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In Focus | Alex Fong

In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition for the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. The team at KelownaNow.com is passionate about this community and the people that make it amazing. We want to show our friends, neighbours, family and colleagues that we notice them and the fabulous things that they do.

What is your name?
Alex Fong.

Where are you from and how long have you lived in Kelowna?
I’m from Vancouver, but I have lived in Kelowna for 27 years.

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
That would have to be my wife, Cheryl McNoughton. We share similar interests. We love food, wine and golfing. It works out well with us because I love to cook and she doesn’t mind cleaning up after me. We also love to exercise together at Orangetheory Fitness. We spend all of our time together, laughing along the way.

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Maui, Hawaii and Mexico. I love to lay on the beach in the hot sun and sipping on a cool drink. We also love Italy, we are going there at the end of April!

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
L & D Meats and Deli because I love to cook and I can buy whatever my appetite needs satisfying. It is in Guischigan Village and Don Favell is the owner/butcher. I cannot overstate how he is such a gentleman and a nice guy! I make dinners, in part, as an addition to charity packages along with artwork. He is always willing to contribute to that.

What is your favourite activity?
Painting.

If you had to choose: pizza, tacos, or burgers?
Soft tacos. We love Mexican! Hector’s Casa makes delicious, hearty food.

What is a hidden gem you enjoy in the Okanagan?
Zabb Thai restaurant and Momo Japanese restaurant are both hidden gems in my mind.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
Public speaking, way back! About 22 years ago, I was asked to speak during a Silk FM charity event. I uttered ‘is that my voice…’ and then walked off the stage, not very cool!

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
Receiving the Queen’s Jubilee Medal on HRH 50th Anniversary where citizens are awarded the medal, in my case, for public service.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
Taking the bus to Stanley Park, in Vancouver, and painting.

Where do you volunteer, or give back to in the community?
I donate to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Cops for Kids, Kelowna General Hospital, breast cancer research, Karis Society and the Rotary Centre for the Arts, just to name a few.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
I would like to see us give our children a better world to grow up in.

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
I love to experience the food and wine of the Okanagan. I also love to golf and the arts.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
I would sneak away to be in nature, it’s where I get the inspiration for my work.

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Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
Okanagan Lake is gorgeous, it would be a shame if we lost it so I would like to see some conservation efforts put towards that.

If you were granted one wish for work or in life, what would it be?
I’ve already been blessed with my wife, my children and my work!

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
Drawing is a skill that does not come naturally to me! I have to work at it.

What is the name of your business/organization?
Fongsworld.

What does your business do?
Painting, mostly watercolour, but I also use acrylics and I sometimes use oil paint.

Why did you get into/start this business?
While training in interior design, I discovered watercolours in our rendering class and I feel in love! 37 years later, and I’m still painting.

What is the goal of your business?
To ‘Love Art’ and ‘Love our Planet’.

What has been your biggest struggle either in work or life?
In work, the art business is crazy and unpredictable. All too often a ‘hungry experience’. In life, for the most part, I have been lucky!

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
We learn from our experiences, good and bad! I love where I’m at! Change any part of our journey and that could change everything you have today.

Why do you think it is important to shop local?
The health of our community depends on its inhabitants supporting our merchants.

Give someone that you think deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Debbie MacMillan, event planner. She is a tireless volunteer who coordinates Hot Holiday Homes (HHH) the and the Flower Power Garden Tour. HHH supported Ballet Kelowna and the Lake Country Art Gallery in 2016. Flower Power supports local gardening initiatives, including Chefs in the Classroom – Edible Education, a classroom and cooking programs in elementary schools. We had served on the Legacy Committee and the fundraising element committees to build the Rotary Centre for the Arts for six years together. Debbie also created the Evergreen Ball, which helps with the operating costs of the Rotary Centre. The list of her efforts is too long to include, but this gives you an idea of what a selfless person Debbie is, she brings people together.

My nomination for the In Focus spotlight is:
Debbie MacMillan.

Other information you would like to share:
I love Kelowna! It was a wonderful place to raise my kids! I tell everyone and anyone who cares to listen that I’m happy to be Canadian!

We encourage you to leave your comments and words of support below and submit your own nomination by clicking HERE. You are also welcome to submit a form of your own by clicking HERE. Thank you, Kelowna.



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