|— City —|
|City of Kelowna|
|Motto: "Fruitful in Unity"|
|Regional District||Central Okanagan|
|Incorporated||May 4, 1905|
|• Body||Kelowna City Council|
|• Mayor||Walter Gray|
|• MP||Ron Cannan|
|• MLAs||Steve Thomson
|• City||211.82 km2 (81.78 sq mi)|
|• Metro||2,904.86 km2 (1,121.57 sq mi)|
|Elevation||344 m (1,129 ft)|
|• Density||553.8/km2 (1,434/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Pacific Time Zone (UTC-8)|
|• Summer (DST)||Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)|
|Postal code span||V1P, V1V – V1Z|
|Area code(s)||(250), (778)|
|Website||City of Kelowna|
Kelowna is a city on Okanagan Lake in the Okanagan Valley, in the southern interior of British Columbia, Canada. Its name derives from an Okanagan language term for "grizzly bear". Kelowna ranks as the 22nd largest metropolitan area in Canada.
Nearby communities include the district of West Kelowna (a separate political entity from Kelowna, also referred to as Westbank, Westside) to the west across Okanagan Lake, Lake Country and Vernon to the north, as well as Peachland to the southwest and, further to the south, Summerland and Penticton.
Father Charles M. Pandosy, a French Roman Catholic Oblate missionary, arriving in 1859 was the first European to settle at Kelowna, a place named "L'anse au sable" (Bay of Sand) in reference to the sandy shoreline. Kelowna was officially incorporated in May 4, 1905.1
- On August 6, 1969 a sonic boom from a nearby air show produced an expensive broken glass bill of a quarter million dollars while at least 6 people were injured. The incident was caused by a member of America's Blue Angels during a practice routine for the Kelowna Regatta festival: He accidentally went through the sound barrier while flying too low.2
- Winter 1986 was the last time that the Lake completely froze over. (A Royal Canadian Mounted Police helicopter successfully rescued an SUV that had tried to drive across the Lake and cracked through the ice).
- 2000s, Kelowna builds the tallest building in between the lower mainland and Calgary: Skye at Waterscapes, which is a 26-floor residential tower.
Some claim to believe that a lake monster named Ogopogo lives in Lake Okanagan. In the past, naysayers have pointed out the similarities between the so-called monster and a beaver, a log and other less monstrous lake denizens. Nevertheless, local tourism makes use of the Ogopogo legend, and a children's park features an imaginative statue of the fictional creature.
In both 1986 and 1988, alcohol-fueled riots erupted during summer Regatta festivities. In May 2005, Kelowna celebrated its Centennial. That year a new bridge to replace the Okanagan Lake Bridge began construction as part of a plan to alleviate traffic problems experienced during the summer months when tourists from the Coast, Alberta and east, and the U.S. flock to the area to enjoy the summer heat, Okanagan Lake beaches, mountain bike riding and other outdoor activities. This influx of tourist traffic adds to the commuters between West Kelowna and Kelowna.
In July 2007 general rowdiness during the annual "Wakefest" wakeboarding competition and music festival led to the decision by Kelowna City Council to ban the event for the following year. Expected to return for the summer 2009 tour after organizers/promoters agreed to changes in the festival (including renaming it, introducing restricted beer garden hours and moving the date to later in the summer), conflicting dates with the national tour forced the festival to be withheld for another year.3
In July 2011 Kelowna's City Park was home to the largest Sport and Music Festival in Western Canada, Center of Gravity. The event drew in 25,000+ attendees and brought an approximate 4-5 million dollars in tourism revenue.4
On May 7, 1992, a forest fire consumed 60 hectares of forest on Mount Boucherie in West Kelowna across Lake Okanagan from Kelowna proper; no homes were damaged, however.
In August 2003, a nearby wildfire destroyed over 200 homes and forced the temporary evacuation of approx. 30,000 residents.6 During the 2003 fire, many trestles of the historic Kettle Valley Railway were destroyed. All the trestles have been rebuilt to look like the originals but using smaller dimension beams.
