Penticton council receives update on economic development priorities for 2021, with a focus on labour and housing

Labour attraction top of list

With a new team lead and goals set for the upcoming year, Penticton’s Economic Development team presented their priorities to city council on Tuesday.

The work outlined in the 2018-2022 Economic Development Strategic Plan was reorganized and consolidated for the economic development function combined with the City’s Sports and Events portfolio. The project has been relocated within the Community Services Division, the Economic Development team, now led by Carly Lewis.

Communication, collaboration, retention and expansion, resident and labour attraction and organizational excellence are the focus areas for 2021.

The team also plans to be working with the business community to support them through COVID-19 recovery, as an important role for economic development in 2021. Further efforts will be placed on marketing and service levels at the Penticton Airport, as well as continue building the City’s brand as a destination of choice for remote workers.

Resident and labour attraction continues to be at the top of the list over recent years and will move into 2021 priorities with the EcDev team investing in local and regional marketing campaigns. Goals include adding new talent to the region, filling the gaps in the skilled labour market and highlighting the unique lifestyle that Penticton has to offer.

One of the most critical issues facing Penticton on the list is to seek out opportunities for increasing the City’s housing stock, as it continues to impact all employment sectors for the community.

“As we head into the second month of 2021 and the continuation of the pandemic, we are confident that the priorities for 2021 will continue to move our community forward in the right direction,” Carly Lewis, economic development manager for the City said.

“The key areas of focus are consistent with the direction provided by the City’s Economic Development five-year strategic plan. We will continue to be flexible and reactive to ensure that we provide our businesses and the community support throughout the pandemic recovery process, and position ourselves for success when we begin our return to normal.”

It’s time to renew dog licenses in the Penticton area

Renewed dog license yet?

The City of Penticton is sending out a reminder for dog owners that it is licence renewal time and all pooches over four months need to have a license no later than Jan. 31, 2021.

Purchases for the license can be made either at City hall located at 171 Main Street or through the City Shelter Facility located at 2330 Dartmouth Drive.

City hall hours of operation are 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. Monday through Friday upon reopening from Jan. 4, 2021.

Those who would like to arrange a time outside of those hours are asked to call Penticton Dog Control at 250-492-3801 and they will be happy to arrange a time that works best for you.

Licenses can be purchased online if you already have a licensing account.

UNESCO Biosphere designation sought for BC’s Howe Sound

Biosphere protection sought

Following years-long effort, a submission has been made to UNESCO asking the organization to designate Howe Sound a UNESCO Biosphere.

Sites that receive this designation are considered “learning places for sustainable development.”

These are places where the organization encourages people to test interdisciplinary approaches to managing interactions between social and ecological systems.

On Dec. 3, the Howe Sound Biosphere Region Initiative Society announced it had submitted a nomination package for Howe Sound to Paris for review by the International Advisory Committee.

“We are four and a half years into the rigorous process for attaining this designation, and we are proud that our nomination document meets the high standards required for submission to UNESCO,” said Ruth Simons, project lead of the society in a news release.

The committee will next give recommendations regarding the application between April and May 2021. If everything goes according to plan, Howe Sound will receive a formal designation by the winter of 2021.

Previously, the Howe Sound Biosphere Region nomination was endorsed by the Canadian Commission for UNESCO back in September. It was the final major endorsement needed to bring the application to a stage where it could be submitted.

An endorsement from that organization is a sign the Howe Sound project is a good contender for fulfilling the standards of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program.

“Building the submission documents has required a rigorous process, and one that has created opportunities for individuals, organizations, governments and First Nations to come together to discover common ground based on a compelling vision and goal,” said Mayor Karen Elliott.

Livestream Class with the Virtual Vinstitute


 Event Dates:
  • Tue  May 26, 2020  7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

To bring the Vinstitute to you, we have partnered with Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country to produce a monthly Virtual Vinstitute session that will explore different topics in wine as well as feature a spotlight on some of the magnificent wines of our region.

The session will air on Facebook Live on the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country page.

The first session will feature Gehringer Brothers Estate Winery Pinot Noir and Tinhorn Creek Vineyards Pinot Gris

Hiking and Biking around Osoyoos

Hiking the hills around Osoyoos is a major pastime for locals and visitors alike. Around Osoyoos, for example, you’ll find a terrain that varies from easy strolls along the shoreline and along the Okanagan River to more strenuous climbs on nearby Mount Kobau where you’ll find yourself atop a rampart that separates two ancient river valleys.

