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Nearly $80,000 raised for local charities by Kelowna’s Ribfest

The annual event has seen some backlash from environmental groups
Stuart MacTaggart of Boss Hogg’s Ribs slathers another rack in barbecue sauce during the opening day of Kelowna’s third annual Ribfest in City Park. —Image: Alistair Waters/CapitalNews

The Sunrise Rotary Club of Kelowna raised roughly $80,000 from Ribfest last year.

The non-profit organization said the money will help benefit local organizations including $40,000 for JoeAnna’s House.

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While Ribfest has garnered a reputation for helping local organizations, it has also garnered negative attention from environmental and animal rights activists concerned the event damages the environment and promotes the unethical treatment of animals.

On Nov. 18, a group activists chained themselves to the exterior doors of Interior Savings Credit Union to protest the credit union’s support of Ribfest, asking it to revoke its sponsorship of the event.

After spending nearly four hours chained to the front doors of the building, the RCMP moved in and cut free the seven activists and arrested them for mischief.

Interior Savings said it met with the activists, however, it was committed to remaining a sponsor of the event.

“We thank Interior Savings for their support for our Ribfest event over the past four years,” said Ribfest chair Chris Murphy.

“With their help and the help of every visitor to the event, we raise funds that benefit our community. We return tens of thousands of dollars to local causes including over $40,000 to JoeAnna’s House and thousands of dollars to other Kelowna organizations like Freedom’s Door, Food for Thought, and Pathways Abilities.”

READ MORE: WATCH: Animal rights activist defends Monday’s Ribfest protest

According to the Rotary Club, $10,000 was donated to Pathways Abilities and $9,025 to Hope for the Nation and Food for Thought. The local chapter of Meals on Wheels also received $5,000 and NOW Canada received $1,500 to help create a Christmas celebration and provide gifts for women and children.

Another $23,685 was also donated to Freedom’s Door, a non-profit addiction recovery program for men in the Okanagan.

The remainder of the proceeds went to the Kelowna Women’s Shelter, Connect Counselling and Therapy Society, the Opera Kelowna Society and finally Studio 9 Independent Art School.


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