The climate of Kelowna is semi-arid (Köppen climate classification BSk),8 with dry, sunny summers, cold, cloudy winters and four seasons.9 However, some climatic classification systems identify Kelowna as semi-arid. 10 The official climate station for Kelowna is at the Kelowna International Airport, which is at a higher altitude than the city core with slightly higher precipitation and cooler temperatures namely at night. Okanagan Lake as well as the blocking barriers of the Canadian Rockies and the Columbia Mountains to the northeast tend to moderate the winter climate, but Arctic air masses do occasionally penetrate the valley during winter, usually for very short periods. The coldest recorded temperature in the city was −36.1 °C (−33.0 °F) recorded on December 30, 1968.
Summers are hot and sunny, with daytime temperatures often exceeding 35 °C (95.0 °F). The hottest recorded temperature at the airport was 39.5 °C (103.1 °F) on July 24, 1994, and the highest temperature ever recorded in the city was 41.0 °C (105.8 °F) in August of 1998 near but not at the airport. 11 During summer clear, dry air allows night-time temperatures to fall rapidly. The city averages about 380 millimetres (15 in) of precipitation per year, with about 1/3 of the precipitation falling as snow, the bulk in December and January; however, June is the wettest month of the year. The inherent dryness of Kelowna's climate is a factor in the forest fire risk as, for example, during the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire of 2003, a large residential evacuation (over 30,000 residents) was ordered.
Although Kelowna averages 300.5 hours of bright sunshine in July (61% of daylight hours), the winter months are mostly overcast due to the presence of valley cloud as a result of a temperature inversion with the heavy cold air sinking into the valley while the warm air passes above; thus, Kelowna averages only 40.3 hours of bright sunshine in January (for comparison, consider 120 hours at Winnipeg, Manitoba and Miramichi, New Brunswick, which both have much colder winter temperatures).
Kelowna has the greatest percentage of "calm" wind observations in Canada (39% of the time).1213141516 The four-year average wind measured at the airport has been less than 5 knots on average 10/12 months of the year between 2008 and 2011.17
- Driest Year (1952) = 186 mm (7 in)
- Wettest Year (1996) = 541 mm (21 in)
- Warmest Year (1998) = 11.4 °C (53 °F); 9.2 °C (49 °F) at the Airport
- Coldest Year (1955) = 5.6 °C (42 °F)
- Highest Extreme Temperature (August 1998) = 41.0 °C (106 °F)
- Lowest Extreme Temperature (December 1968) = −36.1 °C (−33 °F)
|Climate data for Kelowna International Airport|
|Record high Humidex||13.0||14.5||21.1||28.0||37.0||42.3||46.4||45.6||34.9||26.7||20.6||13.9||46.4|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.8
|Average high °C (°F)||−0.2
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−3.8
|Average low °C (°F)||−7.4
|Record low °C (°F)||−31.7
|Precipitation mm (inches)||30.8
|Rainfall mm (inches)||7.8
|Snowfall cm (inches)||29.2
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||14.2||11.2||10.7||10.0||11.9||11.6||9.1||9.1||8.4||10.7||13.9||14.3||135.1|
|Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||4.6||6.1||8.9||9.8||11.9||11.6||9.1||9.1||8.4||10.4||10.1||4.6||104.6|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||11.0||6.8||2.7||0.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.4||5.0||11.1||37.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||40.3||77.0||144.9||194.2||236.4||253.2||300.5||272.2||213.1||132.3||52.8||37.6||1,954.4|
|Percent possible sunshine||15.1||27.2||39.4||47.1||49.6||51.9||61.0||60.7||56.1||39.5||19.3||14.8||40.1|
|Source: Environment Canada.18|
The service industry employs the most people in Kelowna, the largest city in the tourist-oriented Okanagan Valley. In summer, boating, golf, hiking and biking are popular, and in winter, both Alpine skiing and Nordic skiing are favourite activities at the nearby Big White and Silver Star ski resorts.
