Thursday, April 18, 2024
April 18, 2024

Islanders invited to Gabriola economic forum

Economic, environmental and social challenges faced by B.C.’s rural island communities will be dissected at an April 25-27 forum on Gabriola Island.

Residents of all Gulf Islands are welcome to attend the conference hosted by the Rural Island Economic Partnership (RIEP), a non-profit society dedicated to furthering economic resilience among B.C.’s rural islands.

Called an “unconference” conference, the forum was created in 2019 to address challenges and build resilience across the province’s network of rural island communities. Following a series of online-only events during COVID, this year’s forum marks a return to in-person events for RIEP, and will feature and focus on action.

“We’re thrilled to be back in-person, but the challenges for many rural island communities go back many, many years — economically, environmentally and socially,” said RIEP board chair Francine Carlin. “Our 2022 virtual forum gave us a real head of steam, and we’re carrying it forward to this year’s theme of ‘connect, reflect and act.’ We’re grateful to our supporters, like presenting sponsor Vancity, who understand the action imperative and have stepped up for the forum and our rural island communities.”

The 2023 forum program will include interactive panels and presentations on a variety of topics, such as the economics of climate change, regenerative economics and working with Indigenous-owned businesses and communities, as well as participatory “action labs” on themes such as housing, tourism, arts and agri-food.

People can learn more about the conference and register at

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