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VIEA Call For Directors

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) board has three openings for new directors and welcomes recommendations from amongst its membership. The 2024 VIEA AGM is scheduled for Friday, June 14 at 1:00pm. Location to be determined.

The VIEA board, with up to 15 directors, uses a matrix of criteria for nominee selection designed to ensure a representative balance of gender, diversity, region, and sector, including First Nations. Based on our current Board composition, we are looking for applicants with financial, legal, economic development, and entrepreneurial backgrounds.


Director terms are for three years. The VIEA board holds regular meetings 6-7 times per year, generally on Fridays from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Participation can be virtual or in person, as meetings are held from time-to-time in various communities throughout the Island region. Additionally, each January the board gathers for a two-day strategic planning session.

VIEA board executive includes the Chair, Chair-Elect, Past Chair and Treasurer. Directors are expected to participate in committees and strategic projects that are of interest and aligned with their specific skill sets.

Current oard of Directors:

  • Shannon Baikie, North Island Employment Foundations Society, Campbell River – Past Chair
  • Katie Bishop, XPS Group, Victoria – Chair
  • Nicole Vaugeois, Vancouver Island University, Cedar – Chair Elect
  • Joel Thompson, Redline Management Services Inc., Cowichan – Treasurer
  • Janet Bonaguro, ThinkSpace Performance Inc., Cumberland
  • Kristi Fairholm-Mader, Scale Collaborative, Victoria
  • Dirk Heydemann, HA Photography, Nanaimo
  • Julie Scurr, Coast Salish Insurance, Duncan
  • Angela Smith, Creative Exposure Inc., Port Hardy
  • Andrea Thomas, Nanaimo Port Authority, Nanaimo
  • Gary Wilson Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’, Tiicma Enterprises, Nanaimo
  • Brad McRae, Western Forest Products, Campbell River
  • Peter McKenzie, Cermaq, Nanaimo


Outgoing Board Members:

VIEA thanks the following directors who will be completing their board service at the AGM:

  • Shannon Baikie, North Island Employment Foundations Society, Campbell River
  • Julie Scurr, Coast Salish Insurance, Duncan
  • Angela Smith, Creative Exposure Inc., Port Hardy


Please contact VIEA Board Chair, Katie Bishop at by Friday, March 29, 2024, to share your interest and/or recommendations.


Congratulations to all the VIEA Member and Island Good finalists and winners at the recent MNP LLP Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards!


We are thrilled to congratulate Vancouver Island Economic Alliance members and Island Good businesses for their achievements at the Annual Business Examiner Excellence Awards, presented by MNP!


Let’s give a round of applause to the winners in their respective categories:


VIEA Members:


Island Good businesses:


We also want to acknowledge our VIEA Member and Island Good business Finalists:


This recognition is a testament to their dedication and efforts in striving for excellence in both business and community support.

What a fantastic evening celebrating the remarkable achievements of Vancouver Island businesses!

Read full press release with pictures here.


Upcoming Events

2024 Canadian Trade Mission to Mexico

Join VIEA member CMX Partnerships for a 2024 Canadian Trade Mission to Mexico under the theme: “Connecting Businesses, Powering Futures!”

  • Dates: April 22nd – April 27th
  • Location: Mexico City and vibrant Mexican states\
  • Goals: This mission aims to promote Canadian business in Mexico, foster business collaboration, establish valuable connections, and capitalize on the diverse business landscape that Mexico has to offer Canadians.
  • Description: Canadian entrepreneurs and business executives will immerse themselves in gaining a deeper understanding of the Mexican business environment, showcasing their products and/or services, building connections, and exploring potential opportunities with Mexican counterparts.
  • Sectors: Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Cybersecurity, Internet of Things, Finance and Fintech, Retail and E-commerce, Information Technology and Communication (ITC), Business Consultancy, and more..
  • Investment: CAD $4,450 per person which includes a full range of business activities, five nights of accommodation, airport pick-up and drop-off services, several meals, transportation for visits to different states included in the itinerary, and full access to a prestigious Business Forum, among other amenities. Participants will only need to manage and cover their own round-trip flight tickets, along with a few meals and personal expenses not included.
  • Registration: Opens Feb 9th, closes March 29th. Visit or email for details!


Funding Programs

The B.C. Fairs, Festivals and Events fund NEW helps community event organizations recover from ongoing challenges related to cost increases, reduced revenue and sponsorships, rising costs of equipment and services as well as severe weather events.

The BCFFE Fund provides up to about 20% of your total event budget, up to a maximum of $250,000 per event. Your event budget must be at least $10,000. You can use these funds to cover a range of operational expenses. Depending on the uptake, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport may provide grant amounts higher or lower than 20% of the event budget. The total funding for each event will not exceed $250,000. Total funding per organization will not exceed $500,000.

Application process

Funds are limited and applications will be reviewed in the order they are received. Applications will be accepted until February 25, 2024 at 11:59 pm PST. Funding decisions will be communicated by April 2024. All decisions are final. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. Contact us if you have questions about eligibility.

BC Tourism Climate Resiliency Initiative (BCTCRI)

Sustainable Tourism and Climate Adaptation Planning

Description: To help BC’s tourism industry face the impacts of climate change and will play a vital role in harnessing opportunities to build a climate-aware tourism industry that is better prepared to proactively respond to climate-related threats.

The BCTCRI is comprised of four project streams, which invest in climate adaptation and sustainability planning for tourism businesses, micro-grants to help with implementation of climate adaptation and sustainability plans, development of a data framework to enable better insight-driven decisions, and new province-wide learning and training opportunities. This BCTCRI builds on the achievements of the BC Tourism Sustainability Network (BCTSN) – a collaborative sustainability support program for BC’s tourism industry that was initiated in 2022.

Project One: Facilitated Sustainable Tourism and Climate Adaptation Planning for BC Tourism Businesses

Description: provides free, one-on-one, tailored support to tourism businesses looking to incorporate environmental sustainability or climate adaptation measures into their operations, strategy, and storytelling. Businesses accepted into this program are connected with an experienced Program Advisor and other sustainability and climate adaptation experts from Destination BC’s subject matter expert network. The advisors and experts will work one-on-one with each business to help them develop a sustainability and climate adaptation road map and perform detailed assessments to identify the most impactful, customized measures for climate resiliency.

Eligible Applications:

  • Be registered, headquartered, and operate in BC; and
  • Offer a tourism experience (e.g. attraction) or tourism service (e.g. accommodation, transportation, visitor service, food service) to visitors.

Application period opens: January 18, 2024.

Accepting 150 businesses into the program during this intake period on a first come, first served basis. While the spots are assigned on a first come, first served basis, programs have set aside spots for businesses in each of the six tourism regions of BC.

Deadline: February, 2024.

Funding Amount: See webpage for details.

Project Two: Micro-Grants to Support Sustainability and Climate Adaptation Plan Implementation.

Description: This second project stream offers micro-grant funding of up to $15,000 to tourism businesses that are eligible under the Program Guidelines and prepared to build on their sustainability or climate adaptation plan to implement a project or obtain a sustainability certification. An additional micro-grant intake is planned for fall 2024 to provide future opportunities for tourism businesses that need more time to prepare or enhance their sustainability and climate adaptation plan or road map.

Eligible Applicants: Tourism businesses or organizations and projects are eligible under the program guidelines and are interested in receiving a micro-grant. See the program guide on the website.

Application period opens: January 29, 2024

Deadline: March 8, 2024

Funding Amount: up to $15,000



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