Kelowna produces wines that have received international recognition.1920 Vineyards are common around and south of the city where the climate is ideal for the many wineries. Notable vineyards in the area include the Mission Hill Winery (in West Kelowna), specifically for its unique architectural design. At least two major wineries were damaged or destroyed (now rebuilt) in 2003 due to the Okanagan Mountain Park Fire. Kelowna is also the home of Sun-Rype, a popular manufacturer of fruit bars and juices.
Okanagan College and University of British Columbia are the predominant centres for post-secondary education. Over 5000 full-time students attend Okanagan College. In addition to vocational training and adult basic education, the college offers a highly regarded university transfer program. University of British Columbia's Okanagan campus has a student population of over 8000 full-time students, enrolled in diverse undergraduate and graduate programs.21
Kelowna is the seat of the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, the third-largest metropolitan area in British Columbia after Vancouver and Victoria, and the largest in the British Columbia Interior. With scenic lake vistas and a dry, mild climate, Kelowna has become one of the fastest growing cities in North America. The appropriate management of such rapid development (and its attendant consequences) is a source of significant debate within the community. Kelowna is the fourth least affordable housing market in Canada, currently maintaining the classification of "Severely Unaffordable".22 Because of the Okanagan's climate and vineyard-filled scenery, it is often compared to Napa Valley, California.23
- Fido, a comedy/horror/thriller movie about zombies, was filmed in Kelowna and debuted on September 7, 2006 at the Toronto Film Festival.
- Part of the movie Mee Shee: The Water Giant was filmed in Kelowna.
- The movies Shred, and Shred 2 were partially filmed at Big White, a ski hill near Kelowna.
- Flicka: Country Pride, released in 2012, was filmed in Kelowna in several locations, such as Mission Creek Ranch, Kelowna Secondary School and Gemstone Equestrian Centre.
Due to its moderate population, Kelowna is often used as a market trial area where national businesses and organizations can test a new product. Examples include:
- The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority piloted new whole body imaging technology for passenger screening at the Kelowna International Airport from 2008-2009.2425
- Telus Mobility re-launched its Clearnet discount mobile phone brand in Kelowna and Red Deer, Alberta in 2011.
- Carl's Jr. opened its first Canadian store in Kelowna in 201126
- Kelowna was the first city in Canada to have a permanent Flow-Rider http://www.waveloch.com/attraction/flowrider-double located at the H20 Facility
According to the Statistics Canada 2001 census,27 the population estimates there were 96,288 people residing in Kelowna and 147,739 people residing in the Greater Kelowna Area. 48.4% of residents were male and 51.6% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 4.8% of the resident population of Kelowna. This compares with 5.2% in British Columbia, and 5.6% for Canada overall.
In mid-2001, 18.4% of the resident population in Kelowna were of retirement age (65 and over for males and females) compared with 13.2% in Canada; the average age is 41.1 years of age, compared to an average age of 37.6 years in Canada.
In the five years between 1996 and 2001, the population of Kelowna grew by 7.7%, compared with an increase of 4.9% for British Columbia as a whole. Population density of Kelowna averaged 50.9 people per square kilometre, compared with Vancouver at 5335 people per square kilometre, and with all of British Columbia with an average of 4.2 people/km².
Visible minorities make up about 6.2% of the population of Kelowna. The largest group of visible minorities are South Asian (28.7%), Chinese (19.0%), Japanese (14.0%), Southeast Asian (9.0%), Filipino and other Asian (10.6%), Black (7.4%), multiple/other (4.1%), and Arab (0.8%)28
Kelowna's population growth has been driven primarily by the movement of Canadians from BC and other provinces into this region, not by international immigration.28 Only 15.1% of the population is foreign born.28
|Population||% of Total|
|No religious affiliation||29,435||31.1|
- Source: Statistics Canada 2001 Census27
|Canada 2006 Census||Population||% of Total Population|
|Visible minority group
|Other visible minority||70||0.1%|
|Mixed visible minority||190||0.2%|
|Total visible minority population||6,520||6.2%|
|Total Aboriginal population||3,600||3.4%|
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (April 2008)|
For years, only one major highway passed through the city of Kelowna: Highway 97. The road itself is good, but its connections to all points east and west in the province were only managed by using the slow, curving Trans Canada Highway and the Crowsnest Highway.
