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Three Perfect Days: Kelowna, B.C.

This postcard-perfect lake town is nestled in Canada's Okanagan Valley, home to more wineries than Walla Walla and better snow than Whistler. And you found it first.

Author Jacqueline Detwiler Photography Michael Hanson

Gliding through snow ghosts at Big White Ski Resort

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HOW ‘BOUT THEM APPLES?
Canada’s fruit basket sees the first non-browning varieties

The Okanagan Valley’s moderate climate and rich silt are a boon for more than just winemakers. Since the S&O Railway arrived in 1892, the area around Kelowna has been one of the most important agricultural regions in British Columbia, particularly in terms of fruit. Today, the Okanagan provides Canada with 75 percent of its apricots, 40 percent of its cherries and 20 percent of its peaches, plums, pears and apples.

Now a local agriculture biotech firm called Okanagan Specialty Fruits has upped the ante. By modifying the gene that produces polyphenol oxidase (the enzyme that makes sliced apples turn brown), the company has created the world’s first non-browning apple, dubbed the Arctic. Reactions have been mixed: Some worry that consumers may be nervous about genetically modified apples; others say the breakthrough will encourage people to eat more pre-sliced fruit instead of fries or chips. With government approval pending, the fate of the Arctic apple is uncertain, but the folks at Specialty Fruits remain bullish. “If it’s successful,” company president Neal Carter said last year, “all the big guys will be piling in to be second.”

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LOCAL KNOWLEDGE
The inside scoop from those in the know

ALYN NASH
SNOW PRO, BIG WHITE SKI & BOARD SCHOOL
“The Crawford Trails at Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park are fantastic for mountain biking. They’re 10 minutes outside of town, but you might not see anyone there apart from your friends.”

VALAURA VEDAN
CONTENT MANAGER/EDITOR, WELCOMETOKELOWNA.COM
“I love the Grateful Fed. It’s a pub, but an almost insanely small one. They just started an acoustic jam session on Saturdays. How they fit a band in there, I’ll never know.”

KIM DILLABAUGH
ASSISTANT COACH, KELOWNA ROCKETS HOCKEY TEAM
“There’s a pub-ish restaurant downtown called Sturgeon Hall. It’s about two blocks from Prospera Place [where the Rockets play], so people go there to have dinner before the game.”

 

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KELOWNA BY THE NUMBERS

Population: 179,839

Annual snowfall, in feet, at Big White Ski Resort: 24½

Longest ski run, in miles, at Big White: 4½ (“Around the World” Route )

Year that Kelowna’s first vineyard was planted: 1859

Number of wine trails: 5

Number of NHL players who have vacation homes in Kelowna: 75

Age range of players on the Rockets (Kelowna’s WHL team): 15–20

Amount of dry food, in tons, consumed by sled dogs at Candle Creek Kennels annually: 3 (plus 3 tons of chicken)

View Kelowna, B.C. in a larger map

 



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