Absolute Okanagan - 2020

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ABSOLUTE Okanagan LUXURY | LIFESTYLE | TRAVEL

a b s o l u t e o k a n a g a n . c a


Away From the Crowds. Away From the Crowds. So Close to It All. So Close to It All.

Wilden is the largest master-planned community in the Okanagan Valley. Cozy single Wilden the largestneighbourhoods master-planned are community in the Valley. Cozy single family andistownhome tucked into theOkanagan hills alongside Okanagan Lake family townhome neighbourhoods are drive tucked intodowntown the hills alongside and theand Glenmore Valley, just a 10-minute from Kelowna, Okanagan 5 minutes Lake from and the Glenmore Valley, just a 10-minute drive from downtown Kelowna, 5 minutes Glenmore amenities and less than 15 minutes from the airport and university. from Glenmore amenities and than 15 by minutes from the airport and university. Wilden neighbourhoods are less surrounded nature. Wetlands, parks, forest and wide Wilden neighbourhoods are surrounded by nature. Wetlands, parks, forest and wide open green space serve as natural boundaries that optimize privacy and beautiful views. open green spaceLiving serve as boundaries thatand optimize privacy and beautiful views. in natural Wilden opens up space time in your life. Living in Wilden opens up space and time in your life.

NATURE NATURE INSPIRED INSPIRED LIVING LIVING


Upsize Your Lifestyle. Upsize Your Lifestyle. Downsize Your Carbon Footprint. Downsize Your Carbon Footprint.

Currently for sale in Wilden are spacious semi-detached strata homes in Lost Creek Point Currently sale in Wildenlots areinspacious semi-detached strata homes in Lost Creek Point and singlefor family building Echo Ridge. Both new neighbourhoods are only a short and single familywalk building Echo Ridge. Bothpanoramic new neighbourhoods away lots frominnature trails and view spots. are only a short walk away from nature trails and panoramic view spots. Since the first homes were built in 2003, Wilden has been investing in energy efficient Since the first homes were built in 2003, Wilden has been investing in energy efficient home design and renewable energy. Ongoing research leads to innovative building prachome design and renewable energy. Ongoing research leads to innovative building tices that minimize the carbon emissions of Wilden Townhomes. When building a pracnew tices that minimize the carbon emissions of Wilden Townhomes. When building a new home you can tap into this knowledge by following WildenLivingLab.ca. home you can tap into this knowledge by following WildenLivingLab.ca.

Wilden.ca Wilden.ca Wilden Sales: 250.762.2906 · sales@wilden.ca

Wilden Presentation Centre •1454 Drive · Kelowna, BC • Open daily 1-5 pm, except Friday WildenRocky Sales:Point 250.762.2906 · sales@wilden.ca Wilden Presentation Centre •1454 Rocky Point Drive · Kelowna, BC • Open daily 1-5 pm, except Friday




CONTENTS 13

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ABSOLUTE | MUSE

The Gift of a Gallery & It’s Muse

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World Renowned Artists Play the Valley

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a few of his FAVOURITE THINGS

Freedom Found

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STUNNING SUNSET, DAZZLING SKIES... Sunrises, sunsets and everything in between

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CONTENTS 34

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a few of hER FAVOURITE THINGS

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ICONICE RESORTS

Experience lodging Okanagan style, breath taking views and services and amenities to match

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ICONIC CHEFS

Local chef’s consistently bring it... to the table that is!

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ABSOLUTE | WINE Building a Legacy

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PARADISE FOUND

Have you ever heard the expression Paradise Lost?



CONTRIBUTORS ALBERT BERKSHIRE Albert Berkshire is a British Columbia based writer, producer and voice actor. His first novel of fiction, We Made A Pact, is published by Friesen Press. He is currently working on his second novel set in Limerick, Ireland. When Albert isn’t writing, he is making the most of the Okanagan lifestyle on a bike, a pair of skis, in a kayak, or on a trail somewhere up in the hills - and occasionally sitting poolside. His life permits that he live anywhere in the world an internet connection is found, but chooses to call Kelowna home purely for the lifestyle. When playtime is done, he’s back to writing. Much of which can be read online at albertberkshire.ca

CONTRIBUTORS Albert Berkshire Greg Finlayson Chris Gardiner J. MacMillan Andrew Penner Jim Tobler ART DIRECTOR Vivian Zhang EDITOR J. MacMillan

GREG FINLAYSON Greg spent much of his childhood enjoying the best of the beautiful Okanagan valley, including living and working at Big White Ski resort for several seasons. After 20 years in Vancouver, Greg returned to the Okanagan in 2016 to raise his sons in the best place he could imagine doing so. His love for photography has provided both a fulfilling career and opportunities to meet fantastic people across the province. A more recently found passion for woodworking has become an additional creative outlet for Greg, and he hopes that his work resonates with others in the valley. You can find more information about Greg on Instagram @ blacksquirrelcanada

Chris Gardiner Chris is a Toronto born professional photographer who has been lucky enough to spend years living in some of Canada’s most beautiful locales such as Banff and Kelowna. He’s experienced with shooting everything from real estate, weddings, commercial products, and video when he’s not capturing the beauty of the natural landscape with his free time. You can find more of his work at www. cgardinder.ca.

Andrew Penner Andrew Penner is a photographer and freelance writer based in Calgary, Alberta. His work has appeared in many of the leading golf and lifestyle publications in North America and Europe. Penner is also a 20-year member of the Canadian PGA and still teaches the game on a part-time basis. When not writing or on photography assignments, he enjoys chilling out in the backyard with his three boys and his wife, Dawn.

Jim Tobler Jim Tobler is Editor of MONTECRISTO Magazine. He is also the co-author, with the chefs, of three cookbooks: Araxi, Blue Water Café and Raw Bar, and West. He visits the Okanagan frequently, with great pleasure. He can also be found regularly, at Gismondionwine.com, Canada’s premier wine website.

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PRODUCTION CO-ORDINATOR Ekaterina Didyk COVER PHOTO Derek Fu PHOTOGRAPHY Drew Desharnais Douglas Drouin Derek Fu Chris Gardiner Darren Hull Darren Kirby J. MacMillan West Harbour PUBLISHER ABSOLUTE Okanagan MAILING ADDRESS #200 1789 Harvey Ave., Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 6G4 Tel: 250.868.8249 Fax: 250.868.8256 ADVERTISING INQUIRIES 250.868.8249 E-mail: info@absoluteokanagan.ca Subscribe to ABSOLUTE Okanagan, the Okanagan’s finest lifestyle magazine, available for $4.95 (+tax) per year. subscriptions@absoluteokanagan.ca ©2018 Absolute Okanagan. All rights reserved. Entire contents are copyrighted. Any reproduction in whole or in part without the written permission of the publisheris strictly prohibited. ABSOLUTE Okanagan makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information published but cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions.

ABSOLUTEOKANAGAN.CA



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ABSOLUTE | OPUS

MICHAEL McDONALD Mission Hill Summer Concert Series His soulful voice has previously landed him with such mega-stars as The Doobie Brothers, Steely Dan, Christopher Cross and Kenny Loggins. The list of collaborations goes on and on over a career that has been very prominent. Van Halen, Patti Labelle, Toto, Joni Mitchell and Aretha Franklin are a few more names on Michaels storied list. He has been a part of a long history of awards and nominations including “Record of the Year”, “Song of the Year”, “Best Pop Vocal”, “Best R&B Song” and the accolades keep going on and on. Truly a musical icon playing in the vineyards of the Okanagan!

July 21st Mission Hill Summer Concert Series Mission Hill Family Estate West Kelowna, BC.

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JIM CUDDYCrush Deck Concert AT Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards One of Canada’s most celebrated and decorated musicians, Jim Cuddy will take the stage in the Okanagan, treating lucky on lookers to another amazing evening of music and wine! The Blue Rodeo frontman has received The Order of Canada and is a 13 time JUNO Award winner. For three decades, Jim Cuddy has played the soundtracks to many Canadian lives and summer music playlists. His devotion to song-writing, passionate pursuit and indelible sound and style clearly sets him apart! You just can’t beat over-looking the lake and taking in the master of Canadian folk rock.

July 19th Crush Deck Concert Fitzpatrick Family Vineyards Peachland, BC.

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BUFFY SAINTE MARIE AT Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Another legend takes the stage… Buffy Sainte Marie has been a trailblazer since day one! The Cree singer / songwriter has also been a “disruptor of the status quo”. Her life skills and musical skills have collided and that combination has made her a unique force in Canada and the music industry. She has collaborated with many famous faces in music and written songs that have been sung and recorded by such legends as Joe Cocker, Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin. She is an icon, tirelessly spending her entire life focusing on creating music, Indigenous leadership and humanitarian achievements.

September 23rd Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Vernon, BC.

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ABSOLUTE | DINING ABSOLUTE | OPUS

SLOAN AT

Cleland Community THEATRE

This epic Canadian rock quartet was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Gaining notoriety in the early 90’s with their first full-length album “Smear” they campaigned to fit nicely between melodic rock and grunge. A timeless sound that has been eaten up by Canadians from sea to shining sea! Sloan has been rewarded by the music industry with nine nominations and one win, when they captured a JUNO Award for Best Alternative Album titled One Chord to Another. With 12 albums under their belts, you will not be “underwhelmed” with their alternative library.

