The holiday season is upon us, bringing with it more opportunities to promote your products, services, or events to locals and visitors alike. Here are some online and in-person options you can take advantage of this year.
This year's annual celebration of all things local takes place from November 29 to December 5, promoting ways for British Columbians to support local and encouraging them to shift a percentage of their holiday spending towards businesses and organizations in their own communities. Businesses interested in celebrating the week can request a free campaign kit on the BC Buy Local website.
The Women's Enterprise Centre (WEC) is creating an online pop-up shop to support women business owners in BC through the holiday season. A listing in the pop-up shop, which will be live from November 16 to January 3, is free for those that qualify. Listings can be created on the WEC website until November 30. Learn more about #WEshopBC here.
While local holiday markets are already underway, there are still a few accepting vendor applications for the 2021 season:
- The Rutland Winter Light-Up Festival, which takes place from 12 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PST on Sunday, November 28, is still accepting applications from food trucks, small local artisan businesses, crafters, and artists.
- The Downtown Kelowna Winter Street Market is back and is accepting applications from vendors that offer locally made, or especially unique products or food. The outdoor market will take place on Saturday, December 4, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.
- The Christmas Fair at the Centre Culturel Francophone is looking for vendors that offer local products, arts, and crafts; the event takes place on Saturday, November 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. PST.
Originally launched by Small Business BC to support businesses through the pandemic, BC Marketplace is now an always-on online platform showcasing local businesses around the province, including here in the Thompson Okanagan. Businesses can create their online profile free of charge, connecting them with consumers across the province during the holiday season and beyond.
Gift certificates are a popular item for the holidays, but also throughout the year for birthdays and other special occasions. Support Local BC has partnered with The Local Gift Card here in Kelowna to offer consumers the ability to purchase gift certificates that can be redeemed at participating businesses, with 100% of the proceeds going to the business owner. Learn more about participating on the Support Local BC website.
Tourism Kelowna's local consignment retail program helps support local entrepreneurs, artists, and businesses. All of the products are available for purchase at the KVC and through our Love for Kelowna online store. Our team is always interested in hearing from local businesses, artisans, and artists who might be interested in joining our retail program—please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Michelle at (250) 861-1515 ext. 208 to learn more.
If you're hosting events throughout the holiday season, be sure to submit them to the events calendar on our website. The calendar is one of the most frequently visited pages on our website and is used by our Marketing and Visitor Experience teams to promote what's happening in our region and to suggest ideas to visitors and locals when they are looking for things to do. Our Visitor Experience team also uses the calendar to create promotional ads for events that are displayed on a digital screen in the Kelowna Visitor Centre.
Accommodators within the Central Okanagan are encouraged to provide Sara Correa, Marketing Programs & Research, with information about packages and promotions that are being offered for the holiday and winter season so we can include them on our website. In addition to organic traffic, the packages and promotions page is promoted through digital advertising to consumers throughout the province and beyond.
If you have retail promotions or other information about the holiday season that would be of interest to our team, please email us at email@example.com. Be sure to also tag us on social media and include #exploreKelowna when posting. We look forward to helping you promote your offerings through the holidays and beyond!