Kelowna bait bike program a success, say RCMP



Earlier this year, the program was started to help combat the increase in bike thefts in the community, and according to RCMP, the bike has been picked up multiple times by well-known suspects.

“Our officers will continue using bait bikes to go after these individuals in an effort to curb the thefts,” said Sgt. Scott Powrie with the RCMP Community Safety Unit.

Police say it’s important for the public to know that the thefts all occurred in less than 20 minutes of officers placing the bike in position, the quickest being within eight minutes.

This is a common crime that happens fast, so it’s crucial to always lock up your bike.

If your bike is stolen, you should report the following information to the RCMP:

  • Serial number
  • Make and model
  • Colour of the bike
  • Any modifications made
  • Recent pictures of your bike

You should also consider registering your bike, before it is stolen, on Project 529.

BC Sports Hall of Fame to hold summit in Kelowna this fall



For the very first time, the BC Sports Hall of Fame will host its annual summit in Kelowna.

Partnering with the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame, this event will mark the first time in the BC Sports Hall of Fame’s 56-year history that it’ll be held outside of the Greater Vancouver area.

The two-day summit will pay tribute to several defining moments in BC sport history with a luncheon event. There will be a dinner honouring 2022 winners of the Eric Whitehead Inspired Service Awards, a series of community development workshops, a pin ceremony for BC Sports Hall of Famers who are Okanagan-region residents, and the annual general meeting.

The chair of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Tom Mayenknecht says part of the plan is to move the annual summit to a new city around the province each year.

“We’re grateful for the warm welcome and support of Patrick Kennedy and the team at the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame,” said Mayenknecht.

“We will build on this year’s annual summit in Kelowna and previous pilots in New Westminster and Surrey, to make the annual meeting an important coming together of those who advocate for the promotion of sport history, heritage, and culture in British Columbia. We’re keen to make it a valuable opportunity for professional and community development for honoured members and other supporters from throughout the province.”

The BC Sports Hall of Fame Annual Summit will be held at the Rotary Centre for the Arts in downtown Kelowna – and is being co-chaired by Aziz Rajwani and Joan McMaster of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Board of Trustees, along with Patrick Kennedy, manager of the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.

“Given several postponements due to COVID-19, this is an opportunity that has been three years in the making,” said Kennedy. “We consider it an honour to be co-hosting the BC Sports Hall of Fame Annual Summit, and we are looking forward to welcoming trustees, directors, and other stakeholders, including members of the BC Sports Hall Network. It will be a big weekend for us at the Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame.”

The event takes place September 23 and 24. Registration for this event is now open.

Kelowna Art Gallery open for free on Canada Day



The Kelowna Art Gallery is inviting locals to take on an artsy experience free to the public this Canada Day.

“We love seeing people of all ages and skill levels expressing themselves through art,” said education coordinator Sumi Ali. “Plus, we know children like things they can wave around, so this year we’ll be making nature-inspired wind streamers.”

Creation stations will be set up around the building for people interested in taking part as all materials will be supplied. This includes markers, construction paper, ribbons, scissors and glue.

Visitors will then have an opportunity to explore the exhibits, including From Warhol to Banksy. They’ll get to see pop art works and ephemera from some of the art world’s biggest names, including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Tom Wesselmann, Takashi Murakami, Banksy, and Mr. Brainwash.

There will be a chance to touch the art as natural sculptor Annabel Stanley’s Circle of Life invites guests to move the spheres to curate their own sculpture.

The event runs from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on July 1.

All hail Caesar! Kelowna’s first Caesar Week around the corner


Registration fees have been waived this year

Time to get your drink on! Caesar Week is coming to Kelowna July 3-10.

Co-founder Mik Parent is in Winnipeg where Caesar Week started after events like Burger Week and Taco Week found great success.

There is usually a $200 registration fee for restaurants. Though since this is the first year the event will be happening in Kelowna, it’s a free ride.

“Basically what they do, is [restaurants] pay us a registration fee, and with that we spend that, our entire budget is spent towards marketing,” Parent said. “That goes to promoted ads on Instagram, promoted all through Facebook, radio ads, time with local news, and newspapers as well just to try to get the word out there to drive the public.”

Parent says 11 bars and restaurants have registered in Kelowna.

Parent noted there are no requirements in making the caesar, you just have to have one on the menu. “They have the choice to either register a caesar that they have already on their existing menu or they have the option of also creating a feature caesar to feature during Caesar Week in hopes to be crowned as Kelowna’s Best Caesar.”

