It’s happening Downtown Kelowna! With over 700 shops, services, restaurants, theatres and nightlife Downtown Kelowna is THE place to be no matter what the season.
Downtown Kelowna is set on the lakeshore of beautiful Okanagan Lake. Its home to a growing Cultural District, with galleries, theatres, restaurants and trendy retail. Visitors and guests will find numerous convenient amenities including shopping, coffee shops, pubs, a library, parks and gardens.
The Downtown Kelowna Cultural District is flourishing as the Rotary Centre of the Arts (RCA) celebrates their 13th Anniversary this year. Each year the RCA, a world-class venue is home to visual and performing arts for visitors of all ages to try, learn and master their favourite.
The Kelowna Art Gallery is located in the heart of the Cultural District. One of Canada’s most respected public art galleries, this expansive facility offers four exhibition spaces as well as two classrooms. While the gallery serves the Central Okanagan Valley with a variety of local, national and international exhibitions, it also offers a wide selection of public programs for all ages.
The Kelowna Actor’s Studio, located Downtown on Ellis Street is also celebrating their 12th Anniversary will a full schedule of shows. “August Osage County,” “Catch Me If You Can” and “The Addams Family” are just three of the shows that will lift the curtain at the Actor’s Studio during 2015.
The Kelowna Museums will take you back in time to when the Okanagan and was filled with “gold trails and ghost towns.” Plan a day and take a walking tour of the Okanagan Heritage Museum, the BC Orchard Industry Museum, the BC Wine Museum or the Okanagan Military Museum. The stories, the pictures and the breathtaking exhibits will leave you amazed.
During the summer months the Cultural District is the perfect place to take a walk along the lakeside boardwalk, stopping to feed the ducks and the wildlife within the bird sanctuary. The boardwalk wraps around the waterfront, passing the Island Stage, home to a series of summer concerts, past the new Kelowna Yacht Club, Stuart Park and ending at the Sails, the most recognizable Kelowna landmark.
The Cultural District is also home to Prospera Place, home of the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League. The Rockets hosted and won the 2004 Memorial Cup which catapulted their success which continues today. A number of players from the organization have moved onto the National Hockey League including Jamie Benn, Shea Weber, Josh Gorges and Luke Schenn.
Downtown Kelowna is home to 222 retail stores, highlighting traditional and unique shopping experiences. Everything from shoes to menswear to a cocktail dress to a wedding gown, Downtown Kelowna has it all. Visitors will also find accessories, gift and speciality shops, jewellery and home décor.
Mosaic Books is the largest privately owned bookstore in the Valley and first opened their doors in 1968. From new releases, top authors, fiction, non-fiction, “how-to” books and everything in between Mosaic Books is a must stop on your walk through Downtown Kelowna.
With over 90 restaurants Downtown Kelowna visitors certainly have their choice of where and what they want to eat. Asian, Italian, Indian, Casual and Fine Dining are highlighted in each corner of Downtown Kelowna. The eateries are continuously winning awards, including Okanagan Spirits (267 Bernard Ave.) named the 2015 “Distillery of the Year,” in a worldwide competition.
Parents with hungry kids coming Downtown can rest easy with more than enough “kid friendly” restaurants, guaranteed to fill their little tummies. Boston Pizza, Kelly O’Bryans, Subway, Pita Pit, DunnEnzies Pizza, Memphis Blues BBQ and Carl’s Jr are all perfect choices for an affordable family meal.
If Downtown Kelowna visitors are looking for a cold beverage, a stop at any one of the 11 pubs can help. Summertime is the ideal time to sit on one of Downtown Kelowna’s 50 patios and watch the world go by while working on your tan. A number of pubs host bands and solo artists throughout the year to add to their unique atmosphere.
Downtown Kelowna coffee and tea houses are often filled with business people on a break or students studying for their next exam. Whether visitors to Downtown enjoy the small intimate coffee shop, or the brand name “cup of java” with 13 different options, each place has a unique feel and atmosphere which relates to the “real” Downtown.