It’s worth the hike to find yourself among wildflowers that bloom on the slopes between the sage and pine, looking down on orchards, vineyards, wetlands, and grasslands. And at night, stargazers are in their element. Drive up the mountain, set up your telescope (if you have one) and be dazzled by the brilliance of the stars.

Several trails throughout the area provide interpretive signage or guided tours with opportunities for bird watching and wildlife watching, with panoramic views. And, if you’re a birder, bring your binoculars for seeing some of the 300 species found throughout the Okanagan – two-thirds of which breed in our area. The best hot spot to viewing is at South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area around Kilpoola and Blue Lakes, the Osoyoos Oxbows wetlands and the Golden Mile Trail north of Osoyoos. Among the species, depending on which habitat you’re at, are great blue herons, woodpeckers, raptors, warblers, white tailed ptarmigan and the boreal chickadee.

Cyclists come to us for high road, back road, off road, mountain and BMX biking adventures. Many top-end athletes come to us for endurance biking, which you’ll find in several locations. One of the most popular – and difficult – is the road up Anarchist Mountain, a straight up the mountain test that puts the heart rate up and muscles straining. Once you get to the top, you’ll have one of the most spectacular views in the entire region.

More gentle cycle tours can be found on Black Sage Road and the International Hike and Bike Trail. Take the Black Sage Road, north of Osoyoos, and pass dozens of small and large wineries including Desert Hills Estate, Burrowing Owl, Black Hills Estate and Church and State Winery, among others. Stop in at one or two, have lunch and experience this exceptional industry. The 18 km (10mi) and generally flat International Hike and Bike Trail borders the Okanagan River Channel and like the Black Sage Road route, passes wineries and fruit stands.

Walkways & Trails


Pioneer Walkway & Cottonwood Park
The first of these two public lake shore parks is along Main Street, the second on Cottonwood Drive. Beautiful gardens change with the seasons. Easy short strolls with benches, picnic tables, public washrooms. Wheelchair accessible.

Lakeshore Drive Pathway
This paved pathway starts at the public beach access where the road makes a sharp left turn, then runs parallel to the roadway and next to the waterfront. This is an easy familiy biking route for those staying in RV campgrounds along Lakeshore Drive.

Irrigation Canal Walkway
This popular 12 kilometer round trip trail is accessed on 62nd Avenue just north of Osoyoos Secondary School. Parking is available around the corner adjacent to the trail sign. The walkway can also be accessed from the Visitor Centre parking lot. This trail follows an abandoned section of the irrigation canal, once the lifeline of Osoyoos that opened up the area for the fruit industry. Flat with hard surfaces, ideal for easy strolls and strollers.


Swiws Wetlands Trail
Located within Swiws (formerly Haynes Point) Provincial Park, this easy 1.5 kilometer gravel trail is designed for bird watchers and other nature lovers. Pathways, a spotting tower, boardwalks and interpretive signs will heighten appreciation for this precious wetlands area.

International Bike and Hike Trail
Located at the north end of Osoyoos Lake and running parallel to the Okanagan River channel, this 18.4 kilometer trail is perfect for biking between wineries, fruit stands and farms. The parking lot is accessed on Road 22 off Highway 97, eight kilometers north of Osoyoos.

Osoyoos Lake Oxbows
Recently restored, the oxbows at the north end of Osoyoos Lake are ideal for watching both migratory and resident birds. Access at the same parking area as for the International Hiking and Biking Trail but head south instead of north. Located next to and as part of the Haynes Lease Ecological Reserve.

Mount Kobau Trail Network
The five kilometer Testalinden Trail has oustanding views of the Similkameen and Okanagan Valleys. Access via Highway 3 approximately 11 kilometers west of Osoyoos, then 11 kilometers along the gravel/dirt access road (not suitable for low clearance vehicles) which takes you within one kilometer of Mt. Kobau’s summit. Follow the trail to the forestry lookout for a great view of the valleys and mountains.

Unmarked Trails
Please note that the Kruger Ridge and Strawberry Creek trails are unmarked.  Please see the map above for locations.

Valentines Dinner for Two

Chef McDonald and the culinary team have created an incredible menu for two for Valentine’s Day.


