New Town Big Dreams

40 Episodes

By: Luke J. Menkes Kelowna BC Canada REALTOR® Real Estate Agent

New Town Big Dreams is an interview-style talk show about the fabulous and fascinating people that make up our great city, in particular those who have moved here to start a new life. Now, we are broadening our horizons to include people from across Canada, North America and the entire English-speaking world, who have started new lives in new cities. We have in-depth, intimate conversations with entrepreneurs, executives, thought leaders, creatives, and anyone who has an interesting story to tell about how they're contributing to their wonderful new home. Luke Menkes is a REALTOR® (real estate agent) in Kelowna BC Ca...

Celebrating the amazing Okanagan outdoors with Meredith Schuurman

Born and raised in the Okanagan, Meredith Schuurman is passionate about life and strives to live each day to its fullest. Physical, mental and spiritual wellness is extremely important to her and the OK Valley provides a rich backdrop for her to uphold these values.

When she's not at one of the gyms in town, working for Kelowna's locally founded ed/tech company FreshGrade, or hiking the trails with her dog, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family and pursuing her other hobbies such as attending rock concerts and live events...

Helping traumatized children by Animal Assisted Therapy with Deanne Leung

Deanne Leung is the creative vision and energy behind Stepping Stones Counseling Group. She is a strong supporter of the use of creativity, nature and active self-care in the healing & wellness process. 

Deanne's education and training include a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology, and an undergraduate degree in Psychology. Deanne is NMT Level 2 Certified and EMDR Level 2 Certified. Her specialties include: 

• Individual and Family Therapy
• Play & Expressive Therapies
• Trauma, Attachment, Grief & Loss
• ADHD, Anxiety, Depression
• Workshops & Presentations
• Animal Assisted Therapy


Bridging the gap between Local Farms and Customers with Jaye Siegmueller

Jaye Siegmueller loves plant medicine, the outdoors, meditation, and yoga. She is a momma of a 17-year-old hockey player, so you might see her cheering in the local hockey rinks! Her commitment to local food runs deep and she truly believes that the people's connection to the earth starts with their connection with their food. She loves waste reduction and started the first zero-waste store in the Okanagan. She and her sister also are the founders of Bottle None (

Farm Bound was sprouted from a Permaculture Design Course. Students were challenged to...

Carolily Finery - High-end Jewelry with Danielle Scheven

Danielle Scheven is the co-owner and marketing director of Carolily Finery, a high end jewelry brand whose designs were seen walking the runways of New York Fashion Week in 2018. Named one of her city's "Top 40 Under 40", Danielle believes in inspiring and empowering women through the Carolily brand and their community initiates.

Carolily specializes in statement jewelry that encourages self expression and helps you make your statement, whatever that may be. No matter who you are, we all want to be heard and seen. We want to feel represented and loved. We all have...

Personal Growth and Healing through Creative Writing with Molly Gibson Kirby

Molly Gibson Kirby was born in Liverpool, England, and grew up in Liverpool, Nova Scotia. Growing up in a town with one stop light allowed her to create her own story. All she knew was that one day she would be living a life that she always dreamed up, beating the odds she faced in Liverpool. 

Molly moved out when she was 14, dealing with hard mental health battles. She eventually graduated college with a major in Broadcast Journalism through the Radio Television Arts program at NSCC. Her passion was to tell stories, whether her own stories or o...

Infusing Positivity into Graphic Design with Haley Kennedy

Haley Kennedy is a 25 year old illustrator and designer based in beautiful Kelowna, BC. Originally from Calgary, AB, Haley has always been drawn to anything creative. Starting from a young age, creative projects have always come rather naturally and have lead her on an amazing path of self-exploration.

Currently, Haley is the owner of SUNDAE STUDIOS, her own personal creative brand offering her freelance design and illustrative services to companies and individuals alike. Her passion for topics such as positivity, mental health, and self care drive her use of content and colour as seen through her lighthearted...

