Aside from the major league hockey players and mysterious Hollywood stars who may or may not own lakeshore palaces hereabouts, what does everybody in the Okanagan do? You know, to make money? A living? See our 2014 Okanagan Salary Survey.
Take a Sunday drive through one of the developments carved into the hillsides of pretty much any Valley community and you will wonder. Even if you live in one of those suburbs where Tuscan style mini-mansions are popping up like Okanagan daisies on a warm spring day—still you may wonder. What does everybody do?
You wave to the new neighbours as you walk Bowser to the mailbox or maybe glance out the window and see another moving truck. “What does everybody do?”
Kelowna, for example, is a city that on first glance seems to have no—well, very little—visible means of support. There are no IBMs or Xeroxes. No bank towers; no giant head offices filled with executive suites. There isn’t an enormous resource facility—nary a mine or giant pulp mill. No smoke-belching factory.
And our old and venerable sources of modest work and income seem to have drifted away in recent decades. Packinghouses appear more decorative than real. Mom and pop motels have mostly disappeared. And while the peaches and beaches that supported them are still here, the economy of fruit and tourism has changed. Now we have condos instead of auto courts, more vineyards than orchards.
But surely everybody isn’t a winemaker or a retired Alberta oil executive.
We look around and see apparent wealth—upscale homes, new construction and comfortable suburbs, luxury car, boat and RV dealers. So, what does everybody do? Curiously, while it can feel as though the Okanagan is anomalous, somehow different from other places—an outlier from other regional economies—it isn’t really. At least, not completely.