November brings the preparation of holiday events in Kelowna! Christmas markets start in November, which makes it the perfect time to start holiday shopping. 

Holiday events in Kelowna often begin with the Christmas markets. Showcasing local vendors and makers, there are so many great markets to attend this November to jumpstart your shopping. Along with markets, there are lots of family-friendly activities and time to spend meaningful time with those closest to you. There are many holiday events in Kelowna during the holiday season that are in support of good causes, such as local charities and the BC children’s hospital.

  • Craft Culture Holiday Magic Market

With over 60 vendors, the Craft Culture Holiday Magic Market at the Rotary Centre for Arts on November 12 and 13th is a must for holiday events in Kelowna. The market will be full of handmade local items, which make gift-giving or even a gift for yourself so special. The market’s admission is by donation only with partial proceeds going to the local charity, Mamas for Mamas; poverty relief for mothers and caregivers in crisis. 

  • East Kelowna Market Christmas in the Country

The tranquilizing feel of country life meets the South East Kelowna market this November. On November 13th and 27th, you can venture to the South East Kelowna Hall to enjoy a country Christmas market with over 45 local vendors. Ranging from food, music, crafters, and artisans there are attractions for everyone. 

  • Festival of Trees

In support of the BC children’s hospital foundation focusing on funding pediatric diabetes research, the annual Festival of Trees is essential for holiday events in Kelowna. Hosted at the Delta Grand Okanagan and Mission Hill Family Estates, it is an all-day, free event starting on November 18th going into the new year ending on January 3rd. Take pleasure in the beautifully decorated trees for a good cause and vote on your favorite tree. 

  • Family Winter Fest

On November 26th, another holiday event in Kelowna starts at the Parkinson Recreation Centre. With a variety of indoor and outdoor events, photos with Santa, food trucks, and a holiday craft fair this is a free festive event to enjoy!

These holiday events in Kelowna during November are just the start of the joyful holiday season. Supporting local is a key value at Vrecko Real Estate Group. Support your local realtors at Vrecko Real Estate Group this holiday season when selling or buying a home.

Christmas is the time to give back. QVA’s 12 Days of Giving campaign will highlight important roles non-profits have in our community and how you can support them during this season. Beginning today, for 12 days we will feature charitable organizations that are close to our hearts.

Consider joining us in this endeavor and support these organizations who help those in need and experience the spirit of selflessness and generosity this season! Follow us from today through the 24th of December and be empowered to make a difference. Each of the non-profits represent causes that our team members are passionate about.

Keep following through our social media platforms to know more about these charitable organizations and spread some love and cheer to someone in need this Christmas!

 

Day 1 – Central Okanagan Food Bank

Okanagan Food Bank LogoThe Central Okanagan Food Bank is a non-profit charitable organization that’s committed to provide nutritious meals in the hope for a brighter future. With your support, the families who need it the most will obtain access to healthy meals. Help set up a family’s Christmas table this season by donating here.

 

Day 2 – Kelowna Salvation Army

Kettle Bell CampaignDonate at your local Kettle sites or online to help the Kelowna Salvation Army. There are many families in need this holiday season. The funds raised during Christmas aids Salvation Army’s programs and services throughout the entire year 2022, making access to everyday needs like food, clothing, and shelter. To donate online click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 3 – BC SPCA

BC SPCA

Each year BC SPCA finds loving homes for thousands of animals. Especially at this time of year, it is wonderful to help find forever homes for animals in shelters. Help make their holidays merrier this season by way of adoption or by making a financial donation. To find out more ways to help, click here.

 

Day 4 – Autism Okanagan

Sensitive Santa 2021Autism Okanagan is an organization that helps improve the quality of life for individuals and families living with Autism. Every year Quincy Vrecko & Associates in association with Autism Okanagan organizes events such as Sensitive Santa where the children get to meet and greet Santa in an atmosphere where they feel comfortable and relaxed. Autism Okanagan assists families by way of providing information, resources, education, training, programs, and activities in an autism-friendly environment throughout the Okanagan. To learn more about Autism Okanagan and donate click here.

 

Day 5 – Plan International Canada

Plan International CanadaPlan International Canada is a member of a global organization dedicated to advancing children’s rights and equality for girls. Many charitable giving programs direct your donation as they see fit. Through Plan International Canada’s Gifts of Hope, your donation goes to the gift specifically chosen by you. See the change you want to see and create a positive impact on real lives this season! Check out the gift guide here.

