Mayor Sharon Shepherd presented Senator Fitzpatrick with the Freedom of the City award on May 26, 2008.
D. Ross Fitzpatrick
The Honourable Ross Fitzpatrick was born in 1933 to a pioneer Okanagan agricultural family. Upon graduation from UBC with a degree in Commerce and Business Administration he was appointed Research Director to the Royal Commission into the Tree Fruit Industry of British Columbia. Following completion of the Royal Commission he worked for the B.C. Tree Fruits Industry before pursuing post graduate studies.
After a successful business career founding and developing companies in aerospace, oil & gas and mining, he returned to the Okanagan in 1986 to promote value-added agriculture and founded CedarCreek Estate Winery to pioneer the planting of vinifera grapes to produce premium quality wines. CedarCreek was twice named Canada’s Winery of the Year thus focusing national recognition on Kelowna and the Okanagan Valley as a centre for the production of world class wines.
From 1998 to 2008, Ross Fitzpatrick served in the Senate of Canada representing both Canada and the Okanagan-Similkameen.
Throughout his career he has worked tirelessly to protect the environment, promote green economic development and contribute to the public and community's well-being and has received numerous awards for his work including the Order of BC awarded September 2009.