Category: News & Events

Trail Workshop

Wow, my calendar tells me that today is the first day of September and cooler mornings and tacky dirt are certainly making it feel like fall time. Regardless if you are thinking about squeezing as much fall riding in as possible, or are dreaming of snow I’d like you to consider putting one more event into your fall calendars.

We are hosting IMBA Canada trail expert Jay Darby to run a trail development workshop in Gold Bridge/ Bralorne September 24-26. Jay has worked with communities across BC to develop, expand and build world class trails. If you’d like to learn more about Jay, you can read about him here: https://www.wanderingpathconsulting.ca/

Here are three reasons that you should consider attending this workshop:

  1. It’s free! Sal Demare from the SLRD has worked to arrange funding to offer this community training at no cost to participants. I should note that the funding has to go through one more approval on September 8th, but we do not expect any issues with this step. 
  2. Sunshine Mountain is now a designated Rec Site. This is great news, for many reasons but does come with some additional regulations around trail construction. Any trails on Sunshine will need to meet IMBA or Whistler Trail Standards moving forward. This workshop is focused on developing awesome trail within these standards.
  3. We will actually be working on trail. Over 50% of the course will be in the field, working on Alphagetti. So if you like to get dirty and work to make trails more fun, this is the course for you!

The planned dates are Friday evening September 24 and full day September 25, 26. However, this is still subject to funding approval. So please consider this a save the date for now. Everyone is welcome Friday evening for a community hall style presentation. Saturday morning will also be in class and all are welcome. Saturday afternoon and all day Sunday will be in the field and class size limits will apply.

I will also note that while the focus of this course is developing bike trails, the principles discussed are transferable to all trail types. 

We will have copies of the IMBA trail manuals on hand, in the short term I have attached the Whistler trail standards document. 

If you have any questions please let me know. If you are considering attending please respond to this message so I can start a list. There are some capacity limits for the field based parts of the course.

Thank you and I hope you get to ride your bike this week. 

Blake Rowsell, BRA Co-ordinator

2021 AGM Notice

Talisker Resources Ltd. Sponsorship of the Bralorne Pioneer Gold Mine Map Project

Talisker Resources Ltd. has agreed to transfer ownership of the Bralorne Gold Mines maps that date back to the very early stages of exploration in the area and in addition sponsor the work of cataloguing all the maps developed by Bralorne Gold Mines.
Bralorne Gold Mines understands the historic value of these maps and their importance within the community. “We are very excited to work with you on this project! Bralorne Gold Mines is also happy to hear you have received the $2000 donation that is to be put towards this endeavor.” Says Kaitlin James,

Bralorne Gold Mines will transfer the ownership of the map collection to the Bralorne Pioneer Museum, pending the completion of map cataloguing by their geological team. Bralorne Gold Mines will also complete digital copying prior to all maps being transferred. In addition, Bralorne Gold Mines is committed to supplying the Bralorne Pioneer Museum with a digital copy of all maps in the collection that are being transferred.

In the interim, The Bralorne Pioneer Museum will develop a plan to determine how to catalogue, conserve, archive and store the maps. The permanent exhibit and storage of these maps will be part of the restoration of the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office building.

The Bralorne Pioneer Museum will use the initial $2,000 donation from Talisker Resources and lever it to access other funding that will permit the cataloguing and conservation, estimated to provide employment for at least one summer.

“This is a real historic and valuable project for the Bridge River Valley and the Province of British Columbia,” says Sue Girling, Vice Chair, Heritage Committee. “Bralorne Gold Mines was a provincial and national economic driver for decades. These maps hold significant heritage value for future generations to understand how the richest gold deposits in North America were developed and mined right in this area.”

The Heritage Committee and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum would like to thank Talisker Resources Ltd for recognizing the importance of this valuable heritage asset and supporting the work that needs to be done to conserve this irreplaceable collection.

BPMO Funding Announcement

We are thrilled to announce the Bridge River Valley Community Association was successful in its request for funding for the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building project from the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP) Unique Heritage Infrastructure stream. The BRVCA will receive $300,000 in funding for the project which will see the conservation of the building and the adaptive reuse by the Bralorne Pioneer Museum.  The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building was built in 1938-1939.  This project will eventually result in space for the Bralorne Pioneer Museum along with some ancillary uses such as the laundromat, a small coffee and gift shop, office space and residential suites.

This announcement is part of BC’s $10 billion COVID response, which includes the Stronger BC for Everyone recovery plan —a plan that protects people’s health and livelihoods while supporting businesses and communities —and the Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program (CERIP). “We could not be happier to have this recognition and support from the Province,” says Paul Gravett, executive director of Heritage BC. “Through this funding program, the Province not only provided the largest one-time infusion of funds into the heritage sector, but it also recognized the importance and potential of heritage infrastructure and its place in our province’s economic picture.”

