Cap News Throwback Thursday: 1991

After 86 years of service, we wanted to utilize our amazing treasure trove of Kelowna history and share it with you

Over the last 86 years the Kelowna Capital News has served the Central Okanagan – and over the last 86 years it has printed a whole lot of papers. A conservative estimate puts it at around 8,000 editions.

Each Thursday we will present Cap News Throwback Thursday at for a fun little peek into the past, and we will re-visit those editions here in print on Fridays.

Today we present the Kelowna Capital News – Friday June 21, 1991 edition.

The Capital News took a slightly different format in the early ’90s with large sports shots taking up the front page. In this edition former national ski champion Gary Athans is photographed performing on his air-chair along Okanagan Lake. A paper earlier in the month showed tubers enjoying a former Kelowna summer hot spot – Wild and Wet in Westbank.

Vancouverites were the focus of two of the big stories in this edition. The top story on June 21 blames Kelowna airport’s flight delays on delays out of Vancouver. At that point planes would often have to wait in Kelowna until there was a chance to land in Vancouver. “In a study done last year, 27 per cent of all Vancouver-bound planes were delayed more than 20 minutes,” reads the article. A third runway was eventually put in Vancouver to ease the congestion issues.

While we are constantly hearing that Vancouverites are making their way to Kelowna for financial reasons in 2017, the 1991 paper notes an influx in Lower Mainland residents wanting to lower stress levels. The Capital News article followed a Financial Times article on ‘stressed out city dwellers’ moving to Kelowna. The national article touted Kelowna as the ‘perfect escape from high house prices, long commutes and non-existent recreational opportunities.’ Then Mayor Jim Stuart was concerned in 1991 that the influx of population would hurt employment, rental and wage rates and he seems to be right. Those are still three major concerns for the one of the fastest growing cities in Canada.

As a result of Kelowna’s popularity and the housing boom that continues in B.C., houses have continued to skyrocket since 1991. An open house for a home in Shannon Lake area had the 3,300 square foot home on half an acre listed for $228,800 in 1991. That same home is now listed on BC Assessment as being worth at least $735,000, more than three times its 1991 value.

On the big screen:

City Slickers starring Billy Crystal, Daniel Stern, Bruno Kirby, and Jack Palance. The film received a “Fresh” score of 90 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes. Only the Lonley starring John Candy, Maureen O’Hara, Ally Sheedy and Anthony Quinn. Candy died just a few years later of a heart attack in Durango, Mexico on March 4, 1994 at the age of 43.

Fun fact: The Shrine circus was in town for two nearly sold out shows at the Memorial Arena. As seen below a bear was photographed riding a bike, one of several animals to perform. While the performing bear was praised for its skill, performing animals have since been regarding as inhumane.

“In the past, people were thrilled at the sight of huge elephants standing on their hind legs, bears riding bicycles and lions and tigers jumping through flaming hoops. However, with greater awareness of the behaviour and needs of wild animals and their habitats, many members of the public have come to question the ethics of the circus environment as it applies to animals,” writes the BP SPCA.

According to the animal welfare society, British Columbia is now the leading Canadian province in preventing this type of activity with 20 municipalities banning circuses that have wild and exotic animals performing.

You can check out our previous throwbacks here: 1936, 1960, 1941, 1985, 1962,1983, 1994, 1971, 1940, 1968, 1992, 1978, 1985, 2003, 1940 , 1977 and 1968.

The Capital News is now owned by Black Press Community Media. Founded in 1975, Black Press now publishes more than 170 titles in British Columbia, Alberta, Washington state, Hawaii, Ohio and California.

Do you have an important date or piece of history you hope we can find in our historical editions?! Let us know at



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