Nov. 2017 – Why Sidney has become the Industry INNOVATION CAPITAL for Vancouver Island

Lower Vancouver Island’s Peninsula based Economic Engine is geographically centered by the beautiful Town of Sidney. No longer just a town comprised of gorgeous seaside amenities and unique retail experiences, Sidney is rapidly positioning itself as the “Industry Innovation Capital” for Vancouver Island and beyond. Innovation specific to technology based learning & training adaptation…innovation specific to leading edge equipment implementation…innovation specific to continuous improvement cultural integration. Let’s review the community leadership elements that position Sidney to readily claim this exciting moniker.

  • next Spring Sidney will be helping stage EduTech, a non-profit event promoting and advancing career and awareness linkages between the Peninsula Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Sectors, secondary students and the local community members.
  • Sidney’s Economic Development Committee (EDC) will be busy in 2018. The committee will:
  1. be completing a comprehensive inventory and NAICS code categorization of the Town’s Manufacturing and Industry Sector.
  2. also be researching and looking towards providing Transportation related solutions and efficiencies for the Industrial District.
  3. also be engaged in managing a Marketing and Economic Development Strategy specific to the West Side and its identity as an Innovation district from the West Síde Local Area Plan.
  • The Sidney Breakfast Club (, the region’s Premiere Industry Networking Group, is celebrating it’s 25th year anniversary in 2017.
  • Recently, the Town adopted a new Westside Area Plan ( that will provide area context for a primarily Industrial area to identify and work towards goals that will help existing businesses and attract new ones.
  • Sidney is home to the Sidney North Saanich Industrial Group (SNSIG), a manufacturing based group that advocates for industry based regional issues. About half of the SNSIG membership are also members of the Vancouver Island Manufacturing sector Advisory Group (VIMAB), a group of manufacturing companies that are working towards creating strategies and action plans that reflect the training and development needs of the Island’s manufacturing sector.
  • Adam Olsen, the Saanich North Saanich & the Islands MLA, has recognized and supports the development of the Peninsula as an Innovation & 21st Century economic leader. See Adam’s speech in the legislature last week summarizing this visioning –

It is this milieu of leadership and intellectual prosperity that provides the framework for Sidney based Innovation activities to thrive and prosper. In future articles I will examine present day Industry Innovation applications in more detail. Please stay tuned.