Celebrity choreographer Laurieann Gibson, who's worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce and Alicia Keys, and her adorable dog, Samson, are the first brand ambassadors for True Leaf Pet.

True Leaf is the Lumby-based cannabis company that uses the CBD portion of the plant that doesn't cause a high to make supplements, treats and oils for dogs and cats to boost immunity, ease hip and joint pain and reduce anxiety.

True Leaf also makes wellness products for people.

Samson, a 12-year-old Pomeranian, loves True Leaf's hip-and-joint supplements.

"It helps him keep up with me on our hikes and our trips to the beach," said Gibson.

"He has given me so much love over the years and I want to return the love to him and share the love with other dog parents."

Essentially, that's what a brand ambassador is.

Someone who spreads the word about a product.

They're also called influencers because they can influence the attitudes, tastes and buying of the people that follow them on social media.

For her part, Gibson has joined True Leaf's #ReturntheLove campaign and will Instagram her and Samson's journey @boomkack.

Starting next month, Gibson will also be a judge on the 16th season of the hit reality TV show, So You Think You Can Dance.

"Our hope is that pet parents will feel they are returning that special unconditional love they receive from their pet every day when they giver their dog one of our products," said True Leaf founder Darcy Bomford.

True Leaf calls its 18,000-square-foot growing, laboratory and extraction space in Lumby a campus.

It's part of the burgeoning Okanagan cannabis sector that also includes pot growers Flowr, Doja and THC BioMed, cannabis oil extraction companies Everest BioPharma, MediPharm Labs and Valens GroWorks and equipment manufacturer Vitalis Extraction Technology.

True Leaf's products for pets are sold at 3,500 stores worldwide and online at TrueLeaf.com.


With prices starting at $299,900, these South Pandosy condominiums won't be on the market long.

In fact, the 19 one-and-two-bedroom units in Southgate at 2627 Gore St., between Pandosy and Abbott streets, are expected to be sold well before the four-storey building is complete in the summer of 2020.

Worman Homes will start construction this summer and the presentation centre at 2640 is coming soon.

In the meantime, those seeking more information can register at LiveAtSouthgate.com.

Southgate is expected to generate lots of interest because it isn't your typical four-storey condo block.

Generous balconies ring the first three floors creating the look of wrap-around verandas or porches.

The fourth floor has a smaller footprint to allow for big roof-top terraces.


Sobeys, the umbrella company of Safeway, IGA, Foodland, Thrifty Foods and FreshCo, is the first grocery store chain in Canada to sell the plant-based meat sensation Beyond Burger.

Beyond Burger first caused a stir in Canada when A&W fast-food restaurants started to sell it and could hardly keep up with the demand.

Beyond Burger from the grocery store is a four-pack of patties that looks, cooks and satisfies like beef.

Yet, it's never been near a cow.

The base of the burger is pea protein with some potato starch, yeast extract, canola and coconut oil and some beet juice extract to make it juicy and pink like a beef burger.

A cooked four-ounce Beyond Burger packs about 20 grams of protein, 20 grams of fat and 270 calories, about the same as cooked beef burger of the same size.

The real difference, according to Beyond Burger, is the health and environmental benefits of plant-based meat made without GMOs, soy or gluten, over real meat.

Another difference is a Beyond Burger has 380 mg of sodium, while a real beef burger has about 75 mg.

It's recommended that adults eat less than 2,000 mg of sodium daily.

"We're proud to give Canadians the first taste of Beyond Burger at grocery retail in Canada," said Sobeys executive vice-president Pierre St-Laurent.

"This builds on our ongoing promise to bring Canadians the industry's most innovative food offerings, including great-tasting meat alternatives and healthy plant-based options."


Speaking of grocery stores, Real Canada Superstore has launched its first-ever #EatTogether Tour to encourage people to buy quality ingredients and foods, prepare meals and eat together at the table.

That table can be surrounded by family, friends, neighbours or co-workers.

Or it can be at the large, communal dining table that President's Choice (the private label, store brand of Real Canadian Superstore and Loblaw Companies) is bringing to Kelowna today from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the tour.

The community picnic features foods by President's Choice chef Tom Filippou.

The chef will also speak bout eating together to combat loneliness and pass along recipes and food tips.

A 2018 Oxford Economics study identified eating alone was the biggest contributor to unhappiness next to mental illness.

Despite Canadians' desire to spend more time enjoying meals with those important to them, research conducted by President's Choice revealed many of us eat many meals alone.

Dinner is a particularly good time to prepare food as a family or group, sit down and eat together and chat.


The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association wants to let you know that tourism information centres aren't just for tourists.

Locals should also drop into their nearest info centre for ideas of what to see and do for the weekend, a staycation or for inspiration when guests come to town.

Most visitor centres also sell gift and souvenir items, including logoed wear so you can show your civic pride and local artisan products from water bottles and wine stoppers to honey and chocolate.

The Route 97 Connector Visitor Inspiration Centre, operated by the association, is open Wednesday through Sunday until the end of June, when it will start to operate seven days a week.

Located just above Peachland on the Okanagan Connector highway, it's considered the gateway to the Valley and sees 40,000 motorists stop in annually.

It's also undergoing some renovations, thanks, in part, to a B.C. rural Dividend Grant.


Steve MacNaull is The Okanagan Weekend's business and wine reporter and columnist. Reach him at steve.macnaull@ok.bc.ca.

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