Supporting economic recovery for the tourism sector through the pandemic

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2020, Comox Valley, B.C. – Comox Valley Economic Development Society (CVEDS) and Tourism Vancouver Island (TVI) have entered into a service agreement whereby TVI will manage the Vancouver Island (Comox Valley) Visitor Centre as well as manage tourism marketing for the communities in the Comox Valley. This agreement is effective January 1, 2021 and will be in place for two years. “This agreement provides for short-term support for Comox Valley Economic Development Society, Comox Valley municipalities and the businesses it engages with, during a time of organizational change,” says Bill Anglin, Chair of the Comox Valley Destination Marketing Advisory Committee. “As CVEDS also navigates the effects and challenges of the pandemic on our local economy and tourism industry, our need for assistance with visitor support and recovery marketing is compounded.” “Tourism Vancouver Island is leading the tourism industry’s recovery in the Vancouver Island region by adapting to the evolving needs of tourism businesses and communities,” says Anthony Everett, President & CEO, TVI. “We are committed to aiding the survival of nearly 3,500 tourism stakeholders in the region through supports such as our advocacy role to government, Vancouver Island Coastal Tourism Resiliency Program and service agreements, where needed.” Tourism Vancouver Island periodically enters into service agreements with community destination marketing organizations, or tourism operators, in the areas of marketing, development, governance and visitor support. TVI provides these services where it is believed the expertise of team members, and the stability and structure the organization can provide, improves the tourism eco-system as a whole within the Vancouver Island region and province. Service agreements are typically interim solutions meant to develop long-term resiliency for the partner, and are not profit-driven ventures for the Tourism Vancouver Island business model. Examples of past and current Tourism Vancouver Island service agreements include: governance structures for Tourism Ucluelet, marketing services for the Regional District of Mount Washington (Vancouver Island North Tourism), brand identity development for Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours, and visitor services for the City of Nanaimo. ###  About Comox Valley Economic Development Society: The Comox Valley Economic Development Society (CVEDS) was formed in 1988 and is a non-profit society with annual funding from the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and the Comox Valley Regional District areas A, B and C and is responsible for the delivery of economic development services on their behalf. Its mission is to encourage responsible expansion of the economic base of the Comox Valley with the intent of enhancing wealth and employment opportunities. CVEDS helps existing businesses grow, and works with potential investors and entrepreneurs to realize the benefits of investing and doing business in the Comox Valley. For more information, visit About Tourism Vancouver Island: As one of five not-for-profit destination management and marketing organizations within the province, Tourism Vancouver Island’s mission is to support Vancouver Island’s evolution into a globally preferred travel destination. Governed by a volunteer board of directors, the association represents tourism stakeholders throughout the region, including Victoria, Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands, and a stretch of mainland coast between Moses and Bute inlets. Tourism Vancouver Island gratefully acknowledges funding from the Province of B.C. through the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport. For more information, visit Destination Marketing Advisory Committee: A note from Chair Bill Anglin, view here. Media contacts: John Watson Executive Director Comox Valley Economic Development Society 250.792.0375 Anthony Everett President & CEO Tourism Vancouver Island 250.640.1604
Union Bay Bnb
