Included in the Wednesday, May 3 print edition is our Women in Business magazine where we highlight South Okanagan women who are making a difference in the community and in the business world. Below is a profile of Kim Wall, who is featured in the magazine.
It’s hard to fathom that the founder of Penticton Roller Skate nights only learned how to roller skate just nine years ago.
Now, Kim Wall has brought the nostalgic leisure sport back to Penticton in a big way with rollers rink nights, filling the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre and community centres around South Okanagan and beyond.
“I learned to skate in 2014 and I joined Penticton roller derby with zero skating experience and just fell in love with it,” she said.
Wall is also the smiling face that greets you at LockWorks at 1256 Main Street.
She owns the busy locksmith shop with her husband.
A Penticton High alumni, Wall remembers her school counsellor gave her a list of possible fields she might like to work in.
“There was a suggestion of a jeweller or a locksmith. Locksmith stood out to me as something I would like,” she said.
In 2005, she started working full-time at LockWorks which has been operating since 1980. Since then she has become co-owner of the lock and key shop, serving communities as far as Osoyoos to Keremeos and Princeton. Being one of only two locksmith shops in town makes for busy times with Wall dispatching their locksmiths to various communities and cutting keys in between.
“My life is locksmithing and roller skating. If I can get a little bit of time in there for my hubby and dog, I’m super happy.”
She said in the peak of derby season, she’s usually skating four days a week.
Roller skating and derby are her passion and now she is sharing them with the public.
Wall was born at the Penticton hospital and grew up in Peach City. She knows all too well that youth are always looking for something to do, especially during the winter months.
She got this idea to bring rollerskating nights to Penticton after going out to fun roller nights in Armstrong.
“I wanted to find a way to let people re-connect, something that was low cost, family-friendly and fun,” she said.
With COVID restrictions still in place, Wall along with friends from the roller derby team put on the first rollerskate night in January 2022 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
It was an instant hit.
Adults were there feeling nostalgic for their youth and kids were there with their parents discovering how fun rollerskating is. The next roller rink night was just as popular with lasers and 70s and 80s music playing.
“We’ve held theme nights like Halloween and Valentine’s. Our prom rink was amazing. You wouldn’t believe the number of youth who showed up.”
She started off buying 60 pairs of rollerskates for rentals. She is now up to 225. She also supplies helmets and protective elbow and wrist gear free of charge.
“I had to rent a U-haul,” she said about getting the skates to the rink.
Hundreds come out each time.
In order to host roller rink nights she has to have at least 10,0000 square feet. They have that at the PTCC.
“Working with PTCC has been fantastic, as has worked with Oliver Arena.”
They are now offering learn-to-skate programs, as well as starting a junior roller derby team.
Between running a locksmith shop, hosting roller rink nights and being busy on the derby team, Wall’s life is very full but she wouldn’t have it any other way, she said.