932 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 77 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2019
tutional clients and small business clients, not to mention many, many
local families—and he was otherwise well known in the community for his
temperance, logic and sound judgment.
Steve proclaims to be from the Okanagan, but various relocations (and
other family adventures) preceded his family’s arrival in West Kelowna.
Dennis and Sheila Schwartz, together with their young sons, Cliff and Steve,
first moved to Westbank (as it was then called) in 1978. Relocating to different
towns was not new to the Schwartz family, with Dennis being in the
RCMP and Sheila working as a nurse. As with other moves, they quickly
involved themselves in the community, while encouraging their boys
to become active in school and sports. For Steve, that meant playing hockey
(goalie, of course), both in the rink and on the street. Steve also spent time
fishing, bike riding and fostering a love for heavy metal music. Throughout
their childhood, Cliff and Steve were blessed with loving and hard-
working parents who instilled principles of fairness, community and goodwill
in their boys—guiding principles that have continued to influence them
to this day.
Following graduation, Steve attended the University of Victoria, where
he earned a bachelor of arts and a post-degree professional certificate in
education. Ever used to moving and adventure, Steve commenced his
teaching career in Arviat, Nunavut, where he taught adult Inuit students
who were returning to school. Having enjoyed this experience, Steve relocated
to Fort Liard in the Northwest Territories the following year, where
he continued to teach and worked as a volunteer firefighter. It was during
his “Northern Exposure” that Steve saw some of the inequities and hardships
that people faced, which in turn influenced him to chart a new course
and pursue a career in law. Shortly thereafter, Steve attended law school at
the University of Ottawa, after which he decided to return home to the
Okanagan where he began his articles at Pushor Mitchell LLP in 1997.
It was during his time in Kelowna that Steve met his lovely wife, Shandi,
who was also a teacher. Steve and Shandi discovered skiing, and soon after
they acquired a small studio condominium at Big White, which served them
(and their many friends) well. Despite enjoying Kelowna, opportunity
knocked once again in 2002, when Steve made the difficult decision to place
his legal career on hold and to follow Shandi to teach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Together, they spent the following two years teaching local and expat
children, while sharing many travel adventures which took them throughout
the Middle East, Europe and Asia.
Having exhausted their visas, and longing for some cooler temperatures,
Steve and Shandi returned to Kelowna in 2004. Shandi secured a wonderful