The Smart Cities Challenge group wants to fill Penticton city council chambers tomorrow with supporters.

Theme selected for Smart Cities Challenge entry

Smart Cities group wants to fill Penticton city council chambers

The Smart Cities Challenge group is hoping to see Penticton city council chambers packed for their presentation on March 6.

They’re asking everyone to come hear the announcement of Penticton’s theme for the challenge, and participate in a group photo to help demonstrate how much the community is getting behind our entry into the $10-million competition.

“I think this is a really exciting opportunity for citizens of Penticton to get engaged,” said Keith MacIntyre of Big Bear Software. “In my memory, the last time council chambers were full was for a very controversial issue. It would be nice to see it full for something as positive and exciting as the Smart Cities Challenge.”

The Smart Cities Challenge, sponsored by Infrastructure Canada, is looking for innovative solutions to community issues. Penticton has chosen to try for a one of the up to $10 million prizes in the national competition.

MacIntyre, along with LocoLanding owner Diana Stirling, is updating council on the progress of the group working on the Smart Cities Challenge, including the theme they have chosen to narrow down the possibilities.

“That is going to help us further define exactly what the details of that challenge statement are going to be,” said MacIntyre. “The theme is going to be driving the stakeholder meetings we are going to be having over the next few weeks and really drill down on what the challenge is.”

MacIntyre said it took less than two weeks to generate over 1,000 responses to the survey the working group put out.

What the theme is going to be remains a mystery until MacIntyre and Stirling announce it at city council, but the #10forpenticton hashtag is already out there, as is a giant blue No. 10, which MacIntyre said will be traveling around Penticton, including being part of the group photo MacIntyre plans to make after the city council presentation.

“What we are looking for is 10 projects and 10 solutions for the $10 million,” said MacIntyre. Part of defining the challenge statement, he explained, is also defining the projects and solutions around that statement. Getting as many people together showing support for the challenge also plays another role.

“They (Smart Cities Challenge) are very clear that community engagement is a huge part of this, and showing that we have a community willing to go to council chambers and hear our presentation will go a long way,” said MacIntyre.

Penticton city council meets at 1 p.m. on March 6 in City Hall. The Smart Cities presentation is expected to be in the first hour of the meeting.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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