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EXCHANGE EXCHANGE is is aa quarterly quarterly magazine magazine published published by by the the Local Local Government Government Management Management Association Association (LGMA) (LGMA) of of British British Columbia. Columbia. It’s It’s about about sharing sharing information, information, exchanging exchanging ideas ideas on on best best practices, practices, enhancing enhancing professional professional development development and and building building networks. networks. Reach Reach us us at at









Community Energy Ideas and Innovation

Comprehensive legal services for municipalities and regional districts throughout British Columbia. We help to lay the foundation for growth and success in large and small communities across the province by supplying local governments with the legal advice and strategic support required to help them carry out their mandates.



1616–808 Nelson Street Box 12147 – Nelson Square Vancouver, BC V6Z 2H2 T: 604.689.7400 F: 604.689.3444 Toll Free: 1.800.665.3540

201–1456 St. Paul Street Kelowna, BC V1Y 2E6 T: 250.712.1130 F: 250.712.1180

Update In this Issue President’s Report Executive Director’s Report Case of Interest Members Page Our Town

Professional Development 2 3 4 5 19 20

2017 LGMA Conference


Tips & Tactics: Sustainable Energy Projects and Policies


Programs & Events


6 2017 LGMA Conference: Growing Forward Together Come together to learn, meet great people, gain new information and resources, and grow at our annual Conference, held this year in Penticton.


Exchange is the magazine for members of the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia. Exchange is distributed quarterly to over 900 members of the LGMA, as well as Mayors and Regional District Chairs.

Community Energy Ideas and Innovation

Exchange is printed on Sappi Flo, an FSC® Certified 10% post-consumer recycled paper at Island Business Print Group.

LGMA Office: Suite 710A 880 Douglas Street Victoria, BC V8W 2B7 Telephone: 250.383.7032 Email: Web: Contact the Editor: Email:

Cover Illustration: saemilee/Getty Images

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government

Resources and other supports are available for local governments that want to explore community energy projects. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to realize substantial benefits.

14 Green and Clean Community Energy Case Studies Find out how Kimberley and Penticton are harnessing untapped sources of clean energy to fuel their communities.


20 Our Town: Sicamous Sicamous has rebranded itself to showcase its healthy and clean lifestyle, business opportunities and other features.


It’s both impressive and reassuring to see that local governments in B.C. are approaching their clean energy projects with a practical assessment that looks at financial impacts as well as the environmental benefits.

ne of the best parts about being the editor of Exchange is that I constantly have the opportunity to learn about some of the new and fascinating projects that take place across our province. The new knowledge seeps in, and soon I find myself spotting similar projects or initiatives as I work in other areas or travel.


This knowledge convergence jumped out at me this past month as I worked on Exchange while in Hawaii. Sure enough, just as I finished writing the piece about the photovoltaic (solar PV) panels in Community Energy Ideas and Innovation, we were driving through Kihei, and I started to notice solar panels on multiple homes. It turns out that the local electric utility company has programs in place to make it easy for residents to add solar PV panels to their homes, or, if they don’t have a roof that will work, they can support community solar energy projects that provide them with cost savings on their electrical bill. I also noticed that the hillside was dotted with windmills as another renewable energy source for the island. Both these community energy projects stood out to me as they are harnessing two readily-available resources in Maui: sunshine and trade winds. It was also interesting to see Elon Musk’s response to the challenges experienced in Australia as they struggle with electrical blackouts, which are being attributed in part to the country’s renewable energy requirements. As the Chief Executive Officer of Tesla, Musk offered a bet, saying Tesla could solve the blackout problems within 100 days using its battery technology – or they would give Australia the batteries for free. It seems that renewable energy and technology solutions are a hot topic well beyond our provincial borders.

Applying technology and customized solutions for community energy innovation is equally evident here in B.C. Local governments are exploring opportunities to leverage their local assets in ways that fit well with renewable, sustainable energy projects. Multiple sources of advice and assistance are available, including support and resources through the Community Energy Association (CEA), the provincial government’s assistance with the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory and its new Energy Step Code, and the Partners for Climate Protection Program operated by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. There’s even a convenient resource to identify financial support options using the CEA’s Funding Guide. The key to success seems to be identifying low-hanging fruit – easy improvements for energy efficiency with quick returns on investment – as well as community energy projects that offer a viable business case. It makes sense to leverage grants and financing for capital costs as long as the payback is within a reasonable time and the project can cover operating costs in the interim until it becomes fully financed. At that point, all revenues can contribute towards operations and long-term profit or savings in carbon funds for future sustainable energy initiatives. It’s both impressive and reassuring to see that local governments in B.C. are approaching these projects with a practical assessment that looks at the financial impacts including project start-up and ongoing operation, as well as the environmental benefits in terms of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption. As highlighted in the Green and Clean Case Studies, local governments are also seeing social benefits that stem from leadership in responsible energy use and opportunities for education and other public awareness initiatives. We can all make choices to reduce energy consumption, and it’s helpful that technology solutions are becoming more affordable. But what stood out the most to me as I worked on this edition is that local governments have an amazing amount of influence over how their communities apply these priorities, whether it’s through community projects guided by community planning, development and building code requirements, or through infrastructure improvements to local government facilities. Every bit of progress is a step in the right direction that can have many positive benefits today and in the future. Therese Mickelson, ABC Editor Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government



How can we contribute to the positive evolution of local government? We do so by collaborating as an Association positively, quietly and effectively with many organizations, governments and partners every day.

s we approach the midterm of the latest local government election cycle and head into another provincial election, many of us are thinking about the complexity we face personally and as a profession. Local government continues to change. We are increasingly responsible for a broader range of complex obligations with modest resources in a very public environment. Along with imposed responsibilities, we face the pressures and the impacts of technology that is providing opportunities for those who wish to use social media and other sharing platforms to test the bounds of civility and mutual respect in our system of democracy.


