A hub to promote the technology industry may be on the horizon for Vanderhoof.
The district council is looking into developing an innovation centre to facilitate technology services — such as web development and social media — in the region, as proposed by the non-profit economic development organization Community Futures Stuart Nechako.
“Technology in Vanderhoof is underdeveloped,” said Graham Stanley, Community Futures’ general manager. “We have different communities around the area looking for web designers.”
Stanley added that the proposed space would address the region’s gap in technology services, including social media.
“We know there are people who are doing stuff from home,” he said. “It will become a centre for this to happen and should help it to grow quite quickly.”
Stanley explained that with a focus on producing cultural products that promotes local history, art, and tourism, the new centre can encourage growth in the technology industry by giving home-based web businesses a street presence, having a collaborative space for creative projects using new media tools such as videos and podcasts, and providing community access to computers for startups and online education.
“We need to have our own industry,” he said. “We shouldn’t need to have someone in Vancouver for stuff in town.”
Through networking nights this fall, Stanley is looking to start a conversation about technology in town as a first step.
“Techy people can come together, have beers and appies, and talk about the project,” he said. “It’s whether we can get enough people involved.”
Though still in its infancy, the proposed technology centre is a good idea for the district, said the district’s Chief Administrative Officer Tom Clement.
“It’s global, not a local thing,” Clement said.
“There’s no reason why we cannot be in [the tech industry’s] growth.”