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Successful Civic Leadership Speakers Series Concludes


For Immediate Release: Friday, May 11, 2018


The Civic Leadership Speakers Series, a collaboration between the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce (GNCoC), OurNanaimo and Leadership Vancouver Island, which was held over the last two weeks, was a great success.

Focused on the fundamentals of local governance, this pilot initiative hosted 45 attendees – declared candidates, others considering running for municipal office, and those interested in the necessary competencies for elected officials to effectively serve the community. This course was precedent-setting in BC and has led to interest from other municipalities.

Comments from participants were overwhelmingly positive: “Reconfirmed what leadership feels like.” “I loved the examples of how citizen empowerment can work.” “Presenters were thoughtful and engaging.” “Thanks for an excellent, thought-provoking series.”

The positive feedback from participants indicates success in delivering on the original vision to provide a unique learning experience through non-partisan speakers and leaders on a broad range of local governance matters,” said Kim Smythe, CEO of the GNCoC.

The overall objective of this initiative was to prepare potential candidates to take on the duties of a member of council, and to contribute to effective local governance for Nanaimo citizens. The series began with a mandatory introductory session on April 24, followed by four sessions related to the roles and responsibilities of elected officials.

Sydney Robertson of OurNanaimo noted, “This pilot initiative was well-received by the community and has made a difference in raising awareness about the very serious roles and responsibilities of elected officials.”

The Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, OurNanaimo and Leadership Vancouver Island would like to thank all participants, presenters, facilitators and volunteers for their engagement and contributions to strengthening our community.


Media Inquiries:
Kim Smythe, Chamber of Commerce, 250-756-1191
OurNanaimo: Media.contact.ournanaimo@gmail.com

Leadership Vancouver Island: leadershipvi.com


OurNanaimo is a grassroots, non-partisan group of citizens with members from a cross-section of Nanaimo, including working families, students, business owners, young professionals and retirees. OurNanaimo is focused on effecting positive change at the municipal level and committed to building a vibrant, strong and healthy city.
OurNanaimo believes that our city deserves not just better, but the very best governance. The job of a city councillor is challenging and requires a high degree of skill, knowledge and competencies, in addition to being committed to building a better city and serving the public interest.  Councillors have the potential to impact both individual citizens and the reputation and success of our city as a whole.  To support the objective of better governance, OurNanaimo is focusing on approaches that contribute to a positive outcome in the October 20, 2018 local general election. This includes increasing voter engagement, creating tools for voters, promoting the attributes of an effective councillor, and getting out the vote.
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Municipal Elections

OurNanaimo believes that our city deserves not just better, but the very best governance. The job of a city councillor is challenging and requires a high degree of skill, knowledge and competencies.

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Finally, a group of community members who want accountability (what a novel thought) from our elected officials. How do I get involved...do you have a regular meeting that I could attend? My wife and I moved here in 2004 and have watched this beautiful little community blossom into a vibrant small city. Unfortunately, the strategic planning and accountability of our city, regional district (including Port Authority) leave much to the imagination.


I just wanted to extend my congratulations on forming the Our Nanaimo group. What I was most impressed by is the thoughtful questions you are putting forth to the by-election candidates. If they do nothing else, it is my hope that each candidate takes the time to think these questions through and at least be clear with themselves as to why they wish to be elected. Although sorely needed, I am sadden though that a group of Nanaimoites have felt compelled to create this group. But am thankful that we live in a society that embraces the right to do so. Thank you, I look forward to the candidates responses.


You've got my interest. Keep me informed!

Community Member

Thank you Kathryn for your candidates assessments & to all who are involved here, helping our democracy. With Regards.

Thank you

Just wanted to say that as a former Nanaimoite and someone who's following the by-election, I found your list of questions very engaging, meaningful and probing. Well done.