Kelowna is an entrepreneurial city, one of Canada's most entrepreneurial, in fact. It is thanks to the innovation, perseverance, and resilience of our region's entrepreneurs that Kelowna and the Central Okanagan have become a recognized knowledge centre for several economic sectors. 

This wealth of knowledge in the region is something planners can take advantage of when hosting business events in and around Kelowna, adding site visits, meetings, or keynote speeches from the powerhouse of talent to their agenda.

"Many cities can offer natural beauty with mountains, lakes, or oceans, along with an array of clean and comfortable accommodation options, delicious restaurants, and engaging activities," says Tourism Kelowna's Business Development, Sales Manager, Nicolle Gomez de Sousa. "What truly sets Kelowna apart—our unique value proposition—is our residents and their entrepreneurial and innovative spirit." 

Global Meetings Day at 50th Parallel Winery (116)
Global Meetings Industry Day at 50th Parallel Estate Winery. Photo credit: Sherpa Events & Meg Creative

When you think of Kelowna and its surrounding communities, wine and fresh produce might be one of the first things that come to mind—viticulture and agriculture are certainly a couple of the sectors in which the Central Okanagan shines—but did you know there are several other sectors in which the region has achieved national and global acclaim?  

For instance, this past year, RainStick Shower, a Kelowna-based clean tech company that launched North America's first circular shower, was selected as one of 11 cohort members—the only one from Canada—for Imagine H20, one of the world's top accelerators working with early-stage water startups, and were featured on TIME's List of the Best Inventions for 2023.

This is just one example of the innovation coming out of the clean tech sector in Kelowna, which is home to companies like Pela, inventors of Flaxstic®, a compostable material used to make phone cases, and creators of the countertop composter, Lomi. 

In another equally successful sector, aerospace, you'll find KF Aerospace, the region's largest private-sector employer and Canada's largest commercial maintenance repair and overhaul operation. In addition to its day-to-day operations, the company recently opened the KF Centre for Excellence, a one-of-a-kind, 60,000 sq. ft. aviation museum and event venue, shaped like the fuselage and wings of an airplane. As noted on StructureCraft's website—the engineering company of record—the Centre "showcases the latest in structural innovation and mass timber construction" and is home to a "highly unique doubly-curved CLT [Cross Laminated Timber] staircase." The KF Centre, conveniently located next to Kelowna International Airport and nearby hotel accommodations, will certainly wow delegates when you choose the space for meetings, receptions, or off-site activities. 

Photo from February 2023 Winter Destination ProductionKF Centre for Excellence. Photo credit: Ken Hagen.

Other aerospace companies in the region, which make up 18% of BC's aerospace companies, include:

  • Alpine Aerotech, one of the largest helicopter customer support centres in the world.
  • AEM, a provider of speciality aviation solutions.
  • Jupiter Avionics, renowned worldwide for its aircraft audio communications equipment. 
  • SKYTRAC, a global leader in satellite communications.

"Kelowna's local entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and innovators—masters in their respective industries who are helping to put Kelowna and the Central Okanagan on the map—can augment your agenda, ensure your event is impactful, and leave your delegates inspired," says Gomez de Sousa. 

To learn more about the Central Okanagan's key sectors—which, in addition to those mentioned above, include cannabis, digital tech, manufacturing, and post-secondary education—visit the OKGO website or contact Nicolle at or (587) 716-5599.