Port Alberni’s Transition Picking Up Speed

February 19, 2016

Reading Time: 1.5 Minutes

PORT ALBERNI – The second municipality in Canada (after Vancouver) to regulate marijuana dispensaries. Kiteboarding in the Inner Harbour. Scheduled float plane service thanks to Pacific Seaplanes and our Port Authority. 90 people in Char’s Landing at the first ‘Alberni Connects’ event organized by our Young Professionals. Two tables of people from the Alberni Valley at the Business Examiner’s Vancouver Island Business Excellence Awards in Nanaimo celebrating 6 local businesses that made it into the finals. A sold out crowd at Sproat Lake Landing tasting Phillips Brewing samples along with a 4 course dinner.

Cantimber Biotech as the first North American plant to produce activated carbon using a non-chemical process. Four new restaurants and makeovers for two lounges in one month. Live streaming of Council meetings and budget sessions noticed by people in Vancouver, San Francisco and New York. Arts groups merging competing festivals to host a bigger, better event. The Centennial Belles launching a bid to enter the Guinness Book of Records with the largest Jane Austen Festival.

The Coulson Group signing an MOU with Airbus. The Uchucklesaht Tribe’s $6-million mixed use commercial-residential building nearing completion. A new Ocean Networks Canada installation on the Inlet floor. The launch of two new tugs built at Canadian Alberni Engineering. An offer of a matching investment of up to $500,000 for a development at the Clutesi Marina Upland.

Brand new residents filling coffee shops and turning up at events. The Heart of Vancouver Island Facebook page up over 12,500 Likes. Local residents Franco & Stacey Gaiga investing over $500,000 in the purchase and landscaping of a lot in the middle of the Uptown so that a new City Centre park can be created. Port Alberni’s Agog Labs as one of three companies from Vancouver Island featured at the BC Tech Summit.

These are some of the many recent signs that Port Alberni is picking up speed in the diversification of its economy.

We note that the savings differential between the purchase of an average assessed home in Port Alberni versus every other Island community with a hospital are enough to allow one to retire early, retire better, knock off the items in a person’s bucket list or start a new business and get in on the early stages of the transition we are starting to experience.  

– Pat Deakin is the Economic Development Manager for the City of Port Alberni. He can be reached at 250-720-2527 or Patrick_deakin@portalberni.ca.

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