Our Sports & Events department contributed to Kelowna’s national prominence in 2012, winning four of six bids produced, implementing our Events Fund and strengthening our connections to decision makers within the Canadian sport system and event planners – see list of events below.
Our sales strategy focused on attending meetings and trade shows and hosting familiarization (FAM) tours so event planners hear directly from us or see for themselves what Kelowna has to offer. Our department went to the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance (CSTA) Sport Events Congress in Richmond and hosted three FAM tours in 2012. We pursued the North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation (NORCECA) before it decided to meet in Toronto.
By supporting events such as the CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game and ITF Kelowna Tennis Futures through our Events Fund, more national broadcasters and sport organizations experienced Kelowna first hand. Our Events Fund helped planners attract 1,712 participants and 23,500 spectators and generate 1,995 room nights through four 2012 events.
Positive reviews from these events will only help Tourism Kelowna as we continue to sell Kelowna as a sport and cultural event host city.
Events Secured with assistance from Tourism Kelowna:
- Kelowna Apple Loppet – event kit provided
- CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game – TK funding provided
- BC Seniors Curling Championship – SEDG funding, welcome package provided
- BC Grade 9 Girls Basketball Championship – bid produced, SEDG funding provided
- BC Midget Tier 1 Hockey Championship – SEDG funding provided
- Western Canadian Ringette Championship – bid produced, letter of support (Hosting BC funding), photography, welcome package provided
- BC Masters Badminton Championship – pitch made, SEDG funding, welcome package provided
- Male U16 BC Cup Hockey — bid produced, event kit, partner referral, sponsorship samples provided
- Okanagan Wheelchair Basketball Jam – welcome package provided
- Skate Canada International – FAM Tour hosted, partner referral provided
- Kelowna Wine Country Half Marathon (Destination Races) – pitch made, bid produced, FAM Tour hosted
- Canadian Masters Swimming Championship – SEDG funding, letter of support (Hosting BC funding), photography, welcome package provided
- BC Flag Football Championship – SEDG funding, partner referral provided
- BC A High School Girls Soccer Championship – SEDG funding provided
- ITF Kelowna Tennis Futures – TK funding, partner referral, welcome package provided
- Curl BC Rockslide Junior Camp – event kit, partner referral provided
- Youth B Cup Girls Soccer Provincials – bid produced, dignitaries invited, event kit, partner referral, SEDG funding, videography, welcome package provided
- Keloha Music & Arts Festival – TK funding, videography provided
- ShotoCanada Karate Camp – videography provided
- Toronto Blue Jays Baseball Camp – videography provided
- SS Rodeo Banked Track Roller Derby – videography provided
- GranFondo Kelowna – on-site visitor information, videography, welcome package provided
- Across the Lake Swim – videography provided
- TRiKiDS Triathlon – partner referral, videography provided
- Western Canadian Ball Hockey Championship – pitch made, SEDG funding, partner referral, videography provided
- Kelowna Dragon Boat Club Races – pitch made, videography provided
- BC Junior Baseball Championship – SEDG funding provided
- BC Senior Master Men’s Fastball Championship – videography provided
- BC Peewee A Baseball Championship – SEDG funding, partner referral provided
- Canadian Junior Bowls Championship and World Cup Selection – bid produced, SEDG funding provided, dignitaries invited
- FINA Open Water Swim (Swim BC) – FAM Tour hosted, partner referral provided
- KSS Best of the West Volleyball – TK funding provided
- Canadian University Ultimate Championship – bid produced, SEDG funding, welcome package provided
- Racquetball Canada National Team Selection – welcome package provided
- BC High School Boys Volleyball Championship – SEDG funding provided, dignitaries invited
SEDG – Sport Event Development Grant (applications received, recommendations made)
- New Event Leads generated: 11
- Lead Room Nights generated: 11,193
Looking ahead to 2013, our Sports & Events department plans to identify and pursue event opportunities using facility research by JF Group, work closely with the City of Kelowna in piloting a new Events & Festivals Framework and intensify our focus on food, wine and cultural events.
In addition to landing the first international Wine Country Half Marathon in Kelowna, we secured a site for Swim BC’s Board of Directors and pitched the Thompson Okanagan Ringette League on a 50th anniversary event for Ringette Canada. We expect continued interest in our Events Fund, coming off a record 14 applications in our last intake of 2012.