How Kelowna Reinvented Itself
Kelowna has taken on a decidedly younger flair having dramatically changed the retention of young and talented individuals to the region. Formerly known for its orchards, wine, and summer tourism, Kelowna is growing with an established tech sector, influential university and appealing real estate market.
Kelowna has an exceptionally growing population drawn by the local year round lifestyle amenities, along with a leading technology sector that young professionals are finding the ultimate appeal to their work life balance. Established tech companies are in the region due in part from the success of the startup incubator Accelerate Okanagan, which offers a broad range of support resources and tech startups.
Technology related disciplines have further streamed from the University of British Columbia Okanagan, (UBCO) which has been in the Valley for almost 10 years. From its inception UBCO has fostered areas of study particularly in education and medicine; with a student population of over 8,500 including a faculty and support staff accounting for nearing 1000.
Ease of transportation has greatly influenced the accessibility to the region, notably from the continued growth of the Kelowna International Airport (YLW). Destinations such as Vancouver and Calgary are serviced frequently throughout the day, now even major carriers from the U.S. service direct flights to popular tourist and sun destinations.
Challenges lay ahead for Kelowna. As it continues to grow with prosperity, the city will encounter roadblocks, including urban sprawl issues, public transit, and homelessness. New Mayor Collin Basran, another young influencer looks to manage these issues by tackling their root causes.
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