«Photo: Matt Clarke 1 Table of Contents Photo: Matt Clarke Message from Premier Christy Clark 1 Welcome from Andrew Jakubeit, Mayor of the City of ...»
Photo: Matt Clarke
Table of Contents
Photo: Matt Clarke
Message from Premier Christy Clark 1
Welcome from Andrew Jakubeit, Mayor of the City of Penticton 2
British Columbia Fact Sheet 3
Overview of Penticton 5
Okanagan Wine Country 7
Media Tours 9
Tour Partners 13 Monday Evening Reception Partners 28 Tuesday Evening Reception Partners 30 Our Sponsors 32 A Message from Premier Christy Clark As Premier of the Province of British Columbia, I am pleased to welcome everyone to Penticton and the 2015 GoMedia Canada gathering highlighting Penticton, the Okanagan and British Columbia as key tourism destinations.
Through one-to-one meetings, regional tours, presentations and a lot of significant networking, this is a great opportunity to connect international travel media with our tourism organizations and suppliers, attractions, hotels, amenities as well as arts, culture and recreation options.
This event is a full marketplace providing journalists with direct access to key tourism partners in the Okanagan Valley and other regions of our province. From snow-covered peaks to sandy beaches, from cosmopolitan, multicultural cities to pristine islands, British Columbia has it all. We take great pride in our beautiful province, and are pleased to share it – maybe even show it off.
Welcome to Penticton, the Okanagan Valley, and British Columbia. I know you will enjoy your time here.
Sincerely, Christy Clark Premier 1 2 BC Facts Photos: Destination BC/Albert Normandin Destination BC/JF Bergeron Destination BC/Dave Heath Mountains, beaches, islands, forest and wilderness — it’s all here, in large, sometimes awe-inspiring, numbers. It’s not all about wilderness, though. Canada’s westernmost province is also a top choice for safe, vibrant cities, great little arts towns and a fascinating blend of cultures.
• British Columbia is bordered by Alberta to the east, the states of Washington, Idaho and Montana to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The Alaska Panhandle and the Canadian territories of Yukon and the Northwest Territories form the northern border.
• At 944,735 square kilometres (364,764 square miles), BC is larger than France and Germany combined. It’s larger than the total area of Washington, Oregon and California.
• British Columbia is Canada’s third largest province, after Quebec and Ontario. It covers about 9.5 per cent of Canada’s surface area.
• A series of southeast-northwest running mountain ranges, from the Rockies in the east to the Coast Mountains and Insular Mountains (Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii) in the west, serrate the landscape into a series of peaks, plateaus and valleys.
• British Columbia’s rugged coastline stretches for 25,725 kilometres (15,985 miles), including deep, mountainous fjords and nearly 28,000 marine islands, the vast majority of which are uninhabited.
• The largest island, at 460 kilometres (286 miles) long, is Vancouver Island. Home to Victoria, the provincial capital, it lies off the southwest corner of BC’s mainland.
• More than 15 per cent of BC’s land base, or 14.3 million hectares (35.34 million acres), is protected in a total of 1,029 provincial parks, conservancies, ecological reserves and recreation areas, and seven national parks.
• Most of BC’s population of over four million people (4,631,302 in 2014, BC Stats) clusters in the province’s southwest corner, in and around the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. The Okanagan Valley is the most populated inland region.
• Though small in numbers, British Columbians are a cosmopolitan and multi-cultural group. A large proportion of residents have moved here from other parts of Canada and from around the world.
• Vancouver, in the mainland’s southwest corner, is BC’s largest city, with a 2014 population of 640,469.
• Greater Vancouver is the province’s largest metropolitan area, with a population (in 2014) of 2,474,123 or slightly more than half of BC’s population.
• Coastal British Columbia, including Vancouver and Victoria, enjoys the mildest climate in Canada. Summers are warm but not hot, and winters are mild and wet, with little snow at sea level. Inland, BC has a more typically Canadian climate, with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters.
• The climate can vary enormously across the province. BC is home to several regional micro-climates that are intrinsically connected to its varied landscapes, ranging from alpine to interior plains, desert to coastal rainforest.
