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Business and community leaders gathering for Vancouver Island Economic Summit

Sessions explore forest health and climate, future of Island food production and more
The State of the Island Economic Summit will happen Oct. 26-27 in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file photo)

Vancouver Island Economic Alliance’s Economic Summit next week is set to draw hundreds of business and industry decision-makers from Victoria to Port Hardy and all Island communities in between.

The event will be held Oct. 26-27 at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Participants will get to meet with representatives from the new federal agency PacifiCan, a Mexican trade delegation, Export Development Canada, Island Coastal Economic Trust, and others.

“Engagement amongst decision-makers often leads to business development opportunities and is considered a high value at the summit,” said George Hanson, senior advisor and former VIEA president, in a press release. “This year we have grown the focus on innovation and technology in our program while also expanding opportunities for one-to-one conversations on specific topics. Whether its trade and investment opportunities with Mexican business owners, finding government support for your projects or considering business opportunities associated with the burgeoning seaweed industry … [the summit] will present an array of opportunities to explore.”

Four keynote presentations are planned dealing with the net effect of industry change in fin fish aquaculture; forests and climate; Island agriculture and the future of Island food production. The summit will also include presentations from low-carbon entrepreneurs and address topics such as mental health and addictions, the doughnut economy and more. Also planned is discussion about the international and provincial economy, Canadian demographic trends, and critical themes emerging from VIEA’s 2022 Economic Report, plus there will be 20 concurrent sessions organized in thematic streams such as food production, climate solutions, health care, and a trade show with more than 40 exhibitors.

The State of the Island Economic Summit happens 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the VICC. For more information, visit

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