Monday, September 1st24.9°C
Ripe With Surprises

Win a trip to Iceland!

There’s something special about sculpture exhibits. The ability to walk around a piece of art work and to admire it from each perspective adds a dimension to exhibits, a personal note. This has been the prevailing mood at Mission Hill Family Estate the last few times I’ve been there, with the current sculpture exhibit throughout the winery’s grounds. Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir’s life-size sculptures are on display at Mission Hill until this October. They are placed in thoughtful areas throughout the winery’s grounds, both indoors and outdoors, beginning with 2 “wall climbers” positioned on the external wall of the winery as you enter through the gates, signaling that there are further life-size surprises inside.

I’ve been there several times this summer, and on each visit I’ve seen winery guests posing with the sculptures: kneeling with the two above the amphitheater, sitting by the one gazing into the water fountain, or in the barrel cellar, sitting with one in the shadows on the landing. In each case the sculptures have intrigued guests to interact in some way. They are earthy and ethereal, ghostly and visceral.

In celebration of this exhibit, Mission Hill is partnering with Icelandair for a social media photo contest. From August 21 to September 30, 2014 guests visiting Mission Hill can capture the beauty of the ‘Encounters with Iceland’ exhibit by sharing their photos of the sculptures of Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir through Facebook for a chance to win two complimentary round-trip tickets to Iceland courtesy of Icelandair. For complete contest details, visit the Mission Hill website at

With more than 40 of Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir's exhibited at Mission Hill through to October 2014, the photo opportunities are endless. Guests are encouraged to select images that depict the sculptures surrounded by the dynamic architecture of the winery and the beauty of the natural surroundings.

Don’t miss this chance to enjoy the beautiful sculptures on display at Mission Hill until October, to taste the portfolio of Mission Hill’s wines, and to browse in their bustling gift shop. It’s a must-visit exhibit this summer, punctuated by a sense of discovery and surprise when you find another sculpture around each corner. Who knows, maybe your beautifully composed photograph will win you a pair of tickets to Iceland… where no doubt there will be many more wonderful surprises to be discovered around each corner!


From the back of a horse

Late summer is the perfect time to take a breather from the bustle of our downtown and our beaches, and find tranquility out on the trails around Kelowna. Since I’ve written about mountain biking and hiking in previous columns, I thought I’d focus on a different way to get out on our local trails, by horseback.

Those of you who ride horses will know about the peace and in-the-moment clarity that possesses you when you take your horse out on a trail. It is an exquisite sense of “now” in which you must surrender your undivided attention to the trail and the horse, no “multi-tasking” allowed. You find yourself moving to the rhythm of the animal, your awareness piqued and yet your mind is still.

From this vantage point, the trail ahead is full of beauty and awe. You may see wildlife, you may be more sensitive to the colours and textures of nature, or the way that the light plays through the trees. And the wide valley we live in here in Kelowna lends itself to majestic views when you come upon the clearings.

Whether you know what you’re doing on horseback or are new to the experience, you can treat yourself to a ride in the Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park when you saddle-up up for a trail ride at the Kelowna Stables at Myra Canyon Ranch. They offer a range of trail rides, from customized rides to classic tried-and-true excursions, to kids’ rides. Explore their website for all the information and check out their social media channels to see some beautiful photos of the trails you can explore on horseback. There is a wealth of information on this website.

If you are from out of town and enjoy travelling with your own horse, you’ll be pleased to hear that you can board your horse at this B&B, the Myra Canyon Ranch. Information on boarding is also available on their website.

If exploring our trails by foot is more your speed, be sure to visit our Hiking Information page for a listing of the trails in the Kelowna area.

Happy trails!

Joys of cherry season

Ladies and gentlemen, it is officially cherry season in Kelowna! Time to load up on the beautiful inky-red fruit and sit with a bowl full and a friend to share with – preferably somewhere shady or by the lake. Here are some of my top picks of places to find great, juicy cherries here in Kelowna.

Hillcrest Farm Market – tucked away at the “T” intersection of Highway 33 and Springfield Road, this family-owned and run orchard and farm market offers so much! Their cherries are big and bold-flavoured, and they are shipping them all over the world, but keeping a helping for us in town, too. They sell veggies and preserves from their farm market while their café offers a range of goodies from mouthwatering baked goods made by an in-house pastry chef to some seriously addicting Butter-Chicken Pizza. Just make sure that these temptations don’t distract you from the star of the day: Hillcrest’s cherries.

Sun City Cherries – On Lakeshore Road as you climb the hill toward the wineries, you’ll find Sun City Cherries on the left side of the road. I recently stopped in at this market to pick up a bag of plump, sweet Silvia cherries as I was heading to Bertram Beach to swim, and the market was already buzzing with patrons. It was a tough call, as I stood deciding which bag to get… they also have those delicious yellow cherries, and then there’s the ice cream!

Don-O-Ray Vegetables – I love visiting Don-O-Ray and seeing the cornucopia of veggies and fruit available at this market! And yes, my friends, they have cherries too! Stop in at this market on Benvoulin Road, just past KLO, and pick up some of these summer treats along with any of your other vegetable requirements for the week – you just can’t go wrong!


Arndt Orchards and Kempf Orchards – Tucked up in the scenic Belgo bench of Kelowna (Teasdale Road), Arndt Orchards has been growing cherries since 1946 and their neighbours, Kempf Orchards have been growing cherries since 1966. These orchards offers already-picked cherries or u-pick cherries. Make a morning or afternoon of the excursion, and then you get to really enjoy the fruits of your labour (pun intended) once you get back to your hammock.

