Okanagan Organic Festival

It’s one of four hallmark events in B.C. for Organic Week and a real feather in the cap for the Canadian organic movement. The 10th Annual Okanagan Organic Festival converges on Summerhill Pyramid Winery this September 27th and it’s bringing an important message to its ever-growing band of committed patrons and organic fans. It is possible to create an entirely organic Okanagan Valley.

While organizer Wendy Wright, of the Okanagan Greens Society, admits it sounds a little crazy on first blush, the group contends this region is actually one of the best places to start an all organic movement. Not only are growing conditions in the valley pretty supreme from a weather perspective, but the Okanagan has relatively few pests and a real motivating factor: protecting the big, beautiful lake the organic festival is so conveniently perched over.

Stephen Cipes will be part of the group introducing the entirely organic Okanagan Valley concept in what Wright has described as “a declaration.” As founder of Summerhill Pyramid Winery, Cipes is an early adopter of the organic movement and is celebrating his 29th year of operating an organic, and now biodynamic, winery. He has been on the forefront of the organic push in the area for years and his passion will surely fuel lively discussion, particularly with the fascinating line up of politicized speakers.

On hand to provide the educational component of the day, Tirso Gonzales, a Peruvian Aymara activist and scholar, will talk about his work on indigenous communities, their connection to the environment and climate change, and Vic MacDonald, one of the leading authorities on honeybees, will provide information on the theme of the day: Bee Organic.

For those who just want to get out and enjoy a morning of healthy living in the warm fall air, this is also a great place to catch some live music and an organic brunch. The Organic Festival has its own Certified Organic Food Court with close to 40 exhibitors showcasing everything from organic skin care to the wide variety of things one can do with honey. Both Vernon’s Planet Bee Honeyfarm & Meadery and Meadow Vista Honey Wines will be on hand. And as for my personal passion, the Organic Festival has become a strong supporter of the local live music scene with Tiger Moon playing, Rainbow Rhythms, the Makwala Kekuli Drum Circle, roots musician Lowell Friesen, Niki Martinus, and bluegrass band The Trips all taking a turn on stage.

The event runs Sunday, Sept. 27 from 10 am - 4 pm and admission is $10, or $8 if you walk or cycle, and children under 12 are free.

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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. 

To connect with Ryan:

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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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