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In Focus | Angie Marchinkow

Meet Angie, she grew up in Kelowna! She is an amazing artist, and a Birth Doula, sounds pretty wonderful right?

Who is your favourite person to spend time with and why?
I love to spend time on my own! Whether I'm out paddle boarding, painting in my studio or on a mountainside, climbing at Gneiss, I am never bored, and I love to challenge myself. (Besides, I couldn't possibly pick one person, that would be awful.)

What is your favourite local store in Kelowna and why?
I rock climb, so I'd have to say my favourite shop/hangout is Gneiss Climbing gym. When I'm teetering on a hold and think I can't finish the climb, I hear the staff encouraging me "c'mon Angie, step up. You got it. Yep." Such good vibes, every visit.

Describe yourself in one word.
"Energetic". No wait, "bubbly". Or, "bold"? Hmm, how about "indecisive"?

If you could go anywhere in the world right at this moment where would you go and why?
Surfing in Costa Rica or Mexico, but a bucket list item is exploring Peru. I have been itching to surf again, and haven't in years. I'm a bit of a storm chaser on the lake- I paddle out and try to surf the little rollers, just to feel like I'm surfing!

What is your favourite activity in Kelowna?
Stand-Up Paddle boarding. And rock climbing. It's a tie.

What is the most embarrassing thing that has happened to you?
If you saw my Instagram stories you'd know I don't get embarrassed too easily; I love to make fun of myself. I take pride in allowing silliness.

What is the most inspiring thing that has happened to you?
The first time I attended a birth (I'm a birth doula), which was in 2016. It was absolutely amazing to watch the power that comes from birth- the emotional catharsis, the connection between the woman and her partner, the magnificence and capabilities of the human body. I was enthralled. I was focused and it felt so right to be there, assisting the couple. It was the day I realized my true calling as a birth doula. I always thought I'd have some involvement in offering guidance during an energetic or potentially stressful event. I entertained the idea of becoming a nurse at one point in my life, but birth is so fascinating to me; the art of allowing authenticity, empowerment through education and ownership, and human bonding to facilitate the successes of labour and birth... it's my jam.

Tell us your favourite childhood memory.
It's a tie between years of summer camp at BC Family French Camp, and building forts behind my house in Crawford forest. That forest is gone now (thanks, Firestorm 2003) but if you gave me a pencil and paper, I could easily sketch out the entire wood and show you all the tree forts that once were. Crawford kids, you know what I'm talking about. Nature shaped my childhood. My dad gave us nails and a hammer and kicked us out of the house, and my mom would just whistle across the forest (I still can't whistle like her) to call us home for dinner. We climbed trees, scraped our knees, stepped on nails in the scrap wood pile right after dad told us not to go climbing on the scrap wood pile... It was heavenly.

Where do you volunteer or give back to in the community?
Other than donating to places like the Boys and Girls Club, as a birth doula I have volunteered my services in the past, and now my colleagues and I have just formed the Okanagan Birth Collective. We host monthly hangouts called Tea With The Doulas, that are open to the public for free- we have tea and snacks and invite parents or expecting parents to come and ask anything they'd like, discuss a topic, or share their experience. Our goal is to let birth information, discussion, and resources for support to be more accessible to parents in the Okanagan.

If you could change one thing in the world what would it be?
Our plastic consumption. It’s a challenging one. But our surrounding nature cannot be replaced, and we need to take the responsibility of accepting the inconvenience of not using plastic for every single thing. Each of us have got to own that.

Where would you sneak away to in Kelowna to spend some time alone?
Paddle boarding out to the middle of Okanagan Lake, or sitting on a mountainside to paint the landscape.

Where would you like to see positive change in Kelowna and why?
I'd like to see urban composting implemented ASAP. I'd also like to paddle out and not see any garbage on the lake, or any dog poop bags, fruit peels, cigarette butts, or candy wrappers on the hiking trails. I grew up camping, and mom's rule was that when we left the campsite, we had to pick up every tiny piece of garbage so we would "leave it cleaner than we found it." When I hike today, I bring a bag to pack out the garbage I find. Kelowna is beautiful, and it can't be replaced. We need to treat it that way.

