In Plain View: Innovation Centre a beacon of technology and community

I remember being somewhat astonished when I first saw the bright primary colours going up on the drab, old school district building across from where I work.

Initially, I thought, “Wow, that really stands out,” though not entirely certain if it was in a good way.

And then came the giant metal monarch butterflies.

Over a short period of time, however, I would begin to see the Monarch Building differently.

Related: Bright spot added to Salmon Arm street

Related: Monarch mural for downtown building

I think that change began to sink in on my drives to work. After dropping my son off at school, I tend to head into town via the highway. The route offers motorists one of the finer vistas of Salmon Arm and its downtown, where it’s very easy to spot the Monarch Building. Amongst the greys and other earthy tones, it stands out like a beacon.

And maybe that’s not a bad way to think of it.

The building is now home to the Salmon Arm Innovation Centre and the Shuswap Makerspace, two local, community-driven endeavours pulled together, as I understand, by the folks at the Salmon Arm Economic Development Society. They had a lot of supporters, including the City of Salmon Arm, local businesses, School District #83, Okanagan College and many others who wanted, in the words of Innovation Centre project chair Chad Shipmaker, a “place to explore technology, a place to learn and to share ideas or to teach.”

Related: Innovation centre sparks excitement

With last week’s official opening of the Makerspace, located on the bottom floor of the centre, the building now offers a place to do business, conduct meetings, learn about different trades and technologies, share knowledge and experience, and bond with others who might share interests. It’s an office space for those without an office and a workshop for those, well, without a workshop.

How is the Innovation Centre a beacon? While we may be a rural community, the centre shows we can be technologically relevant, that we can offer the benefits of the borderless digital age that businesses, innovators and Internet influencers might crave, in a city where it takes roughly 10 minutes or less to drop your kid off at school and get to work.

For that alone, I’m grateful to have more colour in our downtown.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Sicamous welcomes new doctor

Dr. Carol Connick opened her practice on June 18

Girl, 10, poisoned by carbon monoxide at Shuswap campsite could soon return home

Lucille Beaurain died and daughter Micaela Walton, 10, was rushed to B.C. Children’s Hospital on May 18

Chase RCMP find drugs, fake money and sawed-off shotgun at traffic stop

Two separate incidents in recent weeks result in drug-related arrests.

Beekeepers from Argentina find sweet success in Shuswap

Honey Onyx Apiary is hoping to increase its operations by 200 hives this year

Unexpected snow on Okanagan Connector, Pennask Summit

As of 6:50 a.m. DriveBC cameras displayed surprise snowfall on highway

VIDEO: ‘Avengers: Endgame’ to be re-released with new footage

‘Avatar’ holds global box office record at $2.788 billion, while ‘Endgame’ stands at $2.743 billion…

B.C. teen killed by falling tree near Victoria

Second youth also injured in freak incident during field trip at Camp Barnard near Sooke

South Okanagan mountain resort sees lengthy snowfall

Snow stayed on the ground for four, says resort manager

Elias Pettersson wins Calder Trophy as NHL’s top rookie

Vancouver forward first Canuck to win award since Pavel Bure in 1992

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Shovels could be in the ground on Trans Mountain by September, CEO says

Ian Anderson points to weeks likely required for NEB to reinstate 2016 regulatory record

Interior forestry workers ratify five-year contract

It was approved by United Steelworkers Local 1-417, which represents workers in Kamloops, Kelowna

Scorpion gives birth after hitching ride in B.C. woman’s luggage

A Vancouver woman inadvertently brought the animal home from a trip to Cuba

Most Read