We Are In This Together, COVID-19 Edition

How can we help the helpers?

People respond to stress and fear differently. Panic mode can bring out the worst in us. But around the world, we are also witnessing inspiring examples of how crises can encourage the best of humanity to shine. From singing together on balconies in Italy, to free online concerts and virtual yoga, to grassroots community support groups, people around the world are reminding us of the importance of


The North End is the Yaletown of Kelowna? PC Urban Says So

Is this a hopeful sign for creative spaces, or a glitzy end run around gentrification straight to sell out

Kelowna real estate agent Steve Laursen has partnered with Vancouver’s PC Urban to sell the commercial flex and office units being built along the Clement Ave. corridor between Ethel and Richter, and a press release recently went out to the media praising the development’s virtues. Laursen’s main marketing pitch:

“We are offering a rare opportunity for local businesses to purchase high-end, funky, office and retail strata space in the Yaletown of Kelowna”.

PC Urban’s CEO, Brent Sawchyn is on board with Laursen’s Yaletown comparison. “It’s not quite in the core of the town per se. It’s very similar to what you see here in Vancouver, in Gastown and Yaletown. They’re just some unique older places that provide a different awareness and a different vibe for

Round Up

Downtown’s Next Addresses

The food and drink scene keeps rolling north of downtown

When it comes to new developments – commercial, residential and creative – all eyes are on the north end these days. We take a quick look past the completion of those huge towers to the types of businesses and outfits that are beginning to comprise the light industrial mixed use (but likely more commercial and residential-focussed initiatives) of this broad-spectrum zoning north of Clement. While we have our reservations about this kind of land use, we are also excited about


Kelowna Film Society’s Winter Film Screenings Begin this Week

This week you can visit France with film legend, Agnes Varda, and after that the vivid Spanish vibes of Antonio and Almodovar!

Every Wednesday until March 11th, you can catch an independent film at the Orchard Plaza Cineplex for $7 (plus a $1 membership fee). Each fall and winter, the Kelowna Film Society, a non-profit cultural organization operating since 2000, screens movies that we wouldn’t get to see otherwise. With only a few megaplexes, and no more small theatres, streaming services, the MCU hegemony, endless remakes, and predictable and dull Oscar-bait movies, the quaint old experience of catching some great stories and


The 4th Annual Living Things Festival Returns January 15

“It’s a festival for people who are curious about things that they may not know"

One of our favourite festivals of the year returns to Kelowna January 15th, just in time to save us from those winter blues. Now in its fourth year, Living Things, which runs until February 2nd, will include performances from South Korea, the Netherlands, Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, and the Okanagan Valley, with shows featuring talking rice cookers, French baguettes that battle each other, and a interactive drag bingo that The Georgia Straight calls a “one-of-a-kind stage phenomenon.”

“The festival is focused on theatrical devices, the kinds of things we do on stage which are kind of (magical), I call it, when something comes alive,”


Wet’suwet’en Solidarity Rally this Saturday in Front of the Kelowna Law Courts

Canada has prioritized the private, economic interests of a corporation over the Wet’suwet’en Nation's constitutionally protected right to their title lands. Come stand with them.

An independent solidarity rally will be held for the Wet’suwet’en this Saturday at 1pm in front of the Kelowna Law Courts on Water Street, on unceded Syilx territory. Unceded and sovereign Wet’suwet’en land is under attack. An injunction has been passed against members of the Wet’suwet’en nation who have been stewarding and protecting their territories from the destruction of multiple pipelines. Hereditary Chiefs of all five Wet’suwet’en clans have rejected BC Supreme Court Justice Marguerite Church’s injunction, which criminalizes Anuk ‘nu’at’en (Wet’suwet’en law), and have issued and enforced an eviction of

Homes First

Open House for Kelowna’s First Winter Emergency Shelter

A public educational session about supporting people experiencing homelessness

The government is commiting, the local agencies and non-profits are on board, but projects like this need support from the community too – that’s you neighbour. The Welcome Inn emergency winter shelter aims to open at some point in January at the Metro Community Church on Ellis Street with 20 beds available 24/7. While people have already signed up to volunteer, the shelter is looking for more volunteers and staff. Overworked volunteers may burn out, so if you’re thinking about helping out, just come on down and find out more. “The quality of that first line staff to be able to manage the volunteers and to give them guidance and have some confidence around it, that’s critical to make it safe for volunteers and residents,” Jason Siebenga, chairman of Metro Community Church says.


Letter: “When a fellow human being is at risk of imminent harm or death …we act. Now.”

A concerned citizen demands action on Kelowna's human crisis

I am dismayed and disheartened to read, and witness, the division occurring in our city in regards to homelessness. 

The City of Kelowna, with widespread public engagement, and the laudable work of the Journey Home initiative, has an excellent plan in place, and has done incredible work to date in seeking sustainable, longterm solutions. BC Housing and local agencies have created, and are working to develop more permanent supported housing as part of an extensive Housing First program. These are

Official Community Plan

The City of Kelowna Wants Your Help Steering its Transportation Future, But Will They Listen?

