KELOWNA - Tourism Kelowna is seeking to pair area farmers with local restaurants using Buy Local funding from the B.C. government.
The $100,000 in matched funds will be used to promote and grow its "Farm To Table" program, increase visitor awareness of the program and improve its interactive website.
Tourism Kelowna works in partnership with 300 tourism businesses located within the Central Okanagan Regional District, the City of Kelowna and the District of Lake Country to increase the local economic impact of tourism.
One of the goals of the Farm To Table program will be to grow word-of-mouth and awareness of Kelowna as a centre for agri-tourism experiences and to catalyze the momentum of the buy local movement. Tourism Kelowna will offer tourism promotion guidance to area businesses and farmers who wish to be involved and will provide marketing support to promote the program.
The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns. Building the local market for British Columbia foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.
The provincial government's Buy Local program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of B.C.
Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick -
"An estimated 1.5 million people from all over the world visit Kelowna annually, many of whom will visit a local farm or orchard, tour a local winery, or dine at a local restaurant. The Farm To Table program is an excellent way to match producers with restaurants and chefs and will offer a very enjoyable way for people to discover where their food comes from."
Tourism Kelowna, president and CEO Nancy Cameron -
"We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with the government of B.C. and to take the promotion of Farm To Table in Kelowna to the next level. There is a growing curiosity in farmgate experiences and fascination with the closeness of the supply chain in Kelowna which we are working hard to build on. We feel the time is right for Kelowna's identity as an iconic Canadian agri-tourism and farm to table destination to be revealed and we look forward to putting together a vibrant marketing campaign to begin this process."
- In 2011, Kelowna's tourism industry generated $279 million in visitor spending.
- Agri-tourism is an important and growing sector in the Central Okanagan region.
- Kelowna is the birthplace of B.C.'s wine industry with the Okanagan's oldest and most established wineries located in the area.
- The Kelowna area has five distinct wine trails, showcasing more than 25 wineries plus local distilleries and breweries.
B.C. Buy Local program: http://www.gov.bc.ca/agri/buylocal.html
Tourism Kelowna: www.tourismkelowna.com
Keep up to date on the latest in B.C. foods and beverages: https://www.facebook.com/FoodsBC
Ministry of Agriculture
250 861-1515 ext. 203