Two Eagles Lodge Bed & Breakfast in the Comox Valley has been recognized as the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best Award winner for Bed & Breakfasts/Inns— ranking among the top 25 B&Bs/Inns in Canada on the list published recently by TripAdvisor. The “Best of the Best” represents travelers’ “ultimate favorite one per cent of hospitality businesses around the globe,” according to TripAdvisor. The B&B is one of only two bed-and-breakfasts/inns on Vancouver Island to receive this Top 25 in Canada ranking; the other is in Ucluelet. This is not the first recognition of Two Eagles Lodge by TripAdvisor. The B&B has earned TripAdvisor’s coveted Certificate of Excellence every year since 2011 when the award program began. The Certificate of Excellence recognizes annually the top three per cent of businesses around the world based on travelers’ reviews. “We were so shocked to hear that TripAdvisor named us among the top 25 B&Bs, given the thousands of b&bs and inns across the country,” said Carolyn Touhey, who owns and operates Two Eagles with her husband, Steve. “While we are proud of each and every award we’ve won, especially those based on our guests’ reviews like the Certificate of Excellence, this is a jaw-dropping honor. “We are so grateful to our guests for taking the time to write about their experiences and for recognizing our sincere commitment to making sure their island visit is extra-ordinary—a visit that not only gets us good reviews, but results in new-found friendships with amazing people around the world. That’s what makes this business so rewarding.” “Winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards should be proud of this distinguished recognition,” said Kanika Soni, Chief Commercial Officer at Tripadvisor. “Although it’s been a challenging year for travel and hospitality, we want to celebrate our partners’ achievements. Award winners are beloved for their exceptional service and quality. Not only are these winners well-deserving, they are also a great source of inspiration for travelers when the world begins to venture out again.” Two Eagles Lodge, which was custom built by Steve and Carolyn Touhey14 years ago in south Union Bay, is situated on a 12-acre, waterfront hobby farm overlooking Denman Island. The Touheys built their home and guest accommodations as part of the BC Provincial Nominee program, an immigration program for entrepreneurs that facilitated their move from the US to Canada so the Touheys could call the Comox Valley home. Since that time, Two Eagles has not only won numerous awards and become a sought-after location for weddings and private events (winning the Vancouver Island Wedding Award for “Best Outdoor Reception” in 2018), but they have supported numerous community events and fundraisers with donations, sponsorships, and volunteer time.
Article Source
Support Local FB Pic Dcv News
For immediate release November 6, 2020 Comox Valley, BC: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism is partnering with Support Local BC, an online portal created and launched so that customers could purchase gift certificates for local, independent business throughout British Columbia. The Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) received many submissions from local industries including retail, hospitality and small business, highlighting the importance and need of continued support for shopping local throughout the pandemic, and as the Comox Valley recovers after. “This gift card focused program helps support our communities, encourage social distancing and will allow businesses to maintain some cash flow while we tackle this incredibly difficult situation,” said ERTF Co-Chair Mayor Bob Wells. 100% of the proceeds go directly to local business owners. Two pages have been established within the Support Local BC platform for Comox Valley, Support Local Comox and Support Local Courtenay. Businesses in each of these areas, and surround regions, can register directly using the Submit Your Business Form, the sign-up process takes about two minutes. Gift certificates are available for purchase in $10, $25, $50 and $100 denominations. Financial support for this Comox Valley economic recovery program has been provided by Coastal Community Credit Union and also supported by the Comox Business in Action (BIA), Downtown Courtenay BIA, and Community Futures Strathcona. Coastal Community Credit Union Senior Manager, Community Experience and Communications, Allyson Prescesky said “it’s inspiring to see that, despite the challenges they may be facing, local businesses are finding innovative ways to keep going strong. We want to help grow this momentum, and we’re able to do that by partnering with Support Local BC. We look forward to the positive effects that will result for our Island economies and our communities through this important initiative.” There are over 1500 businesses represented throughout BC by the Support Local BC initiative. The Comox Valley ERTF, initiated by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board, includes elected representatives from the CVRD, Village of Cumberland, Town of Comox, City of Courtenay, K’ómoks First Nation and a representative from 19 Wing Comox . The work of the task force is supported by the Comox Valley Economic Development Society.

