The Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Enterprise (KORE) is set to host its second annual Outdoor Rec-Tech Summit from Oct. 11 to 13 at Kimberley Alpine Resort’s Conference Centre.
The first conference, held Oct. 19 to 22, 2022, was said to be the culmination of two years of work from KORE’s executive director Kevin Pennock.
Pennock and Matt Mosteller, KORE’s Chair and Senior Vice President at Resorts of the Canadian Rockies, had approached Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick three years prior to that first summit, with an idea of utilizing Kimberley’s natural assets as a means to attract outdoor gear designers and manufacturers to the area.
KORE is defined as an economic development and diversification initative that is managed by the Kootenay Outdoor Recreation Society, based out of Kimberley. It has to date brought together a network of over 60 gear makers and designers who work in the region.
Its mission is to, “foster growth within the alliance through education, collaboration and connecting businesses to resources, grants, financing and capital, and to attract outdoor recreation product manufacturing and designers into the region to relocate or facilitate new entrepreneurial start-ups.”
KORE also held a Makers’ Market in the Kimberley Platzl in February of 2022, showcasing what KORE was all about and giving residents a chance to browse the wares of numerous Kootenay-based outdoor recreation gear manufacturers.
Heading into its second year, this summit is, according to KORE’s founders, the only conference in Western Canada dedicated to the outdoor recreational technology manufacturing and product design sector.
The summit will bring together leaders and speakers from across North America to present on a wide range of subjects. The event is open to anyone with an interest in outdoor equipment, particularly residents of B.C., Alberta, the Pacific Northwest and the western United States.
Product designers, economic development practitioners, government professionals, academics and investors are also welcomed and are likely to find the summit to be a valuable experience.
This year’s summit will explore themes such as sustainability and the circular economy, re-shoring manufacturing, e-rec technology, academic and industry collaboration and supply chain security.
“KORE craft outdoor gear makers, a first in Canada, focused on innovation and collaboration, is [quickly] making the Kootenay Region the hub of the Outdoor Gear Industry in Canada,” said co-founder, Matt Mosteller.
“This is a vital example of rural economic development that fits the incredible natural landscapes of the Kootenay Region, the variety of outdoor recreation pursuits the locals enjoy, and the interest in creating sustainable, environmentally friendly economic opportunities.”
Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success, selling out completely, and this year is expected to be more of the same.
Guest speakers will include a former National Team athlete, a professional mountaineer, inventors, engineers, professors and a senior buyer for Mountain Equipment Company.
To learn more about the KORE Outdoor Rec-Tech Summit, visit koreoutdoors.org/outdoor-rec-tech-summit-2023