Community Economic Development Committee

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Community-Based Responsible Visitation Plan for Bowen Island

Congratulations to Tourism Bowen Island! After months of community engagement including focus groups and interviews, the Intervistas Consulting team has completed the Community-Based Responsible Visitation Plan for Bowen Island. The comprehensive plan presents four strategic goals and over 50 initiatives aimed at balancing the island’s tourism ecosystem with residents’ way of life.

Thank you for participating in the creation of Bowen’s Community Economic Development Plan

In a Committee of the Whole meeting on November 8, 2021 (watch on YouTube), Hill & Knowlton Strategies presented the draft Community Economic Development Plan, developed over the past two years with extensive community engagement. The plan identifies six economic sectors as key areas of focus and three cross-cutting priorities that intersect with each area. Seven steps are discussed in a path to implementation. The Committee of the Whole recommended that the Community Economic Development Committee report back to Council on how to proceed with implementation.

We’d like to thank everyone who participated in the development of the plan, including Bowen Island residents, businesses and community members, the Community Economic Development Committee and the Working Group made up of staff and committee members, and of course our consultant team from Hill & Knowlton Strategies. See more on the CED Plan process in the tabs at bottom of this page.

Community Economic Development Committee (CEDC)

Purpose of the Committee:

To facilitate Bowen Island community economic development and provide advice to Council about economic development for Bowen Island.

Committee Members:

  • Kiersten Enemark, Chair
  • Sat Pandher, Vice Chair
  • Lieven Callewaert
  • Martin Dimkovski
  • Brian Haley
  • Roger Lines
  • Lorraine McGregor
  • Cooper McGuire
  • Jody Lorenz, Tourism Bowen Island
  • Jami Scheffer, The Hearth 
  • Mayor Andrew Leonard
  • Councillor Alex Jurgenson
  • Stef Shortt, Staff Liaison 

To contact the Community Economic Development Committee please email:

Governing Documents:

Terms of Reference

Video Recordings:

BIM YouTube Channel

Agendas and Minutes:



You may also find agendas, minutes and videos on the Committees webpage.

Click HERE to subscribe to our CEDC email list to receive information about engagement, grant and business development opportunities.

On July 25, 2016, Council directed the EDC to include the development of recommendations for municipal business licensing in its 2017 Work Plan.

On October 18, 2018, EDC members provided a presentation to members of the business community regarding business licensing at the Fall Business Summit and received their feedback.

On November 27, 2017, the EDC presented its Business Licensing Feasibility Report to Council who directed staff to identify next steps and resources required for a business licensing program as a priority under Strategic Pillar F – Robust and Resilient Local Economy – of the 2018 Island Plan. Work on this project is ongoing. 

On January 23, 2018 EDC members provided a presentation to members of the business community regarding the implementation of business licensing at Business Summit and received their feedback.

Council asked staff to review the report and return with an analysis of the recommendations, and identified business licensing as a priority in the Island Plan.

In 2018, staff reported back to Council with a detailed analysis of the recommendations, including a proposed business licensing bylaw and a proposed implementation schedule.

Staff Report: July 13, 2018

Open House Display Boards: September 13, 2018

Communication Plan

Staff Report: September 24, 2018

Staff Report: October 1, 2018

The Business Licence Bylaw No. 465, 2018 was adopted on October 9, 2018, and will take effect on January 1, 2019.

A transition period was scheduled in early 2019 while the business licensing program is being set up. Municipal staff will begin accepting applications in January 2019.

During this time, staff will also be developing an online business directory that will be available for the public to find businesses on Bowen Island, and an online platform that will make applying and paying for business licences as simple as possible for businesses.

At the CEDC Annual Business Summit February 20, 2019, an update on the business license program was presented. 

Read more about business licences.

In the Summer of 2014, the EDC Branding Subcommittee conducted a survey of visitors.

On October 1, 2014 the EDC presented their branding initiative to the Committee of the Whole:

On December 15, 2015, the EDC provided the following presentations to the Committee of the Whole: 

On January 25, 2016 Chris Staples of Rethink Solutions provided a branding presentation to Council:

On February 15, 2016, the EDC delivered a presentation of their branding research to the Committee of the Whole: 

On June 27, 2016 Chris Staples of Rethink Solutions provided a presentation to the Committee of the Whole:

Subsequently, on June 27, 2016, Council adopted the Community Brand.

On November 17, 2016, Chris Staples provided the following presentations to the Economic Development Committee:

Read a brief history of the Bowen Island Branding Initiative.

Public support for the brand story includes:

  • Bowen Island Conservancy: Branding and the Natural Environment

2016 Building Bowen Island’s Local Economy Workshop
(Co-Hosted by BIM EDC and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training)

On March 31, 2016, in collaboration with the Minstry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, the EDC hosted an all- workshop. Below are links to presentations and notes.

