The City of Kelowna will be hosting the 2026 BC Summer Games.
Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport Melanie Mark announced that Kelowna put in a successful bid to host the games on Wednesday (July 28).
“I know how much work has gone on behind the scenes to make this day possible,” she said through a video announcement.
The announcement is made even more significant as five Kelowna athletes and 30 BC Summer Games alumni are competing during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Mayor Colin Basran said in a city where residents are always active with great outdoors and indoor amenities, the Summer Games athletes will feel right at home.
“We understand the value of these events. These games give the best emerging high-performance at least a chance to show off their stuff in serious competition,” he said.
“I know it’s five years away, but we will take that time to prepare for one of the best games ever.”
BC Games Society president and CEO Alison Noble said Kelowna stands to gain financial and equipment legacies, with the games driving not only athletes and their families, but other tourists as well who may very well decide to live in Kelowna or the Okanagan permanently.
“When you put all that together, it’s just an amazing community development opportunity,” she said.
“Add on top of that sport development, where athletes are performing their best in these amazing venues across the community. It’s just a blended community experience that really is second to none.
“It’s amazing how these games work their way into the sport continuum for young athletes. With 30 athletes in Tokyo who are BC Games alumni, that means a lot. That means the sport development system is working.”
Basran added he is very excited for the community.
“From a community standpoint, this is huge. It has major economic ramifications for the city… the positive spinoffs from these games are incredible,” he said.
The economic gain from the games is estimated at $2 million, according to Tourism Kelowna. Basran acknowledged that while Kelowna will have to shell out some cash for the event, he believes the positive impact is worth it.
“Certainly, we believe that any money we put into these games comes back ten-fold. We think it’s money well-invested in our community for such a great event,” he said.
The BC Summer Games features 18 sports, with approximately 3,700 participants, including athletes, coaches, managers and game officials. Athletes range in age from nine to 19 years, depending on their sport, with the average athlete age of 14 years.
The BC Summer Games will be held from July 23 to 26, 2026, in Kelowna.