 

Day 6 – Mamas for Mamas

Mamas for MamasFor the 6th day of our 12 Days of Giving campaign we feature Mamas for Mamas, a national charitable organization that supports mothers and caregivers in crisis by providing ongoing support to individuals and families facing various poverty-related struggles. Through their Christmas donor support programme you can provide a Christmas Hamper to a family in need! To know more about the programme and donate click here.

 

Day 7 – Canadian Cancer Society

Canadian-Cancer-Society-LogoThe Canadian Cancer Society is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. Your donation will help fund groundbreaking research, support, and advocacy efforts. This holiday season, make a contribution to support people living with cancer. To know more about the organization and donate, click here.

 

Day 8 – Heart & Stroke

Heart and StrokeHeart & Stroke has been dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. Funds raised support life-saving research, health promotion and advocacy efforts that help Heart & Stroke meet the mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery. To learn more and donate click here.

 

 

Day 9 – Pathways Abilities Society

Pathway AbilitiesPathways Abilities Society is a not-for-profit organization that provides services to adults and youth with diverse abilities. They embrace, empower and employ these individuals enabling them to live and work independently. To learn more and donate, click here.

 

 

 

Day 10 – Ronald McDonald House Charities Canada

RMHCIn Canada, many families must travel long distances for their child to receive medical treatment. With only 16 specialty children’s hospitals in the country, families leave their homes, their jobs and community support at a time when they need them the most. Through your donation, it will help RMHC keep families together and close to their seriously ill child being treated in the hospital. Have a meaningful impact on families from your community. To learn more and donate click here

 

Day 11 – KGH Foundation

KGH Foundation Logo QVAThe Kelowna General Hospital (KGH) Foundation is a charitable organization dedicated to enhancing health care within the central Okanagan Valley. There are many ways to give, to support a regional or local health care initiative that fits for you. To learn more and donate click here.

 

Children's miracle Network QVADay 12 – Children’s Miracle Network

Children’s Miracle Network raises funds and awareness for 170 member hospitals, 14 of which are in Canada. Donations stay local to fund critical treatments and healthcare services, pediatric medical equipment and research. Its various fundraising partners and programs support the nonprofit’s mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. To donate click here.

It’s finally December and we are already in the Christmas cheer and thinking of ways to fill the weekends in Kelowna this holiday season. We have got a selection of some of the best things to do in Kelowna; events that are offering safe Christmas experiences for families this year. Here are the top 5!

1. Mission Hill Tree Festival

In support of BC Children’s Hospital and their Healthy Minds Centre, Mission Hill Winery is currently underway with its 5th Annual Season of Trees. The event will be running until the 23rd of December. Those guests that book a Season of Trees Tasting on Sundays can also visit the evergreen pop-up market on the Loggia showcasing many local vendors and artisans.

2. Kettle Valley Santa Parade

Lace-up your boots to witness the annual “Macy’s Christmas Parade” of Kettle Valley! The Santa Clause Parade will surely impress both children and adults! The parade will set off on the 11th of December from 5 PM via Quilchena Dr and McCarren Ave, continued by a photo session with Santa and friends at the Kettle Valley Public on Main Pub. This annual event is organized in support of the Central Okanagan Food Bank and the Youth Recovery Centre. Don’t miss out on this event!

3. Stuart Park Skating Rink

The Stuart Park skating rink is the centerpiece for the downtown being the city’s most picturesque spot for an outdoor skate. Skating at the Stuart Park has been a popular winter tradition in Kelowna every Christmas season. This year, COVID – 19 safety measures are taken into consideration, and therefore residents can check the crowd conditions beforehand through a live cam. The rink will be open daily from 6 AM until 11 PM for three months before it shuts down in late February.

4. Festive Market at Quails Gate

Enjoy this holiday season at Okanagan’s, one of the festive vineyards! Make a quick visit to Quails Gate Winery this December. Stay cozy around the fire with some complimentary mulled wine while enjoying the local entertainment and local shopping experience. Head to the artisan market to check out some local cheeses and desserts that could be perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones! The festive shop is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 8 PM until the 18th of December.

5. Christmas events at O’keefe Ranch

The Victorian Christmas at O’Keefe ranch returns once again this year! A few minutes drive from the city, the ranch has a lot to offer during the holiday season. You will be welcomed by beautifully decorated heritage buildings, Santa Clause, wagon rides and live music. Head to the General store for some amazing baked goods and hot drinks. While enjoying Christmas caroling you can roasted chestnuts, Christmas contests and much more. The ranch will be open for guests on the weekends till 19th December from 10 AM to 4 PM.