THE TIME Most of British Columbia is on Pacific Standard Time (the same as Los Angeles, three hours behind Toronto and New York). A few communities along the Alberta border (notably Fort St. John, Dawson Creek, Golden, Kimberley and Cranbrook) use Mountain Standard Time.
Whether you’re hungry for breathtaking outdoor adventure, spectacular scenery or exceptional food and wine, this sun-drenched lakeside city is sure to please your palate. Long known as a family-friendly summer beach getaway, today Penticton is lush with orchards and vineyards and surrounded by magnificent cliffs that capture the light in an ever-changing display of colour. Penticton is, quite simply, one of British Columbia’s most delectable destinations.
WHERE YOU AREMeander along Highway 97 and you’ll find Penticton an hour south of Kelowna and an hour north of the U.S. border, right in the heart of British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley.
The city charms with orchards, vineyards and friendly neighbourhoods, and is surrounded by spectacular silt, clay and granite cliffs, scarps and terraced slopes; the cliffs were once the bed of an enormous ancestral lake that was carved out by receding glaciers. As the glaciers melted, they left behind a series of lakes — where the bedrock goes as deep as 640 metres (2,100 feet) below sea level, which is actually deeper than the Grand Canyon — as well as soil deposits that are ideal for growing tree fruits and vinifera grapes.
The city itself stretches scenically across a narrow isthmus between Okanagan and Skaha lakes, with sandy beaches sprawling to north and south. The community’s downtown is small, compact and easily walkable, its residential neighbourhoods spreading out along both lakeshores.
PAST AND PRESENTIt was the Okanagan Salish people who first settled in Penticton, which they called Sin-peen-tick-tin or “permanent place.” Indeed, today the city motto is “A Place to Stay Forever,” and more and more people are choosing to do just that.
The first Europeans arrived in the 1860s, and quickly began growing fruit and raising cattle. Back then, the area was almost inaccessible by land, and most transportation was done by water. The first sternwheelers began plying the waters of Okanagan Lake in the 1890s, and the most famous of them, the SS Sicamous, took her maiden voyage on July 1, 1914, just in time to start shipping soldiers off to the Great War in Europe. Today, the so-called “Queen of the Lake” is a popular historic site berthed on Okanagan Lake beach.
In 1910, Penticton became the headquarters of the new Kettle Valley Railway, which allowed farmers to ship their produce to bigger and better markets. It also marked the beginning of the tourism industry, and brought some of the first visitors to the area. And when the Hope-Princeton Highway (Highway 3) opened the area to cars in 1948, both the population and tourism industry in the area exploded.
Today, Penticton has a population of 42,000. Since the 1980s, it has become a significant wine-producing region, and continues to be a major fruit grower and a world-class tourism destination, thanks to its beaches, lakes, orchards, vineyards and those magnificent cliffs.
5 About Penticton Photos: Skiing Apex/Jeff Plant Lakeside Dining/Melissa Barnes Water Sports/Matt Clarke CLIMATE The air is warm and dry in Penticton. In summer, days are sunny and hot, often reaching temperatures above 30°C (the low 90s in Fahrenheit), but the nights are cool, a situation that is as ideal for growing flavourful grapes as it is for getting a good night’s sleep. Winters are cool and cloudy. There is little rain at any time of year.
OUTDOORS With two pristine lakes in which to swim, tempting cliffs to climb and endless trails to hike and bike, it’s little wonder that Penticton has become a major destination for outdoors buffs.
Each year the city hosts Challenge Penticton, a triathlon that attracts thousands of participants from all over the world to swim, cycle and run through the beautiful local scenery. Penticton has also been named the #1 cycling community in Canada, and each year hosts the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan (PGAMO), a 160-kilometre (100-mile) mass cycling event considered among the best in the world.
Cyclists and hikers also explore the former railway tracks of the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, including the breathtaking route that crosses the McCulloch Trestle before going on to the Little Tunnel above Naramata. Energetic visitors climb the spectacular Skaha Bluffs outside of town; those looking for a mellower experience join the crowds for a lazy float down the canal that connects Penticton’s two lakes.
