Gabriola Island is also known as the Isle of the Arts due to having one of the highest concentration of artists per capita in Canada.
Gabriola Island is rapidly building its economic development capacity. Building upon ICET supported economic asset mapping, the Gabriola Island Chamber of Commerce developed a made-on-Gabe economic development strategy centered around the community’s entrepreneurial culture and self-sustainability goals. In order to realize the objective set out in the strategy, the Chamber required a long-term governance and human resource structure to proceed to implementation.
With Quick Start funding, the Chamber was able to establish an Economic Advisory Group to oversee implementation of the strategy, including development of a terms of reference and other materials to guide the recruitment and selection process. A governance workshop was facilitated for Chamber and Advisory members, providing an orientation to their new roles and responsibilities. The project also delivered a human resource plan to determine the staffing needs required to administrate the strategy.
As a result of this project, a full-time economic development officer was hired to move the strategy into action. Now with a new strategy and operational capacity in place, Gabriola Island is moving forward with an investment attraction website, new entrepreneurial supports, a business concierge service, and a local purchasing campaign to cultivate its homegrown businesses. The project was completed in 2019.