Bo.ttega Farm Inn, or, as brand marketer Darren Hull puts it, the “gathering place with some style”, opened its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday for a Christmas open house.
The Christmas market featured artists, crafters and musicians from the Okanagan, showcasing their talents to the public.
Dave Krysko, owner of Bo.ttega, said that the idea for the event came from observations he made while travelling in Europe.
“We always wanted to see a Christmas market here where you have arts and crafts: It’s very big in Europe,” said Krysko.
“We thought this would be a great place to try this and see how it would work. By the amount of people, it looks really good.”
A constant flow of visitors entered Bo.ttega’s doors on Saturday and filled the first two floors of the building.
Located in southeast Kelowna and set on a 13.2 acre piece of property, Bo.ttega Farm Inn is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.
According to Krysko, events like the Christmas market allow the public to experience the facility before the official opening.
“It’s a good introduction. We’re trying to work out the bugs and try a few events to see how they work.”
Krysko saw the location on 4485 Sallows Road as a good spot to mix his love of farming with his passion for art and music.
“We built this to be a place for artists and people to present. It’s another venue where people can get together and explore art. We want to have art events, music events and things to do with faith.
“We’d like to combine those and see what happens. I think it’s up to the community to make this what it is. We’ve built the canvas; we’re hoping that lots of people paint on it.”
The open house also featured a Christmas concert at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Other highlights of the event included an ice sculptor, a harp player, glogg wine and European baking.
Hull said that the idea of Bo.ttega is to be a hub for creativity.
“It’s really a roof to get creative people together and push ideas, challenge people and learn,” said Hull.
The concept of the farm inn is to get corporations, artists or groups to book the entire facility, which includes 10 guest rooms, so that they have exclusive use of the location.
“If you need audio or visual, it’s here. Lighting is here, catering too.”
Before the Christmas market, Bo.ttega had primarily been used to facilitate weddings and smaller events.