Rattlesnake Island:

Cover Image: Rattlesnake Island from above (Credit: Across The Lake Swim)

A tiny speck on the map, Rattlesnake Island is located close to the shore of Okanagan Lake, just east of Peachland.

Local legend has it that Ogopogo calls the island home, living in an underwater cave. Today, the island is part of the Okanagan Mountain Park.

Despite its small size, Rattlesnake Island has a very interesting history to tell and is a popular destination for locals and visitors.

The Creature and the Grass

Legend of the mysterious and dangerous water creature N’ha-a-itk (Snake of the Water) dates back as early as the 1700s, when the Okanagan First Nations offered ritual sacrifices to the Ogopogo in return for safe entry into the water.

Photo credit: ogopogoquest.com

Throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries, numerous reports came in of Ogopogo sightings in the lake.

Locals, captivated by the creature, went from simply calling it The Island, to referring to it as Ogopogo Island.

In 1951, the island was purchased by Peter Spackman and he tried to rename it to Sunset Island. By then, the name Rattlesnake Island had been frequently used by locals, named so after the Rattlesnake Grass that covers the island. The name stayed, and in the 1950s Kelowna Chamber of Commerce confirmed the name.

A Tourist Attraction That Never Happened

Visitors to Rattlesnake Island will notice remains of a mini-golf course, among several other remnants of construction. An even though they island is owned by the government, five decades ago it was a unique piece of real estate with its own drama and mystery.

In the 1970s, Rattlesnake Island was a place of a visionary and controversial attempt to build an Arab-themed tourist attraction. The initial plan of Eddy Heymour was to build a replica of the Great Pyramid at Giza, a giant camel ice-cream parlour, a mini-golf course, pony rides, gardens, a swimming pool and restaurants. To add to the experience, a ferry from Peachland would bring guests to the island.

The plans were shut down by the BC Government. What followed was a story like not other of law suits, hostages taken, and the construction of the Peachland Castle.

Rattlesnake Island these days: what’s left of the mini golf course (Credit: Across The Lake Swim)

Beautiful Spot on the Lake

These days, both locals and visitors often stop at the island while boating, canoeing, or paddleboarding. Rattlesnake Island is a popular picnic spot, featuring a stunning view of the lake and surrounding mountains.

Local history buffs can hike the island in search of the tourist attraction remains. Those seeking a bit more adrenaline, can either take part in the annual Across the Lake Swim, or head to Squally Point near the island to enjoy cliff jumping.

You can live here too! Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

Beautiful Real Estate in Lake Country

Above: View from 1690 Travertine Drive in Lake Country

Stunning lakefront properties, breathtaking mountain vistas, and a modern community are but a few of the unique features of Lake Country real estate.

With a population of approximately 12,000 residents, Lake Country is one of the most beautiful, desirable, and fast-growing communities in British Columbia. True to its name, there are several lakes in the vicinity of the community. You’ll find the Okanagan Lake to the west, several smaller lakes in the hills to the east, Kalamalka Lake to the north, and Wood Lake encompassed by the municipality of Lake Country.

The high quality of life and proximity to outstanding amenities within and near Lake Country have made it a popular choice among home buyers. To add to the appeal, to the south lies the City of Kelowna, and to the north, a short and picturesque drive away, lies the City of Vernon.

Many of the older and newer properties in Lake Country overlook the Okanagan Lake and mountains, and are surrounded by award-winning wineries, excellent golf courses, scenic orchards and beautiful farms.

Some other the perks of living in Lake Country include:

  • Great opportunities to start a business
  • Excellent outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Proximity to UBC Okanagan, one of the world’s top ranked universities
  • Access to Okanagan College campuses in Kelowna and Vernon
  • Short drive to Kelowna International Airport
  • Proximity to Big White Ski Resort (Kelowna) and Silver Star Mountain Resort (Vernon)
  • Outstanding local restaurants and cafes
  • And much more

Whether you are looking for a single-family home, luxury homes, a property with an acreage, or a condo, Lake Country encompasses four communities for you to choose your perfect home in: Winfield, Oyama, Okanagan Centre, and Carr’s Landing.

