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Community Economic Development

Our Community Futures plays a key role in working alongside other local and regional leaders for the development of a sustainable community and economy.   Along with our community partners, we support and invest in activities and projects to help make the Cowichan resilient and vibrent.

Current and Recent Projects: 

Leadership Vancouver Island

Leadership Vancouver Island is a community-focused leadership development program that provides members of Island communities with the professional training, coaching support, and hands-on learning opportunities they need to realize and grow their potential as individuals and global citizens. Community Futures Cowichan provides the Coordination and Adminstrative support to LVI. 

Learn more about LVI

Making the Cowichan Lake Region a World Class Trail Destination  (April 2019- March 2021)

This project will bring resources to many volunteers who are building trails and share a vision to make the region a world-class trail destination. Working with the Cowichan Lake Trailblazers, there will be financial and in-kind support for trail building training and equipment; developing land use agreements; designing and installing signs and maps; and programs to help local businesses benefit from increased tourism activity.  

Recreation trails are catalysts for economic and community development. Trail networks across BC are strengthening the link between traditional tourism and the trend towards outdoor recreation. This creates opportunities for businesses and the local economy. Trails boost local economic activity while positively impacting community through social development, education, healthy active living, and environmental sustainability

 We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

Cowichan Lake Region Tourism Action Plan  (February 2018 to July 2018) 

The Cowichan Lake Region Tourism Action Plan is a regional collaboration of western Cowichan communities to seize the economic opportunity from the increasing demand for tourism experiences in the Region. It will specifically focus on what Tourism Products and Infrastructure are required to develop tourism into a sustainable economic driver, by creating jobs, incenting new business start-ups and expansions and lengthening the tourism season.  This Project was Funded by B.C. Rural Dividend Fund

Duncan Highway Corridor Project (June 2018 - November 2018)

The Duncan Highway Corridor Project is an initiative to determine if there is a new way for businesses to work together and with important stakeholders like governments, citizens and other organizations to improve the area as a place to own and operate a business. We understand being located on the highway has opportunities and challenges. Through a consultation process, which includes an online survey and face to face meetings, the project will hear from landlords and businesses on ways to work together towards finding solutions to improving the area for business. This Project was Funded by B.C. Rural Dividend Fund

Past Projects

Ladysmith Maritime Society Visitor Facilities Project 

With our assistance, the Ladysmith Maritime Society secured $250,000 from the West Coast Community Adjustment Program (WCCAP) to help fund their $1.6 million visitor facilities upgrade and expansion project. Completed in March 2012, the facility is expected to draw an additional 1,350 tourists annually within five years of completion, providing an economic impact of $500,000 annually for the Town of Ladysmith and the surrounding Cowichan Region.

Cowichan Wooden Boat Society Maritime Museum Expansion 

With our assistance, the Cowichan Wooden Boat Society secured $250,000 in project funding to  expand their marine museum and Interpretive Centre in Cowichan Bay. The new addition to their facilities was built using timber frame construction, and is in itself an attraction in Cowichan Bay. The new facility opened to the public in November 2011.

Osborne Bay Sea-Trail Network 

With our assistance, the Municipality of North Cowichan secured a $250,000 WCCAP grant to build the third and final stage of the Crofton Seawalk and complete a sea-trail network running from Maple Bay to Osborne Bay.  The $250,000 helped the Municipality leverage an additional $550,000 to complete the construction, which extended the existing walkway an additional 210 meters, constructed on pilings in the ocean, rather than along the foreshore and high water zone in order to protect the sensitive foreshore region. The Marine Trail was upgraded to include an access point for kayakers, including a secure lock-up for kayaks and canoes, overnight parking, designated area for campsites for overnight stays, basic washroom facilities and welcoming and directional signage.  Areas within the foot trail saw additional clearing, ground proofing, railings, enforced walkways, and additional signage.

Kinsol Trestle Capital Campaign

The Kinsol Trestle project was a major project for us from 2009 to 2011.  We provided administrative support to the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) for marketing and community fundraising. The trestle was restored to its former glory and opened to the public in July 2011. It has attracted locals and tourists alike every single day since it reopened, and completed the “missing link” in the section of the Trans Canada Trail between Shawnigan Lake and the Town of Lake Cowichan.