Don’t gasp at ‘softening’ market
Bill Hubbard - Aug 15 - Columnists

The world according to Bill

Image: The Canadian Press

July was a very interesting month in the Okanagan Shuswap Real Estate Market.

I believe it is time to say that the Central Okanagan is approaching a slight softening in the market. For those of you who just gasped, this is a good thing.

My preference would actually be for the market to soften a bit in all zones so we can get back to a more balanced market.

The faster and higher a market rises, the farther it falls and the bigger the “thud” at the bottom. That is what happened during the crash in 2008.

The softening I see in July is slight enough that it is hard to find, but it cannot be ignored.

Absorption and inventory are the two statistics that have shown historically to be the most accurate in predicting the market. The absorption is the percentage of all residential inventory that sells in a month, and the inventory is simply the average number of houses on the market each month.

These are the statistics for supply and demand, the two driving forces of any market.

When we compare the last three months (May, June, and July) of absorption and inventory in the Central Okanagan to the same three months in 2016, we find absorption is decreasing and inventory is increasing.

That can be a sign of a market softening.

When we compare those findings with the North and Shuswap zones, we find a fairly subtle but distinctive difference: in those markets absorption is still increasing and inventory is still decreasing.

What does this mean? A lot of things, potentially.

It could mean the market has peaked and we are starting to see a correction. It could also mean there is something affecting the market artificially.

When we get our heads out of our statistical butts for a moment we can find some pretty easy explanations about what kind of artificial factors might be having an impact.

Not long ago, it was reported that Kelowna had worse air quality than Beijing from all the smoke. That’s pretty bad.

Both Vernon and Kelowna have seen more cancellations from tourists who were planning on vacationing, and to top it all off we had some of the worst floods in the Okanagan’s history this year.

We don’t have to look far figure out what is different about this summer.

However, in all three zones we still have inventory that is painfully low, and prices, sales and absorption that are higher than any other time.

The migration from the coast and from Alberta has not let up and in fact is increasing.

The next few months will certainly solidify what is causing a slight softening in the Central Okanagan.

My guess is it will be very slight, but the next few months will confirm that. Probably

But always remember that is just “the world according to Bill.”

Bill Hubbard is a real estate broker and the owner and broker of a four-office real estate firm in the Okanagan-Shuswap. He has been in real estate for 28 years and has been an owner and broker in Vernon for 20 years. At almost 60 years old he is just as passionate about real estate as the day he started.

The experience economy
James Grieve - Aug 14 - Columnists

The Benefits of Implementing a Customer Experience Strategy

Image: Contributed

In our previous series of articles, we shared our insights on the strategic importance of “Customer Experience” in today’s economy, by explaining the differences between customer service and customer experience, and introducing the “Five Dimensions of Customer Experience.”

This provided a solid framework of what “Customer Experience” is and why it is important for both the people providing and receiving service from an organization.

In this article, we will explain how “Customer Experience” strategies benefit organizations and their customers, and how it improves performance and, ultimately, the bottom-line.

Customers are more attuned to their experience with organizations than ever before.

As customer expectations continue to rise, customers penalize companies that fail to deliver upon their expected experiences. Proactive organizations understand that designing and delivering exceptional customer experiences is no longer optional, and realize the profitable benefits of loyal customers that are willing to purchase more items with greater frequency, and who are more willing to provide referrals.

“Customer Experience” is an innovative way to make organizations stand out from the competition.

The benefits that organizations can expect from “Customer Experience” initiatives are many and varied, and each type of business must find its own motivation and justification based on its business model and the type of relationship it has with its customers.

Here are some examples of how exceptional customer experiences benefit organizations and their customers:

Benefits for organizations:
-Increases in customer wallet share;
-Decreases in customer attrition rates;
-Increases in annual customer value of cross-sells and up-sells;
-Increase in lifetime customer value;
-Increase in customer referrals;
-Decrease in customer complaints;
-Increase in customer ideas and insight;
-Increase in customer and prospect purchase consideration;
-Decrease costs of customer acquisition;
-Increase in overall customer base;
-Improvement of corporate brand and image;
Increase in the number of customer thank you letters;

Benefits for Customers:
-Consistent levels and types of service;
-Clearly defined expectations;
-Reduced effort to receive service;
-Better experiences delivered more efficiently and effectively;

“Customer Experience” strategy transcends the business of being nice to your customers by lavishing them with delightful service. It is a results-oriented business strategy that leverages customer-centric innovation and problem-solving to consistently provoke smiles, attract
customers, increase customer spending, improve retention, lower costs of new sales, drive referrals, and improve business performance.

