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Kelowna mayor frustrated with number of shows, concerts that go to Penticton

Colin Basran offered his comments in a radio interview last week
Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. (File)

World-class events always seem to be making their way to Penticton and that doesn’t sit well with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

“How many years must Kelowna residents watch shows and concerts bypass Kelowna and go to Penticton,” he asked during a radio interview on AM 1150 last week.

The South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton has welcomed Alice Cooper, ZZ Top, Cheap Trick, and the Harlem Globetrotters in 2022 alone, with the pending arrival of Ringo Starr set for Oct. 9. Not to mention, the venue’s hosting of John Fogerty, Rihanna, Megadeth, Bad Company, Chicago and Carrie Underwood over the last several years.

Basran’s comments came in response to Kelowna’s Prospera Place missing out on hosting the 2023 Memorial Cup due to “significant deficiencies” at the facility.

The city was set to host the 2020 edition of the CHL tournament before the COVID-19 pandemic put a wrench in those plans. Kelowna is still waiting to once again be home to the prestigious Canadian junior hockey finals, as a result.

A recent audit commissioned by the Kelowna Rockets found that Prospera Place does not meet the CHL’s standards for hosting the Memorial Cup, something that appeared to have prompted Basran to think about Penticton and the current state of its facility.

The 2023 Memorial Cup will instead be played in Kamloops.

Even though the SOEC regularly welcomes high-profile acts — most recently Canadian country star Dallas Smith on June 3 — Kelowna isn’t exactly getting the short end of the stick in the entertainment category.

Award-winning rockers Greta Van Fleet and Bryan Adams will appear at Prospera Place this August and November, respectively.

READ MORE: Penticton Women in Business: Community building vital to success at SOEC


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