Saturday, May 30th27.5°C
Whats On

Special Olympics Kelowna



I'm always impressed with the options that Special Olympics BC Kelowna provides our diversabilities community. Allison...

Posted by Ryan Donn on Tuesday, May 26, 2015
For those that don't know we have a very strong Special Olympics community in Kelowna. 
Their motto is to provide individuals with intellectual disabilities opportunities to enrich their lives and celebrate personal achievement through positive sport experiences. 
To make that happen they have an intricate team of volunteers, coaches, and sponsors working in tandem to provide the structure needed to support more than a dozen sport opportunities listed here: 
  • Bocce-Full 
  • 10 Pin Bowling
  • 5 Pin Bowling
  • Cross Country Skiing-Advanced and Developmental
  • Curling
  • Floor Hockey
  • Golf Advanced
  • Golf Skills 
  • Power Lifting
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Snowshoeing
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Track and Field/Athletics

Youth Programs

  • FUNdamentals – students aged 7-11 years old
  • Sport Start Basketball-Advanced and Developmental- students aged 12-19 years old
  • Sport Start Club Fit-students aged 12-19 years old
  • Sport Start Curling-Advanced and Developmental
Early June they are hosting their Annual FH&P Lawyers Golf Tournament, which is their main fundraiser for the year. They have a lot of golfers already signed up (tickets are $150 each)but if you want to join them please contact: [email protected] or 250-860-7905. Sponsors for the event include Odlum Brown-, WestJet, Scotiabank, and many more. 
If golfing isn't your thing you can also make a donation to them at through their website:
There is also a fundraising event for the national level of Special Olympics called Motionball later in June.  If you like playing sports, having fun and giving back to your community, on June 20th motionball Marathon of Sport Kelowna Presented by Interior Savings Credit Union! arrives in Kelowna.  Participants will hit the playing field for a fun filled day of athletic competition in support of Special Olympics British Columbia and the Special Olympics Canada Foundation!  Teams of 10 will play alongside local Special Olympics athletes in a variety of sports including soccer, flag football, ultimate frisbee, benchball and volleyball!
For more information on this event check out their Facebook event:


