Local entrepreneur Mark Jennings-Bates and Lucy Lauretta, co-owner of the Giobean Espresso coffee house on Water Street, hold up happy face balloons after making Western Canada's first community "happy video," based on the Pharrell Williams song Happy, which is a huge hit in Europe. A month ago, Kelowna was ranked the eighth happiest city in Canada, according to an analysis of Instagram photos. The new video is hoping to change that.
Throughout the five-minute video, dozens of people are seen singing and dancing in a variety of locations.
Knox Mountain, Big White, The Sails sculpture, Stuart Park's ice rink - if it's a familiar Kelowna landmark, it's in the smile-inducing video, which is set to the tune of Happy, from the film Despicable Me.
"When you travel the world now and then, you realize what an amazing place Kelowna really is. We want to show it off a little," said Lucy Lauretta, owner of the Giobean Espresso coffee shop on Water Street, who came up with the idea for the video.
She enlisted the help of dozens of other people, including local entrepreneur Mark Jennings-Bates, to produce the video over a two week period.
"It wasn't hard to get the feeling we were looking for," Jennings-Bates said. "We already knew Kelowna was one of the happiest places on the planet. You can tell by the smiles and laughter in the video that it's completely natural."
Similar videos produced in other communities have attracted upward of a half-million views. Jennings-Bates hopes the Kelowna video might reach a similar number, and serve to aid in the city's tourism and marketing efforts.
To see the video, Google YouTube Kelowna Happy.