Kelowna exceeds goal in Volunteer Challenge

February 2, 2018

In January 2017, Kelowna residents and organizations embarked on a year-long journey to collectively volunteer 150,000 hours in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.

The hours are in – and not only did Kelowna residents reach the goal, they exceeded it with a final count of 210, 807 hours.

“I’m really pleased that so many residents took the time out of their busy lives to volunteer in 2017,” said Mariko Siggers, Community & Neighbourhood Services Manager. “We have so many generous residents who are full of community spirit – and that’s been really special to see. I hope new volunteers have enjoyed the experience and keep it up.”

Another highlight of Canada’s 150th birthday was the Sesquicentennial Grant. Several local organizations were recipients of funding for projects related to the milestone.

Okanagan College established a 6,000-square-foot indigenous garden called the na’ʔk’ʷulamən Garden on their Kelowna campus. The garden features 50 varieties of Okanagan plants, shrubs, trees and rocks, and is home to artwork designed and provided by local indigenous artists.

The Kelowna Art Gallery brought together significant Canadian works of art from private collections throughout the Okanagan for visitors to view. The selection included artwork from artists such as Emily Carr, Lawren Harris and Jack Bush.

The Kelowna Dragon Boat Society, with the help of Kelowna City Council, has established a Kelowna Paddle Trail – a water path created along the Okanagan Lake foreshore. The trail will be coordinated with public beach access spanning from McKinley Beach to Bertram Creek Regional Park. The trail will have its official grand opening in the spring.

Council will be receiving a final Canada 150 report on Feb. 19. Interested residents can watch the report live on

For more information on Canada 150, including the Volunteer Challenge and other Sesquicentennial Grant recipients, visit