The Kelowna Art Gallery is one of the public facilities within the city’s Cultural District. Photo: Contributed

Connecting Kelowna’s past to the present

Guided Cultural District tours offered this summer

The guided summer walking tours of Kelowna’s Cultural District will take participants on a journey through time.

The Cultural District, which once housed a thriving fruit industry, is now a vibrant home to many of Kelowna’s artists and creative sector organizations and businesses.

The tours run on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10 a.m. to noon, until Aug. 25.

The two-kilometre route begins and ends at the Laurel Packinghouse, 1304 Ellis St., and gives participants an opportunity to explore the rich history of the area, hear stories of the past and present, and explore cultural facilities and parks including Kasugai Gardens, the Okanagan Heritage Museum, and the Kelowna Art Gallery. There are also a variety of public art pieces on display along the walk.

Related: Kelowna seeks input on updating city cultural plan

Registration is not required and all tours are free.

The tours take approximately two hours and depart from the Laurel Packinghouse. Participants are asked to bring comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a hat.

Cultural development began in the early 1970s, when a committee formed to study the possibilities of developing a “Cultural Arts Centre” in Kelowna.

In 1989, Kelowna established the Mayor’s Task Force to create cultural policy. Since then, significant progress has been made to integrate arts and culture into overall community planning and the delivery of services to residents and visitors.

The Kelowna Community Theatre, Kelowna Art Gallery, Rotary Centre for the Arts, the main branch of the Kelowna Library (Okanagan Regional Library system), all four Kelowna Museums and other cultural facilities are situated within the Cultural District.

The area also houses an assortment of private galleries, restaurants and unique shops. Within the district’s eclectic six blocks, there are also 18 pieces of public art on display, created by local, regional, national and international artists.

For individuals not able to attend a guided walking tour, the city offers an online map or downloadable brochure to enjoy a self-guided tour of the Cultural District at www.kelowna.ca/culture.

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