Changing the Stigma around Addiction with Geri Pauls, Karis Support Society

Geri Pauls Co-Executive Director & Classroom Facilitator at Karis Support Society, worked in the oil and gas industry in Edmonton for six years and then went on to have five children that have now given her nine grand babies!  Geri is very involved with her church in Kelowna and has also worked within her husband’s business.

Geri began her career at Karis eight years ago as a Client Support Worker (CSW) at one of the homes prior to the consolidation at the new building.  Once operations began in the new space, she became one of the Clas...

Culinary Magic and Food Wisdom with Scott Nystrom

Scott Nystrom  The Nourished Chef is passionate about food. The romance of a crisp baguette, the backstory of the ingredients, the taste of the seasons. As a locavore chef, Scott celebrates Okanagan farmers and artisans on his menus, bringing the finest heirloom organic vegetables and ethically raised meats to his dinner parties, taco feasts, and grazing boards.

As a registered holistic nutritionist, Scott is well versed in diverse food styles and crafts personalized menus to please the palates and dietary restrictions of his guests. His contagious passion for food is inspiring and your can taste the love h...

Surrounded by Beautiful Artwork at Karmyc Bazaar with Jennelle McGuire

Jennelle McGuire thrives on being surrounded by beautiful artwork. She had always dreamed of having her own business, so owning and operating Karmyc Bazaar for the past three years has truly been a dream come true! 

Karmyc Bazaar is a small arts & treasures shop located in Downtown Kelowna. Jennelle collaborates with over 90 Canadian Artists from British Columbia, Alberta, New Brunswick and Ontario currently. 

You’re likely to find Jennelle hanging out in her gallery spreading her mission to Reconnect ~ Get inspired, reading creepy stories, working on her poetry book, exploring the gorgeous trai...

Regina Leung Metaphysical Energy Healer and Reiki Master

Regina Leung is a Holistic Wellness Practitioner / Metaphysical Energy Healer / Reiki Master Teacher Practitioner / Intuitive Counsellor / Life Purpose Transformation Coach / Psychic Angel Card Reader.

Regina’s passion for healing others and deep appreciation for complimentary and alternative therapies led her to a career in Holistic Energy Healing, Life Coaching and Intuitive Counselling.  She holds a B.A. in Psychology and has extensive training and experience in various forms of counselling.  Her work sees a combination of her insights and intuition, in conjunction with multiple modalities including Usui Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Access Consciousness Bars, Shamanic Healing, Nume...

Holistic Lifestyle with The Green Vanity - Award-winning makeup artist Nikki Hunter

Nikki Hunter wants to live in a world where people ditch small talk, chocolate appears on demand and black clothing has the power to repel pet hair.

As a beauty coach, Nikki guides women to  discover a holistic lifestyle inclusive of sustainable beauty practices and consciously created products as part of overall wellness. 

After 25 years as an esthetician, award-winning makeup artist, and educator in the luxury beauty industry, Nikki knows a few things about how physical and mental health impact self image and the power and liberation found in proclaiming beauty. Her personal and professional ev...

Chocolate Covered French Fries - A Recipe for any Relationship with Kevin Kishor

Kevin Kishor has been in Leadership positions for most of his life. Growing organizations and helping people realize their purpose through Coaching has also played a major role in everything he does. Kevin is University Graduate Level Educated yet has a diverse background in both Work and Volunteer Experience. From voluntarily sitting as VP on the Board of an almost 10 million-dollar Housing Project at age 18 to being a Business Owner and a Director in the Non-Profit/Charitable Sector for 15 years, Kevin’s Management skills have been well cultivated in all areas.

Kevin also has a passion for Pe...

Curly Frog Farm and Black Walnut Seeds with Brenda Dureault

Brenda Dureault can be found outside most days working on a farm she has built from the ground up called Curly Frog Farm.  With a passion for growing trees, she has been transforming a low lying, flood prone piece of land into an innovative, thriving eco-wonderland.

