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Economic Development

This page was last reviewed on August 22, 2018.

Economic Development Strategy Implementation

The role of the Village in supporting the local economy, as with any local government, is to help catalyze and leverage the energy and resources bound up in the private and non-profit sectors.

Guided by the Economic Development Strategy, the work to be conducted by the Village’s Economic Development Coordinator is to build upon Cumberland’s assets, strengths and opportunities. These strategies have been shaped by the concerns, ideas, and values of the community through the implementation of the Economic Development Steering Committee (EDSC). They have been prioritized based on how they were felt to impact Cumberland’s economic development objectives. The strategies are:

  1. Conduct investment attraction
  2. Leverage industrial assets
  3. Support creation of a community development corporation/investment fund
  4. Support arts and culture as an economic driver
  5. Expand accommodation options in the Village
  6. Village core improvements
  7. Create a more business friendly environment
  8. Support diversification and better packaging of tourism opportunities

The implementation of the Strategy also involves the ongoing facilitation of the EDSC whose purpose is to represent the business and general community, as well as provide input and guidance to the EDC in the implementation of the priority initiatives/actions identified within the Strategy. The next round of the EDSC (EDC #2) is scheduled to run from September to December 2018.

Development of the strategy was funded through the Village’s successful application to the Rural Dividend Fund. With this funding the Village has engaged an EDC to support the implementation of the Strategy and provide other economic services, including the involvement and facilitation of the EDSC.

View the Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023. The strategy was approved by Council in May 2018.

Economic Development Steering Committee

The EDSC is governed by its Terms of Reference which outlines the purpose of the EDSC and its role to help guide the economic development process (See Schedule A). The EDC is intended to represent a gathering and discussion portal for relevant information in regards to the economic development function, and to help ensure successful implementation of the Cumberland Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023.

With broad representation from economic, cultural, heritage, environmental, social (not for profit) and political sectors in the community, the Economic Development Steering Committee:

  • Provides guidance to the Economic Development Coordinator on implementation of the Economic Development Strategy;
  • Represents sectors of the community at the Committee;
  • Ensures that the community’s diverse interests are represented in the economic development process;
  • Helps identify barriers to community and economic development in the community;
  • Identifies community champions and partnerships to help implement the Economic Development Strategy;
  • Acts as a representative for, and liaison to the general public or other unrepresented stakeholders, as appropriate;
  • Reviews information provided by the Village, consultants, Committee members, special interest groups and the general public;
  • Identifies knowledge gaps, if any, and provide feedback to Village staff and consultants; and,
  • Makes recommendations to Council.

For more information, please contact us at

Economic Development Coordinator

The Village of Cumberland has hired Kaelin Chambers as Cumberland Economic Development Coordinator (EDC).

Originally from Powell River, Kaelin, his wife and nine year old son moved to Cumberland from Vancouver three years ago. Kaelin has 10 years of experience in undertaking socio-economic assessment and community engagement, particularly in relation to resource management and environmental planning and policy. Kaelin was also co-chair of the initial Economic Development Steering Committee (EDSC) which contributed to Cumberland’s Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023.

As EDC, Kaelin will be the main point of contact for businesses and non-profits in Cumberland, while providing ongoing services in the support, retention and expansion of existing local businesses. He is also responsible for working closely with Village staff, Council and the Economic Development Steering Committee to implement the Cumberland Economic Development Strategy.

Funding for the EDC contract, including the facilitation of the Economic Development Steering Committee, has been provided through a grant from the Province’s Rural Dividend Fund.

Should you have any questions regarding Cumberland’s economic development initiatives, Kaelin can be contacted at

Cumberland Economic Development Service Shifts in 2016

In early 2016 the Village of Cumberland withdrew from the Economic Development Service of the Comox Valley Regional District. In the fall of 2016 the Village explored new models of providing economic development services.

A final recommendation to move forward with an in-house distributed model of economic development was made in 2016, as this model was found to best support the community’s values. As a result the Village successfully completed the Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023 which included extensive community engagement, and is built upon the primary sources of economic opportunities identified in the official community plan.

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