The Kelowna Pride Society will receive up to $100,000 in funding through the Canadian Experiences Fund, which is distributed through Western Economic Diversification Canada.

“We had over 12,000 in attendance at this year’s Kelowna Pride Festival; we were featured across Canada, the US, and the UK as being the Pride event to watch, and now we are ready to take our organization to the next level with the help of these funds,” said Kelowna Pride Society Co-President, Blake Edwards. “In partnership with BC Wine, Ciders and Spirits Festival, we will be launching Kelowna's newest, queerest wine festival - OUT in the Valley. This event will encourage tourism and help make Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley an LGBT2Q+ friendly destination.”

"We will be using some of these funds to continue to promote our city as an inclusive, diverse community where people can be who they were born to be," said Mayor Colin Basran.

The funding and event announcement was made outside the Kelowna Visitor Centre yesterday morning.

“We are excited about the funding announcement, which promotes new opportunities for tourism in Kelowna. We now have some signature LGBTQ2+ events coming and additional training for front-line staff in the tourism industry to create a welcoming experience for this important group of travellers,” said Tourism Kelowna President & CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne. “It is so very welcome, and it will definitely have an impact on the destination.”

Over the past couple of years, Tourism Kelowna has introduced targeted campaigns in North America to introduce Kelowna to LGBT2Q+ travellers. Some highlights of Tourism Kelowna’s work include:

  • Partnership with Destination Canada to feature Kelowna as the up-and-coming LGBT2Q+ travel destination of choice.
  • The creation and distribution of LGBT2Q+ travel content.
  • Hosting of travel media, publications, and influencers to learn about Kelowna and help spread the word about what our destination has to offer.
  • The introduction of Pride merchandise in our Love for Kelowna retail line.

Tourism Kelowna is proud to work closely with Kelowna Pride on the important work they do for residents and to introduce Kelowna to LGBT2Q+ travellers. Our team looks forward to supporting OUT in the Valley when it takes place on November 22-24, 2019.

For more information on OUT in the Valley or the Canadian Experiences Fund announcement, contact Kelowna Pride Society Co-President, Blake Edwards, at or (250) 575-2523.

For more information on Tourism Kelowna’s LGBT2Q+ marketing initiatives, contact Director of Marketing & Communications, Chris Shauf, at or (250) 861-1515 ext. 203.

About Kelowna Pride Society

Kelowna Pride Society (KPS) is a non-profit organization that creates opportunities to celebrate, advocate, educate and connect people, respecting the full diversity of the LGBT2Q+ community in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley region. KPS hosts the popular annual Kelowna Pride Festival (formerly the Okanagan Pride Festival), which draws visitors from throughout the Okanagan, British Columbia, Canada, and the United States.