We have talked a lot about resilience and have focused some of our programming on that area this year. In the midst of this increasing complexity, our significant challenges, the occasional bad behaviour we experience and the public commentary that some may be facing, I always like to keep in mind that trust is fundamental to all we do. In the words of Stephen Covey, “Trust is a function of two things: character and competence. Character includes your integrity, your motive and your intent with people. Competence includes your capabilities, your skills and your track record. Both are vital.” Most in our profession choose this work because of our service orientation; we get a kick out of serving the public and the communities we live in. If you have read Douglas Adams, you’ll recall a saying of his that, “To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” I believe that if we continue to serve on the basis of trust, we can’t go far wrong. Individually leading the way by serving on the basis of trust is one thing, but how can we influence and contribute to the positive evolution of local government in this environment? We do so by collaborating as an Association positively, quietly and effectively with many organizations, governments and partners every day.

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


I’m particularly pleased that LGMA is working on your behalf with UBCM and the Province to discuss matters of integrity, public discourse and accountability, and I am looking forward to hearing more about that topic during the UBCM convention this fall. As part of building on these values and strengthening our Board processes, the Board has also been making progress with its work with the Canadian Society of Association Executives, and we continue to follow leading practices for nonprofit governance. We have also added flexibility to the committee appointment process and strengthened Board and Committee succession planning and recruitment. We have added information about the role and expectations of Board membership for you and will continue to encourage recruitment that is representative of our member demographic, gender, geography, organization and competencies. And lastly, I wanted to thank you very much for the opportunity to be your President for this year. I’ve enjoyed my time immensely, and I am very proud of the work that our Board, Committees and staff have accomplished together. It has been a very successful year, and the Board will be speaking to you about that in the annual report you’ll see at our conference in Penticton. We all look forward to seeing you there in May! Paul Murray President


The ability of local government professionals to effectively carry out their roles and responsibilities as non-partisan, neutral public servants is being impacted by questionable conduct by some elected officials and the public.

t hardly seems possible that spring has arrived! Where have the first three months of 2017 gone? Between preparing for your annual budgets, the crazy winter weather across the province, and the usual assortment of projects and pressures you all face, 2017 is off to a roaring start!


We moved into our new office at 710A-880 Douglas Street here in Victoria, which has been a wonderful way to start the new year! We are returning to our roots, so to speak, as the first Executive Director of the LGMA, Lillian Whittier, shared space with the Municipal Finance Authority when it had its offices here at 880 Douglas back in 1986. We love to have visitors, so please drop by and say hello if you are in Victoria. This year we have introduced a new three-year Education Plan to adapt our training and professional development programs to better meet the emerging needs of local government professionals. In May 2016, we surveyed local government professionals – members and non-members – to gain insight into the training, professional development and services desired now and in future. Close to 350 survey responses were received, and we listened closely to what you told us was important to you. We learned that access to training and professional development is a key barrier because of the travel, fees and time costs related to in-person programs. In response, we are looking to develop new learning tools and contracting more expertise to assist with webinars and online learning options. The Education Plan reflects priorities highlighted in feedback from local government professionals, as well as work being undertaken in collaboration with both the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and the Union of BC Municipalities. It will provide a road map for the LGMA to better anticipate what the new generation of managers will need to take on their roles, including new programming to address leadership skills, conflict resolution, change management and strategic planning and performance metrics. In addition to these inputs, LGMA is also gaining insights into what can be done to support and strengthen responsible conduct of local elected officials in B.C. through a Working Group on Responsible Conduct that started in 2016. This is a collaborative initiative by the UBCM, the LGMA and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development to undertake research and policy work on the issue of responsible conduct of local elected officials.

As noted by the Board of Directors of the LGMA in their communique to the membership last October, the Association has been increasingly concerned that the ability of local government professionals to effectively carry out their roles and responsibilities as non-partisan, neutral public servants is being impacted by questionable conduct by some elected officials and the public. Responsible conduct is grounded in individuals conducting themselves with honesty and integrity that furthers good governance of communities – in other words in a manner that is transparent, ethical, accountable, respectful of the rule of law, collaborative, effective and efficient. The Working Group is considering the equally varied tools that may come into play to address those behaviours – from education to peer mediation to legislated rules and even sanctions. Work is currently under way to develop a consultation paper that reflects the research results, which will be shared with you and with elected officials this spring. The LGMA will provide opportunities for local government professionals to review and provide input on the consultation paper. Watch for information on our upcoming survey, and we will also provide an opportunity for direct feedback at our Annual General Meeting on May 17 in Penticton. This consultation paper and your inputs will help us review, revise and strengthen our education and training programs to better prepare staff to manage these challenging conditions and behaviours. The Education Plan explicitly focuses on a review and revision of our signature programs, particularly our MATI training programs, to integrate new training and supports in the coming three years to address issues of responsible conduct. As I meet with members at our Chapter events in Creston at the West Kootenay Boundary and Rocky Mountain joint Spring Conference as well as the North Central LGMA Annual Conference, I look forward to conversations on the Education Plan and the progress of the Working Group on responsible conduct. And I always enjoy when folks pick up the phone or email their ideas, so please keep them coming! Nancy Taylor Executive Director

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


By Sonia Sahota, P.Eng Civic Legal LLP


Tools for Community Energy Development ommunity energy systems (CES) offer a model for heating and cooling communities on a small scale, often with options for incorporating renewable energy sources. Their popularity is growing as new technologies offer greater efficiencies and sustainable energy alternatives enter the mainstream. The use of CES (whether publicly or privately developed) is more versatile today, meaning that they are no longer reserved only for civic facilities and institutions. Local governments can support further growth in the use of CES through the regulatory tools available to them under the Local Government Act (LGA) and the Community Charter (CC).


For local governments, fostering the use of CES starts with its planning documents, such as their official community plan and neighbourhood plans. Identifying areas of future densification would, for example, assist in targeting opportunities for CES services. Similarly, policy guidelines for rezoning of neighbourhoods may be used to reflect a vision that supports CES use. The LGA (LGA, s.473(3)) specifically requires that official community plans include targets for reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the area covered by the plan, and proposed policies and actions related to how the local government will achieve such targets. The implementation of CES, particularly those using renewable sources, may in turn benefit local governments in achieving their reduction targets. Local governments can also utilize one or more regulatory tools to implement their policy objectives for use of CES. Establishing development permit areas within official community plans can enable local governments to set development requirements to provide for energy and water conservation and the reduction of GHG emissions (LGA, s.491(9)). These requirements may relate to specific development features as well as machinery, equipment and systems external to buildings and other structures. This authority may be used to require developers to design and build in a manner that permits CES connectivity and usage. Consideration should also be given to ways in which developers and owners are required to remain legally obligated to connect and use a CES, such as through the use of section 219 covenants.

