Spring 2019 News

President’s Message///

Hello, it sure has been a busy couple of months and I’m looking forward to the long days of summer – hmmm as long as they’re not too hot– hmmm I know some like the hot weather, but I like it just right and not hot hot, it’s hard to keep everyone happy – even me! But seriously, let’s keep in mind this hot weather and do our part to prevent those forest fires that have been plaguing us over the past few summers.

Please continue to have patience with me – I have a question for you sent to me by one of our Chilliwack members Denis Bessette –
Why don’t they play poker at the zoo?
Please check the end of this newsletter for the answer.
And now back to business…

I would like to thank those Chapters who sent a delegate to our 2019 Triennial Conference in Chilliwack this year. Later in this newsletter you will hear some of our members’ thoughts and views regarding the conference. And here is a link for the newspaper article in the local Chilliwack Progress…

Lack of Sight is Not a Lack of Vision

Following are the results of the Division 2019 elections…

   -President Ann McNabb from Chilliwack
   -National Representative Geraldine Braak from Powell River
   -1st Vice President Pat Chicquen from Comox Valley
   -2nd Vice President Bill Conway from Sechelt
   -Director Kelvin Adams from Campbell River
   -Director Brodie McKenzie from Port Coquitlam
   -Director Vern Short from Kamloops
   -Director Iris Thompson from Coquitlam

Speaking for our new board, I know we are looking forward to working together over the next three years. – growing our Division and membership.

At this time, I would like to thank Lori Fry, Linda Hall and Kathy Sanness for their time on the Board. I know I can count on them for advice and support; and have already called on them for help.

Please stay safe and have a wonderful summer. And please do not hesitate to email or call me or any other Division Board Member for more information or clarification on any matters concerning the CCB BC-Yukon Division.

Ann McNabb, President

Webpage News///

We encourage you to send in pictures of your Chapter events – with a detailed description and who is in the picture for labeling – to
Kelvin Adams at kelzar@hotmail.com
or Brodie McKenzie at Brodster.m86@gmail.com
and they would appreciate any comments or suggestions you have to offer regarding the CCB BC-Yukon Division Website – http://www.ccbbcyukon.com

Membership Tidbits///
– submitted by Pat Chicquen

I sure hope everyone at our recent Conference had a great time. I know I did. The baby goats are so cute and cuddly. I will be contacting all our Chapters making sure we have the correct information for your President and contact person.

How to find new members… If you spot a person with a white cane, introduce yourself and ask them if they would be interested in hearing about the CCB. I recently did this and said “hi, my name is Pat and I belong to our local White Cane Chapter.” He then said “My name is Roy and I also belong to the Chapter.” We both had a good laugh. Just proves “A Lack of Sight is not a Lack of Vision”.

Chapter Call in Sessions///

Calling All Chapters… Having the opportunity to share and have open discussion and communication is important to your Board of Directors. Periodically events happen that are out of our control and we cannot always be second guessing ourselves. These Call In Sessions give members the opportunity to share their news and views in an open environment. It is the chance for you to share your ideas and opinions. It allows us to learn more about each other and what’s important to us.

Your next Chapter Call In Sessions are Friday June 21st, Thursday October 17th and Friday November 15th at 10:00 AM. Before each call, President Ann will send out a reminder with the call in instructions. We hope to hear you on this call. And please feel free to email or call if you have any questions or would like to suggest discussion topics – contact information is at the top of this newsletter.

Penticton Tries Again!///
– submitted by Lori Cyra

A White Cane Club was formed in Penticton in the mid 1990’s, it operated with some success until September 2018 when it folded due to a lack of new members. Lori Cyra, the first BC/Yukon Division Member At Large, spear headed the initiative to form the club at that time.

Cyra moved to Vancouver Island in 2004 but has recently returned to Penticton. Now fully blind she has decided to attempt to attract new members and revive the club once again aiming for a fresh start in the coming September.

“We’ve been offered support from Ann McNabb, BC/Yukon Division President, Pat Chicquen, BC/Yukon 1st VP and Membership Chair and Albert Ruel,CCB GTT Specialist”, said Cyra, “So we feel confident we can get it started again. I’ll also have the help of my CNIB volunteer Vision Mate and guide, Terri Chambers, who has agreed to be our Treasurer,” she said. “Furthermore, former Club President, Irene Warlow, will remain with us as our Immediate Past President”.

According to Cyra As well as traditional methods, technology such as Facebook will be used to attract new and younger members. If the revival is successful, the club will become the South Okanagan Chapter of the CCB.

