​​Kelowna Kiwanis Festival

About Us

Festival Facts

The 2016 Festival was one of the busiest on record with over 2500 individual and group performers participating in 27+ days of festival with over 3500 audience members.  We gave out over $10,000.00 in awards and scholarships and logged over 1000 volunteer hours.

- Okanagan Valley Music Festival founded in 1926.

- The first festival is a one-day event with choral, voice, piano, and elocution classes offered.

- In 1927, the festival grew to become a two-day event.

- Folk dancing added in 1931.

- The festival becomes a tri-city event in 1936 with Kelowna, Penticton, and Vernon taking turns hosting.

- In 1949, the Okanagan Valley Music Festival becomes part of the Federation of Canadian Music Festivals.

- During the 1950s, concert band classes are added and the festival increases scholarships and school participation.

- The festival becomes part of the BC Federation of Festivals in 1958.

- The Kiwanis Club of Kelowna became the main festival sponsor in 1980--a close and productive relationship that continues today.

- In 1981 the festival becomes the the Kelowna Kiwanis Festival and no longer is held in Vernon or Penticton.

- During the 1980s the festival continues to grow under its first executive director, Val Bardot.

- The Festival hosts the National Federation of Music Festival in 2014.​​

- In 2016, the festival produces its first alumni concert and reception in honour of its 90th Anniversary.


We rely on volunteers, donations, and sponsors to achieve our mission while ensuring that each performer has a wonderful festival experience that encourages further study in their discipline.

Zonia Arnold, President

Marion MacNeil, Secretary

Eric Reitsma, Treasurer

Sandy Kakoschke, Volunteer Coordinator/Director

Denise Andre, Dance Director

Bob Bissell, Director

Chris Thatcher, Director

Graham Vink, Director

Althea Di Gregorio, Director

Marv Machura, Executive Director

Our 2017 Kelowna Kiwanis Festival Society  Executive Team

A Brief History of the Festival


​​We are board-governed, non-profit (and registered charity) organization.  The Kelowna Kiwanis Festival Society oversees all aspects of the festival.  Membership in the society is open to the public.  Festival Executive positions are elected from our membership at our annual general meeting and in place for one year. 


We provide an annual festival for aspiring performing artists to showcase their achievements in speech, dance, and music to their community and peers while having their performances evaluated in a constructive and positive manner.