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

Share love of music with Salmon Arm Valentine’s Day concert

Roots and Blues welcomes festival favourites Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Sherman Doucette

Habitat for Humanity seniors housing project in Salmon Arm moving forward

Twenty two units to be provided on 10th Avenue NE

RCMP offer update on recovery of illegal firearms, stolen vehicles in North Shuswap

$12,700 worth of pet food found in July 2019 search of Leopold Road property

Suspect reported head-butting Chase RCMP officer during arrest

Charges laid include break and enter, assault, resisting arrest and assault causing bodily harm

Award recognizes Salmon Arm homes, buildings for heritage value

Honours to be presented during Heritage Week, Feb. 17 to 23

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Watch out for scams, clickbait in the wake of Kobe Bryant’s death: Better Business Bureau

Kobe Bryant and his daughter were killed in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles

Calgary man dies in snowmobiling incident near Revelstoke

Boulder Mountain is a popular snowmobiling area west of the city

Kamloops killer who claims victim stabbed himself has appeal dismissed

Gordon Camille was sentenced to 6 years in a federal penitentiary following a 2018 manslaughter conviction

‘Very disrespectful’: Headstones at Okanagan cemetery damaged by excavation crew

Headstones at Enderby’s Cliffside Cemetery mistakenly driven over by excavation crew

Despite reports of decline, birds flocking to national parks in Canadian Rockies

Recent studies suggest overall bird population has slid by three billion since 1970

Central Okanagan man accused of sexual assault found not guilty due to alibi

Justice Dennis Hori determined a reasonable doubt in the Crown’s case against Robert Copeland

Former UN committee member defends stance on B.C.’s Coastal GasLink pipeline

First Nations LNG Alliance accused UN committee, human rights watchdog of not doing their research

Most Read