October 26 Cleland Community Theatre Penticton, BC.

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RASCAL FLATTS Concert at South Okanagan Events Centre With 12 albums and 14 number one hits under theirs belts, Rascal Flatts have long since officially hit super stardom! They have won over 40 awards and graced stages all over the globe. It is abilities like razor sharp vocals and expert musicianship that have helped them create songs that have shaped lives for country music fans, and all of country music for that matter. Like many country music acts, Rascal Flatts made their meteoric rise from the bar in Nashville Tennessee. The band instantly gelled one night when the band members unknowingly played a set together. Since then the have been prominent leaders in the country music scene. October 30th Penticton, BC.

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ABSOLUTE | MUSE

TUTT STREET GALLERY THERE WAS ALWAYS ART IN MY LIFE In the Okanagan we are lucky enough to have roots that run deep into the art world. And, we are also lucky enough to have more than just artists here. There are dozen of specialized art galleries that are maintained and operated by delightful gallery owners. Now, people tend to be attracted to certain galleries that have certain kinds of art or a specific artist that is featured, or jewelry that they like or sculptures that make them go hmmm… As you can see there are all sorts of things that are encompassed in this broad term that we call “art”! One of the most special galleries in the Okanagan is located in the heart of Pandosy Village in Kelowna. It is called Tutt Street Gallery and it is a wonderful place to get lost for a few minutes and really appreciate some amazing art. Martina Kral had a grandfather that painted landscapes and still life pieces in the Czech Republic. Learning about art at such a young age really sparked her passion. She remembers staring at his work in complete wonderment. Although none of those painting skills were passed down to her, she still committed herself to a lifetime of art. Martina bought her first piece of original art when she was in her teens, and has continued to, to this very day. When asked if she was an artist, she responded with “No, I am not an artist. I cannot draw a stick man. I leave all that up to the professionals!” Becoming the owner of the gallery was just a matter of being in the right place at the right time and knowing the right people. She has been at the helm for ten years now and looks forward to another ten years to follow! Martina confides in us that she enjoys the time that she spends at the gallery. “The gallery has a warm and homey feel to it. It is not pretentious, but welcoming.” For many people that walk through those doors they are excited to meet Lily the gallery dog, who is always there to greet you and offer up a toy to play with. The art world is ever changing and new trends are always emerging. Every artist has their own unique style and is constantly trying to perfect their craft. Martina goes on to say that whether you like something more modern or something that tends to be more classic there really is something out there for everyone. When discussing art lovers, art collectors and buying art, Martina lends her thoughts. “Very few people who have art collections created them overnight. Usually it is achieved over years or even decades. Most galleries, including mine, offer payment options. I want you to own the piece you fell in love with. I have a number of regular art lovers who make

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payments and buy a piece a year or every couple of years. The important thing to remember is that artists set their prices based on their renown, their experience and their breadth of exposure. There are some fabulous emerging artists that have very affordable price points. One of the things I tell my clients is that you will never regret the one you buy but you will always regret the one you left behind.” It is no secret that the internet has changed the way that people buy everything, and that includes art. When it comes to galleries and pieces of art, nothing replaces seeing something with your eyes and holding it in your own hands. “You cannot capture the essence of a painting from a picture on your phone or computer…” As a result, Martina says that the internet has likely opened up a few doors for


Tutt Street Gallery. People research and pin-point specifically what they like and then come in to see what it actually looks like. Getting an idea of exactly how big something is can only be accomplished in real life. There is an on-going discussion regarding whether or not the perfect artist exists. Of course art is subjective so perfection to one person is a train wreck to someone else. Martina has an interesting take on the topic when she was asked if she represents “the perfect artist”? “I like to think that all my artists are perfect! Every one of them are unique. From the way they paint or sculpt to their subject matter, to their personalities. I always assume my artists would not put work out into the world that isn’t perfect in their eyes!

Because there is only so much wall space at Tutt Street Gallery, they can’t represent and display everyone. It is almost a daily occurrence that an artist walks though the doors hoping to get their chance the hang up their art on these special walls. Martina says that she is always open to new works that she feels would “fit” with her current artists and be appreciated by her clients. With such great artists as Aleksandra, Rod Charlesworth, Maya Eventov, David Graff, H.E. Kuckein, Min Ma, Claude Tremblay and a whole host of others are generously on display. Even if you are not an art lover, Tutt Street Gallery will have something that catches your eye and makes you think or even makes you smile, takes you somewhere to another place in time, reminds you of a childhood memory or triggers your passion for art that maybe you didn’t know you even had. And of course, for the art lovers out there, come back to Tutt Street Gallery because it is likely that you have already been there!

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STUNNING SUNSET DAZZLING SKIES...

The Only Thing Better Than an Okanagan Sunrise is an Okanagan Sunset

Visually, they are both mind boggling, streams of colour travelling off across the horizon. Pink, yellow and orange reflecting off the clouds, the sky and the lakes. Sometimes the colours are so vivid that what you are admiring almost looks fake! So many photos these days are over filtered and adjusted that you lose track as to what is real. Well, take the time and experience both, a sunrise and a sunset and make your own judgement on how wonderful it is in real life. As Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, Osoyoos and all points in between all continue to expand at alarming rates there are still many aspects that will forever stay the same. The Okanagan is full of vineyards, orchards, golf courses, lakes and untouched green spaces that will be around for as long as people remain to visit and live here. But there is a lot more to this valley than just nature.

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Developments and communities are digging deeper and higher into the surrounding hillside trying to accommodate the influx of people as they come, discover and fall in love with this stunning valley. As the entire Okanagan Valley continues to expand within and beyond its borders, one thing remains evident, that we are the luckiest people in the world to call this place home. It is a magical time as the region forges ahead with city infrastructure and community developments. As the business hub of the Okanagan, Kelowna is experiencing major modernization to the hospital, airport and regional roadways. What was once considered the outskirts of town is now being fully incorporated into a bigger scene. This all adds up to having a better ability to welcome residents and visitors alike to a more modern and updated environment. As much as things continue to change, most of the charm of the Okanagan continues to stay the same. Rolling mountain backdrops, flawless fresh water lakes and hot summer days (one after


ABSOLUTE | Okanagan

another, sometimes for months at a time) grace this area, and likely will forever! Even though the Okanagan is mostly known for long, hot summers, the region has continued to grow as a winter playground too. For the most part winters in the region are pretty mild, although you might not believe that after that last couple of winters!!, But compared to the rest of Canada, things here are pretty good! Within an hours drive of almost every city/town in the region, there is a ski/snowboard resort. Winter sports around here are like planting crops, you live and die by the weather. Some years you have a banner crop, and some years you just don’t! This part of the world is no different. In the North Okanagan near Vernon is Silver Star Mountain Resort, renowned for dry Okanagan powder, an incredible terrain park with features for everyone and a great, colourful Victorian style village and community. They operate year-round, offering downhill mountain biking and a bike terrain park too! Big White is centrally located in the area, just 45 minutes north east of Kelowna. They too benefit from cold, dry snow, several family-oriented activities aside from skiing and snowboarding and play host to many local, provincial, national and international events. Mountain biking is new on the menu at BigWhite and will surely grow in popularity as they get more established! A quick thirty minutes outside of Penticton is Apex Resort, a full service destination resort known for light snow, friendly people and great terrain. Whether you like cruising the groomed runs, slashing through the trees or taking flight in the terrain park, with so much variety there is something for every skill and age level. There are many other choices for winter adventures as well. Ice fishing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice climbing and cross country skiing are all popular and easy when Mother Nature offers such an elaborate and extensive playground! For the most part the Okanagan Valley runs North/South. So, for the adventurer, head East or West down almost any road and that will bring you into the more rural parts of the valley, where you can find fishing lodges, pristine wilderness lakes and campsites. If you are like many people and require more adventure than just sitting in the sand, it is easy to just wonder

into the hillsides and discover all the vineyards, orchards and hiking/biking trails. The beauty is, the deeper you go, you will likely see fewer people and more of nature! The weather often dictates what you do and when, but when the weather cooperates, it is mostly sunny and you can do whatever you want, whenever you want. That’s the Okanagan way. We are not just limited to adventure, lifestyle and agriculture, it also accommodates a wide variety of traditional sports too. Soccer (which seems to be the most popular sport in the world), tennis, golf, cycling, volleyball, softball and football, from organized leagues to weekend fun, there are enough fields, courts and courses for everyone visiting or living in the Okanagan. And, if it is too windy to participate in these sports, head down to Rotary Beach on Lakeshore Rd. and watch the multi-coloured kite boarders dance through the air and across the water in choreographed chaos. There are four main bodies of water as you travel from North to South in the Okanagan Valley, and literally hundreds of smaller ones. Vernon is lucky enough to have shoreline on two lakes, Okanagan Lake, the largest body of water in the region and Kalamalka Lake, the most colourful body of water in the region. What makes this lake so unique is the crystal clear azure blue waters. This gives such a tropical feel. If you canít get out in a boat, at least make the effort to get to the shore, it is such a wonderful experience and you will not be disappointed. Okanagan Lake runs from Vernon in the North all the way down to Penticton in the South. There is only one bridge, The W.R. Bennett Bridge which spans Okanagan Lake. It is centrally located in Kelowna at the narrowest point in the lake. It is not only a long lake, but a very deep lake as well, with some spots deeper than 1000 feet. It is rumoured that they have never actually found the bottom of Okanagan Lake, opening the door for legendary stories of Ogopogo, an entirely different topic that you should explore on your ownÖ Okanagan Lake funnels into Skaha Lake via the Penticton Channel. For a relaxing afternoon, grab an inner tube, some sunscreen, a floating cooler and cruise down the channel with a bunch of your closest friends. If you are not a ìfloaterî, take the time to see the canal with your own eyes on a sunny long weekend day in the summer, you will be caught off guard by how many people are actually doing this. Skaha Lake is a little smaller than Okanagan & Kalamalka Lakes and comes to a halt at Okanagan Falls. The final body of water on the list is Osoyoos Lake, which heads Chris Gardiner

