About Us

Island Coastal Economic Trust board and management team, January 2023

Founded by the Province, Governed by Coastal Communities

Island Coastal Economic Trust was established by the Province of British Columbia in 2006 with $50 million under the North Island-Coast Development Initiative Trust Act. Our mandate has been to support economic diversification and growth across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and islands and inlets from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution (see Our Region).

Continuously learning and evolving

Over the years, our role and our programs have continuously evolved to meet a wide range of stakeholder needs. In 2020-21, the Province expanded Island Coastal Economic Trust’s service area to include the Capital Regional District electoral areas of Juan de Fuca, Salt Spring Island, and the Southern Gulf Islands. More than half a million residents call our region home. We work in close collaboration, forming high-trust relationships with people and organizations in urban areas, First Nations governments, rural towns, and unincorporated communities including those situated on islands and in coastal inlets.

We’re working to build an inclusive and resilient coastal economy across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and islands and inlets from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution — see Our Region).

A Community-led Development Organization

Our investments into projects across the coast are guided by our governing legislation, and we commit each funding agreement towards community-led projects. Funds are strategically invested to spur economic development across eight impact priorities:

  • Food Security and Agrifood
  • Cultural and Nature-based Tourism
  • Innovation and Technology
  • Renewable and Low Carbon Energy
  • Entrepreneurs and Local Businesses
  • Transportation and Logistics
  • Training and Advanced Eduction
  • Regenerative Forestry

Diversifying and Growing Our Economy

Since inception, Island Coastal Economic Trust has invested over $64 million through partnerships with community-led initiatives spanning our entire coastal region area. This includes First Nations, local governments, regional governments, non-profits, industry organizations, educational institutions, and others—all leading the way in developing a resilient and sustainable coastal economy.

Communities have directly invested more than $337.5 million in their projects by leveraging our unique locally driven and accountable funding model. Communities across the region have created significant permanent jobs, catalyzed and revitalized economic sectors, improved quality of life, and spurred the transformational change needed to fulfill community needs and aspirations for more resilient and sustainable islands and coastal economies.

A Strategic Approach to Economic Development

Through our Capital and Innovation program we provide matching funds to First Nations, local governments and non-profit societies for infrastructure projects that support strategic economic development, tourism projects that support local businesses, innovative projects that focus on adopting and adapting to new approaches and new technologies. Through our Investment Readiness program, we fund the development of strategies to attract new investment for community level economic development.