Taking these grapes from the field to the wine bottle takes a chain of skilled workers. (Steve Kidd/Western News)

Okanagan Similkameen could have a sister city in the south of France

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen considering agreement with wine region in southern France

While the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen board is considering an initiative to twin the region with a wine-producing area in southern France, directors at the table have questions about whether such a program would have benefits.

This past summer, regional district board chair Karla Kozakevich received a letter from a representative of the Hérault region in southern France, asking about entering into an agreement with the community of Naramata, just north of Penticton, on the east side of Okanagan Lake.

The community of Pouzols, in this region, has a population estimated at 937, comparable with Naramata’s estimated population of 1,003.

READ ALSO: RDOS considers agreement with region in southern France

READ ALSO: Ikeda delegate makes generous donation to SORCO

The regional district has been considering whether to enter into a relationship with the two communities, or whether to have a relationship between the two regions.

The Hérault region in southern France has an area of 6,224 square kilometres and an estimated population of 1,165,412. The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen covers an area of 10,411.68 square kilometres and has an estimated population of 83,022.

In a report to the board, Christy Malden, legislative services manager with the regional district outlined some potential benefits of a twinning agreement, including student exchanges, sharing information about the wine industry, tourism opportunities, jointly held cultural events and more.

However, a twinning initiative comes with some initial costs. The costs of maintaining a twinning agreement are estimated at between $4,000 and $8,000 annually.

This includes costs associated with hosting delegates from France, as well as marketing and administrative costs.

The approximate costs to visit Pouzols, France for one week is estimated at $5,000 per person.

“I think this can be a really great marketing opportunity,” Kozakevich said.

Summerland mayor Toni Boot questioned the benefits of a twinning relationship.

She said Summerland has had a sister city relationship with a Japanese community for 29 years, but the relationship has not generated economic benefits.

“In my opinion, it doesn’t really seem to work,” she said.

Julius Bloomfield said if economic development is the goal, there are better methods available.

He added that he remembers negative comments about Penticton’s sister city program.

Osoyoos mayor Suzan McKortoff suggested working with the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association to promote the regional district.

To report a typo, email:
news@summerlandreview.com
.



news@summerlandreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Family key to 60 years of marriage for Vernon couple

Syd and Emily Smith were married July 16, 1960, at the young ages of 18 and 19

AlleyCATS Okanagan: Pet of the week

Add a little Spritz and Cider to your summer

Lake Country beachgoers reminded to maintain distance amid COVID-19

Signage, park rangers, park patrol students in place to monitor busy beaches in Central Okanagan

Rare comet NEOWISE and aurora lights captured in Okanagan

The image was captured over Big Horn Lake near Kelowna with a Pixel 4XL android phone

Vernon Search and Rescue aids injured rail trail cyclist

Group’s Utility Terrain Vehicle proving to be a valuable asset on the popular trail

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

‘Resistance’ from Interior Health puts races in Penticton on hold

It’s unknown if races planned for this weekend at the Penticton Speedway will take place

Fundraiser kick-started for Vernon woman battling tongue cancer

Woman’s four-year-old twins are the driving force behind her fight

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Oliver Town Hall reopens to public as COVID-19 test comes back negative

Town Hall was closed briefly as a staff member showed multiple COVID-19 symptoms

RCMP to investigate hate-motivated vandalism in Summerland

Swastikas and other graffiti spray painted on house and at bandshell

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Vancouver Island RCMP respond to reports of man masturbating on bus

52-year-old man charged with committing an indecent act in a public place

Most Read