Remember the last time we participated in a similar exercise? It didn't work out so well

Earlier this year, the City of Kelowna set up an interactive choose-your-own-adventure walk-through of four possible future growth scenarios that would shape the 2020-2040 Official Community Plan (OCP), and a majority of people who participated in the public engagement ended up choosing (by 72%) the more progressive scenarios that focussed on future development occurring mostly in the urban core rather than in

Voices Up

Towards a Proper Understanding of Consent. The RCMP Protest is this Saturday

Triple the national average of rape charges dismissed as unfounded is a huge wake up call.

Why are almost 40% of reported sexual assault cases deemed unfounded in Kelowna? This alarming stat is eight times the amount of Vancouver’s and it’s triple the B.C. average.

Our public institutions have not reacted with the concern this demands. The Kelowna RCMP have responded with a preliminary review revealing nothing but to kick it down the road with an undetermined future review to be undertaken by RCMP themselves. Our mayor took a long time to


Extinction Rebellion Holds Global Climate Strike in Kelowna November 29, and You’re Invited

The group cites Kelowna's current climate plan as "woefully inadequate"

The Kelowna faction of Extinction Rebellion urges you to come out and join them this November 29th for a global climate strike and demand that Kelowna City Council declare a climate emergency, following earlier declarations made this year by Vancouver, Richmond, New Westminster, Port Moody, North Vancouver and West Vancouver, along with 450 other municipalities across Canada. “Kelowna City Council does not want to declare a climate emergency or appoint a citizens’ assembly, citing their current climate plan as a reason (hint: it’s woefully inadequate)”, writes the faction. “A good climate plan has

Petty Bourgeoisie

Negative Perception of Homelessness in Downtown Kelowna Reaches Ugliest Peak to Date

Blonde Women’s Retail Boutique owner's letter describes the homeless community as a "zombie apocalypse"

Blonde Women’s Boutique owner, Raegan Hall has produced one of the most appalling letters to date about the homelessness situation in downtown Kelowna. She’s been running her store on Bernard Ave. for the past 16 years, selling trendy bohemian and classic styles to largely (self-admittedly) Albertan tourists in the summer months. So when the offseason hits, apparently Raegan has time to focus on her business strategy. Public relations and community outreach is a key component to any business, however this time, instead of extolling her company’s value, she decided to strip her neighbours of their’s, and in the process create a


Boxcar Kitchen and BNA’s New Tasting Room Opens This Wednesday

Bánh mì sandwiches and steamed buns hit Kelowna in a serious way, with classic ingredients and North-American twists

Serving Asian street food to the Okanagan valley since 2014, Crasian proprietors Courtney and Mieko Koga have been busy this year. What started out as a food truck serving hybrid, North American street food meets Asian savoury, salty, sweet, sour and spicy delights, has now transformed into a sizable venture for them. Earlier in the year they opened Provisions Kitchen and Catering, with chef Brock Bowes, formerly of RauDz serving up upscale camping-inspired food at the back of


Internationally Exhibited Printmaker, Mary Smith McCulloch Art Talk at the KAG

The artist explores her fascination with the Okanagan landscape

An upcoming lecture at the Kelowna Art Gallery sees Mary Smith McCulloch, Professor Emeritus at UBCO, whose work has been exhibited widely in Canada and in the UK, discussing her reasons for investigating and exploring the relationship of recurrent motifs that are present “when man intersects with the land”. The lecture is held in conjunction with the KAG’s current exhibition “Through Her Eyes: Works from Our Permanent Collection” featuring several of


This Year’s Sugarplum Ball Moves to the Downtown Library

The Okanagan Regional Library CEO’s recently publicized memo suddenly makes this an interesting venue choice

If you don’t happen to know the backstory to the Sugarplum Ball, in 2015 city council unanimously supported a new rainbow crossing to be painted at Lawrence Avenue and Pandosy Street, a decision that gained backlash from a few locals. In an online Castanet forum where all of Kelowna’s local crank NIMBY’s hang out, one community member referred to Mayor Colin Basran as “Mayor Sugarplum” for supporting the installation of the crosswalk. The comment ended up having the opposite effect. “I actually found it kind of funny and I kind of liked it,” Basran said at the time. Recognizing the


Dozen-strong Collective, Lemon Bucket Orkestra are at the RCA

Guerilla-punk-Balkan-brass band from Toronto’s Kensington Market

The Lemon Bucket Orkestra is a guerilla-punk-Balkan-brass band like no other. They trace their genesis back to the streets of Toronto’s Kensington Market, where an original quartet of busking troubadours quickly amassed a battalion of like-minded musical travellers, and the Orkestra was born. Equal parts reckless abandon and exhilarating precision, the dozen-strong collective’s legendary live shows are


Reception for Kelowna Based Artist Alberto Azzi at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art

See the self taught artist's work early November in the RCA

Kelowna based artist Alberto Azzi’s paintings often reference his love of nature and the beauty of the world – he grew up in a small mountain town in the Italian Alps – and are characterized by an intersection of realism and fantasy. A self taught artist with no formal art education, Azzi developed his unique and recognizable style of extreme details, brilliant colours, and precise techniques through the years, after retirement from a forty year career as a dentist. He paints with oils and acrylics on both


The Palace Of Manufacturers 4th Public Show Comes to the CoLab on St. Paul

Pop-up pop-art from Nvrlnd collective out of Calgary

The Palace of Manufactures, a pop-up urban art gallery featuring works inspired by animation, comic books, video games, cartoons, graffiti, hip hop, and 80s and 90s culture is holding their fourth public show in early November at the Okanagan CoLab on St. Paul. Their mandate: “we want to expose our community to the renaissance in art that we believe is taking place in the world at large.”


