Kelowna Cemetery Tours

One of the most surprisingly, fascinating presentations we received on council so far this term happened on May 11th. It was at one of our Monday morning meetings, which are public, but rarely attended by anyone other than City Staff and Council. The workshop was on the Kelowna Cemetery and the new 25 year Master plan that was being developed. If you're truly keen on learning more about it check out the link to the full report here (pg 15 onwards): 
The presenter, from Lees and Associates, was world class and the topic was surprisingly interesting. I think most of us in the room had truly never considered the planning needs of a Cemetery before that day. Beyond the stats that approximately 512 interments need to be planned for each year between 2014 - 2038 (28% traditional and 72% cremated) the discussion included a few questions about using the Cemetery as a public space. In the report it noted that one of the aims is that the Cemetery provides multiple uses for the community. Random fact: Did you know that the Kelowna Cemetery is a designated cycle route?
What was clear was that the historical and cultural value that the cemetery brings to a community is invaluable. It was during the discussion that I learned that Kelowna Museums are starting to host tours of the Cemetery with one of our local historical buffs. Bob Hayes is a past teacher in Kelowna and is the current President of the Historical Society and he is now hosting a few tours of the cemetery telling stories on the brink of being forgotten. 
After the meeting I started making plans to catch one of the new tours that Bob Hayes is doing. 
Interestingly it came up at the Kelowna-Kasugai Sister City Association meeting I was at the following week (I'm the council rep on that board). A suggestion was made that we take a tour focused on learning more about our Japanese -Kelowna connection through the eyes of the history found in our Cemetery. Bob Hayes was generous enough to agree so early in June we took a 30 minute tour. At the bottom of this story is a straight forward video featuring the first 5 minutes of the tour.
Bob has a few more tours happening this summer and for those interested  here are the next two tours being offered. 

For our first post we feature Bob Hayes hosting one of his Cemetery Tours for @kelownamuseums. Bob was born in Kelowna...

Posted by People of Kelowna on Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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About the Author

Ryan Donn is a singer/songwriter, event producer, digital creative, and Councillor at the City of Kelowna

I love creating songs, which 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, and others.

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. 

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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