After working together for several years to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, Kelowna Pride and Tourism Kelowna are happy to announce a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed to officially continue this work.

Through awareness, education, and promotion, the two organizations plan to:

  • attract more visitors from the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to positively impact the local economy year-round.
  • increase participation and support of events that positively contribute to the visitor experience and quality of life of residents.
  • work together to educate residents and visitors on 2SLGBTQIA+ issues, as well as, the importance of supporting businesses within the community.

Fahmy Baharuddin (he/him), President of Kelowna Pride says, “After scaling down our festivities over the last two years, we are thrilled to be able to have a full slate of events planned for Pride Week this year. And announcing our agreement with Tourism Kelowna is an exciting way to start off the week. This collaboration recognizes the many ways our associations can work together to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community now and into the future. We hope this collaboration is the first of many that will celebrate and promote the growth of the Central Okanagan.”

Credit Valaura Jones

As part of this agreement, Tourism Kelowna plans to further enhance destination marketing activities, promote more events, create more articles supporting the community, and continue expanding the pride-related merchandise available at the Kelowna Visitor Centre, including Kelowna Pride’s products. In addition, Kelowna Pride will continue to extend awareness of Kelowna as an ideal place to host meetings and conferences, contribute to content to attract the 2SLGBTQIA+ travel market, and develop and execute inclusive community events and educational programs.

“Formally recognizing and advancing the good work that has been happening between our two organizations over the years is an exciting step forward,” says Lisanne Ballantyne (she/her), President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “A positive and collaborative approach to raising the awareness of Kelowna as a welcoming community is an important factor when attracting the 2SLGBTQIA+ travel market, which, according to the Canadian LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce, spends $12 billion annually across the globe. We are excited to continue working with Kelowna Pride to welcome visitors and work with residents to ensure our community is a place where all feel they can be their true and authentic selves.”

For more information about Kelowna Pride Week, click here.

Information on 2SLGBTQIA+ friendly travel in Kelowna can be found by clicking here

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About Tourism Kelowna

As the lead destination marketing organization for the Central Okanagan, Tourism Kelowna works on behalf of over 400 local tourism businesses and the larger tourism and hospitality community to support and market the destination of Kelowna in a sustainable manner that strengthens the economy and enriches the quality of life for residents.

Kelowna’s $2 billion dollar visitor economy is a major economic driver, attracting 2 million visitors annually who in turn generate 13,000 jobs, $204 million in tax revenue, and $443 million in direct spending at local businesses. Our goal is to establish the Central Okanagan as North America’s four-season, outdoor destination of choice by 2024. 

For more information:

Carla Bechard (she/her), Marketing Programs & Partnerships, Tourism Kelowna
(250) 861-1515 ext. 204 |

About the Kelowna Pride Society

The Kelowna Pride Society (KPS) is a non-profit organization committed to serving Kelowna's 2SLGBTQIA+ community. KPS creates events and offers programs to connect the community. The organization depends on volunteers, membership, sponsorship, and patronage to thrive, and KPS is grateful for the support it is receiving from the community. 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.  

The Kelowna Pride Society would like to respectfully acknowledge that they operate on the unceded, traditional territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

For more information:

Bobby Bissessar (he/him), Vice President, External, Kelowna Pride Society
(778) 302-9996 |