Festival Facts

The 2017 Festival was one of the busiest on record with over 3,000 individual and group performers participating in the Festival and more than 5,000 audience members. We gave out over $10,000.00 in awards and scholarships and were supported by more than 1,000 volunteer hours.

- Okanagan Valley Music Festival was founded in 1926.

- The first Festival was 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


- 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.

- In 1981 the festival becomes the the Kelowna Kiwanis Festival and made its permanent home in


- During the 1980s the Festival continued 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   



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

Karen Jean Machura, Executive Director

Sandy Kakoschke, Volunteer Director

Denise Andre, Dance Director

Graham Vink, Director

Althea Di Gregorio, Director

Karen Jo-Anne Sigurdson, Director


2017/18 Kelowna Kiwanis

Festival Society Executive

Festival History


​​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.