“Back in the day, the locomotive transformed Canada,” says Kimberley Steadman, operations manager at Kamloops Innovation. “The rail system was the real innovation of its day. And we’re celebrating the innovations of this day. It’s kind of a fun, interactive way to celebrate the past and the future of technology.”
Kamloops Innovation usually hosts one big event each year for local companies and entrepreneurs in the tech sector (in the past, it was called TechBrew). This year, they’re trying something a little different by hosting Tech Fest on Sept. 14 at the Kamloops Heritage Railway.
There will still be food, drinks and demonstrations, but this year, buying a ticket will also give you a chance to ride the 2141, aptly renamed the “Spirit of Innovation” for this event.
The train will feature themed cars put together by the event’s major sponsors, including the British Columbia Lottery Corporation, Thompson Rivers University (TRU) and the City of Kamloops.
“It’s a chance for the tech sector to come out and celebrate all the great things that have been happening over the last while. We have quite a number of tech companies both locally and from other areas (like Kelowna and Vancouver),” says Steadman.
“It’s also a good opportunity for the general public to check out the newest innovations and feel proud about some of the great, innovative things that are happening in Kamloops.”
Some of the attractions include a virtual reality lab set up by TRU, a 3D scanner run by Trimble Forensics and a robotic dog from Scorpion Technologies. They’re all local companies and examples of the city’s budding industry.
“We’re fielding more people that are wanting to move to Kamloops and are looking for jobs in the tech sector,” says Steadman. “We’re working closely with TRU around training for jobs in the technology sector, so I think we are getting on the map in terms of a growing and thriving tech community.”
There will also be food trucks from the Waffle Laundry, Frenchies Poutinerie and The Happy Camper and a bar operated by Red Beard Cafe. At Mission Dolores will provide the music.
Tickets for Tech Fest are $25 and can be purchased HERE. The event is on from 5 to 9 p.m.