A Guide to the Notable People of Kelowna

Fun fact: Kelowna means ‘grizzly bear’ in the Okanewan language. This special city is near the ocean in British Columbia. Much like its namesake, Kelowna is vibrant, tenacious and more or less loved by anyone. Despite its location, Kelowna is buzzing with activity: sporting, cultural, political and business interests abound for those who are looking. Here’s a guide to the notable people (and beasts) that Kelowna has produced.

Jay Ruzesky: Amundsen’s Descendent

A former resident of Kelowna, traveller Jay Ruzesky is set to make an appearance in town to talk about his new book In Antarctica: An Amundsen pilgrimage. By day, Ruzesky is a professor of English Literature at Vancouver Island University. He is a published author of books on travel and poetry, and is actually related to the famed explorer Roald Amundsen via his mother’s family. This special event is due to take place at the Vancouver Maritime Museum on Sunday the 23rd of June. Entry is free of charge and hotels in Kelowna are reasonably priced.

Ogopogo: Creature of the Deep

In local legend, Lake Okanewa is home to a large floating reptile, serpentine and/or humped. The creature is known as Ogopogo, meaning ‘lake demon’, and has been a part of First Nation culture for centuries. Scientists keen to spoil the fun have suggested that the creature might be a prehistoric whale, or that the various sightings are an amalgamation of well known creatures or floating objects. Nowadays, Ogopogo acts as the mascot of local hockey team the Kelowna rockets.

Evangeline Lily: Star of Lost and Hollywood Staple

One of the cult TV series Lost’s biggest stars, Evangeline Lily, in fact hails from this modest sized town in British Columbia. Lily attended the university of the same name and gained a degree in International Relations.  The actress has gone on to some big projects and contracts, advertising for watch brand Baume et Mercier amongst others. Lily will also star in the first movie in the upcoming Hobbit franchise.

Fancy paying a visit to Kelowna? Accommodation is reasonably priced and Canadian dollars will go pretty far in local shops and restaurants. The local people are very friendly and keen to get you involved in their activities. There are a host of fantastic dedicated news blogs and opinion blogs run by Kelowna residents where you can find out all the details of what the best things to do in Kelowna might be. Check them out for entertainment listings, blogs by Kelowna figureheads and witty opinion pieces on everything Kelowna and British Columbian.