In our next article, we will explore in greater detail how specific industries can and have benefitted from having a “Customer Experience” strategy.

James Grieve is a certified management consultant and partner in Nucleus Strategies, a Kelowna-based consulting firm that specializes in working with businesses in a variety of industries to design great service experiences that delight customers and improve business performance. He can be reached at 778.214.6010, or [email protected]

Accelerate Okanagan’s new EiR
Accelerate Okanagan - Aug 11 - Columnists

Image: Contributed

Although he just moved to Kelowna in January, Salmaan Ahmed is no stranger to the startup industry.

The Sudbury-raised Executive in Residence at Accelerate Okanagan has years of experience both as a successful entrepreneur and mentor for Communitech in the burgeoning Waterloo region.

Like many entrepreneurs who move to the Okanagan, it was the lifestyle that attracted Ahmed to the area.

“Kelowna stuck on me size-wise and lifestyle-wise, and I had been living in Seattle so I was used to the landscape,” he said. “So far it’s been great.”

Ahmed divides his time between here and Waterloo, and always enjoys returning to the mountains.

Before moving to the Okanagan, Ahmed spent the last few years as a program manager at Microsoft, after the software giant acquired his company in 2014. The startup he co-founded, Inception Mobile, was created in 2012 to allow developers to port iOS apps to different mobile platforms. The business received a round of seed funding from Samsung Ventures in 2013, and within a year there was significant interest from Microsoft.

“Our initial relationship with Microsoft was originally to study the feasibility for using our products to help us port to Windows Phone,” Ahmed said. “That relationship progressed really well and by August 2014 we completed the acquisition deal.”

The product lives on today as the Windows Bridge for iOS.

The Microsoft acquisition was not the only successful exit in which Ahmed was a part of. In 2006, Ahmed was a founding employee of SlipStream, a spinoff of research from the University of Waterloo that grew to about 44 employees until it was acquired by BlackBerry.

For the startups he works with at Accelerate Okanagan, Ahmed is clear about the primary objective he wants the founder to focus on: market validation.

“I think the most important thing is actually building a product and putting it in the hands of people other than yourself and your friends,” he said. “A lot of people I talk to, both here and in Ontario, sort of get fixated on fundraising. I try to quite delicately make a point that that raising capital is merely a tool to execute your larger strategy.”

One of the first things Ahmed advises founders is to talk with customers as much as possible.

“You need understanding of how your customers feel about your product or project; it is very easy for startups to believe their own bull, but you need to put it in people’s hands and get honest feedback,” he said, and added that these customers should clearly see where your product or service adds value.

For the budding CEO, Ahmed believes there is one character trait that is valued above all else: the ability to listen.

“You need to be willing to listen to your customers, your investors, your board or whoever is out there. It’s incredibly important,” he said.

Kevin’s Konnections
Kevin Lavigne - Aug 11 - Columnists

Hopeful Cafe, Oil Changes

Image: Contributed

Sun Valley Fellowship is hosting the second Annual Hopeful Cafe and Oil Change this Sunday.

This event provides single moms, struggling families and the elderly with oil changes. They will also clean your car inside and out while you enjoy a beautiful breakfast.

How awesome!

Go out and support them.

Praise the lords, Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria is opening today.

They have teased us with their signs at Sopa Square for a long time now and I couldn’t be happier they are ready to go.

Famoso is known for its crust and fresh ingredients. I don’t know how to explain the crust, but it soft and crispy all at the same time.

Owners Liz Markulin and Seth Carlyle will be hand tossing this from 11 a.m. until midnight every day.

Go and check them out.

Ricardo’s Mediterranean Kitchen is turning 16 this Saturday.

Sue Miller is the owner and maitre’d and, if you know Sue, you know she is going to celebrate with a huge party.

Ricardo’s is tucked away on a quiet road just outside Kelowna, but it is known for it’s fabulous authentic dishes that echo the Italian countryside and the Mediterranean basin.

It doesn’t get any fresher then Ricardo’s.

Sue is inviting all of you to join her for a night of dancing, dining, drinking and gifts for all.

Phil Law Corporation has partnered with Brain Trust Canada for the Third Annual Paddle for Prevention happening this Sunday morning at Rotary Beach.

Whether you have a grudge match to settle or you’re a first-time participant, the festivities are guaranteed to be memorable.