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South from the town of Osoyoos and makes it way across the border and into the U.S.. From the North Okanagan down to the border in the south, The roadsides and lakesides are dotted with communities that each have a charm of their own. Extending from the North Okanagan all the way down south to the US border. North of Kelowna there is an area sandwiched between Okanagan Lake and Kalamalka Lake known as Lake Country, aptly titled considering its surroundings. The two business communities are Winfield and Oyama, both are full service towns with fuel, food, hotels and marinas, while Carrs Landing and Okanagan Centre are the other two that make up Lake

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Country. They are more rural with homes, cottages, picnic areas and waterfront parks. After crossing the bridge in Kelowna and starting to head south you come to Peachland and Summerland. Peachland is an adorable lakeside community that has an expansive pebble beach stretching the entire length of the town, the best Sunday walk in the area. With big developments in the hills above the town site, Peachland has some of the most stunning views in the valley as well. Summerland has an olde English charm, as well as a beautiful waterfront, with resorts, parks, beaches and restaurants. As you wind your way along the highway you encounter such gems as Okanagan Falls and Oliver. This region is on the northern tip of the Sonoran Desert and these moisture rich soils are famous for some of the most amazing and awarded wines. The


ABSOLUTE | Okanagan

hills are covered with scrub brush and ponderosa pines. Like the entire South Okanagan, daytime temperatures in summer are consistently in the mid 30’s. If you are interested in experiencing and tasting some of the amazing vintages, you will certainly enjoy the ‘Wine Capital of Canada’. It is some of these vineyards and wineries that have made the Okanagan so famous and given them such a foothold in the global market of wine production. Clearly the Okanagan Valley has a whole lot to offer. If you think that all we have to offer is wineries, beaches, golf courses and ski resorts. to a certain degree you are correct! Things are changing here, there is no doubt about that. We are experiencing a growth spurt like never before and there is no end in sight.

Life here can be as hurried as you want it to be or as relaxed as you need it to be. That is the real beauty of living in or visiting a region this size. It can have a big city feel or within 30 minutes in any direction you have absolute outdoor freedom! The Okanagan Valley gives you the prospect of trying something new or the comfort of keeping things more conventional. As the old adage goes, the more things change… the more they stay the same! And that certainly applies here. It is the perfect union, the old Okanagan will stay old and the new Okanagan will progress and continue to move forward. Even if you are coming here to set up shop in the burgeoning tech sector, driving through town or visiting for a week, please make sure you take the time to enjoy a sunrise and sunset, because really, that is what we are all here for and you won’t believe your eyes!

Derek Fu

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ABSOLUTE | THRILL

THE LAND of RESOUNDING OPTIONS As the Okanagan constantly expands, you are faced with more and more decisions. Where to stay, where to eat, where to swim, which wineries to visit and where to swing those golf clubs! These are just options, and they are literally exploding. The word option is gloriously defined as “the power of choosing”. What a fantastic expression, the power of choosing. There are many parts of the world where this doesn’t even enter into the discussion. We are truly lucky and rewarded for being able to live here and visit here. When you hear the word “options”, most people immediately think of cars, fast cars with cool options. Well, in the Okanagan fast and fancy cars are readily available. Porsche, Ferrari, Mercedes, Jaguar… all available loaded with, you guessed it… options! Boats of all makes and sizes line the highways and shorelines like car

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dealerships. You would be truly amazed at the options that are now available in wakeboard boats. Pumps, ballast tanks, hot water showers, hot air vents and of course… the finest ice chests on earth that keep your beer and various other family friendly drinks, freezing cold. Just to clear the air, in these pages, there will be no talk of stock options! The path that you chose for a vacation or re-location is fraught with... here we go again, option! Most people will sit in front of their computer (or God forbid read a magazine!) and try to choose their destination. These decisions will be based on many things, what to do, where to go, what to eat, can I play golf, tennis and the list could seemingly go on and on… probably never ending. After all the criteria have been tirelessly considered, you have settled on the Okanagan. Sun, beaches, wineries, boating,


ABSOLUTE | THRILL

shopping, skiing… you get the picture. Because there is such a wide array of options here, it attracts people. We are not only famous for sunny weather either, there are fantastic ski resorts within an hour of every major city center in the Okanagan. Don’t forget about ice climbing, snow-mobiling, fat tire biking and crosscountry skiing too. Now, once the decision makers have arrived in the valley they are bombarded with things to do. Lost of people come here to relax and on the flip side, lots of people don’t have any idea how to relax. For the folks that enjoy relaxing, the main dilemma you are faced with is do you want to sit on a busy action packed beach, or would you rather be a little removed from all the activity? Lucky for you the sunny Okanagan delivers the finest in sandy beaches, pebble beaches and even rock beaches, all you have to do is decide which direction you want to face as you are sipping your margharita or glass of local wine as you read a book overlooking

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the lapping waves as the sun starts to dip below the horizon, best sunsets ever! It is a fact that entertaining yourself is not just limited to going to the beach. You can stand up paddle board, golf, minigolf, orchard and wine tour, shop and go for a helicopter tour. If you really wanted to, you could actually do all this over the course of a single a weekend, and keep coming back for different adventures week after week, year after year. Every day in the Okanagan Valley is just a maze of decision making guiding you through your morning, day, afternoon, evening and night. Luckily everything that you could possibly need is right here,

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waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Whether you are lucky enough to be residing here or just visiting, there are so many options dealing with every aspect of accommodation. The entire Air B&B experience has kind of melded visiting and home. You really get to experience the best of both worlds, spending time in a home while visiting. Every housing, hotel and camping selection is entirely full of options. How many rooms in a suite? Is the hotel next to the water? Can I sleep in a hammock next to my RV or tent? There really is no correct answer, because there are so many options, every night is definitely a new adventure!


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One of the greatest observations that people have is the ability to find places to eat. Every group is full of food “on-lookers” and every group has that one special person that has a natural talent for finding that ideal eatery that checks all the boxes of everyone in at the party. From taco food trucks to the finest steakhouses and fine Italian restaurants there are so many options when it comes to food. You can enjoy a street style hot dog on a park bench just as easily as you can appreciate a rack of ribs, a fancy fish dish or roast pheasant! Now, from start to finish, you have pin pointed where you are going

to visit or live and as a result, several options got you to this point. You have also sorted out where you choose to relax, sit in the sand and unwind and enjoy your surroundings. There are so many options for water front activities, action sports, bird watching, hiking, biking, axe throwing and the list literally goes on and on… On top of all these decisions, you have also chosen where to stay, which is a feat in itself. So many options from having as much as you want or to having as little as you want, there are so many bed and sleep options in the Okanagan Valley.

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a few of

hIS FAVOURITE THINGS BEARFACE CANADIAN WHISKY Hide Nothing, Fear Nothing Bearface Canadian Whisky is created by a team of blenders and makers who share a passion to create whisky that is truly unlike any other. They do things differently. By experimenting, collaborating and innovating they have created a Canadian Whisky to be proud of. By taking risks and stretching possibilities Bearface is proudly Canadian. Your Favourite Liquor Store

VALMONT – Storie Venezianne Blu Cobalto Perfume I A provocative and haunting scent, Storie Venezianne is a series of fragrances with bottles adorned with a Murano glass mask. This gourmand Oriental fragrance represents Venetian luxury. Patchouli cloaks the composition in its woody, steamy and earthy aromas. Cocoa enriches the composition with potent, addictive and roasted notes. Opoponax concludes the composition on a spicy note with its smoky and balsamic aromas. W180MD Regenerative Medicine | W180.ca

EMBER – Copper Mug After years of innovative design and engineering, Ember has become the world wide leader in temperature control mug technology. We are changing the way the world drinks, forever. The Ember Copper Mug is perfect for use in your home, your desk, or everyday anywhere use. This marvel of science allows you to set your precise drinking temperature and maintain it, so your hot beverage is perfect from the first sip to the last drop. ember.com

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hER FAVOURITE THINGS GUCCI – Sunglasses The timeless look of cat-eye sunglasses… the oversized bold black frame stands out on the most beautiful faces. The classic interlocking GG logo adorns the sleek temples accented by the coolest iconic silver stars. That signature cool and comfortable look that oozes Gucci style, these Italian crafted sunglasses quickly turn a slow ride in a car into a roaring race through the mountains. These retro-inspired curvaceous pieces of face art will constantly turn heads as you make your way to the beach! Premium Retailers

VOLUSPA – Gilt Pomander & Hinoki

OONI Pro - Outdoor Multi Fueled Pizza Oven

This large format glass jar shoots fragrance from each of its 5 wicks. The colour of the glow is as visually enchanting as its delightful scent. Gilt Pomander & Hinoki’s electroplated glass mimics the magical glow of a fireplace and embodies the warmth of comfort and relaxation. The lid serves dual purpose, protecting from dust while not in use, or as a base plate while enjoying the candles radiance.