Curly Frog Farm is an agricultural initiative that supports both farmland and wetland in the beautiful Okanagan Valley flatlands since 2000.

Curly Frog Farm has several species of hardwood trees inter-planted with conifers and fruit trees based on principles and innovative practices such as sustainability and agroforestry. Nut s...

HEChanged it - Men's Mental Health and Wellbeing with Candace Chisolm

We had an exciting and lively conversation with Candace Chisolm, CEO and co-Founder of HeChangedIt, a platform for men's mental health. Fitness redefined for the mental, emotional, physical, social and soulful wellbeing of every man.

Candace says, "As a huge proponent of change, bringing HEchangedit to the world is exhilarating and rewarding. Having worked for many years as a CCO in developing  a women’s and children's start up nonprofit, I worked hands on  growing user base, programs, resources and awareness, and saw the positive impact it made. So with that,  I look...

Relationships founded on integrity, trust and commitment to common goals - Ginny Becker

Ginny Becker is all about Relationships. In a single word this is her true professional passion. Her career to date has been a unique and exciting combination of: professional sales, corporate event management, marketing, leadership and project management. 

The common denominator in all of these opportunities has been Ginny's dedication to building strong professional relationships founded on integrity, trust and commitment to common goals. She prides herself on being an engaged and effective communicator and she believes strongly that big things can come from purposeful collaboration. 

A current priority project is the development of...

Human Trafficking is a much bigger problem than most people realize - Michelle Bulriss

This was a difficult but I think extremely important conversation on a very uncomfortable topic, that I had with Michelle Bulriss, an advocate and kids' book author from Tempe, AZ. Michelle and I discussed a book called The Slave Across the Street by Teresa Flores, and Michelle's own experience with and recovery from childhood abuse.

Michelle Bulriss is extremely passionate about learning, non-profits, and working with children. During her undergraduate studies, she ran two non-profit organizations: one for fair trade art and one for recycling. She also held five jobs and an internship at...

Obsessed with marketing with Alex VandeLaar

Alex VandeLaar, Owner/Director at Alex VandeLaar Consulting, is a serial entrepreneur and strategy consultant who is obsessed with marketing. Alex loves to think outside of the box and find unique ways to drive sales. Originally hailing from Ontario, Alex moved to Kelowna 4 years ago and never looked back. He has run his own consulting company for the past 8 years and recently started “The Marketing Accelerator”, a program that helps small business owners with the foundations of branding and marketing.  




Follow me on Socia...

Preserving Kelowna's heritage buildings with Lynda Norman

Kelowna born and raised artist, musician, social entrepreneur, business consultant and writer, Lynda Norman, has always known that creativity is a natural part of being. Her vision is to create opportunities for each and every person to experience the benefits of creativity in ways that are meaningful, fulfilling, healing, positive and essential to a thriving community.

As owner and publisher of a small local magazine for 4 years, Lynda monitored trends, focused on community awareness and developed many lasting relationships. For several years she followed her passion for inspiring others by assisting people with their employment and career...

No better way to promote yourself or your business than Solid Rock Video - Nathan Peacock

Nathan Peacock is a film maker in the Okanagan (British Columbia, Canada) under the brand Solid Rock Video and also on the side as a wedding videographer alias Half 9 Media. 

Among other outdoor things, hiking and snowboarding have become favorite activities since moving to the Okanagan 9 years ago from the Middle East where Nathan grew up.

Meaningful connections are always the goal as Nathan's story telling ranges from mildly amusing, to deeply compelling. Books, podcasts, informative videos, and nerdy tech conversations never get old... Nathan will ask  you questions just to keep you ta...