Landmark Cinema Promotes Anti Abortion Film UnPlanned

Is it a documentary, or a docudrama based in fact and good faith curiosity? Ummmm neither

This past weekend marked an astounding moment for culture in the Okanagan. The Landmark Cinema devoted “MEGA” screens to the movie, UnPlanned. Hopefully the anticipated crowd that showed up for this were mostly curious and in awe of how such a dangerous piece of right wing propaganda made its way north of the border.

Filmmakers, Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon, ‘auteurs’ of the treacly virtue-signalling godsploitation variety don’t make it much past the


Frankie We Salute You Brings Plant Savvy Cuisine to Kelowna

Plant forward eatery opens in a less than green strip mall on Harvey

Spring has sprung and plants popped up all over, and not just in gardens and on menus, but in our local dining scene wholesale restaurants devoted to them are a-sprouting. Krafty Kitchen is about to open a plant forward sister restaurant right next door (Orchard Room), and just recently Kelowna’s Frankie We Salute You launched the anticipated new vegetarian and vegan eatery in the new food oriented complex carved out of the

A groundswell of outrage and moral panic has exploded in Rutland upon City Council’s approval of a development permit that will allow BC Housing to build supportive housing for 49 individuals at 130 McCurdy Road.
Homes First

To Fight or Unite?

Outrage and moral panic has exploded in Rutland regarding BC Housing's new supportive housing project

A groundswell of outrage and moral panic has exploded in Rutland upon City Council’s approval of a development permit that will allow BC Housing to build supportive housing for 49 individuals at 130 McCurdy Road who are either in recovery, or may still use drugs. Protests have been planned for the approved development of this, and another BC Housing project at 280 McIntosh Road, which has not yet come before

Master planned neighbourhoods are all about affordability says the local development community. LEFT: This house in Upper Mission is priced at $2,500,000. The average price of master planned homes seems to be around $900,000 – way beyond what a regular BC family can afford. This house is from the “Terroir series” clearly referencing it’s strong sense of place lol. Maybe one day the hills will look like the image on the RIGHT: Late capitalism in full bloom (cover of Frederic Jameson’s book Postmodernism).
Official Community Plan

OPINION: Dear Council, Stick With the Vision the Public Chose, and Suits Your Growth Goals – Scenario 3

Master planned neighbourhoods are all about affordability says the local development community

We took part in Imagine Kelowna, walked through an engaging choose-your-own-adventure version of all four growth scenarios for the OCP for 2020-2040, and had our say on the direction for the future plans of Kelowna. A great majority (72%) of us chose the more progressive Scenarios 3 and 4 whose focus is on future development occurring mostly in the urban core rather than in the suburbs, and last December the city endorsed growth


Martin's Lane Winery – A Sensory Experience You Won't Soon Forget

Using the top tools, practices and knowledge to let the best fruit tell its story

Martin’s Lane Winery in Kelowna is certainly an ambitious endeavour. You may have heard many superlatives thrown around regarding the striking modern architecture, the unique approach to the production technology, the small lot/not-so-small price tag thing, and even the exclusive character of its customer model. But seriously, do not let this intimidate

Copper Brewing is opening a 110 seat capacity microbrewery on Kirschner Road, one of 5 new brewers to come. Photo: Cory Ransom. @coryransom
New Brews

Kelowna Hop City! These Are All the New Craft Breweries You'll Be Drinking at in 2019

Copper Brewing is opening on Kirschner Road, one of five new brewers to come

Just a couple of years ago, when only a few craft brewers were on the scene, Chris Stirling, the former GM of one of them, Tree Brewing, was interviewed by local media about the industry here. “If anybody says they could see where the craft beer industry is today they’re lying to you. It has changed so fast and so dramatically in the last two, three, five years, that I don’t think anybody saw this coming,” Stirling said at the

Write to Mayor and Council your support for Growth Scenario 3 by tomorrow and watch closely to see who they represent at Monday's vote.
Official Community Plan

Letter to the Editor: A Kelowna Growth Scenario is at Risk

Write to Mayor and Council your support for Growth Scenario Three by tomorrow and watch closely to see who they represent

Monday will reveal whose interests the City Councillors you voted for represent: the public and best practices, or special interests that have driven land use policy in the past. Growth Scenario 3 which is a path for more compact and responsible growth for Kelowna will be presented. This scenario was overwhelmingly supported by community engagement and best addresses the challenges we face as growing city. It ranks particularly high with reducing congestion, low taxes, growing the

Chef Irwin MacKinnon’s Black Box Competition dish: sweet potato yoghurt saffron pureé, crusted mushroom, roasted chestnut, spicy candied fruit. Photo: Hello Kelowna.
Round Up

The 2019 Canadian Culinary Championships in Pictures

Recognized as one of the most intense national chef competitions in the country

The Canadian culinary scene descended on Kelowna these past two days for The Canadian Culinary Championships, recognized as one of the most intense national chef competitions in the country. “This is the biggest and most serious national competition for Canadian chefs,” National Culinary Advisor, and all-around big-time food guy, James Chatto said. “Victory is a career-changer”, he added.