If you love pizza like most people, then you will welcome the world’s first quad-fuelled oven being able to cook delicious food using either charcoal, wood, pellets or gas. This little gem heats to 932°F in less than 20 minutes! Perfect for cooking a huge variety of fantastic dishes. This versatile oven will make you the king of backyard barbecues, and neighbourhood pizza cook offs!

Exceptional Gift Shops

ooni.com

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ABSOLUTE | ICONIC RESORTS

Iconic RESORTS

OKANAGAN’S FINEST RESORTS & RETREATS Showcasing the finest lakeside retreats, to the most magnificent hilltop getaways. Not just bed anymore… Okanagan’s magnificent lodging has everything ranging from golf courses, vineyards, spas, waterfront locations, breathtaking views and all the amenities.

A n E x pression O f L i f est y le A nd L eisure

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Walnut Beach Resort


Iconic RESORT Lakeside accommodations, with a private beach, in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley The only private licensed beach in the country. The Okanagan’s hottest stretch of sand. The best place to hit the sandy beach in the Okanagan Valley is, undoubtedly, Walnut Beach Resort, the swankiest scene in Osoyoos. Stretch out on a secluded private beach along Canada’s warmest lake. Or lounge on the expansive sundeck around an impressive outdoor heated pool, sipping reds and whites served to you in the comfort of your chair. Inside, 106 carefully crafted designer suites give you luxurious comforts of home and then some. When you’re ready to explore, the area’s renowned wineries are just minutes away. Find out why Walnut Beach Resort is quickly becoming known as the best resort in the Okanagan and a great choice for vacations with the whole family. Plan yourultimate Okanagan stay today.

Walnut Beach Resort Overview & Amenities Spring, summer or fall, play on the private licensed Palapa Beach and take in spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy a workout in the studio, or just relax with a steam or sauna. Relax on the spacious Sun Arbour Pool Terrace and take in a soak in one of the soothing hot tubs, or a swim in the refreshing outdoor pool. Flip through a magazine in the shade beneath a fragrant trellis of hanging flowers and allow us to bring you your favorite food and drink selections. Any season, savour your new-found favorite glass of Okanagan wine at Pointe 49º restaurant. Offering a mouth watering selections, specially created by Chef Natasha Schooten, and complimented by a choice of indoor/outdoor seating and views of the lake. Gather fresh local produce and a bottle or two from one of dozens of local vineyards and prepare a gourmet feast in the barbecue area – a meal that can be enjoyed with friends and family in-suite or alfresco on the balcony.

Walnut Beach Resort 4200 Lakeshore Drive, Osoyoos 1.877.936.5400 walnutbeachresort.com

The Perspective - Resort Features Celebrate

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Iconic RESORT

The Perspective - Resort Features UNWIND

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PLAY

RIDE


It’s special here. You notice that the minute you turn into our resort. Predator Ridge Resort was created with a great reverence for its spectacular natural setting, knowing it would call out to those who wished to escape the ordinary. Nestled between arid desert mountains and crystal clear lakes is a resort where nature is the top amenity. Predator RIdge offers a set of activities unlike any other. Golf, tennis & pickle ball, hiking, biking, yoga, swimming, snowshoeing as well as 5-star and casual dining are tucked discreetly into nature. We don’t fight what mother nature gave us; we celebrate it. Our staff are warm and welcoming and have brought our amenities to life in ways we could scarcely imagine a decade ago. Getting here is easy—the hard part will be deciding to leave. With a range of accommodation options to suit your style, Predator Ridge Resort features little touches that make you feel like you’ve found your own special place: full kitchens, fireplaces, pet friendly options and more. Some of the region’s most stunning scenery has been complemented by thoughtfully designed architecture expression to create a resort community like no other. There is a home for you at Predator Ridge that fits your life and style. It’s hard not to get a taste for the good life when the good life surrounds you. Play for a weekend, stay for a lifetime. Predator Ridge is the natural way to escape from it all.

Predator Ridge Golf Resort 301 Village Centre Place, Vernon 1 888-578-6688 predatorridge.com

EXPLORE

SAVOUR

OWN

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Taking Executive Retreats to the Next Level Nestled in British Columbia’s naturally breathtaking Okanagan Valley, overlooking a shimmering lake and surrounded by majestic mountains, Sparkling Hill Resort is a world-class wellness resort offering the ideal setting in which to refocus, brainstorm, plan, relax and renew. The resort itself – an award- winning architectural masterpiece blends Europeaninspired elegance with over 3.5 million Swarovski crystals – is captivating. Located just 25 minutes from Kelowna International Airport, Sparkling Hill offers over 10,000 square feet of meeting space characterized by plenty natural light and fresh air, complete with banquet rooms and outdoor terraces, the latter an ideal spot from which to enjoy the regions’ Mediterranean-like summers. A private eight-room executive wing with boardroom and lounge caters to groups seeking additional privacy.

KurSpa KurSpa is a whole body, mind and soul experience - a 40,000 sq. ft. European-inspired spa oasis where guests experience 7 unique aromatherapy steam and sauna rooms, and access to over 100 transformative treatments and therapies with pure thermal water, Dead Sea salts, volcanic dust and essential oils of plants and flowers. Popular in Europe and the first in North America, Sparkling Hill’s Cryotherapy Cold Sauna (-110C) is KurSpa’s signature health treatment, proven pain relief for patients with arthritis.

The Clinic at KurSpa Since its inception in 2012, The Clinic at KurSpa has been improving lives and gaining notice and acceptance of the medical community. This integrative health clinic is characteristically distinct for it innovatively combines all the services and amenities offered within KurSpa in conjunction with naturopathic, homeopathic, psychology and kinesiology treatments... All under one roof. A wellness retreat at Sparkling Hill Resort offers the chance to combine meetings with rejuvenation in the first-class wellness facility.

Sparkling Hill Resort

888 Sparkling Place, Vernon, BC 1.877.275.1556 www.sparklinghill.com

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Connect

UNWIND


Iconic RESORT

The Perspective - Aspects of the Resort REJUVENATE

Celebrate

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Nestled along the shores of Okanagan Lake. BC’s premiere lakefront resort property offers guests unparalleled luxury, quality and comfort. Our spacious suites boast the finest luxury features, from private wine coolers and stainless steel appliances to HD televisions, fireplaces and more. You’ll find everything in your suite at The Cove designed to satisfy the most demanding tastes. Those seeking to explore, won’t be disappointed, with an endless selection of nearby attractions and activities from which to choose, just minutes from the resort. From world-class wineries and championship golfing to skiing, theatres and shopping, all unmatched anywhere else in Canada, The Cove is a destination within a destination. The resort’s many amenities include the Cove Marina offering daily, weekly and long term slip rentals as well as private ownership and water activity rentals. Our Bonfire Restaurant provides the perfect lakeside backdrop for an exceptional breakfast, lunch or dinner experience, courtesy of Bonfire’s culinary team. Everything at The Cove is designed with total you in mind, from our pools, hot tubs and putting green, to our waterfront bonfires, private theatre and luxury Spa. Whether it’s on the property or off, our concierge will gladly assist you with planning and organizing activities during your stay. And for those wishing to plan larger gatherings for corporate events or to celebrate a wedding at one of the most picturesque spots in the BC, we can help with every detail, to ensure your event or special occasion is an overwhelming success. For vacationers and business travellers alike, The Cove Lakeside Resort is truly a remarkable setting for a truly unforgettable stay. Place to unwind. For information about our sister property in Vernon, visit outbacklakeside.com.