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


Local government authority for imposing development cost charges may also be an effective tool to incentivize developers to incorporate a CES within their projects. Provided the local government has established the program by bylaw, a development may be eligible for a waiver or reduction in development cost charges if the development has been designed to result in low environmental impact and is otherwise an eligible development for the purposes of the bylaw (LGA, s.563). A developer may, for example, be encouraged by savings from development cost charges to incorporate an on-site CES within its development to service future buildings and facilities. A similar incentive may be created by a local government through density benefits (LGA, s.482). A local government may, through its zoning bylaw, establish conditions, such as the provision of amenities that entitle a developer to a higher density. Provided that a CES in a particular development can properly be considered an “amenity,� a developer may be eligible for a density benefit from the local government for that development. Municipalities are also authorized to grant revitalization tax exemptions (CC, s.226) on property taxes to fulfill a broader revitalization need in the community. This tool may be used, for example, to support development that incorporates environmental features such as CES. In addition to their regulatory involvement in private CES, some local governments may wish to establish, own and operate a CES utility. In British Columbia, energy services have traditionally been supplied by large utilities companies regulated by the BC Utilities Commission (BCUC) pursuant to the Utilities Commission Act. For local governments, however, the regulatory oversight by the BCUC may not apply depending on the ownership and operational structure chosen for the CES utility. A local government that provides energy services within its boundaries is exempt from the regulatory oversight of the BCUC. Implementation considerations are not the focus of this article, though from a local government perspective there are some legal considerations worth noting for prospective utility operators and/or owners. As a statutory organization and utility owner/operator, local governments must ensure that all required legal authority has been established to implement, own and operate a CES project, such as financing approvals, service bylaw(s), land tenure rights for access, corporate prerequisites for utility ownership, operating agreement(s), and service agreements for energy supply and payment collection.


Join us in May to learn, network and grow 2017 LGMA CONFERENCE: MAY 16-18, PENTICTON Penticton will provide fertile ground for professional and personal growth at the 2017 LGMA Conference. With a common thread that reflects purposeful collaboration focused on “Growing Forward Together”, this year’s event will help you gain momentum, meet challenges, innovate and move forward.

May 16-18 Penticton BC

This year’s opening keynote speaker is Misha Glouberman, who will kick things off by describing how a new perspective on relationships will help you become better at forging agreements, creating mutual gain and resolving conflicts. Using storytelling, humour, and drawing on research from many sources, including Harvard’s Program on Negotiation, Glouberman will help transform the way you view negotiation and the reasons people disagree in the first place.

Misha Glouberman

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


Hear John Herdman’s fascinating insights on how creating a highperformance culture is vital to team achievement. As Head Coach of the Canadian Women’s Soccer Team and a nominee for both the 2012 and 2015 FIFA Coach of the Year, Herdman took a group once called a “struggling squad” to one that has captured the hearts and minds of Canadians.

Practical advice, creative options, value for local government Planning, Development & Environmental Law John Herdman

He will be sharing his experiences and stressing the importance of learning to overcome adversity with grace, and the role of leaders to inspire trust, confidence and success. Covering timely topics relevant to today’s leaders, the program includes workshops targeted toward Approving Officers, Communications Officers, FOI practitioners and project leaders. Learn how to grow successful local government relations with sessions on managing today’s workforce, improving your negotiations skills, collaborating with First Nations and enhancing municipal-regional district relationships. Get the scoop on local government performance audits, asset management communications, and social media and public disclosure considerations. Gain clarity on the role of local government in regulating food and agriculture, ensuring BC Human Rights Code alignment with respect to gender identity, and dealing with the impacts of changing global economic and environmental conditions.

Carvello Law Corporation

Lui Carvello, MCIP, RPP Lawyer & Registered Professional Planner

203-1005 Broad Street Victoria, BC V8W 2A1 250-686-9918

While at the conference, take advantage of opportunities to consult with experts one-on-one on your pension or education plans. Then, celebrate with friends old and new at the Annual Banquet with an elegant dinner, entertainment by illusionist and mind reader Derek Selinger, and local musical talents Uncorked! and DJ Shakes. A conference room block is available at the Penticton Lakeside Resort ($150-$170 plus taxes; call 1-800-663-9400). Reference ‘Local Government Management Association’ to receive the special rates. To view the full program or register, visit > Programs & Events > Annual Conference & AGM > 2017 Conference & AGM.

TOP 5 REASONS TO ATTEND 1. Networking – Harness the “power of community” and make valuable connections with colleagues from across B.C. 2. Inspiration – Keynote sessions will get you thinking about things differently and moving in a new direction. 3. Professional Development – In-depth workshops and breakouts led by local government experts provide critical skills that you can put into action back at the office. 4. Knowledge Gathering – Interact with sponsors and exhibitors and learn how they can help you move your organization forward. 5. Knowledge Sharing – Add value and assist your peers by asking questions and adding insights at interactive sessions or during informal conversations.

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


Save the date!



CONTACT US Cathy Cook Executive Director P: 778-278-3486 F: 778-278-0029 E:

By Therese Mickelson, ABC

Community Energy


Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


When it comes to community energy projects, even small steps can have big impacts.


ven better, local governments don’t have to venture into new initiatives alone – there are a plethora of resources and other supports in place to facilitate the development of community energy plans and the implementation of a variety of different projects, policies and new initiatives. The outcomes are energy savings, recognized leadership in innovation to support clean, renewable energy and the creation of communities that are more resilient.