February 14
Event Category:


Spirit Ridge Resort
1200 Rancher Creek Rd
Osoyoos, British Columbia V0H1V6 Canada 
+ Google Map

Ryan McMahon (The Fox) Returns to Firehall Brewery

Ryan McMahon Concert - Dan Jones

The Firehall Brewery is privileged to offer limited tickets to this incredible musician on Thursday, Jan 30th at $20 per person. Doors at 6:30 PM, We are licensed. We are the absolute best space and intimate atmosphere for your maximum immersion experience into music of this calibre. We are at 6077, Main St. in Oliver. 778-439-2337. Tickets will fly quick for this one.!!! Get a move on! Get yours!
…at The Brewery or

As a co-founder and arguably the most ‘out front’ of the 3 very ‘out front’ guys of Lion Bear Fox, Ryan fills not only the stage but the whole house wherever he plays. He has released five full-length albums, and seen his music licensed nationally and abroad. He has garnered 3 wins (Male Vocalist, Record & Artist of the Year) at the Vancouver Island Music Awards.

In April of 2014, Showtime’s original series, “Californication” featured the single “I’ll Be Damned,” a song that was included on “Put Me Back Together,” which came out April of ’15. On September 8th, 2017, Ryan released an EP titled “Song Shelter Recordings,” created entirely at his home studio in Ladysmith, BC and Legendary Canadian TV/Radio personality Terry David Mulligan may have summed up Ryan best: “The complete package. Singer. Songwriter. Performer. Troublemaker. Passionate human being. For me… priceless.”


January 30
6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
Event Categories:


Firehall Brewery
6077 Main Street
+ Google Map

Vintrigue Class- The Virtues of Viognier



Exploring special topics in BC wine, Vintrigue classes offer experienced tasters or enthusiastic new learners a deeper dive into the many stylistic variations in wine.

2 hour sessions, running from 10:30-12:30 every second week

$25 (includes tax)(subject to increase pending class content)

Capacity: minimum 4 ppl, maximum 12 ppl


January 26
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Event Category:
Event Tags:


intersection winery
450 Rd 8
Oliver, British Columbia V0H 1T1 Canada 
+ Google Map
(250) 498-4054

1st Annual Oliver Comedy Blizzard


Big Time talent coming to Oliver….TV Comedy star and Canada’s funniest man, Tim Nutt and his crew are coming to town to dig you out of your frozen January blues. The Oliver Theatre and the Firehall Brewery are co-hosting this killer show presented by OM Oliver Music & Entertainment on Thursday January 16th at The Oliver Theatre…this is huge!!!

Tim Nutt doesn’t just tell jokes—he tells funny stories with jokes and has been getting away with it for just over 20 years. He pushes comedy to explosive new levels and dimensions. Expertly exploring the hilarity in everyday life, he delights audiences with his bizarre concepts and twisted viewpoints, combining one-liners and crafty storytelling.

Nutt has performed at comedy festivals all over the world, including the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, Just For Laughs in Montreal, the Halifax Comedy Festival, and the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. He’s often described as a consummate storyteller and entertainer, not unlike his comedy heroes, Billy Connolly and George Carlin.

Alberta’s top comic, Jordan Strauss destroyed the competition to take 1st place at the Calgary Funny Fest. He’s been all over TV Comedy Shows and now he is coming for you, Oliver!

Andrew Crone has a cutting comic wit that is unparalleled and unrelenting. He has verbally sliced and diced his way across Western Canada, alongside some of the biggest touring acts in the country. Andrew has cleaned up at Comedy festivals and appeared multiple times on TV Comedy shows.

Tickets are only $20 and available at The Firehall Brewery, The Oliver Theatre box office or online at
Thursday January 16th. Doors at 7:00: laughing your frozen @#* off soon to follow. Event will be licensed with some great appies you can choke down while laughing.


January 16
7:00 pm
Event Categories:


Firehall Brewery
(778) 439-2337


Oliver Theatre
6387 main street
Oliver, BC V0H 1T0 Canada 
+ Google Map
(250) 498-2277

Blind Tasting Wine Detective Experience @ Black Hills Estate Winery


Taste our wines like you’ve never tasted them before in this unique event.

This NEW Blind Tasting experience is a fun way to explore the wines we make at Black Hills Estate Winery and learn about the art of determining classic wine styles. Plus, if you guess all 7 of the wines we pour that evening, you will win a bottle of one of our delicious wines!

A light charcuterie platter will accompany the wine tasting. Tickets are only $50 + tax, limited to 20 seats. Put your tasting skills to the test!

Call 250-498-0666 to reserve.


January 18, 2020
5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Event Category:


Black Hills Estate Winery
4190 Black Sage Road
Oliver, BC V0H1T0 Canada 
+ Google Map
(250) 498-0666