The teaser of spring weather that descended on the Okanagan Valley last week brought a smile to the face of Rick Young.
Young, the man behind the Kelowna Home Show, said an early start to spring would coincide nicely with the opening of his annual home show this weekend.
Young has been bringing the home show to Kelowna for the past 13 years, the first spring home renovation show out of the gate for 2013 set up at Prospera Place.
Young said Kelowna remains an active market for his home show, which also makes stops in other cities such as Calgary and Edmonton, although he acknowledges the local economy has slowed since the real estate sales fueled boom years of between 2003 and 2009.
“While it’s steady (in Kelowna) right now, I hear that things are getting busier, builders are starting to build again,” Young said.
He said the target audience for his home show is homeowners and buyers, women and families, saying that home renovations continue to be the leading motivator for people to check out the more than130 exhibits.
“Things break down and need to be fixed…it’s all part of owning a house,” Young said.
In light of the current economic situation, Young has dropped the general admission price from $10 to $6, a savings he could pass on in part because he doesn’t have a celebrity presenter this year.
“That extra cost was to pay for someone’s appearance fee, but this year we found two of our exhibitors would be ideal for touching on the topic of green and sustainable building ideas, which people are beginning to pay more attention to in recent years. ”
Those two presenters, both based out of Alberta, are Threshold Energies Corporation, headquartered in Edmonton with a regional office in Kelowna, and the Heyde-Haus design and building company, situated in Canmore, Alta., with a manufacturing plant in the B.C. community of Golden.
Young said the theme of the home show this year is not specifically green construction ideas and products, but those elements are just naturally evolving as the public becomes more educated about geothermal and solar heat concepts.
“I think that interests shift as new products come on the market, but the staples for our home show have always been windows, flooring and cabinetry options,” Young said.
“But companies marketing geothermal and solar energy products seem to be finding our home show and others as a good way to promote their products so that’s great.
“We even are getting retailer interest. Sleep Country has been doing home shows of late, including ours, and finding that it is driving increased sales for them.
“They have a brand name out there, take up a considerable amount of space with their product display and it’s been successful for them.”
Overall, Young says while he wants local residents attending the Kelowna Home Show to be entertained, he also wants to help them learn about what’s new in terms of home renovation and energy efficiency ideas.
“People are always looking for the next, new thing and that’s what we try to provide every year,” he said.
The Kelowna Home Show takes place Feb. 22 to 24, with home show hours on Friday, 4 to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.