It has been several years since the ‘white knights’ from the Comox Valley Economic Development Society rescued local tourism initiatives from business people who had made the heroic assumption they knew what they were doing by virtue of the fact they actually were involved in the tourism business.
Because CVEDS had the ultimate hammer of the golden rule — he who has the gold makes the rules — it was a bloodless coup.
Funds were withdrawn and redirected to support CVEDS while citing economies of scale and internal efficiencies.
I anticipate much the same fate awaits those organizations currently providing visitor services to the Valley. Interestingly enough, like all aspects of government bureaucracy and despite claims of efficiency, the CVEDS subsidy from the local taxpayer continues to grow.
But that’s not why I called.
While the barbarians were at the gates, the treasure chest of the Comox Valley Tourism Society was hustled out through the rear courtyard to safety. The members gathered in a public place, bemoaning the tactics of the oppressor and determined they would hide the treasure where it could benefit future citizens, particular those choosing to work in tourism.
To that end, the treasure was secured in the vaults of an even bigger castle on a higher hill, unassailable to even the most ambitious barbarian.
The castle is, of course, North Island College — where the Comox Valley Tourism Legacy Fund tarries still, earning interest and funding two bursaries, available now and to be awarded annually to students in NIC’s hospitality programs.
Donations to this legacy fund or to any of North Island College’s awards are administered by the excellent staff of the NIC Foundation. To contribute or hide your treasure in plain sight, give them a call.
Editor’s note: Marty Douglas was on the board of directors of now-defunct Comox Valley Tourism.Bur