The day began with the Duke and Duchess arriving in Kelowna to get to know one of Canada’s fastest-growing areas. Bordering the eastern shore of Okanagan Lake between Penticton and Vernon, Kelowna is known for its hot summers and temperate winters. Incorporated in May 1905, Kelowna’s name is derived from the Indigenous Salish-language term for grizzly bear.
The day began with a visit to the University of British Columbia UBC Okanagan campus. The University of British Columbia (UBC) is a global centre for research and teaching, one of only two Canadian institutions consistently ranked among the world’s 40 best universities. With campuses in Vancouver and Kelowna, UBC has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo for more than 100 years.
While at the school, Will & Kate unveiled a plaque marking the 10th anniversary of the campus as well as viewed a large piece of Indigenous art to honour the partnership between the school and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), which represents the eight-member communities of the Syilx people, the Indigenous people of the southern Interior region of British Columbia and northern Washington State. The University works closely with the ONA on such initiatives as education of Indigenous students, including tailored post-secondary supports to Indigenous research and scholarship, and cultural competency training for future health care professionals.
After the dedication ceremonies, the couple moved to the gymnasium where they even got to meet UBC Okanagan Heat mascot, “Scorch”!
They then took in a volleyball demonstration and met with the women’s volleyball team. Last spring, in only their fifth season competing at the Canadian university level, the Heat women’s volleyball team earned a medal in their first trip to the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championship, and the team’s coach was named CIS Coach of the Year.
From there, they moved to the prestigious Mission Hill winery to enjoy the Taste of British Columbia Festival. This event serves to profile British Columbia’s diverse agri-food and seafood cultural sector, which generates over $13 billion in revenue annually and is projected to reach $15 billion by 2020.
Will & Kate viewed the vineyards at Mission Hill and saw samplings of the wine and food available in the province. William and Kate had a beautiful afternoon touring vineyards, sampling deliciously prepared B.C. foods and meeting young children.
The Royal couple also sampled several dishes at a taste of B.C. Harvest event at the estate. Renowned B.C. Chef Vikram Vij gave the Duchess on of his Indian food cookbooks. Both Kate and William ate an Indian lamb dish Vij prepared. Vij and William also discussed Indian spices, with William saying he likes hot but not too hot.
After a busy morning in Kelowna, the couple jetted to the north to land in the Yukon.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge landed in Whitehorse to a meeting with the Quarter Guard of the Canadian Rangers.
They travelled from their arrival to the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre for a celebration to showcase Yukon talent in a diverse and eclectic cultural and musical event. The Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre is a centrepiece of the Whitehorse downtown. Situated on the banks of the Yukon River, the Cultural Centre features cultural exhibits and local First Nations art.
The couple took in a performance of the Land of Gold which highlights the diversity and depth of Yukon’s cultural scene. Dancers, drummers and musicians from a variety of genres and backgrounds shared their songs and stories in a dynamic 45-minute performance.