During Caesar Week, locals can go to the website to find the caesar map with all registered restaurants.

Voting will take place online with categories for best overall, best spice, best garnish, and best rimmer.

Registration is still open. Sign up or learn more at


A West Kelowna apartment building has been deemed the best in Canada by a national organization.

Carrington View Apartments, which is located on Majoros Road, captured the Rental Development of the Year Award at the Canadian Federation of Apartment Associations’ National Rental Housing Awards earlier this month.

The CFAA is the national voice of the apartment housing industry in Canada and engages in advocacy on behalf of the industry as a whole. It also believes Carrington View Apartments was the best development of the year for its spectacular views of Okanagan Lake, great access to nearby outdoor recreational opportunities, and its focus on sustainability and environmental friendliness.

Highstreet Ventures built the 186-unit property to be net-zero energy ready, putting it well ahead of its time. The building is managed by Skyline Living, whose parent company is based in Guelph, Ont.

“We’ve gone with a totally holistic building approach,” Highstreet project co-ordinator Will Monforton said in a press release. “That means everything from low-(volatile organic compound) paints, where we source our wood and building materials and efficient construction to recycling materials, high-efficiency, all-electric heat and water heating and solar panels on the roof.”

Skyline Living also won the rental housing provider of the year award.


Seniors Outreach is running a 50/50 raffle to raise funds for seniors in need of housing help in Kelowna.

As the housing market continues to rise, seniors with fixed incomes are struggling to pay their rent. According to reports, Kelowna is the third most expensive city in Canada in terms of rent prices. Castanet data shows a one-bedroom is now renting for $1,500 in the Central Okanagan.

Seniors Outreach executive director Vi Sorenson says finding a new place to live is stressful for anyone, but even more so for the elderly.

“Picture someone who is in their eighties who may have dementia or Alzheimer’s trying to call ads and have conversations with landlords,” said Sorenson. “It creates a lot of anxiety and confusion. These vulnerable people are struggling as they find themselves on the verge of experiencing homelessness.”

2021 saw the lowest vacancy rate since 2017, yet rental rates were up nearly five per cent. This indicates there is more demand for rental units than what’s currently available.

According to Seniors Outreach, rent in Kelowna can be more than the Canadian Pension Plan pays – an average of $779 per month.

Funds generated in the raffle will help Seniors Outreach fund their companion housing program, run their housing directory, and to employ a social worker. The worker will help clients navigate the system and sorts through housing options such as affordable or low-income housing, assistive living, supportive housing, and long-term care.

You can purchase tickets for the raffle and get more details here.

Christmas Holiday movie being filmed in Kelowna neighbourhood



Snow has covered the streets of Kelowna this May.

In particular, fake snow and Christmas decorations have been on display at two houses located on Elliot Avenue and Richter Street, for an upcoming Christmas Holiday movie.

A film production team with a handful of trucks and equipment has been spotted in the area on and off for about a week, with the team working hard to produce a quality flick.

A crew member has said that the team will be in the area over a three-week period, with someone controlling traffic flow in both directions between takes.

The name of the film is unknown at this time, but a female actress was spotted with a young actor who appeared to be about 10 years of age.

People are encouraged to take alternative routes in the area, but the road is open to local traffic.

Kelowna has become a popular filming location for made-for-TV movies over the past few years.

The Okanagan Film Commission says last year, 32 projects were shot in the region, bringing $43,970,500 in to the local economy.

Kelowna taxpayers could face a tax increase north of 5 per cent in 2023


Big tax hit possible in 2023

A new city council will be asked to stickhandle around a number of potential landmines when they take up the task of determining a 2023 budget.

Each year’s budget includes a five-year financial plan which forecasts tax rates for upcoming years based on both operating and capital decisions made that year and in previous years.

Decisions made Thursday during day long deliberations on the 2022 budget pushed the projected increase in 2023 north of five per cent.

It’s expected taxpayers could face an increase of 5.21 per cent in 2023 and 4.76 in 2024.

Over the next four years, the combined increase is anticipated to fall just shy of 19 per cent.

A discussion Thursday to fund four RCMP positions not included within the 2022 budget prompted Mayor Colin Basran to suggest a compromise to fund two of the positions due to implications adding all four would have on the 2023 budget.

Things could change in the meantime.

Residents will go to the polls in October to elect a new council, whose makeup will dictate the fiscal direction the city will be taking.

And, while some decisions made Thursday will have an impact down the road, some looming major projects will have the biggest impact.

