Member of the Canada National Network
Naramata is nestled on the south eastern shores of Okanagan lake in the Southern Interior of British Columbia. It is 15 kilometers north of Penticton on a winding road that passes by agricultural lands and rural homes. The topography is that of gentle slopes and gullies leading down to the water's edge. The pine trees line high above the farmland and the areas above that are steep and mountainous. Geologically the valley is volcanic and glaciers have left fertile soil on its hills. (see photo)
Naramata was one of the early settlements founded in 1906 by J Robinson who advertised fertile lands and a cultural center drawing people from across Canada and Britain. Steam boats formed the early transportation of the area. The Kettle Valley Railroad was completed on the area's hillsides in 1914. These pieces of history remain today and can be explored. (see photo)
The current population is 2000 and increases in the summer months with tourism.Today's economy is agricultural with both soft fruit, apples and wine grapes being the largest grown crops. Tourism is based on the wide variety of outdoor activities, beaches, great weather and the wine and beverages being produced here. The Agricultural Land Reserve has control over the growth on the farm lands as a food security measure and also protects the charm and breathtaking scenery.
The village of Naramata has fallen into the parameters of the Cittaslow designation in nature and not by design. Its rich history, slow pace, quaint village and numerous greenspaces being home to artisans and farmers was a natural fit in 2004 when its designation was obtained.
The community has held 100 years of festivals with Maypole dancers, traditional games and races every May. (see photo) Public art with a Maypole art installation, street banners and mosaics and a large community choir that performs locally are enjoyed. The largest landowner in the village itself is the Naramata Center which has owned it for 65 years and is now an inclusive, welcoming retreat center aimed at deepening your mind, body and spirit. There are numerous small independent businesses and services.
NaramataSlow is the name given to Cittaslow here. It is an active organization with events and projects regularly. These include a weekly Farmers market June to September, Christmas Markets, School learning with Chef in the Classroom, a yearly Harvest Supper which hosts a 225+ community feast, the setting up of a map for local roadside produce stands and an Earth Day set of events.
Several large projects have been initiated by Naramataslow including a community sign that posts all local events and interests as well as the fundraising for the purchase of a piece of beach front to be kept as community parkland. ( see photo)
At present, larger projects include a Community Use building and a Dark Sky Designation. NaramataSlow and the Naramata Citizens Association often pair up and sponsor projects including the Local Art and photography on street banners throughout the town and the Earthday events.
Main Community Events
Seedy Saturday - yearly in March promotes local farming, growing of plants, vegetables and food production
Easter - helicopter easter egg drop
Earth Day - Invasive weed pull, garbage and beach cleanup, earth talks, star gazing, upcycle sales
May Day - yearly the 3rd weekend in May - Maypole dance, soapbox races, food, games
Farmers Market - June through September
Canada Day - celebrations - street party
August Faire - yearly August long weekend, cardboard boat races, foods, entertainment
Harvest supper - yearly the weekend after thanksgiving ,Community potluck
Christmas Light up
Local Cittaslow President - Miranda Halladay
Local Tourism - discovernaramata.com