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

Just Posted

Historian happily surprised about Morden Mine funding

What took so long for support for restoration work, asks columnist

Lantzville looking to ban beach fires as youths aren’t respecting beaches

Lantzville the only municipality south of Comox Valley that allows beach fires, district staff say

NDSS 50th reunion planned this spring

Organizing committee looking to reach Nanaimo grads from the Class of 1969

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

VIDEO: Next up on World of Dance: Vancouver Island’s Funkanometry faces ‘the cut’

Duncan’s Carlow Rush and Nanaimo’s Jacksun Fryer have passed the qualifying stage chasing $1 million

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Upgrades planned for Gabriola ferry terminal

Plans call for new loading ramp, creation of a vehicle holding area and new terminal building

Earth Day in Nanaimo celebrates the Earth and its inhabitants

Plant a tree, pet a wolf, and see grand opening of Georgia Greenway at Nanaimo Earth Day festival

City of Nanaimo ‘100 per cent’ on board with privacy commissioner recommendations

Council satisfied with how private and confidential information will be handled moving forward

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

WATCH: South Vancouver Island shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident, say police

One person in custody, another fled following shooting and crash on West Shore

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Most Read