The Gabriola Chamber was proud to take part in the Rural Islands Economic Partnership (RIEP) Forum hosted in April at the Haven on Gabriola Island. Several of our Board Members, Chamber Members, contractors, and local community attended along with engaged citizens and representatives from our sister islands.

We took the opportunity to showcase and support our local businesses by contributing prizes and supplying a gift for Dave Bodaly’s Snuneymuxw welcome (Huy ch q’u, Dave). We gave back to Chamber Members, by purchasing items produced by Chamber Members (New Society Publishers, AngelStar Farm, Make Cheese with Paula, Drifter Media (Folklife),, Slow Rise Bakery, Point 6 Acre, ReLove Local, Marchlight, Tammy Hudgeon, and Zaworkski Art) from Chamber Member vendors (North Road Sports & Clothing Co, Nova Art & Craft Boutique, Free Spirit Gallery Studio & Shop, Nature Spirit Earth Market, and Island Meat & Deli). We also supported Happy Hippy Soap Co and Yarrow Koontz.

On Social Media, we gave a shoutout to Chamber Members: Maji Events for MCing, Wild Rose Garden Centre for lending local native plants, Holmestead Glassworks for whimsical decor, the Haven for hosting the conference, Gabriola Island Recycling Organization for presenting on circular economy, and Gulf Island Seaplanes for involvement in the Indigenous business panel.

One of our newer Board Members, Brock Poesiat, shared these experiences from the Forum:

“I attended the Rural Housing action lab. Participants were broken into around eight groups and each group came up with a plan for tackling housing issues on the rural islands… I also attended the BC Ferries Commissioner presentation. She informed us that the Gabriola route is subsidized 50%.”

Read more about key take-aways from the 2023 Forum on the Rural Island Economic Partnership’s website here.