“The Polliniz­ing Ses­sions” (Jan­u­ary to May 2016) was a series of nine talks and three work­shops in Kelow­na to learn about pol­li­na­tors in our com­mu­ni­ty. The ses­sions were held in part­ner­ship with the Okana­gan Region­al Library. “The Polliniz­ing Ses­sions” invit­ed experts who helped the com­mu­ni­ty learn more about impor­tant species such as bum­ble bees and oth­er native bees and insects, about which plants can best sup­port them, about pol­li­na­tors’ impor­tance to agri­cul­ture, and ways to build and sup­port habi­tat for them. All talks took place at the down­town Kelow­na Branch of the Okana­gan Region­al Library (1380 Ellis St) from 7:30–8:00 PM. They were free of charge. The work­shops were also free but atten­dees pre-reg­is­tered as seat­ing is lim­it­ed. Talks attract­ed large audi­ence of between 40 and 100 peo­ple and all the work­shops were full with wait lists. 

The Ses­sions includ­ed Dr. Ralph Car­tar of The Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­gary, Gabe Cipes of Sum­mer­hill Bistro and Win­ery, Ken­na Macken­zie of the Pacif­ic-Agri Food Research Cen­tre in Sum­mer­land, Bri­an Camp­bell of West Coast Seeds, Gwen Steele of the Okana­gan Xeriscape Asso­ci­a­tion, Tracey Kim Camp­bell of Of the Land Pro­duc­tions Inc, Dr. Eliz­a­beth Elle of Simon Fras­er Uni­ver­si­ty, and author Lori Wei­den­ham­mer. The work­shops were on grow­ing native plants, build­ing homes for bees, and on “Bee ID”- a Cit­i­zen Sci­ence train­ing ses­sion with Dr. Elle. The first talk was held on Novem­ber 24th with Nan­cy Holmes who talked about the Pub­lic Art Pol­li­na­tor Pas­ture and Lor­ri Dauncey of the Cen­tral Okana­gan Her­itage Soci­ety who talked about the her­itage val­ues of Kelowna’s pas­ture site: Brent’s Grist Mill Park. 

The series was spon­sored by the Okana­gan Region­al Library, The Pub­lic Art Pol­li­na­tor Pas­ture Project in Kelow­na, Bor­der Free Bees, and the Eco Art Incu­ba­tor in the Fac­ul­ty of Cre­ative and Crit­i­cal Stud­ies at UBC Okana­gan.

Pollinizing Sessions Guest Speakers


Dr. Ralph Cartar

Uni­ver­si­ty of Calgary


Ken­na Mackenzie

Pacif­ic-Agri Food Research Cen­tre, Summerland


Bri­an Campbell

West Coast Seeds


Gwen Steele

Okana­gan Xeriscape Association


Dr. Eliz­a­beth Elle

Simon Fras­er University

Gabe Cipes

Sum­mer­hill Bistro and Winery

Tracey Kim Campbell

Of the Land Pro­duc­tions Inc.

Lori Wei­den­ham­mer