We want to recognize some of the award wins and highlight notable news from our local tourism industry that occurred over the past few months.
- Two Kelowna cideries took home awards in the 3rd annual New York International Cider Competition, which received more than 100 submissions from around the world. Scenic Road Cider Co. was awarded BC Cider Producer of the Year; their Cidermaker’s Select Series Cherry took home Silver in the Fruit Cider category while their Dry Cider was awarded Bronze for Hopped Cider. Upside Cider won Gold in the Wood-Aged Cider category for their Bourbon Barrel Aged Peach and Bronze in the Fruit Cider category for their Plum Rose’.
- Numerous Central Okanagan wineries, cideries, and one meadery took home medals in the All Canadian Wine Championships. Gray Monk Estate Winery's 2018 Odyssey Rose took home the Best Sparkling Wine of the Year award and a Double Gold medal, with other wine varietals from the winery winning Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals. Other medal winners were:
- Double Gold: 50th Parallel Estate Winery, BC Tree Fruits Cider, Frind Estate Winery, Mission Hill Family Estate, The View Winery, Wards Cidery
- Gold: CedarCreek Estate Winery, Ciao Bella Winery, Frind Estate Winery, House of Rose Winery, Intrigue Wines, Kalala Organic Estate Winery, Mission Hill Family Estate, Wards Cidery
- Silver: Intrigue Wines, Mission Hill Family Estate, O'Rourke's Peak Cellars, SpearHead Winery, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, Wards Cidery
- Bronze: BC Tree Fruits Cider, CedarCreek Estate Winery, Frind Estate Winery, Meadow Vista Honey Wines, Mission Hill Family Estate, Priest Creek Family Estate Winery, Sandhill Wines, SpearHead Winery, The Vibrant Vine, The View Winery, Volcanic Hills Estate Winery, Wards Cidery, Wayne Gretzky Estate Okanagan
- Visit the All Canadian Wine Championships' website for full details on the winning varietals.
- SCOREGolf started announcing its 2021 list of Top 59 Canadian Public Golf Courses on July 12. Tower Ranch Golf Club came in at number 21 while Gallagher's Canyon is number 56 on the list. The Top 15 courses will be announced on Monday, August 2.
- KelownaNow announced the winners of Best of Kelowna 2021, in which several tourism-related businesses were nominated and won. View the full list of winners, by category, on the KelownaNow website.
- Ellen Walker-Matthews, who has more than 40 years of experience in the hospitality, travel, and tourism industry, has been appointed as the CEO of the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association (TOTA), where she has served in a variety of capacities for the past 11 years.
- Four Central Okanagan businesses—Big White Ski Resort, Bluestar Coachlines, Energyplex Family Recreation Centre, and Splash ON Water Parks—are grant recipients in the Government of BC's Major Anchor Attractions Program. Another Tourism Kelowna stakeholder situated outside the Central Okanagan, Splashdown Vernon, is also among the list of recipients.
- From July 23 to September 6, Eldorado Resort and Harbour Air Seaplanes are offering a special package so visitors can fly directly from downtown Vancouver to the Eldorado Marina on Okanagan Lake.
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort also announced a new summer offering for its guest, the adults-only, custom-tailored Luminous VIP pool experience.
- Tantalus Vineyards recently announced that they are one of the first wineries in the province to receive their Sustainable Winegrowing BC Certification, while Wicked Tours announced that they have been certified Gold by GreenStep Sustainable Tourism.
- Kelowna Bike Rentals, which is a collaboration between two local charitable organizations, Elevation Outdoors and Community Recreational Initiatives Society (CRIS), that provides bike rentals for users of all abilities, received a $15,000 investment from Interior Savings to support the work the organization is doing.
- The North End Brewery District continues to grow with the recent opening of Bad Tattoo Brewing, The Office Brewery, and Welton Arms Craft Beer and Restaurant. Unleashed Brewing Co. is putting the final touches on its space and will be opening soon.
- Around the corner from Bad Tattoo, along Richter Street, are a new storefront location for Okanagan E-Kruise and Marmalade Cat Café's recently opened third location. Cruzwear Unlimited, which carries swimwear and lifestyle accessories, opened its second location at One Water Street.
- Kyle and Carolyn Nixon, owners of BNA Brewing Co. and Eatery and Skinny's Duke's, took ownership of Doc Willougby’s Pub, now known simply as Docs, on May 1 and reopened the space shortly thereafter once some renovations were completed.
- Other businesses under new ownership include:
- A Vista Villa Couples Retreat, now owned by Josee LaBelle and Andrew Docherty after the previous owner, Sherry Cote, retired after 22 years.
- Michaelbrook Golf, which was previously Michaelbrook Ranch Golf Club.
- Okanagan Adventure Park, which was previously WildPlay Kelowna.
- QB Gelato has rebranded as QB Gelato & Bakery, which included the introduction of "a new line-up of baked goods and desserts."
- In early June, Salt & Brick and Crown & Thieves announced their partnership to create Salt & Thieves, a new restaurant that will operate on the winery’s rooftop, with an open kitchen and expansive views. Stay tuned to Crown & Thieves website for the official opening date.
Other new restaurants and tourism-related businesses that have recently opened include:
- 19 Bistro at Fitz
- A Taste of Kelowna Food Tours
- Café XI
- J's Cafe Kelowna
- Jealous Fruits Retail Store
- Room + Pillar Salt Cave + Wellness Spa
- The Landing Kitchen + Bar at The Cove Lakeside Resort
Have an award win, achievement, or notable news to share? Email us all the details so we can include the information in our next roundup.