The first major event occurred on February 12, 2015. On this date the Village of Alert Bay and ‘Namgis adopted the following shared economic vision for Cormorant Island. Through coordinated investment, promotion and development, Cormorant Island will build on the existing economy, culture, history and infrastructure by leveraging resource-based value-add opportunities, seasonal tourism and marine commerce.
These efforts will improve the business environment and create a solid base for entrepreneurs and small businesses to succeed, thus improving island vibrancy that will in turn attract new residents, businesses and investment leading to a stronger year-round economy based on community values. At this meeting, the Village and ‘Namgis also adopted a joint economic strategy that will focus on harbour redevelopment and downtown revitalization. Plans for harbour redevelopment include an expanded marina, a fuel dock, an ice plant and improved cruise ship access. Plans for downtown revitalization include development of the old St. Georges hospital site, a carver’s studio and museum expansion. As part of the strategy, the Village and ‘Namgis also committed to work together to support and enable entrepreneurship through measures such as tax and business incentives, signage, marketing, workforce development and tourism strategy development.
A community meeting was held on February 26, 2015 to share the vision and strategy with residents of Cormorant Island. The community meeting was attended by at least 50 residents, who were asked to provide feedback on the plan and input on possible sites for a marina expansion, quickstarts and implementation.
The next step towards implementation of the strategy will be engagement of a Project Coordinator. Colleen Hamilton of EcoPlan will serve as an interim coordinator until a permanent Project Coordinator can be recruited. The Village and ‘Namgis have a long history of working together. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the Village of Alert Bay to implement our shared economic vision for Cormorant Island. We wish to thank the local action committee and the staff at EcoPlan International for their hard work and dedication in leading this initiative.