With Pride month coming to an end, I figured this would be a good opportunity to talk briefly about the Rainbow Registered businesses in Kelowna - what that means, and how you can join in with the movement!

Associating your business with the Rainbow Registered mark shows that you support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community and strive to make those customers feel safe and accepted. It’s important because while most people of Kelowna are very kind and welcoming, there are unfortunately still those few who demonstrate hate against those with certain lifestyle preferences. As a 2SLGBTQIA+ member myself, having businesses we can visit where we don’t need to hide who we are makes us feel valid and empowered. Seeing the Rainbow Registered mark displayed shows that these businesses are committed to making our community feel safe, welcomed, and accepted.

Hopefully this list will grow in the future, but here is some information on each of the current Rainbow Registered businesses in Kelowna.


Hotel Zed & Accent Inns Kelowna

Hotel ZedPhoto: Hotel Zed

Known for being extremely 2SLGBTQIA+ friendly, both Hotel Zed and Accent Inns are located downtown and provide a welcoming place to stay for visitors and locals alike. They became the first hospitality chain to be Rainbow Registered across all of there locations, and their employee benefit package includes hormone therapy coverage!


Jackknife Brewing

Jackknife Brewing 1Jackknife Brewing. Photo: BC Ale Trail

If you’re looking for freshly made pizza and a variety of beer to choose from, Jackknife Brewing has you covered! Their staff are friendly, and by only using gender-neutral language, they don’t assume anyone’s pronouns. They also support the Diversity in Brewing program, which offers scholarships to BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of colour) or 2SLGBTQIA+ folks looking to get into the brewing industry.


Kelowna Art Gallery

The Kelowna Art Gallery is located in the heart of Kelowna’s cultural district and is an inclusive space for all. They partner with organizations like Kelowna Pride to support their community events. I highly recommend Their Pride Exhibit (Pride in Every Colour) which runs until July 12th.


Interior Health

With over 25,000 employees (including myself), Interior Health works hard to provide a support system so everyone can have a safe and harassment free place to work. The Hospital Employees Union has a Pink Triangle Committee as well – who meet several times a year to discuss ways to improve awareness and equality of their 2SLGBTQIA+ members.


Greenstep Solutions

Greenstep Solutions have been helping other businesses and organizations improve their sustainability performance since 2008. They provide several services on developing strategies to help reduce carbon footprint and create climate action. They strive to make the world a better place, not only for the environment, but for people as well!


Velo Volt Mobile Bike Rentals

Velo Volt Mobile Bike Rentals is owned by two outgoing women who want to share their passion for cycling with everyone. They offer both guided and self-guided gravel bike rentals and are committed to providing a different type of experience for both beginners and intermediate riders.


Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Tourism Kelowna

Tourism Kelowna and The Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association are proud to be Rainbow Registered! They are open-minded, embrace diversity, and strive to create a tourism economy that’s welcoming not only for visitors, but residents as well.

By signing up to be Rainbow Registered, not only are you supporting a wonderful community, but you’ll get to expand your network and join other businesses who want to diversify their practices. You’ll have access to leadership content as well as all CGLCC (Canada’s 2SLGBTQIA+ Chamber of Commerce) networking events, both in person and online. Your business will be listed in the Rainbow Registered directory and you’ll receive a welcome kit which will include a window decal for display.

Become Rainbow Registered

Signing up is easy! Visit the CGLGG website to begin the accreditation process. First you’ll review the program guide, and then you’ll register for a CGLCC account and complete the application form. Once your application has been received, you will be connected with an assessor who will help guide you through the assessment process. Once your assessment is complete, the CGLCC will notify you with their final decision and the next steps.

It might seem a little far fetched, but hopefully one day all the businesses of Kelowna can become Rainbow Registered!

For more information please visit http://cglcc.ca/programs/rainbow-registered.


Header image is from Hotel Zed Kelowna. Photo: Pam Sawatzky