Winfield

Winfield is the southernmost community in Lake Country, bordering Wood Lake and the Okanagan Lake. Its proximity to Kelowna makes it a desirable place for anyone who wants to enjoy a more quiet way of life, while remaining close to the big city amenities. Winfield is known for its stunning local vineyards and great wines, as well as amazing views of the lakes, mountains, and lush orchards. Some of the favourite local pastimes include water sports, golfing, hiking, and cycling. The smaller lakes in the hills to the east are well known for being excellent fishing spots.

Oyama

Located between Wood Lake in the north and Kalamalka Lake in the south, Oyama offers a more peaceful way of life. The small town has some of the most serene and breathtaking views in Okanagan, and is popular among those who are looking to escape the busy lifestyle. The pristine lakes, small town hospitality, orchards and large acreages add to Oyama’s countryside feel. In the summer, residents can enjoy variety of water activities and an array of locally grown fruit and vegetables.kal lake

Okanagan Centre

Located east on the shores of the Okanagan Lake, the community offers its residents some of the best views and lakeside lifestyle. Okanagan Centre is a small and peaceful community, surrounded by rolling vineyards and rural orchards.

picture of lake

Carr’s Landing

Situated directly on the Okanagan Lake, Carr’s Landing is a serene lakeside community, known for its spectacular lake and mountain views. The surrounding orchards add to the community’s peaceful countryside feel. With easy access to the boat launch at Coral Beach Park, the residents of Carr’s Landing can truly enjoy the sunny Okanagan summer days on the lake.

carrs landing

A modern and desirable place to live, Lake Country is a great place to invest in real estate and build your future. If you want to see for yourself what a peaceful lifestyle in one of the Lake Country communities looks like, our Kelowna Life Real Estate Group will be happy to show you around.

You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

Buying Real Estate in Kelowna in 2019

Happy 2019! New year always comes with new resolutions and the inspiration to make the most of what the year has to offer.

Whether you’re thinking of moving to Kelowna or relocating within the city, January is a great time to look into buying. And now that the 2019 BC Assessment is available online it’s easy to check what your potential home is worth and how your desired community stands among the other neighbourhoods. After all, you want to make sure you not only buy the home you love, but also make a smart investment.

If your 2019 resolution is to make a smart real estate investment, there are a few things to consider.

Buying in Kelowna in Winter

Perhaps you had hoped to buy a house before the end of December but found the low inventory didn’t offer what you were looking for.

Perhaps you found your perfect listing but another buyer had a higher offer.

Or perhaps your desire to buy was affected by last year’s government policies: speculation tax, higher interest rates and taxes, and the mortgage stress test.

Real estate is a dynamic market and our experienced realtors have learned to play within the changing rules and regulations. This means, that we can give buyers the best advice on how to pursue their real estate dreams and how to navigate the policies.

Even though residential real estate in Kelowna is slower in January, compared to spring and summer, with experts by your side, any season is the right season to invest in real estate.

NOW Is Always A Good Time To Start Looking

In the winter months, inventory tends to be lower, but Kelowna is a growing city and real estate never sleeps.

Back in November we talked about “6 Tips On Why Sell Your Home In Winter. While these tips were focused on the seller, there are some points that also benefit the buyers.

Colder weather means the seller will have to pay attention to factors like energy efficiency, upgrades, and maintenance. If any issues arise, such as drafty windows, it’s in the seller’s best interest to get these fixed, which means less future expenses for the buyer.

Less inventory also means less competition, so if you’re looking to avoid a multiple offer situation and the asking price going up, this is most likely to happen in the winter.

There are a couple additional benefits.