Book of Honour 2019 Recipients///

At this year’s Triennial Conference, the CCB BC-Yukon Division presented Amy Amantea with the Blind/Partially Sighted Book of Honour Award and Rose Pokeda with the Sighted Book of Honour Award. Congratulations to them both and thanks to everyone who sent in prospective candidates. Following are Amy’s and Rose’s stories included in the Book of Honour.

Amy Amantea is from the CCB Vancouver Arts and Culture Lovers Chapter. Amy lost her sight about twelve years ago, she was twenty four years old, and was forced to reinvent herself in order to get her life back. The CCB was the first organization that she encountered in those first few years. Amy started volunteering right away, not being able to return to work she also didn’t want to sit still and let life pass her by. Amy regularly spends almost sixty hours a week volunteering in the sight loss community.

She has been and is still currently on the board of many not for profit organizations in the disability community. She is now a staff member of the VocalEye Descriptive Arts Society and also working for Blind Beginnings and volunteers with Soapbox Radio in Vancouver doing a weekly movie review for Accessible Media Inc. Amy has been focused on accessibility and has consulted with many local organizations and businesses.

For the last seven years she has organized and hosted the largest WCW event in BC at Park Royal Mall. There is no end to her ambition and her goals to share resources, connect people to the site loss community and to assist in independent living. It takes many hours to put together the events she has organized as a dedicated volunteer.

In 2018 Amy was awarded the CNIB’s Century of Change award and the News 1130 Everyday Hero Award.

Amy wants those who are blind or partially sighted to live full and independent lives and to achieve this goal with as few barriers as possible.

Rose Pokeda is from the CCB Comox Valley Chapter. Rose has been a dedicated volunteer of our club for four years. She has been our valued treasurer for three years. Rose is a CCB BC-Yukon Division member. Rose assists with all our regular and frequent club activities, whether it is business or social. Rose is continually advocating for education and awareness on behalf of the blind community. Rose spends hours selling 50/50 tickets, attending White Cane Week events, regularly volunteering at our picnics, car washes and Christmas luncheons. She has been to many locations on Vancouver Island assisting the chapter driving when needed for social events or on club business.

Rose has recently voluntarily served on the 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division elections nominating committee. She has also driven to Campbell River to take members to a GTT meeting. Rose is known by everyone to be a very kind, happy and helpful person, never saying no to anything asked of her. Rose is a dedicated registered nurse and retired two years ago. She always enjoyed nursing because of her strong desire to help people. Her in kind hours for our chapter for 2018 are in excess of four hundred. We would be lost without Rose and thank her for her time and energy over the years.

Sports and Recreation///

Western Blind Curling Association (WBCA) 47th annual championships
– submitted by Fraser Hiltz, WCBCA President

This year the Western Blind Curling Association Championships were hosted by the Province of BC through the West Coast Blind Curling Association, held in Kamloops, March 20th to the 24th at the city of Kamloops Curling Club. Kamloops was the host city for this event four years ago when it was the province’s turn to host the event and a return visit was again well received. Lori Fry and her hard working committee did a terrific job as she did four years ago, many thanks for a job well done! Blind Curlers particularly enjoyed the venue in the city of Kamloops, the Curling Club is just minutes away from the Hotel and other amenities are close by and accessible.

The Championships is made up of two teams from each of the four western provinces, from BC to Manitoba, eight teams in total competing. This year marked the 47th annual event and we are all looking forward to going strong heading for the milestone 50th Championships, just three years away!

This year BC was proud to have its two teams finishing in the top three positions in the competition. Prince George won it all with an undefeated record, close by in second was the Alberta number one team and in third position was 100 Mile House. All curlers enjoyed the Championships and the great competition as well as the social aspect of the sport! We look forward to the next hosting province, Saskatchewan, welcoming us all to their great province.

Intercity Bowling Tournament
– submitted by Linda Hall and Ann McNabb

On May the 25th CCB Kamloops Chapter hosted a 5 pin Bowling Tournament at Falcon Lanes. CCB Chapters Kamloops and Chilliwack played 3 games. All bowlers were good sports- rooting for one another, at times with congratulations for spares or strikes, at times with encouragement for bed posts or when only the 5 pin went down and at times with sympathy for gutter balls – especially when there were 3 in a row!

Competitively, we are happy to report Sara Peters from Chilliwack won for Most Over Average, Vern Short from Kamloops for Highest Over Average and Ann McNabb (believe it or not) for Rail Bowler.

All bowlers enjoyed a banquet, where the awards were given out. All in all it was a fun day for all in attendance. And the hope is in time for more Chapters to get involved and participate in this tournament.

