Taking the Pulse of Vancouver Island’s Economy: The 2023 State of the Island Summit is Coming to Nanaimo

MNP Senior Economist Susan Mowbray, pictured with emcee and CHEK News anchor Joe Perkins, at the 2022 VIEA Economic Summit.
MNP Senior Economist Susan Mowbray, pictured with emcee and CHEK News anchor Joe Perkins, at the 2022 VIEA Economic Summit. Image by Dirk Heydemann of HA Photography.

For two packed days, October 25-26, The Vancouver Island Conference Centre (101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo) will host the annual VIEA 2023 State of the Island Summit. The event aspires to be a two-day journey of learning, information sharing and connection. It has become the must-attend event in the region for business owners, decision makers, community leaders and aspiring entrepreneurs to connect. Anyone is welcome to register and participate in the broad range of sessions, which revolve around VIEA’s core principles of collaboration and support for the vitality of Vancouver Island’s economy. Attendees have the opportunity to meet business leaders, decision makers, First Nations members and government officials as well as media, sponsors and speakers. 

The event features a collection of passionate and inspiring talks and break-out sessions. Keynote speakers include B.C. Premier David Eby; Ken Coates, historian and Chair in Indigenous Governance Degree; and Susan Mowbray, Partner, MNP Consulting Group. Some 70 other speakers will cover a wide array of topics. The morning of the first day, Oct. 25th, begins with four Speaker Series, including Regional Development, Change Makers, Impact Companies and Collaborative Projects. The afternoon starts with an opening lunch, followed by yet more talks and networking opportunities. 

The evening of the 25th kicks off at 5 p.m. with cocktails and networking, then a talk by plenary speaker Ken Coates at 6 p.m. A celebration dinner with live music is slated for 7 p.m. and a Champagne Dessert Reception from 9-10 p.m. caps off the day. 

Day two, Oct. 26th, begins with “Breakfast with Premier Eby,” a rare opportunity for Q & A engagement. Then the Action Lab Workshop 2 covers community design and development. Meanwhile, concurrent presentations will range from how to turn waste into wealth, Indigenous business and economic development, disaster preparedness, and much more. A closing lunch begins at 12:30 p.m. 

This is an in-person event, though presentations will be recorded and posted after the event takes place. There is parking available at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre, and other options available nearby are listed on the VIEA website FAQ. Also check out the website for information on accommodation in Nanaimo.