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Looking ahead to 2017 in the B.C. Interior

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December 27, 2016 - 1:00 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - With just a few days left in the year, time to take a look at some stories you’ll be reading about in 2017.

The biggest birthday bash of the year will be the nation’s, as Canada celebrates 150 years. Canada 150 celebrations, events and activities are already being organized across the region and country as Kamloops looks forward to a street hockey game, Kelowna pushes a series of anniversary grants and Vernon’s winter carnival plans to recognize the benchmark. As well, many cities from coast to coast are also already starting special preparations for Canada Day on July 1.

A national piece of Canada 150 celebrations will be the Discovery Pass, a program from Parks Canada which is offering free admission the entire year to the country's national parks.

Vernon will be celebrating a benchmark, as the Okanagan city turns 125 years old. Some activities have already been announced, and more will come.

Politics will also be big provincially; the B.C. election is scheduled for May 9 and the campaigning has already unofficially begun. The ruling B.C. Liberal Party have been in power more than 15 years and won four straight elections after ousting the current official opposition B.C. NDP in 2001. iNFOnews.ca will be covering local issues and ridings for B.C.'s interior. For more information click here.

While marijuana, election reform and new national housing decisions are happening at a federal level, the implications for B.C.’s interior have already created discussion. Kamloops residents have brought concerns to the city’s council about where marijuana can be sold once legalized while a local professor wants to start an academic conference in 2017 to look what might be a major new industry for the region. In Vernon, politicians of all levels have begun talking about how the Okanagan city can better house it's homeless.

In municipal politics, Kamloops will be updating the Official Community Plan in 2017, the document which will guide city administration decisions over coming years. The last update was in 2004.

Oliver will also see a new, major institution open as the Okanagan Correctional Centre will begin prisoner intake in January. Also in the Okanagan, the Rail Trail may begin construction.

Locally in 2017, cities in the B.C. Interior are looking forward to unique sports, food and music events in addition to the annual festivals and tournaments.

A few big name artists have announced tours that will stop in the region this year. In Kamloops, the Sandman Centre will host Tom Cochrane on March 4, Kip Moore on Apr. 22 and Dean Brody June 2. Kelowna’s Prospera Place is hosting Tom Cochrane on March 3, along with Jeff Dunham on March 23, while the Kelowna Community Theatre has Colin James on March 4. In Penticton, shows include Blue Rodeo playing Jan 24 and Dierks Bentley on Feb. 7 at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Comedian Ron James has three shows coming up in the region: Kamloops on April 23, Kelowna on April 24 and April 25 in Vernon.

Kamloops has the Special Olympics B.C. summer games coming up July 6 to 8. Tournament Capital residents will see nearly 1,300 athletes coming to the city in what’s expected to be the largest edition of the competition ever. The organization is looking for 1,000 volunteers to help pull off the three day event.

Thompson Rivers University is also preparing for some visitors as the Canadian Interuniversity Sports 2017 men’s soccer tournament will be played at Hillside Stadium Nov. 9 to Nov. 12. The competition is expected to bring some of the best young soccer players in the country. It’s only the second time the university has hosted a CIS level event.

In Vernon, the 2017 55+ B.C. Games will be in town Sept. 12 to Sept. 16 with an expected 3,500 participants. The five day event is looking for 1,500 volunteers to help out as thousands of people born before 1963 compete in sports like archery, hockey and pickleball.

Penticton will be holding one of the most international events to come to the region, with the Multisport World Championship Festival, a 10-day event from the International Triathlon Union. It’s the first ever time it’s been done and organizers are planning to include triathlon based events and different versions based on the run-cycle-swim combination, including world class aquathlon and duathlon races and four world title competitions. Thousands are expected to participate.

In 2017 there will be a major new addition to B.C.’s live music calendar with Snowbombing at Sun Peaks Resort from April 6 to April 10. With a combination of snow sports and music acts booked, it’s the first time the annual European festival will have a North American sibling. Some notable acts are coming, including rapper Ludacris and Kaskade, an American DJ, along with a slew of other house and electronic dance music groups.

Other big festivals in the area are starting to firm things up. Kelowna’s Rock the Lake, now in its second year, has announced April Wine, Sass Jordan and Platinum Blonde will be playing this years fest from Aug 11 to Aug. 13. The city’s other major music festival, Centre of Gravity hasn’t announced dates or a line up yet. Salmon Arm’s Roots and Blues fest is booked from August 18 to 20. The Kamloopa Powwow hasn’t set a date either, but typically happens at the end of July or beginning of August.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Brendan Kergin or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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