Impact Report 2021-2022
The changes we want to see in the world start where we live.
— Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership
We are grateful to the Coast Salish and Nuu-chah-nulth Peoples on whose territories we live and work. These are the Lək ʷəŋən speaking peoples Esquimalt [Xwsepsum] and Songhees Nations; the WSÁNEĆ Nation (SȾÁUTW – Tsawout, W JOȽEȽP – Tsartlip, WSIḴEM –Tseycum; BOḰEĆEN Nation (Pauquachin); MÁLEXEȽ (Malahat), Scia’new Nation; T’Souke Nation; and the Nuu-chah-nulth speaking peoples, Pacheedaht Nation.
Transition. Disruption. Evolution. Call it what you will, but our world has changed dramatically from two years ago — and South Island Prosperity Partnership has changed with it in exciting ways that will empower our region to define our own destiny.
This Impact Report highlights our work during 2021/22 when the pandemic’s economic and societal aftershocks made it clear “normal” wasn’t coming back. The path forward demands new ideas and the boldness to pursue emerging opportunities.
SIPP set in motion a 3-year strategic plan to strengthen our region’s innovation ecosystem, invest in inclusion and a resilient workforce, and position Greater Victoria as a magnetic city-region. In this way, we are able to choose quality of growth over quantity — so we keep what we love about this region on our path to prosperity.
For the challenges ahead, our team is fortunate to be part of a highly engaged, collaborative network of members, community partners and stakeholders who are pulling together like never before to create a prosperous, resilient future for the years to come — and for generations to come.
The South Island Prosperity Partnership Team
Strategy for a
During the past year, SIPP has focused our energy and resources on fulfilling the goals established in the four pillars of our Rising to Resilience Three-Year Strategic Plan. Each pillar is anchored to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, which recognize development must balance social, economic and environmental sustainability.
LEADERSHIP & PUBLIC
OUR MEMBERS ARE
- 900+ Attended Rising Economy Week
- 500 Attended Ideas + Impact’
- 440 Attended COAST Talks
- Ongoing stewardship of Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economic Development Plan (2020-2022)
- Published Rising to Resilience: Three Year Strategic Plan (2021-2024) to grow regional economic resilience and diversity
- 2021 Launched COAST as Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy
- 120 COAST associate members gained in the first year
- Coast Capital and Vancity become IPC’s Development Phase Founding Sponsors (2021/22)
- Vancity becomes IPC’s Catalyst Phase Founding Sponsor (2021-25)
- Embarked on an initiative to create a new business narrative for the region
- Published 4 global benchmarketing reports
- Held 12 sector focus groups and engaged with 200+ community members
- Received 3 International Economic Development Council awards
- Received the Community Leadership Award for Belonging & Engagement, presented to SIPP CEO Emilie de Rosenroll
- Hosted 90 attendees at Local Leadership Day, including mayors and councillors, to explore critical issues affecting the region
- Convened 10 Municipal Partner Committee meetings to keep an open dialogue with local elected officials.
- Committed to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
- With VI3Hub, co-hosted 75+ sector leaders and experts at the Design Lab on BC Ferries’ Decarbonization Challenge
- Committed to the federal 50 – 30 Diversity Challenge in 2021, adopting it fully into our governance
To accelerate economic recovery and strategize around Greater Victoria’s future, SIPP hosted the 2nd annual Rising Economy Week in November 2021. This 4-day hybrid event attracted businesses, government and community leaders to explore solutions to major challenges like climate change, housing affordability and economic diversification.
Rising Economy Week 2021 attracted 900+ attendees who joined us in the conversation about moving forward from business recovery to a resilient, inclusive, sustainable economy. REW’s biggest impact was bringing the region together to explore critical issues like housing affordability, climate change, economic uncertainty and talent wars. The conference resulted in meaningful collaborations to further Greater Victoria’s development as Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy, and to advance the creation of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre. Highlights included Local Leadership Day, which created space for inter-municipal dialogue, and the Design Lab focused on solutions to accelerate BC Ferries’ goal of electrifying its terminals and Island class vessels.
Speakers in 30 sessions
Virtual session views
CHEK LIVE spotlight views
In 2021, SIPP was invited to take part in the Shorefast Community Economies Pilot. Shorefast is a pan-Canadian initiative founded on the understanding that capital must be employed to empower communities and that place-based approaches are needed to deliver scalable lasting solutions.
