Over the past few months, awards have been handed out and achievements have been announced for several Kelowna and area tourism businesses, as well as for the region.


In early October, Stephen Cipes, founder/owner of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, was inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame as a Local Champion. Cipes was recognized for “his leadership as an advocate of the land and for bringing sustainable wines and flavours to the restaurant table.”


Conner Kozak, of The Okanagan Golf Club, was the 2019 recipient of the Jack McLaughlin Junior Golf Leader of the Year at the 2019 PGA of BC Awards Celebration, which took place in mid-October.

The Harvest Golf Club’s Head Golf Professional, Bruce Vermee, was a regional recipient of the 2019 PGA of BC Awards Dick Munn Golf Professional of the Year.


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The Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm was a finalist for the Social Responsibility Award at the 2019 Canada Post E-commerce Innovation Awards.

At the end of October, the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association announced that the Thompson Okanagan region is the first Canadian destination to join the World Tourism Organization's International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO), joining 27 committed partners across 5 continents.


Kelowna Concierge was awarded the Excellence in Tourism Award, sponsored by Tourism Kelowna, at the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Business Excellence Awards, which took place November 1. The two other finalists in the category were Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm and Volcanic Hills Estate Winery.


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Other Tourism Kelowna stakeholders who took home awards were Kelowna Museums (Arts & Entertainment Achievement Award) and Predator Ridge (Marketing Campaign of the Year). Click here for a full list of winners.

The 2019 Canadian Tourism Awards will be handed out in Ottawa on November 20. Big White Ski Resort is a finalist for the Pursuit Attraction & Adventure Award, while the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association’s “Route 97” is a finalist in the Accor Hotels Marketing Campaign of the Year Awards.

Based on popular vote, the Okanagan Valley was included in the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards for 10 Best Destinations for Fall Foliage.

Wine & Spirits

Sip Northwest’s 2019 Best of the Northwest

In mid-September, winners of Sip Northwest’s 2019 Best of the Northwest were announced online. In the Best of the Northwest Wine, Sandhill Wines took home two Double Gold medals and tied for Bronze in two categories. Gray Monk Estate Winery also took a Double Gold medal. Both wineries were also selected as Judges’ Pick in several categories. Forbidden Spirits Distilling Co. took home a Bronze medal for in the Best of the Northwest Spirits Vodka category.

Patrón Perfectionists

In late September, Orchard Room’s Jared Schmidt won the Vancouver Regional Final in the Patrón Perfectionists competition for his “It Takes a Valley” cocktail. This regional win took Jared to the Canadian Finals last week, where he was the National winner out of five competitors. Jared will be representing Canada at the 2020 Patrón Perfectionists Global Final.


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The British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards

On October 3, the second annual British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Wine Awards were held as part of the Fall Okanagan Wine Festival. Sandhill Wines and Wayne Gretzky Okanagan were two of the 12 Platinum Award winners. Click here for the full list of Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze medallists.

Okanagan Craft Spirits Distillery Mixoff

On November 7, the 7th annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Spirits Distillery Mixoff took place at the Laurel Packing House. Waterfront Cafe & Waterfront Wines took home Judges' Choice and People's Choice for their creative cocktail, while RauDZ Regional Concepts took home the top spot for Best Bite. 

Congratulations to all the winners and good luck to all those still in the running!

Please share your award wins or notable achievements by emailing melissa@tourismkelowna.com