“Funding heritage and cultural projects throughout British Columbia is vital for communities and their well being. It allows them to remain connected to their past and it helps to support their cultural organizations” said Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “This funding also helps communities recover from the pandemic with investments in programs that benefit the whole community.”

“The Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office building conservation and adaptive reuse project was a great fit for this program”, says Pat Dahle, BRVCA President. “The program is designed to fit our needs as a very small community with a very significant and distinctive history both in provincially and nationally.  While we will still need to find additional funding as well as continue to hone in on the fine details of the conservation work, this is a huge step towards moving this project forward and to completion.”

As one member of BRVCA wrote us upon hearing of the funding award, “Thank you one and all, this is fabulous news . I hope you all know how many people so appreciate all that you have done and do for the community, and restoration you are doing to preserve my  childhood for one, but the history of one of the greatest place on earth to live. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.I will be 80 this year and I still have many pictures for you, but most of are my memories, of the best life I could have ever had growing up in Bralorne during its prime years.”

This project directly supports downtown businesses, tourist attractions and local visitors.  The society believes that getting the museum open in the Bralorne Pioneer Mines Office Building to the public will significantly assist the economic development of Bralorne and the area.  It is the intention to employ and contract with as many local or close to local folks as possible as this is another important piece of the project, to create employment in the area.  The BRVCA will continue to provide as much information and updates as possible as well as touching bases with the community as input is needed on some of the various aspects of the project.

Heritage BC says “The awarded projects show us the strong local connections of our history and heritage. CERIP has shown us the great need for this type of funding and it has shown us that people need their heritage,” says Britney Dack, chair of Heritage BC’s board of directors. “It is part of our daily lives. It is part of communities and our stories”.  The Bridge River Valley Community Association and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum couldn’t agree more!  We extend our heartfelt thanks to all our community partners who have supported this project with their expertise, their volunteer time,  letters of support, memberships and cash donations and other forms of monetary support.  We especially want to thank all of the staff and volunteers who have made the Bralorne Pioneer Museum a successful long term community project since it was founded in 1977.

Tree Planting Program

Reference: 260847

Feb. 2, 2021

The Provincial Tree Planting Program and COVID-19 Protocols

Dear Mayor / Chief and Council

It was my intent to reach out to the municipalities, indigenous communities, forest licensees and the planting contract community prior to the start of the 2021 planting season. The past year has been filled with new and challenging business processes focused on keeping workers and communities safe as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the province. As you’ll remember, last spring’s planting season began as our knowledge of the pandemic started to unfold, and through an unprecedented season of collaboration by all sectors, we successfully planted over 300 million trees with close to 6000 tree planters and without a single confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus in our workforce.

The combination of Public Health Office orders and operating guidelines, along with the forest sector working collaboratively with government and local communities, was paramount in helping make the 2020 planting season successful The forestry sector is currently preparing for the 2021 tree planting season again, to ensure community and worker safety with respect to COVID-19. Forest activities, including tree planting, continue to be designated an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an important part of the provincial economy and for environmental sustainability, every year the forest sector in BC engages in Canada’s largest tree planting program to ensure that areas harvested or destroyed by insects and wildfire are replanted. The 2021 planting season will be equally significant to last year, with about 300 million seedlings scheduled to be planted.

The 2021 planting program will begin on BC’s coast at the end of February and in the interior in about mid-April. Learning from our experiences last year, the forest sector response and safe delivery of the 2020 tree planting program, preparations began last fall and will continue through the tree planting season to ensure that the safety of our workers and the surrounding communities are our highest priority.

For the 2021 tree planting season our goals are once again to:

Prevent the transmission of any potential infection from the silviculture workers to communities around the province; and
Ensure that the planters are kept safe and healthy so they can complete another planting season successfully.

Keep municipalities and indigenous community leaders informed of the planting as it moves with the spring openings.
To ensure that we can achieve our goals, as we did in 2020, please be aware of the following:

Those working in the silviculture industry in the north of the province must follow the requirements of the new Provincial Health Officer (PHO) order, Resource Sector Worksites and Industrial Camps in the Region of the Northern Health Authority published as of January 12, 2021, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc- s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho- order-industrial-camps-northern-health.pdf while the rest of the province is required to follow the pre-existing order Industrial Camps – July2, 2020. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of- the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/archived- docs/pho_order_industrial_camps_april_23_2020.pdf All workers will be required to follow the PHO orders as they are amended to address changing conditions.
Along with PHO orders, there are a number of guidance documents available to the planting contractors, both from the Ministry of Health and the Western Forestry Contractors Association (WFCA).
A key success factor in 2020, which will continue for 2021, is the commitment for government and industry to align and collaborate on delivery of the planting program. A critical piece of that commitment includes frequent and clear communication.
An essential part of that commitment to communication is to identify and resolve issues both within the planting programs and also, most importantly, to provide information to communities about what is happening as the tree planting season progresses. As with all good communication, it will also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and provide details about local issues.

