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 the 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

A battery electric-hybrid ferry, pictured here, is expected to make its way to Vancouver Island in late 2021, says B.C. Ferries. (Submitted photo)
Hybrid ferry for Gabriola-Nanaimo route launches in shipyard in Europe

Two hybrid vessels to replace MV Quinsam by early 2022, says B.C. Ferries

Vancouver Island Symphony conductor Pierre Simard is releasing his new synthwave album ‘Plandemic’ on March 5. (Photo courtesy Olivia Simard)
Vancouver Island Symphony conductor releasing side-project EP of electronic music

Pierre Simard, recording as Plan Omega, presents ‘Plandemic’

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a B.C. Ferries vessel. (File photo)
Nanaimo ferry passengers who refused to wear masks and caused disturbance fined $460 each

Incident happened Sunday, Feb. 21, aboard the Queen of Cowichan

Beef to the woman walking two dogs that attacked my two small chihuahua dogs along Estevan Road. I was dragged down the embankment with my dogs. All three of us were pinned against the fence by your dogs with no escape route. Your dogs were on retractable leashes that were not appropriate for their size and weight and you had no control over them at all.
Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 24

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The Port of Nanaimo has signed a 50-year-agreement with DP World around short-sea shipping operations at Duke Point Terminal. (News Bulletin file photo)
Port of Nanaimo and DP World sign 50-year shipping operations agreement

Lease agreement ‘important first step’ in $105-million Duke Point expansion project

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Nanaimo’s Joanne Secord is a quarterfinalist in Inked Magazine’s Cover Model Search contest. (Janayh Wright Photography)
50-year-old Nanaimo mom hopes her tattoos will earn her a magazine cover shoot

Joanne Secord on cusp of semifinals in Inked Magazine contest

Nanaimo Courthouse. (News Bulletin file photo)
Motorist sentenced to two years for dangerous driving causing death on Gabriola Island

William Goosman pleaded guilty last fall in connection with incident that killed Jay Dearman

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

“Support your city” reads a piece of graffiti outside the Ministry of Finance office. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti ‘unacceptable’ says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read