One key resource is the Community Energy Association (CEA), a charitable non-profit society that supports local governments and communities across B.C. The CEA helps to raise awareness and recognition about the importance of developing sustainable energy by providing workshops, research and publications, collaborating with local governments and other partners such as utility companies, and by hosting the Climate and Energy Action Awards. The team at CEA also supports project planning and implementation. For many communities, the first step may be to develop a Community Energy Plan as this supports actions, policies and strategies related to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and creating sustainable energy solutions. For local governments, these plans can be used to encourage more energy efficiencies in new construction, create policies requiring home energy assessments for renovation projects, and encourage community planning that is designed to support active transportation and public transit. “You can build a smart community that’s more resilient in the face of fluctuating energy pricing, such as electricity,” says Peter Robinson, Chief Technology Officer, CEA. “When comparing cities like Atlanta, Georgia and Barcelona, Spain, you’ll see that Atlanta takes up a lot more space than Barcelona with far less public transit, so when there’s a spike in gasoline prices, Atlanta is less resilient and will be more negatively impacted.” Because a community’s network of streets and buildings has a significant impact on GHG emissions, local government’s role in community planning and the management of corporate assets such as recreation facilities and infrastructure leaves them well-positioned to reduce usage, conserve energy or add renewable energy. “When we look at all the ways local governments can influence this area, most experts agree that local governments can affect 50 to 60 per cent of community-based emissions because of their ability to impact land use and transportation patterns, reduce emissions from community facilities, manage organic waste and create and implement programs for energy efficiency,” says Pat Bell, Head of Planning and Director of Education, CEA.

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


“Local governments can affect 50 to 60 per cent of community-based emissions.” Pat Bell

With this much influence and opportunity, it’s fortunate that there are also multiple resources to support implementing sustainable, clean energy solutions. The CEA offers expertise and tools to help local governments with their planning and implementation goals. For communities not sure where to start, the CEA can assist with completing a renewable energy scan, which explores opportunities and provides a high-level assessment of what the local government can do to implement energy efficiency solutions. There is also a new online resource called Getting to Implementation (www.framework. that includes a survey tool local governments can complete to identify their strengths and weaknesses and a framework they can use to overcome those weaknesses. While coming up with a plan and action items is key, financing the projects may be a significant challenge. To help with this, the CEA produces a Funding Guide, which lists about 35 different programs available to local governments in B.C. The funding sources are categorized by buildings, infrastructure, renewable energy and transportation projects, and in some cases, the funding links to more than one category. The Funding Guide also notes whether the funding supports studies, workshops or projects and if they are in the form of loans or grants. “With this Guide, if a local government has an idea or is wondering if there’s funding out there, they don’t have to look at 10 different websites because we’ve already done the legwork,” says Bell. “The Guide provides brief descriptions of funding programs, deadlines and contacts – saving local governments time when seeking financial support. The Guide also includes a tip sheet for how to write successful grant applications.” The Funding Guide, along with other resources, is found on the CEA’s website under Resources – Economics. In addition to the support available through CEA, local governments can look to the resources available through the Partners for Climate Protection Program (PCP) operated by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM). Continued on page 10

Community Energy Ideas and Innovation Continued from page 9

FCM recently received a $75 million investment from the federal government to support its Partners for Climate Protection Program, and this funding will be dedicated to new programming that will provide a suite of grants to support studies, plans and pilot projects to enable better planning, analysis and decision-making related to local government capital investments. These financial supports will be complemented by capacity-building initiatives such as peer learning groups, case studies, workshops, conferences and webinars. “One of the key elements to the FCM program is that it covers projects related to reducing both corporate and community emissions,� says Bell. “This means you can leverage the program to support projects like improvements to swimming pools, as well as community projects such as installing electric vehicle charging stations.� The FCM program involves completing five milestones, starting with preparing an inventory and forecast for energy usage, followed by the second milestone to set targets for reducing corporate and community emissions. Subsequent milestones involve creating and implementing a plan, and the final milestone is to monitor progress. CEA recommends revisiting the plan to review progress and update targets.

In B.C., local governments have a jumpstart over other provinces as the provincial government produces the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory (CEEI) on their behalf. The first inventory was completed in 2007, and there have been two follow-up inventories since then to track progress. The CEEI saves local communities from the expense of completing their own inventory and is more efficient because the Province makes the requests for data from the various organizations that contribute to the inventory, such as BC Hydro, FortisBC and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), for all 189 local governments. The Province also deals with the privacy issues and applies the expertise to sort and report on the data. Thanks to the CEEI, B.C. local governments already have the first FCM PCP milestone complete, and they can focus on identifying and implementing projects and programs. The CEEI program has provided a foundation for success in energy and emissions planning and implementation in B.C. – not only does it allow communities to get started, it supports tracking and reporting on projects and targets, which is essential to sound local government management. Some of the opportunities within the corporate structure can be achieved with small investments.

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Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


“Every community has opportunities now if they want to realize them, and some of the opportunities are very low-hanging fruit.” “Every community has opportunities now if they want to realize them, and some of the opportunities are very low-hanging fruit that will save money for the organization or in the community with hardly any costs to either the local government or the resident,” says Robinson. “There are certainly some cool projects that may have a higher capital investment, but there are also very low cost or even free things you can do. Sometimes, just putting the information out there in the community can help people save money.”

In addition to using technology and innovation to support sustainable energy solutions for buildings and infrastructure, local governments will have access to a new tool to require or incent more energy efficiency measures in new buildings. Recently introduced by the provincial government, the Energy Step Code is voluntary, but will provide local governments with options to improve energy efficiency in new buildings beyond what is required in the BC Building Code. The proposed Energy Step Code supports the Building Act by providing a consistent provincial standard for energy efficiency to replace the wide range of existing policies and programs developed by local governments over the years to reduce emissions from new buildings. It also supports consumer choice by focusing on an efficient building envelope and performance testing, allowing designers and builders to use whatever heating source is available and cost efficient (natural gas, electricity, or renewable energy sources) for their project. Continued on page 12