First, prices may go down for houses that have sat on the market all winter. With low inventory, if you’ve had your eye on a property that has been listed for a while, you might be in luck.

Second, January is usually the busiest months to get mortgage pre-approvals, so while buyers are securing their financing, most sellers are getting ready to hit the market. This also means the buyer has time to scope out their perfect neighbourhood.

What’s Next?

If you have always wanted to live in Kelowna or are ready to move to a new neighbourhood in the city, we are here to help you.

Whether you are not sure if now is the right time to buy, or how recent government policies might affect your ability to buy, our Kelowna Life team is one phone call or message away from getting all the answers you need to make an informed decision.

You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to see how.

Merry Christmas from the Nelsons

Among all the meaningful things and people in my life, I cherish my family the most.

I can’t think of a better way to spend Christmas and New Year than being surrounded by my loved ones.

Remembering the silly things that had happened throughout the year, celebrating our strength as a family, and letting our hearts be filled with holiday joy.

Every year we make the most of what the winter season in Kelowna has to offer and enjoy the moments spent together to make this time of the year truly special.

 

Christmas In Our Hearts and Under the Tree

It’s our family tradition to cut down our own Christmas tree.

This year, we got our tree from the Volkmann Christmas Tree Farm in Kelowna. It’s a family owned farm that takes pride in the beautiful trees they grow and their environment-friendly practices. 

Once we have our tree at home and decorated, that’s when the Christmas spirit really takes over. The lights, ornaments, and other decorations throughout our house brighten the otherwise cold and dark days. And the smell of evergreens and holiday cooking add to the feeling of warmth and celebration.

Breakfast With Santa

Last year our family joined Santa for a brunch at the Harvest Golf Club. This year, we went to Breakfast With Santa at the Eldorado Hotel.

We loved to spend the Saturday morning surrounded by other families, enjoying the food, and festive atmosphere. But what warmed our hearts even more was to help support the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

Our family values taking care of people in our own backyard. We do so throughout the year, but to be able to share Christmas joy with other Kelowna residents holds a special meaning for us.

A Merry and Quiet Christmas

Come Christmas, it’s all about spending time together and finding a balance between being cozy inside our home and heading outside for some winter fun.

Christmas Eve we usually go skating downtown at the Stuart Park ice rink next to Kelowna Yacht Club. Christmas morning and the rest of the day, we’ll have our family over for gift opening and dinner. And on Boxing Day we plan to go to Big White to enjoy a day of skiing as a family and, hopefully, soak in a beautiful winter day.

I wish all my clients and friends to enjoy these holidays with their loved ones! Thank you for a wonderful year and I’m excited for all the new opportunities, surprises, and adventures 2019 will bring! 

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from the Nelsons!

 

You can live here too and join our family and Kelowna residents in celebrating a wonderful holiday season in the Okanagan! Check Kelowna Life to see how.

 

‘Tis the Season of Great Events

Christmas season is upon us and Kelowna neighbourhoods and spirits are getting brighter as the holidays approach.

The best part if you’re in Kelowna during the season is enjoying all the local events and activities. Meeting Santa, getting crafty, and marveling at the many talented Okanagan artisans are but a few things that make this time of the year so wonderful.

The holiday season is a special time for my family and me, and with this in mind, I thought of sharing some of the fun things happening around Kelowna.

Beautiful Christmas Light Displays

What better way to spend a dark winter evening than walking or driving through a brightly lit neighbourhood. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on a busy day and enjoy the time with family and friends.

While you’ll surely find a stunning light display in any Kelowna neighbourhood, there are some neighbourhoods that take Christmas lights very seriously and encourage its residents to showcase their creativity.

Kettle Valley light display. Photo credit: Kelowna Now

The Kettle Valley Neighbourhood Association held its first annual Light Up contest on December 9th. The event was created to connect neighbours and show that Kettle Valley is a great place to call home. If you’ve always wanted to roam the streets in Upper Mission, the light displays is a great opportunity to explore the community and enjoy the creative displays.