FOOD AND WINEPenticton is surrounded by some of Canada’s best vineyards and wine-growing regions. It is home to the famous Naramata Bench wine region, which begins on the city’s eastern edges and spreads northward along Okanagan Lake.
On the other side of the lake and slightly further north is Summerland, while just to the south is Okanagan Falls. The Penticton area is rich with microclimates and unique pockets of terroir, which means that some wineries produce the elegant, aromatic cool climate wines of the North Okanagan, while others produce the big, bold wines of the South.
Whatever your palate, it will be pleased here.
Long famous for its orchard fruits including cherries, plums and peaches, Penticton is also becoming known for its restaurant scene, as well as its Ale Trail of craft brewers and a handful of artisan distilleries. Chefs, winemakers, brewers and distillers alike are passionate about the exceptional local ingredients, many of which can be found at the Penticton Farmers’ Market every Saturday from May to late October.
GOOD TO KNOW Did you know that Penticton is home to the Okanagan Hockey Academy, the first hockey specific sport school recognized by Hockey Canada? It’s home to the BC Hockey Hall of Fame, too. Also worth knowing: In August, it hosts the Penticton Peach Festival with live music, a parade, sandcastle competitions and much more. And every June, there’s a whole lotta shaking going on here thanks to the annual Penticton Elvis Festival (also known as the Pacific Northwest Elvis Festival), when Elvis Presley impersonators from all over the world compete to see who’s the best hunka hunka burning love.
6 Okanagan Wine Country Photo: Naramata Bench Vineyard/ John Bilodeau Named by Wine Enthusiast Magazine this year as among the top 10 global wine travel destinations in the world, the Okanagan Valley boasts over 82% of the total vineyard acreage in the province, and is BC’s premier grape-growing region. An ever-changing panorama, the Valley stretches over 250 kilometres north from the US border, across distinct sub-regions, each with different soil and climate conditions suited to a growing range of varietals. From world-class operations to family-run boutique vineyards, Okanagan wineries are rich with character and consistently ranked among the worlds best at International competitions.
OUR LOCATIONOver tens of thousands of years a series of glaciers, up to 3 kilometres thick, carved a great valley out of the mountains that we now call the Okanagan. In places it is deeper than the Grand Canyon. The retreating ice mass left behind long benches of fertile soil and a series of spectacular lakes. The series of lakes run along the valley floor, the biggest of which is Okanagan Lake at 144 kilometres long and 3.5 kilometres average width. It is over 750 metres at its deepest point and is the source of much-needed water for irrigation.
OUR TERROIR The Valley lies in a rain shadow, between the Coastal and Monashee mountain ranges. This results in very low annual average rainfall.
Summers are generally very hot with daytime temperatures sometimes reaching 40°C, and are often above 30°C for several days in a row. In the summer, there are long daylight hours and high light intensity due to the northerly latitude.
In late June, daybreak is as early as 5 am and nightfall as late as 10:30 pm. This helps with prolonged daytime photosynthesis and grape ripening.
Our wine regions have fairly significant climatic differences from north to south, with several degrees average daily difference in temperature. This results in a general preference for red varieties in the south and white varieties in the cooler north. Precipitation is spread evenly throughout the year and wind is not a major concern. The region’s lakes moderate temperature extremes.
The southern part of the valley has deep sandy soils whereas the northern area is mainly composed of clay and gravel.
PENTICTON AND THE NARAMATA BENCHPenticton is well-known for wine. And little wonder, since it’s home to some of British Columbia’s very best bottles with over 60 wineries within a 20 minutes’ drive.
Described by the New York Times as “a gloriously scenic highland that is crowded with smaller wineries,” the Naramata Bench is located just north of Penticton in the Southern Okanagan. The wineries are situated above sweeping sand cliffs that rise from Okanagan Lake, with vineyards that gently slope up to the mountains behind, hence the name “The Naramata Bench.” 7 Okanagan Wine Country Photo: Liquidity Vineyard/ Lionel Trudel Penticton and the Naramata Bench boast ideal conditions for grape ripening, the sloping vineyards are located in close proximity to the lake and have excellent exposure to the afternoon sun. Typically there are 1,319 degree days with a long frost-free autumn due to lake proximity and sloping aspect.