Cambell River’s FUTURE 15

Cambell River’s FUTURE 15

On February 19th the Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce celebrated their FUTURE15 event. What a great concept this event is! Campbell River is full of amazing people 19-45. They are role models, paving their own path and shaping the future of Campbell River. Below are a few of the winners and their visions for Campbell River.

Ahmed Siah         
Research Scientist              
BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
“Historically, Campbell River’s economy was mainly based on traditional resource economy such as fisheries, mining and forestry. Although this economy will remain, it is essential to sustain this economy by implementing innovation and providing technology support. This can be accomplished by creating centres of excellence allowing research and development of state of the art technologies that can support the local industries to maintain its leadership locally, nationally and worldwide. In addition, centres of excellence in innovation will attract younger students and experts in the field of innovation needed for the local economy.  Specifically, we must preserve the integrity of our marine environment for generations to enjoy. This encompasses part of the mission of BC CAHS.”

Amanda May Raleigh         
Culture and Community Manager  
Broadstreet Properties
“My vision for the future of Campbell River is that it develops economically with new business opportunities for young professionals. Emphasis should be given on businesses which our community doesn’t already have, so business is not taken away from ones already in existence here. I’d like to see us encourage and support the renovations of existing Campbell River buildings, and be a positive partner in the creation of new ventures that will bring people into our downtown core (past 5 o’clock). My last vision for the community is to see people get more involved with their community through volunteerism. It is everyone’s responsibility to work on making Campbell River a great place to live!”

Amber Zirnhelt   
Community Planning & Development Services Manager           
City of Campbell River
“My vision for the future of Campbell River is a community that celebrates and recognizes its natural environment, cultural richness, social fabric, and distinct marine character. My wish is that Campbell River will continue to develop a vibrant downtown that is a social, cultural and economic hub for the community that attracts diverse demographics to work, live and visit. In the future I see Campbell River continuing to have an important connection to the natural resources, and also diversifying its economy to include more employment opportunities in the high tech sector, tourism, arts and culture, and niche businesses such as food and beverage establishments including funky eateries and breweries. Campbell River’s rich natural environment is a huge asset to the community and in the future I hope these assets continue to be protected and enhanced.  In addition, it is my hope that Campbell River will continue to be a community that supports multi-generations in growing, living, working, playing, and aging in the community and that attracts young people and families for the great outdoor lifestyle and community spirit.”


Curtis Wilson       
Referrals Officer/Elected Councillor/Artist   
Nanwakolas Council/Campbell River Band
The vision for my future in Campbell River is very simple… to keep doing what I am doing in helping, supporting and trying to be more and more involved in many ways within my FNS Community and also the Community of Campbell River. I want to continue all of this so that my children will see how amazing this community is and they will learn and possibly utilize the same cycle and paths I took and come back to work, support and be a part of this community like I have been.  This community has a lot to offer and I want to be able to show my children all of these wonderful things so that they make this place their home for the future.”


Derek Lamb         
Chan Nowosad Boates
“My vision for Campbell River is a City with a vibrant downtown and with a number of in City jobs for individuals. I think this will come as the population continues to age and people continue to move further north on the island as property becomes more expensive in Parksville and Coutenay / Comox.

My vision for Campbell River and a Vibrant downtown is also one that focuses on attracting the best and brightest to town – this is done by ensuring that measures are in place both municipally and provincially to attract large employers to the City’s core that want the best and brightest and can afford to employ them.”


Dr. Hanif Paroo   
Doctor of Optometry        
Dr. Hanif Paroo, IRIS Discovery Harbour
In Campbell River, we are connected to the world by sea, land, sky and increasingly by fiber optics. People desire to engage in work that is profitable, self sustaining and nurturing to the environment without having to endure, traffic, pollution and civil unrest. Our temperate, seaside home has great opportunities for growth in: communal farming, professional services, food, arts and culture, health care, information technology, marine, forestry, geological and  energy research, public and private pre-and post secondary education, eco-tourism, outdoor recreation and sports,  and senior living. I believe these areas should be amongst the important cornerstones of an expanded Campbell River. We need public and private investment in local sustainable energy, waste management, our oceanfront, airport, and our deep sea port, all of which are areas of great opportunity.  To this end we need to continue welcoming Canadian and international students, travelers and investors into our city as a key to staying relevant and to offering our city’s citizenship with options not otherwise feasible while maintaining our cultural identity as an Island town with heart. The wisdom, artisanship and spirituality of our First Nations communities are the curiosity of the world and these should be celebrated. Enhanced spaces for us to express ideas, creativity and athleticism are needed to accommodate our growing population and increasingly diverse population.  Institutions that offer high quality, affordable education to our children and care for our aging population are priorities.  A safe, nurturing place to raise our children, breathe fresh air and drink clean water – that is where we want to live.”


Dr. Tanya Flood   
Doctor of Optometry        
FYidoctors – Campbell River
My future vision for Campbell River is to ensure we become a walk-able city, a family-friendly city and a senior-friendly city. Fortunately these priorities overlap beautifully. For example, ensuring businesses are committed to being family and senior oriented will by necessity evolve into extraordinary customer service. With great customer service, comes the assurance that the people of CR spend their money locally and others from the North Island make this their choice for services and products. Prioritizing sidewalks which are wheelchair and stroller accessible, enhanced green spaces and tourist attractions such as the Elk Falls project, brings revenue to CR and in turn a better quality of life. This economic prosperity will allow us to attract and retain a young and vibrant workforce to support our retirees and build our community for the future.