Summer Music Festivals

I trust you all had a beautiful May Long weekend, man the weather was just fantastic. For those of us who like to plan ahead, it's time to start looking at all of the various music festivals and events happening around the area. The list below was pulled together by Jason Lane ( whom I work with on the weekly live music listings ( I won't type a description of each event as that would make the article too long but hopefully this helps you and your family start to plan your summer of music around BC and Western Canada.
Action Music Fest – Summerland, BC (June 5-7th, 2015)
Sooke River Bluegrass Festival – Sooke, BC (June 19-21, 2015)
Tiny Lights Festival – Ymir, BC (June 12-14th, 2015)
Sled Island – Calgary, BC (June 24-28th, 2015)
PLUR Inc The Groove Music Festival – Midway, BC (June 19 – 22, 2014)
Bushwacked – Beaverdell, BC (June 25-29th, 2015)
Tall Trees Music Festival – Port Renfrew, BC (June 26 – 28th, 2015)
Vancouver Jazz Festival (June 19 – July 1st, 2015)
River Rats Festival – Athabasca, AB (June 30 – July 1st, 2015)
Desert Live Music Festival – Osoyoos, BC (June 27th – July 1st, 2014) – FREE
Funtastic – Vernon (June 26 – June 29th, 2015)
Kaslo Folk Fest – Kaslo, BC (June 28 – July 1, 2014)
Tail Creek Mud & Music Festival – Alex, AB (June 25-28th, 2015)
Ska Fest – Victoria, BC (July 2 – 5th, 2015)
Calgary Stampede – Calgary, AB (July 3 – 12th, 2015)
Gatzke Orchards Music Festival – Oyama, BC (July 3-5, 2015)
Steamboat Mountain Music Festival – Edgewater, BC (July 25, 2015)
Open Air Performances – Lake Country, BC (July 5 – Aug 30, 2015)
Bass Coast – Merritt, BC (July 10-13th, 2015)
Rock the Shores – Victoria, BC (July 17 – 19th, 2015)
Oliver Sunshine Festival – Oliver, BC (July 11-12, 2014)
Vancouver Folk Festival (July 17-19, 2015)
Wild Mountain Music Festival – Hinton, Alberta (July 17-19, 2015)
Fusion Festival – Surrey, BC (July 18-19, 2015)
Botegga Festival – Kelowna, BC (July 17-18th, 2015)
Starbelly Jam – Crawford Bay, BC, July 17-19th, 2015
Armstrong Metal Fest – Armstrong, BC (July 17 – 18th, 2015)
Pemberton Music Festival – Pemberton, BC (July 16-19th, 2015)
Mission Folk Festival – Mission, BC (July 24-26th, 2015)
Islands Music Festival – Duncan, BC (July 24-26th, 2015)
Center of Gravity – Kelowna, BC (July 25-27th, 2015)
Lille Gard Fest – Kelowna, BC (July 24-26th, 2015)
Rock of the Woods Music Festival – Cowichan Valley, BC (July 25-27th, 2014)
Calgary Folk Festival (July 23-26, 2015)
Motion Notion – Golden, BC (July 23-27th, 2015)
Unity Music Festival– Solcan City, BC (July 25-26th, 2015)
Enderby Arts Festival – Enderby, BC (July 26, 2014)
Calgary International Blues Festival – Calgary, BC (July 27 – Aug 2nd, 2015)
Wanderlust – Whistler, BC (July 3oth – Aug. 3rd, 2015)
Pickathon – Portland, OR (July 31st – August 2nd, 2015)
Arts Wells – Barkerville, BC (July 31st – Aug. 3rd, 2015)
Rockin the Fields – Minnedosa, MB (July 31st – Aug.2nd, 2015)
Routes & Blues – Shuswap, BC (Aug 1 – 14, 2014)
Kaslo Jazz Etc. – Kaslo, BC (July 31st – August 2nd, 2015)
Canmore Folk Fest – Canmore, AB (Aug. 1-3rd, 2015)
Rockin’ River Musicfest – Merritt, BC (July 30th – Aug. 2nd, 2015)
Wapiti Music Festival – Fernie, BC (Aug. 7-8th, 2015)
Shambhala Music Festival – Salmo (Aug. 7-10th, 2015)
Squamish Valley Music Festival  – Squamish, BC (Aug. 7-9th, 2015)
Peachfest – Penticton, BC (Aug. 5-9th, 2015)
Edmonton Folk Festival (August 6-9th, 2015)
West Kelowna World Musicfest – West Kelowna, BC (Aug. 22nd) Free
Princeton Traditional Music Festival (Aug. 14-16th, 2015)
Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival – Salmon Arm (Aug. 14-16th, 2015)
Komasket – Vernon, BC (2014 TBA)
Serenity Performance Arts Centre – Birch Island, BC
Invermere Music Festival – Invermere, BC (Aug. 22nd, 2015)
Ponderosa Festival – Rock Creek, BC (Aug. 21-23rd, 2015)
Sturgis Canada – Merritt, BC (Aug, 21st – 24th, 2014)
Otalith Music Festival – Tofino & Ucluelet, BC (Aug. 21-22nd, 2015)
Bumbershoot – Seattle, WA (Aug. 30- Sept. 1st, 2014)
Dave Matthews Band Caravan – George, WA (Aug. 30- Sept. 1st, 2014)
Fozzy Fest – Lake Koocanusa, East Kootenays, BC (Sept. 15-17th, 2015)
Pendor Harbour Blues Festival – Pendor Harbour, BC (Sept. 18-20th, 2015)
StokeFM Mountain Music Festival – Revelstoke, BC (Sept 20, 2014)

West Kelowna sounded a lot more like Africa last night thanks to Ezra Kwizera. What an amazing time at the West Kelowna World Music Festival. See you next year.

Posted by West Kelowna World Music Festival on Sunday, August 24, 2014

Volunteer your time tonight

Gennext Kelowna, a group of local young, community-focused professionals, is getting ready to host timeDrive for the 3rd consecutive year tonight, Thursday, May 14th   from 5:30-8:00 PM at Laurel Packinghouse. 
Combining a fun, networking atmosphere with a growing community need for volunteers, timeDrive gives young professionals the chance to connect with non-profit organizations and pledge their time and skills in a unique “time-raising” (vs. fundraising) event. 
Using a tradeshow type format, attendees are given the opportunity to meet with representatives from Kelowna’s non-profit organizations in order to pledge volunteer hours. Each NPO will be able to present information about their organization including details regarding the types and number of volunteer positions they have available to be filled. 
Prizes will be awarded for most hours pledged and completed, and food and beverage will be provided by Squeezed Wines, Tree House Brewing and Okanagan Spirits. Also following the event will be an after party at The Curious Artistry and Alchemy. 
The concept of pledging one’s time at a volunteer type of fair is not a new one, however, coming from a younger demographic whose focus is giving back to the community, it’s a refreshing one. 
Last year’s event saw 180 in attendance and this year, Gennext hopes to see even more. Having raised more than 4500 volunteer hours over the course of the last few years during this event, Gennext is excited to raise thousands more at timeDrive 2015 and raise awareness with new volunteers.
Gennext believes in growing personally, developing professionally and improving the community they live in, and timeDrive accomplishes just that. Pledging time and skills instead of cash, this unique event gives people a way to give back to their community in kind and provides exposure for NPO’s. Most importantly, it also connects volunteers with organizations they may not be aware of that exist right in their own community. 
Join Gennext, in partnership with United Way and MNP for an enjoyable social evening of fun, connections, and community spirit. Help impact the Okanagan Valley by giving back with your time and skills. Check out Gennext’s social media pages for information re: Non-Profit Organizations that will be there at this year’s timeDrive and mark your calendar for this exciting event!
To find out more about the event and to purchase tickets, please contact: Cyrus Tabar, Gennext Marketing Director, (250-826-7344) or visit  
Here is a video from the 2013 edition of the event. 