The Cove Lakeside Resort

4205 Gellatly Rd. West Kelowna 1.877.762.2683 | 250.707.1800 covelakeside.com

Indulge at The Cove Relax

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Celebrate

Savour


Iconic RESORT

The Perspective - Aspects of the Resort SERENITY

RELAXATION

PAMPER

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Iconic RESORT

MAKE US YOUR HIGH-END RETREAT IN OKANAGAN VALLEY There’s no hotel, resort or vacation rental in the Okanagan Valley quite like Outback Lakeside Vacation Homes, in a serene location just outside of Vernon, BC. Divided into four distinctive “neighborhoods” - each with its own character and style - we have the ideal accommodations for any lifestyle. From the rustic elegance of the Forest Cabins to the chic style and sophistication of our Ridge Homes, each home has been individually designed and decorated. What they all share in common is stunning architecture, breathtaking views from every window, ultra-luxurious finishes and gourmet kitchens with granite countertops and high-end fixture

OUTBACK EXPERIENCE Located twenty minutes from Vernon B.C., and nestled in a secluded bay, Outback Lakeside Vacation Homes provide an escape few who stay here will ever forget. Guests arrive to find architecturally stunning homes as beautiful as the landscape that surrounds them. Intimate neighborhoods, each with their own unique character and feel, are arranged over 60 acres of lakeside pine forest, providing unparalleled privacy and seclusion. The sights and sounds of the British Columbia wilderness envelop you. Hike along a forest trail while listening to the whisper of the trees. Get lost deep within a fragrant pine forest. Paddle a kayak along Okanagan Lake, keeping an eye out for ospreys, swans and Great Blue Herons. Enjoy an evening cocktail before dinner on your deck. After your meal, take our breathtaking cliffside glass elevator down to the waterfront boardwalk and enjoy a leisurely moonlit stroll before turning in. Whether you’ve escaped to the Okanagan Valley for the exhilaration of a mountain getaway or to relax and do absolutely nothing at all, we offer a wide range of pleasure pursuits.

Outback Lakeside Vacation Homes 9845 Eastside Road, Vernon 1.877.546.5005 www.outbacklakeside.com

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EXPLORE

SERENITY


Iconic RESORT

Lakeside accommodations, with a private beach, in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley The only private licensed beach in the country. The Okanagan’s hottest stretch of sand. The best place to hit the sandy beach in the Okanagan Valley is, undoubtedly, Walnut Beach Resort, the swankiest scene in Osoyoos. Stretch out on a secluded private beach along Canada’s warmest lake. Or lounge on the expansive sundeck around an impressive outdoor heated pool, sipping reds and whites served to you in the comfort of your chair. Inside, 106 carefully crafted designer suites give you luxurious comforts of home and then some. When you’re ready to explore, the area’s renowned wineries are just minutes away. Find out why Walnut Beach Resort is quickly becoming known as the best resort in the Okanagan and a great choice for vacations with the whole family. Plan yourultimate Okanagan stay today.

Walnut Beach Resort Overview & Amenities Spring, summer or fall, play on the private licensed Palapa Beach and take in spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy a workout in the studio, or just relax with a steam or sauna. Relax on the spacious Sun Arbour Pool Terrace and take in a soak in one of the soothing hot tubs, or a swim in the refreshing outdoor pool. Flip through a magazine in the shade beneath a fragrant trellis of hanging flowers and allow us to bring you your favorite food and drink selections. Any season, savour your new-found favorite glass of Okanagan wine at Pointe 49º restaurant. Offering a mouth watering selections, specially created by Chef Natasha Schooten, and complimented by a choice of indoor/outdoor seating and views of the lake. Gather fresh local produce and a bottle or two from one of dozens of local vineyards and prepare a gourmet feast in the barbecue area – a meal that can be enjoyed with friends and family in-suite or alfresco on the balcony.

Walnut Beach Resort 4200 Lakeshore Drive, Osoyoos 1.877.936.5400 walnutbeachresort.com

The Perspective - Resort Features RELAX

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ABSOLUTE | DINING

ICONIC CHEFS

Only the Best for you, and the Okanagan! The term “farm-to-table” is once again the expression of the year. This might just be a phrase in the rest of the world, but chefs and cooks around here have been practicing this mantra for many years. I mean really… it only makes sense! If the finest vegetables, herbs and fruits are all grown in your backyard, sensibly you would harvest and serve them. All varieties of food outlets are readily available from the north end of the valley to the south. The Okanagan offers such a wide variety of culture when it comes to food and dining. Every nationality is handsomely. From big name, familiar restaurant chains that comfort you as you know what you are getting, to little “hole in the wall” eclectic spaces that people line up for. There is an appie or main dish that will make even the most critical foodie salivate! When dining out all around the world, not every experience is a great one, let’s be realistic. In the Okanagan Valley, you will only get to enjoy those perfect experiences. Keep in mind that some of the most popular and best restaurants and eateries are at wineries and golf courses. Lucky for all of us, the is an abundance of both scattered throughout the entire Okanagan. Both of these

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locations thrive on hot and dry weather for months at a time. It is that outdoor, patio dining lifestyle that defines and exemplifies the Okanagan. Even if you don’t golf or drink wine, one thing is for sure, you need eat and when you eat you might as well enjoy some of the finest dishes available. Welcome to dining in the Okanagan, awaken your appetite as every dish is served with an overwhelming essence of flavour. Every dining experience is a journey for that perfect dish. Every time you eat out, you are relentlessly pursuing the perfect dish. Both unique and conventional… you just might find it here!


ABSOLUTE | dining

SUMMERHILL PYRAMID BISTRO Extraordinary Organic Dining

Jeremy Luypen Iconic Chef Chef Jeremy Luypen is well known as a celebrated Okanagan culinary leader and teacher, passionate about the unique culinary culture of the region and about training the next generation of chefs. With extensive experience working with local, seasonal ingredients, he is excited to be helming Summerhill Pyramid Bistro with its dedication and love for organic agriculture and wine production. Summerhill Pyramid Winery in Kelowna is famous for its organic and biodynamic wine. It comes as no surprise that their very own Summerhill Pyramid Bistro is known throughout the community for its farm to table dishes, with a focus on an increasingly popular vegan lifestyle. The property has its own organic garden and nature preserves that supplies the kitchen with many seasonal ingredients served alongside organic, sustainable and ethically sourced meats and seafood. Chef Luypen, with collaboration from vegan Sous Chef Alex Alexander, are creating exciting, delicious plates that reflect the season and suit all dietary needs. Situated only fifteen minutes from downtown Kelowna, and offering a fabulous B&B on the vineyard, the 30 km panoramic view of lake, mountains and vineyards await you in the Summerhill Pyramid Bistro dining room and patio; truly some of the most spectacular views in the Okanagan.

Summerhill Pyramid Bistro at Summerhill Pyramid Winery 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna, BC (250) 764.8000

summerhill.bc.ca

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ABSOLUTE | DINING

PeakFine Restaurant at Sparkling Hill Resort

ROMAINE NEWELL Iconic Chef Executive Chef Romaine Newell believes it is easy to copy dishes but the true art of a chef is creating a unique dish that represents your ability to merge flavours and substance together for a succulent experience. Chef Romaine Newell has a touch of essence in his dishes that fuse bold flavour into a healthy, well rounded and flavourful dish. Chef Romaine Newell strives to keep dishes consistent, healthy and innovative, while exploring all that the local produce of the Okanagan has to offer.

In Europe “piekfein” is a term used to describe the best, perfection or something that is “top-notch”. We adopted this fitting term with our own Okanagan twist. “Peak” - because of our physical geographic setting and “fine” because we will offer the freshest and finest products that the Okanagan Valley has to offer. The mood of PeakFine is set the moment you enter - an iridescence from crystals infused everywhere; the fireplace, chairs and overhead lighting, providing a luminous luxury that is palpable. The lunch menu is changed regularly, to reflect the fresh, locally sourced dishes available. The dinner menu at PeakFine is also created around products from local farms, vineyards, orchards and fine-food producers. Dinner reservations are recommended, and we feature select entertainment in PeakFine every Friday and Saturday evening from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

PeakFine Restaurant at Sparkling Hill Resort 888 Sparkling Place, Vernon, British Columbia 250.275.1556 ext 4021

sparklinghillresort.com

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ABSOLUTE | DINING

Range Lounge & Grill at Predator Ridge SANJAYA MANGALAGAMA Iconic Chef

Predator Ridge is happy to welcome Sanjaya to his new role as Executive Chef. He has earned the respect and admiration of his team members and colleagues as well as recognized chefs throughout the valley.

Join us at Range Lounge & Grill to experience our 100mile diet inspired menu featuring fresh BC seafood, local produce, organic pork & beef and fresh handmade pasta & gnocchi with simple, clean fresh flavours. Beautiful views and modern décor set the stage for an upscale casual dining experience, delectable desserts and a sommelierdeveloped, award-winning selection of fine wines. For a change of pace, Pallino’s features a variety of chefprepared pastas, entrées, antipasto & insalatas, thin crust pizzas on our specialty dough, barista prepared coffees, Italian beer & wines and more.

Range Lounge & Grill | Pallino’s Italian Bistro at Predator Ridge 301 Village Centre Place Vernon, BC (250) 542-3436

predatorridge.com

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ABSOLUTE | DINING

Pointe 49 Kitchen & Bar at Walnut Beach Resort

Kick back on a great patio or book an inside table for a special night out at Osoyoos’ best restaurant with poolside dining and lake views. Gather fresh local produce and a bottle or two from one of dozens of local vineyards and prepare a gourmet feast in the fully equipped kitchen or barbecue area – a meal that can be enjoyed with friends and family in-suite or alfresco on the balcony. Barbecues are served up seasonally on the pool deck. Walnut Convenience Court offers necessities and easy-to-prepare meals. At Pointe 49 Kitchen & Bar, you can kick back on a great patio, or book an inside table for a special night out at Osoyoos’ best restaurant with poolside dining and lake views. Our Chef has prepared a delicious menu you don’t want to miss.