Kelowna Farmers and Crafters Market – Our farmers market is in full swing and overflowing with all manner of fruit and veggie at this time of the year. With over 165 stands, it’s the biggest farmers market in the province, and you can be sure to find a whole variety of cherries at the various stands in this season.

And just because Everyone Loves Pie… here is a fabulous cherry pie recipe from Paynter’s Fruit Market in West Kelowna – another great place to find sun-kissed fruit picked by the dedicated hands of Jennay Oliver and her team of worker bees. And yes, of course – they have cherries! (And so many other wonderful fruit, including some of the best melon I have ever tasted, enormous peaches, and loads of other produce. Oh, and ice cream!)

There are many other great spots to find this tasty superfood here in Kelowna. To search for locations close to you, check out our Farm Markets and Fruit Stands page on Tourism Kelowna’s website.


Vineyard shows this summer

One of the great luxuries of our Kelowna summers must be going to see a show in the romantic setting of our verdant vineyards. This summer, a number of wineries in Kelowna have special events taking place on their magnificent grounds, spanning the disciplines of theatre, music, and art. Here are some ideas to fill your calendar with cultural happenings among the vines.


Shakespeare at the Villa:

The beautiful backdrop of the Okanagan Villa and Vibrant Vines winery are once again home to Shakespeare Kelowna as they launch their third season of Shakespeare at the Villa with performances of Much Ado About Nothing on the nights of July 16 to 20 and July 23 through 27, starting at 7 p.m. The East Kelowna winery’s stunning grounds and manicured gardens will set the stage for an evening of comedic courtship, Shakespeare-style. Plan to arrive early to check out the 3-D Vibrant Vines tasting room, taste their wines, and enjoy some Bellissimo Pizza, for sale in the wine shop, before the play starts.

Tickets for Shakespeare Kelowna’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing” presented by Castanet are on sale now for $25 at Tickets will also be available at the door on performance nights at Okanagan Villa Estate Winery located at 3240 Pooley Rd.


Encounters with Iceland at Mission Hill:

This spectacular West Kelowna winery is a hub of culture this summer, with sold-out performances by the Gypsy Kings and the iconic Tony Bennett throughout August, as well as an intriguing sculpture exhibit all around the winery’s grounds on now through October. I went to the opening of this sculpture exhibit, and it really is an incredible addition to the winery’s cultural offerings. Works by the Icelandic artist Steinunn Thórarinsdóttir are placed in well-considered spots around the winery, each one offering visitors a sense of surprise akin to a scavenger hunt. The sculptures use a variety of materials, from aluminum to clay to bronze, each chosen to convey a specific relationship with the natural environment of Iceland, and yet each one also working in perfect stride with the pieces’ new home at Mission Hill winery. To see the full exhibit, be sure to book a tour at Mission Hill next time you go since there are some pieces placed in the winery’s cellar that you won’t want to miss.


Wines and Tunes:

For those of us who love live music, the summer offers a special treat in that a number of wineries will bring the concerts outdoors among the vines. You’ll find all kinds of music in vineyard settings, from jazz or rock (like the weekend concerts at Vibrant Vines winery or CedarCreek’s sold out Chantal Kreviatzuk concert on July 17, and their sold-out Barenaked Ladies concert on September 5) to classical as I’ll explain next.


At Quails’ Gate Estate Winery on August 15, 16, and 17, audiences will be treated to a momentous production of The Lake opera. There will be only three performances of this historically significant opera, and tickets are still available through Quails’ Gate’s website, so be sure to secure your tickets. The significance of this performance is that 60 years after its debut, Barbara Pentland’s historic opera is “going home” to its actual setting, the 1873 home of British settlers Susan and John Allisons, “Sunnyside Ranch,” now Quails’ Gate Winery in West Kelowna. It promises to be an unforgettable evening of aural history based on the true life story of pioneer Susan Allison’s sighting of the creature of the lake and the vibrant contemporary culture of the Westbank First Nation set in the vineyards of Quails’ Gate Winery. The evening will feature soprano Heather Pawsey as Susan Allison and Turning Point Ensemble.

Tickets are $45 for adults, $25 for students, or a packaged reception & performance ticket for $90. There are also dinner and performance tickets available for Friday (August 15) and Saturday (August 16) evenings starting at 6 p.m. with the show time at 8 p.m. for $135. And on Sunday (August 17), a packaged ticket for brunch and the performance (starting at noon, and the show time is at 2 p.m.) for $135. Additionally, there is a Wine Dinner & Show option for $175 at which audience members can enjoy a sophisticated 3-course dinner with wine pairings at Quails Gate’s Old Vines Restaurant, which includes access to the original 1873 Allison House and VIP show seating. 


Leafy Ohmmmms:

Every Sunday morning (9 a.m. -- 11:30 a.m.) through August 31 at CedarCreek Estate Winery, come out and enjoy an hour long yoga class from an instructor of Oranj Fitness, followed by brunch in their Vineyard Pavilion. For more information, please visit CedarCreek’s website or call the winery.

Read more Ripe with Surprises articles


About the Author

Catherine is the Media Relations Manager for Tourism Kelowna and is dedicated to building Kelowna's intrigue as a travel destination through her work with the travel media. In her role she is fortunate to find out about Kelowna's many secret gems attractions, activities, and interesting people that are a surprise for travel media, tourists, and even for residents. This column gives her the chance to share with you the many things that make Kelowna unique and unforgettable so that you can glean ideas of places to visit or take guests when they come to town.

For more information visit Tourism Kelowna's blog at
[email protected]

or, on Twitter at:  @TKCatherine and @Tourism_Kelowna


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.

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