BC Liberal Party Leader Andrew Wilkinson tries out a virtual reality game run by Jackson Fitt in the Shuswap Makerspace on Wednesday, Jan. 9. (Jim Elliot/Salmon Arm Observer)

Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson tours Salmon Arm’s Innovation Centre

The party leader tested out a virtual reality game and met with owners of growing tech businesses

The leader of the BC Liberal Party paid a visit to Salmon Arm to tour the Innovation Centre on Shuswap Street.

Andrew Wilkinson had glowing praise to heap upon Salmon Arm, saying it is an example of the way B.C. has largely skipped heavy manufacturing industry in favour of growing a robust tech sector.

“What that means is we go straight into the 21st century economy with software development; video games are a big business in British Columbia, digital effects in the movie industry is a huge business in British Columbia and the Salmon Arm Innovation Centre means they’re going to be a part of it,” he said.

“Salmon Arm has turned into a real growth centre in B.C. It’s fascinating to get off Highway 1 to see how much is growing and building here like the Innovation Centre.”

Related: Makerspace a place to learn, teach, work and play

Wilkinson toured the various offices and working spaces of the centre along with Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo and Salmon Arm Councillor Kevin Flynn. Leading the tour were Salmon Arm Economic Development Society (SAEDS) manager Lana Fitt and Thomas Brigginshaw, the centre’s executive director.

Fitt told Wilkinson that things are still in their early days at the centre, but the early occupancy figures are encouraging with 65 per cent of the co-working spaces filled with tech startups and businesses that will support the tech sector. She added the Innovation Centre team hopes for full occupancy by the end of 2019. Fitt also expressed her gratitude for the support from the building’s landlord Bill Laird who is billing the centre only for the space within the building occupied by tenants.

Along with the offices housing growing tech companies, the MLAs toured the makerspace which occupies the Innovation Centre’s bottom floor where Wilkinson tried out the virtual reality booth and saw the 3D printer lab and spacious wood shop available to those who pay a monthly membership fee.

While in Salmon Arm, Wilkinson also met with a roundtable made up of members of the local agricultural sector and toured Valid Manufacturing.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Salmon Arm youth eyes national event in meeting with Justin Trudeau

Friendship Day founder Brody Paton shares vision for national event with prime minister

Salmon Arm RCMP arrest man suspected of using stolen credit cards

The man was taken into custody while driving a stolen car

Process limits greenhouse gas escape at Salmon Arm Landfill

Fortis BC uses converted biogas to fuel between 300 and 500 homes

City staff find reduction to tax increase

Salmon Arm council opts to stick with 3.3 per cent hike, expecting impact from parcel tax review

CSRD board educated on dangers of radon gas by experts

Revelstoke mayor shares account of health risks associated with gas exposure

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read