Pointe 49 Kitchen & Bar at Walnut Beach Resort 4200 Lakeshore Drive, Osoyoos 1.877.936.5400

walnutbeachresort.com

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ABSOLUTE | DINING

VANILLA POD RESTAURANT at POPLAR GROVE WINERYWINERY

BRUNO TERROSO Iconic Chef

Bruno Terroso Portuguese chef that grew up in Prince George BC, where he did a lot of cooking with his mother, their focus was always western European dishes. His family hails from just north of Lisbon Portugal from a town called Laurinha where bacalhau and salt cod were staple ingredients. The dishes that he ate and help create as child have now become inspirations for the dishes that he creates today. Bruno has now brought this combination of Spanish and Portuguese fusion to the delight of everyone that sits in front of the menu at The Vanilla Pod.

The Vanilla Pod Restaurant at Poplar Grove Winery is perched above Lake Okanagan on the Naramata Bench. With soaring views of the lake and entire valley, you will be taken back by more than just the delightful menu items. Chef’s rule of thumb is that dishes are more than just superb to taste, they need to be aesthetically pleasing as well. The restaurants expanded herb garden adds flavor that is so fresh, you can definitely taste it!

Vanilla Pod Restaurant at Poplar Grove Winery 425 Middle Bench Rd North, Penticton, BC 250.493.9463 poplargrove.ca

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Culmina Family Estate Winery Using only the freshest of local ingredients, often sourced from his own farm, Chef Chris Van Hooydonk’s farm-to-table cuisine perfectly captures seasonal and culinary ‘moments in time’. Join us as we celebrate the height of summer, along with a seasonal selection of Culmina’s critically-acclaimed, terroir driven wines, each artfully paired to bring out the best in both the wine in the glass and the food on the plate. Tickets are $140 per person, and include all taxes and gratuity. As quantities are limited, we advise purchasing early to avoid disappointment. Pending interest from guests, shuttle service may also be offered; please just let us know in you are interested. If you have friends purchasing their seats seperately, let us know so that we may ensure that you are seated together. Lastly, please send along any allergies or menu restrictions that you (and your guests) may have. We will do our absolutely best to accommodate any dietary concerns within reasonable notice of the event. We look forward to seeing you this Summer. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the Hospitality team with any further questions or concerns that you may have: info@culmina.ca or 250.498.0789 x 202.

Culmina Family Estate Winery 4790 Wild Rose Street Oliver, BC 250.498.0789

culmina.ca

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ABSOLUTE | DINING

BONGO BISTRO at SERENDIPITY WINERY

VICTOR BONGO Iconic Chef

Victor Bongo is a talented and renowned AfricanCanadian chef who rose to fame by incorporating ethnic flavours into his signature dishes and challenging culinary traditions. Bongo’s Bistro at Serendipity Winery is open for lunch, dinner and can be booked for special events. In 2015, Bongo partnered with Westin Hotels and created the kids menu for their over 200 properties. He also continues to support Super Chefs of the Universe which is a program that teaches children about nutrition, where food comes from and or course‌ how to cook!

Bongo Bistro, set amid the endless rows of vines at Serendipity Winery on the Naramata Bench, Chef will create dishes with a global fusion edge with his signature dishes that are the perfect combination of his African roots and French training. Presentation is just as important as taste, dishes will be rich in colour, and layered with aroma and essence and bursting with flavor.

Bongo Bistro at Serendipity Winery 990 Debeck Rd., Naramata, BC 250.486.5290 serendipitywinery.com

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ABSOLUTE | WINE

CedarCreek & Home Block

Years of Sustainability & Stewardship It was 1986. The Honourable Senator Ross Fitzpatrick, lifelong Okanagan resident, and powerful believer in all things Okanagan, decided it was a great time to build and open a winery. Which he did, and he called it Cedar Creek. He was fully aware that a North American Free Trade agreement was in the works, and that American wines would have much freer access to Canadian markets. Many were pulling out vines and replanting fruit. But not the Senator. He said, “We simply have to be true to what this particular soil, planted with the right grapes, will give us. The American wines are not the same. So we just have to be

focused on quality.� He said those words during an interview at his home, which is situated almost directly across from the winery. His vision proved to be both accurate and potent. Pinot noir and chardonnay were the estate stars, but there has been remarkable, sustained success with ehrenfelser, and with fruit from the far south of the Okanagan, the red wines have had great success also. There have been challenges, certainly. You can still see the char lines on the mountain behind the winery, from the great fire of 2003. At its height, one night in August, Fitzpatrick and his son Gordon locked the door to the winery, looked up at the fiery hills, and silently said goodbye to his winery. It was a sudden, virtually inexplicable change in the winds that saved the winery.

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ABSOLUTE | WINE

VALLEY INNOVATORS White Willow Photography

We speak to Winemaker Taylor Whelan at Kelowna’s spectacular CedarCreek Estate Winery Left photo: CedarCreek Winemaker, Taylor Whelan What attracted you to winemaking? I find the cross-discipline aspect of winemaking appealing. Not only is there microbiology and organic chemistry involved, but viticulture (and ecology), logistics, business, hospitality, public relations, and artistry. The job is constantly evolving and is always presenting new opportunities and challenges.

Shawn Talbot Photography

With the wines that you make, what are you trying to achieve? In the Estate range, we are aiming to make wines which are varietally correct and can express the fresh and lively characters we believe the Okanagan can offer in a wine. In the Platinum range, we are trying to focus on the qualities of specific sites – be it soil, slope, aspect, vine age, or clone. We then reflect those in the wine by using traditional or artisanal winemaking techniques such as concrete fermentation, natural fermentation, skin contact (on whites), whole bunch fermentation, and any other technique we feel can best compliment or reflect the aspects of the site we hope to show.

Okanagan Confidential CedarCreek is one of BC’s first 8 wineries. With four generations of agricultural heritage and more than three decades of experience their single vineyard wines are a true expression of their terroir.Located 20 minutes from downtown Kelowna we are an ideal destination for locals and those touring wine country. Situated on a hillside, you are treated to a panoramic view of lush vineyards, Okanagan Lake, immaculate grounds and our beautiful gardens. We are committed to providing guests an intimate and educational experience in an exceptional setting. Our entire team is excited to bring the wine country experience to a whole new level at CedarCreek this year with our brand new tasting room, and year-round restaurant, Home Block, opening late Spring 2019.

What are the future plans in store for your winery/ vineyard? Plans abound – we are currently in the process of transitioning to organic viticulture across all of our vineyard holdings and to develop organic winemaking in the winery as well. We have moved honey bees onto the property at CedarCreek and have chickens in our vineyards in the south Okanagan. We are also continuing to acquire premium vineyard properties focused mostly in Kelowna and Lake Country, where we feel there is the most potential for identifying unique soil types and establishing exciting vineyards with cool climate varieties. On top of that, we are working to complete a brand new tasting room, our new year-round restaurant, Home Block at CedarCreek, and a dedicated Platinum Club area to host our most valued customers at an even higher level. What is your all-time favourite food & wine pairing? Entrecôte à la Bordelaise – a Ribeye steak served with a Bordelaise sauce and tarragon to brighten things up, served with a cabernet-dominant Bordeaux blend. It’s a classic, but wine pairings don’t get any better.

CedarCreek Estate Winery 5445 Lakeshore Road Kelowna, British Columbia 778.738.1020

cedarcreek.bc.ca

Surfing

FAVOURITE THINGS

I have spent all of my life by the sea and surfed from childhood. While I am landlocked at the moment, it will ALWAYS top any list of my favourite things!