Two major Downtown Kelowna events will once again be featured in 2015. The 26th Annual Block Party (formally known as Mari Gras) will take place August 8, 2015 as Bernard Avenue will be closed to vehicles from end to end and filled with activities, food, vendors, dancing and live entertainment. This huge event welcomes people of all ages to enjoy a day under the sun and walking down the newly revitalized Bernard Avenue.
The Annual Light Up! is Downtown Kelowna’s signature Christmas event. In December, a number of venues will have activities for the whole family to enjoy. Lace up the skates and zip around the outdoor rink at Stuart Park and decorate a Christmas cookie after telling Santa Claus what you would like for Christmas. Once visitors get their fill of Christmas goodies, hundreds of people gather into Stuart Park with Santa for a few carols and the Light Up of the huge Christmas tree.
After Light Up! ring in the new year with the New York New Year’s Eve at Stuart Park complete with fireworks, music, skating, special lighting effects and other activities.
Small Shop promotions, the Taste of Downtown Kelowna, Centre of Gravity and the Downtown After 5 business networking events are also extremely popular throughout the year.
The three Small Shop promotion days are scheduled for April, June (Small Shop At Night) and October, focus on the retail portion of Downtown Kelowna. Small shops are the lifeblood of the Downtown, so make the pledge to shop small and local on Small Shop day. Participating businesses offer tremendous savings, a demonstration and/or some goodies within their stores. It’s a perfect day to walk the streets of Downtown and explore. For dates and more information visit www.downtownkelowna.com/smallshop.
The “Taste of Downtown” showcases a number of the 90+ restaurants and pubs in Downtown Kelowna. Taste of Downtown visitors carry their passport from place to place sampling some delicious FREE food/drink from the participating restaurants. It’s a fun filled day for everyone discover new exciting restaurants.
The Centre of Gravity is a massive, three day event in Downtown Kelowna’s City Park. The park is filled with beach volleyball, basketball, BMX tracks and a full set of artists hitting the main stage. With thousands of people attending, the Centre of Gravity has become “Canada’s Hottest Beach Party” Downtown Kelowna.
The Downtown Kelowna After 5s are featured typically on the last Wednesday of each month. It is the Downtown Kelowna Association’s signature business networking event. The business community comes together to network at a different location each month. Every event is filled with wine, beer and appies along with outstanding prizes. For a full list of event dates and venues visit www.downtownkelowna.com.
During the summer months Downtown Kelowna hosts a number of live musical performances at Kerry Park, with Festivals Kelowna’s Parks Alive. A community oriented concert series dedicated to entertaining visitors and featuring both amateur and professionals performing a variety of musical genres.
Downtown Kelowna is also home to hundreds of events, family fun, cultural performances, street festivals, sporting events and more! Events are added often, so keep checking www.downtownkelowna.com for the latest information.
Over $500 Million! That’s how much development money is being poured into Downtown Kelowna with current projects that have either started or have been approved.
The waterfront has gone through a change with the opening of the new Downtown Kelowna Marina that opened in 2014 in which visitors can walk onto and boaters can dock for short time to come ashore for lunch or an ice cream. The Kelowna Yacht Club’s major expansion is complete and work is being done on the new Cactus Club restaurant within the Yacht Club. Downtown Kelowna can now boast the Yacht Club is Canada’s largest freshwater marina.
Over the next two years a number of projects will be fully completed and enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. A new Interior Health building approximately 150,000 square feet is well underway along with the $3.5 million Library parkade expansion. Plus work on the new Queensway rapid bus terminal will be completed in 2015 making bus transportation easier to get to Downtown Kelowna via various routes.
Downtown Kelowna is open for business and play 12 months of the year. With its unique shops, fabulous restaurants and growing Cultural District, Downtown Kelowna is on the verge of something amazing so come Downtown and see what’s happening!
For the best source of Downtown Kelowna, visit www.downtownkelowna.com.