 

Shop Local

This year, due to concerns about the supply chain, online shopping and lots of delayed shipping experiences, holiday shopping might be a little overwhelming and stressful. Here are some QVA recommendations to shop local. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

 

 

 

 

Quincy and I are happy to announce that Sensitive Santa will once again make a stop in Kelowna this year! Sensitive Santa visit is a private one-on-one meet and greet moment for children who have sensory sensitivities to have memories that can be cherished forever. This initiative is possible with the continuous support of the Orchard Park Mall and Autism Okanagan for families living with a loved one on the Autism spectrum to meet Santa in a sensory-friendly environment.

The idea of creating Sensitive Santa came up to Quincy and I after seeing our son Paxton who has autism, found it difficult to enjoy a visit with Santa amidst large, loud crowds and bright lights at the local mall. We realized organizing an event like this would not only benefit our son, but also all families living with a child who has sensory sensitivities. With the immense support of the Orchard Park Mall and Autism Okanagan we are now able to control the environment and make it possible where children can meet Santa in an atmosphere where they feel comfortable and relaxed.

The event ensures:
  • After hours-in order to prevent large crowds
  • Appointment only visits – A private 5 minute session for each family so no waiting time!
  • Turn off the music and dim the lights – To enhance sensory-sensitive environment

Autism Spectrum Disorder (known as ASD) is a range of conditions. They are characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication.  In Canada, 1 in 68 children are currently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.  This makes Autism the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada.

2020 was a tough year for all of us. With the pandemic, we had to sadly cancel our 2020 Sensitive Santa visit due to safety measures. This year we are optimistic and look forward to embrace the magic of Christmas with COVID -19 protocols taken into consideration.

Sensitive Santa 2021

Sensitive Santa will visit Orchard Park mall on the 5th and 12th of December from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. The visits are by appointment only through prior registration. To reserve your spot visit https://sensitivesantaokanagan.ca/register/ today!

 

Tracey Vrecko

The 2021 Real Estate market has been like never before, and the prices of homes have experienced a huge jump overall with some of the lowest inventory we have seen. Big White is no exception: Steve Hyndman specializes in recreation properties and gives us the inside look into the Big White market, what has caused this shift and what we can expect to see as a result of this crazy market!

Big White real estate market QVA

How has the Big White Market Changed in 2021?

Before the pandemic, Big White had a very balanced market, I would even say it was a buyer’s market. Due to covid, Big White sales have started to explode and that has caused inventory to dry up.

 

 

 

What has caused this shift in the 2021 Big White Real Estate Market?

 

  • The Rental Market is Hot 

Many factors have contributed to the shift we are seeing in the 2021 Big White market. The pandemic has caused many of the people that currently own Big White properties to rethink listing in the current climate. Since Big White is a winter recreational resort, they are usually secondary properties and tend to bring in great rental income, especially now that the rent has gone up due to more people staying local and travel has become less frequent.

Big White real estate market

  • Out of Town Buyers

Another major factor in the low inventory is a high number of out-of-town buyers that are ‘safe haven’ buying. Big white is a great place to self-isolate and offers guaranteed rental income. The pandemic has caused interest rates to go down, and that has a huge effect on the movement of Big White properties as well.

  • Low-Interest Rate

Because the interest rate is so low right now, it is making recreation properties more serviceable in terms of debt load, and this is causing buyers from all over a jump on the opportunity!

  • Small Market

Big White has always been a smaller market and it is a great selling point. A lot of people buy at Big White because it provides a great feeling of community, has some of the best Ski-in & Ski-out properties, and is close to major cities. Big white being a small resort has caused it to be very reactionary to the changes we have been seeing in the 2021 Real Estate Market overall.

How do you think Big White will continue to be affected?

Big White has always been a more affordable option in the Okanagan, but recently it has exceeded the last market peak in 2008. In the past 8 to 10 years, there hasn’t been much development, and I predict this will change in the next 2 to 5 years. Prices at  Big White are back up but there have not been any new builds, meaning no new inventory has been added to the market in almost a decade! That sounds like an untapped opportunity. I think you can expect to see new developments and expansion at Big White.

 

 

Being Home for the Holidays is the perfect time to try some of the great local restaurants we have here in Kelowna this holiday season. Make sure to take a break from all of that Christmas shopping and check out their happy hour.

Raudz Micro bites

Nothing like daily happy hour at a spot that has not only great drinks but delicious food as well. Microbar + bites specialize in global plates, charcuterie & cocktails with an international touch.  Micro bites + bar have made a small space, great. With every fixture and tabletop a piece of art it is a go-to if you are home for the holidays this season.