In 1986, in time for the opening of Expo 86, a new freeway was built into the BC interior, eliminating over two hours of travel time between the Coast and the interior. This freeway, starting in Hope, is known as the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy 5), and terminates in Kamloops. At Merritt another newer (1989) highway, the Okanagan Connector, BC Highway 97C, heads eastward to Highway 97, which it joins at the West Kelowna-Peachland boundary. This new freeway system allows one to drive the 395 kilometres from Vancouver to Kelowna in less than four hours.
Kelowna is connected to West Kelowna by the new five lane William R. Bennett Bridge which officially opened May 25, 2008. This new bridge links Highway 97 to the southern Okanagan and to the Coquihalla Highway via Hwy 97C. The old floating bridge has been dismantled as it has outlived its usefulness and was incapable of supporting the current traffic levels. A small park area on the Kelowna side of the bridge has a dedication to the old bridge, and artwork made of pieces of it.
Kelowna Regional Transit System is operated by FirstGroup, providing public bus transportation services in Kelowna and its vicinity. Funding for the transit system is shared between the City of Kelowna, Central Okanagan Regional District, District of Lake Country and BC Transit.31
Kelowna International Airport (IATA: YLW), north of the downtown core, is the 10th busiest airport in Canada. There are regular flights to and from Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, and Seattle, as well as seasonal service to Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Mexico. Travelers arriving at the Kelowna International Airport can find Ground Transportation services available for travel throughout the Okanagan Valley and British Columbia.
- Emergency services are provided by the Kelowna General Hospital, the British Columbia Ambulance Service, Kelowna Fire Department, Central Okanagan Search and Rescue and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
- Prospera Place, a 6,800-seat arena
- Apple Bowl, a 5,700 seat outdoor stadium
- SOPA Gallery of Fine Arts32
- Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art33
- Rotary Centre for the Arts, a multidisciplinary visual and performing arts centre, with a 326-seat theatre, artists studios, the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, dance and painting studios, atrium and Bistro34
- Kelowna Art Gallery35
- Kelowna Community Theatre, a 869-seat theatre, 236 person capacity lobby, complete backstage amenities and a 1200 square foot rehearsal hall (Black Box Theatre)36
- Kelowna Museum37
- Kelowna Marina on Okanagan Lake
- Kelowna Hydrofest on Okanagan Lake
- Center of Gravity Festival in City Park
- Capital News Centre
- H2O Adventure and Fitness Centre, largest publicly owned water park in Canada, and features Canada's first FlowRider
- Kelowna Farmers Market – April to October Outdoors
- Kasugai Gardens, an outdoor Garden beside City Hall built to celebrate friendship with its sister city; Kasugai, Japan.38
- Over 100 Wineries within a 90 minute drive
- Kettle Valley Railway (Myra Canyon Trestles)
- Knox Mountain Hillclimb – One of the world's longest uphill point-to-point car races still running. The event runs May long weekend of each year.