The way to order a bowl at Pacific Poke is pretty simple.

Vancouver's Pacific Poke Opens in Downtown Kelowna

The way to order a bowl is pretty simple

Poke (pronounced poh-keh) is a traditional Hawaiian dish, essentially a salad that combines raw fish with fresh vegetables and Japanese flavours. It became all the rage a few years ago in West Coast urban centres and on the Pinterest boards of us amateur chefs. Basically a mashup of the trendy healthy bowl and the always hip tartare, it’s a wonder this concept just recently

The Agassiz Road supportive housing project, a modular, four-storey, 52-unit supportive housing complex on an empty lot at 2025 Agassiz Rd. is being opposed mightily by NIMBYism.
Homes First

Neighbourhood Bullies? Not In My Back Yard. Our Letter in Favour of Agassiz Road Supportive Housing

The project is being opposed mightily by NIMBYism

Just a few months after Mayor Colin Basran strode back into office with a convincing majority win, after a campaign where his approach to homelessness fully embraced the Homes First (before rehab, before employment, etc.) credo, a Kelowna BC Housing initiative which aims to do exactly that is facing mighty vocal resistance from residents neighbouring the proposed site on Agassiz Rd. The opposition is getting quite a bit of attention as it is noisy, organized, and has the ear of conservative media in town (which is to say all private sector mainstream media), as is often the case when

Hotel Eldorado's BC Ling Cod: pan seared, blood orange cream, crushed potato, seasonal vegetables paired with Liquidity's Chardonnay. Their featured entrée for Dine Around (includes 3 courses with wine pairings $70, or 3 courses for $35).

Final Weekend for Dine Around, Showcasing Local Fare in a Great Package

An increasingly popular annual prix fixe event

Reservations are open for Kelowna’s (and the Okanagan’s) increasingly popular annual prix fixe event, Dine Around Okanagan. The event has close to 50 restaurants throughout the Thompson Okanagan serving three course menus for $15, $25, $35 or $45. A wine, beer or spirit pairing is suggested for each course, but not included in the price. Some have added a prix fixe for wine pairings which is a great way to

one of the most bustling bubbly producing regions
BC Bounty

Looking for a BC Sparkler? Here's Our Bubbly 101

We live in one of the most bustling bubbly producing regions

Lucky us! Not only do we live in the heart of wine country, but it turns out, one of the most bustling bubbly producing regions as well. So instead of just grabbing the closest shiniest bottle, lets do a little digging and earn that coupe that’s perfect for our tastes (and budgets).

Bowl-ed over at Krafty's daily brunch service.

Krafty has Ktown's Best Brunch Every Damn Day

We're bowl-ed over at Krafty's daily brunch service

If you haven’t noticed there’s a great vibe downtown right now. Carefree crowds amble around cafes and boutiques, mild temps encourage chatty strolls, new shops tempt curious shoppers, and when it’s time to relax and replenish, Kelowna’s favourite bruncheteria, Krafty Kitchen is here for us.


First Look: The Lakehouse Opens its Second Home Store in the Former Flashback Nightclub

They're now in the beautiful heritage building on Ellis St

The Lakehouse Home Store in downtown Kelowna officially opened its second location last Friday in part of the former Flashback Nightclub on Ellis Street beside BNA. Owners Ben and Sue Boschman are calling it a “very soft opening” for now, as they continue to arrange the decor of the two storey showroom and fill it up with hundreds of furniture items, from sofas and tables, to bedding and vases, merchandise too large to fit into their 4,200-square-foot store on the corner of Bernard and Ellis.


The Shawarma Has Landed in Kelowna?

Unfortunately, Basha no longer makes shawarma on the regular

Update Feb 20/19: Unfortunately, Basha no longer makes shawarma on the regular. On our last visit, upon seeing an empty spit where the shawarma used to be, we asked if they still made shawarma and they said yes, and when I asked where it was they said it was already cut down off the spit, and when I ordered it, the cook took raw marinated chicken and fried it up on the grill. When I asked the cook if they still made shawarma they said only on really busy days like Friday and weekends. When I asked what they cooked up for us the cook said “a special chicken”. Confusing? Slightly. So call before and ask ahead if they have shawarma, but as far as having a go-to shawarma joint in town, I’d say it’s cancelled.