“However, we are currently not in this situation, as many of our young families are struggling. In fact 22.8 per cent of Campbell River children under the age of six live in poverty, compared to the national average of 13 per cent. In addition, approximately 500 Campbell River children under the age of 17 use the food bank monthly.  My vision is to help our city solve the current challenges we face to become highly effective.”


Erica Chan-Lafrance            
Chan Nowosad Boates
“I think Campbell River has done a great job these past couple of years in getting the economic growth happening.  All of the projects that we have seen occur have given CR a boost in the economy.  I have liked seeing Campbell River change from a resource based town into what it is today, from being a tourism town, to attracting innovative companies (aerospace industry) to hopefully having the technology to allow other tech companies to base themselves out of Campbell River.  I continue to enjoy the small town feel of Campbell River, and hope to see the sense of Community to continue to grow as well.  The best part of Campbell River is what it has to offer outside of business, the ocean, the mountains, the outdoors, there really isn’t anywhere else that offers all of that in such close proximity.  To me, CR is the best place to raise my kids.”


Heather Brown   
Research Assistant             
BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
“I love Campbell River. We live in the most beautiful city in the world, with the ocean and forests in our backyards.  Right now, the world is faced with many environmental challenges. Declining wild salmon stocks due to climate change, over fishing, and habitat destruction are among those issues. I believe we can make Campbell River the center for salmon research and be the driving force of big changes. As the salmon capital of the world, we need to be the hub of information working to improve Aquaculture and Fisheries Management, and understanding how to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our precious oceans. I see Aquaculture and Tourism as the key drivers of economic growth in Campbell River. My vision, and the vision of BC CAHS, is to build research and support capacity that would bring together these industries and provide an avenue and opportunity for community involvement.”

Karen Stewart     
Chartered Professional Accountant
Chan Nowosad Boates, Chartered Professional Accountants
“While I know Campbell River’s population consists of retirees to a large extent, I would like to see more young influence in the community to make it more vibrant and active.  We need to attract more of the younger generation in order to sustain and grow our community.  In order to do that we need to offer more activities, such as the bike park, festivals (arts, culture, music), and evening entertainment.  I like that we already offer numerous trails and hiking/camping/outdoor opportunities as this is a benefit to all ages.”


Myriah Foort       
Finance Manager
City of Campbell River
“I have a great passion for the City of Campbell River. I have always felt it is a best kept secret with so much potential. We have an amazing community with a great community spirit for volunteerism, networking groups for all ages, an abundance of recreational amenities and programs, a beautiful natural setting of ocean, mountain and forest.

I truly feel that having long-term stability in our City will promote economic development and investment in our community by commercial and businesses alike, which will in turn provide jobs and sustainable living for our citizens.

The key to an ongoing successful community is diversity in demographics of children, young professionals, experienced professionals and retirees. We all benefit by living and working together and committing to making this community the best place to live. Campbell River is a jewel and with our caring and invested citizens we will enjoy ongoing success.”

Rachel Blaney      
Member of Parliament for North Island-Powell River
“I want to see a Campbell River where there are plenty of good paying, sustainable and permanent jobs so that families can confidently set down roots here and stick together. We know that the environment and the economy here are inextricably linked and we need them to be healthy for us to prosper. We need quality health care and social services accessible here, without costly trips south and to the mainland. I also envision Campbell River as a place where real reconciliation with First Nations brings greater economic prosperity and social justice for all of us.”

Dr. Robin James Evans       
Dr. Robin Evans MD, FRCSC               
Novos Innovations
“Campbell River is ideally positioned to become a tech hub of the west coast.  With our increasingly connected, decentralized world, innovators are looking for a place to live with an excellent quality of life.  Because of this, we are considering Campbell River for a headquarters for our facilities.”

Shannon Baikie    
Regional Manager, Community & Labour Market Services        
North Island Employment
“From a strong business community; diverse arts, culture and recreation opportunities; to a diversifying economy and engaged residents Campbell River is ever-evolving and it will be the unique collaborative nature of businesses, organizations, municipal governments, educational institutions, and First Nations in the community that often don’t exist in other communities that will continue to see Campbell River respond well to the always changing social, economic, cultural and environmental fabric of our community.

At the core it comes down to the collaborative nature and genuine interest and commitment by the community as a whole that makes Campbell River a great place to live, work and raise a family.  Campbell River is in a time of transition and I only envision the community strengthening in the years to come as our economy continues to diversify and I personally look forward to helping lead the charge!”

Wyth Marshall     
Research Scientist              
BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
“Campbell River is the gateway to the outdoors through both water and land. By nature, this requires an excellence in communication and collaboration between resource industries and ecotourism. I have been deeply impressed by the support for community activities and biological outreach and research given by some of our local industries and community organizations. The Elk Falls Suspension Bridge and Discovery Passage Aquarium are recent and notable examples. I would like to see these relationships continue to strengthen as I see economic diversification as a vital component for economic resilience and community education. Given our location, influence of marine based industries and tourism, and the surprisingly low numbers of marine research facilities on Canada’s Pacific Coast I think Campbell River should look towards expanding its public education and marine research facilities. This gateway into the Pacific Ocean will encourage both locals and tourists to spend more time in our city.”