With domestic and international air travel down more than 90 per cent since March 2020, COVID-19 has devastated Canada’s travel and tourism industry, including Indigenous tourism.
Indigenous World Winery was one of nine Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada to receive a $10,000 grant from WestJet and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada to support the recovery of their businesses as the industry looks to welcome back domestic and international travellers in the months ahead.
Bernice and Robert Louie, owners of Indigenous World, offer world-class wines made from fruit from the land that has supported the Syilx people for 10,000 years.
The grants were given to Indigenous tourism businesses that were shut down or saw their revenues dramatically decline due to COVID-19.
As a result of COVID-19 and the border restrictions, the winery lost the majority of their foot traffic business. Despite quickly adapting to online sales, the lack of tourist traffic cut deep. The winery’s restaurant, the Red Fox Club closed permanently and a new concept will be coming this year.
The grants had been earmarked through the WestJet/ITAC strategic national partnership, which sees the airline support Indigenous tourism organizations by spotlighting Indigenous peoples’ culture and history while bringing global audiences to take part in Indigenous tourism experiences.
Town hall with Erin O’Toole
Have your voice heard by the Leader of the Official Opposition of Canada as Erin O’Toole will be speaking on Securing Canada’s Future at a virtual regional town hall Friday from noon to 1 p.m.
The leader of the Conservative Party will share his vision for Canada’s future, focused on rebuilding the economy and safely getting Canadians back to work.
Hear what his priorities indicate for Okanagan organizations that are facing significant challenges as a result of COVID-19.
The event is co-presented by OK We Got This, the Okanagan chambers and boards of trade. Register online through gwboardoftrade.com/events-list to receive the Zoom link.
Wise Words workshop
A Greater Westside Board of Trade Wise Words workshop on using social media to get messages out takes place online June 30 from 7:30 to 8 a.m. with John Whitehead from John K. Whitehead and Associates will lead the session. Register online at gwboardoftrade.com/events-list.
Music classes for summer
Children’s Piano-Arts Corner Studio is offering summer sessions throughout July and August with flex times for kids to safely explore the world of music, piano and the arts.
Sessions can be booked according to whatever time suits the family’s schedule. The fun, inspiring and creative individualized in-studio sessions ignite the senses, spark the imagination and are catered to the child's age, level, abilities and potential.
Kids have a chance to use the summer to enjoy learning at a relaxed pace while opening doors to discover new ideas and get a head start into potential fall curriculum studies.
The studio continues to adhere to strict health protocols. For details, go online to childrenspiano-artscorner.com or call 250-768-1404.
Two Eagles sticking to golf
Former Westbank First Nation Chief Ron Derrickson has taken over Two Eagles Golf Course and Academy again. The course had been leased to K West Development Corp.
Derrickson said he is not contemplating making changes at the course in the near future.
“I don’t intend to do anything except keep it as a first-class restaurant and golf course,” he said.
Golf prizes to be raffled off
Habitat for Humanity has launched a fundraising raffle with some great golf-related prizes.
First prize is one round of golf for four with power cart and dinner at Predator Ridge Resort. The winner and their golf party will also receive a private golf lesson with Dick Zokol, two-time PGA Tour winner.
Second prize is a PlayGolfKelowna tour pack; third prize wins two rounds of golf with a power cart at the Harvest Golf Club.
Tickets cost $10 each or three for $20. Only 2,600 tickets will be sold. The draw for will take place July 30.
You can buy raffle tickets at all four Habitat ReStore locations, including West Kelowna.
As well, you can buy raffle tickets June 26 and Saturdays in July at the West Kelowna Canadian Tire.
Barb Aguiar’s business column appears every two weeks in the Westside Weekly. Call 250-768-0129 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.