Malcolm Island has won an award for Excellence in the Rural/Small Town Planning category from the Canadian Institute of Planners.
The island, with a population of 613 permanent residents and 125 seasonal ones, collaborated with EcoPlan, a Vancouver-based urban planning firm on a project named Growing Malcolm Island.
The project was born out of conversations among a group of residents more than three years ago about interest in community and economy development, according to the project website.
The motivation for these discussions was growing concern over both diminishing population and decreasing business on Malcolm Island.
The first meeting on April 5, 2012 led to four more, all well attended.
This project is unique in that it was initiated, led and implemented by the community, a community that exists without strong local governance.
The Canadian Institute of Planners noticed the grassroots approach to bringing citizens together to help support the local economy, and awarded the distinction to Malcolm Island.
Previous winners in the Rural/Small Town category are Maple Creek, Saskatchewan (2014), Trinity, Newfoundland and Labrador (2013), Orillia, Ontario (2013), and the District of Peachland, British Columbia (2012).
The Canadian Institute of Planners presents annual Awards for Planning Excellence that honour projects judged on their excellence, innovation, impact on the profession, implementation potential, and overall presentation.