Kelowna’s fast casual food scene has some serious competition. Basha Donair, celebrated by locals in the greater Edmonton area has just expanded outside of Alberta for the first time and opened up shop in

Wine News

Okanagan’s Newest Winery is BIG!

Phantom Creek Estate Winery opened in the spring

Phantom Creek Estate Winery located in Oliver has its sights set on opening in the spring of next year. On Black Sage Road where a multitude of other wineries operate nearby, they’re building a $100 million, 79,000 square foot facility with a two-storey hospitality centre, restaurant and outdoor amphitheatre, all positioned to take in a

Community Planning

A First Look at How the City Plans to Regulate Airbnb in Kelowna

We are encouraged that the issue of short term rentals is being taken fairly seriously now

Last week, the City of Kelowna’s Community Planning office released its proposed short term rental regulations to stakeholders for consultation. These stakeholders include tourism industry representatives like the Kelowna Motel Hotel Association, Tourism Kelowna, neighbourhood associations, strata councils, short term rental platforms, Landlord BC, Renters United Kelowna, and the Healthy Housing Advisory Committee. These organizations have until the end of the month to submit their

Round Up

Our Epic 2018/19 Okanagan Ski and Board Mountain Round Up

Compare all the rates for the region's five resorts

Snow is piling up in the higher elevations of BC, and the Okanagan mountains and resorts are gearing up to get you to it. With all of our major local hills now open, it’s time to break out the wax and check out the local options. While we may not be on the Powder Highway, offer the vertical of Revy, or have the massive scene that Whistler does, take it from me, someone who’s skied the latter for decades, the Okanagan has all you need: dumps of that sweet light snow that, thanks to a


What's the Tea? What's the Yum Cha? Kelowna Has a Legit Dim Sum Spot (and we JUST figured it out)

At Yamato, you'll find carts filled with freshly cooked dim sum zipping around inside – it's the real deal!

Okay it’s time to spill the tea. Well at least to those as culinarily-clued out as I was. No more Richmond-inspired trips to Vancouver, no more burning bamboo steamers on a gas stove, no more settling for frozen premade dumplings… that’s right, Kelowna has a legit weekend dim sum – old school carts and all! Unbeknownst to me, Yamato on Highway 97 has been serving up dim sum each


La Dolce Vita Comes to Downtown: the Wine Wizardry and Welcome Fun that is Ricco Bambino

While it's just like a wine bar, it is actually a winery – with a bar

Interestingly Kelowna does not have a wine bar. Penticton has the personable and rootsy Mile Zero wine bar, and pretty much every town in any wine country I’ve been to, no matter the size, has a local wine-centric haunt that showcases the range of their respective region’s bounty. But now Ricco Bambino has opened its doors downtown on Pandosy, and


Kelowna's Latest Brewery, Vice & Virtue is Smokin'! Food, Beer and Vibes

A cheerful, airy space that delivers the goods.

It’s no secret that the Kelowna craft brewery scene is intensifying in scope and creativity, however, what is new is the coming of age of its bar and bites scene. Long a town where coffee shops (gotta love ’em, but enough already) and bland chains dominate the top downtown real estate, new go-getters are now finding their own cool new areas to rival them (the industrial north end, or downtown’s quaint courtyards and back alleys*), creating drinks that far surpass them (expect perhaps the bananas beer selection at Craft), and now it’s safe to say, way better and

Kelowna Votes

SOGI 123 and Why We Endorse Dr. Norah Bowman for School Trustee

Dr. Norah Bowman is the inclusivity candidate for Kelowna School Board Trustee (District 23)

When I sat down with Kelowna School Trustee candidate Dr. Norah Bowman last week to chat about the election and inevitably the hot button anti-SOGI 123 issue, I was initially reticent to jump on divisive and minimizing wedge issues. You just have to look at those campaigns stigmatizing the homeless as criminals rather than addressing wider poverty concerns in the

Kelowna Votes

Open Letter to Voters from Robert Stupka: Factor Climate Change into Your Decision

The United Nations gave us 12 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions

If you haven’t voted yet, Kelowna candidate responses about climate change should matter the most in your decision.

The United Nations gave us 12 years to drastically reduce carbon emissions to avoid climate catastrophe.

Kelowna is seeing early impacts with floods and fires. Knowing this we have an ethical obligation to act swiftly and elect candidates at all levels that will

Kelowna Votes

Future of Kelowna Consortium Endorses Mayor Basran …and Two New Candidates!

A group comprised of representatives from ten community-minded organizations

The Future of Kelowna Consortium is endorsing Mayor Colin Basran and two new candidates, Gord Lovegrove and Loyal Wooldridge, for City Council for the 2018 municipal election. No incumbent councillors are specifically being endorsed. That is the conclusion of the group comprised of representatives from ten community-minded organizations that participated in the development of a questionnaire and

Community Planning

New Short Term Rental Regulations in Kelowna: How Much Living Will Kelowna's "Liveable Downtown" Have?

Is the city potentially tearing a big hole in their comprehensive plan?

