Business Plan for Newcastle Island Completed

By Ian Holmes
July 11, 2016 - 10:11am

A business plan that would chart a new future for Newcastle Island is complete.

A welcome centre, cultural gathering area, canoe tours, and a marine services facility highlight options in creating a cultural hub on Newcastle Island, with a heavy influence from Snuneymuxw First Nation history.

The plan is designed through the lens of fulfilling a vision by Snuneymuxw First Nation to create cultural facilities and educational opportunities.

Andy MacDonald of BC Parks says a goal was to create a plan with long term financial sustainability.

“Turning our mind to how it could be done in a way that would match the market demand, grow the market over time to ensure that there was some financial sustainability of those opportunities, whether it be a facility or facilities or other educational programming,” MacDonald said.

MacDonald says access to the island was a key plank in the plan.

“That is another important consideration that has been incorporated into the business plan, to make visitation to Newcastle Island as affordable as possible, potentially packaging it with other opportunities that Snuneymuxw First Nation would like to pursue.”

However, MacDonald notes that no new access modes to and from Newcastle Island are included in the plan.

The business plan process for Newcastle Island began in 2014 in partnership with Snuneymuxw First Nation, the city of Nanaimo and BC Parks, with input from a consultant and public opinions.

The plan follows through on a Collaborative Management Agreement formed in 2007 between the three partners based on strategic management and planning for the island, just east of Nanaimo, which is a provincial park.

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