Art Aylesworth, CEO of Victoria-based solar LED lighting industry leader Carmanah Technologies, will be off to Turin, Italy, soon to talk up his firm's products at the 2006 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.
And, like the some 80 other business participants in the presentations at British Columbia-Canada Place, which opened Monday, Aylesworth sees it as a great opportunity to spread the word on what Carmanah offers -- including lighting for sea navigation, airports and bus shelters.
"The audience for the products that we sell is pretty broad and pretty global," said Aylesworth in an interview. "First and foremost, by going we'll get media and that's good, and that will send people to look at our website and that will turn into business."
Aylesworth added that the provincial government has done a good job in pulling together the Italian chambers of commerce and so on to arrange meetings.
"My hope there is that Italy is a really good gateway to the Mediterranean and it's really as addressable a country on the Mediterranean as there is for us. Once you're on site there you can go across the Adriatic to Croatia and you can move around to Turkey and Greece -- it helps."
He said that making just two or three good contacts would help as well with Arab countries.
Although there are 80 companies going, many in the technology sector including those in alternative energy, sustainable technologies and fuel cells, only a very few firms have allowed their names to be released, for competitive reasons, said B.C. Economic Development representative Julie Gathercole.
Among those attending are Sitka Log Homes, Inniskillin Wines and Great Canadian Heli-Skiing.
In opening British Columbia-Canada Place, provincial Economic Development Minister Colin Hansen described it as a high-profile, multi-media meeting place that would open B.C.'s doors to the world.