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

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

North Cowichan has heated exchange over timelines of its official community plan review. (File photo)
North Cowichan’s OCP review divides council

Tight timelines leads to heated debate

Matt Ellison was a star with the Kerry Park Islanders before embarking on a pro career that included stops in the NHL and KHL. (Submitted)
Ex-NHLers to highlight Kerry Park-Peninsula alumni games

Matt Ellison and Kyle Greentree commit to suit up in August

Aaron Stone, chairman of the Island Coastal Economic Trust, said he’s encouraged with the province providing finding for local agencies to hire staff to help get back on economic track during the pandemic. (File photo)
$70K for Economic Development Cowichan for new analyst

Temporary position to help recover from pandemic

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read