Here are the local concerts happening around Kelowna this weekend:
Friday, May 15th, 2015 venue
Ben Rogers and the Bloodred Yonder Fleetwood Public House
Devon Coyote Doc Willoughby’s Pub
Hank Stallion The Blue Gator
Jimmy Leguilloux Band Riley's Pub
Radio Lifeline O’Flannigans Pub
Saturday, May 16th, 2015 venue
Hank Stallion The Blue Gator
Jimmy Leguilloux Band Riley's Pub
Radio Lifeline O’Flannigans Pub
Ryan McMahon Streaming Café
Terry Hanck Minstrel Cafe
The Trips Fleetwood Public House


Neighbourhood Grants

Do you know the names of our neighbours. Any idea where they work, what their kids like?, when their family is coming to town? How connected are we to those who live right next door?
Our "always connected" technology filled culture seems to have missed some key aspects to creating a great quality of life. We forget to connect with our neighbours (you know those folks who live a few feet away). I think that's why I love my day job at Parks Alive! so much. It brings communities together. It's the reason why it's one of the most loved programs in our city. There is no cost for entry and you get to sit down, connect with newcomers/oldtimers/friends/strangers while enjoying some great local music in one of our parks. 
So I was over the moon to read about a new initiative that council approved on Monday called the Neighbourhood Grant Program. It's generously funded by the Central Okanagan Foundation and they will be providing $15,000 seed money for neighbours to finally get around to planning that small get together or community project that they have been thinking about doing but just weren't sure about all the rules around planning something. 
I don't want to offer idea for what you can do (I'd rather see your project ideas come to fruition) but neighbourhood projects that I've been involved in that could be fit would be our local neighbourhood Family Fun Day (video from 2012). 




What ideas do you have to do in your community? I can see this being the perfect catalyst for many more events like the grass roots Candy Cane Lane event that has just taken off. 
Here is the official details incase you want to start thinking about your project. 
Neighbourhood Grant Info:
  • To inspire residents to connect with their neighbours.
  • To stimulate resident initiated neighbourhood enhancement projects.
  • To harness local experience and expertise in neighbourhood based initiatives.
  • To encourage resident involvement in making their neighbourhoods even better places to live.
  • To promote neighbourhood based solutions to everyday concerns.
  • Grants are available only to residents of Kelowna and require a minimum of three residents from separate households within the neighbourhood to operate as a project working group.
  • Only one Neighbourhood Grant may be received by a neighbourhood group per year, with priority given to groups that have not previously received a grant.
  • Project must occur within the applicant group’s neighbourhood.
  • The maximum matching grant is $1,000.
  • Contribution for matching can include cash, in-kind volunteer hours and/or materials and equipment.
  • The number of grants distributed in a year will depend on the funds available.
  • Resident groups must have a project lead accountable for project funds and reporting. 
Describe the project and how it will impact neighbourhood quality of life.
Include a plan to foster broad neighbourhood participation.
Enhance one or more drivers of neighbourhood attachment: aesthetics, leadership, safety, social
offerings or relationships.
Provide a project budget which includes details including how grant funds will be matched with cash,
in-kind volunteer hours and/or materials and equipment.
Equipment, materials and other items that will not revert back to private ownership.
Contract services from outside the neighbourhood, e.g., master gardener, journeyman
carpenter or artist. These services are only fundable if no such expertise or service exists
within the neighbourhood.
Promotional material and translation services.
Equipment rental.
There is $15,000 allocated for this year and two or three intakes for the grants.

Read more What's On articles


About the Author


Ryan Donn
(singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, Councillor at the City of Kelowna). 

I love creating and connecting. For years I spent most of my time in Kelowna creating songs. Those songs have been used by the Terry Fox Run, Kelowna’s Centennial Celebration, or heard on various local radio stations. 

In the past few years I've focused on creating community events including Music in the Park, New York New Years, Castanet’s Free Family Skate, Talented Kids, Talented Kelowna, etc. 

I use this column to connect some of our local creatives, events, unique local projects/non-profits, or perhaps the random column about our city. 

Originally from Scotland I’ve lived in Kelowna for over 20 years.  My wife, Kimberly, and our two daughters, Lyla and Bella, share our home with Tom (adult with diverse abilities). In 2014 I was elected to Kelowna City Council. 

Opinions are my own and don't represent the City of Kelowna, Festivals Kelowna or Creative Okanagan. 

Connect with Ryan:

email: [email protected]
google +



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet presents its columns "as is" and does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories

RSS this page.
(Click for RSS instructions.)