The City of Kelowna’s been pretty woke lately. With their commitment to take a determined and holistic approach to homelessness, and now with their endorsement of a Healthy Housing Strategy that understands our woefully underserved housing needs (be they affordability or vacancy) all across the spectrum1, you’d think their newly adopted principles guiding their approach to increase long term rentals by


Downtown Kelowna’s Latest Resto Bar, Jack's Pizza & Liquor Gets the Balance Just Right

"Any place that plays both Dolly Parton and Depeche Mode in the time it takes me to down one is fine by me"

You could definitely say there are many places to grab a drink downtown, but are there really any great bar bars? Y’know that place with a solid bartender, a fresh and eclectic mix of tunes, friendly staff serving up a menu of select thoughtful snacks while still maintaining a premium on cocktails, to a crowd of carefree vacationers and grateful locals, all coming together in a


Just Opened: Sprout is Kelowna's Latest Gastro Go‑to

Peter van Boekhout is in town pulling yeast-free, organic, and delicious breads

Those of us who think that some of the finest things are often the simplest things, will be pleased to welcome Sprout to downtown Kelowna. You know those beautiful plump miches and chewy baguettes you have to drive around the valley to procure? Those glorious golden domes, sometimes bursting, artfully flour-dusted, or scored and patterned prettier than a hipster’s cortado? Well, just a bike ride away, we have the

BC Votes

Letter to the Editor: Ready, Steady, Vote

FPTP doesn’t give electors fair representation

BC Attorney General David Eby has recommended that a referendum on electoral reform be held by mail-in ballot in October and November of this year. We should remind ourselves why reform was promoted by multiple federal and provincial parties during the latest election campaigns. What’s wrong with first-past-the-post, the system we have now?


West Kelowna's First Cidery Set to Open

A 400-square-foot tasting room overlooking the lake

Truck 59 Ciderhouse opens their doors for the first time on Friday. Located on Brown Road overlooking the Okanagan Lake, this will be a sweet spot to sip some cider and enjoy a bite – but just not quiiiiite yet: the proprietors Russ Johnson and his wife Helen are waiting for the i’s to be dotted on their patio lounge license approval, but you’ll be able to stop into their 400-square-foot tasting room and try out the

Community Planning

If Floods Are a Constant – Are Temporary Measures Enough?

Tons of public money is spent every year to keep rising water away from mostly private property

Okanagan Lake and all of its creeks and streams have always flooded. Dams have been built but water levels continue to dramatically rise and fall. That fluctuation is natural and is not a problem. The very expensive problem for us all is that, in the recent past, houses and other structures were foolishly built on known flood plains.


Thai Terrace Soft Launch Across from City Park

Forced to close last year after years of vandalism in West Kelowna

Back in mid March we noted that the former location of the Wings chain in downtown Kelowna across from City Park was getting a new tenant. Thai Terrace has soft launched this weekend and we know more about the restaurant now. Luke Sumpantarat and his wife Ess used to own Thai Fusion in West Kelowna, the establishment that was


More Westcorp Excuses

Gail Temple of Westcorp sat down for another interview with Kent Molgat of Kelowna Now

Earlier this week, Gail Temple, Westcorp Vice President of Operations visited local blog Kelowna Now for a third time this year for a sit down interview with Kent Molgat to explain why their massive waterfront hotel/condo tower is being delayed yet again.

In the interview she revealed that she hopes that the sales centre will go up for the 33 storey tower some time next year. There were some other tidbits that she

Public Art

Printmaking "Impresses" in the Okanagan

Part of the Okanagan Print Triennial exhibition at the KAG

Last week we wrote about the idea of public art and its potential to get folks talking about it in the public sphere. That art, while requiring insanely special and refined talent, focus, and a line into meanings and stories deeper than our everyday grind allow us, should still not be pretentious or

Community Planning

Guys, Did You Hear? There's a Rental Market Boom!

City of Kelowna revealed that we have 1,479 rental units under construction

The talk of purpose-built rentals and rental zonings has really entered the BC housing discussion of late. While some conservative voices over at a recent UDI panel warned of impending slums, many pragmatic types are getting projects off the ground to fill real market demand for regular Joes and Joannes who can’t get anywhere near the almost seven figure price tag (and almost so in Kelowna).

Tourism Grift

Tourism Kelowna Wants to Become the City's Ticketmaster

They aim to provide redundant services and hurt their members in the process

With the new Tourism Kelowna location at city’s waterfront set to open in the summer, we’re getting word that the apparent not-for-profit society is moving forward with plans to sell tickets for activities around the region, both at the new centre and online, despite the fact that it would become a direct competitor to some of its own members who pay a $360 annual entry level fee to become a stakeholder, and

Public Art

Public Art: What’s the Point?

New art called for the forecourt of the new Police Services Building

In this century we’ve fallen in love with public art. Banksy is a folk hero, developers trade off their bland homogeneity by funding public art, those darn cows (or in our case moose) are everywhere and the Bean is the most photographed artwork since… well that’s kind of the point. It’s also been known to cause massive dysfunction and discord (and unwittingly betray some fundamental hypocrisies along the way), as in the case of Calgary’s “Bowfort Towers” or Richard Serra’s “Titled Arc” in Manhattan. Public art is always a fun topic because it

BC Votes

November is Here!: Proportional Representation Referendum

First-past-the-post masks the true political diversity of BC

Electoral reform has been a major issue in Canada and BC since the early 1990s. The appetite to do away with our old system and modernize our democracy reached such a high level of national attention, that the Federal Liberals used it as a key part of their platform to clinch a majority government in 2015.

