Imagine a trendy, new, and flourishing economy for Campbell River.
After the mass resource job losses a few years ago, Campbell River could come out of the ashes to be a hub for creative industry jobs – at least that’s what Campbell River Creative Industries Council (CRCIC) is working towards.
Shannon Baike, CRCIC executive secretary, said the initiative is designed to grow economic aspects of the community that are already here.
“Rather than developing an organization around reactive needs, it’s really based on some of the assets in our community and how can we help grow those organically,” explained Baike.
“How can we diversify? And what’s Campbell River going to look like in five years, ten years, 15 years out?”
The not-for-profit organization focusses on sectors like software, animation, film, art, research and development, design, and publishing, among other things.
Made up of representatives from North Island College (NIC), the city, First Nations, and local businesses and organizations, the group is quite diverse, but with a common goal of stimulating the economy in Campbell River with new industries.
In the six months it’s been around, CRCIC concentrated on showcasing Campbell River at the Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) conference in Vancouver during August. It also ensured some of the installations shown there were then displayed in the Museum at Campbell River for three weeks in September.
Next up on the agenda is Introduction to West Coast Carving with Master Carver Max Chickite.
This workshop is listed as a course through NIC and runs on Oct. 15-16 from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre on Quadra Island.
Chickite is a Lekwiltok First Nations’ artist, who has designed film sets for numerous productions.
According to Baike, CRCIC has many ideas centred around bringing business to town, and one them is to attract people like Jeremy Latham to Campbell River.
Latham is a director on the CRCIC board and he designs websites for a living out of Campbell River.
He pointed out that in the Internet age it’s entirely possible for people to work with big name clients without being in a big city. And he hopes to entice more people with creative industry related careers to Campbell River.
“It allows us to introduce Campbell River to other people like me,” said Latham.
CRCIC director Rod Naknakim, who represents three First Nations groups on the board, said that the First Nations have learned plenty already, and considers the organization very important.
“It’s helping build the relationship with the local community, particularly the business community, and it’s opening doors for us for business opportunities,” said Naknakim.