Blind Golf in BC

* 2019 BC Provincial Invitational Blind Golf Championships on July 5th & 6th at Creston Golf Club in Creston BC

* 2019 Western Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships from July 8th to 10th at Bootleg Gap Golf in Kimberley BC

* CCB-VIBE Ice Breaker Tourney on July 11th in Cranbrook

* 2019 ISPS HANDA Canadian Open Blind Golf Championships on July 12th & 13th at St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort in Cranbrook BC

Players from Canada coast to coast, USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Israel and South Korea will be present at these tournaments.

CCB Chilliwack Chapter///

As of April, our Chapter is now enjoying chair yoga weekly with Candice Baldwin; some of you would have met and participated with Candice’s chair yoga demonstration at the CCB Triennial Conference – Candice is a great instructor with lots of patience – thank you BC Blind Sports for giving us this wonderful opportunity. This summer some of our members are considering trying golf now that 5 pin bowling is finished. We would like to thank CCB Kamloops for their hospitality and hosting this year’s Intercity Boling Tournament – a great time was had by all.

The Division’s Conference was held in Chilliwack this year and we were happy to host the “Making Connections” Meet ‘n Greet. Our Friends Heidi, Ray and Riley entertained us with music we could sing along to and dance to; and of course the food and drink were tasty too. Our Chapter had good attendance throughout the Conference. Here are comments from some of our members…

Maisie: “liked meeting all the people from other chapters”

Donna: “appreciated the sense of community”

Chuck: “no fantasies were fulfilled, but he did like dancing with Elaine”

Elaine: “liked it too”

Donna: “surprised what everyone does in the blind community”

Our Chapter hopes everyone had a great time because we know we did!

CCB Comox Valley Chapter///
– submitted by Pat Chicquen

We had our 4th annual car wash on May 25th. We sure washed a lot of cars and did very well; and I might add the cars were very clean when we were done with them – the crew did a great job. The car wash is great for letting people who have not heard about us, know who we are. Our annual picnic is on July 9th. Hope everyone has a great summer.

CCB Kelowna Blind Curlers Chapter///
– submitted by Bill Mah

We held our wind up meeting and pizza party back on April 14th. We currently have 9 VIP curlers and 1 person who is our sighted volunteer, but doesn’t assist us on the ice. At our win up we acknowledged our guide and our sighted coach will be leaving us at the end of this year, 2019. This has put our group in an active campaign to find a sighted guide and coach for this fall.

Our Club will be hosting the 2020 provincials next January from the 10th to the 12th.

“The Way It Was” Written by Louise Kennedy///

CCB Kamloops 93 year old member and great grandmother, Louise Kennedy wrote “The Way It Was” – a children’s Book about growing up in northern Alberta on a farm. Louise tells stories about berry picking, gardening, going to school and more… The book is $15. If you would like to hear more about this book, please contact Louise at 250-554-1992.

CCB Provincial Book Club Chapter///
– submitted by Kathy Sanness

Our Provincial Book Club meets by teleconference on the 4th Friday every month except for July and August. Each month we discuss a different book – recommended by one of our members or their friends; and we discuss various ways to find books and the available technology for blind and partially sighted readers. We read mostly Audiobooks narrated by a person, but sometimes the book is read by a digital voice – sources include CELA, Bookshare etc. Sometimes we share books through a Dropbox account, which Albert Ruel oversees. When we cannot find a book, Albert usually can!

Our book for May was “Warlight” written by Michael Ondaatje and the book for June is “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman.

If you need any information, please call me – Kathy Sanness at 778-484-2298 or my cell at 250-395-0395 or email me at ksanness@telus.net

CCB Get Together with Technology (GTT) Corner///
-from the May 28, 2018 GTT blog

Government of Canada investing in teaching digital skills to Canadians who need them most

Albert Ruel posted: “*Note: This program is only available to British Columbia and Nova Scotia residents.

News release

Canadians needing fundamental digital skills training to benefit from this investment Digital skills widen Canadians’ access to a world of possibilities. All Canadians should have the necessary skills to get online by using computers, mobile devices and the Internet safely and effectively. That is why the Government is putting in place initiatives to ensure no one is left behind as the world transitions to a digital economy.

Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, President of the Treasury Board and Minister of Digital Government, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, announced an investment of $1.3 million in the Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) Connecting with Technology initiative. This initiative will deliver fundamental digital literacy skills training to participants in British Columbia and across the country.

CNIB’s Connecting with Technology initiative will be targeted at seniors who are blind or partially sighted. This initiative will reach about 750 participants, providing them with training in digital literacy and offering required assistive technologies.

