Centre helps draw national conference

South Okanagan will host the Association of Canadian Community Colleges conference in May 2013

When construction began on the Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College in 2009, it was touted as an economic generator not only for the immediate construction jobs, but as an ongoing boost to the South Okanagan economy.

Those early claims seem to be coming true with the announcement last week that a major organization has selected Penticton as the site for its 2013 conference.

James Knight, the president of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges, said they plan to bring the group’s annual four-day, 700-delegate event to the South Okanagan in May 2013.

One of the factors that influenced the decision was the Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation at the Penticton campus, which is receiving international acclaim as one of the world’s most sustainable building designs. Right from the design phase, the concept was to make the centre completely energy-neutral, the largest structure to attempt to meet the rigorous environmental standards of the Living Building Challenge.

Donna Lomas, regional dean for the South Okanagan, describes the Centre of Excellence as a showpiece for Okanagan College, and even during construction, they were receiving inquiries from around the world about the building. It will open up many possibilities for the Penticton campus, she said, and the region is going to benefit from it for a long time.

Early estimates suggested the centre could have an economic impact of up to $40 million for the South Okanagan. And the impact of the ACCC conference alone, Lomas said, will be significant.

“We expect this conference will inject well over a million dollars into the regional economy, drawing on the spending experience of other visitors to the community,” she said. “It comes at a good time, before the summer tourist season is in full swing.”

“Hundreds of college leaders, faculty, students and international delegates will experience one of the world’s greenest buildings,” said Knight. “The conference will provide opportunities to network and dialogue on the key role colleges and institutes play in contributing to community economic development.”

Along with the centre, Penticton’s reputation as a tourist destination and Okanagan College’s growing reputation as a leader in the college sector also factored into the organization’s decision, according to college president Jim Hamilton.

 

“This conference will have significant impact for the region and Penticton,” said Mayor Dan Ashton, who also chairs the regional district board. “The municipality and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen saw the potential for the Centre of Excellence as an economic generator in the short and long term and our support for the project is obviously reaping rewards.”

 

 

Just Posted

First Things First and Penticton Lakeside Resort hosting environmental all-candidates debate Oct. 15

Ahead of the debate, there will be a round table discussion with the candidates

Final day of racing approaching at the Penticton Speedway

The Halloween finale starts at 2 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Travelling around the world of Penticton’s cuisines with Foodtopia

The 500 block celebrated the variety of restaurants on Main Street with a night of specials.

Parts of KVR Trail becoming dumping ground for stolen vehicles

More vehicles are turning up due to more patrolling, says Const. James Grandy

Hungry can enjoy Thanksgiving meal thanks to Soupateria volunteers

Thanksgiving and Christmas busiest time of year, says volunteer Randy Cranston

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

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

Letter: Policies need to be put into context

Reader wants to put party policies into the context of money compared to the natural world.

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

Most Read