What do you think makes Kelowna great?
I'm obviously obsessed with the lake and surrounding nature, but I also love our small city mentality- the fact that I can walk along the street and people still smile or say hi. We're growing, but still just small enough.

What are 3 things on your bucket list?

  1. I want to paddle and camp the length of Okanagan lake, all in one trip. I want to pack everything on my paddle board and go solo. It might get weird, I might need to bring along an old volleyball and call him Wilson so I have someone to talk to. To do a full loop close to shore would be about 235km. I'm training for it now, we'll see how far I get this summer!
  2. To create a big enough body of work (paintings) to have my own show at a gallery.
  3. To backpack, hike, and surf in Peru.

Tell us something that not everyone may know about you.
I'm a doula and artist now, but I worked for Disney for 8 years as the Localization Analyst- I managed the data that required translations, and coordinated workflows for the production teams. I get a lot of funny looks about my random career history...

How do people connect with you, personally, through social media? (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.)
People can connect with me directly via Facebook, but mainly via my two websites and
All the links and contact forms are in my websites, come visit, and let’s chat!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn

What is the name of your business/organization?
My birth doula business is Lake Maiden Doula Services, and I'm an abstract painter, under my own name.

Why did you get into/start this business?
I was born an artist (thanks, Dad!)- when I express myself through art, it just feels like home. As a birth doula, I learned a lot about people and process management while at Disney, and I decided to add it to my passion for understanding labour/birth.

What is the goal of your business?
As an artist, to encourage the world to explore the different forms of emotional expression. As a doula, to change the way we see birth as a culture- for it to be public knowledge that birth is a natural bodily function, not something to fear.

What has been your biggest struggle either at work or in life?
Getting started. It can be so tough to know you're making the right decisions when you are making your dreams a reality, that sometimes you freeze or put things on hold. I've since learned to just start with what I can, and grow from there. Just start.

If you could start all over again would you do things the same or would things be different?
I would do everything the same. My journey has taught me so much, and it has been a beautiful, challenging wave to ride. The efforts and emotional journeys have helped me to become a better artist and doula, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.

What do you always find yourself saying?
“look how beautiful that is. I wanna paint that” or “I wonder how long it would take me to paddle there?" or "you know, an interesting thing about birth is..."

Tell us your best piece of life advice.
Life has taught me this: There is room in this world for you. There is so much room. The world is begging for you. Start now, start small, start shaky, start unsure, and you'll surprise yourself at what you're capable of, and where you'll go.

If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select?
Probably someone who could teach me to sail a large sailboat, maybe Captain Liz Clark? My friend once took the day to teach me to sail his catamaran, and it was so inspiring. I grew up boating, and I've always dreamed of living on a sailboat, even if it stays on Okanagan lake, but I don't yet know enough about how to work those nautical beasts. So many ropes to learn, literally. And to this day, I really don't understand the physics of wind pushing a boat forward while blowing against it. It just doesn't make sense!

Why do you think it is important to shop locally?
It gives talented and hard-working locals the chance to develop their businesses and make a bigger impact on the world.

What has been your proudest accomplishment?
Becoming an artist and Birth Doula full-on, then designing and launching my two websites this year- and! I now have an online gallery of my art, and a full site for my doula services, and it makes life easy!

Give someone you think that deserves it a shout out and explain why!
Stefania Valoroso, the talented designer who designed my doula logo. She's such a creative artist. She also does charcuterie boards for parties on the side ("Eats by Stefania"), she's amazing!

My choice for the KelownaNow In Focus spotlight is:
Andy White, a leader in the Okanagan Bouldering Society.

Some general comments I would like to share are:
Let's each of us, be the change we want to see in Kelowna! And let's all take care of our gorgeous lake!

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.
In Focus is our gift to the community. A way for us to help show our recognition of the people, businesses, and organizations that help make our city great. Thank you, Kelowna!

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