Creating an Economic Development Strategy for Ladysmith

Five leading organizations with a vested interest in economic development in the Ladysmith area have received funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust to create a single, comprehensive economic development strategy.

Joining your Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce in this endeavor are:

  • Economic Development Cowichan
  • Town of Ladysmith
  • Ladysmith Downtown Business Association
  • Stz’uminus First Nation

These groups have come together in a working partnership to create a Ladysmith Economic Development Strategy.

“Our organizations have established working relationships and we have many common areas of interest,” said Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce President Tammy Leslie. “This project will bring us all together under one banner, creating a common economic development vision and action plan, which we will then all help to implement with effective resource allocation.”

The project is receiving 50% of its funding from ICET, through the Strategic Planning stream of the Economic Development Readiness program.

“The challenge that this project overcomes is not uncommon in communities around our region,” said ICET Chair Phil Kent. “The Ladysmith region stakeholders have been collaborating for years, but this project will enable them to take those partnerships to the operational level, sharing resources and joint responsibility for implementation of the various pieces of the roadmap.”

“This is an exciting step in the collaborative efforts of the Town, CVRD, Stz’uminus, Chamber and the Downtown Business Association,” said Mayor Aaron Stone. “The funding from ICET, combined with that of the partners, will help focus our efforts to drive economic growth, job creation and tax diversity.”

Next steps for the project is to create a steering committee who will oversee the assessment of existing plans, priorities, and documents. The group will then engage community stakeholders in a consultation process, which will lead to the creation of the comprehensive implementation strategy.

The process gets underway in November with completion anticipated in late spring 2018.

For more information about the Economic Development Readiness program call the Chamber office at 250-245-2112.

Ladysmith’s Historic First Avenue Wins National Great Street Title

Ladysmith’s First Avenue wins national Great Places in Canada contest – Great Street!

First Avenue

Ladysmith, November 8, 2017 – Ladysmith’s beautiful and historic First Avenue has been selected by the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) as Canada’s 2017 Great Street. The award was decided by a jury of certified planning professionals during the Great Places in Canada contest. CIP’s review of 17 submissions from across Canada was based on a set of criteria of planning best practices that considered social, economic, and accessibility and safety factors, and elements such as design, culture, history, and landscape.

Jury Statement

First Avenue exhibits all of the qualities one would expect from a great street: visually-interesting building facades, generous sidewalks, attractive landscaping and artistic details, places to rest, and places to gather.

This street, with its diverse mixture of local businesses, housing and services, has been a focal point of daily life for community members for more than a century.  Streetscape enhancements, heritage preservation, the adaptive reuse of historic buildings, and the many unique and publicly accessible festivals and events held throughout the year, are key ingredients to First Avenue’s success as a Great Street.

The jury acknowledges the community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of Ladysmith’s downtown core.

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First Avenue

“We are absolutely thrilled the Canadian Institute of Planners has chosen First Avenue as Canada’s Great Street. This is an incredible honour for our community and showcases the pivotal role First Avenue has played in helping to shape Ladysmith’s identity as a charming, diverse and vibrant west coast community,” said Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone.

First Avenue

Great Places in Canada contest winners were announced on World Town Planning Day, an internationally celebrated day that recognizes the accomplishments of professional planners and their contributions to communities. Other British Columbia winning communities included Coquitlam, which was awarded Great Public Space for its Town Centre Park, and Main Street in Smithers, which received the People’s Choice: Great Street.

First Avenue

“The last time a B.C. community received the Canada’s Great Street honour was back in 2011. Winning this award for 2017 truly acknowledges our community’s commitment to defining and celebrating First Avenue as the heart of downtown Ladysmith and highlights the significance of this exceptional street and its importance to our community,” said Guillermo Ferrero, Town of Ladysmith City Manager.

Tourism Cowichan

Tourism Cowichan are the official DESTINATION MARKETING ORGANIZATION for the Cowichan region. Their mandate is to deliver destination marketing services for Cowichan in our primary markets of Victoria and Vancouver Island, the Lower mainland, Washington State and Alberta.

Tourism Cowichan

They are a non for profit stakeholder lead society. Their stakeholders are tourism businesses, organizations and individuals within the tourism industry. There is no membership fee to join. Members are able to leverage their own marketing budgets with us in order to increase and improve their presence in the tourism market.

How to be Involved

  1. Ensure you are a TCS stakeholder to receive a complimentary standard listing
  2. Purchase a premium listing for optimal placement and promotion. $400 annually or pro-rated (works out to about $30/month)!
  3. Submit any events through their Event page to be listed on the website, as well as potentially be highlighted on social media and their tourist facing newsletter
  4. Help share content through your social media channels
  5. Vote and encourage your guests to vote on Cowichan’s Top Ten
  6. Purchase an ad in their annual Visitor Guide, to be featured in the online copy of the guide

Sign up today!

