A Vision for Vancouver Island: “The 2008 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Series would inform implementation of A Positive Settlement Strategy,” stated Kim Stephens at the conclusion of the program


Context for call to action to implement a regional team approach that ensures settlement is in balance with ecology

The 2008 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series has provided a platform for advancing A Positive Settlement Strategy for Vancouver Island. This new way-of-thinking was introduced in 2007, and was the program focus for the Green Infrastructure Leadership Forum held in Nanaimo.

To access a report that summarizes what was accomplished by the Leadership Forum, click on Creating our future starts by asking what could Vancouver Island communities look like in 50 years? The idea for the Learning Lunch Series was an outcome of the Leadership Forum.

Expectations Exceeded

At the last of the 2008 seminars, Kim Stephens reflected on what had been accomplished by both the Cowichan Valley and Comox Valley pilot series. “Our initial objective was simply to see if we could deliver continuing education in a different way,” stated Stephens, Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for Britsh Columbia, and seminar team leader.

“The Series has exceeded our own expectations, Our initial objective was to facilitate a consistent understanding of core technical concepts. Because local governments enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to align local actions with over-arching provincial goals, the resulting success of the Series has enabled us to move beyond that limited objective. The energy to think like a region has been unleashed,” stated Kim Stephens.

Convening for Action

The Convening for Action mind-map, presented below, provided the What-So What-Now What framework for curriculum development. “The desired outcome for the series was to energize participants …so that they would be inspired to move from talk to action in their jurisdictions …and actually do something to make a difference,” reported Kim Stephens.

Creating Our Future

The Cowichan Valley and Comox Valley series each comprised a set of three seminars. The third seminar in each constituted the call to action. To capture the flavour of the Learning Lunch Seminar Series, video clips have been uploaded to YouTube. The following images provided the basis for the call to action by Kim Stephens.

Now What: “You need the high-level language, but it is the bottom-up regional approach that will ensure consistency,” observed Stephens. “I urge you to take a few minutes to read The Natural City by Vic Derman.”

CAVI: This graphic illustrates the expanding scope and participation in CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. “Today is not the end of the process,” Stephens told participants. “It is the beginning of the next step.”

Examples: “It starts neighbourhood by neighbourhood, and watershed by watershed,” observed Stephens. “We now have three examples of watershed initiatives in three parts of the Island that can inform A Positive Settlement Strategy”

Vision and Task: “Eric Bonham found this 1786 quote inscribed in a church in England,” explained Stephens. “We describe Eric as the heart-and-soul of CAVI.”

What Next: “The time is now to move with the regional team approach,” concluded Stephens. “It’s not just the Comox Valley; it’s not just the Cowichan Valley; it’s not just the Nanaimo region; it’s not just the Capital Region.”

Link to YouTube Video:

To conclude the seminar, Kim Stephens addressed the question: What Next? he quoted Eric Bonham: “It is appropriate to now start moving towards talking in terms of Vancouver Island as a whole in terms of sustainability, collaboration and creative partnerships.”

PowerPoint Presentation:

The YouTube presentation is complemented by a PowerPoint presentation that can be viewed by clicking on  Creating Our Future – The New Business As Usual: What Next

About the Vancouver Island Pilot Program for Living Water Smart

The precedent-setting Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series is part of the implementation program for  Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual, This provincial initiative builds on the foundation provided by Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, published in 2002. In 2008, participating Vancouver Island local governments represented some 250,000 people.

  • The Cowichan Valley series was hosted by the Cowichan Valley Regional District and comprised a set of three sessions during the June – July 2008 period. To learn more, click here.
  • The Comox Valley series was hosted by the City of Courtenay and comprised a set of three sessions during the September – November 2008 period. To learn more, click here.

The Learning Lunch Seminar Series promotes a consistent provincial approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure. It also adds depth to Living Water Smart, the Province’s plan for doing business differently….by encouraging water and land managers and users to make green choices that create liveable communities and protect stream health.