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Vernon-based videographer shares 1977 Okanagan weekend

VIDEO: Water ski jump competition Ellison Lake, Hill climb at the speedway, Kelowna and Pentiction

Francois Arseneault

Reel Life

Today, we’re visiting the 1970s, when classic rock was just rock music that our parents hated, Charlie’s Angels, Three’s Company and Happy Days were the top TV shows and blue jeans were just blue jeans.

Kelowna’s floating bridge, opened in 1958, was still quite adequate enough to accommodate the daily traffic; the Coquihalla connector was more than a decade away. Kelowna’s population wasn’t quite 50,000. The skyline was no more than a few stories tall. The long-closed former Tolko mill still occupied a big part of the inner-city, though I’m not sure who operated the mill then. Log booms were a regular sight on the lake.

Over on Ellison Lake (formerly Duck Lake), people enjoyed a water ski jumping event on a warm sunny day. Clearly this was a significant event as Labatts brewing had their promotional event van on location. Somehow, over the years, ski jumping has fallen out of vogue.

Just south of Penticton, more people gather at the speedway for a weekend of hill climbing, both straight up testing the engine building skills of talented mechanics and a rally like course through mud and dust on a winding short course.

Reel Life now features vintage film footage and contemporary video of all varieties including motorsports, 30+ countries, historical events and more. 16mm amateur film footage from 1923 to 1983.

READ MORE: Vernon videographer’s 1,000th reel offers view of Kelowna’s Big White in 1979

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