Snowbirds

Thousands of people turned out at Kelowna's Waterfront Park in August 2012 to watch a performance by the Snowbirds. The aerial demonstration team is currently doing low-level fly-bys of Canadian communities to boost citizen morale during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Snowbirds are doing low-level flights over Canadian cities to boost citizen morale during the COVID-19 pandemic, but we'll have to wait and see if the jets appear over Kelowna.

The mission, dubbed Operation Inspiration, began in the Maritimes last weekend and is working its way west. The distinctive red-and-white jets, trailing white smoke, are flying in a nine-plane formation as low as 500 feet above the ground.

On Friday, the Snowbirds were in Kingston, Ont. But full details of their itinerary are not being released due to weather considerations.

On Twitter, the Snowbirds team wrote: "We will be updating day-by-day in order to account for the inevitable Mother Nature interference. So we don't want to commit to dates in specific places more than a day in advance. It's not you, meteorologists. It's us."

Premier Justin Trudeau announced the Snowbird tour during one of his daily COVID-19 updates in late April.

"As we watch the Snowbirds fly over our homes, let's remember that we are all in this together," Trudeau said at the press conference.

Some social media users have criticized the undertaking, doubting its usefulness and cost as the pandemic goes on with people getting sick and dying.

The Snowbirds, who are based at CFB Moose Jaw, again responded cheekily on Twitter: "We would be flying regardless. Now we're just spreading the love (from a distance of course) instead of saying hello to the same farmers around Moose Jaw."

While the Snowbirds' B.C. schedule is currently unknown, they do seem to have an affinity for Kelowna. The aerial demonstration team has performed here at least four times since 2012.

"Kelowna is a great place to go in the summer," Capt. Thomas Edelson, then the Snowbirds' public affairs officer, told an interviewer in 2014. "It's a little tight and the mountains present a unique challenge because at the speeds the planes fly, the horizon can come at you pretty quick.

"(And) it's certainly one of the more beautiful spots to have a show," he said.

- With files from The Canadian Press