About the Lardeau Valley
The Lardeau Valley is geographically located at the north end of Kootenay Lake and Duncan Lake area in the West Kootenay Valley of British Columbia.
Lardeau Valley is a remote mountainous area boasting a total population of approximately 387 full time residents. This includes seven main communities (Lardeau, Cooper Creek, Meadow Creek, Howser, Hamill Creek, Argenta and Johnson’s Landing) as well as smaller ones such as Poplar Creek and Gold Hill.
Gas stations and convenience stores are located in both Cooper Creek and Meadow Creek. Both Meadow Creek and Argenta have a Canada Post outlet. Meadow Creek is also the location of the sole restaurant and pub which is currently under renovation and soon to reopen.
Meadow Creek, Argenta and Johnson’s Landing each have community halls maintained by vibrant and active local nonprofit associations with the assistance of the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK).
Lardeau Valley residents generally shop in Kaslo and/or Nelson, a distance of approximately 52 km and 120 km respectively, south on Highway 31. This translates to one and two hour trips each way on winding mountain roads. As with most of the Kootenays, winter driving can be treacherous and winter avalanches are not uncommon, temporarily cutting off travel for the majority of Lardeau Valley residents.
The area is home to several small mills, timber construction companies, skiing, wilderness resorts, organic market farms, professional artists and craftspeople (to mention a few). A full listing of businesses and services are found elsewhere on this site.
Community members are comprised of dedicated homesteaders, retirees and people that just want to reside in a small quiet remote wilderness area. Residents tend to be independent with varying degrees of self-sufficiency. Communities are small and very close knit yet friendly and dynamic.
As the Jewett PAC President, I am informing the residents of the Lardeau Valley that the 3rd annual Facilities Plan Update Meeting for the Kaslo Family of Schools is taking place on Monday, February 4th @ 6:00pm @ JVH. I encourage residents to come out to the meeting to hear what the current plans are for Jewett Elementary.
I am sure most of you remember that in 2016, the district was considering closing Jewett. Our school was saved at the eleventh hour by the Liberal government’s REEF fund. For those of you that did not attend that last meeting in 2016 or the annual meetings in 2017 and 2018, I feel you should know that our school is not safe. There were 3 caveats to keeping Jewett open:
1) Jewett will remain open as long as the REEF funding is in place;
2) Jewett will remain open as long as the REEF funding is separate from other Ministry of Education funding; and
3) Jewett will remain open as long as the school’s capacity utilization does not adversely affect the district’s capacity utilization as a whole.
Caveat #3 is the one we need to worry about. Currently, there are 5 kids enrolled at Jewett. I believe the projected enrollment for the 2019/2020 year is 5 kids (we have one student graduating grade 5 in June and one student entering kindergarten in September). I heard a rumour that Jewett is back on the chopping block due to low enrollment. I tried to confirm this rumour with our Trustee, Dawn Lang; however, she did not confirm or deny the validity of the rumour, simply stating that Jewett receives REEF funding. I find it a little disconcerting that our own trustee doesn’t seem to know the caveats surrounding Jewett’s existence.
At last year’s annual update meeting, the presentation included a brief summation of Jewett’s projected enrollment. I flat out asked the school board what the magic number of kids was to keep the school open. We were told at that time that there was no magic number because it changes every year depending on enrollment throughout the rest of the district. A couple of months ago, I found out from someone who talked to Lenora Trenaman, chairperson of the school board, that the magic number for Jewett is 8 kids. I was outraged when I heard that given I was told there was no magic number.
Once again, I encourage as many people as possible to attend the meeting on Monday, February 4th. If the district decides to close Jewett for the upcoming school year, we will find out by April 30th.
It’s a New Year with a whole new slate of entertaining and enlightening shows at the Langham!
January kicks-off with Salon of the Arts, great local music from Dom Fraissard, a rollicking comedic film about Emily Dickinson, and a travel show chronicling three years in Tokyo, Japan. There’s also two independent events – the annual Salon Auction and a presentation on Wolverines!
This month in the Langham Galleries
Plus Two Fun and Fascinating Independent Events in January:
…And See You at The Langham!