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Economic Development

This page was last reviewed on July 18, 2018.

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

Economic Development Strategy Implementation

Through the Economic Development Strategy, 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 EDC with respect to the implementation of the actions/strategies identified within the Economic Development Strategy is to build upon Cumberland’s assets, strengths and opportunities. These strategies have been shaped by the concerns, ideas, and values of the community. They have been prioritized with input from the EDSC based on how they were felt to impact the 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 Village of Cumberland’s Economic Development Strategy 2018-2023

Cumberland’s Economic Development Strategy was developed between December 2017 and April 2018 and will guide economic development initiatives and decision-making in Cumberland over the next five years. It provides a long-term vision and implementation framework for economic development work in Cumberland that can be completed between 2018 and 2023.

Cumberland’s Economic Development Strategy objectives outline what is important to the Village of Cumberland when thinking about the changing economy, including:

  • Enhance local quality of life for all Cumberlanders: Economic activities should support the creation of new cultural events, entertainment, local services, or access to recreation for locals.
  • Deepen sense of place/community identity: Economic activities should support Cumberland’s identity as a creative, diverse, accessible, inclusive Village with a rich history and heritage.
  • Enhance our environmental assets: Economic activities should minimize the impact to Cumberland’s environmental assets or, where possible, support a more sustainable relationship with the environment.
  • Increase diversity of employment opportunities: Cumberland’s economy should support diverse employment options for people of all ages, capabilities, backgrounds and needs.
  • Increase Village revenue: Economic activities should contribute to the Village’s non-residential tax-base to support funding of infrastructure.

These objectives will be used to guide and facilitate economic development related decision-making.

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

Economic Development Steering Committee

Community and stakeholder engagement was at the core of Cumberland’s initial economic development planning process and occurred throughout the development of the Economic Development Strategy. The Economic Development Strategy Steering Committee (EDSC), a 13-member committee appointed by Council to represent the business and general community, provided input and guidance to the consultants. Over 320 people answered the Community and Business survey, and about 25 residents attended our Community Planning Forum. The timeline below provides more details on community engagement.

The Village is currently accepting applications from prospective members of the second Economic Development Strategy Steering Committee to provide further guidance in the initial implementation of the Economic Development Strategy.

For more information, please contact us 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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