Michaels: Draw of the Okanagan Valley will be long-lived

A yearly reminder that Kelowna’s masterminds are in need of a colourful way forward, lest we collectively evaporate into a cloud of white dust was delivered this week.

A yearly reminder that Kelowna’s masterminds are in need of a colourful way forward, lest we collectively evaporate into a cloud of white dust was delivered this week.

Specifically, a panel of UBC experts chose to trot out data from the 2006 census to explain we’re one of the oldest, slowest reproducing and whitest populations in North America.

That anemic looking combination, say those experts, will stem any possible influx of young professionals able to drive the economy forward when our friendly neighbourhood boomers give up the ghost and retire: The End.

As much as I like a good everything-will-be-destroyed-once-the-boomers-finally-go-away story, this one in particular is my favourite. It has a delightful sci-fi feel to it.

Can’t you just picture  men and women of 2031 as white and waxy as The Sails, silently wheeling around Bernard Avenue, which has become a service-free hub? Luckily, the sidewalks will have become extra-wide, from a revitalization project around 17 years earlier, so their movement will be conflict-free.

Vineyards and farms will have gone to seed, as any ethnic minorities who would have otherwise been lured to work the bountiful shores of Okanagan Lake will find more meaningful work in other “medium sized cities.”

Tourism Kelowna will no longer brand our fair valley with the slogan “Ripe With Surprises.” Visitors will be encouraged to stay because we’re “Fallow from what was expected.”

Fabulously fatalistic, right?

Sadly, while I could spend hours coming up with doomsday scenarios to tickle my morbid imagination, I honestly believe that they’re just that—doomsday scenarios.

Nobody’s more keen than I am to point out the quite obvious flaws of the Okanagan, but is the end nigh?

No way.

The Valley, for all of its irritating quirks, is a gorgeous place to plant a life. For many of us, it’s an economic challenge, but so is living in a metropolitan hub. Only we choose here so we can walk and bike to the lake, not drive two hours.

Going to concerts and shows isn’t as easily accessible as it is in city life, but the cultural sector is starting to flex its muscles and more is starting to happen here.

And, when it comes to wondering if there is a growing population of visible minorities, I have to recommend that those who live in their research take a step back and head to the city’s downtown for a day of people watching.

There are visible minorities in far greater numbers than ever before. They’re young, professional looking and walk around with purpose.

My guess is they’re at one of the educational facilities we have in the Valley, and even if they leave upon graduation, will they forget this place?

Doubtful, for the simple fact that there’s an intangible draw to the Okanagan that confounds reason, research and, clearly, outdated statistics.

 

 

Kathy Michaels is a reporter for the Capital News.

 

kmichaels@kelownacapnews.com

 

 

Just Posted

West Kelowna neighbourhood fed up with criminal activity

Prowler frustrating West Kelowna residents

Kelowna motel robbed, suspect sought

The suspect threatened to harm the lone front desk clerk and demanded money.

Kelowna airport hosts accessibility event

Canucks Autism Network event brings families together to help deal with air travel

Penticton reporter reflects on covering Charles Manson

Charles Manson, leader of a murderous cult, died on Sunday at 83

Driver escapes vehicle fire

Smoke and flames were spotted coming from the hood of a truck on Hudson Road

Heavy snowfall expected on Coquihalla

Snow forecast for mountain highways

Annett finishes season on the podium at Ironman Arizona

Penticton triathlete sets new course record on the bike

Cash donations create purchasing power

Salvation Army and food banks stretch a donated dollar a long way

Hergott: A pedestrian’s legal obligation

Lawyer Paul Hergott questions the moral obligation of pedestrians and motorists

Coyotes grab Okanagan boys title

George Elliott defeats Seaton in AA volleyball final, seeded third heading to provincials

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

Last day for shoeboxes at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship

Kelowna church has been gathering gifts for kids in need in countries around the world

Owls soar to Okanagan volleyball title

KSS girls win 4A championship for 12th straight year beating Pen Hi in final

B.C. groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Most Read