The District of Lake Country is located near the centre of the Okanagan Valley and is made up of four distinct neighbourhood communities: Oyama, Winfield, Carr's Landing, and Okanagan Centre. Lake Country is a beautiful, unique place, rich in its own cultural history.
The District was incorporated as a municipality in 1995. Shortly after incorporation, a referendum was held where the residents decided they wished to maintain their distinct neighbourhood communities. The result of the desire to maintain their independence resulted in the formation of the only municipality in British Columbia that currently utilizes a neighbourhood constituency system. This allows the four neighbourhood communities to each elect one Councillor, with the mayor and two councillors-at-large elected by all the residents of the District.
Lake Country has a long pioneer history. Prior to Caucasian settlement, First Nations people inhabited this area. Several locations indicate the existence of First Nations settlements dating back 7,000 to 8,000 years. Artifacts, human skeletons, and skulls have been found in various areas which have provided additional evidence of early First Nations settlements.
Caucasian settlers arrived in this area more than 100 years ago to ranch and work the ample forests, make homes, and farm the rich lowlands and arable hillsides. Irrigation helped agriculture blossom in the early 1900s, supporting the four communities of Winfield, Oyama, Okanagan Centre and Carr's Landing.
The once thriving fruit canneries on Okanagan Lake are gone today, as are the ferries that plied the lake for the first half of the 1900s. Yet today you don't have to look far to find lush green orchards, rolling vineyards, and pastoral farms growing everything from Macintosh apples to blueberries. Fruit packinghouses remain an important part of our local economy, and Lake Country maintains a strong sense of community, vitality, and a pioneering spirit.
Located on the shores of Wood Lake and Okanagan Lake in the sunny Okanagan Valley, Winfield is the southernmost of the Lake Country towns. Winfield is immediately north of Kelowna and 38 kilometres (24 miles) south of Vernon.
The Lake Country Museum features an extensive collection of community newspapers, manuscripts, and artifacts depicting the area's history.
The Creekside Theatre serves as a community hub for musicians and artists. Sit back and enjoy an evening of performances that will dazzle you with their creativity and style!
Originally built in 1912 by George Gibson for his bride, the Gibson House has served as a camp for troubled youths, a training site for the Vernon Cadets, and a family home. It now serves as a museum with historical artifacts. Outside of the house, there is a beach, a swimming area, a park, and a playground.
Aspen Grove Golf Club is located in Winfield, and there are three courses located in nearby Kelowna: Gallagher's Canyon Golf & Country Club, The Harvest Golf Club, and Kelowna Springs Golf Club.
The group of lovely lakes east of Lake Country, accessed on the Beaver Lake and Dee Lake Roads, has long been recognized as one of British Columbia's finest fishing grounds. Set like pearls in the midst of wooded hills of great beauty, and connected by waterways and trails, this group of 20 lakes is well stocked with Kamloops trout. Top among the lakes are Dee Lake, Island Lake, Deer Lake, and Crooked Lake. A recreation site, boat launch, and campground are located at Island Lake, with a boat launch at Dee Lake, which boasts the largest rainbow trout. In addition to good fishing in the larger lakes, fishing is also good at Ellison Provincial Park on Okanagan Lake.
Winfield is perfectly located between two major ski areas: Big White Ski Resort, approximately 64 kilometres (40 miles) southeast of Kelowna, and Silver Star Mountain Resort, 22 kilometres (14 miles) northeast of Vernon.
With its lush parks, glorious trails, forests and streaming waters, there's no better place to birdwatch than the Okanagan Valley. This area offers some of the best shorebirding, gull-watching, and urban birding experiences in BC. The Valley plays host to hundreds of birds in dozens of varieties.
ArtWalk is a highly successful annual arts festival which provides an excellent opportunity for over 300 Okanagan artists to exhibit & sell their work!
Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia