History

It all begins with community. The YMCA of Okanagan has been part of the heart and soul of this community for 30 years. In 1981, the Kelowna Community YMCA-YWCA was established as a legally independent charitable organization and began operating Athans Aquatic Centre on behalf of the City of Kelowna.

Today, Central Okangan families and individuals of all ages continue to rely on Y programs like swimming, fitness, child care, day camps, youth leadership, employment and educational events to help build the healthier community we all enjoy.

  • 1983 The Y offered the summer Backyard Pool Program
  • 1985 A full charter was awarded to the Kelowna Community YMCA–YWCA.
  • 1990 The Y offered After School Programs in two Kelowna schools and one in Westbank, started a Job Finding Club and began operating the Children’s Water Park in downtown Kelowna.
  • 1991 The Y started to operate Summer Day Camps in Rutland and Winfield.
  • 1997 Marked the opening of our Career Contact Centre for Youth (C3) in Kelowna.
  • 2001 The Y entered a partnership with the City to expand and manage the Kelowna Family Y.  With almost 5,000 sq feet of new conditioning and weight room space, a new leisure pool with lazy river and spray features, a new membership service area, and children’s programming rooms, the new Kelowna Family Y was now a full service membership center.
  • 2002 The Kelowna Family Y participates in CAP program funded by Industry Canada to provide internet access to the general public.
  • 2003 Youth Activity Centre Opens at the Kelowna Family Y.
  • 2004 YMCA-YWCA of the Central Okanagan reaches 2500 memberships. The Y includes new parenting programs – Pre-natal Wellness and Pre-teen Parenting.
  • 2005 Relocation of our Kelowna Career Contact Centre for Youth to 575 Lawrence Ave.
  • 2006 The YMCA-YWCA of the Central Okanagan celebrates 25 years!
  • 2007 The Y expanded childcare programs into three new elementary schools; implemented Coach Approach, an innovative approach to help people develop and maintain healthy exercise habits; and the Y’s Strong Kids Campaign raised $68,000!
  • 2008 The Y signed agreements with the City of Kelowna to manage the new Mission Aquatic Centre and with Okanagan College to operate a childcare centre, and further developed our expansion plan for the Kelowna Family Y.
  • 2009 H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre officially opened to the public in April and Little Scholars YMCA Playing to Learn Childcare and Preschool Centre began serving families in September. By the end of 2009, the Kelowna Family Y Capital Expansion Campaign raised $4M towards the $5M goal.
  • 2010 Surpassed our goal and raised $5.7M to expand the Kelowna Family Y to include a gymnasium, a run/walking track, a youth zone, child & family resource centre and additional fitness space.
  • 2011 Opened 18,000 square foot expansion of Kelowna Family YMCA in July. Entered into an agreement with the Silver Lake Forest Education Society to manage year-round operations and child/youth camp programs at Silver Lake Camp. The YMCA-YWCA Career Contact Centre for Youth closed its doors after serving the community since 1997.
  • 2012 Three WorkBC Centres operated by the YMCA opened in April and will serve over 3,000 people annually.