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For Immediate Release
April 19, 2022

VOLUNTEERISM AT ITS BEST
MEET BRENTWOOD BAY-MILL BAY ADVISORY COMMITTEE CHAIR


VICTORIA – Forever and a day, that’s the answer you’ll hear when Ian Cameron is asked how long he has volunteered for the Brentwood Bay-Mill Bay Ferry Advisory Committee (FAC). And even after all that time, Cameron is still quick to note that he’s happy to be a part of it.

After 64 years with the B.C. education system, as student, school librarian, district official, Ministry of Education manager and member of the UVic Faculty of Education, Cameron continues to give his time to serve his community. Just by looking at his volunteer resume one could easily draw the conclusion that even in retirement, Cameron never sleeps. He serves not only as the Chair of the Ferry Advisory Committee, he’s also a Director for the Saanich Inlet Protection Society, a Director for the Peninsula Streams Society, and President of the Friends of Dominion Brook Park Society.

It’s active contributors like Cameron who are being celebrated this week across the country. April 24-28, 2022 is National Volunteer Week across Canada. The annual event seeks to celebrate the positive impact of volunteerism in communities. This year’s theme ‘Empathy in Action’ celebrates the ways in which volunteers build awareness around the experiences of different community members and build capacity to work collectively together towards common goals.

FAC Chairs and members like Cameron work year-round doing exactly that. They provide BC Ferries with advice and insight that helps inform day-to-day operations, terminal and vessel improvements, schedule changes, and other initiatives. There are no days off for an FAC Chair. They answer emails, phone calls, and questions from community members 24/7.

When asked what this year’s theme of empathy in action meant to him, Cameron shared his vision for representing the community he is a part of. For him, volunteerism is about ability to see and understand the perspective and feelings of others, as much as your own. “It’s about serving everybody,” says Cameron, “not just a specific group.”

He continues by noting that while all ferry routes have their own demands, the Mill Bay – Brentwood Bay route is unique in its needs. “Many [ferry] routes are routes of necessity, where they are a crucial step in getting people to the places they need to go,” says Cameron. But the route he represents offers an alternate route for highway travellers who want to avoid the Malahat. This he says leads to seeing an incredibly diverse group of local and visiting travellers. With no rush to get a connection, people have the option to wait for the next ferry and enjoy the 25 minute crossing, or take the highway around.

And should they need to wait for the next ferry, lucky them! Cameron, a musician who plays the flute and piccolo with the Sidney Concert Band, is also a guitarist. And he’s been known to bring his musical stylings right to the terminal to play for travellers while they wait. Could busking be his next career move?

While Cameron may not be sure that playing guitar for the travelling public is his first choice in future careers, he is certainly committed to creating shared understanding between BC Ferries and the community he serves. And for Brian Anderson, Vice President of Strategy and Community Engagement for BC Ferries it’s dedicated FAC members like Cameron that play an important role for the company. “The community insight and understanding that our Ferry Advisory Committees provide us with is invaluable. We rely on them not only for community-centred advice, but also helping us get information out to the community, especially when changes are afoot,” says Anderson. “The Committees do a phenomenal job and we are grateful for their dedication and the long hours we know they put in to their work with us.”

When asked what keeps him giving his time to the FAC, Cameron notes that it’s the chance to use his background in assessment and evaluation, a major focus during his time in education, to better understand challenges and explore solutions when it comes to ferry service. And Cameron adds, new voices and skill sets are always welcome. “Anyone who is able to take a calm approach to challenges and wants to be supportive of the community would be a great fit for our Committee,” says Cameron.

If you’re interested in becoming part of the Brentwood Bay – Mill Bay Ferry Advisory Committee, you’re invited to reach out to Ian at ianc@uvic.ca.


FAC Facts:
  • There are 13 Ferry Advisory Committees situated in communities up and down the coast of British Columbia.
  • Committees are generally made of up of 8-12 members who represent ferry dependent communities.
  • FAC members bring a wide variety of voices and perspectives to the table. A committee’s composition depends on the community, and often includes representatives such as: full-time and part-time residents, the tourism industry, commuters, seniors, businesses, commercial goods and service providers, and many more.
  • This past year, FAC members have helped with:
    • Understanding the complex use of ferry service in the Southern Gulf Islands
    • Developing new schedules for two-ship service for Gabriola Island and Quadra Island
    • Adjusting and communicating service and schedule changes during pandemic recovery
    • Providing early input on Terminal Development Plans


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Brentwood Bay – Mill Bay FAC Chair Ian Cameron is a Canadian National Champion in three sailing classes
 
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