Outreach and communication will begin over the next few weeks as we approach the planting season in your area.

I have asked the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development District Managers to be the point of contact for tree planting information for communities following on the success and effectiveness of the role they played in 2020.

In the interim, if you have specific questions please direct them to Shane Berg, Deputy Chief Forester at Shane.Berg@gov.bc.ca. With your assistance, I am confident we will accomplish similar successes in 2021.

Yours truly,

Diane Nicholls, RPF ADM, Chief Forester Office of the Chief Forester

Winterfest 2021

With the current Covid 19 restrictions extended to January 8th and the uncertainty about what will happen after that, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Winterfest 2021. We look forward to welcoming everyone to another amazing Winterfest in 2022. Stay safe & healthy!

Director Update

The Bridge River Valley Community Association Board of Directors met on December 7.  The meeting was positive and constructive and filled with good will, good questions and some good laughs.

The Board was so very pleased to approve the addition of a new committee, the Marshall Valley Community Association.  The Marshall Lake group had long had an informal group but needed some official status to undertake a variety of projects and decided that the umbrella model of BRVCA with its shared bookkeeping, insurance and other costs would work the best for them.  They will soon have a web page on the BRVCA website and their Terms of Reference will be linked to it.

Based on the challenges BRVCA has been undergoing since September 2019 with certain parties creating information about the BRVCA finances that is not based on any factual information, the Board of Directors committed $4,200 to do a Review Engagement set of financial statements for the 19/20 year.  The Board will ask the accountant to move as quickly as possible to produce this Review Engagement in order to ensure our members and community understand the BRVCA finances are open and above board.

What is a review engagement?  Most societies in the Bridge River Valley either do not use an accountant to prepare their financial statements or they have their statements prepared to a Notice to Reader level (a basic compilation).  By completing a review engagement of our financial statements, the accountant will perform more analytical tasks and will provide a statement of assurance there are not misstatements in the financial statements. This is not an audit (which might cost BRVCA $10,000) but will provide a moderate level of assurance on the accuracy of our financial statements. In taking this step, our Board is applying good governance by addressing the risk associated by the ongoing inaccurate statements being made in the community.

The BRVCA Board determined after a reasonable analysis that it is impossible to move forward with planning Winterfest in February 2021. There are just too many variables and possible outcomes, related to COVID19 and restrictions, to invest the time and money planning the event. With regret, and with full intent to come back bigger and better in 2021, the board voted to cancel this year’s event.

Finally, the BRVCA board endorsed in principle the development of a Respect in the BRV program.  Last year we all experienced the uptick in visitors sometimes with not good outcomes.  The board will work on a response for the expected greater second wave of similar visitation next year, combining education initiatives for visitors as well as encouraging the use of our businesses in the Valley.  First step is to get a workplan and costing in place in order to get needed funding to implement the program.

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year in these difficult times.  It will be different and we hope everyone will find ways to celebrate the joys of the season.

Statement re: Demares

Debbie and Sal Demare have asked us to provide the following information to the community.

It relates to their financial involvement with the Bridge River Valley Community Association and various rumors regarding it.

The basics are as follows:

1. Albi Enterprises, the consulting company they had up until late 2012, has had no payments from BRVCA.

2. Sal Demare has never been on an employment/labor/consulting contract with BRVCA, payouts to him are reimbursements.

3. Debbie Demare has never been on an employment/labor/consulting contract with BRVCA and payouts to her are all reimbursements and some personal loan repayments.

The links are below:

Letter re Debbie: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RYYxoz0z_A5FZ_h3oCNztxHhlRGg7O5u/view?usp=sharing

Letter re Sal – https://drive.google.com/file/d/1YGki3JaqbadSC87fzvU3B-1mWS11RBoH/view

Sal’s blog post as Regional District Director , scroll to bottom under Personal Concerns: 
https://saldemare.ca/2020/05/24/slrd-area-a-directors-report-may-24-2020/

Bralorne Church Project:  Invoice and Cheque to Sal Demare (materials and travel only, labor was volunteered by Sal)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZX5ob0b_mOyyP4TgQf1UEHP2CzuFoyAC/view?usp=sharing

In order that the community have the facts which are contrary to statements being made in the community, it should be noted that the labor contracts (2) on this portion of the Church Project went to Steve Oakley:

Steve Oakley Payment for Labor/Equipment (1):
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HXGx8jYHI2Gfr_etybkYIYHsfOIsgifQ/view?usp=sharing
Steve Oakley Payment for Labor/Equipment (2)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1_nZwzQVKyqi_MH857jAw69ONvH3p0E08/view?usp=sharing

Additionally, we have included the Project Expenses Spreadsheet for the Entire Project which was submitted to NDIT.  We have redacted other contractor’s names for privacy.  Link Here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/11mOUgnArJ0Jiz-HShS_Fl3k0ambjbm-l/view?usp=sharing
There are no other payments than what is listed here and all reports to NDIT have been verified and final payment to BRVCA made.

