The CNA started up in June of 2011. Campbellton was considered the poor orphan village of Campbell River because it was dilapidated, with crime, prostitution, and graffiti everywhere. The police were doing what they could but it took the business community along with residents of Campbellton to form an association to discuss how to make changes for the better. Through several forums and information sessions the CNA was created and a steering committee formed. With assistance from the city an inventory was taken of Campbellton.
Study Groups traveled the streets to accumulate data about the strengths and issues the area was facing. Through Ross Blackwell, Urban Planner for the City, the main direction for this inventory was safety, beautification, and transportation. Meetings with various stakeholders have created a grand opportunity to make positive changes in the village. Meetings with the city enabled Campbellton to garner an even bigger influence. But the CNA is an organisation of volunteers. It required an urban planner to funnel the many variables that needed doing. Ross Blackwell City Planner for Campbell River approached the BC Real Estate Foundation for assistance. Using money that was raised by the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association, he was able to approach Vancouver Island University and Dr. Pamela Shaw to have her classes produce the basic construction of a Community Village Plan.
Dr. Shaw’s class came to Campbellton several times to collect periodical data in 2013. They studied for two semesters and then produced a superb document that we have been able to implement. See the 2014 Report.
The ongoing process includes drilling down into several of the 90 initial recommendations to make improvements to the community. Other two more reports have been produced since then and continue to build on the initial report
The projects that have been completed have triggered the involvement of even more of the community.
Recent fund raising measures continue to enable the CNA to impact Campbell River to a great degree. Most of this is a result of the work put together by the projects the VIU Urban Geography Class created. I am extremely fortunate to have witnessed the development of the association since its beginning and envision a new vision for Campbellton over the next 10 years with continued involvement from Vancouver Island University.