It’s called a first flight celebration and Swoop is throwing one Friday at Kelowna International Airport.

Swoop, the ultra-low-cost airline that’s a subsidiary of WestJet, starts three-times-a-week service between Kelowna and Winnipeg on Friday.

Before the first Kelowna-Winnipeg flight at 12:40 p.m., there will be a welcome speech and ribbon cutting in the terminal.

As the first flight arrives from Winnipeg at 11:48 a.m., two airport fire trucks will be ready with a water cannon salute, whichinvolves the trucks spraying arcs of water over the plane as a welcome.

Swoop will fly between Kelowna and Winnipeg on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as a seasonal service that ends in the fall.

One-way fares start at $72.

Swoop expects the traffic to mostly be tourists and visiting friends and relatives with a bit of business travel thrown in.

Swoop will also start to fly between Kelowna and Las Vegas on Thursdays and Sundays on June 27.


CANsave is golden.

The team of Okanagan College students that developed the CANsave concept of teaching kindergarten and elementary-school kids about good and bad debt won the gold medal in the Canadian Western Bank education category at the Canadian Enactus National Championships in Vancouver.

The team is made up of business students Zachary Plaxton, Carmen Larder, Iris Pham and Mitchell Folk.

Since launch in 2016, CANsave’s budgeting, saving and debt lessons have been taught to 33,000 students in 100 communities.

Enactus has clubs in post-secondary institutions across the country that work on projects that hone the business skills of students while doing good in the community.

Another Okanagan College team, FruitSnaps, picked up the Hellmann’s Real Food Rescue Best New Project award for their business taking fruit that would otherwise be thrown out to make healthy and delicious snacks.

The team is made up of Abby Lagerquist, Jessica Egyed, Karsten Ensz, Relan Johanson and Sean Rossouw.

Lagerquist also won project leader of the year award for her work on FruitSnaps.

And Egyed received a founder’s bursary worth $2,500 for her FruitSnaps work.


Legal marijuana is becoming such an economic force that the Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is putting together a second annual Business of Cannabis luncheon.

The June 25 lunch at the Coast Capri Hotel will feature a panel made up of Terry Lake of Hexo Corp., Dan Winer of Starbuds, Lyle Oberg of Flowr and Peter Guo of B.C. Cannabis Advisory Team.

The panel will discuss the upcoming retail cannabis surge, the expected shortage of pot, investing in cannabis, financial consolidation and the uncertainty around the approval of edibles.

Tickets at


Speaking of pot, Everest BioPharma has received approval from Health Canada to build and start up a cannabis extraction plant in Kelowna.

Production of cannabis oil is expected to start in September.

The oil can be used in drops that are taken orally, soft gels, other edibles, vapes, creams, lotions and health products for pets and animals.

The Okanagan has become a cannabis hotspot.

There are two other cannabis oil extraction companies in Kelowna, MediPharm Labs and Valens GroWorks.

Vitalis Extraction Technology in Kelowna makes equipment that’s exported worldwide to render cannabis into essential oils.

There are four big pot production companies – Flowr, Doja, THC BioMed and True Leaf.

Innovate Clinical Centres is opening soon in Kelowna to do clinical studies for the cannabis and pharmaceutical industries.


Canada wants to become one of the 10 most visited countries by 2025.

But with a current ranking of No. 17, Canada will have to leap frog over the likes of Poland, Greece, Russia, Austria, Malaysia and Hong Kong to crack a top 10 currently occupied by France at No. 1, followed by Spain, the U.S., China, Italy, Mexico, the U.K., Turkey, Germany and Thailand.

Federal Tourism Minister Melanie Joly will be in the Okanagan on Thursday to discuss Canada’s new tourism strategy at a breakfast in Armstrong and a lunch in Penticton.

The strategy also includes encouraging innovation the tourism sector and aggressive marketing campaigns to lure foreign visitors as well as convince Canadians to holiday in other parts of the country.

The Armstrong breakfast is at Fiarways Bistro.

Tickets $19 at

The lunch is at the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre.

Tickets $29 at


Steve MacNaull is The Daily Courier’s business reporter and columnist. Reach him at

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