager Robert Case says it really is an entertainment destination. “You can participate in the gaming, and we have over 450 slot machines, 15 tables, and a poker room”, he says, “so we cover the gaming part of the operation extremely well. It’s a great atmosphere, and our customers love the ambience we provide.”

But don’t think that’s all. Maureen Boynton, the Manager of Guest Services and Marketing, says the gaming is only part of the entertainment destination experience. “We have three great places to eat within our complex. We have live entertainment in all our facilities “, Boynton adds, “and you never know what to expect. Elvis or ABBA could be in the building, we have comedy nights, and there’s never a cover charge at any of these events.”

In fact, if you go to the Cascades Casino web page (cascadescasinokamloops.com), it’s the food, the entertainment and the fun that are front and center. “It’s important to us to let people know there’s so much to do here,” says Case. “Whether you’re looking for weekend enjoyment, great food, a place to dance, have a glass of wine, watch the Blue Jays or the Seahawks on the big screens, it’s all here.”

You feel the great ambience as soon as you walk in the front doors. A big display TV greets you as you walk down the hall to the restaurants on one side and the casino on the other. It’s a wide open space that you can walk down in comfort, picking your options as you go. First of all, there’s Match Eatery & Public House, a casual modern pub-style eatery with lots of TV’s, great food and a great atmosphere. For a great time with friends as you enjoy some fun times together, Match is the place to be. Join the Football Club in Match. Not only can you watch all of your favourite NFL games there, you could win a trip to Super Bowl 52 and NFL jerseys & gear are given away each day football is on. Included in your $85 membership to the Gateway Football Club   is a Bud, a select appy and other discounts and prizes each week. The big screen TVs put you right in the middle of the action.

A little farther down the hall, you’ll find The Buffet. Need we say more. Different food themes during the week, from Mediterranean to Asian to Family Night as well as western fare, all to satisfy your culinary taste. The 120-seat restaurant has great prices, fresh soups, a great variety of hot dishes and a decadent dessert bar. Bring the family along. They’ll have a blast. And aside from the normal lunch and dinner hours, the Buffet has Brunch Weekends, and a plated Encore Breakfast Monday to Friday.

Now let’s say you want something quiet, personal, a step up from the normal fare you might find in Kamloops. A special event? Or just a desire for a touch of elegance with your loved one on a night out,  t Then you’ll want to try Atlas Steak +  Fish. Taking you back to a time when dining was an  experience,  Atlas brings together the best of local beef , classic and contemporary menus, and a comprehensive bar and beverage program. Case says this is elevated  dining at its best. “We put a lot of effort into the atmosphere and the experience for our customers”, he says. “Our service isn’t easily matched, and we’re proud to offer a service that our customers tell us they don’t often get elsewhere.”  Reservations are highly recommended.  Atlas is open Tuesday- Sunday from 4:30 PM on.

Boynton says there are many other services as well. “We have our Encore Rewards card that provides special dining discounts and a number of special benefits, and as well, we have a free shuttle that stops at two different spots around town so if you’re staying in Kamloops, you can get to the Casino with a minimum of effort.” And if you do bring your car, there’s free valet service on site.

Become a member of the Encore Rewards  Club. There are three membership levels, and the more points you earn, the more benefits you will enjoy. You can qualify for birthday offers, invitations to special events and promotions and bonus points depending on the level of membership you choose. You’ll also get a discount at select eateries. Membership is free to join.

So no matter what you want to do, have a casual meal or the best steak you’ve ever had, enjoy the atmosphere in the Casino, watch the game, or enjoy the live entertainment, it’s all there at Cascades Casino Kamloops. When they call it your Kamloops Entertainment Destination, they’re not just whistling Dixie. Come and try it out today. You’ll find a whole new adventure waiting inside the doors at 1555 Versatile Drive in Aberdeen. Give them a call at 250-372-3336 or email them at [email protected].  We’ll see you there!!

-              Written by CFJC Today staff with files and information supplied by Cascades Casino.



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BARRE Kamloops

"Up an inch, down an inch. Find your home-base. Squeeze your heels."

Mindfully watching her students amidst the sound of thumping bass in the background, the instructor subtly scans the room to correct placement and technique while speaking into the microphone. With music and occasional laughter, you may mistake the atmosphere for that of a hip wine bar. The furrowed brows, intense concentration and shaking legs say otherwise.

"People will be sorely disappointed if they are looking for a dance class," laughs co-owner of BARRE Kamloops, Geralyn Alain.“ Barre classes are completely in a league of their own. You really need to experience one to understand."

In operation now for almost two years, BARRE Kamloops is working hard to get their message out to the community. “People think that barre is going to be a ballet class, and that’s, of course, where the workout method’s name originated” Alain says.

Barre classes, however, are more fitness-based focusing on small, isometric movements designed to strengthen and fatigue muscles, followed by a lengthening yoga-inspired stretch.  "Everything from your legs, to your glutes, to your core and arms will be worked. It is a true full-body workout that absolutely anyone can do regardless of their fitness ability… No dance experience is needed," says Alain.

From fitness newbies to marathon runners and everyone in between, classes are accessible and challenging in different ways. “Barre’s roots are in pilates, dance and yoga which shows in the workout, but at the same time, our classes have evolved into more than that. We might do the same type of movement from day to day, but no two classes are ever the same with evolving playlists, different props and different exercises. We are always looking to switch things up to make things interesting and fun for our clients”

For those who aren’t a fan of a typical gym with massive machines and heavy weights, BARRE Kamloops offers an alternative option in a welcoming and inclusive environment. “We work at building relationships and friendships. That’s what it’s all about. People stick around after class, chatting and getting to really know each other. You’re not a nameless body, coming in and going on your own. Others notice when you’re not there.”

With large windows and modern breezy d├ęcor, props like “squishy balls” as Alain likes to call them, resistance bands and light weights are common place in the studio and provide a welcome change for people looking to challenge their body in a different way.

In addition to regular classes, BARRE Kamloops also offers both pre-natal and Mom & Baby programs led by certified “Fit for Two” instructors. “We are very mindful that there are things that we need to be very careful of with pregnant women and post-natal moms,” says Alain. “We deal with our clients individually to make sure we know where they’re at and build modifications through the class to make sure they’re safe. That’s very important to us.”

Co-owners Kristen and Geralyn know how hard it can be to maintain a regular fitness schedule as moms themselves, so they recently introduced a new child-minding room for those attending regular classes with their kids in tow.

On September 15th, BARRE Kamloops is kicking off it’s 60-Day “Back to the BARRE” Challenge encouraging people  to get back into the spirit of working out and a regular routine. Participants take 3 classes a week for 60 days, earning prizes and a coveted tank top for reaching their goals. “It’s just a fun time to get everyone back on track and focused on fitness.”

Anyone can participate and see what classes at BARRE Kamloops can do for their body.  “Our classes are for anyone—you definitely do not need to be flexible or coordinated. We’ll talk you through everything you need to know,” says Alain. “I can promise you’ll have a lot of fun, and get a good burn out of it too.”

Curious about classes? Book your first class for free at  www.barrekamloops.com , call 250-682-8323 or email [email protected].

-              Written by CFJC Today staff with files and information supplied by BARRE Kamloops.



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