Hurt, Heal, Repeat: Nathan Hutton is a great mentor for troubled youth

Nathan Hutton is Youth Speaker and Teen/Young Adult Life Coach located in the Central Okanagan region. He has over 16 years of professional experience working with children, teens, and young adults. He has worked with clients living with addiction, mental health, criminal histories, housing and educational barriers. 

He uses his own personal story to present a message of perseverance and resilience and currently speaks to schools and community groups throughout BC as well as the rest of Canada. He is a member of the Voices For Equity speaker’s bureau and he facilitates the online support group Cof...

Living the American Dream - Sales and Negotiation Expert Romina Muhametaj

Romina Muhametaj is the founder of Six 7 Radius and the host of Coffee with Romina. She also holds the President Chair for FSCJ-SHRM Student Chapter and recently Romina launched NE FL Negotiation Club.

Romina moved to America at just 17 years old by herself intending to pursue her American Dream and her accomplishments talk about her stubbornness on her goals continuously. Often, she talks about how her American Journey has been a rollercoaster but Romina has a power to keep a positive attitude over every situation and analyze everything with the “how can I make this better and wh...

Beautiful hair without all of the harsh chemicals - Inspirado Designs

Kris Rostecki is the owner and primary stylist of Inspirado Designs. She was born a small town BC girl, but raised in Ontario until 18. She then moved and spent 11 years in northern Alberta before coming back and spending the last 8 years, in BC.  

Kris started her business a little later in life, after experiencing a few other careers that, though educational and growth inducing, didn’t bring her joy. She started out life thinking she wanted to be a veterinarian. So she worked in animal hospitals for 4 years. 

Next up was the restaurant industry, while in Albert...

Super Delicious and Nutritious: Vegan and Gluten Free baking with Jaide & Joel's Baking Co.

Jaide Hatfield and Joel Murga are the co-owners and lead bakers of a local vegan and gluten free bakery, Jaide & Joel’s Baking Co. (Also check out their Facebook Page). 

Jaide and Joel first met when they were fifteen years old and have been together ever since. Jaide was raised a Vegetarian, and later decided to make the full switch to Vegan. She’s a huge supporter of animals, and baking is one of her biggest passions. Joel was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when he was 10 years old, he now uses his passion and determination to make...

Psychedelics for Mental Health! with Daniil Khodoso

Daniil Khodosko believes there is a new frontier in medicine for psychedelic substances and am eager to spread the new research. The resurgence of psychedelics is fueled by modern studies which show how these substances can help treat anxiety, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), depression, and addiction.

Daniil was born in Kiev, Ukraine and immigrated to Calgary, Canada when he was 2 years old. He then lived between Calgary and Irvine, California. He graduated high school in Calgary and is now in his third year of a computer science major at the University of British Columbia. Daniil has...

Nagging Doubt Winery with Rob Westbury

Rob Westbury grew up in Edmonton, Alberta, with nary a grapevine in sight. After a stint as the drummer in a punk band and a few years at graduate school in the States (where he met his wife), he headed into a busy career in HR. Throughout all of this, he maintained a keen interest in food & wine, and harboured a lifelong desire to work with his hands. A long-term work placement in San Francisco reignited Rob’s passion for wine, and pointed him in the right direction: towards the incredible Okanagan Valley.

In 2010, Rob started Na...

The 6 Cs of Entrepreneurship with Dark Horse Entrepreneur Tracy Brinkman

From hitting the rock bottom of drugs, divorce, bankruptcy and even the death of an 18 month old daughter. To running the planning & marketing of some of corporate America’s finest companies. To running his own marketing company, helping small business owners be SEEN and now his podcast focused on Driven Dark Horse Entrepreneurs. Tracy Brinkmann, is also a business & success coach that realizes life isn’t fair and participation awards do not feed your family, or your drive to succeed.

This Driven Dark Horse Entrepreneur is looking to share all that he has learned and is s...

