The city of West Kelowna is a municipality located within southern BC's Okanagan Valley. The city is made up of numerous smaller communities, like Glenrosa, Shannon Lake, Lakeview Heights, Westbank, Rose Valley, West Kelowna Estates, Casa Loma, Smith Creek.
The estimated population within the city of West Kelowna is 28,793, making it the second largest municipality in the Kelowna Regional District of Central Okanagan. West Kelowna City is found is found on Highway 97, close to the western shore of Okanagan Lake, situated 9 miles or 14 km southwest of Kelowna and 16 km or 10 miles northeast of Peachland.
West Kelowna attracts visitors from all-around the globe. There are gorgeous mountains to the west and the sprawling Okanagan Lake towards the east. There is an abundance of wineries, and golf courses along with numerous antique shops and artistic wares.
The area was home to First Nations people who lived within the village of Stekatkolxneeut, prior to the arrival of settlers from Europe. Fur traders used to stop by the area during the early 1800's. They had named the area Hudson's Bay Company officer and called it MacDonald's Plain. During 1908, the settlement was renamed Westbank due to its location being on the lake's west bank.
On the 6th of December, the year 2007, the district was incorporated as a Westside District Municipality. It was first called that since it was the existing name of the regional district rural electoral during that time. The district was renamed West Kelowna on the 30th of January, the year 2009.
During a civic election in November the year 2008, there was a "Community Opinion Vote," where people were being asked to choose a permanent name for the municipality. By a narrow margin, the new name of West Kelowna came in at 3,841 votes was chosen by a small margin over the closest contender, which was Westbank. The new name of West Kelowna was confirmed by the District on the 9th of December, the year 2008. The new name became official on the 30th of January, the year 2009 once the Government of British Columbia approved the change after some argument.
The city of West Kelowna is far smaller compared to its counterpart across the lake, Kelowna. The area is a famous tourist spot for people wanting a more subdued visit to the Okanagan Lake and Valley. There is an abundance of year round recreational activities like canoeing, swimming, house-boating, windsurfing, cross-country and downhill skiing and snowboarding.
West Kelowna's economy is quite diverse with markets within retail, agriculture, tourism, manufacturing and construction. Based on the Census of 2006, the city of West Kelowna has a work force of approximately 14,000. The retail trade accounts for most of the labor force with 13.2% and the construction industry comes in at 12.4%.
The majority of new employment created within the West Kelowna region is by medium and small companies. In the year 2006, the proportion of self-employed people was 17.6% while in the province itself it was 14.1%.