People of Chilliwack – Partnerships

Ken Popove, Mayor of Chilliwack

“Our CEPCO partnership attracts business, big and small. We’re lucky to have such a great team at the table and a partnership that works for all of Chilliwack, and the Economic Partners is a unique situation. I’m super happy to have that type of corporation that does their work in the background to make Chilliwack a better place to live, have fun and do business. It’s interesting, there are things that the City doesn’t do, so they’re almost the arms of the City or an extension. They can purchase properties and create development partnerships with businesses like Molson Coors and Algra Bros Developments that make the City of Chilliwack such an exciting place to be. It really is a great partnership for everyone!”

Tim McAlpine, Currency Marketing; Cowork Chilliwack

“I love being involved in CEPCO and on the board of directors. CEPCO has such an impact for such a small entity. As we look around, the imprint of the Creative Commission is absolutely everywhere. For myself to have a seat at that table and have that kind of voice is unbelievable. I think CEPCO, having been in and around economic development for quite some time, is very unique. Other communities have tried to emulate it, but they haven’t necessarily been successful because there’s an immense trust between the city and the partners.”

Jacqueline Boer, Brightside Eggs and Market

“The Chilliwack Agricultural Commission showcases farming in the community, especially with the annual Chilliwack Agriculture Tour. It brings people to farms they have never visited, and educates them on how much agriculture impacts the community. The Commission is a sub-committee of CEPCO, and that has helped define and communicate the bigger picture. CEPCO’s interest in agriculture makes sure that it is a priority, and that is exciting to farmers as it is advantageous to the community as a whole and to the sustainability of agriculture in Chilliwack.”

Marc Griedanus, ER Doctor at CGH; Chilliwack Park Society

“I guess I’ve been surprised at the degree to which CEPCO and the City promote various things like business interests, culture and recreation, as well as attracting doctors to the area. I saw that as such a unique partnership. More specifically CEPCO has funded some of our trail initiatives like the trail at Lexw Qwò:m Park. I like to see that lifestyle played a part and was important. CEPCO also approached us to make a series of videos about COVID, to ease some of the anxiety around COVID, answer some questions and also make it clear that some businesses, like restaurants have done quite a bit of work to be safe places. That showed me that this partnership, specifically CEPCO, cared about a healthy community.”

Sandra Bonner-Pederson, Bear Image Productions

“I was approached by the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation to be a part of the Chilliwack Creative Commission (a sub-committee of CEPCO). Seen as a creative person in my own community, it was a bit nerve-racking to share that creativity in a different space. The Creative Commission was a place where I got to connect with others and share my creativity, culture and people. I realized that it opened doors for me and connected me with the bigger community. The Creative Commission allowed me to broaden my horizons and allowed me to speak and share outside of the First Nations Community, and I realized this partnership has an underlying sentiment of trying to bridge the communities.”


Brian Minter, Minter Country Garden; Tourism Chilliwack

“I have been on the CEPCO board for about 12 years and was brought in through Tourism Chilliwack. I think all of us who have had the privilege of serving on the board, bring a background to CEPCO. Having that diverse background, CEPCO is able to make decisions based on broader values. I think that’s really what it’s all about. The thing is, CEPCO is an unknown factor, a lot of people don’t understand the work and the connections they create in the community. CEPCO is about people who really care deeply about this community and the future of Chilliwack.

Looking at the businesses within the community, is there a balance? Is there an opportunity for young people? It’s very, very broad in terms of the approach with community planning and what the people of Chilliwack would really like. We’re servants of the community trying to understand what is needed and how to best bring the economic factor to benefit our community through partnerships.”

Ruth Maccan, Prospera Credit Union; Downtown Chilliwack BIA

“Our BIA relationship with CEPCO is very collaborative, and I think one thing I’m really pleased about is, just in the last year or so, a greater intentional focus to really work collaboratively. CEPCO has many partners within the City that can offer advice and leverage that collaboration. The Chilliwack Economic Partners have so much value in that they have sat on boards like the BIA and Tourism, and understand how to guide and assist one another. From advice to strategy, they are available to their partners and everyone benefits.”