Using Pinterest for Marketing with Sarah De La Coeur

Sarah De La Coeur has been on the entrepreneurial journey since 2012 when she launched a Shopping Tour company with her mother, Annie Pool. In 2015, Sarah won a business award for Best In Fashion. Sarah sold her Shopping Tour company in 2016, and started two businesses in the construction/kitchen cabinet/importing industry and then sold these companies in 2018. 

Sarah is a now digital marketer who works with businesses in the home improvement industry. She can help you get the right message to the right people through the right digital marketing methods effectively, efficiently, and profitably. Marketing is an av...

Coming Out of her Shell with Olga Poreda

Olga Poreda is originally from Poland, where she completed her Masters Degree in art and graphic design. Work and destiny brought her to Kelowna in 2013 which was a very interesting transition and an opening of a new creative chapter in her life.

The extraordinary beauty of the Okanagan inspired her to follow her calling as a artist.
Here, she found many likeminded people. The big adventure began with renting out an art studio at the former heArt school space on Bernard where, while working on slightly crazy looking paintings, she started meeting wonderful artists, musicians, poets...<...

Tops Agency and the burgeoning Kelowna Indie Film Industry

I sat down with Brett Alton from Tops Agency and Noah Dorsey of Ark Films who Brett works with exclusively. We talked a lot about commercial and independent film. These guys have since morphed into other things, as this interview was two years ago. But we talked about content production for commercial establishments using Noah as a local filmmaker and producer.

Brett is sitting member of OSIF (Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking) and he's looking to bring an economic boom to the film industry here in Kelowna, working closely with the city and other government...

Buy the Bottle! All about the BC liquor industry with Jenny Newell

Jenny Newell grew up moving around a lot! Born in Edmonton, moved to Germany, then back to Alberta, followed by Ontario before settling for awhile in BC. For high school she lived in Abbotsford,  then Vancouver, then France, then Victoria, then Pender Island. 

As a British citizen,  the EU opened doors for Jenny and she went back to France for University, before coming back to Canada and going to the University of Victoria. 

As a student at UVic Jenny had a job downtown Victoria at Swan's Hotel and Brewpub in the Wine Shoppe. She w...

Ice Cream in the Cupboard: Early Onset Alzheimers with Pat Moffett

Pat Moffett has a heartwarming and fascinating story to tell about early-onset Alzheimers disease and how in some cases, it can result in a shocking level of violence. Pat's wife was struck by this ailment and the formerly peaceful, gentle lady became sporadically but persistently violent and aggressive, to the shock and dismay of Pat, their children and all of their friends and family.

In order to raise awareness of Alzheimers for the benefit of family members and primary caregivers, Pat wrote the book Ice Cream in the Cupboard, which later became a film. It...

Occupational Health - What you need to know! With Steven Kupidy

Steven Kupidy grew up in Edmonton Alberta where he attended the University of Alberta and obtained his BScOT in 1999. Steve has been working with CBI since 2013 and relocated to Kelowna in May of  2014 to open up the 1st CBI Health clinic in the Okanagan and is currently the clinic manager.

Steven has always had a passion for helping people navigate through the complexities of recovery and always makes time to answer questions. In his spare time he has currently decided to go back to school and is currently enrolled at Dalhousie University completing his post professional Masters i...

Combining Stunning Visuals and Entrepreneurial Spirit - Sweet Dee's Flowers

Two years ago we interviewed a fascinating young florist and photographer named Diane Herron aka Sweet Dee. She moved to Kelowna in September 2017 to start a mobile flower truck business. She bought a mini Japanese truck and with a little love it became a pink flower truck. Diane pops up at markets and businesses where she sells fresh flowers from the truck.

Diane came from Saskatoon where she ran a boudoir photography business and worked part-time in a flower shop. She knew that eventually she would want to pursue a business with flowers but at the time...

From Israel to the Okanagan - Wonderful Wines Brought to Life by Efi Perel

Efi Perel was born in Israel to a Canadian father (from Ottawa) in 1970. He lived for 14 years in Taiwan from 2001 to 2014 and since 2015 he has lived here in Kelowna. He is married with two kids.