SIPP’s model for collaboration was recognized by the Shorefast Pilot as innovative and effective. As part of this pilot, SIPP and five other Shorefast Prototype Communities across Canada are exploring the critical levers to create and sustain resilient community economies across Canada. Participants representing the South Island include SIPP, Songhees Development Corporation and the Victoria Foundation.
Thanks to a partnership with the Victoria Foundation and Shorefast Foundation sponsors, SIPP confirmed funding to support the development of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre and contribute to the sharing of wise practices for Indigenous economic development.
Shorefast was launched by Zita Cobb of Fogo Island Inn who made history as the first social entrepreneur to be inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame.
Canadian city-regions invited to participate in the Shorefast Pilot: South Vancouver Island, Hamilton, London and Fogo Island
SIPP is part of Shorefast’s first cohort of prototype communities working to identify place-based economic development best practice
To explore how regions can move to models of inclusive and sustainable prosperity, SIPP hosted Local Leadership Day for South Island leaders on November 24, 2021, during Rising Economy Week. This forum brought 90 attendees, including mayors, councillors, municipal staff, and community leaders together to discuss policies and identify actions to tackle the major challenges facing cities, from climate change to affordability.
Local Leadership Day created an impactful blueprint for regional and municipal discussions around taking our region to a more sustainable, innovative and inclusive future. Lisa Helps, Mayor of Victoria, led a panel on the race to net zero with Susan Aitken, Mayor of Glasgow and host of COP26, and David Miller of C40 Cities. Chief Gordon Planes of T’Sou-ke Nation presented a keynote on the Indigenous seven generations approach to economic development. Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO of SIPP, led a panel with Zita Cobb, CEO, Shorefast, and Saul Klein, Dean, Gustavson School of Business, on how 21st century cities are redefining prosperity and developing new frameworks to measure success.
Local leadership participants
Orders of government represented
To create inclusive, sustainable prosperity and strengthen Pacific Canada’s innovation ecosystem, SIPP launched the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies (COAST) in 2021 with founding partners Ocean Networks Canada, Babcock Canada, the Association of BC Marine Industries (ABCMI), BC Ferries and the City of Victoria.
COAST took major steps in 21/22 toward establishing Pacific Canada’s hub for the sustainable blue economy. In 2022, the advisory board asked SIPP to lead COAST. Led by SIPP’s CEO, COAST is entering a new growth phase. In 6 months, we are excited to officially announce a new collaboration with Ocean Startup Project, a COAST venture accelerator program with VIATEC, and the completion of an ambitious Catalyst Phase Plan that includes over 30 ecosystem partners under review with PacificCan.
Expected size of the global blue economy by 2030
COAST associate members since 2021
Annual attendees at 7 COAST Talks virtual events
WE BELIEVE IN A
As COVID-19 further exposed and exacerbated inequities faced by Indigenous Peoples, SIPP formed the Indigenous Economy Working Group with First Nations and participating Indigenous organizations to lay the groundwork for the Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC). Now in its emergent stage, the IPC will support First Nations and Indigenous Peoples here and across B.C. to achieve self-determined, sustainable prosperity that honours community wellbeing and values.
The Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC) gained momentum in 21/22. The IPC will develop with the goal of cultivating Indigenous-led prosperity; promoting and protecting Indigenous-led ocean-based innovation; and creating meaningful partnerships to further a multi-generation economy. In September, it will be joined by its first Executive Director.
The Rising Economy Taskforce Indigenous Economy Committee highlights COVID-19’s disproportionate economic impact on First Nations and Indigenous Peoples.
SIPP, with First Nations and Indigenous partners, responds to the Taskforce’s call to create an Indigenous Prosperity Centre, with Coast Capital and Vancity as the IPC’s Development Phase Founding Sponsors (2021-22)
As planning for the IPC accelerates, Vancity Savings Credit Union becomes the IPC’s Catalyst Phase Founding Sponsor (2022-25)
WE’RE CREATING A
The pandemic accelerated economic shifts and widened critical skills gaps. In response, SIPP partnered with the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University to launch MicroStartBC.com, an online micro-credential portal to help British Columbians rapidly reskill or upskill to meet the need for high-demand jobs.
MicroStart had a direct impact, assisting displaced workers to fast-track new skills development to gain meaningful employment. With over 120,000 web views, the program gained wide visibility, positioning Greater Victoria and its universities as responsive and focused on transitioning the workforce during a time of crisis. SIPP also provided targeted marketing support to Alacrity Canada for Launch Online, a B.C.-government-funded program providing grants for businesses to create or improve online operations.
