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Advisors from the Creative and Tourism Sectors hash out definition

We are thrilled to announce the addition of an Advisory Circle to our new Creative Tourism project described in a recent blog post. The five people introduced below are working with us this spring to explore what a Vancouver Island definition of creative tourism might involve.


The goal of this Creative Tourism project - to identify marketplace opportunities in the tourism sector for creative entrepreneurs, aligns with our vision for a thriving creative sector, measured and valued for its robust impacts. 


We are grateful for their commitment and interest, not only in creative sector growth, but in cross-sectoral inquiry, collaboration, and building greater community. 


Assetou Coulibaly 

Assetou Coulibaly is a Project Manager at Accent Inns Inc, implementing systems, improving processes, and launching major projects. Assetou comes from a background in DEI and intersectional work through NGOs. Currently, she’s focused on educating on the importance of decolonizing sustainability and growing a conscientious social enterprise named CHIWARA CO that bridges the gap between events (Black Women Connect), products, education and advocacy. Assetou joins the project from the unceded territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples.


Calum Matthews 

Calum Matthews is Vice President of Sustainability & Strategy at 4VI, formerly known as Tourism Vancouver Island. In his role, he leads a team responsible for the organization’s sustainable development programs and supports a range of clients with strategic planning and engagement. Calum joined the tourism industry more than 10 years ago in a front-line service role. What started as a great summer job quickly grew into a passion and an exceptional career. Calum joins the project from the unceded territory of Snuneymuxw First Nation.


Jason Griffin 

A veteran of BC’s tourism industry and an artist, Jason lives with his family on Salt Spring Island and operates Tour Salt Spring. A Sustainable Tourism certified company, Tour Salt Spring specializes in providing visitors with guided tours of Salt Spring Island, including into local artist studios. Salt Spring Island is located on the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people.


John Hughes 

John is the Executive Director of Craigdarroch Castle, a national historic site that tells the fascinating story of the Dunsmuir family, who built the castle as their home in 1887. John has over thirty years of business management experience and brings expertise in arts & culture management, as well as operating a tourism attraction, to this project. John joins the project from the unceded territory of the Lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ Peoples. 


Megan Whonnock 

Megan is an experienced business administrator, an artist and co-founder of the Aunty Collective. The Aunty Collective is an arts, culture and learning hub for Indigenous artists and creatives that prioritizes creating space and supporting the agency of Indigenous 2SLGBTQIA+, women, and youth, and working to develop accessible opportunities for Indigenous artists of all mediums to take up space, learn and share knowledge, create, and nurture the future generations to come. Megan joins the project from the unceded territory of ‘Namgis First Nation. 


We continue to be humbled by the generosity of those in our networks - who join us in creating space for meaningful dialogue on how we support each other, and create opportunities for inclusiveness. This project is further supported by the team at Creative Coast, who join Project Manager Karen Bannister: Jenny Farkas, Illana Hester, and Erica Mattson. The project is also advised by President & CEO of 4VI, Anthony Everett.



Photo caption: Creative Coast's Karen Bannister (right) leading a panel discussion with Assetou Coulibaly (middle) and Kelly Galaski (left, from The Travel Foundation) entitled "Creating equitable economic opportunities through the creative economy" at the Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities Conference held at Thompson River University in February 2024

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