It is estimated that Sal Demare volunteered approximately 50 hours scoping out the problem, doing research and talking to previous renovators. During the project Sal worked along side Steve Oakley (paid contractor) as a volunteer and put in another 40 or so volunteer hours. Sal also donated material to the project for example the tiles in the bathroom. Following the project Sal compiled a report on the Church as a volunteer and also met with the Heritage Committee to present his findings. The link to that report is here:  
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1czSE61qDXYrFPDFlHaCLm38Lpd43Fqxu/view?usp=sharing

BRVCA wishes to once again thank Sal for his enormous committment on this project, were it not for him, the Church would not have been fixed. 

Sal and Debbie are very committed to our community and the Bridge River Valley Community Association.

We thank them for their thousands of hours of volunteer service and their financial support in many different ways over the last ten years.

Talisker Info Session

Society Act Information Request

Updated September 21, 2021

The Civil Resolution Tribunal has adjudicated and issued a judgement related to Oakley vs. Bridge River Valley Community Association.

The three documents below give you the documentation regarding this matter.  Please note we have not published the evidence submitted by Steve Oakley to the
Civil Resolution Tribunal adjudication as we have been advised of the potential liability of BRVCA doing so.

BRVCA Amended Dispute ResolutionPleading: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Yl0HmmmBwHZYxRqxz_JZKRBPqs11Vz7L/view?usp=sharing

BRVCA Evidence Submitted to Civil Resolution Tribunal  
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1n0JtYIbSXzXR9I6YJVc9tzxR5dh5RMiM?usp=sharing

Civil Resolution Tribunal Decision Oakley vs. Bridge River Valley CommunityAssociation: 
https://decisions.civilresolutionbc.ca/crt/sca/en/item/513001/index.do?q=Oakley

Update to Oct. 9 post:

On Oct. 28/20, Steve Oakley filed a claim with the civil resolution tribunal.  (https://civilresolutionbc.ca/)
In December through February BRVCA participated in the facilitation process and submitted a settlement offer to Steve Oakley.
Steve Oakley rejected the settlement offer.
In early May 2021, the BRVCA submitted a counter claim to the Civil Resolution Tribunal.  
We expect to move into the adjudication phase shortly where evidence is submitted and a tribunal adjudicator makes a legal and binding set of order(s) which both parties must abide by.

In February 2020 the Bridge River Valley Community Association Board of Directors took action to address human resource issues with a member that began in September 2019. The BRVCA’s direction taken in this matter was a decision made by the board as a whole and it took into account the board’s legal responsibility under various provincial acts and workplace regulations to protect its staff, volunteers and organization.

The Bridge River Valley Community Association has since received requests from Steve Oakley and Terri Smith, for extensive lists of documents through the BC Registry Services. The BRVCA is working to furnish the requested material in such a way that satisfies all the legal requirements, respects privacy obligations, and provides complete transparency.

The Bridge River Valley Community Association has also sought advice as well as specific direction from the Registrar of Societies. The direction from the Registrar of Societies was to engage a lawyer to provide the needed advice to determine how the privacy of our members and staff (payroll) is affected by providing that information.

The BRVCA Board has given much consideration to the need for transparency and has put together a google drive folder for members to view that contains much of the material that has been requested, what has been left out is the material which is deemed to be sensitive personal and or private information and is under review.

At the link you will find the following documents that form part of the information request for documents through the BC Registry Services:

  • Constitution
  • Bylaws
  • Dir. Sal Demare’s Resignation Letter from BRVCA Board of Directors prior to swearing in as Director, Area A SLRD
  • Minutes of Meetings 2018-2019. As per Society Registrar letter. Any Sec. 56 disclosures are included in minutes as Directors identify the conflict and excuse themselves from the meeting, this is recorded.
  • Financial Statements 2018 – 2019. As per Society Registrar letter.
    Click here to view the documents

Other parts of the information requests were the membership lists including contact information, accounting records from 2014 to 2019. These have not been included until we receive legal advice (as per the Registrar of Societies) regarding privacy issues, and clarification as to how the information may be used (i.e. can it be made public?).