Vancouver Island Spine Trail Association, Networking Conference Recap

— Submitted by sitting IMR President Ken Rodonets

The 2014 Vancouver Island Spine Trail Network Conference was held on May 31st. in Royston at the Kingfisher Inn.

 The day started at 8:30 am with an introduction by Andrew Pape-Salmon for the first half hour.  Keynote Addresses were made by Philip Stone ( Vancouver Island Adventurer and guidebook author)  and Trisha Kaplan ( Trail Development Manager, Western & Northern Canada, Trans Canada Trail )  Both talked about trails and showed slides.

10:30 am Success Stories

Reports (speeches) were made by:

  • Tom Cameron from Gabriola Land & Trails Trust & formerly with Alberta Trailnet & TransCanada Trail Foundation
  • Amanda Ridgway,  Founder & Managing Director of Drift Mt. Biking & Director of the Mt. Bike Tourism Association
  • Martin Littlejohn, Executive Director of Western Canada Mt. bike Tourism Association)

 11:30 am Workshops

 There were 2 workshops to choose from. I sat in the Private Land Issues.

After Lunch… More Workshops

We carried on with another workshop. I picked out the Land Issues : Public Focus. Our speakers for this were:

3 pm Guest Speakers

We had 2 other guest speaker talking about the Partnerships and Development : Tying together social, community and economic success.

  • Dr. Nicole Vaugeois from BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism & Sustainable Rural Development, Dept. of Recreation and Tourism Management at Vancouver Island University
  • Ken Melamed from Sustainability Champion, former Mayor of Whistler, former board member of Tourism Whistler, Whistler Chamber of Commerce and more. 

4 pm, the Closing Remarks

All agreed that  it was a great day to “network” with everyone. Questions were: What is next ? What do you want out of today ? What can we do ? Further discussion necessary. How ?  How to stay best informed ?  We need some form of information, Divying up some of the roles/effort.   Rep. from each group to be on VITN ?   Straight facts on the web site.

Future Plans:

  • On June 1st, People taking part in the support ride, run or hike for the Spine Trail met in Cumberland at 11 am at the Cumberland Rec. Hall. People who were mtn. biking left to do their ride around the trails.
  • There was around 6 mtn. bikers.  Seem to be around 30 to 40 people who took part in the running part of the trails. I did the hiking part with around 25 to 30 people. We hiked along an easy trail and made our way out to Comox Lake to enjoy the sunshine and then back to the rec. center were everyone enjoyed some refreshments, bananas, muffins, cookies.

All in all it was a great weekend. To bad that I had to sit inside on the Sat.! That is it for now, from your President Ken R.