Named as one of the world’s dozen top travel destinations for 2007 by the highly-regarded travel guide publishing house, Frommers, the Okanagan Valley and its gateway city, Kelowna are perhaps among Canada’s freshest travel discoveries in recent years. The city of 111,000 people is located in the centre of the Okanagan Valley, a long and slim valley in BC’s Interior, bordered by rolling mountains that plunge into the deep Okanagan Lake.
Kelowna’s sledge hockey community has been gaining in strength and momentum since it was first established in 2004. With Kelowna’s enthusiastic tradition in hockey, the introduction of sledge hockey was recognized as a must. In 2004 the City of Kelowna purchased six sleds and offered introductory sledge programs. Receiving an overwhelmingly positive reaction, the City of Kelowna decided to purchase six additional sleds to establish a fulltime competitive program. The City has continued to invest in the sport and has recently received a grant to purchase more ice time and sledge hockey equipment, and will be hosting workshops for athletes, coaches and volunteers. The City is dedicated to the development of sledge not only within the community, but also with the athletes, coaches and officials from around the world.
Characterized by the New York Times as the “Napa of Canada” and by a spate of Canadian dailies as the “Tuscany of Canada”, the area’s wines are gaining in recognition with each new international award that they garner. The area is well-suited to growing grapes: it lies in a microclimate that sees very little rainfall (13 inches per annum), abundant sunshine (over 2000 hours per year), a hot and extended summer season, and mild weather in the remaining seasons. Perhaps the greatest surprise of all is this urban center’s proximity to rural charm. Within minutes, one can drive from the city’s epicenter and be on a hiking trail, in an orchard setting, sipping wine at a winery patio, or hitting the links on one of Kelowna’s dozen surrounding golf courses.
Kelowna is located approximately 400 km (240 miles) from Vancouver and 600 km (360 miles) from Calgary, as well as 150 km (90 miles) north of the United States border. Kelowna is easily accessible by air, including direct flights major centers such as Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Calgary, Toronto, and Seattle, with major airlines such as Air Canada, WestJet, and Horizon Air.
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Adam Crockatt Manager, National Men's Teams | Responsable, équipe nationale masculine (hockey sur luge)