Across town, Wilden is another community that has made Christmas light display into an annual tradition and contest. While only Wilden residents can nominate a house, everyone can vote on their favourite light display. Whether you take a look for yourself or wait until December 15th when photos of the nominated houses will be shared on Wilden’s Facebook page, this is a great opportunity for the entire family to participate in a beautiful event.

Breakfast With Santa

Sitting in Santa’s lap for a photo is great, but have you ever had breakfast with Mr. Kringle?  

On Saturday, December 15th, Santa will join families at Hotel Eldorado for a breakfast buffet, photos, and other fun Christmas activities. In a true Christmas spirit, this event also supports the Central Okanagan Food Bank by encouraging participants to bring an unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item to the event.

Get Crafty and Enjoy Some Wine

Holiday season can get busy with decorating, baking, organizing, and so many other things.

If you didn’t get a chance to purchase a wreath at one of the Christmas markets earlier in December, or make one at home, this is the perfect hands-on event to add a special touch to your home.

The ticket to the event includes a glass of wine, so it’s a great opportunity for busy parents to have some relaxing creative time while the little ones are having fun at home with grandparents.

Holiday Fun for the Entire Family

This holiday season, the Arion Therapeutic Farm is offering a variety of events from December 22nd to January 8th.  

The entire family can enjoy guided tours, an outdoor playspace, mini horse leading, donkey grooming, crafts, wagon rides, face painting, holiday baking and lots more. Santa is also stopping by for story time on the 22nd and 23rd, in case you missed him at Hotel Eldorado.

Photo courtesy of Arion Therapeutic Farm

Christmas isn’t just a day, it’s a frame of mind”

This quote by Valentine Davies in his story “Miracle on 34th Street” captures what the holiday spirit is about: It’s what we make of it.

It’s an opportunity to spend time with family, and also to support local businesses and organizations. It’s a time to recognize the importance of community engagement and the joy we can find in something as simple and creative as a light display.

You can live here too and see for yourself how beautiful Kelowna is during the winter season! Check out Kelowna Life to learn how.

6 Tips On Why Sell Your Home in Winter

When we think of selling and buying homes, we often believe that only the warm months of the year are the ideal time to do so.

Our Kelowna Life experts will tell you that any season is the right season to sell your home, you just have to know how to prepare and take advantage of it.

Warmer weather drives more potential buyers and your home might sell faster. It’s also more convenient to move in and out without wearing layers of warm clothes and worrying about shoveling. But Kelowna is one of the fastest growing cities in Canada and even in the colder months real estate remains a hot commodity.

With our real estate experts by your side, we can help you sell your property for top dollar even when it’s gloomy and cold outside.

Here are 6 reasons why you might want to consider selling in the winter and how to prepare for that.

1. More Urgency for Buyers to Find a Home

Buyers in the winter are most likely looking for a home because they have to, so they’re more motivated to buy, rather than shop around. For the seller, this means that there will most likely be fewer showings, but more serious buyers.

For families with young children, usually spring and summer are ideal months to buy a house and move because their kids are out of school. Selling in the winter will attract buyers who are not restricted by the school schedule.

Another interesting fact: most companies relocate their employees during winter, usually at the beginning of the year. The employees and their families are, therefore, more motivated and more serious about finding a new home.

The trick to convince the buyers that your listing is the one, is to make your home feel warm, cozy and welcoming.

Tip: Urgency still means a potential buyer will want to get value for their money. Because you’re selling in the colder season, questions and issues related to heat costs and maintenance might come up.

Prepare your home by getting your heating system, roof, and windows inspected. If necessary, have repairs done, weather-strip your windows or install energy-efficient windows, and insulate your attic.  If your house is energy efficient, this might play to your advantage.

A buyer looking for a home in winter pays more attention to upgrades that don’t require much maintenance in the winter. If you highlight these upgrades, you might even sell above asking price.

