‘Keep the wheel of the Grist Mill turning’

Letter to the Editor written by W. Mennell

For the Grist Mill Foundationabout Grist Mill RFP.

  • Jan. 28, 2015 5:00 p.m.

No word yet for current manager of the Grist Mill Chris Mathieson on whether the contract on the historical site will be renewed by the province.

To the Editor:


The popular Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos are in serious trouble and, sadly, the core of the matter seems to be political indifference.

The Grist Mill, a provincially designated heritage site, has been operating under a series of short-term contracts with no long-term commitment from the Province. Bidding for future contract operation of this site closed last September. Four months later the Minister has announced no decision. (Steve Thompson is the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, including Heritage Sites.)

“If someone else has proposed a better idea we ought to know about it by now. The bidding process ended last September” says Grist Mill Foundation Chairman, Dave Cursons.

The Keremeos Grist Mill and Gardens is a community asset and a significant driver for the area. However, no business commitments, bookings, event plans, grant applications or staffing decisions can be made for the site for the coming season.

The incumbent operator, Chris Mathieson has brought new energy to the site. In 2013 and 2014 there has been a phenominal growth in visitation driven by special events, more frequent interpretive tours, evening concerts, and talks by special guests on everything from bee keeping to bird watching. The Mill’s gardens have become a favorite site for artists and photographers whose work is for sale in the Visitor’s Centre Gift Shop.

“Designated historic sites like Barkerville and Fort Steele have found some independence but still rely upon very considerable government support,” says Cursons.

A win-win solution in the case of the Keremeos Grist Mill and Gardens would have the province gradually reduce its financial contribution while enabling the site to flourish through energetic and capable management.

Government should live up to its stewardship responsibility for the Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos and support the preservation of this historic site as a heritage treasure for all British Columbians.

We urge Minister Thompson to accept the government’s responsibility and to immediately award a long-term contract necessary to “keep the wheel of the Grist Mill turning.”

Any inquiries may be directed to the Grist Mill Foundaiton Chairman, Dave Cursons, at 250-499-5417.


W. Mennell

For the Grist Mill Foundation

Just Posted

Housing provided for women and children fleeing violence in Penticton

Announcement on Friday is part of a provincewide initiative to construct additional housing.

People’s Party of Canada leader talks B.C. trade to Penticton supporters

Maxime Bernier, head of the new federal political party, spoke at Time Winery on Friday

Luke Skywalker makes an appearance in Penticton court

KVR Middle Schoolers get firsthand experience at the Penticton Courthouse

Keremeos council members plant tree to celebrate local government

It is the 100th anniversary of the Local Government Management Association of B.C.

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: weekend rain

Environment Canada forecasts continuing bad weather for the start of the weekend

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

Sit-in on Saturday will protest move to curb loitering in Penticton’s downtown

Nanaimo Square Sit-In is taking place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Friend of accused Kelowna murderer takes the stand

Elrich Dyck’s testimony continued Friday with details from the night Chris Ausman was killed

Crews respond to smoke at Penticton thrift store

The rooftop A/C unit began filling the building with smoke, prompting them to evacuate

Princeton RCMP recover stolen homework and save the grade

It’s a slightly better excuse than “the dog ate my homework.” Earlier… Continue reading

New Summerland distillery has received recognition

Alchemist Distiller won audience choice award at recent competition

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Vancouver woman sexually assaulted after man follows her home; suspect at large

Police are looking for an Asian man in his 40s after the incident on Vancouver’s east side.

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parents’ cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

Most Read