- 30 -

Media Contacts: Bob Wells Mayor Email: Phone: 250-792-1945
TasteComoxValley AppRelease
Comox Valley, British Columbia:    With the transition to Phase III of BC’s Restart Plan, the Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) is pleased to see the steady return of BC residents visiting the Comox Valley, safely. Phase III permits BC residents to take part in smart, safe and respectful travel within B.C., noting the cautions taken at home need to be applied when travelling. “The Comox Valley looks forward to continuing to welcome visitors back to explore and enjoy the area responsibly,” said Hegus (Chief) Nicole Rempel, Co-Chair of the ERTF, adding “Tourism is critical to our region’s economy and small businesses, as is the safety and well-being of our residents. Together with our operators, Comox Valley businesses have responded with safety measures and protocols to ensure their staff, guests, visitors and clients can all enjoy the attractions and services of the area.” Maintaining a healthy status in the Comox Valley this summer is as simple as remembering Dr. Bonnie Henry's rules: “I have been really impressed with the social distancing and safety protocols I’ve seen implemented in businesses throughout the Comox Valley, in anticipation of the return of visitors and local customers. While our region has seen steady growth in international visitors over the years, the Comox Valley still relies heavily on BC residents. We are well positioned to welcome them safely this summer,” said Mayor Bob Wells, City of Courtenay and Co-Chair of the ERTF. As everyone heads out to enjoy the Comox Valley’s incredible range of things to do, including the new ZipTour at Mount Washington Alpine Resort or perhaps a Marine Wildlife or Culinary Tour, be sure to follow Dr. Henry's other rules: Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe. For information on the Comox Valley’s Know Before You Go messaging to visitors, which includes guidelines from Indigenous Tourism BC, Destination BC and the BC Government’s Guidelines for BC Travel, visit   -30-   Media Contacts: Hegus (Chief) Councillor Nicole Rempel, K’ómoks First Nation Phone: 250-339-4545 Email: Mayor Bob Wells, City of Courtenay, ERTF Co-Chair Phone: 250-334-4441 Email:   Background: The CVRD initiated the established ERTF to develop and direct implementation of an Economic Development Recovery Plan to mitigate the potential economic impact to local businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about the establishment of the ERTF and the TAC can be found on
Comox Valley, BC:    To encourage business start-up and growth in Comox Valley, entrepreneurs now have access to in-depth market information about their local neighbourhoods, thanks to a new partnership between Small Business BC and Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism (CVEDS). Bizmap is an interactive, online research tool that provides users with key market insights on neighbourhoods across Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Users can find data on area demographics, business types, building information, neighbourhood history and area activities — all at the local level. As BC’s Restart Plan takes effect, this service will provide important market research that supports economic growth, recovery and resiliency for Comox Valley small businesses. “Whether you’re starting a new business, or expanding an existing one, having a thorough understanding of your customer base is invaluable,” says Tom Conway, CEO of Small Business BC. “If you know who you’re serving, Bizmap will help you find your customers and choose the best place to locate your business.” The new, enhanced Bizmap website was launched in Vancouver in 2018 in partnership with the City of Vancouver and Vancouver Business Improvement Associations. Bizmap is now proud to expand outside Vancouver for the first time, bringing critical data to Comox Valley business owners. “We are proud to have collaborated with Small Business BC and the Downtown Courtenay and Comox BIA's to become the first region outside of Vancouver to develop these investment area profiles for the downtown areas. These are powerful tools, not only to support existing businesses with robust data and information, while also supporting potential investors in analyzing and comparing key market data to make key business decisions,” said Geoff Crawford, Manager, Business Development. “While advice, education and resources are always available for entrepreneurs through Small Business BC and CVEDS, we’re extremely pleased that we’re able to support Comox Valley businesses and potential investors with this very localized market information, thanks to our partnership with CVEDS,” says Tom Conway, CEO of Small Business BC. The downtown Courtenay and downtown Bizmaps are available at and   Media Contacts Small Business BC Felix Trash Marketing Coordinator Special Projects, Small Business BC Direct: 604-718-5450 Geoff Crawford Manager, Economic Development, Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism Cell: 250-792-2197   About Small Business BC Small Business BC is here to help British Columbia's entrepreneurs grow successful and sustainable businesses through expert business advisors, educational services and easy-to-use free tools. For anyone who's a business owner, or thinking of starting a new business, they’re here to help. About Bizmap Bizmap is a collaboration between Small Business BC and Comox Valley Economic Development. Bizmap provides easy access to market data tailored to customized business districts. Presented in a clear and relatable way, the area-specific information will help local businesses and communities to grow. About Comox Valley Economic Development The Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism office was formed in 1988 and is a non-profit society with annual funding from the City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, and the Comox Valley Regional District areas A, B and C. Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism assists companies and entrepreneurs access key services and resources, and act as a catalyst for economic growth in the region. Its Mission is to encourage responsible expansion of the economic base of the Comox Valley with the intent of enhancing wealth and employment opportunities.
