Kelowna and area tourism businesses are regularly recognized for their outstanding work. Here are some of the award wins and achievements that have happened during the past couple of months.


On January 10, Western Living Magazine announced the finalists for their Foodies of the Year (FOTY) 2020, with three of Kelowna’s dynamic duos included in the list of “40 of the tastemakers, innovators and damn good cooks:”

The top 10 winners will be announced on Friday, March 7, 2020.


A post shared by The Curious Café Kelowna (@thecuriouskelowna) on

In early February, The Curious Café was included in Big 7 Travel's list of 25 Best Pizzas in Canada.

Destination Activities & Attractions

At the end of December, Big White Ski Resort took the second spot in Reader’s Digest’s 14 Best Ski Resorts You Need to Visit in 2020, with the magazine highlighting the Okanagan champagne powder and family-friendly amenities.


Earlier this week, three Kelowna area businesses were announced as finalists for the annual BC Tourism Industry Awards:

  • Gerald Lafortune of Wicked Tours is a finalist for the GoRVing Canada – Customer Service Award, which “recognizes frontline employees whose exceptional customer service contributed to outstanding travel experiences for visitors.”
  • Big White Ski Resort and Ogopogo Tours are both finalists for the Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture – Accessible Tourism Award, which, in part, “recognizes a BC-based tourism business/attraction that has made a significant contribution towards making BC an inclusive and welcoming destination for everyone.”

A post shared by Ogopogo Tours (@ogopogowinetours) on

The awards will be handed out on March 5 as part of the annual BC Tourism Industry Conference, which takes place in Victoria, BC, March 4-6, 2020.

Sports & Events

In late January, UBC Okanagan Heat Softball announced their winning bid to host the Canadian Collegiate Softball Association (CCSA) National Championship, which will take place in Kelowna from October 9-11, 2020.

On February 5, Tourism Kelowna’s Colin McGuinness and Mayor Basran presented the Kelowna Skating Club with the 2020 Sport Hosting Award at the PacificSport Okanagan Community Sport Hero Awards in recognition of their contributions at 2019 Skate Canada International.

Wine & Spirits


A post shared by Jared Schmidt (@inthespiritofthings) on

In late January, Kelowna’s Jared Schmidt was awarded the silver medal at the 2020 Patrón Perfectionist Global Final, where 24 bartenders from around the world competed. The road to the global finals, which took place in Mexico, saw Jared first win the Vancouver Regional Final and then the Canadian Finals with his “It Takes a Valley” tequila cocktail.

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 me at