A new website has launched to help inspire and guide people who are interested in relocating to the North Island.
The Vancouver Island North Training and Attraction Society (VINTAS) has launched www.myvancouverilsandnorth.ca and an accompanying social media campaign that features the amenities, lifestyle benefits, work, and training opportunities available on the North Island.
“The campaign was meant to look at attraction, retention, and training in the region and then it also combines lifestyle, livability, and amenities,” said Angela Smith Creative Exposure Communications Consultant who worked on the website and campaign.
“It covers all of those parts of what we have to offer in terms of healthy communities,” added Smith.
She said the social media aspect of the campaign is all about sharing the unique stories and experiences of the people in the North Island using the phrase “Come write your story.”
“It’s very common in rural areas that there are these amazing stories and there is this very vibrant life and very connected community but it’s not shared,” said Smith, adding, “So we looked at that and realized there is an opportunity to share those stories.”
The website and attraction campaign is designed to mitigate the decrease in regional population and attract younger workers as the average age of a worker in the forestry industry, which is one of the biggest industries on the North Island, is now over 55.
The campaign actually went live on May 14 to support the grand opening of the Fundamentals of Forestry Centre in Woss which was officially opened two days later on May 16.
“The genesis had been the forestry industry, but every sector is facing the same challenge here,” explained David Mitchell of VINTAS and Community Futures, adding “We are trying to demonstrate that the job market up here has diversity, width, and depth.”
Another aspect of the website is the database where users can go to search the community organizations, services, and businesses in the North Island.
“If you are thinking about moving here and your kid loves soccer who do you talk to?” said Mitchell, explaining the database is designed to answer those kinds of questions.
Smith said the information is collected through an easy-to-fill-out form on the site, which will allow groups in the community to add their own listing.
“We are hoping to reach out to people in the community and have people add their information,” said Smith, adding “Reflecting the lifestyle though that database is going to be fun to do.”
Smith noted that the pickleball organization in Alert Bay is a listing that could illustrate the uniqueness and lifestyle of the communities on the North Island.
“There is something very authentic about storytelling especially out of a region like this and the with the power of digital communication it can be a very unifying thing for the communities,” said Smith.
Mitchell said he is excited to see the response from prospective new residents.
“I’m looking forward to hearing back from out there as we start to get inquiries and comments,” said Mitchell.
To check out the website, please go and visit www.myvancouverilsandnorth.ca,
To share your Vancouver Island North story use the hashtag #MyVIN, #myvancouverislandnorth or mention @myvancouverislandnorth in your social media posts.