Culture and Community
Arts Council of the
140-1735 Dolphin Ave,
Kelowna, BC V1Y 8A6
Email: Click Here.
Elke Lange, Executive Director
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Okanagan Wine Festivals Society|
1527 Ellis St., Kelowna BC V1Y 2A7
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As a forerunner to the fully integrated Wine Tourism business, a group of wineries and tourism operators saw the opportunity 25 years ago to develop a tourism event around the young wineries in existence at the time. The Annual event was originally focused on developing awareness of the wine industry among local Okanagan residents and to celebrate the harvest of grapes and pair fine Okanagan wines with food at a variety of culinary events. |
The Fall Wine Festivals' success paralleled the growth of the wine industry and became a major event in celebrating the fall harvest amongst Okanagan Valley residents. Over time, it developed a following from B.C. residents, and then residents of the Pacific Northwest, and most recently wine lovers from around the world. In 1996, its status as a leading event was confirmed by the premier ranking among the "Top 100 Events In North America" as ranked by the American Bus Association. This ranking continues into 2005 having been named to the Top 100 Events List for 8 years by the prestigious American Bus Association. In 1995, the first Spring Wine Festival was developed as the best way to kick-start the new wine season. The introduction of the Spring Festival also allowed the Wine Tourism industry to have two flagship events at the start and at the end of the growing season, which allows for better packaging of wine tourism. With great success, both Festivals have been able to expand the traditional shoulder season for tourism away from the peak summer months into the Spring and Fall seasons.
The Icewine Festival at Sun Peaks was born seven years ago to marry wine tasting with outdoor recreation and create the only Canadian destination wine and ski winter holiday. The success of this festival continues as we see consumers attending from all around the globe.
For those looking for an education summer weekend holiday, four years ago came the Okanagan Summer Wine Festival at Silver Star Mountain Resort. The perfect on mountain setting, for those looking for wine education, outdoor wildflower and hiking adventures, fabulous cuisine and a unique outdoor wine tasting. This festival is the marriage of wine and art and is a great weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the busy Okanagan Summer holiday tourist season.