Meet Me On Bernard starts July 1st
Starting Monday, June 28, the transformation of four blocks of Bernard Avenue from a roadway to an animated public space for pedestrians begins. Meet me on Bernard is a collaborative initiative presented by the Downtown Kelowna Association, City of Kelowna, and Tourism Kelowna and runs through to Labour Day, Sept. 6.
“We’re excited to see Bernard Avenue in a new way this summer as we seek to provide more animated spaces in our community,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “Bernard will be open to pedestrians, performances and artwork, providing ample space over the summer for our community to safely come together and provide a needed boost to our local economy.”
Meet me on Bernard will run seven days a week throughout the summer with activities and performances scattered along the four blocks leading to the waterfront. Residents and visitors can enjoy a 6-metre-wide pedestrian walkway from St. Paul Street to Kerry Park. Festivals Kelowna will provide local entertainment and expanded on-street patios and retail stores’ doors will be open for all.
“In the summer months especially, Downtown is the heart of Kelowna and serves as a social and commercial hub, driving tourism, community engagement and civic pride,” said Mark Burley, Executive Director of the DKA. “Meet me on Bernard for 2021 is a completely new experience with activations that will draw visitor traffic into all four blocks for the duration of the closure. The draw from this year’s initiative will benefit not only Bernard businesses, but all business in Downtown Kelowna.”
Each block of Bernard provides unique highlights with urban parklets and demonstration areas in the 400 and 500 blocks, expanded patios along Restaurant Row in the 200 and 300 blocks and an abundance of public art woven throughout the street, making Meet me on Bernard a one-of-a-kind experience. Additional seating areas, colourful signage, and more retail shops make this a fun and active place to visit.
“Tourism Kelowna is very excited to partner with the Downtown Kelowna Association and the City of Kelowna to help residents and visitors discover more local businesses and attractions,” said Lisanne Ballantyne, President and CEO of Tourism Kelowna. “As family, friends, and visitors come back to what they love about Kelowna, our team will be on site to answer their questions, help them plan safe experiences, and recommend new and interesting activities to enjoy.”
Various programs will be available in the Neighbourhood Plaza and Community Square in the 400 and 500 blocks, including Park & Play on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings from 9 a.m. until noon.
Meet me On Bernard, supported by Rogers, opens Thursday July 1.
A special thank you to our community sponsors including Rogers, ValleyFirst, a division of FirstWest Credit Union, and Mission Group. For more information about Meet me on Bernard, visit one of the participating partner websites:
Traffic Impacts / Schedule
Beginning Monday, June 28, Bernard Avenue between Abbott and St. Paul Streets, Abbott St. between Lawrence and Bernard Avenues, and Mill Street will be closed to motorists until Sept. 7 for the Meet me on Bernard initiative. Cross streets, including Water St., Ellis Street and Pandosy Street will remain open.
- June 28 – Initial road closure of four blocks of Bernard Ave. (Abbott to St. Paul) for program set up
- July 1 – Meet me on Bernard kicks off with four blocks of Bernard Avenue opening to pedestrians
- September 6 – Four blocks of Bernard Ave. closes to pedestrians for program take down
- September 9 – Vehicle traffic to resumes on Bernard Avenue
Temporary accessible parking stalls and five-minute pick-up zones will be in place on cross streets near Bernard Ave. for motorists’ convenience. Bernard Avenue is within walking distance from several parkades in downtown Kelowna including the Library Parkade, Memorial Parkade and the Chapman Parkade – that provide short- and long-term parking options. To view real-time availability, visit kelowna.ca/parking.