Written by Katya Irwin
In the dazzling white artist studio at Cowork Penticton, Ranada Pritchard creates magical worlds from blank canvases. Brightly coloured landscapes light up the space, and portraits spring to life, building intriguing windows to new people and places.
Ranada is an artist, an explorer and a vineyard/hobby farm owner. Oh, but that is just the start. She is also a trained chef and businesswoman, having run a successful construction materials business with her husband Neil. “I wore many hats in my youth,” she reflects.
And while she’s mostly retired today, we get the sense that Ranada is far from slowing down.
Her career as a chef spanned many cities, including the Yukon, Vancouver for training, and upscale restaurant in West Vancouver and the Gulf Islands. She even owned her own restaurant for a while.
But after meeting her husband, she quit her job and moved to Vancouver to work with him, running a business together. She still enjoys cooking at home but doesn’t miss the long hours of working in a kitchen.
Owning and growing a business
“I started out with the paperwork but the company grew really fast. At the time, there were five employees and now we have 70, so it really took off. At one point, I was the controller, human resources, outsourcing IT, accounts payable, whatever needed to be done,” says Ranada.
“I loved the work, I really did. I loved the people so much. I’m still very close to a lot of our staff and I’m very proud of what we did.”
Today, Ranada shares Trestle Studios at Cowork with her painting mentor, Dianne Bersea, who tutors her once a week. She speaks humbly of her work, eager to hone her skills while embracing this new phase of life.
“I guess you would say painting is a passion because almost my whole life I have dabbled in art, but nothing as serious as this,” says Ranada. “I don’t really have an agenda around it. I just want to learn how to be a good painter.”
Gone are the work hats, and in their place, a paintbrush – not to mention a ski helmet, bike helmet and likely a few sunhats for working on the hobby farm.
Hails from …
Ranada was born and raised in Vancouver. Fun fact: She spent a brief stint living in Beirut when she was eight years old. In her adulthood, she has also lived in the Yukon, Gulf Islands and Metro Vancouver.
Five years ago, she and her husband were on the way back from a road trip when they stopped into Penticton to visit Ranada’s aunt and uncle. They noticed a vineyard up for sale – and the rest is history. Today, they grow grapes for a local winery and Ranada keeps a farm-load of pets, including two dogs, a cat and 14 chickens.
What do you love about Penticton?
“I love a small community. I like knowing people on the street, friendly faces and a sense of community. I didn’t really have that in Vancouver,” she says.
“A couple of years ago, I started hiking, and it opened me up a lot more to meeting other people. I feel really well connected here, and having family here is lovely.”
She’s busy with outdoor activities, too, including running, biking, pickleball and golfing. She even started skiing again this past winter. She’s an avid traveller and reader – plus a huge animal-lover.
“I love animals, and for a couple of years I was sharing a horse in Summerland. Now I have two dogs, a cat and almost 14 hens – two more chickens coming next week.”
Come see me about …
“You could ask me about food or having chickens. I’m happy to talk about art, travelling to Asia, Europe and the Middle East.”
Due to COVID-19 our hours have changed. Our front door is open & reception desk available:
M-F: 9am - 11am
Hot Desk booking available here
For access other times, please contact us.
129 Nanaimo Ave W
Penticton BC V2A 1N2
community at coworkpenticton.com