2016 EDC Business Summit 

On October 18, 2016 the EDC hosted an open meeting for Bowen businesses. Over 65 business owners were in attendance for a lively evening of discussion, small group exercises and networking. The following topics were presented:

Other information from the 2016 EDC Business Summit includes:

2018 EDC Business Summit

On Tuesday, January 23, 2018 the EDC hosted an open meeting for businesses. 

2019 CEDC Business Summit

On Tuesday, February 20, 2019, the CEDC hosted its annual business summit.


Three surveys were conducted in 2014 and 2015:


Four Local Business Summits and Workshops were held in 2016, 2018 and 2019 (see Events tab above)


The CEDC holds regular Business Breakfasts with various sectors of the Bowen Island business community including:

  • Food Businesses (April 11, 2018): Notes
  • Retail Businesses (June 27, 2018): Notes
  • Trades (October 24, 2018): Notes
  • Remote and Hybrid Workers Roundtable (June 15, 2022)

Committee Meetings

Most Economic Development Committee meetings are open to the public and are publicized on the BIM website. Special promotion will occur when a guest speaker has been invited to present or an EDC initiative is going before Council for approval.

Subcommittee Meetings

EDC members often form subcommittees to work on priority initiatives which are open to members of the community. If you are interested in participating in a subcommittee, please contact


The Economic Development Committee has been involved in the production of several documents including:

Publications that inform the work of the EDC include:

Poster to comfort businesses, customers and residents in COVID re-opening (summer 2020):

Message from Bowen Businesses

Bowen businesses would like to share the following message with the community:

You may download posters here:

The EDC often invites guest speakers series to present for the Committee and members of the public. These include:

Lindsay Bisschop, Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training (2016)

Wes Regan, Community Economic Development Planner for the City of Vancouver (December 15, 2017)

Stephen Mikichich, Economic Development Manager, District of West Vancouver (April 20, 2018)

Councillor Silas White, Town of Gibsons (May 11, 2018)

  • Minutes from EDC Meeting

Zarah Gale, Community Futures Sunshine Coast (June 8, 2018)

Bowen Business Navigators (COVID Response)

Free Service Sponsored by the Community Foundation Resiliency Fund and Bowen Island Municipality

The Bowen Business Navigators are part of the Community Economic Sustainability Assistance Project that aims to help our local economy thrive in a “new normal”. Rod Marsh, CEDC Chair, and Vaune Kolber, CEDC Vice Chair, are offering free, one-to-one consultations to local businesses to help navigate the wide range of government and community resources available to assist businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program was made possible by the support of the  Community Foundation Resiliency Fund and the Bowen Island Municipality.  Business owners can schedule an appointment by emailing:

DISCLAIMER: The guidance provided by this service is for general information purposes only. By using these no cost services, you accept any and all risks associated with your financial and business decisions and will rely on your own judgment or those of your own professional advisors. You also agree that you will not seek to recover any loss or damages from the individuals or Bowen Island Municipality arising from the use of these services. Any confidential information disclosed by the business will be kept anonymous.

Business Continuity Planning

The BIM Emergency Program, BIM Community Econonic Development Committee, and Bowen Island Community Foundation collaborated to provide free Business Continuity training and follow-ups for essential services on Bowen Island. Please go to the Business Continuity Planning page of our Emergency Program to learn more.

Bowen Island Digital Meet Ups for Businesses (via Zoom)

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEDC Business Engagement Working Group began hosting weekly online sessions to support businesses. These Zoom meetings are called “Bowen Island Digital Meet Ups for Businesses” and were held every Wednesday morning at 9:30am. In response to the announcement of Phase 3 re-opening, the sessions were held monthly-ish, on Tuesdays at 9:00am until Fall of 2020.

To join in on these sessions, make sure you have the Zoom app downloaded and when you are ready to join, click this link:

Heartfelt thanks to the CEDC subcommittee members who are hosting and coordinating this initiative, particularly Rod Marsh, Vaune Kolber, Natasha Vaz and Chris Corrigan. 

Recordings of each session will be posted on this page. Please see recordings and notes at the bottom of this page under the Business Meet-Up tab. We will also be posting resources that come from the provincial and federal levels of government here. If you would like to be added to the mailing list of Bowen businesses, please email Stef Shortt at

Small Business BC: BC Marketplace

Tuesday, October 6, 2020 at 9:00am

End of summer touch base.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

What has your experience of re-opening been?

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 9:00am

How are you Re-imagining your Bowen Business?

