Gabriola, Mudge and DeCourcy
Community Economic Development Initiative
In 2016, the Gabriola Chamber began the exploration and creation of a local economic development plan. The grassroots initiative envisioned sustainable economic growth rooted in island values and presented actions towards building local resiliency through collaboration.
With the support of Island Coastal Economic Trust and Community Futures Central Vancouver Island, the Gabriola Economic Readiness Plan was developed through wide community engagement and facilitated sessions with residents, business owners, and local organizations.
In 2017, the Community Economic Development initiative was underway when the Gabriola Chamber saw an opportunity to hold a Service Agreement with the Regional District of Nanaimo for Tourism and Economic Development.
With the Service Agreement in place, the Chamber applied for and was awarded funding from the BC Rural Dividend for implementation of the Economic Readiness Plan.
In March 2018, the Economic Development Advisory Group was formed as the advising body for the Community Economic Development Officer.
The Economic Development Advisory Group is an integral part of the Community Economic Development initiative as they represent the whole of the population. Their input, direction and advisement encourage positive community, environmental and social impacts as well as build a resilient, robust and sustainable local economy. In May of 2018, Julie Sperber was hired as the Community Economic Development Officer.
Community Economic Development Officer
Julie Sperber is passionate about local economies being vibrant, sustainable and reflecting the unique community values, strengths and challenges that exist in each place.
She has been directly involved in the Gabriola economy as a business owner for over 10 years. Her local entrepreneurial pursuits ranged from studio jeweller to coffee roaster to restauranteur. She is a natural connector and outside the box thinker and has been positively engaged in the community since she arrived in 2007.
Julie’s favourite part of the job is that the work is focused on increasing positive impacts island-wide.