LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “It is obvious that the rural constituencies want to have a voice. And one of the ways we may end up doing that is by creating a Rural Mayors, Chairs and Chiefs Caucus. That is one aspect of what the conversation will be about,” stated Barry Janyk, Executive Director of the BC Rural Centre

Note to Reader:

Waterbucket eNews celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the Living Water Smart vision. The edition published on May 23, 2023 featured the story behind the story of the BC Rural Centre. It has a mission to act as a catalyst organization that sustains and advances rural wellbeing and development in British Columbia.

Rural constituencies want a voice

“The readership of Waterbucket eNews encompasses local government elected representatives in every part of British Columbia. This edition is dedicated to those in ‘smalltown BC’. Barry Janyk provides us with a window into their world, their issues, their concerns,” stated Kim Stephens, Waterbucket eNews Editor and Partnership Executive Director.

“About six months ago, Barry Janyk made an observation that stuck with me. He described three main groups moving to the really small communities in BC. He characterized them as digital nomads, amenity migrants, and retirees. Barry talked about the unforeseen consequences.”

“That conversation is the context for the two-part ‘story behind the story’ that follows. Part One is about the Keeping It Rural Conference that is bringing together community leaders in Kelowna.”

“Part Two is a short essay by Barry Janyk, He wrote it because I asked if he would reconstruct what he told me about the influx of digital nomads, amenity migrants, and retirees into smalltown BC. The essay is short but compelling.”

Flashback to the SmartStorm Forums

“A lifetime ago, when Barry Janyk was the mayor of Gibsons, he was a driving force and our moderator for the series of SMARTSTORM Forums that an intergovernmental partnership held in Nanaimo, Sechelt, Abbotsford and Pitt Meadows between 1999 and 2001.”

“In 1999, it was Barry Janyk who coined the term ‘Smart Development’ to clearly differentiate the BC approach from the Low Impact Development terminology then being used in the United States.”

“SMARTSTORM created a buzz and generated the early momentum that led directly to Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, released in 2002. A year later, Barry Janyk led our 3-person team that delivered core content at the 2003 UBCM Urban Forum.”

“The Forum Chair, Surrey Councillor Marvin Hunt,  stated in his closing remarks that the presentation ‘showed how to make the 100-year vision real to BC’s elected representatives. The take-away message is clear: If communities design with nature, the 100-year vision will become a self-fulfilling prophecy’.

“That is what Barry Janyk is striving to do with the BC Rural Centre’s idea for a Rural Mayors, Chairs and Chairs Caucus. Create a self-fulfilling prophecy!”


To read the complete story, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: What organization serves only rural local governments, community leaders and First Nations?