Tip: Winter comes with grey skies and gloomy weather. It also affects the first impression of your home. Counteract the season’s dark colours by brightening your home. Paint the walls a lighter colour and check if you need to caulk your windows. Open all curtains and blinds, turn on all lights in the home, and clean all windows and surfaces to make your home sparkle.

Tip: De-clutter and de-personalize, and stage your house with throws, pillows and other neutral seasonal touches. Don’t forget about other senses when creating the right mood. Avoid strong scents, like candles or air fresheners. To add to the welcoming feeling, bake some cookies and put the on a plate for buyers to enjoy. Turn on some soft music in the background; jazz and classical music usually work the best. And don’t forget to turn the heat up.

2. Less Competition on the Market

There is less inventory in the winter, but there are still people looking to buy. Depending on your asking price, neighbourhood and other aspects of your home, you might even receive multiple offers.

For some sellers, it might even benefit to sell when there’s less inventory. The key is to work with an expert realtor who knows the market, understands the advantages and disadvantages of your home, and then lists it based on this information.

3. Less Bidding Wars, More Likely to Get the Asking Price

It’s true that you’re more likely to make more money off your property in the spring and summer months.

But it’s also important to understand that in the spring the competition is more fierce and not all homes sell.

On some occasions a home has to be relisted at a lower asking price than what it’s worth before an offer is made, and then it might be bid up.

An added benefit: because winter is slower, your real estate agent will have more time to negotiate on your part.

Tip: Because in winter you’re less likely to have as many potential buyers as during warmer months, don’t test the market and list a higher price. Play safe and price your listing at market value. This way you won’t have drop below market value if your house doesn’t sell.

4. Less Landscaping, More Focus on Inside

With your property covered in snow, it might be hard or impossible to do any landscaping. This makes it easier to focus on the inside of the house and make it as welcoming as possible.

This, however, doesn’t mean that landscaping should be completely ignored. Curb appeal is crucial even in the winter months and makes a good and lasting first impression.

Tip: Do some basic landscaping and add some cool-weather plants to invite buyers to step inside. If it’s snowing, make sure you clear a path from the side of the road to your front door.

Tip: As you’re de-personalizing your house, make sure to display photos of what the outside looks like in the summer. A garden in full bloom, sun reflecting in the pool, and any other photos that would showcase the full beauty of the home.

5. New Year, New Me

A new year often comes with resolutions and the desire for new beginnings. This includes buyers looking for a new home.

Stage your home to reflect this mindset with seasonal decorations, soft music, and other tips shared in this blog.

6. Internet Never Sleeps

Serious buyers always keep their eyes open for the right property, regardless the season. With technology at our fingertips, buyers can search listings at anytime and in any season.

With colder weather, we tend to spend more time indoors. Whether we’re on the couch or watching our kids hockey practice, our phones and tablets are most likely by our sides.

We also tend to cheer ourselves up by finding stuff online, including homes.

Note, if a buyer is on the lookout for a home in winter, their eye will most likely be caught on a bright photo of your cozy home.

Tip: If there ever is a perfect time to invest in the services of a real estate photographer, it’s in the winter. A professional photographer will bring out the beauty of your home and increase the chances of your listing catching a buyer’s eye.

Are you looking to buy or sell your home in Kelowna this winter? Our Kelowna Life experts are ready to help you.

You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to see how.

Kettle Valley: The Heart of the Upper Mission

Located in the Upper Mission, the Village of Kettle Valley is like no other place in Kelowna.

Kettle Valley is perfect for homeowners who want to live in a vibrant neighbourhood, have an active lifestyle, enjoy million dollar views, and raise their family in one of Canada’s Best Communities.

For over 20 years, the village has been popular among home buyers who seek more than a home. The village welcomes its residents with a sense of belonging and a lifestyle that is built around strengthening the community.

