by Contributor on Monday November 21 2022
From the Coast Mountains to the Kootenays, British Columbians across the Southern Interior are coming together to build their businesses and create vibrant communities. PacifiCan is here to help.
PacifiCan is the new federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians.
PacifiCan works with partners across B.C. who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth in communities across our province.
Recently, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) announced the official opening of new offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook, serving businesses and communities, including Indigenous communities, across the Southern Interior of B.C.
Anchored by communities like Kamloops and Kelowna – some of the fastest growing cities in Canada – the region is known for its world-class ski hills, wines and cherries and is also home to a thriving tech community and innovative forestry and mining sectors.
“There is an amazing story unfolding here in the Southern Interior of B.C. Canada and the world needs more of what British Columbians have to offer,” said The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan).
“(This) announcement is about working more closely together to support the growth of your businesses and respond to the priorities of your communities. Time and time again, British Columbians have shown they have the ambition and talent to prosper in a rapidly changing world.
Thank you for welcoming us to your communities and we look forward to helping you succeed.”
PacifiCan’s expanded footprint will help British Columbians in the Southern Interior build a stronger economy.
With PacifiCan staff living and working in the region, British Columbians can better access high-impact, local investments and quality advice to advance the Southern Interior’s diverse economic interests.
One of these companies is Nelson-based Valid Manufacturing, who received $1.68 million in Jobs and Growth funding to expand its business of making components for heavy-duty electric vehicles.
"The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is excited to welcome PacifiCan to the Kootenays,” said Lorri Fehr, Board Chair, Kootenay Association for Science and Technology.
“PacifiCan has been instrumental in developing the West Kootenay innovation ecosystem by supporting KAST initiatives such as the Midas Fab Lab in Trail and the Nelson Innovation Centre in Nelson.
“KAST looks forward to exciting future partnerships with PacifiCan, supporting new technology and innovation in the Kootenay region."
At a launch event for the new service in Kelowna, Minister Sajjan also announced over $6.2 million in PacifiCan funding for three dynamic businesses in the Southern Interior.
This includes over $3.6 million for Pela, a Kelowna-based company reducing plastic waste from consumer products.
With this funding, Pela will hire new staff, acquire new facilities, and target new markets for its products, including the world’s first compostable phone cases.
Companies like Pela are creating jobs, attracting talent, and fostering B.C.-made solutions that have a global impact.