Only a few months after the project was first announced, Cowork Penticton has opened its doors.
Co-founder Jennifer Vincent said the time since February, when they took over the lease to the old church at 125 Eckhardt, has been spent fitting out the building and painting it, as well as securing a zoning amendment from city council and going through a building inspection.
“For something that is innovative, it has moved quite quickly. Of course, it feels like mud when you are in the middle of it,” said Vincent.
Cowork is essentially a shared office space, where independent professionals can utilize shared facilities. In Cowork Penticton’s case, people can join on a month-to-month basis or as a drop-in, for as little as a day. There are meeting rooms, printers, projectors and a self-serve coffee bar as well as two larger private rooms that can be rented for board meetings, workshops and similar activities.
“The first community that usually steps forward is the tech community,” said Vincent. “What we discovered here is that while there is interest there, there was also interest among people who work at home in a variety of capacities: accountants, academics, consultants. Anyone really, who bases their life around using a laptop with a strong Internet connection.”
Over the long weekend, however, they will be playing host to the Peach City Community Radio Society, who will be broadcasting in conjunction with the Meadowlark Festival on 94.5 FM.
“We’re really excited about it. community radio brings a wonderful vibe here,” said Vincent. “They will be here from 7:30 a.m. Friday morning right through until 8 p.m. on Monday. They have set up a beautiful studio.”
To tie in with the interest the community radio broadcast is generating, Cowork will be holding an open house. From 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on May 20, they will be inviting the public to come in, walk around and learn about the building and amenities.
And that’s just a precursor to the formal launch date for Cowork, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. on May 25. Vincent is looking forward to getting into full operation and seeing how the Cowork community will develop and interact.
“Ideally, you get a very organic collaboration that starts to happen,” said Vincent. “There is so much potential for things to be generated here. It could be a new project, it could be a new hobby, it could be a friendship, it could be a new business relationship.”