There were lots of younger faces at the latest OCP/Smart CIties event, which also featured an HQ-like trivia game, played through smartphones with questions on the makeup of Penticton. Steve Kidd/Western News.

Penticton events drawing younger crowds

Younger entrepreneurs and business people making their presence felt

Big Bear Software played host to the latest event to gather input for the Official Community Plan review.

It’s a chance, according to the invite, to talk about how we can help shape the next OCP “to realize the potential we all see in Penticton.”

“Also, it gives the opportunity to show the history of Penticton, where we came from, what happened in 2002 and how we can do better going forward,” said organizer Keith MacIntyre.

Related: City said good cross-section of community showed up for ExpOCP

“It is really nice to see a younger demographic coming out and engaging in the city,” MacIntyre continued. “There is a lot of creativity in the younger generation and sometimes they are not feeling a part of what is happening in the city, they don’t feel they have a voice.”

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says he has also noticed a younger segment of the population getting engaged, not just at MacIntyre’s event, but also at Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce functions.

“That’s encouraging. I think there are a lot of people who are leaving the hustle and bustle of the bigger cities and realizing they can still work,” said Jakubeit, noting there is a growing number of people working remotely.

“It doesn’t matter where they live. That’s where our lifestyle comes into play and the fact that we’ve been creating some momentum, having a successful series of developments going forward. People are looking Penticton as a viable place to develop and to move to, to work from.”

With MacIntyre being a driving force behind Penticton entering the Smart Cities Challenge — a federal government-sponsored contest to win $10 million to spend on technology-related projects — the event included discussion of that project, as did the city’s ExpOCP sessions earlier in January.

Related: City of Penticton invests in Smart Cities bid

“At the ExpOCP we had about 300 people come through and put stickies up about what’s the most important challenge that is happening in Penticton,” said MacIntyre. “Our next step is to get five or six challenge statements and see which ones resonate with the community. The technology ideas are coming, so I’m really excited to see where this goes.”

The Smart Cities group is also conducting an online survey where you can add your ideas and solutions asking what you think are the biggest challenges facing Penticton. That can be found at smartcitiespenticton.com/how-might-we. The group is also on Facebook at SmartCitiesPenticton.

For more information about participating in the OCP process, visit shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.

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