The race is on to win the coveted gold paddle now hanging in the offices of True Dental.

Two Wolves Brewing is now in town.

This a new brewery out of Vancouver taking the Okanagan by storm. They have been actively supporting events and fundraisers and it  can now purchase it at both Bacaro and MTL.

Five cents of every Blonde and Black Ale goes to help wolf preservation efforts across Canada.

Meadow Vista Honey Wines is hosting Friday night markets during August.

Every Friday from 4-8 p.m., you will see multiple local vendors, local food, live music and of course some honey wines.

Visit their Facebook page to see each weeks vendor.

Make it a great week!

Kevin Lavigne is a local advisor with Reid & Associates Financial Solutions. In 2014 he was nominated for Kelowna’s Top 40 Under 40 and in 2016 sat as the President of Junior Chamber International. Kevin also works with multiple non profits and is a mentor for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

Greenspace raises $1.4M
Accelerate Okanagan - Aug 04 - Columnists

Image: Accelerate Okanagan

Greenspace Mental Health, a digital health company focused on improving mental health treatment outcomes, recently announced the closing of a 1.4M seed round.

The investment was led by Prime Quadrant LP, and will support the company’s continued growth in Ontario and BC, as well as its expansion into the United States.

Greenspace’s technology team is based in Kelowna, and the team is proud of their commitment to grow the team in the Okanagan.

“We believe the density and quality of tech talent available in Kelowna is second to none,” said Mike Lerner, Greenspace’s CTO. “That is why we made the decision to grow our technology team here rather than in Toronto.”

The funding will allow Greenspace to grow its primary care program, which helps family physicians match patients with the mental health therapist best suited for each patient.

To date, Greenspace has primarily focused on tracking patient progress throughout treatment, which increases transparency and communication between the family physician, mental health therapist and patient. In addition, the funding will support Greenspace’s expansion into the United States in Q4 of 2017.

Led by Jeremy Weisz, Simon Weisz and Mike Lerner, Greenspace has shown significant growth in its first year.

“Since launching in August 2016, Greenspace has experienced incredible support from the therapist community,” says Jeremy Weisz, co-founder and CEO of Greenspace. “To date, there are over 750 therapists using Greenspace.”

Greenspace is a digital platform that helps mental health therapists and their patients easily measure and monitor progress through therapy.

For individuals looking for a mental health therapist, Greenspace draws on its unique data set to match individuals with the therapist that is best suited for them. Greenspace was developed based on medical research that identifies measuring patient progress and patient-therapist fit as the two most important factors that determine a successful treatment outcome.

“While the stigma surrounding mental health continues to decrease and organizations are more aware than ever, the mental health system is disjointed and lags far behind the system for physical health,” says Ian Rosmarin, the managing director at prime quadrant. “Greenspace is executing on their plan to build a better functioning mental health system for patients that centres around improving patient outcomes with the assistance of technology. We believe they have the team to do it and are excited to support them in this mission.”

Kevin’s Konnections
Trevor Nichols - Aug 04 - Columnists

Professionals giving back

Image: Accelerate Okanagan

A huge congratulations to Ty Summach and Alan Schuler because their company ProSmart just went public this week.

It is the first Accelerate Okanagan client to hit the TSX as well.

ProSmart is a Kelowna-based media company focused solely on the sports software marketplace.

ProSmart supports coaches, managers, teams, players and families in over 1,500 registered governing bodies and associations spanning 100 different countries with a platform that blends player, coaching, and team development content supported by a diverse suite of team management tools.

You can read all the details on Accelerate Okanagan’s blog page.

Accelerate Okanagan also announced Nido Design Inc. to their new VAP (Venture Accelerate Program) this week.

Nido Design Inc. is one of the largest Net Zero (Passive House) design and consulting companies in North America and they are looking to revolutionize the construction sector.

The Kelowna-based startup (formerly known as Brett Sichello Design) is transitioning to provide a one-stop-shop including design, construction of prefabricated building envelopes, onsite construction management, and ongoing client care.

You can also check that out on Accelerate Okanagan’s blog page.

Happy fifth anniversary to Pulp Fiction Coffee house.

Max and Gloria Sloan, in my opinion, have created a unique coffee shop, so you must go see it for yourself.

I understand they have a new Nitro coffee that, when poured, looks like a pint of Guinness, so I assume it is for both coffee and beer connoisseurs.

