The Evolution of Our Clubhouse
From rendering to reality: the new Kelowna Yacht Club’s state-of-the-art clubhouse in the heart of Kelowna’s waterfront.
The Kelowna Yacht Club was established in 1945 for the purpose of promoting the safe enjoyment of boating on Lake Okanagan. Leasing property for both the club and its marina from the City of Kelowna, the original members enjoyed the camaraderie of family and friends on the lakefront, with only basic amenities of picnic tables and their boats. However, the Board of Directors soon realized a clubhouse would increase the opportunities for members to enjoy their time together. Our first clubhouse, which was the original CKOV radio station, was purchased for $150 and moved to 1414 Water Street, where it remained until this fall. Expansions and additions in 1965 and 1986 resulted in the building that most residents have known for decades.
While the club has always paid full lease and property taxes to the City of Kelowna, there was a desire to own our property and we began accumulating funds for this dream. Negotiations commenced when the expiration of the current lease coincided with the City’s plans to move the Water Street Seniors Centre facility to the Parkinson Activity Centre and expand Stuart Park. An agreement to purchase the site at full market value was reached in late 2009 and the club members have been actively working on our new clubhouse since then. The club has agreed to offer the City of Kelowna the right of first refusal should the club ever decide to sell the property.
The striking new clubhouse was designed by the award-winning Meiklejohn Architects Ltd. of Kelowna and features 24,100 square feet on two floors, with expansive decks and patios to take advantage of the views of the lake and Stuart Park. The building design echoes a nautical theme, with structural features and wall panels that evoke the masts, hulls and sails of the boats in our marina. At the same time, it integrates seamlessly with the features and landscape of Stuart Park, preserving the views of the lake from adjacent buildings and for pedestrians as well as incorporating the heritage trees along Water Street.
Agreeing with the City’s desire to keep the lakefront as public-friendly as possible, part of the first floor was designed to be a public restaurant with a 2300 square foot patio easing the transition from Stuart Park into the building. The Cactus Club will soon begin building their new restaurant in that space. The first floor also houses our administrative offices, a classroom for the many boating and water safety courses hosted by KYC , and a boardroom. Both the classroom and boardroom are available for rental by non-members.
The second floor is graced with huge decks and glass walls that offer unobstructed views of Okanagan Lake and Stuart Park. It houses our members’ restaurant and lounge areas as well as separate banquet and meeting facilities that are also available for public rental. A striking feature is the use of window walls that actually open completely, allowing a seamless transition from inside the rooms to the adjacent decks.
The new clubhouse is truly an outstanding addition to Kelowna’s lakefront, a jewel in a fabulous setting which enhances the enjoyment of both the public and members of the Kelowna Yacht Club.