Comox Valley, British Columbia: The Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force (ERTF) met virtually with members of its new Technical Advisory Sub-Committee (TAC) recently, to welcome and onboard them around the process of creating strategies to help the Comox Valley business community and sectors recover and adapt, during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 40 industry leaders, business and sector association members, elected officials and senior local government staff participated on the call. Chief Councillor Nicole Rempel, K’ómoks First Nation, and Mayor Bob Wells, City of Courtenay are co-Chairing the Comox Valley Economic Recovery Task Force, established by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD). The ERTF is a collaborative initiative representing the CVRD, City of Courtenay, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland, K’ómoks First Nation, and CFB 19 Wing Comox, which will oversee the Technical Advisory Sub-Committee (TAC). The role of the TAC is to create strategies to help the Comox Valley business community recovery and adapt during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, through the creation of Business Case Action Plans that capture and recommend immediate and post shut down actions. These Business Case Action Plans will be provided to the ERTF for consideration. “I am pleased to be a Co-Chair on the ERTF, that brings together all Comox Valley governments and important political members, coupled with a wide spectrum of small businesses and industry sectors, to collaborate on this critical task,” said Chief Councillor Rempel. “The members of TAC have a critical job of enabling a broad-based process to gain meaningful input on measures to be considered to assist in economic recovery. We are very thankful they’ve stepped up to participate,” said Mayor Wells, adding “The efforts of the ERTF will then be focused on the potential actions that have the greatest consensus, will have the most meaningful impact, and are viewed to be realistically achievable from a local government perspective.” Administrative support for the process is being provided by Comox Valley Economic Development and Tourism (CVEDS), on behalf of the CVRD. The ERTF appointed CVEDS Board Chair, Deana Simkin as the TAC Chair, “We are pleased to see this excellent initiative moving forward and applaud the CVRD, and all the participating businesses, organizations and local governments for contributing their effort and time to support the important recovery of the local economy,” said Deana Simkin, CVEDS and TAC Chair. The members of the TAC are derived from the TAC Terms of Reference, approved by the ERTF, and is intended to be as broad based and as nimble as possible. Business or industry groups that may be interested in participating in the Recovery Task Force process can submit an expression of interest to, which will be reviewed and considered by the TAC Chair.

-30 -

Media Contacts: Chief Councillor Nicole Rempel, K’ómoks First Nation, ERTF Co-Chair Phone: 250-339-4545 Email: Mayor Bob Wells, City of Courtenay, ERTF Co-Chair Phone: 250-334-4441 Email:   Background: The CVRD initiated the established the ERTF to develop and direct implementation of an Economic Development Recovery Plan to mitigate the potential economic impact to local businesses from the COVID-19 pandemic. More information about the establishment of the ERTF and the TAC can be found on  
Growers Guide Cover 2020 Web
New Taste Comox Valley app responds to COVID-19 issues   Buying local has never been so important, and in support of increasing local farm gate sales, the 2020 Comox Valley Growers Guide arrives today, showcasing over 40 different farms and producers, and a myriad of incredible products available throughout the seasons. The Growers Guide has become the go-to tool for those looking for fresh, local products in the Comox Valley. Each producer listing shows icons of product types including those farms that are bike accessible, and is supported by a seasonal growing charts and maps indicating the producer’s location, plus editorial on a range of topics including local industry associations, seafood availability, and a message from the Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham. The partners in the Growers Guide expanded in this edition to include Mid-Island Farmers Institute, Comox Valley Exhibition, in addition to founding partners the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market, Comox Valley Farmers’ Institute, and Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism. This year has brought many new challenges to the local agrifood sector, and in response to COVID-19 crisis, the Taste Comox Valley App was established to promote shopping locally and raise increase awareness around the farms and producers who sell direct to the public. Available on the Apple App Store or Google Play, users can download the app for free and start exploring farms, collecting points, deals and discounts using this interactive platform. For