The Mad Hatter Book Store has reopened with reduced hours and protocols in place to keep everyone safe including requiring customers to wear masks and limiting the number of people in the store at one time to four.

Owners Maurice and Paulette Breault are grateful customers are wearing masks to protect one another, practising social distancing and graciously waiting their turn outside to enter.

“Your care and compassion for each other and for us as seniors is heartwarming,” wrote Paulette in an email thanking people for continuing to support small businesses.

The Mad Hatter is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Trivia night

The Greater Westside Board of Trade hosts a Trivial Pursuit Game Night via Zoom Thursdays. They will be asking fun questions about the Westside. This is a free event.

As the Greater Westside Board of Trade begins to proceed with their in-person events, they emphasize there will be no gatherings of over 50 people and social distancing will remain in effect as per the instructions of Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.

The Board of Trade has rescheduled their annual golf tournament at Shannon Lake Golf Course to Sept. 11. This event may be a bit different than previous tournaments as guidelines will be in place and must be followed. Ticket sales will be opening soon.

The board has postponed the Key Business Awards until spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic as the awards gala is always a large event, attracting more than 50 people.

Touch of Austria

Get out of your four walls and treat yourself to an entertaining and enlightening afternoon Sunday from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Ad Lib Gallery. Claudia Kargl and her husband Jim Gray host a music-arts-culture showcase event and Viennese culinary delight with a Touch of Austria featuring the Power of Beethoven in a picturesque setting with an award-winning garden oasis.

The event is a great way to enjoy social connection from a proper distance, meet interesting people, make new friends and experience the empowering effect of music that will lift your spirits.

This event costs $25 per person.

Register by calling 250-768-1404, e-mailing or go online to

Support local wineries

Kelowna Concierge launched a new wine tour initiative June 1 to support local businesses.

Sip to Support Local is a half-day wine tour to either the West Kelowna Wine Trail or Lake Country’s Scenic Sip Wine Region.

Jillian Haller, Kelowna Concierge’s co-owner knows COVID-19 has hit the tourism industry hard. The new wine tour for local guests will not only support wineries, but also contribute to the B.C. Hospitality Foundation with a $5 per person donation.

The approximately four-hour Sip to Support Local wine tour starts at

1 p.m. Guests will enjoy tastings at four wineries while adhering to all social distancing protocols.

The tour costs $99 per person plus tax and gratuity. Guests are required to book in advance online at or by calling 250-863-4213.

Kelowna Concierge has protocols in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic such as enhanced cleaning, limited capacities in shuttle vehicles and protective equipment for drivers.

Kelowna Concierge provides wine tours to all regions in the Okanagan as well as brewery, distillery and cidery tours.

Opening-up seminar

Hear first-hand insights from the Retail Council of Canada and the Downtown Kelowna Association at a Business Smarts webinar on Opening Your Business while Protecting Customers and Employees, Thursday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Speakers include Greg Wilson of the Retail Council of Canada and Mark Burley of the Downtown Kelowna Association. Topics include the state of the retail industry and best practices for recovery and re-opening.

It’s free. Register in advance under the events tab at

Tourism kickstart

An Okanagan College webinar, Kickstarting B.C.’s Tourism Industry, takes place June 16 from 11 a.m. to noon. Speakers include Marsha Walden, president and CEO of Destination BC, Michael J. Ballingall, senior vice president of Big White Ski Resort, and Jennifer Horsnell, director of business and destination development, Tourism Kelowna.

It’s free. Register online under the events tab at

Thrift store, arena open

Have you been cleaning out your closets and cupboards during the COVID-19 pandemic and wondering where you can donate the items you no longer need?

The West Kelowna Salvation Army Thrift Store reopens June 22 with safety protocols in place including new signage, a Plexiglas barrier at the point of sale and limits to how many people can be in the store at once.

The thrift store will start accepting donations June 18.

People can drive around the back of the store and donations will be offloaded into a container where they will remain quarantined for a minimum of five days.

“We’re excited for the community to come back and all our staff,” said Rob Henson, of the West Kelowna Salvation Army.

The store will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Jim Lind Arena reopens

The City of West Kelowna has reopened Jim Lind Arena.

All ice times must be booked through the city’s Recreation and Culture Department at 778-797-2240.

Protocols include participants coming dressed in full gear with skates or shoes with a filled personal water bottle.

One parent per player is permitted to attend with a child and must keep social distance and use marked seating areas in the bleachers if remaining in the facility.

The ice is split into two sides with six skaters per side. Up to two coaches are permitted on the ice. Drills must be designed with provincial guidelines in place, including no contact. Participants will leave the rink immediately at the end of the skate.

Summer day camps

Registration is open for West Kelowna Recreation day camps beginning in July.

Weekly Dragon’s Den Day Camps take place at Mar Jok Elementary School beginning July 2, with social distancing requirements.

As well there are camps to hone hockey, tennis, skateboard and art skills. Register by phone at 778-797-8800 or go online to The camps are subject to change depending on the COVID-19 situation.

Indigenous festival cancelled

The Okanagan Indigenous Music and Arts Festival which had been slated for July 3 at the Annette Beaudreau Amphitheatre has been cancelled due to the physical distancing guidelines required by health authorities.

Restaurant reopens

Courses Restaurant at Shannon Lake Golf Course has re-opened with a limited menu.

Hours are Monday to Wednesday to 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday to Sunday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Barb Aguiar’s business column appears every two weeks in the Westside Weekly. Email