Kootenay Country to be showcased at Olympics
The “Kootenay Country” exhibit, which won acclaim at the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference recently held in Vancouver, will be heading to the Olympics in February in an enhanced format.
The “Kootenay Country” display, showcasing the Columbia Basin region, was organized in partnership with the Regional Districts of Central Kootenay, Kootenay/Boundary and East Kootenay, along with Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia Basin Trust. During the UBCM, “Kootenay Country” representatives received an invitation from the City of Richmond to showcase the Columbia Basin region at an official Olympic venue in Richmond called the O Zone.
Upon their return home from the UBCM, the “Kootenay Country” team met to discuss the possibility of showcasing our area during the Olympics. Discussions led to the inclusion of the Columbia Basin Chambers of Commerce and Kootenay Rockies Tourism.
“Although we had never given any thought to bringing the “Kootenay Country” booth to the Olympics, the invitation to the O Zone made us consider the scope of the coverage we would receive,” said Audrey Repin, Director of Communications and Community Relations for Columbia Power, and a member of the original organizing committee. “This new partnership is a very cost-effective way of showcasing our region and all it has to offer to the rest of the world.”
The new committee, led by Kootenay Rockies Tourism, is made up of representatives from the three regional districts and Chambers of Commerce throughout the region. They have a huge organizational task ahead of them beginning with aligning the branding and messaging of the exhibit to reflect the interests of a global audience and to fully capitalize on the significant tourism opportunities for the region.
“With Kootenay Rockies Tourism leading the way, we can be assured of a more unified promotion of our communities and Regional Districts,” said Ann Henderson, RDCK director and chair of the original “Kootenay Country” organizing committee. “Time is short and there is a lot of work to be done, but the committee is confident that they can work together to come up with a fabulous way to display our beautiful region.”
The O Zone, located in the heart of Richmond, is 60 acres in size and will be the largest Games celebration site. It is expected that up to 15,000 visitors per day will be attracted to the numerous activities and entertainment, as well as BC Street, the showcase of B.C. communities and regions.