Skiing

I love nothing more than skiing the slopes at our local hill, Big White. Fresh air, big sky views and beautiful Okanagan powder

Relaxing lakeside

Again fresh air fresh water, family swims and incredible views

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ABSOLUTE | WINE

Time has marched on, and the special estate chardonnay and pinot noir vines today, on the Home Block Vineyard, are nearing 30 years old. Fitzpatrick, long since retired, decided he would sell the winery, but only to someone who understood and appreciated what the legacy means. So he went straight to Anthony von Mandl, propietor of von Mandl Family Estates. It was a meeting of the minds, and the sale was completed only a few years ago. Things have only evolved from there, in ways Fitzpatrick completely approves of. Winemaker Taylor Whelan says, “I was extremely fortunate coming here. The wines were already excellent. I could tweak here and there, but the wines and the vineyards were in exceptional shape.” He has been able to turn his attention to the winery’s organic programs, which, he says,

Cedar Creek Winery - DarrenHull

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“will be complete by the end of the 2019 harvest, so next year’s vintage will be completely organic.” This is mean feat; the rigours of certification are immense. “We knew it would mean utilizing natural tools and building complex and resilient systems in the vineyards, which would lead to better fruit and better wine.” Whelan is thoughtful and articulate. The organic certification clearly excites him, most of all because sustainability and stewardship actually translate into better wines at the end of the day. He adds an anecdote about honey bee hives, of which Viticulturist Kurt Simcic introduced 18 hives into Home Block Vineyard two years ago. “Grape vines are self-pollinating,” Whelan says. “But bees help with the promotion of wild flowers, beneficial plants such as crimson clover and mustard, and beneficial


ABSOLUTE | WINE

ORGANIC PIONEER We speak to founder/proprietor Stephen Cipes, at Kelowna’s spectacular Summerhill Pyramid Winery Left photo: Stephen Cipes With the wines you make, what are you trying to achieve? Our original vision since 1991 was to make the most delicious tasting organic wines in the world with the ideal growing conditions here and bring pride to all Canadians, and we’ve done that! We have won so many top trophies including best sparkling wine in the world in London England! Our wine was named the best chardonnay wine in the world at a recent competition in France! Our red blend Keter was just chosen to be served at the G7. We have something really exceptional here to share with the world.

Okanagan Confidential Named ‘Canadian Wine Producer of the Year’ at the International Wine & Spirits Competition in London, England, and awarded numerous international trophies and medals at the highest levels of competition, the winemaking philosophy at Summerhill Pyramid Winery (established 1991) is that organic and biodynamic is the royal road to producing exceptionally beautiful, authentic, terroir based wine. Also home of the Summerhill Pyramid Bistro, featuring fresh, seasonal wine paired menus and a panoramic view of Okanagan Lake.

Summerhill Pyramid Winery 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna, British Columbia 250.764.8000

summerhill.bc.ca

FAVOURITE THINGS

Community gatherings in the Summerhill Pyramid

The world is a big place, why did you choose the Okanagan? I am a New Yorker. I was born in Manhattan and lived my whole life in New York until 1986, when I started seeing unprecedented greed around me. I wanted to get off the money-go-round and live close to the earth. At that time there were less than 40,000 people living in Kelowna. We loved it! Everyone here called the US the “excited states”, and it was true! Our lives were so peaceful here. I loved just driving the tractor and planting plants from Europe on my hands and knees. Then we got excited by the potential to make fantastic sparkling wines from the intensely flavoured grapes here and went back into business. This time for the love of it! What attracted you to wine making? Wine making is the ultimate collaboration between man and nature. A green bean is a green bean, and a glass of milk is a glass of milk, but wine is so subtle and nuanced, and everthing affects the flavour. It is the ultimate co venture of man and nature! The most authentic wines are made with minimum intervention winemaking. You have to do the magic in the vineyard assuring the vines are in harmony with all the nature around them. It’s called permaculture where we give back to nature, not just be sustainable. www.Organicokanagan.Com has a declaration to return the valley to organic practices and is receiving international attention and signatures from chiefs, mayors, celebrities and so many enthusiastic homeowners and farmers!

Taking kids for speed boat spins around Okanagan Lake

Winery Chef Jeremy Luypen’s vegan prominent menu

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insects.” So far so good. Whelan continues, “there was a side benefit that we didn’t expect. As our harvest dates for pinot noir approached, we were hit with a lot of rain. That can be devastating, since the delicate skins can split, resulting in infection and reduced quality. As Kurt and I walked the blocks to survey the damage however, I noticed something I hadn’t ever seen. Our fruit was absolutely covered in honey bees, hundreds of thousands of them, methodically cleaning the fruit that had split.” What a sight it must have been. The end result was the “cleaned” grapes had a greatly reduced risk of infection, particularly from botrytis, and so the grapes could stay on the vine a full week more, adding vital quality to the fruit. Home Block Vineyard produces Cedar Creek’s flagship Platinum series, and we were able to taste them all recently.

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2018 Block 9 Ehrenfelser, made exclusively from the 3 acres of Block 9, and thus greatly reducing the number of bottles made, is a luscious, almost viscous wine, perfect for summer sipping as an aperitif wine. But it pairs with almost any dish you might think of paring with a riesling, so bring on the Asian flavours. Orange and honey notes make this a very charming wine. Block 1, 2018, is pinot noir, but they made it Rose. Harvested in two sessions, one of which targeted “mineral, zest, and citrus,” says Whelan, while the second session targeted strawberries. This is a lovely wine, complex without hitting you over the head. Block 5, 2017 Chardonnay shows a balance and elegance that emerges as you let the wine adjust in glass. Whelan and his team were a bit surprised that the effects of organic farming would take hold on the


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VALLEY FAMILY We speak to Sara Triggs, Marketing Director and second generation wine family member at Oliver’s spectacular Culmina Family Estate Winery Left photo: Don, Elaine and Sara Triggs WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THE THE GOLDEN MILE BENCH? Our goal was to produce an icon-quality Bordeaux-style red blend, with the first step finding the right site that would allow us to do so. With the help of Bordeaux-based consultant, Alain Sutre, and after an exhaustive search Penticton and south, we found the ideal site south of Oliver in the new sub-appellation. Extensive study on the site confirmed its potential for red Bordeaux varieties, featuring extensive minerality in the area’s unique alluvial fan soils. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR CULMINA? Literally translated from Latin, Culmina means ‘peak’ - or for us, what we’re aiming for in quality. We’ve focused all of our efforts and energy to meeting this objective: from planting everything from virgin land, to matching up the terroir with the best vine material that we can find, increasing the vine density in the vineyard by 50% in the hopes of increasing the competition between the vines to force the roots systems deep into the sub soil. All in all, to try and encourage our Golden Mile Bench terroir to come through in the wines as much as we can.

Okanagan Confidential Culmina Family Estate Winery is the result of a lifetime of experience in the wine industry for Don, Elaine and Sara Triggs. Having worked in the industry for a combined 40+ years, Don and Elaine began in 2006 with a simple goal: to make the highest quality wines possible from their own family estate. Culmina is a familyowned wine estate operated by the Triggs and a small team of dedicated professionals. For the Triggs, ownership does not mean standing on the sidelines, but rather a full-time, hands-on commitment to every aspect of the business. Their singular objective: to maximize the quality of the wine produced from their Golden Mile Bench property.

WHAT FUTURE PLANS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE ESTATE? Lots of exciting things are on the way this fall, including more exclusive offerings in our “Number Series”, a small lot program focused on innovation and exploration, and exclusive to our Fellowship. A in interesting new Riesling will be released in the fall, and a couple of reds are in the works for 2019. We are also hosting three “Sunday Sessions” to celebrate our 5-Year Anniversary this summer. Each seminar will focus on different aspects of our portfolio, with the August 12th Session focused on Riesling and Chardonnay and the September 9th on our Bordeaux-red varietal wines.

Culmina Family Estate Winery 4790 Wild Rose Street Oliver, British Columbia 250.498.0789

culmina.ca

FAVOURITE THINGS

Playing vinyl, two turntables

Checking out new restaurants when travelling

Hanging out with the new winery, pup, Holly - a pint-sized Pembroke Welsh Tri-coat Corgi

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ABSOLUTE | WINE fruit so rapidly, and pronouncedly. Mineral and lime notes in previous vintages are turning to lemon and floral notes in this vintage, making for a superb, complex chardonnay. The 2018 Platinum Border Vista Sauvignon Blanc is simply sensational. Not like any sauv blanc from New Zealand or France, nor like anything in the Okanagan, this wine is structured, nuanced, delicious. Classic sauvignon blanc qualities, of freshness, sharp acidity on the backbone, and terrific pineapple and gooseberry notes, make this a mustget. As in, get a case. The 2016 Block 2 and Block 4 pinot noirs have a lot in common. But Block 2 is slightly more Burgundian in style, a bit lighter, yet bursting with fresh fruit, and incredible balance. Block 4 has more weight, what we could call a more New World style, a bit more extraction and darker berry fruits. Both are excellent. And then, even more exciting news from Cedar Creek. Home Block at Cedar Creek restaurant is now open. This

Cedar Creek Winery

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is a destination-quality place, complete with a gigantic Grillworks woodburning oven and rotisserie. The farmhouse style restaurant is built from 100-year old reclaimed barn wood, some concrete, and local fieldstones. Executive Chef Neil Taylor sources locally, with a few select imported products as well. His most recent success as Espana, and he brings with him some of those Spanish influences. This is truly an exciting addition to the already bounteous Kelowna and Okanagan dining scene. Cedar Creek wines are available by the glass and the bottle, at extremely reasonable prices, so this is a marvellous opportunity to expand your palate. What Senator Fitzpatrick begat, and what Anthony von Mandl is nurturing and continuing to grow, now and into a sustainable future, is a marvellous part of the Okanagan’s steady, sure rise as a wine region that, while small by most standards, deserves its place on the world stage. Make sure to come and see, and taste, for yourself.