A Community From Another Time

Everything about Kettle Valley has been designed to bring people together and create a close-knit neighbourhood that so many people are unknowingly looking for. The houses range from single family homes to townhouses, built to represent traditional architecture, but with a modern twist.

The houses are built to bring out the best of the village’s hillside location, and many homes feature great views of the lake and the city. The best part about the community? It’s built around the Village Centre and beautifully incorporates nature and recreational areas into the overall design.

The Village Centre and Amenities

Over dozen businesses call the Village Centre their home. In the idyllic setting, residents can enjoy a local coffee shop and great restaurants, art studios, dental and chiropractic clinics, and exceptional spas and fitness centres.

The community was built with nature in mind and this reflects in the many hiking and biking trails, as well as opportunities for rock climbing in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter.

Alongside gorgeous view and nature, residents also enjoy beautiful parks, a sledding hill, great playgrounds for children (including a splash park), and some of the most sought after schools in the area.

Only a short drive away are some of the Okanagan’s most renowned wineries, like Summerhill Pyramid Winery and Cedar Creek Estate Winery.

Golf enthusiasts can enjoy one (or all) of the 18 courses in the city and surrounding areas, including Gallagher’s Canyon Golf & Country Club, rated one of Canada’s best courses, which is only a 20-minute drive away.

And for residents who love everything winter, on the days when you’re not enjoying the local hill, head to the Big White Ski Resort an hour away to enjoy the great slopes and champagne powder.

Kettle Valley is also conveniently located to downtown Kelowna and other amenities. If you’d like to enjoy City Park or an event at Prospera Place, the city centre is only a 20-minute drive away. Fifteen minutes from your home you can find several grocery stores like Lakeview Market and Urban Fare, and Kelowna International Airport is just 25 minutes away.  

Enjoy a Lifestyle Like no Other: Featured Home on Quilchena Drive

If you’re ready to be a part of one of the most desirable communities in Canada, you’ll love this beautiful custom walkout rancher on 368 Quilchena Drive in Kettle Valley, listed for $1,299,000.

This 5 bedroom and 3 bathroom home features a den/office, formal dining room, and an entertainers dream kitchen attached to the open living room with beautiful gas fireplace. Walkout onto the covered patio to take in the view of the lake, city, and pool. On the main floor is the large master bedroom with access to the patio and the beautiful master bath overlooks the lake. The main level also has a walk in closet, another bedroom, bathroom and laundry room.

You will enjoy entertaining your friends and family in the walk out basement with an oversized family room, rec room, wet bar, and wine room. Downstairs also features 3 more bedrooms and a bathroom, a gym area and lots of storage under the garage which could easily be converted into a theatre room for another 400 square feet. The professionally landscaped tiered back yard features many private areas to unwind.

Take in the amazing views from the covered patio, fire table area, pool, and hot tub.

Live in the Heart of the Okanagan Valley: Featured Home on Mountainside Drive

Take in the lake and valley VIEWS from this beautiful custom home in Kettle Valley. Nothing has been over looked in this first time to market 3300+ square foot home.  5747 Mountainside Drive is listed for 1,098,000. 

This house has 4 bedrooms, 4  bathrooms, vaulted ceilings and high end finishing through out. The main floor features an entertaining kitchen, dining area, living room, laundry, powder room, and stunning master suite. Upstairs you will find a second master bedroom, washroom, walk in closet, and den/office over looking the valley. The fully finished walkout basement with separate entry features two large bedrooms, large washroom with roughed in laundry, wired theatre room, large family room and wet bar entertaining area and READY TO SUITE. Enjoy the stunning lake views from the several patios, gas fire pit over looking the valley, all with a low maintenance yard featuring a stunning waterfall and grid irrigation. The over sized 2 car garage features extra room for some toys and work space with ample extra parking on the driveway. 

If you’re ready to be a part of the beautiful Kettle Valley community, or want to see more beautiful homes around the Okanagan, our Kelowna Life real estate experts are ready to answer your questions.

