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BUSINESS BUZZ: Woody Nelson fires up, Stirling Suites prepares for lift off

All the latest in local business news
Jesse Lockhart, owner of The Windsor Barber and Salon, with customer Dom Baker. The business has recently moved to a new venue at 506 Herridge Lane. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

by Darren Davidson

The Buzz starts out on the North Shore this month.

While other cannabis operators struggle to get ‘er going, the Green Light Solutions pot production plant and their bud brands Woody Nelson and LoFi CBD have received Health Canada licences to cultivate and sell retail and medical cannabis flower, joints, extracts and topicals.

What’s even more noteworthy though, is Green Light’s proprietary environmental control and building management technologies. This is actually the bigger story.

Frank Marcus, Woody Nelson’s chief operating officer, explains that the 30,000-foot facility has environmental habitats capable of replicating any natural growing climate — in less than 60 seconds.

“Using cannabis as a proving ground,” Marcus says, “our objective is to utilize our next-generation facility as an ag-tech innovation space.”

“Not only are we passionate about growing great cannabis, but we also recognize the broader need for this type of technology in advancing the capabilities of future-ready, climate-resilient agricultural production.”

The North Shore facility is as high tech and sustainable as it gets, utilizing vertical farming, high-performance lighting, custom HVAC and proprietary environmental controls, and using 95 percent less water than traditional agriculture, Marcus says.


Speaking of high times, last week was a big one for Elon and Marika Melville. The couple own the newly renovated Stirling All Suites Hotel on the 700 block of Vernon Street.

Last Thursday and Friday, Sheep Creek Crane had their biggest rig, with a 150-foot boom, on site to lift the boutique hotel’s fourth floor balconies, roof structure and staircases into place. Arcwright Plumbing and Heating has taken care of all the Stirling’s metal fabrication. RAMM Custom Build is tackling the renovations.

The Melvilles have turned the historic old building at 715 Vernon into a boutique hotel with 16 suites, accessorized with kitchens and laundry. Half of the suites have been available for about a year, the rest will be ready in about six weeks.


After starting up in 2013, Nelson local Jesse Lockhart has moved the The Windsor Barber and Salon to a great new venue at 506 Herridge Lane. Barber Casey Beaulieu and stylist Kelly Dell make up the rest of the Windsor team.


With lift lines lengthening and tourist traffic jammin’, the Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism crew is looking for your input on how to ensure the region’s vital natural and historical tourism offerings are around for decades to come. NKLT is kicking off a tourism sustainability assessment, and will be researching other regional, national and international tourism sustainability plans, as well as reaching out to tourism stakeholders to learn about their values and ideas for conservation and preservation.


On the cultural front, Ellie Hedges and her music and art school Studio 88 are hosting a three-day open house at the venue’s location in the Legion Building, Sept. 6 through Sept. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Hedges is the sister of Greg Malpass, founder of Traction on Demand, since sold to Silicon Valley giant Salesforce, and the fella behind the Legion building’s remarkable overhaul.

A Nelson-born piano teacher for 20 years, Hedges opened the studio to provide space for kids, parents and friends to “explore and fulfill their creative potential.”

“I knew there was a need for a multi-discipline space,” says Hedges, “where our community could pursue their musical, artistic and performance dreams. Our inspired team is truly connected to all facets of this little mountain town.”

Next week, folks can drop by and meet Studio 88’s instructors and participate in free musical and artistic activities. Classes in piano, guitar, theatre, voice, ukulele, songwriting, yoga, violin, photography and art start Sept. 12.


Anyone who’s started a business knows how vital investment capitol is, and mentoring too, from someone who knows the ropes.

Maybe you’re one of those entrepreneurial veterans?

If you want to help an up-and-comer out, set some time aside next Thursday, Sept. 8 from 4 to 5 p.m.

The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) will be holding an Investor Information Session geared toward Kootenay region investors who want to learn more about angel and direct investments and how these investments can support the local economy and tech community.

The investor information session will also allow Kootenay region investors to learn about the Kootenay Investment Challenge that KAST is bringing to the region through their partnership with Spring Activator and the Kootenay Investment Challenge, which runs Thursdays, 4 to 6 p.m. from Sept. 29 through Dec. 2.

Kamren Farr, a personal finance instructor at Selkirk College, will be there to share his knowledge.

“Our region is filled with talented people that can make a difference both as entrepreneurs and investors,” says Farr. “However, an early investment in an idea is often critical in developing a future company and making that investment can be very challenging to do on your own.”

And lastly, for those young and old in the recreational tech and manufacturing sector, don’t forget about the Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise group’s Outdoor Rec Tech Summit.

Slated for Oct. 19 to 21 at Kimberley Alpine Resort’s Conference Centre, this is a first in Canada — a conference dedicated to the outdoor gear manufacturing and design industry.

Topics to be discussed include: sustainability and circular economy, reshoring manufacturing, supply chain security, product innovation and research, E-Rec Tech, academic and industry collaboration, product launch case studies, financing alternatives, and the outdoor recreation economy.

If you’re between 16 and 29, take advantage of the discounted rate to get involved too via the Youth Legacy Program.

“We’re aiming to inspire the next generation of outdoor gear makers,” says Kevin Pinnock, KORE executive director.

For more information and to register, visit

That’s it for this month — happy September everyone – go get it!