Region exploring overseas markets

Penticton Economic Development Services and the Okanagan Valley Economic Development Society are collaborating to create a foreign trade and investment initiative in the U.K. The purpose of this initiative is to market the Okanagan region to a global market and to build partnerships between the Okanagan and U.K. business communities. The U.K. was chosen based on its long-standing business history and similarities to the Canadian economic, legal and fiscal market lead framework.

Penticton Economic Development Services and the Okanagan Valley Economic Development Society are collaborating to create a foreign trade and investment initiative in the U.K. The purpose of this initiative is to market the Okanagan region to a global market and to build partnerships between the Okanagan and U.K. business communities. The U.K. was chosen based on its long-standing business history and similarities to the Canadian economic, legal and fiscal market lead framework. 

On Feb. 21, a gathering of eight local high-tech and innovative businesses, as well as Mayor Dan Ashton, came together to meet with Andy Curtis, Okanagan’s new trade and investment officer in the United Kingdom.  

Curtis will be our Okanagan representative in the U.K. throughout 2011, and we encourage businesses who are interested in using his services to contact us. There are opportunities in a wide range of collaborative partnerships. For example, if you are looking for distribution into the U.K. or could distribute a U.K. product from your facility here, this is an opportunity for you to connect with the right business to make that happen. There is no limit to how many businesses we can refer, so all are welcome. 

For more information, please contact: David Arsenault, Penticton economic development officer, at 250-493-3323 or email

Are you looking to fill a vacancy, hire casual or part-time employees, recruit volunteers or promote your business? Find out how Third Quarter, an online web tool that connects Canadians over 50 years of age to employment and volunteer opportunities. can help your business.  Third Quarter info sessions will be held at the chamber on March 3 and 10, from 8:30 to 9 a.m. (Refreshments provided). Pre-register by calling the chamber at 250-492-4103, or for further information call Michou Szabo, TQ community co-ordinator, at 250-809-7488.

The Penticton and Wine Country Visitor Centre is busily restocking its shelves with 2011 Visitor Guides from all corners of the province. As one of the busiest visitor centres in British Columbia, locals and visitors alike can benefit from the hundreds of maps and guide books we offer. The official 2011 Penticton Visitors Guide is published as well, so please drop by the Visitor Centre to get some for your home or business.  

Wondering what to do this weekend?  Our website has a list of festivals and events for you to plan a full weekend of fun. The Visitor Centre staff is here to help you, call us if you have any questions regarding visitor information at 250-493-4055.  

The next Business After Business event will be held on March 10, from 5 to 7 p.m. Hosting the event is The Hamlets At Penticton, located at 103 Duncan Ave. W. These events offer a great opportunity to make new connections, so bring along lots of business cards.

Don’t forget the Business Excellence Seminars coming in March presented by the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce. The first is Conflict Resolution Strategies, which takes place on March 4 from 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., facilitated by Kerry Palmer of South Okanagan Mediation Services.   The second is Social Media — the Do’s and Don’ts of Using Facebook as a Marketing Tool, which takes place on March 22 from 9 to 11:30 a.m., facilitated by Allison Marking of All She Wrote Consulting.  Registration for either event is $53 + HST for members and $73 + HST for non-members.  

For more information or to register for these or any other Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce events, call the chamber membership services at 250-492-4103 or email

Anna Heiberg is facilitating a FOODSAFE Level 1 Course March 11 in the second floor boardroom of the Wine Country Visitor Centre at 553 Railway St. The event starts at 9 a.m. sharp. For more information and to register please contact Anna at 250-819-3273 or 

The Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance (OSCA) is looking for local businesses to partner with them by donating an auction prize or cash in support of this year’s Meadowlark Festival. For details contact Anita at 250-492-5275 or email


New Chamber Members

Ritchie Contracting & Design Ltd. located at 1164 Killarney Street, is a residential custom home builder providing “a better building experience” in the South Okanagan for over 20 years.  Contact Nicholas Hill at 250.493.9341 or check out their website at 

Tania Bennett and Koriena Budd of WCG International HR Solutions of Penticton are new members. WCG is a team of community based career development professionals that provide employment services for job seekers and HR solutions to employers. For more information they can b e reached at 1.888.562.9283 or locally at 250.486.5383 or check out their website at 

Want a mobile custom spray tan service? Natural You Spray Tan uses a solution enhanced with anti-aging botanicals and antioxidants for a natural, UV-free tan that lasts 7 to 14 days. For more information or to book an appointment, contact Cassandra Kulak at 250.486.3541 or

Get Smart Business Solutions at 200, 383 Ellis Street has been serving the Penticton area for the past 10 years. We have a reputation of providing bookkeeping services you can trust and depend on. Our goal is to save you time and money so you can focus on other business matters. Contact Barb Dougan by phone at 250.490.9559 or through email at

Corrine Omand of ENCOMPASS Benefits & HR Solutions at 100-215 Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna BC V1Y 6L2 has just joined our local Penticton Chamber. ENCOMPASS is a well-established and successful benefits and HR consulting firm that has had its head office in Kelowna since 1984. As a team we provide group benefits, pensions and human resources services as well as guidance on health and wellness initiatives Corrine can be reached at 250.763.6464 or via email at Check out the website for more information.

Erin Hanson is the general manager of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.


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