This investment is being provided through the Digital Literacy Exchange program, a $29.5-million program that supports digital skills training for those known to be most at risk of being left behind by the rapid pace of digital technology adoption: seniors, people with disabilities, newcomers to Canada, Indigenous peoples, low-income Canadians, and individuals living in northern and rural communities.

The program aligns with the Government’s Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create good jobs and ensure Canadians have the skills to succeed.

Views on the CCB BC-Yukon Division 2019 Triennial Conference///
– submitted by Brodie McKenzie

Back In 2016 when I and my mom from the Poco CCB chapter attended the conference in Kamloops, it was our first try annual conference it was amazing to meet everyone. This year was even more wonderful getting reconnected with old friendships, and making new ones was the best part of the conference.

The hotel was a great choice by the conference committee, the staff were great and the accommodations were very good.

First part of the day we all met together and got on to a charter bus enjoying a fantastic tour guided by Daren Kennedy a man who knows Chilliwack inside and out. With his families stories for us all to enjoy. And fun trivia questions involving Chilliwack’s history. The breathtaking smells of Chilliwack 🙂 it was a beautiful day. First stop was fantasy farms with farmer Garry, and his wife who gave us a description of the farm, and the farms wonderful events throughout the year. Farmer Garry split us into two groups one group stayed and enjoyed beverages plus snacks, while the other group got on a tractor train to tour the farm and see a family of goats with their babies, they were adorable. Got a couple of pictures with a little goat named Sunny, it was a real treat to hold a goat. It was time to eat so everyone got on the charter bus and we all enjoyed more touring presented by our great tour guide describing Chilliwack and its history, we were heading to the next stop at the royal Heritage hotel located in the town. As we got into our seats at the tables we were all listening to the historic stories from the haunted past with the hotel, and its family ownership. We all enjoyed the meals and refreshments. Afterwards all of us got back on to the bus again with the last part of the guided tour on our way back to the hotel. As we were all together I was thinking to myself listening to everyone so positive, happy, and comfortable all chatting together laughing and enjoying everyone’s company. The tour of Chilliwack, having a chance to enjoy fantasy farms with Garry and his family, enjoying the royal heritage hotel and company with its spooky past. Every part of that day was very memorable for myself. The 2019 conference was my second big conference and I’m so glad I attended. The bigger conference is a real delight with multiple days including workshops, chair yoga, and speakers presenting their experience with the CCB. The best part having the camaraderie of everyone from each chapter, there was positive vibes from everyone. This year was a very good year because myself along with other members got voted in as new directors to help with the Board of Directors for the BC and Yukon CCB division. Lastly I am looking forward to assisting with the board members, and most of all looking forward to the next conference for the years to come.

Always walk in warrior mode faith, strength, courage.

Highlights – 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division AGM in Chilliwack///
– submitted by Charles & Muriel Reid

Some of the testimonials from the Directors throughout the Division touched our hearts with the struggles that some of them shared about their personal journey with loss of vision or blindness. It is encouraging to know that we are not alone and have strength in numbers.

It was great to hear about the Provincial Book Club that stays connected across the province through a teleconference. There was a business component that included voting for board members and it was a good example of community governance at work. Additionally, we went on a historical bus tour of Chilliwack that was fun, informational and showcased beautiful scenery. The Conference ended with a gala dinner, dancing and an opportunity to connect with fellow members.

It was our first time attending and we felt welcomed by all.

Mary Brown Receives Certificate of Appreciation///

A Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Mary Brown from Dogwood Chapter (Coquitlam) at this year’s Division AGM. Mary has been a member for more than 25 years. When Mary first attended Chapter meetings she came only to give another member a ride, but she quickly got more involved and became Dogwood’s treasurer. Mary still continues to share newspaper and CCB newsletter articles with her Chapter, so that information is shared and helps proof submissions to the CCB for clerical errors. Mary chauffeurs members allowing fellow Chapter members to get to CCB events and volunteers during White Cane week. She is always on the look out for new members and shares information about the CCB with people she meets. Elaine Harris, who is the original founder of Dogwood Chapter, often mentions the group likely would not have survived for as many years as it has without Mary’s contributions. The CCB owes Mary a huge amount of gratitude for her service and dedication and support of the CCB and its members.

2019 Division 50 50 Raffle Draw///

Dave Daley from Kelowna won $4,466 in our 2019 CCB BC-Yukon Division 50 50 Draw on May 1st. Dave is a chef at Freedoms Door – a recovery center for men where CCB Member and Lioness Kathy Sanness volunteers. Dave bought multiple tickets and we congratulate him for his win. Dave was skeptical, when President Ann first called and did not return the call immediately, for fear it was a prank; when Ann assured him it was legitimate, he was happy and excited as we were for him. Our thanks to everyone who supported this year’s Division 50 50 raffle!

