Setting up a main Canada Day entertainment stage in Stuart Park created a “cool vibe” says organizer Renata Mills.—Image credit: Doug Farrow/contributor

Organizers happy with rejigged Kelowna Canada Day set-up

Temporary changes prompted by recent flooding helped create a whole new ‘vibe’ says event boss.

Despite changes that had to be made in light of recent flooding in Kelowna, including postponing the popular Canada Day fireworks display, the woman in charge of organizing the city’s Canada Day celebration says she’s happy with how the event went off.

Renata Mills of Festivals Kelowna said she heard from many people they liked the altered layout, which saw the event moved off the lakeshore this year.

“The community came out and seemed to have a great time,” said Mills, adding unlike past years, the event did not have three “gates,” so it was hard to estimate attendance numbers this year. But it was clear thousands turned out.

Due to beach restrictions—some of which were lifted at the last moment—Kelowna’s Celebrate Canada event took place at a number of sites along Water Street, stretching from Kerry Park to Waterfront Park and Prospera Place, including Jim Stuart Park.

“From a set-up perspective, it was great,” said Mills, adding some people told her they liked the ability to walk from site to site.

But, she added, the lakeshore and beach are important assets and and will return for next year’s event.

The changes, however, did result in some welcome differences this year.

“There was a really cool vibe created by moving (a main entertainment) stage to Jim Stuart Park,” she said.

And placing the youth stage—which was in Jim Stuart Park last year—in Kerry Park, created what Mills called “a real outdoor dance party for youth.”

Meanwhile, the fireworks show that was scheduled for July 1 has been postponed to the B.C. Day long weekend in August.