Robinson notes that retrofits to corporate buildings, such as switching from incandescent bulbs to LED lighting can result in a payback on the investment within two years. Other changes, such as building system optimization by changing low-flow aerators on hot water taps or adding piping insulation can have a two to five-year payback. The business case to install LED street lights has also improved significantly with better technology. Other, larger projects involve the use of innovation and new technology solutions. One example Robinson highlights is the District of Lake Country, where they installed a turbine in their drinking water infrastructure and now generate about $300,000 per year in revenue by selling the energy to BC Hydro. When they pay off their short-term loans for the construction costs, this revenue can be set aside in a carbon fund to support more climate action activities in the community. Another technology solution is designed to harness solar energy is installing solar photovoltaic (solar PV) panels, which have become significantly more affordable. With this metering program, if the panels generate more than the building uses, the excess energy is sold to BC Hydro. If they generate less than is required, such as at night, BC Hydro provides the power. “BC Hydro estimates that about 37 communities are using solar panels to generate electricity and the three largest projects are in small communities,” says Robinson. “They are installing solar PV panels on their local government buildings and selling the energy back to BC Hydro. You’re effectively spinning your net meter backwards, and the price of panels is coming down a lot – estimates are that it’s about 80 per cent less than 10 years ago – so your return on investment is faster.” Local governments can also support their residents – and encourage more clean energy solutions – by raising awareness about the programs offered by other organizations, such as local utility companies. “Utilities have some great programs aimed at people who are below a certain income threshold,” says Robinson. “BC Hydro and FortisBC both have programs that are income-qualified and involve paying a contractor to come out to your home to install a bunch of energysaving tactics in the house for free.”

Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


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Fall 2017 Courses Starting in September:

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Ω 2017 MATI Courses – Successful CAO (February); Advanced Communication Skills (April); Managing People (May); Leadership (June); Community Planning (October)

For specific dates, see To register for these and future courses, contact Alison McNeil at

Community Energy Ideas and Innovation Continued from page 11

This ‘fuel neutral’ approach provides builders with the flexibility to construct energy-efficient buildings using all available technologies provided that the energy efficiency target is met.

The top step of each program area is a very energy efficient building, but local governments can decide what level, if any, is appropriate for their community.

While the Energy Step Code provides for a consistent set of standards for B.C., there is a different step code for single-family and low-rise buildings (Part 9 buildings) and high-rise buildings (Part 3 buildings). Local governments can determine what step might work best in their community and either require or incent builders to achieve that step.

“New buildings can make up a significant part of future emissions, particularly in fast-growing communities,” says Bell. “What I like about the program is that it meets the needs of builders and developers by providing for standardized energy efficiency performance targets across the province, but it meets the needs of local governments by giving them a simpler way to ask for something better than what is currently in the Building Code.”

tips & tactics Sustainable Energy Projects and Policies The following resources support local governments interested in pursuing sustainable energy projects and policies. • Federation of Canadian Municipalities Partners for Climate Protection Program ( programs/partners-for-climate-protection.htm): This program empowers municipalities to take action against climate change through a five-milestone process. • B.C.’s Community Energy & Emissions Inventory (CEEI) ( climate-change/reports-data/community-energy-emissionsinventory): These reports provide local governments with accurate, consistent and relevant information about GHG emissions and supporting indicators. • Getting to Implementation Project (www.framework. This online tool helps communities implement their Community Energy Plan and includes a Readiness Survey. • BC Energy Step Code ( industry/construction-industry/building-codes-standards/ energy-efficiency/energy-step-code): The proposed Energy Step Code supports the Building Act, by providing a consistent provincial standard for energy efficiency. • BC Funding Guide ( download_category=economics): Find funding for your Community Energy and Climate Change Initiatives using this guide for B.C. local governments involved in energy planning and climate action. • Become a Certified Community Energy Manager ( Six online courses qualify students to write CEA’s certification exam in Community Energy Management. • Green Energy and A Rural Economic Development Tool ( This tool helps identify opportunities and facilitate increased rural benefits from green energy development. • Community Energy Association Resources and Publications ( CEA’s resources include printed materials, webinars and videos as well as an online newsletter and the Funding Guide.

Bell notes that through the Climate Leadership Plan, the Province has committed to accelerating increased energy requirements in the B.C. Building Code by taking incremental steps to make buildings ready to be net zero by 2032. The top step of each Energy Step Code is the equivalent of a net zero building. “The Step Code is really in an early stage for these changes, so builders know what they will likely be expected to do as part of periodic updates to the Building Code in future – the goal is to get to that next, higher standard eventually,” adds Bell. With the new Energy Step Code and the existing work through the CEEI to provide local governments with their individual energy emissions inventory, B.C. communities are well-positioned to move forward with their energy reduction planning and implementation; however, it still requires commitment at a policy level to address barriers and move forward successfully. Robinson sees three key barriers that are holding local governments back. First is a lack of a someone to take the lead in the organization, so projects can’t even get started. “You need a champion in the organization,” says Robinson, “And when you have champions among staff and Council, that’s when things really start to happen.” In some cases, this lack of champions may be due to a corresponding lack of knowledge about the role local governments can play in sustainable energy initiatives. To help address this gap, the CEA is partnering with the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) to deliver six online courses that qualify students to write CEA’s certification exam in Community Energy Management. The program is offered online, and the courses range from an introduction to community energy and emissions planning and approaches to community-based renewable energy, to financing and governance, as well as courses that target how to reduce energy use in new and existing buildings and low-carbon transportation planning. “With this program and partnership with BCIT, we’ve packaged up our knowledge from 20 years to share it with those who work for or with local governments as part of CEA’s goals around capacity building,” says Bell. The second barrier is lack of resources – whether budget, time or both. And the third is lack of integration between election cycles and people leaving the organization, which causes projects to go off track. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


The BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council (BCMCLC) has been established to try to offset the challenges related to changing policy directives due to the election cycle. The BCMCLC was started in 2010 by a number of elected officials who were concerned that newly-elected officials would not understand climate change initiatives. They determined that a peer-learning approach would work best to David Dubois support educating incoming Council and Board members. The BCMCLC has 10 core members who provide leadership, as well as associate members and general community members. Thanks to additional funding in recent years, the BCMCLC has expanded to provide peer-to-peer workshop sessions and webinars for elected officials. “The BCMCLC typically tries to schedule its sessions around other local government events when possible, and we also host a breakfast session at UBCM where we invite key provincial ministers and Members of the Legislative Assembly to meet with our members, exchange ideas and note gaps and opportunities that can be addressed as climate leaders in their community,” says David Dubois, Chief of Engineering and Technical Outreach Specialist, CEA. “For any elected official, if you’re going to be making these kinds of decisions that have long-term impacts, there’s only one chance to get it right,

