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

Okanagan and Shuswap blossom at Communities in Bloom awards

District of Sicamous, City of Armstrong double winners at B.C. awards gala; Lumby also a winner

Internet speed testing implemented in the CSRD

Test results will be tracked to find areas where improvement is needed.

Sicamous Eagles lose two on the road

Despite late offensive surges, the Sicamous squad came up short in Spokane and the Beaver Valley.

What financial commitments do you want from candidates running for prime minister?

As the federal election quickly approaches, the Observer took to the streets… Continue reading

In photos: Magician entertains in downtown Salmon Arm

Children of Salmon Arm were treated to the wonders of magician Leif… Continue reading

VIDEO: A moment to remember during the World Lacrosse Men’s Indoor Championship in B.C.

Diego Hernandez Valenzuela’s team lost, but he felt like a winner Saturday

B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Crazy P cheers, chants, bangs his drum and spreads a message of love

Former South Okanagan resident found dead in Alberta

Candace Deleeuw was reported missing Sept. 16

PHOTOS: Steller sea lion with plastic around neck rescued on Vancouver Island

Rescue staff determined the plastic band cut the protected animal’s neck approximately two inches

B.C. VIEWS: School officials join fact-free ‘climate strike’

Students, public get distorted picture of greenhouse gases

Latimer surveyed much of Summerland

Civil engineer was also responsible of community’s irrigation system

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Most Read