About Kelowna Made

The start of a new signature event

How it began

Kelowna Made was founded in 2022 by a group of enthusiastic volunteers with support from the City of Kelowna. The festival is inspired by our city, its landscape and its people. Kelowna Made has been created by local residents for local residents.

The vision for the event comes from community feedback and the City’s first-ever Kelowna Event Strategy, which aims to “support a vibrant, eventful city that celebrates our spirit, contributes to our local prosperity, and enriches our quality of life.” One of the key objectives outlined was to create a signature event that embraces Kelowna’s identity and enhances resident pride. 

Our vision for Kelowna Made

What to expect for future years

Kelowna Made will grow and expand each year, driven by local residents from all walks of life, representing the breadth of our community’s interests, activities, and lives.

While our pilot event in 2022 took place on a single day, we’re working toward a multi-day festival by 2027. With the help of community partners and residents, Kelowna Made will expand over more locations with events and activities taking place across the city. As we grow, Kelowna Made will provide more opportunities for partnerships, activities, and overall involvement.

Save the date

The last weekend in August

Okanagan Lake is the focal point of life in Kelowna. No celebration of our community would be complete without it.

The last weekend in August was chosen for Kelowna Made because:

  • the lake is warm,
  • locals haven’t yet returned to their regular work and school routines,
  • tourism and visitors are starting to wind down.

Be sure to mark the last weekend of August on your calendar and stay tuned as we look to expand to more days and locations.

Writing a New Chapter in Our History

What it means to be Kelowna Made

Kelowna’s deep love of community events goes back a long way.

Our community found reasons to celebrate long before the city was incorporated in 1905. The annual Kelowna Fall Fair began in 1886 and soon grew to include boating competitions alongside the agricultural festivities. Residents soon began advocating for a summer festival focused on boat and water events. Then in August 1906, the first one-day Regatta was held at City Park.

Since then, Kelowna’s residents have welcomed numerous events, including; an annual children’s festival, downtown block parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations, Canada Day festivities, and the ParksAlive! summer music series. Kelowna is home to a ComiCon, wine and beer festivals, theatre festivals and Rutland’s beloved May Days. Our active neighbours and beautiful weather see us host numerous sporting events like golf tournaments, marathons, and the Across the Lake Swim. We even have a Scarecrow Festival!

Events connect us to each other, encourage community pride, and honour heritage, history and culture. Cities around the world foster signature events that shape and define their community. Now it is time for Kelowna to create and embrace a new event that celebrates our community’s diverse and evolving identity.

Kelowna’s signature event will be a source of inspiration, joy and pride for its residents. We will honour our rich culture and heritage while pursuing innovation. This event will put residents first, fostering diversity and inclusivity while showcasing Kelowna’s natural assets.

Kelowna is made of nature, heritage, and culture. It is made of sport, art, music, agriculture, food and drink. Kelowna is made of a valuable Indigenous tradition. Together, we make Kelowna. This is what it means to be Kelowna Made.

What Makes Kelowna Made?

Our Mission

To showcase Kelowna’s attributes while bringing the community together in an environment of collaboration, discovery and sharing.

Our Vision

A resident-led and resident-focused community event that highlights and celebrates Kelowna’s diverse qualities and offers inclusive, creative and enriching experiences for all ages.

Our Guiding Principles

Community-led and grown

  • Organized by locals, for locals
  • Put residents first
  • Provide opportunities for local talent, organizations and businesses
  • Create a positive community legacy that makes residents proud

Embrace cultural identity

  • Embrace our history, heritage, and present-day interests that reflect the essence of our community
  • Showcase a variety of elements such as music, sport, culture, heritage, food & drink, performances and Indigenous culture

Foster diversity and inclusivity

  • A family-oriented focus that appeals to all ages
  • Affordable and accessible, regardless of economic status or ability
  • Inclusive of all groups, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender and other diverse backgrounds

Showcase natural assets

  • Promote and showcase our beautiful city, its landscape and resources
  • Demonstrate diligence in protecting our public spaces
  • Highlight local attributes and first-class hospitalit