You can live here too. Check out Kelowna Life to see how.

 

 

Lest We Forget

Each year, on November 11th, we honour veterans who have served in wartime and remember the soldiers who died in military service.

Remembrance Day marks an important milestone in the world history. It reminds us of the sacrifices made by individuals, families, and entire countries to end the First World War in 1918 and lay the foundation for modern democracy.

As Canadians, it’s our collective responsibility to remember those who have served and made sacrifices for future generations.  

The Plea

Did you know that the phrase “Lest We Forget” comes from a poem written by the author of The Jungle Book? Rudyard Kipling wrote the poem Recessional in 1897, repeating the phrase several times to emphasize the dangers of failing to remember.

This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War 1. The plea to not forget the past and not take it for granted is as important today as it was back in 1918 when the Armistice agreement was signed.

Photo credit: Kelowna Now

On November 11th, the Okanagan Military Museum invites everyone to come to the museum from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and learn more about Canada’s military history. There will be special 15-minute tours throughout the day, each featuring a different topic.

This year, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 26 is doing something new and special to honour the soldiers who never made it back home and don’t have a gravesite. Inspired by a display in Calgary, the Legion has set up a field of crosses in City Park with 242 names from the two World Wars and the Korean War. The display was set up on November 3rd and will remain in City Park until Remembrance Day.

The Ceremony

Photo credit: The Daily Courier

This year Remembrance Day falls on a Sunday. What a perfect opportunity to enjoy the morning with your family and then join the ceremony and parade.

The Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 26, will hold their annual ceremony and parade in City Park’s Veendam Garden.

In Rutland, the Army Navy Air Force Veterans will hold the ceremony at the cenotaph in Lions Park, followed by a parade.

The Poppies

Last year, the Kelowna poppy campaign collected $184,209.65, an all-time record amount.

This year, the Royal Canadian Legion has launched a digital version of the poppyUntil November 11th, you can head to the website www.mypoppy.ca and get a poppy by donation. As with the physical poppies that you can proudly wear to show your support, the digital ones can be customized for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn profile pictures.

Digital poppy from mypoppy.ca

Make a donation, wear your poppies and show your support for those who have served to protect our country. Let’s together honour their sacrifice that has allowed us to build a better home for ourselves and our families.

Lest we forget, Kelowna.

You can live here too. Check Kelowna Life to learn how.

Kelowna Votes

On Saturday, October 20th, we saw voters head to the polls across British Columbia, including Kelowna.

In a mere 12 hours Kelowna citizens voted for a Mayor, 8 councillors, and 4 school trustees who will serve the Kelowna community for the next 4-year term. Many of the Council members are already well known to locals and have proven their dedication to serving our beautiful city.

For those of you who would like to welcome our 2018-2022 City Council, they will be officially sworn in during a public event on November 7th at 7 p.m. in the Mary Irwin Theatre at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Why Vote?

Even though politics can sometimes be a controversial and an uneasy topic to discuss, it has always been an important part of my family’s life. We believe in informed citizens making informed decisions.

Photo courtesy of City of Kelowna

This is especially important when it comes to strengthening the purpose of democracy by doing everyone’s duty as citizens: voting.

Based on a 2017 Citizen survey, most Kelowna residents are satisfied with City services and are happy with how their tax dollars are spent. This goes to show that being politically active and voting for public representatives makes a difference in individual and community lives. Being informed on local politicians, their vision, their work ethic and dedication helps when the time comes to vote in municipal election.  

The 2018 Municipal Election and Voters

Photo Courtesy of The Canadian Press

It was great to see that right here in Kelowna 8,049 electors had cast their vote in the advanced voting, and that by 8 p.m. on Saturday a total of 32,151 people had voted.

It might seem a bit disheartening at first to know that there are around 130,000 residents in Kelowna, with majority being the voting age, yet only 30.41% voted.

But I believe that this is not a sign of voter apathy.

