Doing business in our oceans

Kendra MacDonald

Kendra MacDonald, CEO of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, will be a keynote speaker at the virtual State of the Island Economic Summit, October 27-29. The Ocean Supercluster responsible for driving innovation and growth in the ocean economy. 

Together with a team working across six cities in Atlantic Canada, she is focused on changing the culture of doing business in the ocean, increasing collaboration across ocean sectors and Canada’s global reach.

MacDonald will speak about Canada’s ocean opportunity, the growing global demand for ocean solutions, while highlighting the benefits of cluster activity for Canada as a whole. 

She will demonstrate the momentum that is building as the Supercluster helps drive unprecedented multi-sector collaboration, engagement across the country and internationally, and new economic activity and industry investment realized through projects that will help grow Canada’s economy in a sustainable way, now and in the future.

If the plenary interests you, you'll also be keen to take in the Seaweed and Finfish Aquaculture session on the opportunities these industries have for economic impact and recovery. 

Interested in certain sessions but don’t have time for the whole Summit? Check out the 'Three Pack' option on the registration page.

Getting Goods to Market

How can we solve the issues of distribution and access to markets that have long inhibited potential for Island food producers?

With demand for local products at an all time high, we need to find a solution for this problem so that our local producers can focus on meeting the growing demand while supported by an efficient distribution system.

Join expert panelists at the upcoming State of the Island Economic Summit, October 27th to 29th, as they speak to the challenges and emerging opportunities in our 'Getting Goods to Market' session.

Moderator – Bruce Williams, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce

Jaymie Collins, General Manager, Vancouver Island Farm Products
Mark Smith, Principal, Query FusionDavid McCormick, Director Public Relations and Business Development, Port Alberni Port Authority

Port Alberni Port Authority for sponsoring this session!

International education adapting to impact of Coronavirus

0930 – International education is one of Vancouver Island, and BC's, largest exports. The global pandemic has forced post-secondary institutions around the world to dramatically shift their entire educational delivery model with far-reaching impacts that are likely to continue well into 2021, if not longer. 

Institutions around the world are grappling with the shift – looking at opportunities while trying to mitigate serious impacts, including the dramatic downturn in international students. 

The impact of the significant reduction in international students coming to Vancouver Island is far-reaching. It means the loss of millions of dollars in airline travel, rental accommodation, groceries, restaurants, shopping, and entertainment - in addition to tuition fees.

Leaders from Vancouver Island UniversityRoyal Roads and the University of Victoria – will participate at the State of the Island Economic Summit, Oct. 27 to 29t, as they speak to the challenges, the opportunities and how and why universities play a key role in our economic and societal recovery.

Moderator of the panel is Michael Hawes, Executive Director, Fulbright Canada

Panelists are Deborah Saucier, President, Vancouver Island University, Philip Steenkamp, President, Royal Roads University and Chris Horbachewski, Vice-President External Relations, University of Victoria

Coastal Community Credit Union is sponsoring this session.

Changing our ways

It’s time to improve development processes for the communities we want! Too often, public processes fail to deliver clear representation of community perspective and processes can be adversarial and extortionary. We need progressive thinking and better processes to facilitate economic recovery and vibrant communities.

A panel of planners and developers at the virtual State of the Island Economic Summit, taking place October 27th to 29th, will discuss 'Changing our Ways' session.

Annual 'State of the Island' Economic Summit goes digital

Registration will open in early August. The Summit team has been working for months reviewing digital platforms, brainstorming program ideas, and exploring innovative ways to ensure an engaging and spacious experience--the networking 'buzz' Summit delegates have come to expect.

Put October 27-29 in your calendar and be sure to take advantage of the Early Bird rate when registration opens.

With five plenary presentations, twelve panel sessions on themes such as Indigenomics, innovation, tourism, art and the digital economy, and local goods production, interactive trade show, problem-solving chat groups, one-to-one meetings, and more, delegates will have plenty of options and flexibility to attend sessions live and/or review on their own schedules.

We're also hoping to offer small satellite Summit gatherings hosted in communities across the Island so that people can come together at a lunch or dinner time to participate in our plenary sessions.

Island Good Makes It Easy to Find Local Products

May 8, 2020

COVID-19 is teaching us all that local goods production is vital to our economy. And, we have seen Island Good businesses rise to the challenge with retailers adapting quickly to keep us safe; food processors and other Island Good businesses collaborating to support local food banks; and creating online shopping to provide us with fresh, local goods.

Find a wide range of Island products in these Island Good stores:

49th Parallel Grocery

Country Grocer

Cowichan Regional Visitor Centre - Gift baskets and other goods available for pick up.

French Creek Seafood - Locally caught seafood delivery.

L'il Market at Page's Resort - Food and products made or grown on Gabriola Island.

