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Summit Highlights, Digital Dashboard Link, Exciting New Strategic Direction and Transportation Fund

Summit Highlights

With a remarkable turnout of nearly 600 registered Summit delegates and the support of 35 generous sponsors, as well as the invaluable assistance from PacifiCan, it’s abundantly clear that collaboration is the key to unlocking opportunities.

This year, the Summit ignited engaging discussions and collaborative action during the dedicated action labs focusing on regional food security, community design, and economic development. We’re excited to continue the momentum generated during these sessions and will keep you up to date over the coming months.

Photo Credit: HA Photography

Save the Date! The 18th Annual ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit will take place Wednesday, October 23 and Thursday October 24, 2024 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo.

Link to the Digital Dashboard!

We’re thrilled to unveil a groundbreaking change for this year’s Economic Report. The 9th edition was released at the ‘State of the Island’ Economic Summit in October with keynote speaker, Susan Mowbray, Partner in MNP’s Consulting Group. She introduced and provided highlights of the 2023 report in an all-new format: a dynamic and interactive digital dashboard.

We are excited to provide free access to the dashboard until December 31, 2023. Click here for new era of accessible economic data for Vancouver Island.


VIEA’s plan to define a new strategic direction

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) is embarking on a new process to develop a three-year regional economic development strategic plan through project investment from Island Coastal Economic Trust’Investment Readiness Program.

The need for this latest strategic plan comes as a result of an evolving economic landscape, along with a new CEO at the helm since August 2022. This project will help re-evaluate VIEA’s roles and priorities as a pivotal regional non-governmental, non-profit society dedicated to fostering economic vitality across the Vancouver Island and rural islands region.

A consultant will be engaged to guide VIEA through this process and conduct consultations and external scans, before ultimately developing a strategic planning document. This plan will foster active engagement among stakeholders, enhance economic development frameworks, promote regional collaboration, and align priorities for economic prosperity in the Vancouver Island and rural islands region.

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance Regional Economic Strategy is supported through the Investment Readiness Program. The Trust will contribute $7,500 to a total project budget of $15,000. The project will be underway imminently.

Read full media release here. The RFP for the project can be found here.


New Fund to Enhance Regional Passenger Transportation

Island Coastal Economic Trust (the Trust) and Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) are pleased to announce the launch of a new one-time fund that will invest in projects that would enable people to have improved passenger transportation options between coastal communities. The fund is administered by MNP LLP on behalf of the Trust and VIEA.

The Community Passenger Transportation Fund is launching following public engagement sessions held across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast in the summer 2023. The discussions, priorities, and solutions arising from these sessions are captured in the Island Coastal Intercommunity Transportation “What We Heard Report” (download the report – 5MB PDF) that was published in August 2023.

The Fund is capitalized with $230,000 from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and will fund projects between $5,000 and $20,000. The specific objectives of the Fund are to:

  • Strengthen passenger transportation governance and collaboration;
  • Broaden regional partnerships on inter-community passenger transportation;
  • Expand or enhance inter-community passenger transportation services, especially in rural and remote communities; and
  • Create and/or expand innovative and non-traditional passenger transportation opportunities (e.g., car sharing, ride hailing etc.).


For more information and to apply, please visit Island Coastal Economic Trust’s webpage for the Community Passenger Transportation Fund.

BC Ferries is inviting British Columbians to share what they believe is needed to keep people, goods, and services in coastal communities connected and moving through to 2050 and beyond.

As part of Charting the Course, a visioning initiative for the coastal ferry system, BC Ferries is engaging coastal and Indigenous communities, BC Ferries staff, local and regional governments, and interest holders to define a vision and identify the strategies needed to enhance ferry services in coastal communities into the future.

Online engagement is now open for public participation until November 28th.


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