If coffee is not your thing, then kombucha and milk shakes are the next popular items.

If you need a break from business then come hang out with Kelowna Cruises Sunday night because Mike Wiald is hosting a party cruise.

There will be two dance floors rocking the Boardroom from 7:45-11 p.m.

The Okanagan Feast of Fields is next Sunday, Aug. 13, and only a few tickets remain.

This is one of my favourite events of the year, so mark it on your calendar.

Feast of Fields is a three-hour, wandering gourmet harvest festival that highlights the connections between farmers and chefs, field and table, and between farm folks and city folks.

With a wine glass and linen napkin in hand, guests stroll across a farmer’s field, travelling from tent to tent.

The 2017 Okanagan Dream Rally is this Sunday.

The Okanagan Dream Rally hopes to provide special children and their families with an incredibly fun-filled experience of being in the hot seat of a dream car for a day.

Spectators are welcome to join the excitement of the Okanagan Dream Rally starting at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 6 by the Sails on Bernard Ave in downtown Kelowna.

Don’t forget about Coast Capital Savings Canada 150 Fireworks celebration happening Saturday night.
Make it a great week!

Kevin Lavigne is a local advisor with Reid & Associates Financial Solutions. In 2014 he was nominated for Kelowna’s Top 40 Under 40 and in 2016 sat as the President of Junior Chamber International. Kevin also works with multiple non profits and is a mentor for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

Kelowna company hits Bay St.
Accelerate Okanagan - Aug 03 - Columnists

Image: Accelerate Okanagan

Kelowna’s ProSmart Enterprises Inc. is now being publicly traded on an exchange.

In a strategic move to access capital and broaden its service offering, ProSmart entered into a mergers and acquisitions transaction with the public company Sora Capital Inc.  This allowed ProSmart  to integrate with Sora’s wholly-owned subsidiary, RosterBot Inc., a leading sports team management platform.

The two companies connected for the first time at Metabridge in 2015, where RosterBot placed as a Top 15 startup.

ProSmart is a Kelowna-based media company focused solely on the sports software marketplace. The company was founded on the simple belief that all grassroots sports participants (well over 1 billion youth and recreational participants worldwide) deserve equal access to the best supportive resources, anytime and anywhere.

ProSmart supports coaches, managers, teams, players and families in over 1,500 registered governing bodies and associations spanning 100 different countries. Its platform blends player, coaching, and team development content, supported by a suite of team management tools.

“ProSmart’s best-in-class approach to developing the quality of the player and the state of the game regardless of economic means, age, gender or skill level is an absolute game changer for the sports marketplace” says Alan Schuler, ProSmart co-founder and CEO.

To secure best-in-class content, ProSmart is consistently looking to strengthen their team of sports influencers and strategic advisors and as a result they have created a means for people like NHL Alumnus, Wendel Clark, to give back on a global scale.

“ProSmart is a great way for me to give back to the game I love, and to be a part of something new and innovative. I’ve been coaching my son for years and it’s exciting to now have a platform that keeps everyone in the community on the same page,” says Wendel Clark, an NHL Alumnus and ProSmart Ambassador.

ProSmart says it’s proud to be part of the Okanagan tech community, and although they now have offices in Vancouver (and soon in New York), the company is committed to keeping its headquarters right in downtown Kelowna.

“ProSmart is an excellent example of what is happening in the Okanagan tech community and their success is exactly what our programs were designed to support.” says Raghwa Gopal the CEO ofAccelerate Okanagan. “We are proud to be a part of their journey”.

With the transition to the public markets complete and an upgraded board of directors, ProSmart can now focus on the international launch of its new Football (Soccer) platform, and the continued expansion of its portfolio of partners.

Insights from a VAP client
Accelerate Okanagan - Jul 31 - Columnists

Image: Accelerate Okanagan
The Venture Acceleration Program Client Spotlight highlights program client successes, challenges, and entrepreneurial insights.

It was Kathleen MacKinnon’s background in psychology and women and gender studies that helped her see something was missing.

While working with youth and young adults, she realized parents needed more tools to help their kids’ emotional development and health.

So she founded Nine Rising.

MacKinnon believes there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so she created an app that provides relevant and accessible tools and techniques to empower parents to effectively engage and openly communicate with their kids.

Here’s what she had to say about becoming an entrepreneur, the value of being involved in the tech community, and what advice she would give to aspiring entrepreneurs.

