Creative Industries Initiative Launch
By: infilm on 06/29/10

Creative Industries Strategy in the Works for Campbell River
A bold new initiative is inspiring collaboration between First Nations, industry, business and the City of Campbell River to develop a new economic sector in our community that has global potential: creative industries.
The Campbell River Creative Industries Council (CRCIC), made up of a number of community organizations, aims to incubate and accelerate the growth of a cluster of creative industries in our community. The cluster would be a complementary group of businesses ranging from advertising, architecture, art, crafts, design, fashion, film, music, performing arts, publishing, research and development, software, toys and games to TV, radio, digital and graphic design, animation, stereoscopic 3D and interactive games.
“This strategy has the potential to turn Campbell River into a destination for creative thinkers, developers and producers and for our community to become a leader in this field,” explains Dan Smith of the First Nations Summit and chair of the newly formed Campbell River Creative Industries Council.
While many BC communities with great lifestyle opportunities are looking at new economic sectors, and the creative industries is front and centre as a stable sector with growth potential, Campbell River offers something more attractive for prospective businesses and investors, explains Joan Miller, Vancouver Island North film commissioner.
“The Campbell River Creative Industries Council has developed a business charrette that identifies our community’s unique position with established links to education streams, infrastructure for connectivity, First Nations cultural opportunities and world-class content,” she says. “Our strategy pulls together existing initiatives with ongoing activities to create a cohesive action plan that is supported by several community organizations and demonstrates the strong collaborative spirit found in the Campbell River region.”
"This is a holistic opportunity to bring together local culture with world technology,” says Rod Naknakim of Laich-Kwil-Tach Nations. “This initiative provides connectivity and cooperation between the City of Campbell River and First Nations.”
It’s that combination of attractive lifestyle and the community’s spirit of collaboration and willingness to facilitate the industry’s needs that makes Campbell River attractive to creative industries.
“Having worked with the team in Campbell River for the past year, there seems to be a great deal of passion and experience driving this initiative forward,” says Rick Stringfellow, senior art director with Electronic Arts Canada. “With the local talent for art, the community support and the industry support from Vancouver, there is great potential for growth within the creative industries in Campbell River.”       
“Genius Factor Games is very excited about the changes happening in Campbell River and has seen firsthand the commitment to change, the amazing lifestyle Campbell River and its surrounding areas offer and the forward thinking that we believe will bring economic change and improvement to the Island,” adds Ted Nugent, president of Genius Factor Games in Vancouver. “These changes make Campbell River relevant to our long-term planning, and we are serious in considering establishing a base of operations in the area. We look forward to working with the community, education groups and content partners participating in this plan!”
“The timing couldn't be better for Campbell River and 3D technology,” adds Craig Harris, a stereographer with Benevolent Creative Group in Vancouver. “I am increasingly confident that leaders and innovators will emerge from Campbell River, and I stand behind the vision of the Campbell River Creative Industry Council knowing they will lead the charge with passion while valuing the people involved.”
Comments Mike Riesterer, a land and real estate developer with G5 Management in Vancouver: “I was one of the early developers and business owners when Vancouver’s Gastown area started to transform from a run-down skid row to a vibrant artistic and creative enclave in the late 1960s. I can see the potential to create a similar energy in Campbell River.”
“I work in audio post production in Vancouver, but Campbell River is my home and I would sure like to come back home one day to take advantage of opportunities in my field,” adds Matt Gionet, IT manager with Dubroom / Airwaves Sound.
Partners in the CRCIC, the City of Campbell River, the Laich-Kwil-Tach and other First Nations recognize the creative industries offer immense opportunities.
The CRCIC will collaborate with various organizations and institutions to provide a framework for education and training in new media and careers in related industries. “This will allow our youth to develop skills locally for jobs that provide wages comparable to many of the resource sectors jobs. Many people in the community have expressed a desire for this kind of growth, and many people in this community are already engaged in a variety of related efforts to help get us there. With this initiative, we now have a consolidated hub of strategy and communication, one connected to an engine and a rudder to drive us toward our destination,” says Smith.
