A State of the Island economic report will be released this week at the Vancouver Island Economic Summit. (Vancouver Island Economic Alliance photo)

Vancouver Island Economic Summit will create connections, spark discussion

Two-day event begins Wednesday, Oct. 24, at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre

Business and community leaders from across Vancouver Island will get together in Nanaimo to talk about the economy and other themes.

The Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s annual economic summit will kick off Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

The two-day event (Oct. 24-25) features a trade show, networking opportunities, tech showcases, seminars, dinners and presentations from B.C. Premier John Horgan and Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

George Hanson, president of Vancouver Island Economic Alliance, said the event will see the release of the fourth-annual economic report for the Island, as well as results from the alliance’s Island Good campaign, a marketing initiative designed to promote food products from the Island. He said while Vancouver Island’s economy is generally healthy, there is uncertainty about the future.

“I would say there is cautious optimism right now. There is a lot of uncertainty south of the border,” he said. “Where the economy will go in the future is a question mark, but right now it is very good.”

Hanson said the summit is the “only place” on the Island where people from the public and private sectors get together for this type of event. He said First Nations, local politicians and businesses of all sizes will be participating.

“It’s a non-sectoral-specific event in that we get people from all over the Island, from Port Hardy to Victoria and everywhere in between,” he said, adding that it’s a “thought-provoking event.”

In addition to presentations from Hogan and Wilkinson, there will also be speeches from Celeste Haldane, the chief commissioner of the B.C. Treaty Commission, and Katrina Marquez, senior patient services manager with Tilray.

“We’ve got four major presentations, 16 topical sessions, a tech showcase. The range of topics is significant. From cannabis legalizing to the Me Too movement to safe community to the marine environment and on and on it goes,” he said.

RELATED: Island Foreign Trade Zone designation explained at VIEA Summit

The summit is an opportunity for businesses and individuals to make new connections and forge new relationships according to Hanson, who said the summit also exposes existing challenges and barriers for the Island economy and is a way for businesses to collaborate to solve those problems. He said one challenge facing the Island economy is a shortage in labour, particularly in the marine sector.

“We know for a fact that there is huge opportunity and demand for skilled labour in the marine sector and there are also training opportunties right here on Vancouver Island that people may not be considering to the degree that they should be,” he said. “There are a lot of good jobs in the marine sector. It seems to be going unnoticed.”

Array Web and Creative, Comox Valley Economic Development Society, Black Press, Douglas Magazine, Eclipse HR, HA Photography, Northwest Properties, Steelhead LNG, MNP, United Way, TD Bank, Harbour Air and Fortis B.C. are among the companies participating in the trade show portion of the summit.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram

Just Posted

Trial opens for accused in 2016 Chemainus murder

“I was soaked in blood from the neck down”: witness

Garage burns in Cobble Hill

Firefighters got call just after 5 a.m. on Monday

$50k fine and community service for Lake Cowichan tax evader

After pleading guilty in July to three counts of tax evasion under… Continue reading

Changes coming to BC Ferries reservations for Vancouver Island routes

Many customers are booking multiple reservations, inflating wait times

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

Outreach group ordered to stop feeding homeless on City of Parksville property

City issued Manna Homeless Society cease and desist order after complaints from public

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Most Read