Here at home, attempts to switch our voting system to Proportional Representation by way of

Wine News

Marketing Terroir: Naramata and Okanagan Falls Sub-GIs

Naramata Bench is getting ready for its close-up

Despite all the gloom coming from BC wineries post-Comeau decision, we would argue there are some wins. First, while the Supreme Court ruled in favour of allowing provinces to decide what passes into their borders, they did state on the record that provinces protecting their own producers was unconstitutional, setting a standard for opening up negotiations between provinces, and in the process making it


The Good, Bad, and the Ugly in Condo World

Promises, promises... where will the Westcorp Hotel/Piggy bank end up?

We certainly had an interesting juxtaposition of developer news this week – on one hand, the team behind the new Glenmore Central condo proposal in North Kelowna markets their complex as a practical and affordable option exclusively to Kelowna residents, and on the other, Edmonton-based Westcorp announces that their 33 storey mixed use residences/hotel by the lake would be


Coalition of the Willies

The Scrap the Speculation Tax website's developers have quite the infamous client list

I would like to thank the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce for recently submitting a letter to their booster buds at Kelowna Now1  and bringing to my attention this website.

The letter begins:

“Today, a growing coalition of concerned British Columbians launched a campaign called Scrap the Speculation Tax demanding that Premier John Horgan and the provincial government reverse their decision to implement a Speculation Tax on BC and Canadian taxpayers.”


Mission Group's Bargain Shop Condo Marketing Goes Meta and it's Stupid

Condo marketing is a necessary part of the speculation game, but is this one too on the nose?

Mission Group unveiled their vision for the block of Bernard that was once home to The Bargain Shop. The one acre of land has sat dormant since the store closed in late 2010, and the large block building that is still standing there today has been long overdue for a repurpose.

This week, advertising went up around the deserted building, as did the website for the development, and Mission Group is calling their


Prospera Place Parking Lot Proposal

City's 30-year arrangement with GSL Group under scrutiny

Vancouver based GSL Group recently submitted a proposal to city council to build two residential towers on the south corner of the Prospera Place parking lot. GSL is the parent company to several businesses that include RG Properties (which owns and operates Prospera Place, and has a 30-year lease with the Kelowna Rockets), Planet Fitness, Boomers Bar & Grill, WHL team Victoria Royals, and online ticketing site, They also run the Rock the Lake festival here and

Homes First

Healthy Housing, Kelowna and the Speculation Tax

Analyzing and addressing the BC housing crisis

The Real Estate Services Manager for the City of Kelowna recently submitted a report on the provincial taxes (speculation, foreign buyer and property transfer), and city council will be discussing it this evening. In light of these new provincial measures to address the housing crisis, I thought it might be interesting – especially after seeing some of the extreme lengths people will go just to rent in Kelowna – to put this tax talk in a wider framework to help us understand what’s at

Media Bias

Is Kelowna Media Manufacturing Consent Against the Spec Tax?

Local media claims that Kelowna is against the new spec tax

As this week progressed, our local media continually updated us on the city’s position on the proposed new speculation tax. Heck even Vancouverites and the #bcpoli twitterverse were paying attention. Wow, I thought, is our quiet body politic, the one that just turned out pretty low numbers for a recent by-election finally getting woke?

All down my feeds, people are taking a stand, they demand to be heard, they’re outraged at unfairness, they’re taking an eye off the US clown show for a minute and are paying attention to issues in their

Spec Tax

The New BC Speculation Tax and the Foreign Buyers Tax

Measures to increase affordability

The BC government introduced measures to increase affordability in Kelowna and West Kelowna’s out-of-province-influenced housing market, and it is not sitting well with some folks. When the province voted out the Liberals in the recent election, you could say one large reason for it was the housing crises that they did little to stem. It is hard to miss the pained concern ringing out from the CMHC (Canadian Mortgage & Housing Corporation), and international urban affordability reports claiming that


The Westcorp Hotel Gets its City Council Stamp of Approval

With councillors Charlie Hodge and Ryan Donn voting against

Following an extremely long city council meeting that ended well past midnight this past Tuesday, Westcorp’s plan to build the tallest structure in the city on the former Willow Inn site along Mill Street and Queensway Avenue was approved. The vote was 5-2 in favour, with councillors Charlie Hodge and Ryan Donn voting against, Councillor Maxine DeHart recusing herself (she’s Director of Sales with the Ramada on Hwy 97 and therefore has a conflict of interest), and


The West Kelowna Blackmun Bay Village Proposal

Mayor Doug Findlater said he sees some “yellow flags”

