Working together and supporting each other has always been at the heart of the Okanagan, particularly when it comes to local businesses. As wildfires have threatened communities throughout our region, across the province, and in other parts of Canada and the world this summer, it has been heartening to see local Okanagan businesses do what they do best—showing up to support community members in need. We want to highlight some of the ways that local businesses have been supporting evacuees, firefighters, and those working behind the scenes to keep our communities safe. 

Providing Temporary Accommodations

As soon as people had to start evacuating their homes, reception centres were set up in various locations, including at Prospera Place in downtown Kelowna, which provided beds, round-the-clock access to food, and space for those with pets.

In the days that followed, hotels in the Central Okanagan opened their doors to evacuees, who could register through the Emergency Support Service program. In addition to providing accommodations, Eldorado Resort—comprised of Hotel Eldorado and Manteo—hosted a free Evacuee Kids Camp from August 22 to 25.

Several local businesses, including Caravan Farm TheatreKalala Estate Winery, Orchard Park Shopping CentrePriest Creek Family Estate Winery, and Ve Oh Layer Acres, offered space on their properties for camping and RVs, assisting both locals and visitors. 

Big White Ski Resort closed its regular summer operations on August 18 so that it could support evacuees, providing accommodations and room for RVs, as well as access to its facilities, lots of activities to keep the kids entertained, and more. The community on the mountain also raised more than $1,000 for Mamas for Mamas. 

Collecting Donations and Supplying Necessities

Local non-profit organization, Mamas for Mamas, quickly mobilized its staff, volunteers, and community members to start collecting donations for those in need, including local families. They have since been distributing items and processing the large influx of physical donations, which include all kinds of essential items and household goods. Through its Serve 360 committee, the Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort donated hundreds of essentials to Mamas for Mamas, including shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and soap.

Many local wineries, breweries, and craft beverage companies have been donating a portion of their sales to relief efforts and local non-profit organizations like Mamas for Mamas and United Way. On Thursday, August 24, Barn Owl Brewing hosted its sold-out "Fund the Fight" fundraiser, with 100% of proceeds being donated to Mamas for Mamas. On the same day, Red Bird Brewing invited community members to the brewery to record thank you messages for the first responders, which will then be used to make a compilation video. 

BNA Brewing, Bright Jenny, Okanagan Lifestyle, Plant Gather, and many others opened up their spaces to evacuees and those needing refuge from the stress of the wildfires. 

Feeding the Community

With tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes in Kelowna and the Central Okanagan, local chefs, restaurants, and other local businesses have stepped up to offer free meals to those in need, as well as to those fighting on the front lines of the wildfires.

The Okanagan Chefs Association prepped more than 235 meals for evacuees and first responders and raised more than $500 in support of Kelowna Fire Fighters and the BC SPCA, while the team at Frankie We Salute You! packed up 200 meals for firefighters and the culinary team at Quails' Gate Estate Winery has been preparing over 600 meals a day to support more than 300 firefighters. 

The owners of Ramen Arashi, who had been preparing for their soft opening and were evacuees themselves, offered 100 bowls of ramen, free of charge, to those in need. Kettle River Brewing hosted its Summer Sundaze event on August 20, raising more than $1,000 for the Central Okanagan Food Bank. 

These are just some of the dozens of local businesses that have offered support to those in need—visit Tourism Kelowna's Instagram page to learn more about other stories of support in our community. 

​Local creator and social media influencer, Jason Chan, has also been showcasing what businesses are doing for the community, so we encourage you to visit his Nothing But Jason Instagram page to hear some of these stories directly.

If you’re able, please support local Okanagan businesses during these trying times. Visit and purchase in person, purchase gift cards, order online, give social media love, and always be kind.


Please note:

As of Wednesday, August 23, you are able to travel to Kelowna and the Central Okanagan region. Local businesses are open and ready to welcome you safely. We recommend you check the conditions and call ahead to any businesses you plan to visit. 

Parts of Kelowna and the Central Okanagan continue to deal with the effects of wildfire. Emergency response personnel have worked hard to keep our communities safe, and we thank them for their tremendous effort. We encourage you to contact our Community and Visitor Engagement Team if you have any questions about travelling to the region.

Please pay attention to alerts or restrictions in place and follow any updates or orders from Central Okanagan Emergency Operations. This includes staying away from affected areas and staying off the lake where air service personnel are responding. If travelling to the area, please be mindful of the conditions and make safe and responsible decisions as the affected communities continue to work together through this challenging time.