Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski (left) and Kelowna Mayor Walter Gray with the flags of their respective cities at Wednesday’s Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Kelowna and Cranbrook brainstorm new opportunities

With the launch of Pacific Coastal's Okanagan-Kootenay connector, Kelowna and Cranbrook are looking to create some new initiatives.

  • Nov. 22, 2013 5:00 a.m.

With the recent launch of Pacific Coastal’s Okanagan-Kootenay connector flight that links Kelowna and Cranbrook, the two cities are looking to create some new initiatives.

The new flight makes Kelowna a 45-minute flight away and so presents some potential for innovative opportunities.

On Wednesday, representatives from the Kelowna region and the East Kootenay met to discuss some ideas.

Kevin Weaver, economic development manager for the City of Cranbrook, highlighted some of the initiatives from a regional perspective. Representatives from Cranbrook, the City of Kimberley,  the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce and other organizations met with counterparts from Kelowna.

“This came quite suddenly and we only had a couple of hours,” he said. The meeting was a sort of brainstorming opportunity on how to leverage the new air service to bring about new opportunities.

For tourism, there was discussion about developing better packaging at both ends.

“It’s about getting more traffic going back and forth, because we do have a lot of residents in both areas that have activities but don’t spend the time,” Weaver said.

Kelowna is also a hub airport that has direct flights to Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Phoenix, among others.

The University of British Columbia in the Okanagan (UBCO) and College of the Rockies (COTR) participated in talks on how to leverage post-secondary institutions.

“The college (COTR) is trying to build their applied research capabilities so I think there is the opportunity for the college to work with UBC Okanagan.”

UBC Okanagan already has a well developed applied research capacity.

Weaver said a lot of companies look at having that research and training capacity as a critical asset in locations to set up business.

Weaver will now be putting together an action plan around those topics to pursue in the next six months.

“We’re hoping that this will become a formal conference between the two regions every year or so,” he said.

Mayor Wayne Stetski said there is potential for enhanced business opportunities between the regions.

“It was an opportunity moving ahead to work more closely on some of those initiatives,” Stetski said. “The good news is Pacific Coastal has said that they would like to continue to support Kelowna and Cranbrook’s getting together in the future. This is the first step in creating a better future for both our communities.”

Weaver said a lot of the economic activity in this part of the province has been geared towards Alberta in the past several years.

“In many respects we were working separately from the Okanagan and other parts of the province,” Weaver said. “So this is a real opportunity for us to grow that opportunity into B.C. itself.”

Just Posted

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society is waiting for a response from the province

It happened this week in 1912

Oct.6 - 12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

55+ BC Games makes legacy impact in Cranbrook and Kimberley

The results are in, to the tune of $18,000 for Cranbrook and… Continue reading

Advance voting in 2019 federal election begins

Voting at advance polling stations has become a popular choice in Canada over the years

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Man caught throwing away election signs in Fernie, ordered to put them back

Man told RCMP he had ‘no faith in government’

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Most Read