An agreement to transfer the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce’s Festival of the Grape to the Oliver Tourism Association in 2018 is moving forward faster than originally expected.
Oliver Tourism assumed control of the festival Saturday, a year ahead of schedule, to allow the Chamber to work more with its business partners.
“We have come to a mutual and collaborative agreement to end our three-year contract early to allow both organizations to focus on what we do best,” said Brian Highley, the Chamber’s president.
“It was getting a little cumbersome with two organizations with separate bank accounts and both managing the same set of books.”
The transfer of the festival’s operation to Oliver Tourism will allow the Chamber to focus more on business advocacy, training and education, and business-to-business networking, he said.
“The Chamber is proud to have grown this event to the point where it brings thousands of people to our region. This is a good time to turn the event over to OTA to really bring it to the next level.”
The Festival of the Grape is a long standing event attracting thousands of attendees who come to taste the various wines that are on display, enjoy the music played on the grandstand, and either compete in, or watch competitors in the Grape Stomp.
In addition, local artisans also display their crafts in the Fall Art Show & Sale.
In 2016 the Oliver Tourism came on board as part of a three-year collaborative agreement to transition the festival its care. Together the two organizations orchestrated the 20th Anniversary of the festival.
Osoyoos Tourism President Tony Munday said his association is happy to pick up the reigns.
“The growth of this event fits the mandate of the Oliver Tourism Association exactly. We are very excited to carry on.”
Festival of the Grape 2017 will be held on Sunday October 1.