The CRCIC expects to generate economic development and help attract and retain creative industries by assisting the creative industry as well as local organizations and businesses to accelerate their projects and programs. “We would like to see this happen in a facility that provides the basic infrastructure for a cluster of creative organizations all under one roof,” he adds.
“The CRCIC intends to foster and grow a collective body of stories that our community will be known for,” Smith continues. “We will celebrate our past, present and future through story. Every business, every culture, every picture will tell a story. This will be reflected in our buildings, streets, airport, etc. We can capture stories in many ways, through public art, music, dance, theatre, books, film animation, documentaries as well as electronic and mobile delivery, downloads, animation, games.”
Funding for the strategy will come in several ways. “For aspects that benefit the community in general we will seek government funding, and some opportunities exist for entrepreneurs to invest and receive a return on their investments,” says Roger McDonell, INfilm president. “The CRCIC will create a for-profit research and development company whose initiatives will create a cash-flow to support the work of the organization.”
The CRCIC anticipates results will start to show as organizations and businesses interested in setting up shop in Campbell River review the community’s response to the strategy to attract a cluster of creative companies.
“Over the next four months, the CRCIC team will be developing the foundation for the organization, and within six months, several of the components could be well under way,” Smith confirms.
 The CRCIC is working with community partners to establish a temporary work space. Questions can be directed through Vancouver Island North Film Commission or any of the interim directors. 250-287-2772 or via email at
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Media contact info: Joan Miller, INFilm, 250-287-2772 or
What the partners say about the Creative Industries Council:
“We applaud the Creative Industries Council for their collaborative spirit and forward thinking in this very comprehensive plan,” says Mayor Charlie Cornfield. “Building on Campbell River’s potential to be a centre for creative industries holds the promise of a brighter future for our community. We recognize the important role that a cluster of creative industries can play by celebrating our community’s stories and by attracting investment and keeping talented people working in this very rewarding field.”
“We are working together to preserve the quality of life in Campbell River for future generations,” says Dan Smith of the First Nations Summit.
"The Laich-Kwil-Tach Nations are pleased to participate with the rest of the greater Campbell River community to create new opportunities for employment, education and careers for our youth. We also appreciate the opportunity to educate the greater community about our history and culture. We have the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre in Cape Mudge that is rich with story as it houses over 200 pieces of artifacts. We are glad to be part of this endeavor," says Rod Naknakim of Laich-Kwil-Tach Nations.
“The Campbell River Creative Industries Council will have a tremendous impact on our community. With the collaboration of the City, First Nations, industry and business partners, we are creating an atmosphere to foster economic growth. This includes economic growth of existing businesses as well as attracting new businesses and industries. The scope of this plan is broad and the opportunities are unlimited,” says Lorrie Bewza, Chair of Rivercorp.
“INfilm recognizes the convergences between, traditional filming, animation, interactive gaming and stereoscopic 3D. We support the goal to foster collaboration between industry, education and all levels of government, to help them better understand the balance of technical innovation, artistic creativity and business entrepreneurship vital to the health and growth of our communities,” says Roger McDonell, Chair of Vancouver Island North Film Commission.
“This all encompassing initiative will advance regional competitiveness, economic diversification, community engagement and education, all timely for Campbell River,” says Cheryl O’Connell, Director of Continuing Education & Training Division for North Island College.
“This is a wonderful project, and we are so excited about this opportunity,” says Shelly Boates, Chair of Strathcona Community Futures.
"As Campbell River turns the page to start a new chapter for the future, the concept of Campbell River as a 'Storied City' is very exciting and appropriate,” says Councillor Andrew Adams. “As the resource industries re-tool to adjust to the global marketplace, the creative sector is one of the fastest growing global industries, providing a tremendous opportunity. From engaging our youth, embracing our arts heritage and cultures, and having a shared goal between the City, our local First Nations and community partners, we have the opportunity to do something really special here. Campbell River has the stories, the people, the location, the lifestyle, and the beauty that is attractive to this industry. Now is the time to step up to the plate and get in the game."