Campbell River, Engaged in the Spirit of Transformation

In early 2009, a small group in Campbell River considered whether the should expand to include creative industries as a source of: business and economic development, mentorship, education and job opportunities.

Then they posed a question to some Creative Industries representatives in Vancouver: Can Campbell River attract creative industry business? The initial analysis: not today. But it could! Campbell River is not LA, it’s not New York and it’s not Vancouver. And that must be the basis of its strength.

So, what makes Campbell River unique? As a result of a series of discussions and analyses, the group identified four key factors that could make campbell River unique and attractive to the creative industries: artist content, narrative content, partnership between the City and First Nations leadership and a strong community spirit and desire for creative growth.

Committed to exploring the potential of Campbell River as a pilot for growth of a creativity cluster, several local partners contributed funding an intensive Creative Industries Charrette. The goal of the Charrette was to develop a concrete vision for building the proper foundation and growth steps toward a creative-industries-based creativity cluster.

The charrette team was also guiding by by some additional community goals: promoting First Nations culture and youth opportunities, building infrastructure for business development, incubation and innovation, producing work-class storytelling through tangible products and providing a substantial framework for Creative Industries education and talent growth.

In the beginning our analysis and planning, we realized that Campbell River would need more than just creative industries-related opportunities for a healthy and sustainable future. We also felt strongly that the way to attract and grow creative industries talent and business was through a rich and inspiring place. This is about the whole community. While we are proposing a vision for the whole and providing concrete steps in the creative industries sector, the entire community and other partners will need to engage and influence further development towards a knowledge-based economy.

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