Kelowna has $150,000 to spend on celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday— and it plans on making it a year-long celebration that includes plenty of events with a 150 theme.
In the last three city budgets, council has earmarked $50,000 each to put towards paying the long list of events including a $35,000 grant to enhance the annual Canada Day celebration downtown on July 1, the Pianos In The Park program, Arts on the Avenue and Parks Alive. All four are put on by Festivals Kelowna.
Another $20,000 will go toward community engagement and beautification, with red and white tulips planned in key civic gardens and special displays at the airport and the museum.
Residents will also be challenged to collectively volunteer at least 150,000 hours during the year. Tool kits will be created to show residents 150 ways to be neighbourly and to inform them of 150 things to do it the city.
The city is also providing a number of local groups with a total of $60,000—in addition to other grants secured by each group for elsewhere for a number of initiatives including:
• A Canada 150 paddle trail coordiated by the Dragon Boat Society between Bertram Creek and McKinley Lading with special way-finding buoys,
• 150 Stories From 150 Years—a partnership between the Kelowna Museum Society, the WFN, Metro Community, French Cultural Centre and the Chinese Canadian Association to establish a permanent exhibit showcasing the role prominent cultures have had on shaping this area.
• 150 Years of Art—an exhibition of Canadian art owned by local collectors
• A new take on the Dickens story A Christmas Carol, with a Kelowna spin and set in the city
• Canadiana Suite- A Sesquicentennial Celebration, a joint new work by Ballet Kelowna and the Okanagan Symphony Orchestra
• Canada 150 Summer Fest, an outdoor jazz concert and classical performance with Chamber Music Kelowna
• The Things We Do garden, a 6,000-square-foot garden project by Okanagan College, the WFN, Growing Inspired Garden Education and Design and the Central Okanagan Naturalists’ Club.
A Canada 150 webpage will also be developed at the city’s website to be the main hub for information about all the events.
Kelowna council will hear a presentation about the plans today at its regular meeting at city hall.