Brought together by a desire to learn, network, and empower female voices, 350 women from across the agriculture landscape—producers, government, students, and agribusiness members—came together in Calgary, Alberta, for the Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference (AWC) WEST 2024

This year's conference saw continued participation from Tourism Kelowna, in collaboration with the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC), with a shared objective that went beyond mere attendance. The goal was clear and compelling: to showcase how hosting business events in Kelowna could be significantly enhanced by leveraging the thought leadership and innovation of local producers, specifically highlighting the contributions of Farming Karma and Day’s Century Growers. The COEDC also shared industry statistics to educate delegates on the robust and diverse agricultural ecosystem in the Central Okanagan.

Kelowna: A Confluence of Beauty and Innovation

Kelowna boasts an enviable location flanked by stunning mountains and serene lakes. It's a place where natural beauty meets a vibrant cultural scene, making it an ideal destination for business events. However, what sets Kelowna apart is its deep-rooted connection to agriculture, with the region being one of Canada's most prolific for farming and wine production. This unique aspect provides a fertile ground for innovation and thought leadership within the agricultural sector.

Advancing Women in Agriculture Conference 2024

Amplifying the Voices of Local Producers

At the heart of Tourism Kelowna's participation in AWC WEST was the desire to introduce the innovative practices of local producers. Farming Karma and Day’s Century Growers, both based in the Kelowna area, have been at the forefront of agricultural innovation, pushing the boundaries of what's possible in farming and sustainable practices.

Farming Karma, known for its fruit-based sodas and commitment to sustainability, has become a beacon of innovative agricultural practices. Meanwhile, Day’s Century Growers has been instrumental in advancing agricultural technology and methods, ensuring that local produce is abundant and of the highest quality. By inviting local female leaders from these successful companies to participate in the conference, Tourism Kelowna aimed to underscore the rich tapestry of innovation that visitors and business event planners can tap into when choosing Kelowna for their next program.

A Strategy for Growth

The strategy behind this initiative was multifaceted. First, it reinforced Kelowna's reputation as a hub for agriculture and innovation. With the forward-thinking, authentic, yet humble leaders of Farming Karma and Day’s Century Growers engaging throughout the conference, the message was clear: Kelowna is home to a vibrant community of producers who are shaping the future of agriculture.

Second, it aimed to attract more business events to the region. Conferences, seminars, and meetings are vital to the local economy, driving tourism and fostering connections between local businesses and the wider world. By showcasing the unique offerings of Kelowna's agricultural sector, we seek to entice the key decision makers in attendance from agribusinesses like Nutrien, ATB, Scotiabank, John Deere, and many more, looking for a destination that offers more than just a picturesque backdrop but also a chance to engage with innovative thought leaders and practices.

Pictured (left to right): Nicolle Gomez de Sousa, Tourism Kelowna; Kati Day-Holland, Day's Century Growers; Erin Day, Day's Century Growers; Binny Boparai-Gill, Farming Karma; Sascha Lesack, COEDC

A Collective Effort for a Brighter Future

The collaboration between Tourism Kelowna and the COEDC at AWC WEST 2024 represents our continued strategic objective to promote Kelowna as a prime destination for business events. By focusing on the contributions of local producers and their role in elevating the event-hosting experience, Kelowna is positioning itself as a city where innovation, beauty, and community converge.

As we look to the future, it's clear that the agricultural sector will continue to play a pivotal role in shaping the economic and cultural landscape of Kelowna. Through initiatives like these, the city not only celebrates its agricultural heritage but also paves the way for a future where innovation and thought leadership continue to thrive.

For more information on this conference or Tourism Kelowna's business development efforts in Western Canada and the US West Coast, contact me at