Ruff Ruff Corner///
By Bill Conway

First of all, I wish to acknowledge the delegates to our 2019 Tri-annual AGM, who elected me as your 2nd Vice President. I truly thank you for the trust you have bestowed upon me.

Proposed Bill C-81, Accessible Canada Act

On May 22, 2019, the Federal Government announced by email and Twitter that it will vote to approve all the amendments to Bill C-81, the proposed Accessible Canada Act, that the Senate passed earlier this month. The debate in the House of Commons on these amendments is expected to begin next week according to the Federal Government. Next week also happens to be National accessibility Week in Canada (May 26th – June 1st). To read the text of the Senate Standing Committee’s amendments to Bill C-81, and a good explanation of them by the ARCH Disability Law Centre, visit;


or for more enhance information;


Passenger Bill of Rights

The federal government has rolled out its air passenger protection regulations on the eve of the summer travel season setting out what compensation airlines must pay for failing to provide adequate services to passengers. The new regulations announced May 24, 2019, will be launched in two phases. Some regulations come into force on July 15, while others will not take effect until December 15.

Funding for Accessibility Events & Projects Available

SPARC BC is pleased to announce that this year, the Government of Canada’s Social Development Partnerships Program — Disability component as well as the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction have made $500 in funding available to municipalities and community-based disability groups who are holding local accessibility events. If you are planning an event, please do not hesitate to reach out to share your ideas and to request this funding. We know that by building accessibility we are creating stronger and healthier communities. Email abattalova1sparc.bc.ca

Also, on Monday, May 27, 2019, the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, announces that grants, totaling $500,000 for community projects that improve accessibility. The funds will be distributed through grants administered by Disability Alliance (DABC). A call for proposals will be posted on the DABC website in summer 2019, and grants will be awarded by the end of the year.

Dog Guide Walk Day

On Sunday May 26th, 24 communities, across this province, took part in the National Day of Fundraising for Lions Foundation of Canada. The Dog Guide walk raised funds for the training facility located in Oakville, Ontario. The school trains dogs for 6 different disabilities, which are; Dog Guide, Hearing Dog , Physical Disability Dog, Seizure Alert Dog, Balance Dog and Autism Dog. We thank Pet Value for being our corporate sponsor.

The Sunshine Coast Lions Club entered into the national walk for the first time. The club raised over $3,700 for our first walk. We had 25 walkers to walk the 1.2 mile circuit. We plan to make this event bigger next year.

CCB BC-Yukon Board of Directors///

In this and following newsletters your elected Division Board of Directors will be individually featured. Allowing you the opportunity to know who is overseeing the CCB BC-Yukon Division…

Director Brodie McKenzie///

Brodie McKenzie was born in 1986. A Saskatchewan boy now living in Port Coquitlam, beautiful British Columbia. It was the summer of 2012 at the age of 25, when he started losing central vision, from a rare genetic eye condition called Leber‘s hereditary optic neuropathy Or LHON. At the time, he was working as an electrician and now Brodie is still putting the spark in his life being active with The Poco VIP CCB chapter, also a member with BC Blind Sports on the ice playing blind hockey, competing in dragon boating festivals and on the court with blind tennis.

When Brodie is playing Blind Sports or together with CCB members, he is enjoying the camaraderie, and most of all he feels freedom letting go of all emotions, enjoying activities with great friends.

When this Blind warrior, and cancer crusader is not active with The Poco VIP CCB chapter or blind sports, he is strengthening his spirit for a powerful positive outlook with his human experience. Sending supreme strength, and powerful positive vibes to the Canadian Council of the blind family. Brodie’s message to everyone is “To be true to yourself no matter what obstacles come to you, we need to understand we are powerful light warriors. If we focus and keep headstrong we can achieve anything”.

Your Division Board of Directors Contact Information///

   -Ann McNabb, President – 604-795-7230 – ann4council@telus.net
   -Gerry Braak, National Representative – 604-485-5028 -gbraak@shaw.ca
   -Pat Chicquen, 1st Vice President – 250-339-3904 – patchicquen@hotmail.com
   -Bill Conway, 2nd Vice President – 604-740-5896 – 5122wac@telus.net
   -Kelvin Adams, Director – 250-895-9835 – kelzar@hotmail.com
   -Brodie McKenzie – 604-942-4255 – Brodster.m86@gmail.com
   -Vern Short – 250-376-4493 – vshort59@shaw.ca
   -Iris Thompson – 604-939-1258 – iris.thompson@shaw.ca

Answer to President Ann’s question///
   because there’s too many cheetahs

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: