The Amazing Race Canada kicked off its series with Episode 1 in Kelowna last night. Here is the scene of the Pit Stop for that show, at the breathtaking picnic area of Quails’ Gate.

What a first launch to The Amazing Race Canada last night! We are honoured, proud, and thrilled that Kelowna was selected to take the front and centre position for Episode 1. Here is the press release we sent out on the show and how it all went down last night.

UPDATE (July 17, 2013): Monday night’s broadcast ranked as the most-watched series premiere from an American or Canadian series in nearly a decade, with 3 Million viewers watching. Nearly one in three English Canadians watching television tuned into the premiere episode featuring Kelowna. Read the full CTV press release here.

Catherine Frechette (Tourism Kelowna), left, and Rania Peters (Quails’ Gate), right celebrate the launch of The Amazing Race Canada at Quails’ Gate Winery with businesses involved in the shoot, yesterday.

Kelowna, BC  – The Amazing Race Canada kicked off last night amid much anticipation and speculation from fans across the country as to which fortunate Canadian destinations would be selected for the television show. Surprise, Kelowna! You were the destination selected for Episode 1.

“No doubt there will be many local fans of The Amazing Race series who would have just about fallen out of their chairs when they learned that the destination being featured in the very first episode of the show was their own hometown,” smiles Nancy Cameron, President & CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “Working with the team at The Amazing Race Canada has been tremendously satisfying for our staff, who wasted no time in pitching possible challenges in Kelowna and ultimately won over the attention and buy-in from CTV and the show’s producers.”

“The Kelowna Episode came together like clockwork. We couldn’t have asked for better weather or more dramatic synchronicities than what took place during the Kelowna shoot,” recalls John Brunton, Insight Productions. “The partners in Kelowna were supportive and enthusiastic, and really bent over backwards to make the show a success.  It shows in the final product, of course.”

“We wanted to mark the occasion with a celebration that would include the partners who came together to make the show happen, so we held a live viewing party for the airing of the show,” explains Tony Stewart, CEO of Quails’ Gate Estate Winery. “We couldn’t be prouder that Quails’ Gate was the location for the Pit Stop in the first episode. The Amazing Race brand is such a terrific advocate for tourism and travel. It stands for a triumph of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and spirit of adventure. Wearing my hat as a Director for Tourism Kelowna, I can’t think of a better production for Kelowna to line up with. Wearing my other hat with Quails’ Gate, having the winery featured to the massive audience across Canada that was watching tonight is invaluable.”

The Amazing Race Canada airs every Monday at 9 pm PT on CTV. Tune in to find out which other beautiful, rugged, or metropolitan Canadian destinations will have their turn to shine on this highly-followed television show.