Location: 1500 Water St, Kelowna, BC

 

BNA Brewing Co. – Eatery

In the building that used to house The British North American Tobacco Company, BNA is a brewer + eatery that is devoted to celebrating the history of 1250 Ellis Street. With the history sprouts a Rustic brewer + eatery with great energy and even better food, there is no better combo for the holidays

Location: 1250 Ellis Street, Kelowna, B.C

 

Krafty Kitchen + Bar 

Krafty Kitchen +Bar is a casual eatery and bar that believes in High-quality food in an upbeat and social atmosphere. All of their ingredients are farm to table, minimally processed and handled with the utmost care. If you are home for the holidays make sure to take a break from all that Christmas shopping and stop in for a beer and an appy

 

Location: 281 Lawrence Ave, Kelowna, BC

 

Salt and Brick

Salt and Brick Is a culinary experience like none other, there are fresh sheet menus created daily with one of a kind food and 101 local wines there is something for everyone. Salt and brick feature wines with a special focus on the smaller wineries that one would not experience on a trip to the Okanagan. Salt and brick is located on Bernard Avenue, the hotspot of Kelowna making it a perfect spot to stop if you’re home this holiday season

Location: 243 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, BC

 

Waterfront Wines

Waterfront Wines Kelowna

Waterfront Wines uses only fresh, local ingredients in each of their delicious and creative dishes, they even have a list of all the local farms they use in their dishes every day!. They are committed to making your dining experience exceptional and approachable. Waterfront Wines was named  ‘Best Okanagan Restaurant’ at the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards the last eleven years in a row so they must be doing something right!

Location: 1180 Sunset Dr #104, Kelowna, BC

 

If you are looking for Kelowna real estate within close proximity of great events and restaurants, contact the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates. Our team of professional Kelowna real estate agents is ready to assist you with your next Kelowna home purchase. 

Being Home for the Holidays can be a bit overwhelming with all the events, shopping and family suppers, here at Quincy Vrecko and Associates we thought we would try and make the holiday season a little less stressfull so you can truly enjoy this cheerful time.

Morgane

Morgane is located in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia. This Woman Clothing store has a vision to always provide a personal and enthusiastic styling experience. Morgane will help you look good and feel comfortable in the clothing you wear no matter where or what you are doing. This Boutique perfect place to stop by if you are home for the holidays

 

Location:1393 Ellis St, Kelowna, B.C

 

European Goldsmith

European Goldsmiths was founded by John and Kim Berg in 1996, European Goldsmith Fine Jewellery is a family-owned and operated jewelry store in Kelowna, BC. Their warm and welcoming staff truly love the industry and appreciate the ability to be part of your special moment. When you visit European Goldsmith, you get to discover what feelings look like.

Location: 109 – 2900 Pandosy St, Kelowna, B.C

 

Macdermott’s

MacDermott’s has been the luxury shopping destination in Kelowna since 1995 and has been a one-stop-shop for modern men’s business wear ever since. This beautiful shop carries a large selection of premium brands and was voted ‘Best in Men’s Clothing in Kelowna’ for multiple years, MacDermott’s reputation for modern style and customer service is what makes it a need to see if you are home for the holidays this season 

Location:565 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, B.C

 

 

Karat Chocolate and Pastry Boutique

Karat Chocolate and Pastry Boutique located in the Heart of Kelowna this magnificent small-batch chocolate company focuses on bringing you the freshest essentials to make your day perfect. Each bar and chocolate is carefully crafted and wrapped by hand. If you are home for the holidays this season make sure to treat yourself to a cup of Phil & Sabastian coffee and some Signature Karat Chocolates

  Location: 1526 Ellis Street, Kelowna, B.C

Mosiac Kelowna

Mosiac Book Store

Mosiac Book Store carries over 6,000 bargain-priced books that are generally 50-70% off the list price, this includes new releases and popular sellers. This book store doesn’t stop at books, they carry jigsaw puzzles and board games too!

Location: 411 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna, BC

 

Lakehouse Downtown Kelowna

LAKEHOUSE

LAKEHOUSE is a family-owned and operated “lifestyle store”, combining unique ingredients to create an exceptional and unexpected experience. Thye have sourced hundreds of suppliers from around the world to bring the people of Kelowna a fresh new style. LAKEHOUSE has something for everyone including kitchen, furniture, home décor, wine and bar, and giftware.

  Locations: 100 – 510 Bernard Ave, Kelowna, B.C + 1264 Ellis Street, Kelowna, B.C

 

Staying home for the holidays is always such a nice treat, no worry about traveling, no stress about the bad weather roads. We are so lucky that Kelowna is so full of talented and creative local vendors and planners. One of the greatest joys is going to holiday events and Kelowna is overflowing with great options. Enjoy everything from treats to lights, skating to Santa, and all that falls between. This December Kelowna is boasting with a holiday event almost every day. To help you relieve the stress of choosing the right one for you here is a curated list of our favourites.

