A Kelowna resident enters Bernard Avenue through Ellis Street on June 29 as crews transform Bernard into a six-metre, pedestrian-friendly road closure that spans four blocks. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

A Kelowna resident enters Bernard Avenue through Ellis Street on June 29 as crews transform Bernard into a six-metre, pedestrian-friendly road closure that spans four blocks. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)

Transformation of Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue underway

The Meet Me on Bernard program is expected to be ready for Canada Day

The transformation of Kelowna’s Bernard Avenue into a pedestrian-friendly road closure kicked off on Monday (June 28) and will be fully open by Canada Day on Thursday.

From then until Labour Day (Sept. 6), Bernard — from St. Paul Street to Kerry Park — will be home to artwork, live performances and extended patios. This is the second year that the Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) has organized the event, an initiative that was introduced last year to help boost the downtown centre’s economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now called the Meet Me on Bernard program, city staff had a lot more time to plan this year, with more activities and greenery lining the street.

Each block of Bernard will offer a different scene: urban parklets and demonstration areas can be found in the 400 and 500 blocks, while expanded patios are strung along restaurant row in the 200 and 300 blocks.

Various programs will be available in the 400 and 500 blocks, such as Park & Play on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday mornings, from 9 a.m. until noon.

Public art is being installed throughout the street, as well as additional seating areas, colourful signage and retail shops.

Bernard Avenue between Abbott Street and St. Paul Street, Abbott Street between Lawrence Avenue and Bernard Avenue, and Mill Street will be closed to motorists until Sept. 7. Cross streets, including Water Street, Ellis Street and Pandosy Street will remain open.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Meet me on Bernard event kicks off on Canada Day

READ MORE: Kelowna council to consider yearly Bernard Avenue closure

Okanagan