A massive waterfront development (called Blackmun Bay Village) that includes four 15-storey towers, a 180-room hotel, 216 condos, 86 townhomes, a winery, and a marina was unveiled recently and West Kelowna City Council had its first look at it this week. On Tuesday, a first reading was given to a bylaw that would rezone seven hectares of agricultural land located at

Kelowna Votes

Kelowna West By-election Part 3: What to Watch For

The big day to finally send someone to Victoria to do our bidding

Hey-ho Kelowna West! Tomorrow’s the big day to finally send someone to Victoria to do our bidding. By-elections are generally lower-key affairs than general elections, but this year Kelowna West, and the power-fulcrum its seat holds, represents quite the narrative… oh and I think there might be some other issues flying around in the

Kelowna Votes

Kelowna West By-election Part 2: All Candidates Forum Downtown – What they Said

The five candidates prepare for the All Candidates Forum at Okanagan Innovation Centre

Friday’s lunchtime brown bag All Candidates Forum for the upcoming Kelowna West by-election was a rather quiet and straightforward affair. With what appeared to be a crowd made up of mostly media, those related to the candidates, some switched on seniors, and a handful of others, it was in all a pretty embarrassingly low

Round Up

The 2018 Canadian Culinary Championships in Pictures

"This is the biggest and most serious national competition for Canadian chefs"

The Canadian culinary scene descended on Kelowna these past two days for The Canadian Culinary Championships (Gold Medal Plates), recognized as one of the most intense national chef competitions in the country. “This is the biggest and most serious national competition for Canadian chefs,” National Culinary Advisor, and all-around big-time food guy, James Chatto said.


Industrial Chic? Proposals are in for the Clement Corridor

Five buildings to be developed on the wide swath of vacant land along Clement Ave

With five buildings to be developed on the wide swath of vacant land along Clement Ave., the area is set to undergo a huge change. Let’s look into what’s being proposed for all this land that’s so tantalizingly close to downtown, yet still suggests its industrial roots.

Kelowna Votes

Kelowna West By-election Part 1: Meet the Candidates

By-election for the dropout Christy Clark’s Kelowna West seat in the BC legislature has been announced

The by-election for the dropout Christy Clark’s Kelowna West seat in the BC legislature has been announced (Feb. 14) and four major candidates have their hat in the ring. Historically a BC Liberal (or other small-c conservative parties like Social Credit) stronghold, this riding’s election could prove interesting given the rise of the Green/NDP government and also

Community Planning

The Towne Centre Mall Set to Become "The District"

Renovation plans for the Towne Centre Mall on Bernard

On Monday, city council approved the renovation plans for the Towne Centre Mall on Bernard. The mall will also feature a new name, “The District” once the renovations are completed. Early last year the mall was sold to undisclosed buyers with Colliers International facilitating the


Downtown Kelowna Hotel Proposal Goes Before Council February 20th

Westcorp wants to build a 32 storey mixed use project budgeted at $130 million

In advance of Westcorp’s meeting with city council next month regarding their ambitious and massive hotel project on the waterfront across from Kerry Park, the company made an impromptu visit to the Rotary Centre this week showcasing their plans to the public. What follows is a not a investigative piece, but rather a summation to inform Kelowna residents of the

Community Planning

The New Tourism Centre Broke Ground – Why Do Some People Still Have a Problem With It?

The Visitor Centre will be taking advantage of some sweet real estate

Tourism Kelowna recently broke ground on their new location by Kerry Park, and the centre will open in early summer 2018 if everything goes as planned. We’re generally pleased with the direction of this initiative, but we’ve noticed that this topic rarely passes mention without the tag “controversial” applied to it. So we decided to explore the information that’s out there for the average citizen like us and see what the hubbub was about. We found that there have been some missteps, detractors and speculations along the path to

Community Planning

Have You Seen the Latest Proposal for Capri Mall?

It's quite the proposed transformation

A couple of weeks ago, the final public forum for the year discussing the future plans and complete makeover of the Capri-Landmark Centre, hosted by the City of Kelowna took place at Coast Capri Hotel. The event was well attended and many people came away liking what they saw. If you weren’t in attendance, you may have missed seeing one of the initial plans proposed by a private developer specifically for the

Community Planning

Imagine This: Downtown Kelowna has a New Movie Theatre

We're playing Fantasy Developer

New theatre brings the movies back to downtown Kelowna!” Sounds cool sure, but would it really work? Well, the answer is we don’t know, and we don’t have the financial resources, but we’re proposing it anyway. As the romantic William Blake said: “everything real was once imagined,” or as the kids are saying, ERWOI (just kidding, they’re not saying that), and that’s exactly what this new section is here for – a place to imagineer Kelowna! So instead of whining about the city’s offerings (hey we’re certainly guilty of that), we’re gonna play Fantasy Developer and

Community Planning

Does Downtown Kelowna Have a Parking Problem?

We think we see a few spots

The nice thing about our charming downtown is that you don’t need a car to get around, however getting there is a different story. Public transit can be unrealistically time consuming, and the region is spread out, making driving the best option. So we need to ask, does the downtown make itself inviting and available for drivers to park and spend time there? For the purposes of our quest to find out, we limited the