Economic development through cultural industries

This month I’d like to turn your attention to cultural initiatives - another way a segment of our community contributes to our economy.

In recent months, I’ve been talking about the contributions made to economic development in Summerland via different types of initiatives.  Sometimes these initiatives feel familiar in the context of the economy.  These include ideas such as shopping local, something we can all do, and how the availability of industrial land such as the new Bentley Road Industrial Park makes it possible for businesses to expand and move to Summerland.  Last month I wrote about the economic benefits that can come to a community through less traditional avenues, such as the Okanagan Lake Multi-Use Pathway Project and other recreation initiatives.

This month I’d like to turn your attention to cultural initiatives – another way a segment of our community contributes to our economy.  Cultural industries include performing arts, visual arts and heritage institutions, writing and published works, film and video production, broadcasting, advertising and creative design, and interactive digital media.  Each of these industries is represented in Summerland, some more visibly than others.

While we don’t have specific numbers for Summerland, a UBC study completed in 2010 indicated that in the city of Kelowna the creative sector represented 1157 direct and indirect jobs and 121.5 million dollars in economic output.   A recent UNESCO study also states that cultural industries are becoming important components of today’s economy, propelling innovation and development.

We know the obvious – that diversity in cultural products such as festivals and events contributes to growth in tourism.  However there’s more.  Cultural industries and products contribute to people moving here.  The more creativity and culture a community offers, the greater the incentive for people with similar interests and values to live and work here, and hopefully to also start businesses that will employ others.

Here in Summerland, some of the more visible aspects of local history and culture kick off their seasons this month.  The KVSR opens for the regular season and will welcome more than 20,000 riders, many of whom will spend additional dollars in our community.

Other activities showcasing our community include the Summerland Studio Tour featuring 15 local studios.  The town banners will also be hung this month.  This unique display of over 100 hand painted banners is a delight to the eye and a wonderful demonstration of public art.

Beginning today, the Rotary Goodwill Shakespeare Festival kicks off its 13th year in Summerland.  We estimate that these talented young visitors will inject approximately $50,000 in our Main Street economy over their 3 day visit.   Their theme this year:  “Who hath the story for your ear”?

When it comes to reviving our local economy, we can listen to and recognize the value of many different stories, all with an important contribution to make.

We always appreciate your feedback.  Please contact me at  manager@summerlandchamber.com or our Chamber President, Arlene Fenrich, at  president@summerlandchamber.com.

Christine Petkau is the manager of the Summerland Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

Just Posted

Summerland business provides cannabidiol products

Products contain medical benefits of cannabis, but with no psychoactive properties

Presentation examines effects of screen time

Children and youths spend 8½ hours a day in front of screens; adults use screens 10½ hours a day

Two types of civic engagement in PIB

Some voted in the byelection, others protested the polls, as Penticton Indian Band fissures continue

Major grant bolsters Penticton doctors research on pain

Local research team is headed by Penticton rheumatologist

Kids, the great outdoors and technology

UBCO study says send your kids outside but let them take their electronic devices

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Penticton Indian Band selects five new councillors

PIB aiming for internal reconciliation after by-election

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Most Read