Southern Gulf Islands
Community Economic Sustainability Commission Initiatives


The SGI has an educational economic opportunity. The objective is to stimulate year-round employment opportunities that support the underlying values of the Capital Regional District, the Islands Trust and the island residents.  One approach may be to activate vacant lodges, studios, classrooms and other venues and offer applied learning programs that share, inspire, conserve and have both commercial relevance and cultural relevance for our community.

  • These programs would offer learners/guests a ‘ROE’ (Return on Experience).

  • These programs could be accredited, non-accredited, short-term (tourism), or long-stay.

  • These programs would be anchored in tenets of reconciliation, indigenous empowerment & celebration.

  • These programs could be based in personal growth, spirituality, or wellness, such as ‘20-day nutritional workshops for retirees’, or Advanced Yoga Teacher Training.

  • These programs could have scalable curriculum for high-school groups, such as coastal interpretive lessons that bridge First Nations traditional sciences, the terrestrial environment, agri-food, and ocean sciences.

  • These programs could offer curriculum modules for university students such as Micro-Finance where student cohorts and faculty could come together (in-person) to (virtually) assist micro-finance candidates from around the world in turn becoming a 'philanthro-cational' incubator.

Finding ways to attract visitors and new residents to the Southern Gulf Islands is fundamental to generating sustainable economy.

As a first step, an on the ground inventory assessment of the current resources (potential education opportunities, interested practitioners/content providers, available island facilities, etc.) is required.  This inventory and assessment would be used in a future project to engage education providers, and destination marketers who would be interested in these kinds of programming for their learners/clients, including the UN’s University of Peace.

The inventory and assessment will identify:

  • Potential environmental, Indigenous, social and economic opportunities on the islands that could be the focus of educational programs and experiences

  • On-island accommodation and infrastructure available for conferences and classes on the islands

  •  Local island residents or businesses with special talents to delivery educational programs

  • The CESC has contracted with a consultant team including Derek Masselink, the UN’s University of Peace in Costa Rica, and Aaron Smith of Holidays for Humanity to assist with the conceptualization and execution of an online tool that will both poll and isolate opportunities for place-based learning in the Southern Gulf Islands.

The objective is to provide an inventory of the unique skills, values, and resources that residents would be willing to share with the world through workshops and other curriculum.  This would allow educational providers to identify the people, places and features to develop an educational program or event on the islands. The online tool provides a simple, logical, graphical, and shareable tool that will work on all devices, and populate a report that will be analyzed later in 2016.

All rights reserved. 2015 Southern Gulf Island Economic Development Commission.