There are many individuals, especially those aged 18 to 40, expressing their political views on social media, signing petitions, wearing badges or T-shirts that show their affiliations and political views, and taking part in marches on various social, economic and other issues.

The political interest is there, perhaps it’s a matter of time until it grows into a feeling that electoral participation is also a part of the civic duty.

The Young Future Voters

This election, we saw many of the candidates interact with voters through social media as well as the more “old school” media like news and newspapers. Curiosity on whether youth watches news anymore brought me to Statistics Canada, where data from 2013 showed that 22% of youth aged 15 to 19 said they watched the news and were interested in current events. The percentage increased to 55% for those aged 35 to 44, and 87% among those aged 75 and over. 

Let’s hope these numbers of informed citizens has remained the same or perhaps grown a bit by 2018, I wasn’t able to find any recent stats.

Youth show engagement differently, mostly through social media campaigns and forums, which, I hope, would eventually turn into more politically active individuals and future voters.

Education is another important factor to having an informed, curious and politically active society. According to Statistics Canada, a higher level of education is associated with increased participation in various types of political activities.

With two major campuses in town, UBCO and Okanagan College, both educating thousands of individuals on social and political issues, we might see more people vote in the next 2022 elections.

Why I Care

Voting is crucial for democracy. The past four years Kelowna has been managed by trusted individuals who have proven they care for our city and communities, and many have been re-elected for another term with the City Council.

With the city growing, more people call it home and care for its growth, so perhaps the 2022 municipal election might see a higher number of individuals casting their votes.

Stay informed on latest news and current affairs, be curious on how you can play an active role in changing where and how you live, and perhaps I’ll meet you at the polls during the next election.   

 

You can live here too. Check Kelowna Life to learn how.

Your Vote Matters on October 20th

Politics can be an uncomfortable topic of conversation around the dinner table.

It’s controversial and when people have different opinions it can lead to arguments and fights. However, just because something makes you uncomfortable does not mean you should ignore it.

One of the biggest problems in current society is that people ignore politics and don’t pay attention to the news and recent events.

As a result, people heading to the polls might be misinformed or poorly informed, or the elections are just absent of voters in general.

As a citizen, it is your civic duty to vote in your local, provincial, and national elections.

I’m not going to try to sway anyone in who they should vote for, whether they lean left or right is none of my business and changing their mind isn’t my place. Everyone is different and has had different experiences in life. These experiences influence how you view social, economic, and political issues.

It wouldn’t be right for me to try to influence you to vote in a way that I personally feel is best. However, I do feel it’s important to inform people about the upcoming elections.

When and Where Can You Vote?

Photo Courtesy of The Canadian Press

With elections coming up in Kelowna this October, it’s a time where it’s more important than ever to be educated on what’s going on in the city and what each of the candidates stand for.

On Saturday, October 20th from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. voting stations will be open all around the city. Some advanced voting days and locations will also be set up between October 10th and 20th. It’s your duty as a citizen to vote, because if people aren’t voting it ruins the purpose of a democracy.

Who Can Vote?

To vote as a resident elector you need to fit a certain criteria. That criteria includes being a Canadian citizen and being 18 years old by the date of the election. Additionally, you must have been a resident of British Columbia for six months by the date of election as well as a resident of Kelowna for 30 days by that same date.

Those are the basic criteria, but if you have any other questions or concerns about the election or voting you can get more information on the city’s website.

Why Vote?

Photo courtesy of City of Kelowna

Kelowna only has an election once every four years. With every election there are 13 major positions that are voted on: 4 School Trustees, 8 Councillors, and the Mayor. Each of these positions plays a big role in how the city is run, so making sure you are educated and vote is very important.

If you’re thinking of moving to Kelowna in the near future, you might find this information helpful. Even if you aren’t eligible to vote in this election, it’s good to educate yourself for the next one in 2022.

 

You can live here too. Check Kelowna Life to learn how.