Our 2021-22 annual report celebrates the enduring strength of islands and coastal communities.
In our sixteen years as communities’ key strategic financial partner working to build a sustainable and resilient coastal economy, 2021 was a year like no other.
This past year has shown the enduring strength of islands and coastal communities as we faced immeasurable challenges. As we pause to reflect this year, we recognize the resiliency of so many people across our region rallying together with unwavering commitment to each other.
People are lifting each other up and building healthy, resilient, and more sustainable communities through investments with the Trust. We invite you to read stories from people working together to realize positive change in their communities – a social enterprise on Gabriola Island that’s recycling local textile waste into new island-made products, Huu-ay-aht First Nation’s vision for tourism and wellbeing in Anacla and Bamfield, neighbours and artists working together to celebrate and build vitality in their small community of Campbellton, and more.
Through these and other stories of local impact, we’re proud to have funded 44 projects this year, with a focus on rural and First Nations communities. These projects are creating a direct economic impact in our region of more than $7.7 million with the $2.4 million in new funds approved by the Trust.
We are honoured that the provincial government entrusted us to steward economic recovery funds this year. We leaned into our support of rural communities facing economic transitions, delivering $930,000 ($1.83 million since March 2021) that created 21 dedicated economic recovery roles in local governments and First Nations this year.
Looking Forward — Our Vision for Renewal and Permanence
Renewal of Island Coastal Economic Trust is imperative for us in 2022/23. Without new investment this year, the board of directors must initiate dissolution of the Trust in 2023/24—closing the doors on the only trust financing economic development across our vast region serving more than 500,000 British Columbians and Indigenous people.
The imminent risk that our islands and coastal communities lose their sole economic Trust calls on us to work swiftly to create a solution. As the community leaders comprising the board of Island Coastal Economic Trust, we view this moment as a generational opportunity to evolve our Trust into a sustainable long-term financial institution that’s dedicated to socially responsible Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing. We envision transforming the Trust into a permanent fund that builds healthy and resilient coastal communities at the front lines of climate change and empowers social impact in rural and First Nations communities for generations to come.
Here at Island Coastal Economic Trust, we look forward to continuing to build on our work together as we strengthen prosperity and wellbeing across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and island and inlet communities from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution for years to come.