Speakers during 2023-2024 year

April 15, 2024 – Lisa Aschenbrenner, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) since 2013, spoke to us courtesy of Nature’ Fare Markets.  She conducts nutrition consultations as arranged in part through Nature’s Fare.  Lisa’s presentation to us was general in nature, dealing with the 3 root causes of health issues:  stress, inflammation and digestion.  She stated that these were inter-related and that addressing on of the areas can have a positive ripple effect on the other 2.  Lisa offered suggestions for reducing stress, improving digestion, and reducing inflammation.

March 18, 2024 – Our featured speaker was Margaret Clark, Manager of Restorative Justice, Canadian Mental Health Association – Vernon & District Branch.  She spoke of her work relating to Restorative Justice, with which she has been involved since 2006, and her personal journey that led to this work.  She informed her audience of some of the details of the process through which individuals become engaged in restorative justice sessions, including which persons form part of the conversation which brings the person or persons harmed through criminal conduct with the person who caused the harm and how the various impacts of that conduct can best be addressed and resolved.   

Referrals to the program, which operates within the Vernon / North Okanagan Detachment area (including Vernon, Okanagan Indian Band, Falkland, Spallumcheen, Armstrong, Enderby, Coldstream, Lumby and Regional Districts Electoral areas), are made by the RCMP or other referral sources.  Eligibility includes acknowledgement of the commission of the offence and meeting the criteria established by the referring agency.  In most cases, eligibility is restricted to first time offenders. 

It then falls to Ms Clark and other staff to contact the necessary parties and to set up the sessions.  Participation in RJ Services is voluntary throughout the entire process.

February 26, 2024 – Liz Blakeway, Network Director, North Okanagan Land to Table Network, aka L2T-NO, spoke of this regional food system network that began as a study circle of local farm women.  Based on the Vermont Farm to Plate model, it aims to provide access to markets for small and medium farm producers and to solve food provision problems. The longer term goals are to provide regional community resilience and preparedness with respect to our food supply and hence food security.  This network includes not only the farmers but also food processors, institutions, Indigenous communities, restaurants, retail food stores, and food banks. It also plans to connect producers to consumers as part of emergency preparedness. Additionally, the group hopes to form local hubs to ensure food availability,  during emergencies.

For more information on this organization,  check out their website at https://landtotablenetwork.com/.

January 15, 2024 – Christine Kirby, a Road Safety and Community Coordinator for ICBC, gave a terrific presentation called “Drive Smart for Seniors.”  It included refreshers of the road, preparing for an upcoming road test, and giving up your license.  The event was well attended, with a number of members of the public joining us.  Christine happily answered everyone’s questions; she also  provided reflective tags for persons to put onto coats etc to make sure of visibility to drivers when out and about.  

As the ICBC website https://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/getting-licensed/Tips-for-Senior-Drivers says, “The rules of the road are constantly evolving. We could all use a refresher every now and then to keep our skills up.” 


November 20, 2023 – Lloyd Davies and Sasha Carter spoke to our members about the Sunflower Childcare Centre to be opened next year on the Vernon Campus of Okanagan College.  Lloyd and his wife Janet Armstrong were the leadership donors who spearheaded the campaign for the building of this centre while Sasha  is the Development Officer for Okanagan College Foundation.  The new 44-seat Centre will offer affordable childcare through programs like the $10-a-Day childcare initiative or the Child Care Fee Reduction initiative.   The photo is an artist’s rendering of the immediate outdoor space for the Centre.  More information about the Centre can be found at

October 16, 2023 – Laisha Rosnau, recently appointed Executive Director of the Caetani Centre, gave a brief history of the Caetani family, with her presentation including video clips from the family’s early years in Vernon.  She briefly described the process of researching and writing her novel, Little Fortress, as well reading an excerpt from the novel.    (photo credit UBCO)

September 18,2023 – The guest speaker this month was Erin Kennedy, Artistic Director of the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre for the past thirteen years.  She spoke about the upcoming season at at the Performing Arts Centre, as well the various activities the Centre engages in to involve the community.  She also answered questions about her work in arranging programming for a season that includes 24-38 multidisciplinary performances.

© CFUW Vernon 2023