Kelowna Winter Night Market

Downtown Kelowna’s Light Up and Winter Street Market. If you are looking for the perfect holiday event to get in the Christmas spirit what better way to do so than to snuggle up next to a big fire while sipping hot chocolate or enjoying all of those classic sweet treats you have come to expect from a holiday event, or maybe the savory treats are more your style, that is no problem as your favourite food trucks will be parked and ready for you. December 1st is the perfect date to start (or continue if you are already well in the Christmas spirit) the holiday festivities. With the promise of fun for the whole family, you won’t want to miss this event.

Mission Hill Tree Festival

If you are looking for winter fun that is also philanthropic, Mission Hill Winery’s Festival of Lights is the holiday event for you. From November 22nd until January 4th you can take in the lights during Mission Hill’s winery hours. This spectacular event offers more than just a beautifully illuminated forest, you will also be able to enjoy mulled wine, hot chocolate, food stations, and entertainment. This year’s entertainment is provided by Kelowna’s very own Mt. Boucherie Secondary school jazz band and choir, Dereck Joel, and others. This event is in support of the BC Children’s Hospital, which provides countless benefits to so many families across the province.

Sensitive Santa

On December 8th and 15th for the fifth year in a row Autism Okanagan and Tracey and Quincy Vrecko of Re/Max Kelowna present a wonderful evening for families with members on the Autism Spectrum to enjoy. Orchard park mall will be open after hours offering a sensory-friendly environment with the lights dimmed and music off. This will allow families to create those traditional Holiday memories that children living on the spectrum can be otherwise too sensitive to enjoy. Santa will be there meeting with each child and family individually. Families are able to book a designated time slot in advance allowing no crowds or lines. This sensitive Santa experience is just another reason we love Kelowna’s Holiday Events. Not all holiday events are designed with everyone in mind, but this one is special. For more on past events look here.

 

West Kelowna Holiday Events

December 2, 2019. Located at the Mt. Boucherie Community Centre on Cameron Road. Head over to West Kelowna for a chance to skate with Santa hosted by I Heat Radio. Hot Chocolate and Timbits provided by Tim Hortons. This is a free family event guaranteed to put a smile on anyone’s face. Mt. Boucherie Community Centre is also offering cookie decorating and other family activities if you still want to see Santa but skating isn’t for you. West Kelowna also hosts a City Centre Light Up on December 7, 2019, along Brown Road.

Craft Fairs

What are the holidays without craft fairs? With more and more people becoming conscious of where the things they purchase are coming from and how they are made, the local crafter’s markets are the ideal spot to pick up gifts for the whole family. From children’s toys to home décor, baked goods to body products and everything in between finding the perfect craft fair is key. Here is a list of our favourite craft fairs;

 Craft Culture:

December 7-8, 2019 located at Prospera Place. This event offers a swag bag full of vendor goodies to the first 50 people through the door both days. Admission is only $5 and supports the local Mamas for Mamas Charity.

Christmas Time:

December 7-8, 2019. Located at 421 Cawston Ave. Artisans Showcase presents Christmas Time. Free admission for this holiday event.  With over 60 vendors, food trucks, and activities to keep the kids entertained this is the perfect holiday event for the whole family. Don’t forget your donation to the food bank!

Winter Moon Makers Market:

December 15. Located at the Laurel Packinghouse. Be one of the first 75 people through the door and receive a swag bag. Buy your ticket online through Eventbrite for $3 or at the door for $5. This is a curated craft fair with that puts an emphasis on local handmade goods.

Kelowna Etsy Collective Holiday Pop Up Market

December 15, 2019, located ar 1125 Richter St. If the name isn’t enough of a mouthful then the delicious treats you will find here sure will be. Sandhill’s tasting room will remain open during this event. Offering a chance to shop from all of your favourite Okanagan Etsy brands in an in-person environment doesn’t come along every day. Kelowna’s Etsy Collective Holiday Market boasts that husbands are welcome for that perfect last-minute shopping spree we all go on. You will find one-of-a-kind gifts and scrumptious holiday treats.

Grab your reusable shopping bags and a donation to the local food bank and we will see you there!

For more information on these events keep an eye on our Facebook and  Instagram.

If you are looking for Kelowna real estate within close proximity of fun activities indoor and outdoor, contact the team at Quincy Vrecko and Associates (250) 868-3602. Our team of professional Kelowna real estate agents is ready to assist you with your next Kelowna home purchase.