Dave Leger, H2 Portable Power

“The Chilliwack Innovation Network offers everybody in the room an opportunity to know each other, and the moving pieces that are happening around you, that you wouldn’t know about unless you participate. We all do something different and that’s key to partnerships. There’s Sto:lo partners, people from the city, planners and a good mix of people from business. I’m the tech kind of guy in the room and through collaboration, you can spot opportunities and connect dots. It really helps ideas happen and partnerships build.

Much like the collaboration between myself at H2 Portable Power and Tycrop Manufacturing, the relationships with CEPCO and the innovative ideas of Scott and the team at Tycrop helped this project come to life. CEPCO really brings those opportunities to the table by inviting everyone to share their ideas. When a group of people share their ideas that’s when you problem solve and design solutions, which begins this incredible process of engineering and manufacturing by piecing the ideas together. The Innovation Network allows us to share ideas, let other stakeholders in and everybody wins.”

Lenore Newman, University of the Fraser Valley Food and Agriculture Institute

“As a Canada Research Chair at UFV and the Director of the Food and Agriculture Institute at UFV, I’ve greatly enjoyed working with CEPCO. A good relationship between local organizations such as CEPCO and university research units can be very valuable, and in general, CEPCO has helped to direct interesting research questions to UFV and has helped us publicize our results. I particularly value CEPCO’s support and input into our work on the Agricultural Land Reserve. CEPCO’s support helped hire several students and their input and networking helped us to make sure our recommendations and mapping are of value to the local government and the agricultural community.

As an applied researcher I love solving “real world problems” at the local level. I love bringing together different stakeholders to work towards a solution. What excites me is helping in a small way to shape the future of our community, to see our research making life better for local business and industry.”

Matthew Hawkins, Around Chilliwack

“I had this idea years ago, of Around Chilliwack, where to shop, where to eat, things to do in Chilliwack. The people I was meeting through CEPCO, through the Creative Commission, were connecting me with all sorts of cool, interesting and creative people and I decided I’d start a podcast. I created “Around Town in Chilliwack” and started off with 8 people. I did two seasons of it. Slowly I started building this boutique website. CEPCO and the Creative Commission really aligned me and pointed me in the direction I needed to go. I got to connect with other really creative people, and it gave me a chance to come up with ideas and network. CEPCO has connected me to projects and they see the value of my work in the community. It’s a lot of partnership and volunteering on the boards with CEPCO, and if you’re involved you really get to invest in this community and give back to it and without them, we wouldn’t get to do that.”

Chief David Jimmie, Squiala First Nation

“Any partnership is a relationship, and I think you have to spend the time to understand one another before you can actually build on it. So I was actually happy to participate in the industrial landscape review because I’m familiar with it and I had just finished reading through a couple of reports and saw that value come through. For me, I always feel it’s important to get in and work on these committees to demonstrate that it’s not just a seat, but that I have value and get heard, beyond what the expectations are. A partnership is to work within the greater economy and understand all the moving parts and learn the process. I learned more through Brian Coombes, sitting on a committee and just hearing everybody’s thoughts, and it was respectful to allow everybody to have a voice throughout the process. We are building a relationship and can only expand on that!”

Trevor McDonald, Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association

“The Downtown Business Improvement Association and CEPCO work together in attracting business to the downtown. CEPCO brings business to all of Chilliwack but our partnership is within the umbrella of downtown. Sharing a building with CEPCO, I am literally 20 steps away from the best advice I could ever have, and it’s just a really great resource. Brian Coombes (CEPCO’s President) has been a great mentor and also a great help in me learning and finding my way around courting new business into the downtown area. We work together. The idea, of course, is to fill every business and get a zero vacancy rate in the Downtown.”