Comox Valley Airport - Mid Island Gifts & On The Fly Cafe - Homemade lunches, dinners and baked goods (temporarily closed).

Peppers Food Store in Cadboro Bay

Quality Foods

Springford Farm - Find their chicken, eggs and beef at the Springford Farm Market Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm in Nanoose Bay. They also sell a range of local products.

Tru Value Foods

Beverages that are Island Good

40 Knots Vineyard - High quality, ethical, clean wines at the largest grape winery in the Comox Valley - Shop online & by telephone for delivery/pickup or find them in your local specialty liquor store.

Level Ground Trading - Delicious fair trade coffee, roasted in Victoria; Shop online shop for delivery/pickup. Also available at local grocers listed above.

Old Victoria Water Company - The largest bottled water company serving our region - Shop online for delivery.

Rocky Creek Winery - An estate Cowichan Valley winery that has award winning wines - Shop online for delivery or find them in your local specialty liquor store.

Wayward Distillery - Canada’s first distillery to produce spirits using 100% BC honey - Shop online for delivery/pickup or find them in your local specialty liquor store.

Zen Moment Kombucha Inc. - Kombucha brewed with premium and organic ingredients in Courtenay - direct sales by appointment with 'contact-free' pick-up and payment and available at local retailers including Tru Value Foods on Quadra Island.

Farms that are Island Good

Vancouver Island Farm Products - A group of Island farmers passionate about feeding residents of Vancouver Island with Island-grown food. Buy their products at the Island Good stores listed above.

Victorian Acres Farm - Provides pasture raised grass fed and grass finished Hereford beef, naturally raised chickens and naturally raised turkeys. Shop by telephone to pick up or buy their products at the Comox Valley farmers market or through the Comox Valley farmer’s market online store.

Food Producers that are Island Good

Abuelo's Foods - Hand made tortillas, offering sales of products via phone for pickup. Also available at various retail outlets including Pommes and Springford Farms Market.

Arbutus Ridge Farms - Manufacturers of fresh deli foods available at local grocers listed above.

Hertel Meats - Ham and bacon products - Shop online for delivery and at local grocers listed above.

Mitchell Soup Company - Specializes in making delicious soup recipes that nourish the body - Shop online for delivery and at local grocers listed above.

Paradise Island Foods - Natural and organic cheese available at local grocers listed above.

Saltspring Kitchen Co. - Gourmet savoury, spicy & sweet preserves, flavour forward and funky hot sauces handmade on Salt Spring Island - Shop online for delivery or pickup or buy from a variety of specialty stores listed on their website.

St. Jean's Cannery - Gourmet seafood products & sport fish processing - Shop online for delivery and at many of the local grocers listed above.

Tilly's Galley Ltd. - International and regional dishes, including chowders, soups, rice dishes, pasta mixes, and spice blends.  Quick and easy to prepare at home, Shop online for delivery and available at many local grocers.

Wood Fire Spice - Chef Inspired Spice Blends Hand Blended on Gabriola Island - Shop online for delivery or at a variety of specialty stores listed on their website.

Yeshi Dressing - Nutritional yeast-based dressing that's fit for gluten-free and vegetarian diets - Shop online for delivery and at many of the local grocers listed above.

Health & Beauty Products that are Island Good

Big Venture Sales - Providing natural Stevia and essential oils - Shop online for delivery.

Feisty Ferdy Organics - Organic skincare products - Shop online for delivery or at Home Hardware, Great Greens Market in Duncan, Sweet Meadows Mill Bay and 49th Parallel Grocery.

Your Elegant Essentials - Creators of quality personal care products made from natural ingredients - Shop online for delivery.

Manufacturers that are Island Good

Aux Box - Manufacturers of modern pre-fab rooms; contact for order and delivery.

Fawcett Mattress - Fawcett is a furniture and mattress manufacturer based in Victoria committed to producing work of an exceptional quality with the finest natural, sustainable and Earth friendly products available - Shop online for delivery or pickup, or call for a private appointment in their showroom.

Woodland Flooring - Locally made sustainable wood flooring that provides a healthier alternative to imported manufactured flooring. Call for ordering and installation.

Restaurants that are Island Good

Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa - Currently offering take out meals from Ocean7 Restaurant.

Morningstar Golf Club - (Restaurant is temporarily closed,) Golf course is now open.

Online resource sessions offered by Economic Alliance

Keeping good company while preparing for the next step is an online series with short bursts of single topic how-to presented by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance.

The 15th session on Tuesday, May 19, at 1 p.m. will feature funding for tech and non-tech organizations hiring students with speakers: Vanessa Stratten of VIU and Dayna Kneeland of NIC The presentation will be about 10 minutes long, followed by 15 minutes for curated Chat Q&A.

This session is sponsored by VIU

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Video recordings of our previous sessions are now available