At VIEA, we believe that “it’s all about the company you keep” and that the strongest ideas emerge from collaboration. Over a relatively brief seven-year history, VIEA has undertaken a number of important projects as a direct result of networking and conversations amongst stakeholders especially at our Summit events.
One of the first was a comprehensive study on the economy of Vancouver Island and the Central and Sunshine Coasts. Completed in 2009, it identified some specific challenges to the Island economy: from a skills and labour shortage, to critical issues in transportation, innovation, land use, health and education. While these underlying issues have emerged time and again, the collective conversation of VIEA members and associates has evolved to reflect new economic realities over the years and as challenges and opportunities presented themselves, these discussions have guided VIEA board priorities and the development of annual Economic Summits. VIEA conducted a “Gray Skills” pilot project in the Victoria area in 2009 that introduced employers to the benefits of hiring mature workers, and encouraged collaboration between business and employment agencies to address skill shortages and retention issues.
That same year VIEA partnered with Tourism Vancouver Island on an investment and workforce attraction video, and in 2010 developed the pivotal “Link Project” that focused on the role of regional collaboration in strategic economic development.
The projects being pursued by the organization today continue to emerge in one way or another from presentations and conversations generated at our annual Economic Summits, and include: Economic Gardening – VIEA is announcing the pilot launch
of this initiative to make valuable market research available to qualified businesses on Vancouver Island. The Nanaimo
Economic Development Corporation has stepped forward to provide funding for a pilot project for businesses in Nanaimo and VIEA is welcoming of other corporate or local government stakeholders who might wish to see this program expand to their clients or communities. The Economic Gardening services will be facilitated by VIEA and delivered in cooperation with
Community Futures. ntermodal Transportation – VIEA has been working with an initial group of stakeholders developing a case for an Island-wide transportation plan with a 30 to 50-year horizon. The intention is to identify how transportation to, from and throughout the region should develop so as to continually improve connectivity, accessibility and affordability with an ultimate goal of turning transportation—largely perceived as an Island liability—into a regional advantage. There are many successful ‘island’ economies in the world. Why can’t we be one First Nations/Community Engagement – In the context of
treaty settlements and reconciliation, the social and economic landscape will continue to experience significant change from one end of the Island to the other.
VIEA sees that it is critically important for relationships to develop so that partnerships can be explored to everyone’s advantage. VIEA is hoping to work with the 53 First Nations on the Island, along with the Tribal Councilsand Economic Development organizations serving them, to identify and help communicate economic opportunities to the broader marketplace.
Investment Attraction – As we heard from presenters at the last two Economic Summits, succession planning for small businesses should be an issue of interest and concern in every community on Vancouver Island. It is expected that many small business owners will seek to sell their businesses and retire within the next 10 years. Who are the buyers? From where will they come? VIEA is uniquely positioned to promote all of Vancouver Island as a place to invest. We have begun to connect with communities of recent immigrants in urban centres and it is our intention to acquire additional resources to enable us to expand and continue these direct marketing efforts.
Vancouver Island 2065 – Our three-year old partnership with CAVI (Convening for Action on Vancouver Island) is a direct outcome from VIEA’s 2010 ‘Link Project’ in which stakeholders all over Vancouver Island were interviewed to identify common issues and opportunities. And now, VIEA/CAVI are pleased to announce this new initiative in cooperation with Royal Roads University. With research expertise provided by Royal Roads, funding from VIEA and CAVI, the VI 2065 project will gather information Island-wide to produce a comprehensive report showing how local government’s collaborative efforts today can achieve future sustainability through a balance of ecology and economy. The results of this study will demonstrate the similarities and differences between various local government bodies and their current approach towards sustainability; with a specific focus on identifying potential collaborative opportunities to foster inter-regional/inter-community stewardship.
Major Projects Portal – VIEA has partnered with the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce, BC Hydro and the Vancouver Island Construction Association since 2011 to develop, deliver and sustain the Major Projects Portal accessible opportunity information to help ensure that as much local business economic spin-off as possible is realized from the John Hart project construction. This successful pilot initiative is proving valuable and has already led to similar partnership associated with
VIHA’s North Island Hospital projects.
All of these initiatives have resulted from presentations, networking and brainstorming at previous Economic Summits amongst VIEA members, sponsors and associates. VIEA’s work is guided by people like you who are willing to support VIEA through your membership, to come together, to think openly, ask questions and share ideas.
George Hanson MSC CHRP
Registration (to 5pm), Tradeshow Opens …….. 10:30am
Buffet Lunch and Presentation……………………… 12–1:30pm Gary Mason, National Affairs Columnist, The Globe & Mail
Concurrent Breakout Sessions ……………………… 1:30–3pm
The Balance of Power—What does the future hold for energy on Vancouver Island?
Deep End of the Talent Pool—Attracting and Developing the Talent We Need
Your Money or Your Life—How will we protect our lifestyle ‘Golden Goose’ while growing our communities and our economy?
Networking Break………………………………………… 3–3:30pm
Concurrent Breakout Sessions …………………….. 3:30–5pm
Entrepreneurialism—Totally Worth the Risk
Forestry—The Next Generation
The Future is Green—Island-based Green Technology
International Relations—Inspiring International
Students and Their Families to Invest in Vancouver Island
Cocktails and Networking……………………………. 5–6:30pm
Opening Dinner and Presentation………………… 6:30–8:30pm
Fegio Pugliese, President of WestJet Encore
Wednesday OCTOBER 30 DAY 2
Continental Breakfast and Tradeshow …………. 7–8am
Presentation ……………………………………………….8–9am Roger Brooks, Roger Brooks International
Concurrent Breakout Sessions …………………….9–10am How Non-Profits Profit Our Communities—Uncovering he Benefits that Non-Profits Bring to Our Economy
Lights! Camera! Now What?—The Island’s Future in the Business of Digital Arts Mission Possible Update—Economy & Ecology and Water Sustainability
Networking Break………………………………………… 10–10:30am
Concurrent Breakout Sessions ………………………10:30am–12pm
First Nations Dialogue—Major Project Updates and Opportunities for Partnerships ‘Growth’ Industries—Revisiting Food Security
Transportation—How Do We Get There From Here?
Taking Care of Business—Understanding the Link Between Good Health and Good Business.
Closing Luncheon and Presentation …………….. 12–1:30pm
Honourable Christy Clark, Premier of British Columbia
This video shows a glimpse at some of the activities during the 2013 State of the Island Economic Summit on October 29 & 30, 2013 in Nanaimo.
We hope everyone had a chance to enjoy the fantastically educational and entertaining presentation on the “7 Deadly Sins of Community Marketing,” presented by Roger Brooks International. Watch the teaser trailer above for a refresher, or a bit of a rundown if you missed the presentation
Today, Premier Christy Clark announced $15 million for further safety improvements to the Malahat, including an additional 2.3 kilometers of median barrier on the highway north of Shawnigan Lake Road.