Send your event!

How to Interact

  1. Connect: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube | Vimeo
  2. Tag them in your posts! Use #explorecowichan
  3. Share their content (blogs, videos, posts, photos) on your pages
  4. Send them your events or other newsworthy content and they would be happy to help promote

Stakeholder Benefits

  1. Complimentary standard listing on new website
  2. Opportunity to participate in Tourism Cowichan’s co-operative marketing programs
  3. Eligible for increased promotion through travel trade
  4. Eligible to participate in partner programs with RDMO’s
  5. Special rates and considerations for advertising and promotion (content creation, Visitors Guide)
  6. Access to Tourism Cowichan Marketing tool kit
  7. Eligible for complimentary promotion via website, content, social media and tourism facing e-newsletter
  8. Active stakeholders are eligible for Board positions, committee positions and can vote at any regular, annual or special general meeting


Featured Business: Island Savings

Island Savings team

Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union

Located at Coronation Mall, we provide advice on personal/business accounts, secured and unsecured lending to retirement investing and strategies, amongst many other things.

When are you available?

Any time in the day from Monday to Friday, we can make it  work.

What other businesses do you use in town?

As Island Savings, we try to promote and support our Local community, we partner with 49th Parallel, volunteer with the Ladysmith Resource Centre, members of the LDBA and Ladysmith Chamber.

What is your business philosophy?

Behave as if you own the business, act with passion and a sense of urgency, think  differently, continuously improve, share time, expertise, and success
with our members and communities, and work collaboratively as a team!

What is the secret to your success?

We strive to deliver consistent and remarkable member experience, part of that is making our members feel valued and taking a genuine interest in them as people.

Owner Bio

Our company is in the Top 50 Employers to work for, we have a great GIFT program (Growing Island Families Together), endowments that go straight back into our community. We also have our Simple Free Account (free chequing) and our Unlimited Business Banking Account for only $20.00 a month.

Island Savings

Call Jenna Sutherland on 250-912-7707 with questions.

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Photos must not be used outside of this website unless you have permission from 49th Parallel Printers.


Featured Business: Antique Addict

Antique Addict

Antique Addict is a lovely little store in downtown Ladysmith where we specialize in quality antique furniture and vintage furniture in excellent condition, and we often have exceptional pieces that really make a statement!

When are you available?

Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., summer hours to 5:30 p.m.

What other businesses do you use in town?

49th Parallel Grocery, Bouma Meats, Shar Kare, Ladysmith Health Food Store, Market 2 All (Paul Mycroft Design), Top Drawer, Roberts Street Pizza, In the Beantime, Oyster Bay Cafe, Spice Hut, The Phoenix, Kaede Sushi, Sushi Wara, Renee’s Soup & Sandwich, Salamander Books, Bayview Framing & Art, Black Door Decor, Jim Scott Accounting, Den’s Collision Centre, JB’s Auto Supply, Home Hardware, 49th Parallel Garden Centre, Pharmasave, Rexall Drug Store, Save On Foods, Madill Office Supply, Canada Post Office, Island Pacific Oil, Chamber of Commerce, CIBC, Ladysmith & District Credit Union, and Vancouver Island Insurance Centres.

What inspired you to start your business?

After purchasing a historic house Paul started buying antiques and then the collection got out of hand so a store became the next step!  Paul is a woodworker who appreciates the craftsmanship of antique and vintage furniture and has loved antiques since he was a boy growing up in Newfoundland.

What is your business philosophy?

Recycling at its Finest! Re-loving real wood furniture that was crafted with care. Antiques are a ‘Green’ business, everything is recycled. Instead of buying new, customers save money by purchasing quality, functional and affordable antique and vintage furniture and collectables.

What is the secret to your success?

All the furniture in the store has been professionally restored, refreshed, refinished and polished by Paul before it is offered for sale, so customers can be assured of the lasting quality of every piece.

Owner Bio

Paul enjoys being part of the downtown shopping experience and was proud to renovate his building to be part of our downtown charm.  He is a Director in the Downtown Business Association and works with the Chamber of Commerce on initiatives. People are always surprised how beautifully displayed and clean the Antique Addict is and how we prove that good things do come in small packages!

Paul Joy
Owner Paul Joy

Call Paul on 250-245-6533 with questions.

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Photos must not be used outside of this website unless you have permission from 49th Parallel Printers.


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