Kelowna has been nationally recognized by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, in partnership with Sportcal, as the top mid-size city (population 50,000 – 150,000) in Canada for sport hosting.

The award recognizes the strong partnership between the City of Kelowna and Tourism Kelowna, as well as the effort of local, national, and international organizations and clubs which collaborate with both organizations annually to help to attract, organize, and execute sport events in Kelowna each year.

GSI Index Award Photo
From left to right: Tourism Kelowna President & CEO, Lisanne Ballantyne; Mayor Colin Basran; Tourism Kelowna Board Chair, Thom Killingsworth​

“We are committed to establishing Kelowna as a centre for multi-sport excellence, as a host to tournaments large and small, including major athletic events, such as the Apple Triathlon and Okanagan Marathon,” said Kelowna Mayor, Colin Basran. “With sport and event tourism as a key driver for travel to Kelowna, it contributes significantly to the local economy through tourism’s $1.25 billion in annual economic output.”

Tourism Kelowna’s Major Events Strategy contributes to Kelowna’s lead as a sport and event destination of choice. Positioned to attract events which create exposure of and promote travel to Kelowna year-round, the strategy has shown to be a strong economic driver since its 2017 inception. According to the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance, the strategy's resulting events and economic gain contribute to the estimated $7 billion industry of sport tourism annually to the Canadian economy. Recent examples of such successes include the World Mixed Curling Championships which contributed $630,000 in new visitor spending in Kelowna this past fall.

“Kelowna has established itself as a leading destination for sport tourism and hosting,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO, Tourism Kelowna. “In 2018 Kelowna was host to more than 100 sport events. The national title awarded to Kelowna recognized a cross-section of those events, specifically national championships and international events, while also considering major events secured for 2019 and 2020. We’re on the map and will continue to promote Kelowna’s established reputation as a sought after destination for sport and event tourism.”

Looking forward, Kelowna is set to continue to host national championships and international sport events annually. Skate Canada International this fall, and the 2020 Memorial Cup next spring are sure to build Kelowna’s profile as a sport destination. For more information about the award win or about Tourism Kelowna's Major Events Strategy, contact Harvey Hubball, Business Development, Sports & Events, at or (250) 861-1515 ext. 209.