- Waterfront Park
- Mission Creek Greenway
- Kelowna Rockets – Western Hockey League (Winners of the 2004 Memorial Cup)
- Okanagan Sun – Canadian Junior Football League (Winners of the 1988 and 2000 Canadian Bowl)
- Okanagan Challenge – Pacific Coast Soccer League
- Kelowna Falcons – West Coast Collegiate Baseball League
- Center of Gravity Festival
- Kelowna Hydrofest- American Boat Racing Association (Largest professional boat racing series in Canada)
- Okanagan Coyotes
- The Okanagan Regional Library has three branches in Kelowna39
- Kelowna Branch (Downtown)
- Rutland Branch
- Mission Branch
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (October 2011)|
- W. A. C. Bennett, late Premier of British Columbia
- William R. Bennett, served as Premier of the province
- Scott Frandsen, Olympic rower
- Rob Friend, professional footballer
- Josh Gorges, professional ice hockey player
- Conrad Leinemann, Olympic beach volleyball player
- Rory MacDonald, professional UFC fighter
- Heather Mandoli, Olympic rower
- Axel Merckx, professional road cyclist
- Kelsey Serwa, professional freestyle skier
- Tyler Shelast, professional ice hockey player
- Paul Spoljaric, professional baseball player
- Danny Watkins, professional football player
- Jeff Zimmerman, professional baseball player
- Jordan Zimmerman, professional baseball player
- Justin Schultz, professional hockey player
- Bend Sinister
- Chad Brownlee, country music artist
- The Grapes of Wrath
- Paul Johansson, actor
- Taylor Kitsch, actor
- Evangeline Lilly, actress/model
- Mad Child
- Yukon Blonde
- We Are the City
- "City of Kelowna" (PDF). Government of British Columbia. 2006. Retrieved March 10, 2013.
- Sonic boom smashes Kelowna's windows, Archival news footage after the sonic boom, CBC Digital Archives, Broadcast Date: Aug. 7, 1969
- Wakefest 2009 not happening, Kelowna News, Castanet.net
- Special unit needed to fight Kelowna gang war: RCMP – British Columbia – CBC News. Cbc.ca (2009-01-28). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
- "Okanagan Mountain Park Fire 2003". Castanet.firewatch.net. 2004-04-01. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Canadian wildfires force thousands to flee homes | Canada | Reuters. Ca.reuters.com (2009-07-19). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
- "Canadian Climate Normals or Averages 1971-2000". Environment Canada. Retrieved 2013-02-14.
- Kottek, M.; J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel (2006). "World Map of the Köppen-Geiger climate classification updated". Meteorol. Z. 15 (3): 259–263. doi:10.1127/0941-2948/2006/0130. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Daily Data Report for August 1998". Environment Canada. Retrieved February 13, 2013.
- Phillips, D. 1990. The Climate of Canada. Catalogue No. En56-1/1990E. Ottawa: Minister of Supply and Services of Canada
- Atlas of Canada http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/learningresources/facts/superweather.html
- Canada – A peoples' history, http://www.omnitv.ca/ontario/tv/history/interactive/climatefacts.shtml
- US Green Building Council, Kelowna, British Columbia Competition Program Detailed Summary, https://www.usgbc.org/FileHandling/show_general_file.asp?DocumentID=1264
- Weather. CanadianStudy.ca (1947-02-03). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
- . Retrieved on 2011-03-06.
- Canadian Climate Normals 1971-2000, Environment Canada. Accessed 24 June 2012.
- "Example: Calona Vineyards – Awards – Artist Series Reserve VQA". Calonavineyards.ca. 1990-01-06. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Calona Private Reserve. Calonavineyards.ca (1990-01-06). Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
- University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus (October 23, 2012). Facts and Figures. Retrieved on: 2013-02-07 UTC.
- "6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2010" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- The Okanagan, a Napa of the North, New York Times, 6 October 2006
- Kelowna Community Profile – Statistics Canada. 2002. 2001 Community Profiles. Released June 27, 2002. Last modified: 2005-11-30. Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 93F0053XIE.
- The Changing Face of Kelowna: Report on Ethnicity and Ethnic Relations. (PDF) . Retrieved on 2011-02-20.
- "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". 2.statcan.gc.ca. 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". 2.statcan.ca. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2013-04-13.
- Central Okanagan i-go, Transit</]
- "SOPA Gallery of Fine Arts". Sopafinearts.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Alternator Gallery for Contemporary Art". Alternatorgallery.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Rotary Centre for the Arts". Rotary Centre for the Arts. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Kelowna Art Gallery
- "Kelowna Community Theatre". Kelowna Community Theatre. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- "Kelowna Museum". Kelownamuseum.ca. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Japanese Garden Research Network, Inc. "Kasugai Gardens". Jgarden.com. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Branches - Okanagan Regional Library
- "Sister Cities". City of Kelowna. Retrieved 2007-09-26.
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