Wine and pride a nice pairing

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and the Okanagan Pride Society have joined forces for part of that city’s pride festival.

The Okanagan Wine Festivals Society and the Okanagan Pride Society have joined forces to hilight B.C. wine with Viva Las Pride Friday in Kelowna, as part of that city’s pride festival.

“Pride tourism has a multi-million dollar economic impact across North America. Events in large cities such as Vancouver and Toronto attract hundreds of thousands of attendees and while Kelowna is a smaller centre, we see it as being a destination Pride Festival due to the draw of wineries, beaches, and attractive summer playground activities,” said  Wilbur Turner, president of the Okanagan Pride Society.

“We are excited to launch Viva Las Pride as part of a Wine and Pride package that will appeal to locals as well as Pride tourists.”

The pairing of the two societies is a first in Canada, and the wine tasting will be in a Las Vegas style setting from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at the Laurel Packinghouse in Kelowna on Aug. 16. Proceeds from the event fund ongoing Pride Society programs, including a new youth program called Etcetera.

“B.C. wine and the Okanagan Pride Festival are a natural pairing; the LGBT community are affluent wine enthusiasts who consume adult beverages in much greater frequency than the general population,” said Blair Baldwin, general manager of the Okanagan Wine Festivals Society. “We’re thrilled to have local wine featured so prominently in this year’s Pride Festival. Given the tremendous popularity of a similar festival in Sonoma, we’re hoping to build a comparable following with Pride tourists from across North America here in Kelowna.”

Viva Las Pride will feature 24 member wineries of the Okanagan Wine Festivals pouring fresh summer wines while guests can enjoy a Las Vegas themed night aided by Lake City Casinos. In addition to enjoying a wine tasting, attendees will be able to play blackjack and poker for chances to win prizes while being entertained by “go go boys,” burlesque dancers and lively music.

Following Viva Las Pride will be a spectacular after-party drag competition and show, with local and internationally renowned judges.

“The wineries of the Okanagan Wine Festivals are certainly looking forward to this innovative event,” said Judi Skinner, marketing manager of Dirty Laundry Vineyard. “We think it’s important to ensure Pride tourism is recognized and besides, they love B.C. wines.”

Tickets for Viva Las Pride are on sale at or 250-717-5304. Admission is $25 with wine samples available to purchase at the event. This is a Safe Ride Home Event sponsored by Valley First Insurance and B.C. Liquor Stores.

For more information on Viva Las Pride please visit or