By: Alexandra Roussel

Can you believe it’s already been 11 years since the 12 million users and award-winning Club Penguin was acquired for $350 million by the Disney Online Studio?

According to the Business Council of BC, foreign investments, like the US investing in Club Penguin, are important to Kelowna for different reasons. It increases Kelowna’s productivity and profitability, increases investments in research and development, and strengthens the region’s international trade.

Fortunately for the Okanagan, Club Penguin is not an exception! Another big Kelowna firm has undergone an acquisition. Anodyne Electronics Manufacturing Corp. (AEM), a designer and manufacturer of aircraft communication systems, announced their ownership change on February 26th 2018. The local company who is situated on Kirschner Rd was acquired by Structural Monitoring Systems (SMS), an Australian world-leading provider of aircraft technology.

Dave Veitch, President of AEM, believes this acquisition was strategic to SMS’s future and made sense for AEM.

“SMS is fully supportive of AEM’s current projects and business activity, encouraging growth through new business opportunities, new product development, and acquisition where it makes sense to do so.” concludes Ray Lewis, Vice-President of AEM.

“The two companies have partnered for the past 4 ½ years in the development, certification and production of SMS’s Structural Health Monitoring (SHM), a technology that improves airline safety. With this new ownership, the SHM technology is bound to develop further” says Devon Hunt, HR Manager at AEM.

According to Accelerated Okanagan (AO), this is only the beginning for foreign investments in Kelowna. This non-for-profit company that helps local tech firms thrive, also promotes the annual Metabridge event which enables connections between Silicon Valley (USA) and Canada for technology CEO’s and founder’s.

Another Kelowna tech company, Data Nerds, is expanding to the US by the end of 2018.

Krista Mallory, the Business Development Officer at the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, observes that Kelowna’s foreign investments is looking promising, especially in the Technology sector.

It is understandable how Kelowna got its nickname; “Silicon Valley of the North”.