those that like cycling and learning about agriculture, the annual Comox Valley Farm Cycle Tour will be held on Sunday, September 20, and provides the opportunity to bike around the Valley to meet the producers and farmers, and learn about their practices and products. Presented by agricultural industry groups, and the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition and Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism, new for 2020 the registration fee will be replaced with donations to the Comox Valley Food Bank, in response to COVID-19. “I want to congratulate the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market, Comox Valley Exhibition Society, Mid-Island Farmers’ Institute, and Comox Valley Farmers’ Institute for their leadership in putting together this excellent guide for the local community.” said Minister Popham. Just under 100k copies of the Growers Guide will be distributed via the Comox Valley Record and Island BlackPress papers in June and again in July, as well as the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market, the Vancouver Island (Comox Valley) Visitor Centre, through local participating farm stands, and can be found online at
Helen Austin At Land And Sea Brewing
Comox Valley Craft Brewery Virtual Happy Hour Series Continues Comox Valley, BC - Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism (CVEDS), in collaboration with local craft breweries and the BC Ale Trail, are promoting a 'buy local campaign’ to support increased awareness about the current modified services of the craft brewers and encourage residents to show their support for local producers. The ‘Wish You Were Beer Comox Valley Craft Brewery Virtual Happy Hour Series’ was established in response to COVID-19, to encourage locals to pick up or order their favourite local craft beer, and in doing so, customers are provided with an All-Access Pass to the Virtual Happy Hour events featuring well-known Comox Valley musicians. The concept arose as a result of the CVEDS investment in BC Ale Trail initiatives aimed at highlighting area craft brewers and the Comox Valley as a culinary destination. Due to COVID-19, a number of tactics planned for this past March and April were postponed or cancelled. As such, together with the BC Ale Trail and the participating brewers and businesses, CVEDS repurposed some of those funds to create a Virtual Happy Hour Series featuring: Other supporting businesses have jumped in to sponsor the series in the hopes it encourages more support of local producers including DeLucaVeale Investment Counsel, RealStream Income Properties, Ivan Lee TD Wealth, Hollis Wealth, and Mindset Wealth. “The financial advisors and partners that are sponsoring are proud to play a part in this wonderful initiative to showcase the talent we have in the Valley. We encourage everyone to join the Virtual Happy Hour and support the breweries, businesses and restaurants we all love,” said Robert Mulrooney, Mindset Wealth. For a full schedule of events and details about how to get an “All-Access Pass” please visit   -30-   Media Contacts: Lara Greasley, Marketing and Communications Comox Valley Economic Development & Tourism
We are saddened to have to announce that the BC Seafood Festival and Trade Expo, originally scheduled June 12-21, 2020, will be postponed due to COVID-19 and the important government measures in place. The BC Seafood Festival and Trade Expo success is built around the coming together of BC seafood industries, commercial fisheries, aquaculture, suppliers, distributors, industry leaders and government representatives, first nations, dive and harvest sectors, alongside BC Chefs, and importantly the guests and attendees who travel from around the world to attend and participate. In order to ensure the safety of all our partners, staff and event producers, volunteers and guests, we know this is the right decision. We are actively working to secure late fall dates to host a modified Festival and Trade Expo in 2020, while also planning for the return of the Festival and Trade Expo once again for the regularly scheduled dates of June 11 – 20, 2021. Stay tuned and sign-up for Friends of the Festival notifications to be the first to know about new dates, contests and ticket releases. For those that have already purchased tickets and/or Trade Show booths and passes, an email will be sent to you shortly in regards next steps. Kindly wait for that email before contacting the Festival and Trade Expo; our thanks in advance for your patience. Please consider supporting your local BC seafood producers when you can. Look for their products online and in local groceries stores. Stay tuned for news about companies that are open for delivery and a list of local retail stores that carry BC Seafood. We know this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone in the seafood, tourism and hospitality sectors that contribute so much to the Festival and Trade Expo each year. Our thoughts are with them, our loyal guests, volunteers and all their families.