Completion rate for MicroStart courses overall in 2021/22
Registrants in the MicroStart programs at UVic and RRU (2021-22)
SIPP launched the Magnet City Initiative in 2021, embarking on a collaborative journey to create a compelling, inclusive narrative to attract talent, business and investment to the South Island. Part of the impetus was a series of reports from The Business of Cities, who found our region needs “a more memorable international reputation and a stronger business brand to match its excellent resident and visitor brands.”
In January 2021, SIPP began Magnet City’s next phase with the support of Global Affairs Canada, VIATEC and the DVBA. SIPP created an 18-month plan to develop a powerful, cohesive narrative and marketing strategy to be completed in 2022 and launched in early 2023. We then convened a Global Fluency Advisory Committee of local stakeholders and a Creative Working Group. The Working Group hosted a Design Sprint, facilitated by Melanie Ransome of Aryze, and a series of idea sessions to develop our local engagement strategy. Magnet City is now entering its creative development phase as we build out a new regional narrative, develop a website with community profiles, and create a brand toolkit of videos, photographs, graphics and stories to be widely shared.
Global peer cities our region was benchmarked against to assess our strengths and weaknesses
Businesses consulted across 12 sector focus groups
People actively engaged in Magnet City committees and consultations
One of SIPP’s goals is to challenge assumptions and stimulate new ways of thinking by inviting local and global thought leaders to share their ideas with the community. Along with our flagship Rising Economy Week conference, SIPP’s thought leadership initiatives include the following events.
LOCAL LEADERSHIP DAY
A satellite of our Rising Economy conference, Local Leadership Day is a forum for municipal leaders, including mayors and councillors, to explore the latest thinking on inclusive, sustainable cities and discuss challenges facing the region.
During Rising Economy Week, SIPP and V13Hub co-hosted a Design Lab with 75 stakeholders and interdisciplinary experts. Using a design-thinking process, the Lab explored ways to help BC Ferries’ accelerate towards its goal of fully electrifying its terminals and Island Class vessels.
EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP ROUNDTABLES
Hosted by our CEO, this curated dinner series bring members together to share ideas and explore issues affecting our region.
IDEAS + IMPACT
This popular video podcast features local and global thought leaders sharing ideas that have a big impact on our economy, our society and the planet.
CANADA’S LEADING ECONOMISTS
SIPP periodically invites economic thought leaders, including chief economists of leading financial institutions, to present on emerging trends in the Canadian economy.
Presented by the Centre for Ocean Applied Sustainable Technologies, COAST Talks is a virtual speaker series that explores ocean-based topics, features thought leaders from Pacific Canada and around the globe, and creates a forum for exploring ideas as we develop our blue economy hub and cluster here in British Columbia.
OECD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
SIPP CEO Emilie de Rosenroll was invited by the OECD to present at the International Conference on SMEs and the Urban Fabric in Trento, Italy in April 2022. Emilie joined global policymakers, academics and practitioners to share Greater Victoria’s economic recovery efforts and discuss how cities can be vibrant places that support their SMEs and entrepreneurs
FIRST NATION-MUNICIPAL ECONOMIC RECOVERY & RESILIENCE
In March 2021, Cando and the First Nation – Municipal Community Economic Development Initiative (CEDI) invited SIPP to share our organization’s experience as the conveners of the Rising Economy Taskforce and publishers of the resulting report, Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economic Recovery Plan (2020 – 2022).
For Our Work
SIPP received 3 prestigious global awards from the International Economic Development Council in 2021
For SIPP’s work convening and coordinating the Rising Economy Taskforce and developing Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economic Recovery Plan
For Rising Economy Week 2020, a virtual conference to rally the region around economic recovery.
For MicroStartBC, a rapid-upskilling website and marketing campaign created in partnership with UVic and RRU.
SIPP’s CEO Emilie de Rosenroll was presented with the Community Leadership Award for Belonging & Engagement in recognition of her work as a “visionary and collaborative leader who harnesses the energy of others to help inform her transformative work to ensure an equitable, resilient, and robust economy in our region.”
As the voice of economic development for Greater Victoria, SIPP is committed to supporting the region’s major employers. In February 2022, SIPP worked with our business community partners to survey 56 South Island employers representing 16,449 employees to capture top issues, constraints and opportunities.
The results showed inflation and workforce recruitment were the biggest issues for South Island employers, followed closely by housing and affordability. The results were shared with our municipal and business association partners and used to develop strategies to address the issues, and will continue to remain key advocacy drivers for SIPP in the coming year.