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so it’s important to ensure elected officials have the information they need around the impact of their decisions.” The key is that the information sharing is between elected officials, which provides for an independent confirmation of what they may be hearing from their staff. Dubois notes that another key benefit that stems from bringing elected officials together to exchange ideas and experiences is that it provides an opportunity to share details about successful projects so other communities can replicate them. “Initially, a new project is about innovation, but then it becomes best practice,” says Dubois. “For the most part we need to replicate, not innovate, because the benefit is built on proven projects. I think smaller local governments especially can take the ideas and projects that have been tested and proven to help them stay on the leading edge.” With the resources, partnerships and continued progress in terms of technology and innovation, it’s increasingly feasible for local governments to take on projects and make policy changes that support clean, renewable energy in their community. Learning from each other and applying solutions tailored to the opportunities in each community will be integral to long-term success in achieving GHG reduction targets and more sustainable approaches to energy management in future. ❖

Green &Clean

The Kimberley SunMine is the province’s largest solar project, Canada’s largest solar tracking facility, and the first solar project in B.C. to sell power to the BC Hydro grid.


By Therese Mickelson, ABC

Some community energy projects are tailor-made solutions based on opportunities unique to an area, while others could be applied in local governments across the province. By assessing local opportunities and leveraging grants and partnerships, local governments can implement projects that generate clean, sustainable energy. The following case studies are two examples of how local governments have tapped into opportunities to benefit their communities.

KIMBERLEY: MINING SOLAR ENERGY For many communities, a brownfield from past mining operations may seem like dead space with no value.

But in Kimberley, the large tracts of land designated as brownfield combined with an average of more than 2,000 hours of sunshine each year and an existing power grid infrastructure in the area created the ideal formula for a solar energy project. “We had the perfect storm in terms of sunshine, available land and electrical infrastructure from the grid that was in place for the previous mining operation,” says Scott Sommerville, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Kimberley. “We also knew Teck was looking for a legacy project for their land so we had the opportunity for a partnership to move the project forward.” With the key elements in place and a partnership focused on a shared goal, the Kimberley SunMine project was launched on Teck’s former Sullivan Mine Concentrator site, which has been fully reclaimed. Aptly named SunMine, the solar energy project has 4,032 solarcell modules, mounted on 96 solar trackers that follow the sun’s movement, maximizing solar exposure. It is the province’s largest solar project, Canada’s largest solar tracking facility, and the first solar project in B.C. to sell power to the BC Hydro grid. “SunMine is like touring a science fiction movie set,” says Sommerville. “The panels move and track the sun, so we tell the kids to be quiet and when the sun comes out from behind a cloud, all 96 panels shift to track the sun. Everyone becomes a kid, excited by the impact. People are inspired by it and want to hang out there.” The success of the SunMine since it opened in June 2015 is evident; however, having the ideal formula for the project was just the first step – the rest of the process was riddled with challenges that were overcome with ingenuity and perseverance. One of the key challenges involved sourcing the initial funding and then rounding up additional funds late in the project when a federal grant fell through. There was also extensive legal work involved – 17 agreements with eight different organizations – and the deal took six years to complete. “Originally, the plan was that Teck would lead the construction, but the City needed to be the owner/operator for us to qualify for a federal Western Economic Diversification fund,” says Sommerville. “The grant program’s priorities later changed so that funding fell through, and we had to pick up more of the funding for the project.”

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The project scope and cost were adjusted from $6.5 million to $5 million to address the loss of the federal funding, and the business case was revised. The City held a referendum a few years before the project moved ahead to gain support for a $2 million loan, and residents gave them solid support with a 76 per cent vote in favour of pursuing a loan. The provincial government provided $1 Scott Sommerville million in funding as part of its Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund program. This funding was managed through the EcoSmart Foundation, a Vancouver based non-profit foundation promoting economically and ecologically smart projects between public and private sectors. Teck provided the land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards the project.

When the City pursued other funding partners to address its financing gap, the Columbia Basin Trust provided $300,000 plus expertise and the Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust contributed $50,000. With this additional funding combined with the loan financing, the City generated $5.35 million for the project. As a result, SunMine is community owned, distinct and well-suited to capitalize on Kimberley’s clear and sunny conditions. “The business case was marginal to say the least, so it was a bit of a risky project with no contingency – which was scary – but construction went very well,” says Sommerville.

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“We had a few hoops we had to jump through that delayed us by six months, but we were within two per cent of the budget, in part because we realized we had better upgrade the road to keep dust down. It’s fortunate we did this as the demand for tours really caught us by surprise. The SunMine has become a bit of an eco-tourism project, with about 1500 visitors in the past year and a half.” In 2016, the SunMine generated $193,551 in total revenue, which included $14,544 in revenue from business interruption insurance due to technical problems with inverters that had impacted operations and affected projected revenues. Continued on page 16

Green and Clean Community Energy Case Studies Continued from page 15

The bulk of expenses are for loan repayment ($125,722) and operations ($55,203), resulting in a net profit of $12,626. Sommerville notes that revenue was not the primary driver for the project. Instead, it was to help shine a spotlight on Kimberley as part of promoting the community and attracting visitors and investors. “The SunMine is not a cash cow for us, but it has reminded people around the world that Kimberley is a very entrepreneurial and innovative community with strong environmental values,” says Sommerville. “It tells the world about the adventurous spirit as we have to move on from mining to go into the solar industry, and a lot of people who had never heard of Kimberley are now coming to visit.” “I have to tell you, it was nerve-wracking to be the pioneers, but we can now share our experience, and hopefully point other local governments in the right direction,” adds Sommerville.

