The Grapes of Syilx – Indigenous World Winery

By WestJet | | 2 min read
Shifting travel spend towards domestic tourism could help sustain 150,000 jobs in Canada and accelerate recovery following the pandemic by one year, all while seeing and enjoying what Canada has to offer.
Indigenous World Winery – Kelowna B.C.

When you visit Indigenous World Winery, “you are tasting fruit from the land that has supported the Syilx People for over 10,000 years.” It’s an intriguing proposition and Robert Louie and his wife Bernice, who have owned Indigenous World Winery since 2012 have carefully and intentionally paid tribute to the Indigenous people, the Syilx, of the Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys since purchasing the land in 2012.

“Indigenous World Winery and our teams are respectful of our ancestry as we create wines and spirits,” said Robert Louie, “We take care of the land, practice water preservation and honour our past and our people through all aspects of the business. Every effort is being made to produce amazing wines in a respectful way to the environment and its people.”

The past year has been a different one for Robert and Bernice as they worked to adapt to constant changes to safety rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. But with Canada-wide travel occurring and vaccination rates increasing, the couple and their staff are hoping that the rollercoaster is behind them. 

“We have an expansive and beautiful property just minutes from downtown Kelowna with a fantastic view of Lake Okanagan,” continued Robert. “While we have made the most of the challenges during COVID, we are open and ready for Canadians to safely experience our world-class wines and Indigenous culture when visiting our wine tasting room, gift shop, picnic area and our Spirit Bar, the newest addition to the World Indigenous family.”

Indigenous World Winery Indigenous World Winery

“The travel and tourism sector in BC have persevered despite the difficulty that COVID has presented,” said Angela Avery, WestJet Executive Vice-President. “WestJet is providing more than 75 weekly flights from six cities across Canada to Kelowna so that Canadians have the opportunity to easily access this spectacular and unique wine-destination in our own country.”  

Indigenous World Winery

According to Destination Canada, if Canadians were to shift two-thirds of their planned international-leisure travel spend towards domestic tourism, it would help sustain 150,000 jobs and accelerate recovery by one year, all while seeing what Canada has to offer.

For information on Kelowna, Indigenous World Winery and planning your trip, visit

WestJet and the Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada (ITAC) have provided nine, $10,000 grants to Indigenous tourism businesses across Canada that have been devastated by the shutdown of the tourism industry due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants were originally earmarked through the WestJet/ITAC strategic national partnership, signed in November 2019.

The recipients of these grants, including World Indigenous Winery, were given the news in March 2021 and their reactions were captured in a new WestJet/ITAC video, WestJet & ITAC: supporting Indigenous tourism in Canada