Video courtesy of Tourism Kelowna
From Vernon in the north, to Kelowna in the central Okanagan and Penticton and beyond to the southern desert in Osoyoos, the Okanagan has mountains, lakes, parks, beaches, vineyards, orchards, a desert, paths to hike and bike, cliffs to scale, and a rich history to discover.
The Okanagan lifestyle is like no other. The entire valley has something for everyone year round.
Kelowna is the place to be for nightlife and events. There are several locations to see live theatre and music. There's a symphony orchestra, opera, and several venues that have everything from country to rock, pop, jazz, blues and club music.
Art galleries, shopping, and great dining, from mom and pop cafes to five star restaurants, dot the downtown core. Hike, bike, run, walk, and explore the trails, sanctuaries and trestles of the area. Relax on the beach, swim in the lake and then take a dinner cruise in the summer. In the winter, tackle a black diamond run on one of the several local ski hills. It is not uncommon in the spring to golf in the morning and go skiing or snowboarding in the afternoon. Whatever you love to do, chances are you can find it right here in Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley.
Kelowna summer temperatures can range from 20 to 35C with short mild winters with temperatures ranging from -8 to plus 10C.
H 20°C L -2°C
H 28°C L 10°C
H 21°C L -2°C
H 5°C L -7°C
Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan Valley and has an international airport with daily flights from all major North American centers including Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and Phoenix.
One of the biggest hurdles in growing a startup is finding the right people. The Okanagan has that, and more. These award winning post-secondary schools provide a pool of talent second to none.
UBCO offers degree courses in applied science, arts and science, creative and critical studies, education, health and social development, graduate studies and management.
CATO has a myriad of courses including digital art, animation, audio engineering and production, studio production, graphic and digital design, digital marketing online and network administrator specialist to name a few.
OC has programs in university studies for arts and science, engineering technologies, business, commercial aviation, health, social development, trades and apprenticeships. Okanagan College has campuses in all major centres as well as satellite campuses in the smaller towns.
Kelowna’s best kept secret isn’t the temperate climate, the beautiful vistas or the diverse community; it’s the fact it has become an entrepreneurial mecca. It is a high tech hub that continues to make waves in the tech industries worldwide.
Companies like Club Penguin (Disney Interactive), Kelowna Flightcraft, StarDyne, Vineyard Networks (Procera Networks), Hyper Hippo, Bananatag, and QHR Technologies were created and now thrive here in the Okanagan. Then there are companies like Yeti Farm Creative and Bardel Entertainment, who develop and animate to their hearts’ content right here in the Okanagan.
The tech community in the Okanagan is diverse and very active. There’s Digital Okanagan, a community of designers, developers and communicators who share passions for digital media, education, innovation and collaboration. THey have several meetings and events every week to keep everyone up to date on what is happening in the tech community, and also to have some fun.
Up in Vernon is Startup Vernon, "Just another Nerd North Site." They too are a community of entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and creatives building a tech industry in Vernon. Their focus is to build and support companies that create software products: web apps, mobile apps, and desktop apps.
Then there are groups like the Okanagan Young Professionals Collective (OYP) who are guided a strong team of representatives from almost every industry sector and Okanagan geographic boundary. They guide, direct and continue to challenge the Collective to be better and do more. Their mission to “create a dynamic, vibrant and engaged culture and community that attracts and retains talented professionals in their 20’s and 30’s to the Okanagan Valley by connecting them with each other and the community through a variety of volunteer, social, professional, sports, arts and cultural events and activities.”
There are several tech companies and groups here in the Okanagan. Check out our company directory and see for yourself, what makes the Okanagan a leader in innovation and technology.
Photos courtesy of Downtown Kelowna Association