Kelowna & The Okanagan : Building a Marketing, Creative & Media Community

Let me kick off this post with three brief, but seemingly unrelated stories:

ONE: When I moved to Kelowna, BC back in 2003 I registered a domain name “”. My rational was pretty simple – a domain with my industry & my city tied together was worth grabbing. Perhaps it would be useful for SEO. Perhaps, down the line, somebody might decide they MUST have it, give me a gazillion dollars for it and then retire. Perhaps it might be useful as the name and website for some sort of local marketing industry organization.

TWO: In the last 4 or 5 years I’ve had cause to liaise with a number of marketing industry related organizations: the Canadian Marketing Association; the Canadian Institute of Marketing; the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada; the BC Association of Integrated Marketers and New Media BC. Each time I’ve either thought – or have been asked – why does this organization not have a chapter or an affiliation in my city.

THREE: Today, over Twitter a thread developed in which establishing a Kelowna Tweet Up was discussed. Somehow (possibly related to my 40 FourSquare Mayorships) I was nominated to organize this. And I’m crap at saying no. And I like organizing events. Especially when they are planned to be at a wine bar :-)

So how are these related? Well – simply put, I think it’s about time the local marketing industry (in its broad sense) became more of a marketing community. We have a all the elements of strong marketing industry right here in this city and in outlying communities. We have integrated marketing agencies; digital marketing agencies; marketing consultants; web design companies; graphic designers; writers; photographers; videographers; commercial artists; researchers; sales environment specialists; client-side marketing co-ordinators, managers &  VPs; a whole load of business owners and managers with responsibility for marketing. We also have strong local media – especially in online, print & radio and a whole range of supplier and production companies.

Competition has made for a good, strong industry. But we rarely get together – either for something social or for more formal or educational events. And we don’t have a collective voice.

I’d like to change that. To start that process I’d like to hear your ideas, your stories etc and then work out what sort of organization we should put together. I’d love to know who else would be like to help get such an organization going – possibly being a founding board member if we do something more formal.


How can you spot someone who works in Marketing? They can’t breath with out conducting a poll on whether in or out is the most appropriate? OK – that’s an exaggeration. But it’s still wise to listen before taking action, so please take this survey and let me know your thoughts on this initiative.

[polldaddy survey="7A92D5BA22C9B515" link_text="PLEASE CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE SURVEY"]

(P.S. the first question is really long, the following questions aren’t)

Social Event

The time, date and place of our first social is confirmed: The Rotten Grape, Kelowna on Thursday 8th April 2010. Please visit to grab a ticket.

Please help spread the word – via Twitter by using the #kelowna #marketing #tweetup hashtags and on Facebook by inviting people to this event.

14 Responses to “Kelowna & The Okanagan : Building a Marketing, Creative & Media Community”

  1. James Shaw March 25, 2010 at 7:09 pm // Reply

    Cool idea Ricardo. I’m in.

    ps. Gotta love the “automatically generated” possibly related post… It’s Al Gore vs. Canada in dustup… seems WordPress thinks “tweetup” and “dustup” are more or less related.


  2. MaryBeth Lafferty March 26, 2010 at 11:10 am // Reply

    Great idea. Back in Edmonton, I was affiliated with the American Marketing Association (mainly just because I went to conferences through them), IABC, and ACE (Advertising Club of Edmonton) and JCI. They were all beneficial for different reasons. Now in Kelowna, I can see that something Kelowna (or Okanagan) specific would be great – thanks for taking the bull by the horns Richard!


  3. Dennis Powers March 26, 2010 at 12:34 pm // Reply

    Love the idea Richard. Especially an affiliation with NewMediaBC or DigiBC I think they are called now.


  4. Steph Woods March 27, 2010 at 9:25 am // Reply

    I love the idea as well. I’d love to get together with other like minded people and share ideas. It’s nice to hear what other people are doing and to have a good group of local people available as resources. Power in numbers!


  5. Shelly March 27, 2010 at 10:31 am // Reply

    I love the idea! I think some sort of marketing association is long overdue in the Okanagan. My business partner and I have been extremely frustrated at the lack of networking going on in Kelowna. So much so, that we started our own internet marketing meetup group and were pleasantly surprised at the interest we received. It is time to pull everyone together and start helping each other out.

    Thanks for taking the initiative. I would love to help out but I am not sure how much time I will have this year being that I am still getting my new business off the ground and working way too many hours :) I will keep in touch though and help out where I can.


  6. Shauna Nyrose March 27, 2010 at 9:19 pm // Reply

    Finally! Yes, this is a great idea. It would be nice to actually interact on a professional level ‘face to face’ once in a while, hey?


  7. Mica Knibbs March 29, 2010 at 12:50 pm // Reply

    Very interested. As somebody new to the industry, it would be a great opportunity to network, listen, learn, and make some new friends. Cheers!


  8. christina March 29, 2010 at 2:55 pm // Reply

    Great Idea. I go to the CMA in Toronto every year and would love to get together with others closer to home. I cannot make the first event as I am at the F5Expo in Vancouver… how to keep in touch?..


  9. Dawn Antle March 30, 2010 at 12:21 am // Reply

    Good idea Richard. I’m in.


  10. Jennifer Taylor March 30, 2010 at 6:37 am // Reply

    I’ll be there! I’ll help rally up the South end of the Valley too. Will you be inviting media suppliers to the shin dig?


    • Richard Taylor March 30, 2010 at 6:47 am // Reply

      Hey Jen – thanks – look forward to seeing you! The event’s open to all – I’m doing what I can to let the media suppliers know about it, but any word of mouth would be appreciated. Please make sure you grab a ticket from – we need a good read on numbers so we can plan accordingly, and of course have a venue capacity. I’m also thinking that, if we do something more official, at board level we’d have a South Okanagan seat and a North Okanagan seat (?) so maybe you’d like to put yourself forward?

      Cheers, Richard.


  11. Angela Hook April 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm // Reply

    Fantastic!! I am a member of the GDC, but always feel so neglected/detached because they only seem to have events, etc. down at the Coast! I’ve often thought they need an Okanagan (or at least an Interior) Chapter.


    • Richard Taylor April 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm // Reply

      Hey Angela – pls see for more info on where we’re at with this – would love someone to look after liaison with GDC.


      • Angela Hook April 4, 2010 at 11:56 pm // Reply

        Richard, sounds great… I will be the Graphic Design/GDC rep.


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