An economic impact study found that BreakOut West, an annual 5-day music conference and festival held in Kelowna from October 11-15, 2023, significantly impacted the local and regional economy.

Sport Tourism Canada (STC) was commissioned to conduct the study, which calculates the amount of new money being spent in a host community as a direct result of hosting an event and the impact these new monies have on the regional, provincial, and national economies as a whole. For this case, STC utilized FestPro, which measures the economic impact of non-sporting events such as festivals, exhibitions, and fairs using actual spending data collected during and post-event.

The report shows that BreakOut West generated a total economic activity of $2 million in British Columbia, with $1.8M of that directly in the Kelowna area, resulting in a total of almost $659,000 of direct visitor spending. This represents an increase of 139%, 146%, and 115%, respectively, from the data collected during BreakOut West 2018, the last time Kelowna hosted the event.

In terms of travel characteristics, the report indicates that 68% of overnight event attendees stayed in a hotel/motel and stayed an average of 4.1 nights, with 62.1% "very likely" to return to Kelowna for leisure. 

BreakOut West - BNA - Ché Aimee DorvalCredit: Photographer: Joey Senft | Artist: Ché Aimee Dorval

Over the five days, BreakOut West welcomed over 550 conference delegates and 1,200 festival attendees. Over 70 artists performed on the stages of downtown north-end venues, which included the BlackBox Theatre at the Kelowna Community TheatreBNA Tasting RoomDelta Hotels by Marriott Grand Okanagan ResortKelowna Curling ClubKettle River BrewingMetro Hub, and Red Bird Brewing, which had stages inside and outside. 

BreakOut West Economic Impact Key Facts & Figures:

  • $1.8 million overall economic activity in Kelowna. 
  • $2 million overall economic activity in the Province. 
  • $1.1 million boost to provincial GDP. 
  • $658,576 of visitor spending in Kelowna. 

Visitor Information:

  • 4.1 average nights in Kelowna. 
  • 3.1 average days at the event. 
  • 1.4 average party size. 
  • 68% stayed in a hotel/motel. 
  • 62.1% are "very likely" to return to Kelowna.

BreakOut West was secured in part through Tourism Kelowna's Major Events Strategy in partnership with the City of Kelowna. This collaboration positioned Kelowna as the perfect host for the 2023 event, with our team assisting in preparing the bid document, securing funding, and nurturing key relationships with Western Canadian Music Alliance/BreakOut West. It was the third time that Kelowna hosted the event, which is held in a different Canadian city each year. 

If you would like more information about Tourism Kelowna's Major Events Strategy or the BreakOut West Economic Impact Report, please reach out to me at sara@tourismkelowna.com or (250) 861-1515 ext. 218.