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The atual Census confirmed that British Columbia is the fastest growing province in Canada and that the Central Okangan is one of the fastest growing areas of the province. The current estimated population of Kelowna is over 132,000. Population growth is due to in-migration. Favorable living conditions, temperate climate, natural beauty and untold possibilities of future development have lured over 30,000 people to the Central Okanagan between 1991 and 1996 - a growth rate of over 22%. There are more seniors living in the Central Okanagan than the Canadian and British Columbia averages. This is mainly due to the attractiveness of the area as a retirement community. Yet, atual Census data reveals that only 10% of the people who moved to the area since 1986 were 65 or older. Clearly people are also coming here to work and raise families.
According to the Economic Council of Canada, the Central Okangan leads Canada in the world of self-employment. Entrepreneurship and small business have replaced governments and major corporations as the key instruments of economic growth. Almost 11% of the population work out of their homes. Nearly 70% of all self-employed work is in the service sector. For more information, visit the Economic Development Commission or the Downtown Kelowna Association.
Kelowna has two newspapers, The Daily Courier being the daily publication, as well as the Kelowna Capital News which publishes three times a week. There are six radio stations, two television stations and one business magazine publication.
Thinking about moving to Kelowna? The Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board can help you purchase the property of your dreams. Also look under Current Members for additional real estate agents. School District #23 encompasses all the public elementary, middle and secondary schools in Kelowna, Winfield, Westbank and Oyama. There are currently 48 schools in the district. There are nine private schools and three Catholic Schools as well. The Okanagan University College, a multi-campus institution with two main campuses in Kelowna with other campuses in Penticton, Vernon and Salmon Arm, serves about 7000 students. Established in 1965 as a university college, it offers degree programs in Arts and Science, Fine Arts, Nursing and Social Work. As a community college, it provides well established Business Career and Technology, Continuing Education, Developmental, Distance Education, Adult Native, International Education and Trades and Vocational program. Conference services, daycare and student residences are available at the Kelowna campuses.
The brand new Cancer Centre for the Southern Interior opened its doors in April 1998 and is located adjacent to the Kelowna General Hospital. Operated by the BC Cancer Agency, with essential supporting help from the hospital, the centre provides services such as assessment and diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, support programs and counseling. It will serve 2,800 new patients a year.
Retail, tourism and personal services make up the fastest growing sector of the economy in the Central Okanagan. Tourism is extremely important as the Kelowna area is a travel and recreation destination. The Coquihala Highway has made it possible to travel from the Lower Mainland in just 4 hours.
The sector provides a strong economic base to the community and helps to generate tourism and other secondary industries. Kelowna is the main centre in British Columbia for fruit storage, packing and processing. This includes production and processing of apples and pears as well as smaller quantities of grapes, cherries, prunes, peaches and apricots. Have a look at the B.C. Tree Fruits and SunRype web site! There are nine local wineries in the area that produce world class products adding a positive impact to our economic base.
As one of the largest industries in Kelowna, it employs over 6,000 people in close to 300 companies. Products include wood, wine, heavy duty trucks, communication equipment, juices and processed fruit, boats, houses, clothing and fabricated metal. Forestry is very important to Kelowna's economy. Five wood-processing plants contribute more than $20 million a year to payroll alone.
A unique 10-day celebration of theatre, performance and community! A cultural feast of theatrical innovation, drama, dance, music, juggling, buskers, story-telling and audience participation. Local performers join visiting artists from across North America and around the world.
Our orchards are beginning to blossom, the air is fragrant with new growth and sense of rebirth is everywhere. For the first golf after winter or some spring skiing, Kelowna is the place for you. The Central Okanagan epitomizes this beautiful period of transition, offering both visitors and residents the opportunity to spring ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon.
Relaxing summer days lounging around on one of many clean, sandy public beaches while soaking up the glorious sun and enjoying the sparkling clean water, playing a bit of beach volleyball, jet skiing, water skiing, then going out for a night on the town. Summer - Kelowna style!
Autumn in the Kelowna area is harvest time - a time to reap the abundance of Mother Nature's true generosity. Apples in all shapes and sizes, a seemingly endless variety of vegetables and so much more. Fishing is at its peak. The backcountry trails are blazing with the resplendent colours of Indian Summer. Explore one of the many farmers' markets and participate in the Wine Festival.
Invigorating describes our pleasantly temperate climate and tremendous variety of winter sporting activities. Some of the best downhill and Nordic skiing is possible. Snowmobiling, tobogganing, snowshoeing, dog sledding and outdoor skating are also popular activities around Kelowna where winter is wonderful.