Great Kitchen Party Kelowna Will be Dedicated to the amazing Life of Past Honourary Chair Harry McWatters

KELOWNA – It is with heavy hearts that we will raise a glass to toast past Honourary Chair, Harry McWatters at Canada’s Great Kitchen Party – Kelowna edition, on Friday, November 15th. Harry was a passionate contributor to the Canadian Culinary Championships over the years and he will be dearly missed at Kelowna’s first ever “Canada’s Great Kitchen Party” which will be dedicated to his amazing life.

Harry McWatters was a family man, a great friend to many, a driving force in the British Columbia wine industry, and a generous man – giving his time to help so many people.  He was proud to be involved in supporting sport, music and food through Canada’s Great Kitchen Party.

Aptly named the ‘Grandfather of British Columbia Wine’, Harry played a major role in developing the wine industry in the Okanagan Valley and throughout British Columbia. His 50+ year career includes many incredible achievements such as founding British Columbia’s first estate winery, Sumac Ridge, establishing the Okanagan Wine Festival Society, chairing the British Columbia Wine Institute and was a founding chair of Vintners Quality Alliance (VQA) of Canada.

Harry’s wife, Lisa Lalonde, and his daughter, Christa-Lee McWatters are touched by the dedication. “It’s very moving to have Harry honoured at this year’s event. He was a man who exemplified hospitality,” says Lisa. The three of them enjoyed attending this competition each year and loved connecting with friends to sample all the creative dishes paired with wonderful wines, beer and spirits from across Canada. Lisa and Christa-Lee are looking forward to attending the event on November 15th to celebrate Harry with family and friends. “Harry loved a good party,” says Lisa.

To start the celebration portion of the evening Judy Burns, Honorary Co-Chair, and David Lawrason, National Wine Advisor to Canada’s Great Kitchen Party, will perform a sabre ceremony to honour Harry followed by a group toast of one of Harry’s delicious Sparkling wines.

“Harry was a great friend in wine” says David Lawrason. “As a journalist I followed all his pioneering achievements very closely from the early eighties to the opening of Time Winery in Penticton last year. He never stopped innovating and caring about what was in the bottle”.

The seven Chefs who are competing to earn a spot at the national Canadian Culinary Championships in Ottawa, ON on January 31 & February 1, 2020 are:

  • Andrea Callan, Red Fox Club at Indigenous World Winery
  • Brock Bowes, CrAsian Foods Corp.
  • Chris Braun, RauDZ Regional Table
  • James Holmes, Salt & Brick
  • Jeff Van Geest, Miradoro at Tinhorn Creek
  • Kai Koroll, BLOCK ONE Restaurant at 50th Parallel Estate
  • Rob Walker, Big White Ski Resort

The Kelowna judges: James Chatto, Chef Bernard Cassavant, Judy Burns, Jennifer Schell, Chef Mark Filatow and Chef Jeremy Lyupen will be rating each dish and beverage pairing based on the National Judging criteria.

Olympic gold and silver medalist and local freestyle skiing legend, Kelsey Serwa, will be the emcee at the November 15th event and she will be one of many athletes in attendance. The entertainment lineup includes the legendary Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, rock star Neil Osborne of 54-40, genre-defying violinist Anne Lindsay, and Jim Cuddy’s incredibly talented sons, Devin Cuddy and Sam Polley.

Each regional event is focused around three key pillars, celebrating Canada’s best in sport, music and food. The funds that are raised across the nation benefit three key Canadian charities: B2ten (sport), MusiCounts (music) and CFCC (food) that truly help to build a better Canada.

The Great Kitchen Party Kelowna promises to be one of the best culinary events in the Okanagan Valley. Sponsorship opportunities are still available as well as Premium VIP Tables, Corporate Tables and Individual Tickets.

Tickets/Tables: Direct on the website:

Sponsorship or more information:

Jillian Haller 250-864-5217 or

Event information can also be found:


Official Hashtag: @GreatKitchenParty

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