General News · 15th July 2019
For the first time, BC’s rural islands have launched an initiative to cultivate rural island economic partnerships in the face of climate change. The Rural Islands Economic Forum (RIEF), a two day event November 7 & 8 on Pender Island, will bring together leaders from rural island communities to focus on advancing local and regional, sustainable, economic resilience. The Forum will prioritize actions related to community economic well-being, the sharing of best practices, and how economic partnerships can be fostered across the islands. A website is coming soon. Communities include – Bowen, Cormorant, Cortes, Denman, Gabriola, Galiano, Hornby, Malcom, Mayne, Pender, Quadra, Salt Spring, San Juan, Saturna, Texada, and Thetis Island.
I have often craved more connection with like-minded communities that share similar demographics, opportunities and challenges. Just in the short time that I have been on the executive committee of this partnership and connecting with other islands in this way, I have made many valuable connections to models that I know will serve Cortes Island into the future. This is a very exciting initiative and it is a treat to work with other island leaders.
The Forum intends to be educational, informational, and action-oriented and bring together a diverse representation of rural island economic development, business and community builders– from all of BC’s populated rural islands. This gathering will provide an opportunity to explore ways, with a shared voice, to leverage relationships with government and industry.
If you are interested in coming to this Forum, please know that we are seeking a diverse representation of rural island economic development, business and community builders, with equitable attendance from across our Rural Island Communities. Registration will be open soon. To express your interest in attending the Forum, write to: inforuralislandsforum.ca
Beyond the Forum, the intention is to create a permanent organization for collaboration, communication and advocacy on behalf of BC’s rural islands. I am committed to being a part of this alongside other Cortes economic leaders as we learn and share models of climate resilience. To further this effort we are preparing a funding application, through the Southern Gulf Islands Community Resource Centre, to the BC Rural Dividend Fund for a grant to investigate development of a permanent organization. I have requested the Strathcona Regional District to financially support this funding application in the amount of $2,000 which is in line with other contributions.
I will share more soon as the Rural Island Forum program becomes clearer and registration opens.
Regional Director, Cortes Island
Strathcona Regional District