Special to the Westerly
Leadership Vancouver Island (LVI), the West Coast’s grass-roots community leadership program, is back in action after being put on pause since the pandemic’s onset. The unique course is designed “by West Coasters for West Coasters” and brings together emerging leaders from communities, businesses, First Nations, local governments, and not-for-profit organizations to foster relationships and a positive future for the region.
The ten-month program is comprised of an opening two-day retreat at Cedar Coast Field Station and six leadership days in communities from September to May with graduation in June. The days bring together participants, local leaders, professional facilitators, knowledge holders, and Elders to highlight specific leadership expertise, skills and attributes. The location of each retreat takes participants to a number of local West Coast communities allowing participants to gain a broader understanding of initiatives and issues that face the west coast.
“We’re really excited to launch the 2022-23 cohort,” said LVI coordinator Brooke Wood. “The West Coast has been through so much in the last two years and there’s so much to learn from.”
Brooke explained that communities on the Coast have been isolated from each other during the pandemic, but the challenges we face are interconnected.
“We’re already seeing many awesome participants showing interest from First Nations, non-profits, and businesses in the area,” she said.
Dr. Ricardo Manmohan, LVI Committee Member, has been involved in the program since is first launched in 2012.
“Each cohort I see participants gaining a renewed sense of purpose within their organization and community,” said Manmohan.
“We now have nearly 100 West Coasters who are LVI Alumni making significant contributions to their workplaces and communities in a variety of ways. They’re empowered by their relationships and a common understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that face West Coast communities.”
LVI Participants are eligible to receive up to 6 elective credits from Vancouver Island University as they focus on applied skills like project management and communications, as well as equally important soft skills like self awareness and emotional intelligence. They also gain valuable local networking and mentorship connections that continue to serve them long after graduation.
The program is coordinated and administered by the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust (CBT), and guided by a special committee composted of representatives from each community in the region, many of whom are LVI alumni themselves.
Applications are due on August 15 at 11:59 p.m. and the opening retreat at Cedar Coast Field station will take place on September 28-29, with monthly learning days taking place through until graduation in June 2023. CBT will be hosting an event for interested applicants and alumni at their office on Wednesday, July 27th from 6-8 p.m. Anyone interested in learning more is encouraged to visit the CBT website, click Initiatives, then click Leadership Vancouver Island. People can also reach out directly to Brooke Wood at email@example.com or call the office at 250-725-2219.