Rick Brouwer is more convinced than ever the region could use a place to nurture regional creativity in the hope that what evolves could turn into a business.
The executive director of the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics (SNCIRE) made the comment following its May 9 hosting of a competition challenging area residents to come up with products or creative ideas.
“What we saw were some very good ideas and innovation. You just get the feeling more could be accomplished if we had some way, an incubator, to take these forward,” he said of 12 entries from around the region.
The top placing entry, from Giulianna Hauknes of Prince Rupert and Christine Moody of Skidegate, won the $2,500 Terrace Community Forest Prize for Project Hlaana, natural spring water infused with traditional herbs, medicines and berries – all found on Haida Gwaii.
The prize was based on most innovative use of a bioproduct.
The Northwest Innovation Challenge, put on by SNCIRE through the sponsorship of various contributors, could be the last official act of the centre. It will be closing after failing to secure long-term financial backing.
“When you hear about these large LNG projects and you think of their legacy, what better legacy could there be than a place for innovation, a place where you could take ideas and build them out?” said Brouwer.
There were 12 finalists from around the region and $8,500 provided in prize money. Nearly 100 people attended the event.