Efi worked in the cellars of Summerhill and Nagging Doubt wineries in Kelowna, British Columbia, where he spent his time making sparkling and table wines. He also served as the wine maker of First R.O.W Estate Winery in Vancouver.

In 2018, Efi opened my his winery with a partner, called Tender Hope Winery, in West Kelowna. Tender Hope is...

World Class Baking from Slovakia to the Okanagan with Jan Petrasek

Jan Petrasek is originally from Slovakia and moved to Calgary, Canada  in 2003 with his wife Silvia. They have three daughters age 15, 14 and 10.

Jan's first job in Calgary was at Boston Pizza. In August 2007 he opened his own bakery in northwest Calgary. 7 years later he opened his second store in Cochrane, Alberta and moved all of his  production there.

Eventually, Jan was supplying 20 stores with his products in Calgary including health stores, organic stores and European stores. In 2016 he decided move to Slovakia with his family and sold his business and house. 


Vegan Food that's Healthy, Delicious and Photogenic with Shaun Sanders, Renegade Kitchen

Shaun Sanders of Renegade Kitchen knew he wanted to be a chef since the tender age of 4. Through his high school years in punk rock bands he’s always been a bit rebellious (just ask his parents). Growing up on a farm he was always drawn to cooking and the gritty rock and roll lifestyles of famous chefs only made it seem cooler and more appealing to him as a teenager.

Shaun attended the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island for his formal training. He’s been in the business for over 10 years and in that time has work...

Proper Hygiene and High-Quality Masks during Covid with Deanna Burger

Deanna Burger is Co-Founder of commUNITY, offering Canadian-made, high quality, 100% cotton, reusable masks, holders, and organizers. With over 20 years of experience in corporate marketing, sales enablement, and sponsorship strategy, Deanna has a history of successfully leading teams at Fortune 100 companies. Her main focus has always been developing and executing marketing and sponsorship campaigns with the goal of elevating the customer experience to achieve business results.

An advocate for the safety of women and children in Canada, Deanna has also held a number of board and advisory positions with various organizations working towards making homes a safer place. <...

Justina LeeStolz is a fantastic REALTOR® and wonderful people person

As an Irish, Scottish, Russian-German, Chinese real estate professional born in Canada and raised in cities throughout the Okanagan, Justina holds a true appreciation for the beauty of the valley and the unique opportunities and advantages of the various Okanagan communities. An avid traveller and explorer, she always looks forward to returning home to the Okanagan oasis. After a globetrotting adventure, nothing makes her appreciate home more than the friendly people, breathtaking scenery, and cornucopia of agriculture available in the valley. Such awareness promotes her passion to advocate for the protection of the natural environments that make the valley...

Fighting Cancer through the Power of Travel with Annie Francesca

Annie Francesca is a Speaker who helps women who are diagnosed with cancer to take back their bodies, their bank accounts, and their love life after treatment.

Annie's program takes 8 weeks and allows clients to feel beautiful in their own skin, shift their relationship with money, and re-ignite the passion they’ve lost without having to spend tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars on financial advisors, marriage counseling, or therapy.

Annie is also the Author of the book, Passport To Life - How I Overcame Incurable Cancer Through the Power of Travel

Optimizing your fitness routine and your nutrition with Ryan Stokes

Today we are talking all about fitness and nutrition! Ryan Stokes Moved to Kelowna in 1991. Strength and Conditioning CrossFit coach and athlete. Here are just some of his qualifications: MadLab School of Fitness, CFL1, BTN, CF Running, CF Scaling, CF spot the Flaw. Freestyle Connection and Movement  ASFA group and personal fitness certificate. Wow!

Ryan is into skiing, golf, CrossFit, mountain biking, softball and paddle boarding. You can find him on Instagram @ryanstokes 

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