City has reason to count its blessings

Penticton received a pair of early Christmas presents that should go a long way towards ensuring a prosperous new year for the area

Penticton was on the receiving end of a pair of early Christmas presents last week that should go a long way towards ensuring a prosperous new year for the South Okanagan.

B.C. business icon Jim Pattison helped ring in the season in style, promising to match donations of up to $2.5 million for Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Penticton.

While it’s hard to overshadow a financial contribution that’s measured in the millions, a potentially even greater value could come from the exposure a vote of confidence from someone of Pattison’s stature will bring.

The new Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence at Okanagan College promises to be on the cutting edge of training for the types of green, high-tech jobs that will play a vital role in Canada’s future economy.

Having a state-of-the-art educational facility located in our midst should give a leg up for local business in acquiring the type of skilled workers that will be integral to future growth. And the college will provide the region’s  youth with the tools they need to tap into their career potential.

And if that news wasn’t enough to brighten the holidays for the area, Landmark Cinemas got things rolling on its new theatre for Penticton.

Heavy equipment tore through the former Liquidation World building on Westminster Avenue, bringing Landmark’s vision for a seven-screen movie theatre into focus. While the theatre will provide a significant boost to the entertainment options for Penticton residents, indications suggest it will also provide an economic shot in the arm for the city’s downtown core. City officials say news of the project has triggered significant interest from other commercial enterprises.

So although we may still be counting down the days until Santa’s sleigh touches down in the Peach City, we already have reason to count our blessings.