Western Canada's top artists set to return to Kelowna next year

BreakOut West set to return

BreakOut West is returning to Kelowna for its third year in 2023.

The four-day, three-night music industry conference and festival will once again take over downtown Kelowna next October, bringing top musical talent from across Western Canada to the city.

The long-running event is hosted in a different Western Canadian city every year, with this year's held in Calgary. Kelowna has played host to BreakOut West in 2018 and 2010.

"Kelowna has had massive success in hosting BreakOut West in the past. The event has enabled us to showcase our local artists and unique venues and further establish Kelowna as a community that loves live music,” said Karma Lacoff Nieoczym, executive director with Creative Okanagan and host chair.

“MusicBC has strongly supported us in submitting the bid. We look forward to offering our local musicians opportunities to perform at the festival, attend the conference, and submit entries for the Western Canadian Music Awards.”

More than 50 of Western Canada's top emerging artists will descend upon Kelowna from Oct. 11 to 15, along with some international acts as well.

The last time BreakOut West came to town, artists played at several different venues including BNA Brewing Company, Craft Beer Market, Doc Willoughby's Public House, DOJA Coffee Shop, Fernando's Pub, The Grateful Fed Pub & Restaurant, Milkcrate Records, Muninn's Post, New Arts Collective, Sapphire Nightclub.

But over the past four years, Kelowna has seen a number these venues disappear, including Doc's, DOJA, Fernando's, The Grateful Fed, Milkcrate, Muninn's Post and Sapphire. But venues like Red Bird Brewing and the recently-approved Revelry have been working to fill in those gaps.

The venues for the October 2023 festival have not yet been announced.

Following the 2018 BreakOut West in Kelowna, Executive Director of BreakOut West Robyn Stewart said it was the best one they'd had to date, with the 1,200 festival wristbands selling out completely by the Saturday.

At the time, Stewart noted Kelowna's downtown walkability made it easy for attendees to see shows at several different venues in one night.

In addition to the live music aspect, BreakOut West also includes the music development conference, where artists can meet other industry professionals and attend seminars about the business side of the industry. The event will also include the Western Canadian Music Awards.

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