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Author: Paul Byrne

Invitation Letter – Best of BC Wine Awards 2017

I’d like to extend my personal invitation for your winery to enter the Okanagan Life Best of BC Wine Awards 2017 and join with wineries from across the province in showcasing their exceptional wines to a select group of judges and to our readers in the pages of Okanagan Life magazine. 2017 marks the third year of  this hallmark wine competition in the heart of Okanagan wine country. A blind tasting will take place Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the beautiful Kelowna Yacht Club, a jewel on Kelowna's waterfront and an emerging venue for wine events. Our panel of judges include...

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Paul’s Voice: Thank you, Donald

When John Cabot witnessed the Grand Banks off Newfoundland in 1497 he saw so many fish — the sheer numbers were hard to comprehend. Cabot wrote that the waters were so “swarming with fish that they could be taken using baskets let down and weighted with a stone. Fisheries boomed for 500 years, but by 1992 it ended. The Grand Banks cod fishery was decimated and the Canadian government was forced to close it entirely, putting 30,000 fishers out of work. In 1995, fisheries scientist Daniel Pauly coined the phrase “shifting baseline syndrome.” He described it this way: “Each...

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Paul’s Voice: The 2/1000ths of 1%

The Earth’s total land mass is 148,939,063 sq-km which is roughly 29%. Canada claims 9,984,670 sq-km of that or 7%. The regions Okanagan Life serves amount to 30,000 sq-km or a miniscule 2/1000ths of 1% of the planet. On that tiny note, I’d like to congratulate and thank all the cities, regional districts and towns for the people that create and design our communities with dedication, excellence and beauty. Just as important are the local land developers, engineers and designers that imagine, dream and create cool neighbourhoods for our sliver of the world. We dedicate this issue to your...

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Paul’s Voice: Let the rainbows shine

I try to be a more tolerant, loving and empathic person in spite of my human neurological deficits, irrational beliefs, memory failures, optical illusions and knew-it-all-along bias. However, I know I cannot succeed if my brain dwells on the negative—even when the negative is overwhelming me. While truth has never been compulsory for politicians or multinational CEOs, most Canadians err on the side of caution and tend to apologize (many times over) for their exaggerations. It is a Canadian thing. Meanwhile, Americans chortle with glee after telling citizens (and civilization) orange-faced lie after lie. But even more lies proliferate...

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Paul’s Voice: Dear Donald

Dear Donald, My Father refused to call Americans, Americans. Rightfully so, he would argue, everybody living in the North, South and Central Americas—were in fact Americans—so he called them USers. I did not understand why my father had a problem with USers. He was born in Roseau, Minnesota so he was a USer himself. Growing up, it seemed that many people didn’t like USers and they seemed to realize this because they would pretend to be Canadians when travelling abroad—kinda like pretending to be your own PR agent. US leaders have always been under scrutiny from the rest of...

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