Wine information centre coming of age

Anniversary congratulations to the B.C. VQA Wine Information Centre, which is celebrating its 15th year of operation this month. Situated on the main floor of the Wine Country Visitor Centre at 553 Railway St., the wine centre is a showcase for local area VQA wines.

Manager Laura Kowalchuk is proud of how the store has grown over the years and the wealth of information her staff provide both visitors and locals alike about local wine products.

“The original concept of the wine centre was one of co-operation with supporting partnerships in order to cross-promote Penticton’s tourism and wines, and to support the local wineries,” says Laura. “Our cohabitation with Tourism Development, the Penticton Visitor Centre and the chamber’s Tourism Development Services has been the ideal scenario for us.”

Plan to attend the next Penticton and Wine Country Business After Business, being held Thursday at the Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Services (OSNS) Child Development Centre located at 103 -550 Carmi Ave. The event takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. and will be catered by Earl’s Restaurant. This is a great opportunity to meet the business community. Bring your business cards and enjoy an evening of fun networking, refreshments and door prizes. All chamber members are welcome at no charge and future chamber members can attend as a member guest for free or alone for $20 at the door.

Small Business B.C. has launched their ninth annual Successful You Awards contest. Committed to creating equal opportunities for success, they have a voting platform that normalizes votes against B.C. regional district population figures, which levels the playing field for businesses with smaller networks. Nominations are open until Nov. 30,  and this year, businesses may nominate themselves in six award categories: Best Company, Best Employer, Best Green Business, Best Concept, Best On-line Marketer, and Best Community Impact. These awards draw attention to our city and our community businesses so we encourage our members to consider applying. For more information and contest details, visit

The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce is hosting a holiday open house and member showcase on Dec. 15 from 5-7 p.m. at the Wine Country Visitor Centre at 553 Railway St. The event will feature a member trade show, and will include door prizes, appies and last-minute gift ideas. Admission is a $2 donation to the Salvation Army Christmas Hamper and wine tickets will be available for $2 each. Member display tables are $75+HST. For more information or to book your display table, call Lisa at 250-492-4103.

And mark your calendars for the chamber’s annual Christmas Mixer taking place from 5-7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Bufflehead Lounge at the Lakeside Resort. This annual event is very popular so plan to arrive early with lots of business cards in hand.

I attended the release launch of Penticton’s 2011 Vital Signs Community Portrait Report earlier this month. The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan decided it was important to participate in the Vital Signs program and undertook the vast analysis work to prepare the report in anticipation of its ability to inform and guide future community decisions. We commend the foundation for its efforts and we at the chamber are reviewing the report in detail, particularly the issue areas under the Economy section, for its input to our future programming and policy efforts.




Erin Hanson is the general manager of the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.



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