Friends of Fintry funding threatened

The funding is not threatened… it’s going, going, gone. The Regional Board voted 7 to 5 to eliminate the 37k that went to Friends of Fintry bto pay for a curator,mDan Bruce, to operate the Manor House/Museum and the Octagon Barn both extremely important historical landmarks for the Okanagan Valley. The dissenting votes of course came from thew Kelowna Directors (with the exception of Charlie Hodge) and the Mayor of West Kelowna as well as my colleague from Electoral Area East. I find it interesting that the dissenting votes came from members representing the two largest communities that already enjoy the bulk of the 8 million dollar Regional Parks budget and most of the Regional Parks. There are NO Regional Parks north of Traders Cove so the North Westside that pays into this function literally gets nothing for their contribution to this parks service, unless we drive 45 minutes to an hour on bad road to Kelowna or West Kelowna.

This is just another example as to how the RDCO is a broken model of local government from the perspective of a community that isn’t Kelowna. We are constantly out voted on issues that only pertain to the residents that live in these areas and use the local services necessary to all communities.


InfoNews Apr 11 2021 6:01 pm The founder of Fintry (Ben Lee convinced the Regional District of Central Okanagan to pitch in…)

Lake Country Calendar  Barry Gerding  Sep 26 • 12:00 PM  (also Capital NewsRegional district funding phased out for Friends of Fintry (The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) board has softened the…)

Vernon Morning Star  Barry Gerding  Sep 30 • 6:30 AM Regional district funding phased out for Friends of Fintry (The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) board has softened the $39,000 funding cutback blow for the …)

Hello Wayne,

Murray Kopp, Parks Services has just informed me that one of the recommendations in this Thursday’s RDCO  meeting is to cut the salary ($39,000 p.a.) of our Executive Director, Dan Bruce. Needless to say we are devastated to hear that this might happen and we are counting on your support to vote against this on Thursday.

Dan is the glue that holds the Friends of Fintry together; his knowledge of the history and his commitment to Fintry over these past years has been outstanding.

Under the “Community Relations and Visitor Services” (No. 4 in the Review) it states that programming be provided to be inclusive of all demographics of our society. The Friends of Fintry have a vibrant Education Outreach Programme for both seniors (in care homes and at the Manor House courtesy of BC Parks putting in the ramp) and students (in and out of school of the school setting.

Another recommendation states that the Regional Parks Service program should work with the Syilx/Okanagan First Nations Peoples. The Friends of Fintry in partnership with and guided by the Syilx – Okanagan Nation Alliance obtained a grant this year through Heritage BC to install an “acknowledgment of traditional territory” plaque at the Fintry Delta.

These are just a couple of examples of our continuing operation at Fintry….without even  mentioning the over 1500  visitors we had this year, despite our late opening and following COVID protocols.

I am hoping that you will vote against this recommendation on Thursday in order that we can keep the history of Fintry alive.

Best regards,

Kathy Drew, President,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park.

To the Directors of RDCO,

We, the Friends of Fintry were devastated to hear that a recommendation to cancel the annual funding support to our Executive Director, Dan Bruce is being considered at tomorrow’s meeting. Dan is the glue that holds the Friends of Fintry together. He spends numerous hours curating, planning, advising and organizing our team of volunteers; without him at the helm, this ship would be lost.

We wonder just how many of you have visited the Fintry complex lately and have seen some of what we do there.

In a normal year we have programs for schools through our Education Outreach as well as for seniors (those in Care Homes as well as those brought to the Manor House via buses).

We are currently working with the syilx/Okanagan First Nations Peoples to install a plaque acknowledging the Fintry Delta as traditional territory.

These are both programmes that are encouraged and stated under your “Community Relations and Visitor Services.”

The complete elimination of the Executive Director’s salary would kneecap this volunteer society that provides a valuable tourism destination to the Central Okanagan …… even more so during this pandemic. BC Parks has spent a million dollars plus of tax payers’ money renovating and updating the Manor House in the last few years giving us the opportunity to have caretakers as well as students during the summer months. It would be very sad that because of a lack of funding from RDCO this historic site may have to close. To lose our one full-time employee, especially one who has been with us from the beginning and who knows the history of the Manor House, its contents and the Dun-Waters’ story better than any other, would be very serious.

Dan is widely respected throughout the museum community and frequently represents Fintry on the radio and on many other occasions.

When the land and the Manor House was purchased in the late 1990’s, the RDCO, together with the Province and others, was a serious contributor to the fund that was assembled.

We have close to 2000 visitors per year (in a normal year) as well as 500 to each of our three fairs. Without our one full-time employee it is doubtful that we could continue any of our activities.  Even this year with COVID protocols in place, we have had 1500 visitors to the Manor House and Barn complex.

I am hoping that you will vote against this recommendation on Thursday in order that we can keep the history of this very important heritage site alive.

Best regards,

Kathy Drew,

Friends of Fintry Provincial Park Society

I am shocked that support for a hardworking volunteer group (Friends of Fintry) contributing to an historical tourist destination could possibly be at risk of losing funding.from you.Without funding the park will become nothing more than a campground. If that. It would be a shame to lose the historical value of the site and buildings. Once lost, it will likely never be recovered.

Please think of the future, and maintain funding for the Friends of Fintry. The future, and past, are in your hands.

Dave minchin


Kelowna Daily Courier  Ron Seymour  Sept 07 2020 • 5:45 PM Fintry funding threatened (Directors of the Central Okanagan regional district will consider a recommendation …)

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