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Secure your spot at the Summit before the prices go up!

Time is running out! Register today for the Economic Summit! Prices increase Monday October 16th.

The 17th Annual State of The Island Economic Summit will take place on October 25 & 26 at Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo, BC.

“Attending the Summit has provided me with the opportunity to learn about what is happening in the region in our key sectors while allowing me face to face time for discussions. The Summit is the once key gathering in the Island region that allows us to exchange knowledge and grow our prosperity together. I always appreciate the strong presence of stakeholders from rural and remote areas who keep the conversations grounded..” – Nicole L. Vaugeois, Ph.D., Associate Vice-President, Research and Graduate Studies, Professor, Faculty of Management, Vancouver Island University

Keynote Session: VI Meets AI


The future is here! Ready or not… Advances in artificial intelligence will impact everything – period – full stop. Are we facing a true existential threat, or are we at the dawn of a wondrous utopia? With a brief flashback to “Futurescape” (VIEA 2017 & 2018) this plenary session promises to be lively! AI can now see, hear, speak, create art, make music, write code or poetry, and analyze billions of data points in the blink of an eye. We are at the precipice of a technological revolution that rivals the invention of the internet and the industrial revolution. As key decision-makers, you hold the power to either harness this change for unparalleled growth or watch from the sidelines.


Graham Truax, Executive Director & EiR, Innovation Island



Dr. Sean Mark

Dr. Sean Mark is an epidemiologist and data scientist who is leading a major advancement in how artificial intelligence (AI) can perceive emotions in human dialog. He’s working with his team to develop a democratically governed safety solution for when AI becomes way smarter than us humans!


Lauren Evanow

Lauren Evanow (B.Sc., M.A. Leadership) is an accomplished executive, entrepreneur, innovator, and investor. Ms. Evanow has been providing business and strategic advice in the fields of health, energy, and AI inspired solutions for over 20 years.


Thank you to Innovation Island for sponsoring this keynote.


Session Spotlight: Small Business, Big Heart: The Resilience of Island Entrepreneurs in the Face of Uncertainty


In this engaging session, we delve into the challenges confronting island entrepreneurs. These resilient individuals are at the forefront of the battle against an array of pressing issues, from staffing woes to COVID debt, surging inflation, and the relentless disruptions in supply chains.

Join us as we listen to firsthand accounts of island entrepreneurs who have encountered these hurdles head-on. They will share their stories of both adversity and triumph, offering valuable insights into the strategies they’ve employed to persevere.

The discussion will extend beyond the personal narratives, as we explore the critical role that policies and community support play in bolstering these island-based businesses. What measures can local communities adopt to lend a helping hand to these enterprises? What are the far-reaching consequences if these businesses are forced to close their doors?


Kelly Masson , Business Advisor, Nanaimo, WeBC



Thank you Douglas Magazine for sponsoring this session.


Register for the Summit to be part of the Action Lab workshops!


We are harnessing the power of collaboration like never before at the Summit.

Regional Food Security and Community Design and Economic Development

This year we are taking the Summit discussions further by having focused, facilitated workshops with regional experts, business owners, decision makers and community members who are passionate about seeing regional change and positive impact. The action labs will create an environment that allows for in-depth discussion.

Sign up for the Actions Labs begins on Monday Oct 16th with only 50 spaces. In order to receive the invitation to participate you need to be registered for the Summit.

We can’t wait to see how these Action Labs will transform discussions into action at the 2023 VIEA Summit!

Thank you Island Coastal Economic Trust and Hazelwood Group of Companies for sponsoring these action labs.


Thanks to our Sponsors


The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance could not present the annual Summit in such scope and quality without the support of our sponsors. These sponsors are passionate about the region, the work they do and the possibilities of a thriving innovative economy. Thank you to all our Sponsors for their recognition of the Summit’s positive impacts and VIEA as a whole.



Interested in being a VIEA sponsor? Check out our sponsorship kit here, or connect with Julie: or 250-668-5389.

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