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 9:30am

Safety Plans and What are you Customers Saying About Re-opening?

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 at 9:30am

Re-opening, Buy Local, Branded Signage, and Advertising.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 9:30am

Emergency Finance Update and What is a Safe Re-Opening for Bowen?

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 9:30am

BC’s Restart Plan: What does it Mean for Bowen Businesses?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 9:30am

What does our Business Comeback Look Like?

Wednesday, May 6, 2020 at 9:30am

Business Tools and Financial Supports

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Food, Farm and Supply Chain

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 at 9:30am

What Will it Take For My Business to Recover?

Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 9:30am

Hearing from Bowen Businesses: Adapting to Change

Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 9:30am

Emergency Financial Support Programs from Federal and Provincial Governments

Wednesday, April 1, 2020 at 9:30am

Employment Insurance (EI) and Record of Employment Documents (ROEs)

Wednesday, March 25, 2020 at 9:30am 

Please take four minutes to complete our COVID-19 Business Survey.

COVID Resources

Community Economic Development Plan

In November 2021 H & K Strategies were engaged to complete the final two phases of the plan: public engagement and plan writing. The draft CED Plan will go to Council for approval in September 2021.

Link to RFP: Due October 26, 2020 at 4:00pm

Phases One and Two of CED Plan Public Engagement Complete!

Phase One: Community Survey

Phase One of the Public Engagement Plan comprised a survey that contained 13 themes which had been pulled from the CED Plan Findings Report. Here is a link to the survey (now closed): Community Economic Development Plan Questionnaire (MS Word). 185 residents completed the survey which included both rated questions and extensive room for explanation. The H&K Team generated an informative summary assessment which may be found here: Summary of Survey Results.

Phase Two: Focus Groups

The H&K Team generated five topics to inform as many Focus Groups with the following cross-cutting priorities threaded in: Housing, environmental stewardship, economic leakage (off-island spending), training & education and demonstration projects. You may find background information in the following topic papers:

  1. Commercial and Industrial Sector
  2. Health and Wellness Sector
  3. Knowledge Sector and Digital Economy
  4. Food Sector
  5. Stategic Tourism and the Arts

Approximately 50 Bowen Islanders participated in the Focus Groups which ran via Zoom between May 12th and 19th. The sessions facilitator asked participants the following questions:

  • Why is this sector important to Bowen?
  • Name a Bowen success story.
  • How does this sector relate to the cross-cutting priorities?
  • Share a “Big Idea”.

Answers were collected on post-it notes and will be used to inform the next step of public engagement.

Phase Three: Digital Town Hall

On Wednesday, June 23 at 7:00pm there was a Digital Town Hall wherein Bowen Islanders were presented with a summary of the first two phases of engagement, along with themes informing plan development and comments by three panel experts. Attendees asked questions and provided comments on proposed next steps.

Phase Four: Public Feedback on Draft Plan

The first draft of the Community Plan has been completed! Here is a link to the draft CED Plan. Please take a look and use this four question survey to let us know what you think. We would appreciate your comments about:

  1. What’s missing?
  2. What’s good about this plan for Bowen?
  3. What needs tweaking/improving?
  4. Any other comments?

Creation of the CED Plan needs the active input and support of Bowen Island residents, businesses, and other community members. Your participation is key to creating a relevant, sustainable, local community plan for Bowen Island. You may also email your comments to Stef Shortt at Deadline for comments is October 20, 2021.

How were the topics for the Focug Groups and Town Hall determined?

In March of 2020, Council received a Phase 1  Findings Report for this project based on research including existing BIM plans, surveys and studies, along with census data, comparator community research, and other references. Based on this report, in January 2021 our H&K consultants created an online survey featuring 13 themes. 185 Bowen Islanders completed the survey (link to survey summary). From the input gathered, five topic areas to focus on were identified, along with five cross-cutting priorities. Each topic was briefly summarized in a backgrounder provided to participants prior to the 90-minute online Focus Group. After analyzing the comments from the Focus Groups, our consultants determined that the next engagement event, the Digital Town Hall, would focus on three areas that particularly needed further exploration: Responsible Tourism, Light Industry, and open-ended feedback-gathering from participants on their priorities. Substantial time for questions and comments from residents on their priorities will also be a part of this Town Hall. Find more project information on the CEDC page

Other FAQs for this project can be found here.

Community Futures Sunshine Coast – Bowen Island

Bowen Island is eligible to access resources and funding offered by Community Futures Sunshine Coast. Here is a link to the Regional Relief and Recovery Funding (RRRF) loans program application (loans of up to a maximum of $40,000 with 25% forgiveness available).

(Note: There are also informative resources linked in the documents provided under Meet Up summaries)

Other Grant Information