Technology ‘Innovation Station’ opens at the Victoria Airport

The region's tech industry advocacy group, VIATECH, hopes interactive exhibit will be a gateway for people into the local industry.

A steampunk exhibit of Greater Victoria’s technological history is already drawing some attention

A new display at the Victoria International Airport is hoping to be a gateway of sorts, earning more interest in the Greater Victoria region as a hi-tech destination.

Part of ongoing marketing and promotion projects by VIATECH, the region’s advocacy group for hi-tech industry, the Techtoria Innovation Station was unveiled Monday morning in the airport’s passenger rotunda.

Artist Russell Papp opened the doors to his creation: a futuristic laboratory in steampunk fashion, featuring the technological growth of Greater Victoria, past to present.

Chief Executive Officer of VIATECH, Dan Gunn, says steampunk denoted innovation in the Victorian era, and was a natural fit.

“We wanted a compelling industry display to draw people in,” Gunn said.

He added the region’s hi-tech sector continues to be strong — all it needs is more people to meet the demand of the industry. Gunn said they hope to take Victoria’s already stellar tourist reputation and add information about its growing reputation as a technology industry hub.

The Victoria Airport Authority got involved with VIATECH in 2007. CEO Geoff Dickson said they are the third-fastest growing airport in the country and the display will tap into the 1.8 million passengers who pass through their gates each year.

“Technology is a big part of the airport’s growth and it’s the reason why we have daily non-stop service to San Francisco.

“The display is our way of thanking the local tech industry,” he said.

The space contains a variety of interactive activities for the young and old alike, depicting the region’s technological history, from shipbuilding to the aerospace industry. There is also room for VIATECH to add more information and displays in the future.

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