PENTICTON: TURNING WASTE INTO ENERGY Sometimes, looking at standard operations in innovative ways can result in sustainable energy projects that help to reduce costs. Taking that innovative leap may be even more of a stretch when operations involve liquid waste, but when it came time for an upgrade to its Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWWTP), the City of

Penticton took advantage of a grant opportunity for “green projects” and made the decision to install a heat recovery system in two of the new plant buildings. “Wastewater is something people don’t want to think about, but in our business, it’s all about looking at the benefits and what we can get out of it,” says Randy Craig, AWWTP Supervisor, City of Penticton. “There is so much potential for energy recovery and nutrients that can be mined out of it like phosphorous, and with emerging technology we can do more all the time.” While technology costs are coming down, Craig cautions that emerging technology can still be expensive, so for some, the capital costs may be too high. If only the economic benefits are assessed rather than the environmental benefits, some organizations may not see enough value in the business case. For Penticton, the business case for the $25 million plant upgrade was made more feasible thanks to grants that totaled 33 per cent of the cost. The grants were contingent on the community energy component. The City estimates there will be a 15-year payback for the project, and it is already resulting in annual cost savings from the heat recovery system that is used to heat and cool the City’s administration and maintenance buildings.

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“It’s a pretty complex system – we call it the space shuttle – as it’s even pretty impressive looking,” says Craig. “The effluent runs through a plated heat exchanger, which strips the heat from the effluent in what’s called a hydrogenic heating system.” The plant pumps the water through the whole building and uses heated water to heat the administration and maintenance buildings in colder months, and it can be used to cool the buildings in the summer. “It’s basically a geo-thermal system, but we’re using treated effluent instead of ground water, so it’s warmer than traditional ground water – the gain you get from the effluent is what’s really critical,” says Craig. In addition to the building heating and cooling from the effluent, the upgrades to the AWWTP also involved new technology to shift from chlorine disinfection to ultra-violet treatment, and improvements to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the solids handling processes. This facility’s sustainable mechanical design also uses approximately 25 to 30 per cent less energy than the replaced HVAC systems that had passed their lifecycle. In recognition of its innovative use of technology and notable improvements in both improved energy efficiency and reduced GHG emissions, the City received a Technology Award in the category of Industrial Facilities Energy Use from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)’s B.C. chapter.

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Penticton’s Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant is creating annual cost savings from the heat and recovery system used to heat and cool some City buildings.

Each year, the ASHRAE Technology awards recognize outstanding achievements by ASHRAE members who have successfully applied innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality and energy conservation with proven results. “I think we’ve done a good job even just looking at the financial side, but when you consider the triple bottom line and include the environmental and social benefits, we definitely gain more points,” says Craig. “We do a lot of tours now, including the public and school groups, and people are astounded by how complex and advanced these systems are.” ❖

MEMBERS PAGE SPECIAL RECOGNITION Board of Examiners Four local government employees have been recognized for their education and work experience while working in the local government field in B.C., and are being awarded a Certificate by the Board of Examiners: Certificate in Local Government Administration • Kate O’Connell, Deputy City Clerk, City of Burnaby

Certificate in Local Government Statutory Administration • Maureen Connelly, Deputy Corporate Officer, City of Prince George Certificate in Local Government Service Delivery • Rachel Dumas, Deputy Corporate Officer, Township of Esquimalt • Dorothy Szawlowski, Deputy Director, Corporate Services, District of Elkford

IN MEMORIUM Gerry Kingston

Sandy Gray

Gerry spent 34 years working in the local government system in regional districts in the Comox Valley and the Fraser Valley. Throughout that time, Gerry earned the respect of his colleagues and co-workers and was a man who, while being very dedicated to his work, still maintained his great sense of humour through it all. As a long-time member of the LGMA, Gerry was an active participant in the affairs of the Association, and a great source of stories, advice and support as a regular attendee at Chapter meetings and conferences.

Sandy came to British Columbia to attend Malaspina College and completed his degree in Political Science at the University of Victoria before beginning his career in local government at the Regional District of Port Alberni. Over a career spanning nearly 30 years, he passionately served the communities of Nanaimo, Esquimalt and Courtenay in a number of critical positions, including Chief Administrative Officer.

Gerry served the LGMA as a volunteer in many capacities, sitting on various LGMA committees for several years, including the MATI Foundations Committee and as a Pension Plan Trustee Liaison. Gerry served as the Lower Mainland Chapter representative to the LGMA Board and moved through various positions as an Executive Member of the Board, culminating in the position of LGMA President in 20012002. As President, Gerry was instrumental in leading the transition to the LGMA (formerly Municipal Officers Association) from its more modest beginnings to the professional organization that exists today. Gerry was also involved with the decision-making process for the formation and creation of CivicInfo BC, the very successful local government information society that serves government organizations across B.C. and Canada. During his time on the Board, Gerry brought a high level of professionalism and leadership, while always maintaining a sense of enthusiasm for and commitment to the work of the Association and its volunteers. Gerry’s colleagues remember his compassion and loyalty and fondly recall his wonderful laugh – even discussions about something challenging and frustrating always ended with his laugh.

An active volunteer and member of the LGMA, Sandy served in many capacities to support his colleagues in local government. He was particularly proud of his role in helping to start the Municipal Administration Training Institute (MATI) and launch MATI Foundations, and he served as Executive Director of the Association from 20022003. A life-long learner and advocate for continuing education, in retirement Sandy remained a strong advocate for the work of the local government profession, including serving on the Board of Governors for Royal Roads University. Sandy’s humour, practical jokes, love of life, wonderful conversations and discussions will be deeply missed by all who knew him. Sandy passed away in Victoria in early December 2016.