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Valley GUY We speak with Tony Holler, proprietor of Poplar Grove Winery. Born in Summerland and familiar with the Okanagan’s fruitful bounty, he sets out to make world-class wines. Left photo: Tony Holler The world is a big place, why did you choose the Okanagan? I was born in Summerland and grew up farming my family’s apple orchard so I was no stranger to the beauty and bounty of the Okanagan Valley. About ten years ago, my wife Barb and I decided that the Okanagan Valley was the most beautiful place we had ever been. My passion is great wine and I knew that the Okanagan Valley could produce the fruit that would allow us to make world-class wines. We decided then and there to move back to the Okanagan Valley.

What makes the Okanagan wine scene so exciting?

Okanagan Confidential Great wines are born from the courage to see what’s possible. Over the past 21 years, the team at Poplar Grove has worked with the vineyards to nurture their potential into each bottle. Experience breathtaking views of the Okanagan Valley while sipping on a selection of our signature wines. In 2011, the doors to Poplar Grove’s brand new winery opened. The new winery space is home to a production facility with a showcase barrel hall, an expansive tasting room with sweeping views of the valley and the Vanilla Pod restaurant.

Poplar Grove Winery 425 Middle Bench Road North Penticton, BC 250.493.9463

poplargrove.ca

Poplar Grove Winery - The Legacy 2011

FAVOURITE THINGS

The Valley has attracted so much talent, all with an incredible amount of commitment to the land and to continuous improvement to the winemaking processes. Each year, the Okanagan wine community’s knowledge of the climate, the soil and their land grows. Discovering mesoclimates and microclimates, deciding which clone and root stock is best suited to the soil, and using this information to inform the planting of new vineyards throughout the valley is very exciting.

What are the future plans in store for your winery? Now that the doors to Poplar Grove’s brand new winery are open year round, our plan is to invite the world to visit us on the Naramata Bench. We can’t wait for everyone to experience our signature wines! A few years back, we created the Poplar Grove Wine Club. Becoming a wine club member is the newest way to be a part of the Poplar Grove family. Our members enjoy discounts on direct wine purchases and invitations to exclusive events at the winery. Together, we are growing our wine club and I personally invite everyone to join us on our journey to make truly great wines!

What is the best insider tip for pairing food and wine together? The best tip I have ever heard for pairing food and wine is to make sure you are eating and drinking exactly what you like with your favourite people in a fantastic place. One July long weekend as great friends and I were sitting at Poplar Grove on the Vanilla Pod Restaurant patio waiting for the fireworks, we opened a bottle of the 2007 Legacy and had it with Chef Bruno’s seared rare beef tenderloin topped with warmed olive oil and finished with sea salt. It was a perfect Okanagan summer evening with the greatest of friends, and the food and wine couldn’t have tasted any better.

Spending time in OUR vineyards with friends and family

Tony Holler, Barb Holler and the vineyard crew

Heirloom tomato salad

from the Vanilla Pod Restaurant, made with vineyard grown tomatoes

My Dog Mia

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PARADISE FOUND

Have you ever heard the expression Paradise Lost? ? Well, this feature is going to take you in another direction... Paradise Found! It has become more and more clear why people refer to the Okanagan as paradise. It has all the ingredients of what people would consider what makes up the term “paradise”. It has warm water for an entire host of water activities, wake surfing, sailing, stand up paddle boarding, boating of any kind, kite boarding, fishing, wake boarding canoeing or even just floating on a giant

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inflatable unicorn drinking an afternoon adult beverage! All then while, the wind is softly blowing through shade trees that surround these pristine lakes with sandy shores… you are starting to get the picture. Next question… have you ever heard the term modus vivendi? That should be the real focus of people trying to attain this paradise concept. Lifestyle, it is all about lifestyle. What if


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we all lived in a place that had all the paradise characteristics but also provided everything that we need to simultaneously attain the perfect lifestyle. Well, we know that the Okanagan provides everything that our little hearts desire when it come to being outdoors, absolutely everything at your door step, or at least a short drive away. Now, what if you were able to mesh the concept of living into this so called paradise that provides the perfect lifestyle. It is possible that this perfect marriage of community and lifestyle has collided on the western shores of Okanagan Lake where West Harbour is nicely located. We sat down with Renee Wasylyk the CEO of Troika Developments to discuss how they are building homes and communities with a purpose. Three of their development communities, West Harbour, Green Square

Vert and The Landing at Wood Lake are all built with the Okanagan lifestyle in mind. They are built to “showcase the natural beauty, to enhance the landscape and to give access to all of the amenities and opportunities that the Okanagan has to offer”. Renee goes on to say that “… each project is thoughtfully positioned to maximize the Okanagan lifestyle” There it is again, Okanagan lifestyle… Now you can have your home (and community) comfortably balanced with your lifestyle. While pursuing this relentless search for the

Drew Desharnais

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perfect spot to lay your hat, there are a few key features that can lead you to your specific nirvana. Pin point exactly what it is that you are looking for. For example, if you golf, look near a golf course, if you swim, look near a pool or lake, if you like to walk, try neighborhoods with established walking trails and of course, if you love wine, set up shop near a winery! Everyone has their own idea of what the perfect spot is and that’s what makes this valley so diverse. Some people love living downtown, some people love living up on the benches of East Kelowna, some people would only live by the lake and some people would only live where they can see the lake, and of course there are lots of people that are just happy wherever they are! The point is that finding paradise in the Okanagan is not a difficult task. Long before the term “staycation” was ever coined people were enjoying themselves in their own surroundings. For

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some, the need to take off and travel the world doesn’t exist because they live here for a reason… and that reason is that everything they ever wanted is right here. It is not impossible or even uncommon for people to ski or snowboard in the morning and golf or ride their bikes in the afternoon. People from all over the world travel here, they come to our little slice of heaven and ask “why would you go anywhere else?” Locals go stand up paddle boarding, hike the rail trail, go shopping and then indulge themselves in a winery feast! Sounds like Paradise Found! Renne Wasylyk feels that everyone should be able to find their paradise right here. She states, “We build for everyone. We look at what the needs are of the community, and then build for those people. There is always housing needed, but getting the right homes, at the right prices, in the right locations is the correct formula.” There is no question that West Harbour has


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checked a lot of boxes in regards to what some feel is the ideal lakefront community teeming with amenities, boat dock, hiking and biking and tennis. As the search for paradise continues, there are two other stand out communities that you should likely explore. Wilden in North Kelowna, stretches from the hill tops to the valley floor. Single family homes and townhouses or buy a lot and build your very own dream property. Surrounded by nature, this is a hikers (and dog walkers) best case scenario. Properties from the top have mind boggling views of Okanagan Lake. Hundreds of families have found their paradise on the slopes of Wilden. A little further north up the valley is a world class golf course known as Predator Ridge. What many don’t know is that Predator Ridge is also a world class community! You absolutely do not have to play golf to enjoy living here. It is it’s own self contained community. General store,

restaurant, hotels… it is kind of like living where people go on vacation… the whole valley is!! We live where people want to visit. There is an active hash tag known as #mlvyv and it perfectly sums up what I am trying to express. It stands for “My Life Versus Your Vacation”. Now let’s turn south and head towards Summerland. As if people haven’t found their paradise in a town called Summerland!! Directly across Lake Okanagan from Summerland is the Naramata Bench, which has been long since famous for producing some of the finest wines on the planet! This might be one of the most exciting new developments to land in the Okanagan. Grace Estates is a secluded gem in the hills above the warm blue water of Lake Okanagan. If your version of paradise includes a little bit of space between neighbors then you have just hit the honey pot! Grace Estates offers 11 parcels of lands ranging in size from 2.5 acres to 33 acres. Just imagine living among the vineyards and orchards, this is truly

Chris Gardiner

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estate living in the heart of wine country. This tract of land on the Naramata Bench can get you to 43 wineries within a 15 minute drive. All these other people are coming here trying to find paradise, we are already here because we have already found it! The population growth over the last several years indicates that the word is out… people are coming into our paradise in search of their own paradise! That’s why people continue to move up the

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valleys, onto smaller lakes and higher into the hills. People are constantly trying to improve their version of paradise. And, let’s face it, as we get older our own versions of this “idea” change over time and our needs and wants become different. When we once needed to live in a mansion on the lake, now maybe we are happier in a townhouse above the city or for some even far off the last gravel road where all they need is a generator, a few solar panels, a creek and a cabin! The greatest thing about living in the Okanagan,


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hands down is the weather. The long hot, sunny days allow us to get outside and enjoy that energetic and exciting lifestyle. It could even be said that we can enjoy this kind of outdoor livelihood year round. The Okanagan is not just a summer destination anymore, there are ski / snowboard resorts, cross country ski tracks, heli-ski operations and an endless supply of sledding.

One of the worst feelings is paradise lost, knowing that you have lost your version of true happiness. But‌ conversely the best feeling is paradise found, when you re-discover something, enjoy it for the first time or go in a completely different direction and grab ahold of your new paradise. The bottom line is, if you chose to live in the Okanagan, in the communities mentioned in these paragraphs you will find paradise, get out there, get exploring and embrace your paradise so that you can enjoy that euphoric feeling of Paradise Found!

West Harbour

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Parting Shot

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Chris Gardiner




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