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Launch of new Basecamp Innovation Centre to serve Sea to Sky’s outdoor recreation sector

Press Release

SQUAMISH, BC, Nov. 2, 2023 – The Sea to Sky Outdoor Recreation Adventure Enterprise Society (SOARE), formed in late 2022, has the vision to develop the Sea to Sky Corridor as a leading region for Outdoor Recreation gear and apparel design and adventure-based media and branding. SOARE was formed in response to an industry-identified need to better connect and enable this vibrant and growing community of makers and designers to innovate, scale, and develop their business ideas. On October 26, 2023, SOARE celebrated the launch of the Society at their new Basecamp Innovation Centre located in the Squamish Business Park.

“SOARE has the people and passion to position the Sea to Sky and Squamish as a global leader in Outdoor Recreation design and development,” says District of Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford. “This sector is helping to diversify and strengthen the B.C. economy and it’s only gaining momentum. Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing industry and innovation together.”

SOARE is offering member-based programming and services in the Sea to Sky region, and from its Basecamp Innovation Centre in an effort to build a strong network that brings together the world of outdoor industry innovators that live right on our doorstep. The Society will facilitate access to tools and training to lower the barrier to innovation and experimentation, and advocate to open up opportunities for members that would not have been accessible as individual businesses.

“We’ve been listening closely to industry in the region to help identify barriers and opportunities for businesses in the Outdoor Recreation industry,” says Board Chair, Hamish Elliott. “We heard loud and clear that a collaborative network, with access to tools, resources, and space, would help facilitate the development of the sector within the Sea to Sky corridor. The new Basecamp Innovation Centre will be a pilot to test what we have learned so far, with adjustments to be made along the way. On behalf of the Board of Directors and our Development Manager, JoJo Das, we are excited to bring the Outdoor Recreation sector together to meet, make, and advocate.”

SOARE received $425,000 in grant funding from the BC Government through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development, and Innovation’s (JEDI) Rural Economic Development and Infrastructure Program (REDIP) Implementation stream to implement member programming and develop its Basecamp Innovation Centre. Additional funding and support were provided by a variety of partners regionally including the District of Squamish, Capilano University, and Community Futures Howe Sound.

To learn more about SOARE, including information on how to join as a member, visit soare.org.
Backgrounder:

In 2020, the District completed an Emerging Sector Roadmap and Action Plan (the Plan) which identified Squamish’s Outdoor Recreation cluster as ripe for development. This cluster, made up of recreation technology and performance apparel design and adventure-based media, marketing, and film companies, was seen complementary to the region’s strong tourism sector, local workforce’s skills and competency areas, and the unique and compelling lifestyle of the Sea to Sky region. With over 380+ such businesses and organizations in the Corridor, supporting 800+ high-paying jobs, the economic value to BC’s economy is large, and rapidly growing. The Plan, adopted in 2020, includes two priority areas for emerging sector development, 1) foundational cluster-building activities and 2) business and investment attraction activities. As part of the District’s implementation of priority area 1, the District worked with industry, local and regional organizations, and the provincial government to facilitate the development of an independent regional outdoor recreation society in the fall of 2022.

The Sea to Sky Outdoor Recreation Enterprise Society (SOARE) was created to facilitate the development of an Outdoor Recreation Sector in the Sea to Sky region. SOARE is dedicated to building the awareness and strength of the Sea to Sky’s Outdoor Recreation industry while demonstrating the sector’s economic value to the British Columbian and Canadian economy. SOARE working with industry, supporting organizations, government, and Indigenous organizations, will undertake programs, services, and initiatives that enable a connected, vibrant, and diverse sector in the Sea to Sky and throughout the rest of British Columbia. SOARE received funding of $425,000, from local and regional partners with the majority of funding received from the BC Government through the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development, and Innovation’s (JEDI) Rural Economic Development and Infrastructure Program (REDIP) Implementation stream. This initial support has allowed the organization to lay a strong foundation and make progress toward its strategic plan goals. To realize SOARE’s full potential, the organization is currently seeking financial support from Pacifican. SOARE is governed by a Board of Directors, and is run by our Development Manager, JoJo Das.

For further information: Media Contact: Hamish Elliott, info@soare.org, soare.org

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