Are you taking advantage of all your membership has to offer? Learn more: or 250-383-7032

Gerry passed away Jan. 30, 2017 in Chilliwack. A celebration of life will be held Apr. 29 at the Quality Hotel & Conference Centre, 36035 N. Parallel Rd, Abbotsford. Doors open at 1 p.m., the service is at 1:30 p.m. and the reception is from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Trudy, Jeremy, Jocelyn and family look forward to sharing this time with you. Promoting Professional Management & Leadership Excellence in Local Government


MEMBERS PAGE MEMBER MOVEMENT Adam Davey, Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Valemount (formerly Administration Manager, Squamish First Nation) Russell Dyson, Chief Administrative Officer Cowichan Valley Regional District (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, Alberni Clayoquot Regional District) Nikki Hoglund, Director of Enginineering and Public Works, City of Colwood (formerly Director of Engineering and Operations, District of Sechelt) Norm McInnis, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Fernie (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, Town of Olds, Alberta)

Peter Weeber, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Penticton (formerly Chief Administrative Officer, District of Mackenzie)

RETIREMENTS Jim Chute, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Dawson Creek Carrie MacPhee, Director of Legislative Services, District of Saanich Alan Mason, Director of Community Economic Development, City of Revelstoke


Dean McKinley, Chief Administrative Officer, District of Mackenzie (formerly Director, Economic Development, Northern Development Initiative Trust)

April 7-9 Working Together: Effective Fire Service Administation for Fire Chiefs and Local Chief Administrative Officers Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites, Vancouver Island

Brent Molnar, Manager of Development Services,City of Colwood (formerly Manager of Land Development, City of Langford)

April 11-13 North Central Chapter Annual General Meeting and Conference Ramada Plaza Hotel, Prince George

Duncan Redfearn, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Dawson Creek (formerly Director of Community Services, City of Dawson Creek) Amit Sharma, Chief Financial Officer, Corporate Officer, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Village of Alert Bay (formerly Deputy Chief Finance Officer, Village of Tahsis) Donna Smith, Executive Liaison, Town of Ladysmith (formerly Legislative Services Coordinator, City of Nanaimo) Devon Wannop, Chief Financial Officer, Town of Oliver (formerly Director of Finance, Town of Taber, Alberta)

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April 23-28 MATI Advanced Communication Skills (CAPU/LGMA) Bowen Island May 16-18 LGMA Annual Conference and Tradeshow Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, Penticton

August 13-18 MATI Foundations UBC-Okanagan, Kelowna September 6-8 Thompson Okanagan Chapter Annual Conference Kamloops September 9-11 Working Together: Effective Fire Service Administration for Fire Chiefs and Local Chief Administrative Officers Smithers September 20-22 Local Government Administrative Professionals Conference River Rock, Richmond September 28 CAO Breakfast Pinnacle Hotel Harbourfront, Vancouver October 1-6 MATI - Community Planning in Local Government Organizations (CAPU/ LGMA) The Cove Lakeside Resort, West Kelowna October 11-13 Clerks and Corporate Officers Forum Victoria October 22-27 MATI School for Statutory Approving Officers South Thompson Inn, Kamloops


May 28-June 2 MATI Managing People in Local Government Organizations (CAPU/ LGMA) Bowen Island

April 5-7 Local Government Administration Association Annual Conference & Tradeshow Red Deer, AB

June 18-23 MATI Leadership in Local Government Organizations (CAPU/ LGMA) Bowen Island

May 21-24 Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) Annual Conference Denver, CO


May 21-24 International Institute of Municipal Clerks (IIMC) Annual Conference Montreal, QC May 29-31 Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) Annual Conference & Tradeshow Gatineau, QC June 1-4 Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference Ottawa, ON June 11-14 Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) Annual Conference Huntsville, ON June 14-16 Government Finance Officers Association of BC (GFOABC) Annual Conference Victoria August 20-23 Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) Annual Conference Charlottetown, PEI September 25-29 Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Annual Convention Vancouver October 15-17 BC Municipal Occupational Health & Safety Conference (BC Municipal Safety Association) Penticton October 22-25 International City/County Management Association (ICMA) Annual Conference San Antonio, TX

MEMBERS PAGE OUR TOWN: DISTRICT OF SICAMOUS Sicamous is poised for new growth as a place to live, work, invest and visit. The District recently completed a rebranding exercise that includes a vision for the community that is focused on encouraging both sustainability and growth for local businesses. This drive for new business is being embedded in the Official Community Plan and through actions such as tax incentives and new partnerships. The revitalized brand for Sicamous reflects a new generation. The bright, fresh brand is captured in a classic, timeliness new logo and visual language to share the excitement of the location and the people who live here. With the new brand in place, Sicamous is now embarking on an advertising campaign to pitch Sicamous to the world. Our healthy, clean lifestyle combined with business opportunities away from the hustle of a big city are just a few of the ways that Sicamous is serious about business combined with a seriously fun lifestyle.

After a rebranding exercise, Sicamous is embarking on an advertising campaign showcasing its healthy, clean lifestyle, business opportunities away from the big city and other features.

It’s easy to understand why vacationers love this community as it’s situated right where Shuswap Lake connects to Mara Lake. Travelers driving along Highway 1 on one side and Highway 97 on the other side soon realize there’s no reason to carry on – Sicamous has everything they could look for.


Join us for the Fresh Outlook Foundation's 7th Building SustainABLE Communities conference in Kelowna November 21st to 24th! MAJOR THEMES

• Climate Action • Water Stewardship • Food Security • Asset Optimization • Community Engagement OTHER CONVERSATIONS • Leadership & Governance • Public Health • Comprehensive Wealth • Active Transportation • Bioengineering • Community Change • Sustainable Development • Pollution Solutions For more info and to register, visit

Known for years as the Houseboat Capital of Canada, Sicamous attracts in excess of 40,000 people who come to vacation on our lakes, and an additional 15,000 residents make the community their home during the summer season. We also have an abundance of mountain biking, hiking, and all lake sports. In the winter, the community is home to multiple winter sporting activities thanks to its central location bordered by four mountain ranges – Owls Head, Gueest, Eagle Valley Pass, Blue Lake and Hunters Range. Voted Best Snowmobiling in Western Canada in 2017, Sicamous is attracting new winter adventurers, as well as outdoor enthusiasts who come to enjoy snow shoeing on local trails and downhill skiing at resorts in the area. Sicamous residents are all very proud to call Sicamous home, and the dedicated District team members are committed to creating positive change for all residents, with a major focus on environment, health care, wellness and education. We are excited about our town, and we want to share that excitement and this lifestyle! Sicamous – live more!

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