This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the inaugural INNOVATEWest Conference in Vancouver, which brought together tech, enterprise, and corporate leaders for two days of thought leadership, connection and, of course, innovation.  Joining forces with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) and Accelerate Okanagan, we embarked on a mission to not only showcase our region's burgeoning technology sector and attractive business event landscape but also to deepen our commitment to purpose-driven tourism.

A Collective Effort

Team Kelowna - INNOVATEWest
Pictured (left to right): Sara Scott, Accelerate Okanagan; Alex Goodhew, Accelerate Okanagan; Krista Mallory, COEDC; Nicolle Gomez de Sousa, Tourism Kelowna
Our presence at the INNOVATEWest tradeshow was part of a carefully orchestrated strategy to promote Kelowna as a prime destination for tourism and business. Alongside partners from the COEDC and Accelerate Okanagan, we set up a vibrant booth that became a mini-embassy for all things Kelowna. This partnership underscored the collaborative spirit of our community and the shared vision of promoting economic growth through innovation.

Showcasing Economic Diversity

OKGo Laptop Image

Tourism Kelowna’s participation in INNOVATEWest was a key component of our broader economic sector strategy, which aims to highlight the diverse opportunities within our region, beyond its natural beauty and recreational offerings. By engaging directly with tech innovators and industry leaders, we positioned Kelowna as a forward-thinking city that supports high-tech industries and startups, aligning with our goal to attract business events, such as tech conferences, retreats or meetings to our region.

The OKGo Campaign in Action


One of the highlights of our participation was showcasing the OKGo campaign to delegates. It is not common for a tourism bureau, economic development commission, and accelerator to collaborate on a shared vision; having the opportunity to showcase OKGo's campaign assets, including the sector videos, and discuss how business events are often the catalyst for future investment into the community allowed our audience to better understand our collaborative vision and objectives.

OKGo was designed to spotlight Kelowna as a dynamic place to visit, work, and invest. At INNOVATEWest, the campaign provided us with a platform to engage directly with potential investors and professionals, demonstrating the benefits of hosting business events, as well as relocating and growing their businesses in Kelowna. Through interactive presentations and discussions, we conveyed that Kelowna is not just a vacation spot but a thriving community ready for business.

As we continue to build on the momentum generated by our involvement in impactful events like INNOVATEWest, Tourism Kelowna remains committed to fostering an environment where tourism flourishes sustainably and strategically. This conference was a pivotal step in our ongoing efforts to promote our region’s economic diversity and attract global attention to what Kelowna offers. As we look forward to future collaborations, we are excited about the prospects of bringing more such events to our community, ensuring that Kelowna shines on the global stage as a beacon of innovation and economic opportunity.

For more information about OKGo and Tourism Kelowna's Economic Sector Strategy, connect with me at or (587) 716-5599.