“You have to keep in mind next year’s budget includes borrowing for a new recreation facility, potentially the largest infrastructure project in our city’s history,” said Mayor Colin Basran.

Basran is referring to the estimated $133 million cost of replacing the Parkinson Recreation Centre.

That project was initially estimated to come in at $50 million, then jumped to $100 million a year ago.

Basran said the next council could decide to delay that, but stated delays would likely mean higher costs.

Kelowna’s downtown New Year’s celebration to return this year


New Year’s party to return

The pandemic halted many beloved events in Kelowna, but the city’s annual Valley First New York New Years celebration is returning.

From 5:00 p.m. until 9 p.m. on December 31 in Stuart Park, families will have a chance to ring in 2022 early.

“We are so grateful to again be able to hold this fun, all ages event,” said Renata Mills, executive director of Festivals Kelowna.

“After cancelling last year, and watching with bated breath into 2021 while we continued to be touch and go on the event front, this New Year’s Eve celebration is a way for our community to safely gather outdoors and return to activities we enjoy.”

In order to keep this year’s festivities safe yet fun, Festivals Kelowna has made adjustments to the event including closing Water Street between the roundabouts to allow for larger event space in order for people to circulate, extending the length of the event to give people more time to take part, cancelling use of the Kelowna Community Theatre indoor space, and eliminating activities where there is close personal contact such as face-painting.

This is a free event thanks to funding for the City of Kelowna and many returning sponsors. It will offer an array of COVID-modified activities including skating on the outdoor ice rink, toss games, a scavenger hunt, hula hoop and Hip Hop dancing on the “snow stage” and more.

To ensure everyone stays well fed and warm, there will be four food trucks onsite from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. dishing up “glove friendly” portions of little donuts, kettle cooked popcorn, hot dogs, smokies, fries, coffee and hot chocolate.

When skaters take to the ice, they’ll be serenaded by live musical performances on the Main Stage under The Bear starting at 5:00 p.m. This year’s performers include “Marianne La Brasseur” playing New Country and original hits at 5:00 p.m., followed by Indie Rock band “The Nomads” at 6:00pm, local rock band “3/4 Crush” at 7:00 p.m. playing Classic Rock covers, and Kelowna DJ “Hotel Zero” spinning Dance music between sets.

Kelowna’s “The Insiders” will finish off the night’s performances with a Fleetwood Mac inspired set starting at 8 p.m, and closing the ceremony will be Mayor Colin Basran. He’ll help countdown to the fireworks display at 9:00 p.m. and ring in an early New Year with locals. Shot from City Park, the fireworks will be visible along the waterfront from The Sails to the Kelowna Yacht Club.

For more information on the event, click here.

Kelowna Chamber of Commerce makes better commercial vehicle routes a top priority for 2022

Time for a Kelowna bypass?

Is it finally time to build a Kelowna bypass?

The exponential increase in truck traffic down Highway 97 in recent weeks is easy to see and it’s not just because of the extended closure of the Coquihalla Highway due to flood damage.

Along with finding answers to the labour shortage and the lack of affordable housing, improved transportation infrastructure is one of the top priorities of the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce heading into 2022.

“One of the things that we’ve been pushing for with the city is a commercial goods study, and we want to see them work in getting that underway, with the province. We need to address our long-term needs for commercial traffic,” said Dan Rogers, executive director, Kelowna Chamber of Commerce.

Highway 3 is currently the only major route open to transport trucks carrying goods between the Interior and the Lower Mainland, and a lot of that volume is being funnelled through the Okanagan.

Rogers also points out Kelowna continues to be one of the fastest-growing cities in Canada.

“We expect 40,000 more people, over the course of the city’s OCP (Official Community Plan), to be moving to the community. Whether they land here or West Kelowna or in Lake Country is yet to be seen, but they need to move around. And our transportation needs a lot of focus, whether it’s municipally or by the provincial government.”

He says the chamber of commerce will be working to ensure the provincial government doesn’t just focus on fixing the Coquihalla highway and then puts all the other projects in the Central Okanagan on the back burner.

The City of Kelowna Transportation Master Plan does include a proposal for a truck route.

The Clement Avenue Extension has been talked about for a long time. It was previously called the Central Okanagan Bypass, or Multi-Modal Corridor.

Extending Clement from Spall Rd. to Highway 33 would help take pressure off Highway 97, Enterprise Way and Springfield Road. However, the transportation plan currently doesn’t see the project starting until 2031 and recommends further study of the extension in partnership with the BC Ministry of Transportation.