Meet me on Bernard…returns next summer!

September 2, 2021

News Release

As summer unofficially wraps this Labour Day long weekend, so does the inaugural season of Meet me on Bernard supported by Rogers. 

“Meet me of Bernard made our downtown a great place to gather and enjoy pedestrian access to hundreds of local, independent businesses,” said Mayor Colin Basran in a brief video, which also outlines plans for the sidewalk seating program for the autumn.

Monday Sept. 6 will be the final full day of the 10-week open street program, which saw patios, public art, parklets and ample space for pedestrians along four blocks of Bernard leading to the waterfront for the duration of the summer. 

Meet me on Bernard is made possible thanks to the generous support of community sponsors including Rogers Communications, the Mission Group and ValleyFirst, a Division of First West Credit Union.

“We know how important local, independent businesses are to our economy in Kelowna, and we’re proud to partner with the City of Kelowna on this innovative, member-centric initiative,” says Paulo Araujo, President of Valley First.  “Communities make each other stronger through partnership— and when we can come together to support local business, it benefits us all.”

Bernard Avenue will reopen to motorists by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9. The road will remain closed to vehicle traffic on Tuesday and Wednesday for takedown, however, area businesses remain open and available to the public.

The sidewalk seating program will also extend into the fall to continue to provide added space for local businesses amid ongoing public health orders and associated restrictions.

“Having a flexible program in place has been key to create safe pedestrian zones and ensure businesses are able to maximize their services among shifting health restrictions that we’re continuing to see even today,” says Chris Babcock, Event Development Supervisor for the City of Kelowna.

Meet me on Bernard is a collaborative initiative by the Downtown Kelowna Association, Tourism Kelowna and City of Kelowna. The initiative will return to Bernard Avenue next summer. Residents are welcome to submit feedback about the first year of the program through an online survey hosted by Tourism Kelowna.

Sponsorship and advertising opportunities are available to enhance initiatives like these as well as facilities, programs, and resident services. To learn more about becoming a sponsor, visit kelowna.ca/sponsorships.