What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I wish very badly I had an inspiring ‘since childhood’ story here. Unfortunately, I was no lemonade stand wiz. I just live by the question: if not me, who?

Tell us about your product:

Our app–ekanary–makes hard conversations easy between parents and youth. We provide parents with educational resources, support from the parent community, and tools to take action in furthering conversations with your kids.

What problem do you solve for your customer?

We’re helping parents no longer feel so in the dark when it comes to how to support their kids during some of the most challenging and vulnerable times of their life.

As an entrepreneur, what keeps you up at night?

Everything used to keep me up at night in regards to my business, but now I feel like I’ve turned a page in the book and have found that often many solutions can come from a good nights sleep.

What’s the value of being involved in the tech community?

It would be near impossible to have learned as much as I have within tech if not for being involved in this community. Whether it’s a meeting over coffee, a panel discussion, or a workshop, there are always learning opportunities and ways to connect here.

Why did you choose the Okanagan to start your company?

I chose the Okanagan specifically for the community. In the tech sector and in our community as a whole I believe it’s something special with how we support our entrepreneurs here. I’m a big fan of collaboration and connection over competition, I believe our community embodies this.

How has Accelerate Okanagan helped your company?

Accelerate Okanagan has been a life line in so many ways within the start up process. From one-on-one meetings with my amazing advisor, to being in a room of diverse professionals during quarterly reviews. They have been able to foresee some of the pivots and hurdles, as well as celebrate the milestones within this whirlwind process of launching an app.

Image: Accelerate Okanagan

How has being an entrepreneur impacted your family, social life, and relationships?

My dad has learned about the app store, so that’s a new thing for my family, and I got a dog in the middle of the startup process (do I recommend it? Only if you’re a super big dog person and have the patience of a saint). I don’t have the patience of a saint, but I really love my dog.

My social life is thriving; I am in bed most days by 9 p.m. watching The Office and I like it that way. I just asked my roommate how she would describe my social life and she said “professional and/or particular.”

In my social life I don’t do things I don’t want to do. I don’t feel obligated to fit the stereotype of where my life should be at, or what my priorities should be. I have great priorities in my mind, and I’m happy. I like my life, I love my business and right now that’s number one. Hell will have frozen over before you find me elsewhere at the crack of dawn other than drooling on my pillow.

What advice would you give aspiring entrepreneurs?

If you’re passionate about it, if it’s all you think about, if you can’t see yourself doing anything else: do it. Kick that bird out of the nest and see if it flies. And don’t let it be come your identity. You are far more than a passion, an idea, a job. You are you, and that is enough always. Your job is a job.

What are three attributes a successful entrepreneur needs?

1) Do something that lights you up. Don’t do it because it’s just a money grab because it’ll get boring (or at least I think so).
2) Be open: to advice, to pivots, to opportunities.
3) Knowledge is power, therefore educating yourself is key. You only know what you know. Bless your opinions, but when you got those juicy facts behind you you are unstoppable.

How would you describe the work culture and environment at Nine Rising?

Always evolving and always authentic.

What have been some of your challenges and what have you learned from them?

The biggest challenge has been learning to let it go. I have a tendency to only want to release things when they are perfect and I feel they are ready. That’s the complete opposite of how things work in a tech start up, so it’s been a large shift, forcing me to learn and just kick the product out even though I could spend forever on the details.

What roles are you looking to add to your growing team?

We aren’t looking to add to our team right now, but are hoping to bring on some fresh faces in the fall. If your background is in marketing hit us up.

What’s next for your company?

Getting our ekanary app out into the community, MC’ing lululemon athletica’s half-marathon: SeaWheeze, hanging out at Okanagan Pride for their Pride March and Festival in the Park with Okanagan Lifestyle (come find us at the gazebo for some rad conversation), and gearing up for our in-school programs in the fall.

Who do you look to for mentorship and advice. Why?

Alison Yesilcimen, the other amazing EiRs at Accelerate Okanagan, tech entrepreneurs in the community, and Kelly Taverner.

In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.

Epic.

Kevin’s Konnections
Kevin Lavigne - Jul 28 - Columnists

There’s no place like home

Image: Contributed

Litia Wilson is shaking things up with her new home cleaning business Peachy Clean.

You know the old saying, “there’s no place like home” right? Litia believes it’s time for change, so the new saying will be, “there’s no place like a clean home.”

Peachy Clean understands that a clean home is much more than just a dust and mop.

