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Wildfires put North Okanagan events in limbo

VJH Foundation Golf Classic fundraiser and IPE in Armstrong to decide this week if events go ahead
A pair of big North Okanagan events slated to begin within the next week are in limbo because of wildfires and poor air quality. (Black Press file photo)

A pair of major North Okanagan events are in a ‘wait-and-see’ pattern thanks to the Okanagan-Shuswap regional wildfires.

The Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation’s Charity Golf Classic is set to take place Sunday, Aug. 27, at Predator Ridge Resort, and the 122nd Interior Provincial Exhibition in Armstrong is slated to begin Wednesday, Aug. 30.

Boards of both events will meet this week to determine if the events will go as scheduled.

The charity golf classic has raised nearly $3 million for the VJH Foundation in its 13-year history.

The IPE returned to large, enthusiastic crowds in 2022 after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19.

The Vernon Winter Carnival was going to celebrate six months until the start of the 64th Carnival with a special adult-only games night and movie event (Happy Gilmore) outdoors at Okanagan College. That, too, has been shelved.

“In light of the ongoing smoke and the challenging circumstances it has brought to our community, we have made the decision to postpone our upcoming movie night,” said Carnival executive director Kris Fuller.

“The health and well-being of our community is our utmost priority, and given the current air quality and prevailing conditions, we believe it’s in everyone’s best interest to wait for a more suitable time to come together for some much-needed entertainment.”

The second annual Kal Tire Kalamalka Bowl Canadian college exhibition football game set for Wednesday, Aug. 23, between the defending champion UBC Thunderbirds and the visiting Alberta Golden Bears at Greater Vernon Athletic Park has been cancelled due to the wildfires and poor air quality.

The final two nights of Salmon Arm’s annual music smash, the Roots and Blues Festival, were not held over the weekend after a decision was made to cancel due to nearby fires and bad air.

The festival did get in its Friday night schedule Aug. 18.

RDNO monitors wildfire situation in Central Okanagan and Shuswap

The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) continues to watch the fires around its region, but advises residents as of Monday, Aug. 21, that “there are no immediate threats to our region at this time.”

“Emergency Operations Centre staff are conducting pre-planning, in preparation, should we need to act quickly in the event of an emergency in our region,” wrote the regional district in a release Monday afternoon. “The RDNO continues to assist the City of Vernon, supporting the Central Okanagan Regional District with Emergency Support Services.”

Residents are encouraged to be prepared in the event of an emergency and to stay safe by preparing an emergency plan and packing a grab-and-go bag (essential supplies and items for 72 hours). Visit for more information on creating a plan and what to include in your grab-and-go bags. Being prepared also means using FireSmart principles around your home and property. Visit for information on how to FireSmart your property.

READ MORE: ‘These are unprecedented numbers:’ More support for Okanagan wildfire evacuees

READ MORE: More than 800 Central Okanagan evacuees in Vernon

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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