Penticton waking up to its potential as a business centre is the message in a new film.
Rise and Shine, a film that is going to be used on pentictonworks.ca, is about three local and very successful entrepreneurs and how excited they are to have been able to create and run their operations in Penticton.
“Successful businesses can, without a doubt, be headquartered in Penticton and you can then live and work where you want to play,” said Diana Stirling, owner of LocoLanding and one of the three entrepreneurs featured in the film, along with Jim Cressman of Invictus Entertainment Group and Mark Melissen of Wildstone Construction and Engineering.
The film spends equal time looking at not only their businesses, but the lifestyle they are able to lead.
“I thought that was important to showcase not just how great and pretty Penticton is, but here are these three individuals that have successful businesses in Penticton, still make time for their families and their community and still have time to play,” said Shaun Kennedy, who shot and produced Rise and Shine.
Hugh McClelland, an economic development consultant for the city, said the three entrepreneurs featured in Rise and Shine have either made a deliberate choice to be here or have grown up here. Either way, he said, this is their town.
“The thing that is fun about this video, it is an unabashedly, enthusiastically, pro-Penticton video. There is no hiding that,” said McClelland. “It is the fact these are three people that have done really well here, love living here, and that message is a really great one to put out there and let people experience.”
As it turned out, all three participants and Kennedy, who slips in a cameo at the end of the film, have been nominated in various categories for the 2016 Business Excellence Awards, sponsored by the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce.
“I am shocked that I am (nominated), but those three, I wasn’t surprised whatsoever,” said Kennedy. “Working with them during the production of the video, Jim, Mark and Diana are three of the most successful people that I know in Penticton, but also the most humble and giving and caring.”
Stirling originated the concept of the film. She said it came to her in busiest time in the middle of the tourist season; she loves doing business in Penticton, but every entrepreneur, she explained, have times when the going is tough.
“I just felt like if we could create this video that entrepreneurs could use as a resource for inspiration and motivation, all the things that could really resonate and hit at the heart of an entrepreneur … showing three entrepreneurs doing business in the beauty of Penticton, I just thought it would be a home run,” said Stirling.
I am fortunate enough to be in the business of fun, which is amazing 99 per cent of the time, it is darn hard. I love what I do and it is never work. I know that Jim and Mark and Shawn would say the same thing.”
Stirling said she respects the other participants’ work, operating successful businesses out of Penticton when they could have easily chosen the big city. That includes Kennedy, who chose Penticton as the site for his business, Moments Under Frame.
“Shaun is a perfect fit, he moved to Penticton, he loves Penticton, and he is an entrepreneur himself. That last shot of him editing this video at 5:30 a.m. is just so perfect,” said Stirling. “I think the rawness of that went perfectly with the Rise and Shine, and it went perfectly with the fact that being an entrepreneur is hard, very rewarding but very hard.”
For his part, Kennedy said he just wanted to focus on Penticton. Sometimes, he said, people have this mindset they can’t make a life and a go of a business in Penticton.
“We were able to turn our business into a full-time photography business that a lot of people didn’t think was possible.”
McClelland said the film was the perfect vehicle for showing what Penticton has to offer to small and medium size entrepreneurs, who are the expanded focus of pentictonworks.ca, along with the remote workers the site aims at attracting.
“They are not just talking about being entrepreneurs, they are talking about the lifestyle they have in Penticton. That really crosses over our message in terms of pentictonworks.ca,” said McClelland. “We can be firing facts and figures about what Penticton has to offer and the fact we are really well placed in terms of transportation, the fact you actually can get out very easily to Calgary or Vancouver.
But lifestyle, he said, is Penticton’s unique offering, that all the tools are available for an entrepreneur — from solo virtual workers to larger operations — to operate a successful business from here and still have the lifestyle they want.
“We call it the four season activity lifestyle, we know a lot of Canadians really relate to that lifestyle, really want that lifestyle,” McLelland said.