They pride themselves on service and exceeding expectations. They understand it’s the small things that have the biggest impact, in that way they aim to leave no fruit unturned in making sure your home shines and is always Peachy Clean.

Happy one-year anniversary to The Beauty and Shave Parlor.

Courtnay Scott created this new upbeat salon on Yates Road after extensive training took her from New York to L.A..

It is modern salon for today’s man and woman that offers a full range of classic barbering services.

You need to check out the website because it is too much to list what Courtnay, Ashleigh and Nicole all specialize in but let me tell you they know what they are doing.

Go celebrate with their awesome staff at their retro shop Saturday evening.

Congratulation to Dr. James Whillans and Dr. Nicole Barbary because they are celebrating 10 years of changing and saving lives through Wellness Chiropractic this Saturday.

LifeWorks Family Chiropractic focuses on improving the performance of your nervous system so that you can reach higher levels of health, vitality and joy. Not your average chiropractor, eh?

Come and join them this Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2.p.m. They will be having an outdoor barbecue with live entertainment, fun activities for the kids and an opportunity for you to send in your friends and family for a check-up for only $10.

It’s all coming up Koren this week.

The Kore Four dreams became reality this past month as Kennedy and I became owners alongside their parents Suzann and Tony Koren.

The Koren family are so excited for this new venture that they are inviting all of us to celebrate with them at their grand opening this Saturday.

Champagne will start pouring at 4 p.m. near the Delta Grand.

Center of Gravity is back this weekend.

If you recall, last year I needed to look up some of the headliners and that made me feel a little bit older than I wanted to, but this year I am all good because Snoop Dogg is performing Saturday night.

COGFEST 2017 will still have all the fan favourite sports again this year; beach volleyball, basketball, freestyle motocross, skateboarding, and BMX, plus another lineup of today’s hottest artists performing across two stages, and much, much more.

This is an amazing summer must do event.

Also, don’t forget about the Sugar Plum Ball this Saturday night.

It is circus themed so I am sure the pictures are going to be even more glorious then last year.

Kevin Lavigne is a local advisor with Reid & Associates Financial Solutions. In 2014 he was nominated for Kelowna’s Top 40 Under 40 and in 2016 sat as the President of Junior Chamber International. Kevin also works with multiple non profits and is a mentor for the Canadian Youth Business Foundation.

Move over Netflix
Accelerate Okanagan - Jul 27 - Columnists

Image: notTV

While Netflix, Crackle and CraveTV compete for viewers of their Hollywood content, a Canadian platform for independent producers is launching a crowdfunding campaign.

“notTV helps quality web creators get noticed. We are also focused on curating content that makes the world a better place,” says founder and CEO Travis Cross. “We want notTV to package stories and solutions for future generations into a unique viewing experience.”

Cross’s alternative to traditional television is a co-operative, subscription-based platform: notTV will be owned and operated by its members, and reward them with revenues for posting content. Also, unlike any other streaming service, its content will be organized around community.

“As a Canadian company, we believe in the value of place,” says Cross. “This country and its people have a lot to offer. We’re done being overlooked, so place is an organizing feature of notTV. We’ll start by streaming Canadian-only content. And down the road we’ll make it so you can choose to stream, for example, only music videos from your hometown.”

notTV has been nine years in the making. The idea for this platform stems from Cross’ desire to make the world a better place through improving the lives of digital media artists.

“Travis wants to end the connection between ‘artists’ and ‘starving,’” says Lauren Hjalmarson, a spokesperson for the company. “I think we can all get behind that. Even those who don’t consider themselves artists have a parent or a sibling who does, so we’ve all seen someone struggling to ‘make it.’ notTV is meant to end that struggle. It’s meant to broaden artists’ networks and help them generate income from the creative work they do in digital media.”

The ‘Perpetual Movie-Making Club’ is a nickname Travis has for his company, because notTV’s website will include a directory for cast and crew. These listings will help members connect with each other to create content.

“I am beyond excited for the launch of notTV,” says Lynda Norman, founder and Executive Director of the Kelowna Arts Council. “To know that something of this caliber and magnitude — something that aligns with my vision and the vision of Kelowna Arts Council — is about to be available to the everyone is a gift to the creative community worldwide.”

The company’s month-long crowdfunding campaign will launch through Indiegogo on July 17th, 2017. Perks designed to appeal to art enthusiasts will be available in exchange for donations. notTV is also running a music video contest with a $500 prize throughout the month of July. Artists can enter at www.not.tv.

All Columnists Stories